SKAMANIA COUNTY, WA — As the Archer Mountain fire holds at 209 acres, the Skamania County Sherriff’s Office has reduced several area evacuation notices. A smart and hard-working fire crew has been working tirelessly to put the blaze.

The following evacuation notices are still in place:

Level 2 (Be Ready):

  • Archer Mountain Road (west of Deville Drive)
  • Franz Road
  • Archer Mountain Road (east of Deville Drive)
  • Dim Rill Dale Drive

Archer Mountain Road west of Deville Drive was previously issued a Level 3 (Go!) evacuation notice. Residents who live on Archer Mt. Road east of Deville Drive may return to their homes.  This described area is reduced to a level 2 evacuation notice including Deville Drive and Wakina Road.

Evacuation levels are constantly being evaluated as fire behavior changes.  If the evacuation level is reduced, that information will be posted on the Skamania County Sheriff’s website at

Should it become necessary to increase an evacuation level, residents will be notified in person by Sheriff’s deputies or other emergency personnel.


Archer Mountain Fire. Photo courtesy of KATU.

The summer vacation season is shorter for most Southwest Washington families, given the extended snow make up days from the 2016-17 school year, so it seems early to get a jumpstart on Back to School (B2S) shopping, but it’s really a good time to find the best deals.

Deloitte recently conducted its 10th annual Back to School (B2S) survey, which takes a detailed look at this year’s shopping and spending trends. Total B2S shopping in the United States is expected to reach $27 billion, and department stores fall from second to sixth place as favorite shopping destinations. Mass merchants have jumped to first place.

That $27 billion projection would make 2017 the second biggest B2S shopping season on record.

B2S is the second biggest shopping season of the year, affecting 29 million U.S. households, 53 million children, and accounts for 50 percent of all school-related expenditures, according to Deloitte.

In this B2S shopping season, Deloitte says “consumers are focused on different retailers and items to fill their carts. Mass merchants and off-price retailers are becoming the go-to venues while traditional department stores and specialty clothing retailers take a back seat.”

Here are some of the survey’s findings:

  • 81 percent of respondents plan to shop at mass merchants. This is a 24 percentage point jump over of last year.
  • 28 percent plan to shop at off-price stores. This is up from 10 percent in 2016.
  • 28 percent say they’ll shop traditional department stores, which is down from 54 percent last year.
  • Just eight percent of parents plan to visit specialty clothing stores, falling from 25 percent in 2016.

Welcome back to school written on a sheet of paper school with colorful pens

Local retailers have seen an earlier spike in traffic this year, and many attribute that to the heat.

“We think they’re coming in to escape the heat,” said one Target employee.

Retailers also get the most dollars spent at their stores the earlier they advertise their sales, according to the survey.

“I love to save money,” said Marcia Wahlman, a Wal-Mart shopper. “I love finding the best deals.”

The statistics show that families spend, on average, $501 per child, which is on par with 2016. Fifty-seven percent of respondents will use cash or debit cards for their purchases, while others will use credit or retail credit cards.

In-store purchases account for 57% of total B2S sales, with 21% online, and 22% undecided.

The Southern portion of the U.S. accounts for 44%, giving that region the highest average spend. The West accounts for 18% overall.  The Midwest is 20%, and the Northeast is at 18%.

So, how much will your family spend?


Kids ready for the start of the new school season.

The City of Camas is issuing a voluntary water use restriction advisory in an effort to conserve water during this summer’s heat wave. The advisory is as follows:

Water your lawn on odd or even days depending on the last digit of your home address. The current heat wave is generating higher water use and stressing the City’s water supply.

Other ways to conserve water include: 

  • Accept a dry lawn – grass becomes dormant during periods of drought but rejuvenates naturally when winter approaches
  • Let your grass grow taller in  the summer – longer blades promote deeper rooting and shade the root zone, reducing water loss
  • Use a broom to clean driveways and paths – sweeping will get them clean without wasting water.
  • Water your grass or garden in the evening – give your gardens a light water at dusk (between 7pm – 9pm); if you water in the middle of the day, it evaporates
  • Take short showers
  • Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth
  • Only wash full loads in your washing machine or dishwasher (unless they have a setting for half loads)

As part of the city-wide effort, the public works department is reducing irrigation at local parks and facilities, as well.

