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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.


McKinney fire levels homes, destroying a lifetime of memories in a flash

By Hayley Smith and Others Photo: David McNew, Getty Images

Days after the McKinney fire broke out in Northern California, anxious residents peppered officials with questions during a community meeting in Yreka on Monday night.
“When can we go back home?” one person asked.
“Can you show me my house on that map?” asked another.
One stood out from the rest: “What are we supposed to do if we lost


Why Does the American West Have So Many Wildfires?

By Winston Choi-Schagrin and Others Photo: David McNew, Getty Images

In just one weekend, the McKinney Fire, fueled by strong winds and high temperatures, burned more than 55,000 acres in Northern California, becoming the state’s largest wildfire so far this year. The blaze is only the beginning of the West’s fire season, which traditionally peaks between mid-July and October.


These maps show severe fires are morphing California forests into something we won’t recognize

By Yoohyun Jung Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle

Many of the largest wildfires in recent U.S. history have happened in California just in the past few years, including last year’s Dixie Fire, which burned nearly a million acres across four counties. Seven others in 2021 achieved “megafire” status, surpassing the mark of 100,000 acres burned. No megafires have occured in 2022 yet, but the ongoing Oak Fire, which started on July 22, has already burned more than 15,000 acres and continues to grow.