Before you do anything else, you might want to take a look at a N.Y. Times map tracking the wildfires in the west…



The science could not be clearer. The burning of fossil fuels is making the Earth hotter. That makes trees and other vegetation drier. And those conditions make wildfires start more easily, burn hotter, and spread faster. These hot, dry conditions increase the likelihood that wildfires will be more intense and burn longer, making them harder to put out.

Highly detrimental to the environment, people’s health and livelihoods, wildfires are destroying forests, agriculture, and communities. Accelerating in their devastation year after year, by mid-September, 2020, five of the 10 largest wildfires in California’s history – including THE largest ever – had happened. 79 large wildfires were still  actively burning in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming leveling acreage the size of New Jersey, with one in every 33 acres burned in the state of California. In Oregon, ten percent of the population had been evacuated and  critical populations of endangered species and native habitats incinerated. It is questionable whether they will ever recover. Unimaginably, the smoke travelled 3,000 miles to Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland and over the Atlantic.

Extraordinary photographs were published in the New York Times on September 10, 2020.


The Midwest Could Be in for Another Smoke-Filled Summer. Here’s How States Are Preparing – Inside Climate News

By Kristoffer Tigue 05/20/24
Nick Witcraft knew he’d have a busy morning when his phone notified him that Canadian wildfire smoke was drifting across the U.S.-Canadian border eight days ago.
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US States Warned of Unhealthy Air From Wildfires: Weather Watch

By Brian K Sullivan 05/13/24
Air quality has turned unhealthy for parts of the Upper Midwest in the US, including the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as smoke drifts south from ongoing Canadian forest fires, according to
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From Ancient Charcoal, Hints of Wildfires to Come

By Laura Poppick 05/10/24
The oldest evidence of wildfire in the world can be found in a laboratory on the fourth floor of a brick building in Waterville, Maine. To the untrained eye, it looks like a speck of…
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Global Forest Loss Remains High, Despite Recent Progress

By Manuela Andreoni 04/08/24
Despite major progress in protecting vast tracts of rainforest, the world failed again last year to significantly slow the pace of global forest destruction, according to a report issued on Thursday. Record wildfires in Canada…
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Yes, even most temperate landscapes in the US can and will burn

By Kylie Mohr 03/28/24
Last month, a heat wave persisted for days in the Chilean coastal city of Viña del Mar. The landscape, already affected by an El Niño-supercharged drought, was baked dry. So, when wildfires sparked, they ripped…
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Utility-Caused Wildfires Are Becoming a National Problem

By Ivan Penn 03/22/24
After a utility pole fell and ignited a wildfire, Frank King and his family raced to escape as electrical transformers exploded around their homes near Oregon’s coast. A bright red glow was visible in the…
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Virginia wildfire map: See where fires are blazing as some areas deal with road closures

By Gabe Hauari 03/21/24
Wildfires broke out in northern and northwestern Virginia Wednesday, and the National Weather Service says Thursday's conditions could bring "increased fire danger" as well.
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California’s new megafires are taking a toll on wildlife habitat, researchers find

By Kristen Pope 03/18/24
California’s long-toed salamanders are one of the species threatened by rising rates of extreme fire in the state. Named for the unusual length of one of its hind toes, this salamander is typically dark gray…
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A massive Texas wildfire is finally dying down. Its impact could last years.

By Scott Dance 03/06/24
Texans are praying that a spate of wildfires that roared across their state’s panhandle region — including one now among the largest in U.S. history — will finally be extinguished in a matter of days.…
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In Hawaii, coral is the foundation of life. What happened to it after the Lahaina wildfire?

By Audrey McAvoy 03/03/24
Abraham “Snake” Ah Hee rides waves when the surf’s up and dives for octopus and shells when the water is calm. The lifelong Lahaina, Hawaii, resident spends so much time in the ocean that his…
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The Texas Wildfire Is So Big, You Can See It From Space

By Zahra Hirji and Krishna Karra 03/01/24
A massive fire blazing across the Texas Panhandle and parts of Oklahoma this week spans nearly 1.1 million acres (1,700 square miles), making it the largest fire in Texas history. The inferno, dubbed the Smokehouse…
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Smokehouse Creek Fire, second-largest in U.S. history, merges with another to stretch across huge swath of Texas Panhandle

By Li Cohen 03/01/24
In the Texas Panhandle, the Smokehouse Creek Fire that broke out earlier this week has since extended to nearly 1.1 million acres, firefighters said Thursday, quickly becoming the "largest and most destructive" in state history.…
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The US is spending billions to reduce forest fire risks – we mapped the hot spots where treatment offers the biggest payoff for people and climate

