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.


It’s Always Fire Season Now

By Manuela Andreoni 11/16/23
It’s the end of fire season in the Amazon, where I am, and I can smell the smoke from burning trees. So can millions of people in Indonesia, India and the United States.
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America’s New Wildfire Risk Goes Beyond Forests

By Nadja Popovich 11/09/23
Forest fires may get more attention, but a new study reveals that grassland fires are more widespread and destructive across the United States. Almost every year since 1990, the study found, grass and shrub fires…
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‘We have come so far’: Five years after California’s historic Camp Fire killed 85, Paradise moves ahead with a goal to build a fireproof town

By Lisa M. Krieger 11/07/23
As Jen Goodlin tends the snapdragons and squash in her fertile garden, she is surrounded by a town that is a charred skeleton of its former self. It is also a blank slate, offering a…
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What Happened When California Chose to Rebuild a Town Devastated by Wildfire

By Mark Arax 11/04/23
Before the fire that destroyed almost everything here, Paradise was one of those blunders of American suburbia, a misplaced place that made little ecological sense. It inhabited a California landscape that wasn’t quite rolling foothill…
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Fast-Growing Wildfire in Southern California Forces Thousands to Evacuate

By Angely Mercado 11/01/23
A wildfire in Southern California has burned more than 2,000 acres and prompted more than 4,000 people in Riverside County to evacuate. What is now being called the Highland Fire was first reported on Monday…
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Dusting and Mopping Better Than Air Purifiers for Cleaning Indoor Air After a Wildfire

By Angely Mercado 10/26/23
Even after smoke from a wildfire has visibly cleared, lingering toxins indoors can tank air quality and threaten our health. Harmful chemicals stick around on surfaces and release into the air—and, new research found, air…
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‘It’s Like Our Country Exploded’: Canada’s Year of Fire

By David Wallace-Wells 10/24/23
When the fires came to Yellowknife, the nearest safe-harbor city was more than 600 miles away, a full day’s drive through dense smoke and flammable, nearly uninhabited forest in the infernal midst of Canada’s worst…
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When Kula needed water to stop wildfire, it got a trickle. Many other US cities are also vulnerable

By Brittany Peterson and Michael Phillis 09/30/23
Hours before devastating fires scorched the historic town of Lahaina on Maui, Kyle Ellison labored to save his rental house in Kula, a rural mountain town 24 miles away, from a different blaze.
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Image By CCR + AI
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Canada’s “hellish” wildfire season defies the calendar

By Andrew Freedman 09/29/23
Canada's wildfire season, already the worst on record, went "completely off the rails" during the past week, scientists tell Axios. The big picture: Enough land area burned in the past week to make the seven-day-period…
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AI, Robots and Satellite Sensors Are Helping in the Fight Against Wildfires

By Coco Liu 09/25/23
This year has been a challenging one for Phil Schneider, who hasn’t seen wildfire behavior like this in his 47-year firefighting career.
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Canada’s unprecedented fire season burns into fall

By Ian Livingston 09/25/23
An unprecedented fire season in Canada that began in May is set to roll into October still going strong. About 44 million acres (18 million hectares) have burned this year as 2023 continues its journey…
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Wildfire smoke is eroding decades of air quality improvements, study finds

By Joshua Partlow 09/20/23
In more than a half century since the Clean Air Act was enacted, there have been dramatic improvements in air quality in the United States, as regulations demanding less-polluting cars and factories helped lift cities…
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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.


A megafire raged for 3 months. No one’s on the hook for its emissions.

By Amanda Coletta , Chris Mooney & others   04/20/22  
Over nearly three months, it crossed a river, hopscotched containment lines and climbed sagebrush-covered hills, churning into the atmosphere an estimated 38 million tons of greenhouse gases — roughly a year’s worth of pollution from…
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Fires, Then Floods: Risk of Deadly Climate Combination Rises

By Raymond Zhong   04/01/22  
Global warming is greatly increasing the risk that extreme wildfires in the American West are followed by heavy rainfall, a new study has found, highlighting the need for better preparations for hazards, like mudslides and…
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Wildfire near Smoky Mountains prompts mandatory evacuations

