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Wildfires are burning higher in the West, threatening water supplies

Two years ago, a wildfire started burning in Colorado’s Arapaho National Forest. Fanned by high winds and parched conditions, the East Troublesome fire raced up the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, at one point crossing over the Continental Divide amid 12,000-foot-tall peaks. It would become the second largest wildfire in state history, and it happened to start on the same October day that another fire to the northeast, the Cameron Peak fire, would be crowned Colorado’s largest ever fire.


‘Significant fire season slowing’ rain set to soak Northern California

By Diana Leonard Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

An unusual September storm is set to arrive in California late this weekend, providing a much-needed pause on the state’s rapidly deteriorating wildfire season.


Oregon wildfire explodes in size as multiple blazes rage across the West

By Nouran Salahieh

An outburst of wildfires that broke out over the past week amid triple-digital temperatures across the West has forced thousands of evacuations and choked the air with smoke as strong winds complicated firefighting efforts.


Cedar Creek Fire, one of 21 fires burning in Oregon, forces evacuations

By Bryan Pietsch

The Cedar Creek Fire in central Oregon, which has scorched more than 86,000 acres, forced rural residents to flee their homes over the weekend before officials slightly curbed evacuation orders Sunday night for just one of dozens of wildfires burning across the West.


As Wildfires Grow, Millions of Homes Are Being Built in Harm’s Way

By Nadja Popovich and Others

Across the Western United States, wildfires are growing larger and more severe as global warming intensifies. At the same time, new data shows, more Americans than ever are moving to parts of the country more likely to burn, raising the odds of catastrophe.


Northern California wildfire wipes out neighborhood with frightening speed

By Alex Wigglesworth Photo: Noah Berger, Associated Press

Jane Coolidge and her husband, Bruce, were driving past the town of Weed, Calif., on Friday when they saw a huge plume of black smoke.
Flames had engulfed a large commercial building, and debris hit their truck as it dropped onto the highway. Falling material landed in dry grass and scrub brush, starting spot fires along both sides of the road.


California wildfire burns at least 50 structures and forces thousands to flee.

By Mandy Feder- Sawyer and Others Photo: Neal Waters, Shutterstocks

A wind-whipped fire that erupted near a defunct lumber mill in Northern California on Friday and became a fast-moving inferno has destroyed at least 50 structures, including homes, and prompted the evacuation of thousands of people in rural Siskiyou County, fire authorities said on Saturday.


As forests go up in smoke, so will California’s climate plan

By Tony Briscoe Photo: Luis Sinco, Loa Angeles Times

When lightning ignited the bone-dry foothills of the Sierra Nevada last year, forestry crews fanned out across Sequoia National Park to defend an ancient grove of California redwoods from wildfire.
As smoke wafted through a forest of giant sequoias, a dozen crew members surrounded the gargantuan, 36-foot-wide trunk of General Sherman — the world’s largest living tree — and wrapped its base with massive sheets of fire-resistant fabric.


Wildfire smoke is choking Indigenous communities

By Diana Kruzman Photo: Diana Kruzman and Others, Grist

On July 29, 2021, Li Boyd woke up to the smell of smoke. It was her birthday — she was turning 38 — and she had rented a boat to take her parents and aunts out on the lake near her home in central Minnesota, about 90 minutes north of the Twin Cities. But that morning, when she looked outside her window and found a thick, yellow-gray haze, she figured it was best to avoid going outside. Her older family members all had respiratory issues, and as the day went on and the smoke grew thicker, she worried about how it would affect them. They celebrated in her house, sealing the windows as tightly as they could.


Wildfire and electric grid: Crisis requires long-term planning rather than rapid response

By Cassie Koerner Photo: Ethan Swope, AP Photo

Wildfires are a top priority for land management agencies and utilities, as the number, size and intensity have increased along with the cost to battle these mega-blazes. While not all wildfires are caused by the power grid, the two are closely linked. New tactics need to be adopted to protect infrastructure, principally by investing in prevention strategies and secondarily by coordinating interagency approaches and community participation.