The U.S. government is investing over US$7 billion in the coming years to try to manage the nation’s escalating wildfire crisis. That includes a commitment to treat at least 60 million acres in the next…

How to pick the right air purifier for your home as wildfire smoke descends

In recent years, wildfire smoke has ravaged large swaths of the United States — from Northern California’s devastating 2020 wildfire season, to the orange-brown haze that has drifted from Canada into the eastern half of…

People who never had to think about wildfire before need to start

Right now, eastern North America sits under a blanket of choking smoke and an eerie orange haze more appropriate to the surface of Mars than the Great Lakes or Atlantic Seaboard.

Wildfire Weather

Climate change is worsening wildfires across the United States and putting more people at risk. Warming from heat-trapping pollution is affecting weather conditions in ways that increase the risks of wildfire. Long-term warming trends are…


Climate change is increasing the size, frequency, and intensity of wildfires as well as the length of the fire season. All fire needs to burn is an ignition source and plenty of fuel. While climate…

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

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…

California’s wildfire season is here. How to get ready

The Great Plains have tornadoes. The Southeast has hurricanes. And California has earthquakes and wildfires. More than 4 million acres were burned last year in what was the state’s worst wildfire season to date. So…

Facts + Statistics: Wildfires

As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by people, according to the U.S. Department of Interior. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris,…

Wildfires and Climate Change: Visualizing the Connection in Five Sets of Photos and Charts

Every year, millions of acres of land are consumed by fire in the United States. By raising temperatures, melting snow sooner, and drying soils and forests, climate change is fueling the problem. Here’s what we…

Eden Reforestation Project

Eden Reforestation projects reduces extreme poverty and restores healthy forests by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year.

Global Forest Watch

Forest Monitoring Designed for Action: Global Forest Watch offers the latest data, technology and tools that empower people everywhere to better protect forests.


Wildfire burn areas in California are growing ever larger due to greenhouse gas emissions

By Hayley Smith   06/14/23  
Although California may be enjoying a lull in this year’s wildfire season — courtesy of a wet winter and a cool spring — scientists say humanity’s relentless burning of fossil fuels has ensured that wildland…
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How the Canadian wildfire smoke could shift Americans’ views on climate

By Justine McDaniel   06/11/23  
As climate change dropped its calling card on the East Coast last week in the form of thick, dangerous smoke, millions of Americans and Canadians shared the jarring experience — forced to retreat indoors, cancel…
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‘The fire equivalent of an ice age’: Humanity enters a new era of fire

By Shannon Osaka, Michael E. Miller and Beatriz Ríos   06/10/23  
When the sky over New York City turned a thick, silty orange on Wednesday, 8 million residents woke up in a new era. Until this week, the East Coast had remained cocooned, thousands of miles…
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In Canada’s Wilds, a Chilling Inferno Was Also an Omen

By David Enrich   06/08/23  
“Is fire alive?” the journalist and author John Vaillant asks early in his new book, “Fire Weather.” I rolled my eyes, even as Vaillant ticks off a dozen lifelike characteristics — it grows, it breathes,…
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Air quality hits hazardous levels Wednesday from Canadian wildfire smoke

By Andrew Jeong, Victoria Bisset and Others   06/07/23  
Smoke and haze from the wildfires ravaging Canadian forests probably will continue to blanket buildings and residents in the Northeast, the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic. Air quality alerts remain in effect in major cities…
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N95 Masks Helped Protect Against the Coronavirus. They Also Work Against Wildfire Smoke

By Claire Moses   06/07/23  
As smoke from wildfires in Canada drifts over large parts of the United States, the best thing to do to prevent breathing in pollutants on Wednesday is to stay indoors. For many people, of course,…
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Wildfire Smoke Smoky Air Disrupts Life in the Northeast

By Liam Stack and Others   06/07/23  
A plume of Canadian wildfire smoke rapidly darkened the skies over New York City and around the Northeast on Wednesday, making the air dangerous to breathe and disrupting life across the region.
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As Smoke Darkens the Sky, the Future Becomes Clear

By David Wallace-Wells   06/07/23  
My father, who died of lung cancer, used to say that as soon as people inhaled their first cigarette, they immediately knew, if they weren’t in denial, that they were harming themselves. I felt the…
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Climate Change Is Escalating California’s Wildfires

By Anne C. Mulkern   05/31/23  
A new analysis finds that dry air and record-breaking temperatures linked to climate change have led to more frequent severe fires in California
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Canada’s Wildfires Have Been Disrupting Lives. Now, Oil and Gas Take a Hit.