Firefighters sought to get a handle Wednesday on a wildfire spreading near Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, amid mandatory evacuations as winds whipped up ahead of a line of strong storms forecast to…
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It’s official: Larger, more frequent wildfires are here

By Lina Tran   03/30/22  
It’s nearly three months into 2022, and the country has already seen wildfires burning across Florida, Texas, and Colorado. Hundreds of thousands of acres have been scorched, in an unusual start to spring.
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NCAR Fire forced evacuation of 8,000 homes in Boulder

By Nate Lynn   03/27/22  
About 8,000 homes were ordered to evacuate due to a fast-moving wildfire burning in an open space near the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder on Saturday afternoon.
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Older Wildfire Smoke Plumes Can Affect Climate

By Emily Dooley   03/23/22  
Aerosols carried in wildfire smoke plumes that are hundreds of hours old can still affect climate, according to a study out of the University of California, Davis.
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Recent Megafire Smoke Columns Have Reached the Stratosphere, Threatening Earth’s Ozone Shield

By Bob Berwyn   03/17/22  
Scientists researching how the recent spike in extreme wildfires affects the climate say that just a few weeks of smoke surging high into the stratosphere from one intense fire can wipe out years of progress…
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Wildfires in Florida Panhandle prompt evacuations

By Alyssa Lukpat and Isabella Grullón Paz   03/05/22  
Three fast-moving wildfires in the Florida Panhandle have consumed more than 10,000 acres and forced the evacuation of more than 1,100 homes, the authorities said.
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Risk of uncontrollable wildfires will rise and spread globally, UN warns

By Diana Leonard   02/23/22  
Uncontrollable wildfires are intensifying with the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a sweeping global report released Wednesday by the United Nations Environment Program and nonprofit GRID-Arendal, who said communities are not prepared for…
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As drought lingers, larger and more destructive wildfires pose new threats to water supply

By Hayley Smith   02/21/22  
Already diminished by drought and extreme heat, California’s water supply will face yet another peril as wildfires continue to incinerate ever larger areas of forested land, according to new research.
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California’s largest wildfire of 2022 grows uncontained to 1,800 acres near Bishop

By Gregory Yee   02/16/22  
A wind-driven wildfire that broke out near Bishop in the Owens Valley spurred evacuations and grew to 1,800 acres by Wednesday night, officials said, quickly becoming California’s largest fire of the year so far.
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Wildfires are becoming more intense at night and lasting longer, study finds

By Kasha Patel   02/16/22  
Nighttime-fire intensity in the U.S. West has increased by 28 percent over the past two decades.
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Dixie Fire caused by PG&E, Cal Fire says. Fire was second largest in California history

By Dale Kasler and Rosalio Ahumada   01/05/22  
Cal Fire said Tuesday that investigators have determined that a tree contacting Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines caused last summer’s Dixie Fire, which burned nearly 1 million acres and destroyed more than 1,300…
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This Vast Wildfire Lab Is Helping Foresters Prepare for a Hotter Planet

By Henry Fountain   01/05/22  
When a monster of a wildfire whipped into the Sycan Marsh Preserve here in south-central Oregon in July, Katie Sauerbrey feared the worst.
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California’s forever fire

By Elizabeth Weil   01/03/22  
After another devastating year, it’s clear that Californians can’t keep trying to “fight” wildfires. Instead, they need to accept it as their new reality.
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1 big thing: Wildfire hits tight-knit climate science community

By Ben German and Andrew Freedman   01/03/22  
The wind-whipped firestorm that tore through parts of Boulder County, Colorado, on Thursday struck at the heart of one of America's top climate science and meteorology research hubs, Andrew writes.
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‘Total devastation’ after wildfire charges through Colorado towns

By Ari Schneider, Jennifer Oldham, Marisa Iati and Emmanuel Felton   12/31/21  
More than 500 families may enter a new year having lost their homes after runaway grass fires bore down on the region northwest of Denver on Thursday, but others were returning to their neighborhoods Friday…
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Prairies on Fire in Montana Amid a Record December Heat Wave

By Jim Robbins   12/02/21  
Record-high temperatures and powerful winds have sparked a series of unusual December prairie fires in Montana, one of a series of late-season fires across the country amid an unusually warm approach to the winter season.
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Montana wildfire update for December 01, 2021