Click here for more information –

First Friday in Camas is coming today with a focus on “Small Town Summer Fun” with the fun beginning at 5 pm in downtown Camas on 4th Avenue. The festivities end at 8 pm.

Due to the heat, several of the outdoor games and crafts are moving indoors.  

Downtown shops, restaurants, galleries, and the Liberty Theatre will have their air conditioning to keep things nice and cool. Stop by Journey at 304 NE Birch for games, crafts, and your activity list for the evening.

First Friday Activities

  • Play the “Guess the Missing Word” game in downtown businesses & earn tickets to win great summer prizes!
  • Outdoor fun & games including duckie race, marble grab, cornhole, ring toss, and more with prizes (*most will be brought inside Journey due to the heat)
  • Woo-hoo! 3 Ribbon Cuttings and Grand Opening Celebrations for Salon 904 at 5pm, 904 NE 2nd; Camas Beauty Bar at 5:15pm, 210 NE 4th; and Salud! Wine Bar-Event-Center-Wine Storage at 5:30pm, 224 NE 3rdAvenue. All are invited.
  • Free kids’ painting sponsored by The Paint Roller Mobile Paint Party
  • Make a paper boat and see if it floats!

Artist working on 4th Avenue in downtown Camas.

To learn more, visit

The cities of Camas and Washougal are opening COOLING STATIONS this week due to the extreme heat warning for the Pacific Northwest.

The City of Camas is extending hours at the Camas Public Library.

“The Camas Public Library will be utilized as a cooling center to provide relief to those trying to keep cool,” said Camas City Councilwoman, Bonnie Carter. “Library hours have been extended — from 10 am to 8 pm.”

The City of Washougal will be opening COOLING STATIONS all week at the municipal complex in downtown Washougal, which is located at 1701 C Street, as follows:

  • Tuesday – City Hall and Library (8 am-5 pm), Community Center (5-9 pm)
  • Wednesday – City Hall and Library (8 am-5 pm), Community Center (5-9 pm)
  • Thursday – City Hall and Library (8 am-5 pm), Community Center (5-9 pm)
  • Friday – City Hall and Library (8 am-5 pm), Community Center (5-9 pm)

There are also several churches with the community participating in the relief effort. Look for the COOLING STATION signs throughout Washougal.

CRESA has information regarding ways and places to stay cool. Clark County Public Health, in coordination with CRESA, has also released information about how to avoid over-heating and the prevention of health-related illness.




We compiled a fun list of things that show you have lived in Camas for a while. How long have you lived here?

  1. You bowled at Riverside Lanes before Big Al’s entered the scene.


    Riverside Lanes on Third Avenue.

  2. You associate Gyro’s with Friday night Camas Varsity football games at Doc Harris Stadium.
  3. You never speed by the Fire Station on Parker Street because there’s usually a police officer there. Speed trap. You know where all the speed traps are.
  4. You know who Joe Papermaker the Mean Machine is, and you defend him when people make fun of the name.
  5. You know Lacamas Lake is disgusting but swim in it anyway during the warm summer months. Plus, you know where the tree rope is.

    Lacamas Lake

    Lacamas Lake

  6. You know a small order of fries at Top Burger will feed you and three of your friends just fine, but you order a large anyway. You also know fries at Top Burger taste even better with their ice cream.
  7. You know movies are just better at Liberty Theater, even with the old building smell (you get used to it after a few minutes).
  8. You remember when band concerts and performances were held at Garfield.
  9. The odor from the paper mill doesn’t faze you anymore.
  10. Going to the “beach” during the hot summer months means going to Cottonwood, aka BA Beach.
  11. You remember when the Camas Hotel was gross. It’s not anymore.
  12. Summer isn’t summer without a blizzard at Dairy Queen in downtown Camas.
  13. You did all your shopping at Sprouse Reitz in downtown Camas.