By Hiroko Tabuchi   05/17/23  
Wildfires sweeping across western Canada that have driven thousands of people from their homes are also striking the heart of Canadian oil and gas country, forcing companies to curb production.
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There’s no escape from wildfire smoke

By David Wallace-Wells   05/17/23  
In Western Canada, fire season comes early by American standards — beginning, usually, right around now. In Alberta, by today’s date, only about 1,000 acres have burned in recent years. This season so far, the…
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Fossil Fuel Companies and Cement Manufacturers Could Be to Blame for a More Than a Third of West’s Wildfires

By Wyatt Myskow   05/16/23  
The climate-warming emissions from the world’s 88 largest fossil fuel companies and cement manufacturers are behind more than one third of the wildfires that have increasingly plagued Western North America in recent decades, according to…
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The Fossil Fuels Behind Forest Fires

The communities, cultures, and ecosystems of the western United States and southwestern Canada evolved alongside wildfire for thousands of years. Over the last several decades, however, climate change has altered the character of western wildfires.…
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Air pollution from California wildfires worsened skin conditions

By Cara Murez   03/20/23  
Wildfires are known to have a lot of negative impacts on the environment and the health of the people who live through them.
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Why epic California rains might not prevent a dangerous fire season

By Hayley Smith   01/31/23  
It’s something of a Golden State paradox: Dry winters can pave the way for dangerous fire seasons fueled by dead vegetation, but wet winters — like the one the state has seen so far —…
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AI wildfire detection bill gets initial approval in Colorado

By Jesse Bedayn   01/23/23  
A year after the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history scorched nearly 1,100 homes, Colorado lawmakers are considering joining other Western states by adopting artificial intelligence in the hopes of detecting blazes before they…
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Wish You Were Here. Ignore the Floods and Fires.

By Lydia DePellis   12/10/22  
Climate change is reshaping the American economy. New Mexico is leaning on ecotourism and sustainable industries to see it through, but extreme weather keeps getting in the way....
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Smoke From California Wildfires Dimmed Solar Energy in 2020

By Cristen Hemingway Jaynes   12/09/22  
In September of 2020, the smoke from major wildfires in California made the skies so dark that the state’s solar power production was reduced by 10 to 30 percent during peak hours, according to a…
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Ancient Indigenous practice could curtail today’s wildfires

By Ayurella Horn-Muller   12/08/22  
A study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances found that historical Indigenous "cultural burning" curtailed wildfire patterns on local scales over a period of roughly 400 years in the southwestern U.S.Driving the news: As…
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Global Warming Fuels More Frequent Wildfires In The Arctic—Which Leads To More Global Warming, Study Finds

By Madeline Halpert   11/03/22  
TOPLINE Rising global temperatures have sparked more frequent wildfires in the Arctic in recent years, according to a new study published in Science, a trend that is expected to worsen as earth’s temperature continues to…
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Official: 2021 Colorado wildfire losses surpass $2 billion

A wildfire that destroyed nearly 1,100 homes and businesses in suburban Denver last winter caused more than $2 billion in losses, making it by far the costliest in Colorado history, the state insurance commissioner said.
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Californians Who Fortify Their Homes Against Wildfires Will Now Pay Less for Insurance

By Lauren Leffer   10/19/22  
California homeowners might soon see some reprieve in skyrocketing property insurance rates. That is, if they take steps to wildfire-proof their houses. The West Coast state is the first in the country to require insurance…
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Mobile Homes, the Last Affordable Housing Option for Many California Residents, Are Going Up in Smoke

By Anne Marshall-Chalmers   10/02/22  
But she was more exasperated than scared. She had lived at Creekside Mobile Home Park on Dam Road for 17 years and had lost track of all its close calls with wildfires. Creekside, a park…
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Column: California spends billions rebuilding burned towns. The case for calling it quits

By Erica D. Smith and Others   09/27/22  
Most days, Ken Donnell steals a moment to gaze at the forested valley that surrounds this remote grid of streets in the mountains.Before the Dixie fire came barreling through the Sierra Nevada last year, leveling…
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Western Forests, Snowpack and Wildfires Appear Trapped in a Vicious Climate Cycle

By Bob Berwyn   09/26/22  
When Stephanie Kampf visited one of her wildfire test plots near Colorado’s Joe Wright Reservoir in June of 2021, the charred remains of what had been a cool, shady spruce and fir forest before the…
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In California, a Race to Save the World’s Largest Trees From Megafires