By Jess Sheldahl, Kay Erickson, Edward O'Brien   12/02/21  
The town of Denton in Fergus County in central Montana is under an evacuation order because of a fast-moving wildfire.
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Wildfires in California Killed Thousands of Giant Sequoias

By Vimal Patel   11/20/21  
Three wildfires in California in the past 15 months killed or mortally wounded thousands of mature giant sequoias, accounting for an estimated 13 to 19 percent of the world’s population of the majestic trees, officials…
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What It’s Like to Fight a Megafire

By M.R.O' Connor   11/08/21  
Mike West began working with the Lassen Interagency Hotshot Crew in the summer of 2004, when he was twenty-one years old. On one of his early missions, the crew was dispatched to Arizona, where lightning…
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Climate change is now the main driver of increasing wildfire weather, study finds

By Alex Wigglesworth   11/01/21  
In a finding that scientists believed was still decades away from becoming reality, California researchers say that climate change is now the overwhelming cause of conditions driving extreme wildfire behavior in the western United States.
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The Coming Age of Climate Trauma

By Andrea Stanley   10/27/21  
Jess Mercer received a call from her stepmom, Annette, that morning, a little after 8 a.m. “We’re coming,” Annette said, her voice so unrecognizable it sounded foreign. Jess was at her apartment in Chico, Calif.,…
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As California burns, PG&E CEO promises: ‘We are going to fix our stuff’

By Sammy Roth   10/14/21  
I don’t envy Patti Poppe. In the nine months since she took the helm of Pacific Gas & Electric, the nation’s largest and possibly most hated utility, Poppe has seen the firm potentially implicated in…
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California’s Alisal Fire has prompted evacuations, road and Amtrak closures

By Aya Elamroussi and Joe Sutton   10/14/21  
California firefighters are battling flames and strong winds as they tackle the Alisal Fire, which has shut down a section of the iconic Highway 101 and Amtrak lines in Santa Barbara County. The 15,400-acre fire,…
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Wildfire smoke poses serious health hazard. But your indoor air can be kept clean

By Bernard J. Wolfson   10/09/21  
The fierce wildfires that broke out across much of the western United States this summer, spreading smoke across hundreds of miles, continue to pose a serious health hazard to millions. More are expected this fall.…
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The Secret War Over Pentagon Aid in Fighting Wildfires

By William J. Broad   10/01/21  
In July, as wildfires tore through the American West, President Biden met with the region’s governors to find better ways to battle the flames. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California requested use of military satellites that…
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1 of every 8 acres in California has burned in the last 10 years. Here’s where the biggest fires spread — and are burning now

By Paul Rogers and Paiching Wei   09/29/21  
If it seems like wildfires in California are getting larger, they are. Nine of the state’s 10 largest wildfires since 1932, when modern records began, have occurred in the past decade. And amazingly, the eight…
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Anatomy of a wildfire: How the Dixie Fire became the largest blaze of a devastating summer

By Marisa Iatiand and Dylan Moriarty   09/17/21  
For two months, the Dixie Fire has menaced Northern California — stripping forests, forcing thousands from their homes and swallowing most of a Gold Rush-era community.
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World’s largest trees under siege from California wildfire as sequoias face new perils

By Hayley Smith and Lila Seidman   09/16/21  
Deep inside the heart of Sequoia National Park lies a cathedral-like grove that is home to thousands of towering sequoia trees. Known as the Giant Forest, it draws throngs of visitors each year who come…
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In California, Worsening Fires Show Limits of Biden’s Power

By Christopher Flavelle and Zolan Kanno-Youngs   09/14/21  
President Biden visited California on Monday to tout his efforts to better protect the state against the raging wildfires that have burned more than two million acres, displaced thousands and pushed responders to the brink…
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When Hard Jobs Turn Hazardous

By Sergio Olmos   09/05/21  
In early summer, a day laborer laying irrigation lines at a plant nursery just south of Portland, Ore., collapsed to the ground and died. His official cause of death was declared “heat related.”
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Devastating Caldor Fire continues to burn toward Lake Tahoe, forcing thousands to evacuate