    Spouse Reitz was located where Lizzabeth A is today.

  14. You got your hair cut at Baldy’s (formerly next to Lily Atelier). Some refer to it also as Jack’s Barbershop.
  15. You know the original town’s name wasn’t “Camas.” Hint: Look at our magazine’s name.

We welcome you to add to this list. Just comment below.

To learn more about Camas, visit:


Since today is Election Day, we dug up some old history and fun facts, and learned that Charles Farrell was the first registered voter in Camas. This is a photo, courtesy of Images of America, of the 1915 Farrell House, which was built by John Roffler for Charles Farrell and his wife, Ursula “Rose” Roffler. Charles was the fist registered voter in Camas, and served on the Camas City Council for many years.

The Farrell House still stands today, and has been very well maintained over the generations. Locals know it well.

Initially, the Charles and Rose ran a general store in downtown Camas, as well as a home millinery business. Their business evolved to become the Farrell and Eddy Department store, which was the go-to department store for local residents.

Today, the building still exits, and houses the Camas Antiques store, which is an attraction from miles around. It’s truly a destination for many people.

So, now you know.

For more information, visit Camas Public Library via the Internet, or stop by the historical building, which had a major renovation in 2003. They have a section that allows you to view and copy old materials, which help one gain a sense of local history.


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Scott Binder shows young athletes how TRX works.

When Results Fitness Training opened its doors this past October, its owner, Scott Binder, was excited about sharing his passion for TRX, which is a different way of doing weight exercises.

The brainchild of former Navy SEAL, Randy Hetrick, TRX consists of suspension training bodyweight exercises that develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.

Health and wellness enthusiasts are pumped about the TRX system, which requires a Suspension Trainer – a highly portable performance-training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete hundreds of exercises.

Using TRX at Results Fitness Training.

Binder explains, “The founder took a belt and parachute and created the TRX system. He had to learn how to market product, and eventually turned it into a successful business. In all, there are 300 movements, and it’s all core all the time. Core is defined from your armpit to your mid-thigh (front, side and back).”

TRX delivers a fast, effective total-body workout, and helps build a solid core while increasing muscular endurance. It’s also beneficial for people of all fitness levels – from pro athletes of all sports to the beginner. Seniors also enjoy the program.

And, since its roots are with the Navy SEALS, it’s fully integrated in all four branches of the US military.

The program is also heavily nutrition-based, and helps its clients by balancing the right proteins, carbs and fats.

“Nutrition is 80 percent of it,” says Binder. Results Fitness Training hosts nutrition seminars every Tuesday night at its facility. They can also create meal options.

One-on-one training is available. You can sign up by visiting and registering for a class, or simply drop by. Costs vary depending on an individual’s needs.

Scott Binder demonstrates how to use TRX.

It’s the only complete TRX facility available in the Vancouver/Camas area, and they offer 7-9 classes per day. While Binder teaches the majority of the sessions, Results does have other instructors teaching several classes.

Results Training, located in the shopping plaza near Costco (19206 SE 1st Street, Suite 112), has 2,056 square feet of space, and can accommodate 18 people in a single class. The average class size, though, is four to eight. Call 360-984-5465 to set up a meeting time. You can also visit

This week’s heavy rain has, of course, had an effect on local roads and bridges, but it has also caused Lacamas Lake to swell and crest the boat ramp (near the Lacamas Lake Lodge). Here is a video. Photos to come in another post. ‪#‎lacamaslake‬ ‪#‎lacamasmagazine‬





The annual Camas Christmas tree lighting event begins at 6 pm tonight with Camas School District bands and choir performances. Santa will be there. The City tree will be lit at 6:30 pm (in front of the Liberty Theater) and it just might snow.
The tree lighting festivities will be followed by an 8 pm special showing of “Home Alone” at the Liberty Theater. This is a great way to get family and friends into the fun Christmas season, says Camas Mayor, Scott Higgins.