By Twilight Greenaway   09/23/22  
When the Washburn Fire burned through part of Yosemite’s iconic Mariposa Grove in July, photos of its famed giant sequoias steeped in smoke and surrounded by automated sprinklers to shelter them from the flames shocked…
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Wildfire Smoke Is Erasing Progress on Clean Air

By Mira Rojanasakul   09/22/22  
Smoke from wildfires has worsened over the past decade, potentially reversing decades of improvements in Western air quality made under the Clean Air Act, according to research published Thursday from Stanford University.
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Wildfires are burning higher in the West, threatening water supplies

By Joshua Partlow   09/22/22  
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…
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‘Significant fire season slowing’ rain set to soak Northern California

By Diana Leonard   09/16/22  
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.
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Oregon wildfire explodes in size as multiple blazes rage across the West

By Nouran Salahieh   09/12/22  
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.
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Cedar Creek Fire, one of 21 fires burning in Oregon, forces evacuations

By Bryan Pietsch   09/12/22  
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…
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As Wildfires Grow, Millions of Homes Are Being Built in Harm’s Way

By Nadja Popovich and Others   09/09/22  
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…
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Northern California wildfire wipes out neighborhood with frightening speed

By Alex Wigglesworth   09/04/22  
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…
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California wildfire burns at least 50 structures and forces thousands to flee.

By Mandy Feder- Sawyer and Others   09/02/22  
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…
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As forests go up in smoke, so will California’s climate plan

By Tony Briscoe   08/29/22  
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…
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Wildfire smoke is choking Indigenous communities

By Diana Kruzman   08/24/22  
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…
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Wildfire and electric grid: Crisis requires long-term planning rather than rapid response

By Cassie Koerner   08/11/22  
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…
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McKinney fire levels homes, destroying a lifetime of memories in a flash

By Hayley Smith and Others   08/01/22  
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…
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Why Does the American West Have So Many Wildfires?

By Winston Choi-Schagrin and Others   08/01/22  
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…
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These maps show severe fires are morphing California forests into something we won’t recognize

By Yoohyun Jung   07/25/22  
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…
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How wildfires impact our health, as well as the environment

By Jamie Hailstone   07/13/22  
It is a sad truth that many parts of the world - including various parts of the United States - are now facing an increased risk of wildfires.
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A case for retreat in the age of fire

By Emily E. Schlickman and Others   07/13/22  
Wildfires are getting larger, more frequent and more severe in many areas. Although efforts are underway to create fire-adapted communities, it’s important to realize that we cannot simply design our way out of wildfire –…
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Out-of-control Yosemite fire threatens iconic giant sequoias

By Alex Wigglesworth and Diana Marcum   07/09/22  
The first that Michael Gilbert, a 67-year-old rock climber and bellman, heard of the fire in Yosemite National Park was from a mother and daughter who drove up breathless on Friday.
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Extreme lightning sparks more Alaska wildfires in already historic season

By Jacob Feuerstein and Joshua Partlow   07/06/22  
An unusual spate of lightning has ignited more than 50 new wildfires in Alaska, worsening air quality, spurring communities to prepare to evacuate and exacerbating an already historic fire season in the state.
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WA wildfire prompts evacuations for people in 50 homes

People in about 50 homes near a wildfire in central Washington were told by law enforcement to leave their homes immediately on Tuesday afternoon. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said at about 2:45 p.m. that…
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Interstate 84 closed in eastern Oregon due to wildfire smoke

The Oregon Department of Transportation said the interstate was closed westbound in Ontario and eastbound in Baker City because of smoke from a wildfire.
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Northern California wildfire threatens 500 buildings

The Rices Fire erupted at around 2 p.m. near the Yuba River in Nevada County and had spread to more than 500 acres (202 hectares) by nightfall, said Unit Chief Brian Estes of the California…
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Arizona wildfires gut observatory buildings, endanger artifacts

By Marisa Iati   06/23/22  
In the latest example of the expanding reach of wildfires, a trio of blazes in Arizona has gutted several buildings at a national observatory, forced the evacuation of a historical monument and threatened other archaeological…
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Track Wildfires in the West

By Matthew Bloch, Bea Malsky and Others   06/22/22  
The map includes active and recent fires reported by the Wildland Fire Interagency Geospatial Services Group. The locations of the fires on the map are approximate, derived from data reported by the NASA FIRMS satellite-based…
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A wildfire year

By Ashley Wu and Matthew Cullen   06/20/22  
The American West is burning more quickly than it has in a decade. New Mexico has been fighting its two biggest wildfires on record for more than a month. About 3 million acres of U.S.…
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