By Ally Gravina and Diana Leonard   08/31/21  
So Clay Cunningham and his wife packed what they could and fled their house in Meyers, Calif., near South Lake Tahoe. But nearly as soon as they reached their daughter’s home, another evacuation order arrived.…
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Forest Service officials confirm all California national forests to temporarily close

By Gregory Yee   08/30/21  
All of California’s national forests will be closed beginning late Tuesday. The closures will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and stay in place until the same time on Sept. 17, according to an…
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Lake Tahoe Suffocates With Smoke

By Thomas Fuller and Shawn Hubler   08/27/21  
Smoke from the Caldor fire is overwhelming one of California’s most iconic regions — and confounding thousands of newcomers who fled there in recent months to escape the coronavirus.
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‘Tinderbox conditions’ fuel fire in Superior National Forest

By AP   08/27/21  
Officials in the Superior National Forest said Thursday that the ongoing drought has created “tinderbox conditions” in northeastern Minnesota as firefighters continue to battle an uncontained wildfire, while rain that’s expected to fall in coming…
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Fires feast on a national park in Northern California

By Kurt Repanshek   08/26/21  
It’s not surprising that Lassen Peak has long been overshadowed by Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Although this summit looms over the Shasta Cascades, in Northern California, the sprawling national park named…
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Gaps in US wildfire smoke warning network leave many exposed

By Matthew Brown and Padmananda Rama   08/26/21  
 Huge gaps between air quality sensors in the western U.S. have created blind spots in the warning system for wildfire smoke plumes sweeping North America this summer, amid growing concern over potential health impacts to…
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Wildfire smoke leads to worst air quality on record in Nevada counties

By Celine Castronuovo   08/24/21  
Wildfires continuing to spread across California have pushed smoke across to neighboring states, with several Nevada counties reporting their worst air quality index (AQI) levels on record this week.
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Caldor fire: crews prepare for high winds that could fan northern California blaze

Crews were digging in and burning out fire lines amid fears that another round of high winds on Saturday could bring renewed fury to a northern California wildfire. “We have a firefight ahead of us…
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California’s fires are stretching crews and stranding evacuees.

By Mike Ives   08/20/21  
As another day of wildfire fighting began in California on Friday, fire crews were seeing a few glimmers of hope. Smoke from the Caldor fire raging southwest of Lake Tahoe had been helping to choke…
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California wildfires destroy homes; winds hamper containment

By Ethan Swope And John Antczak   08/20/21  
Dry and windy weather dogged firefighters’ efforts to contain destructive fires that are devouring the bone-dry forests of drought-stricken Northern California on Thursday. An estimated 11,000 firefighters were on the lines of more than a…
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Caldor fire threatens more towns as California blazes destroy more than 1 million acres

By Lila Seidman   08/19/21  
Before California has even entered peak fire season, the state has already passed a grim milestone: more than 1 million acres burned. A dozen large wildfires — including the monstrous Dixie fire and the destructive…
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California builds ‘Noah’s Ark’ as extinction looms – Los Angeles Times

By Louis Sahagún   08/18/21  
It was just before sunrise in July when the botanists Naomi Fraga and Maria Jesus threw on backpacks and crunched their way across a brittle alkaline flat in the hottest corner of the Mojave Desert.…
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Crews battling California’s mammoth Dixie fire brace for high winds

By Steve Gorman   08/16/21  
Strike teams battling a mammoth wildfire displacing thousands of northern California residents braced for a resurgence of high winds on Monday, as the state's largest utility warned widespread precautionary power shutoffs were likely this week.
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In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts

By Henry Fountain   08/16/21  
With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government on Monday for the first time declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river’s…
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Extreme wildfire: deadly, but not for the climate?

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver…
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Where Dark Skies Draw Star-Gazers, Wildfire Smoke Spoils the View

By Dave Philipps   08/13/21  
 The high, lonesome dunes that run up against the Rocky Mountains at 7,500 feet above sea level in southern Colorado are a long, long drive from the closest streetlight, and after dusk, the almost untainted…
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The Dixie Fire destroyed this small California town

By Marisa Iati   08/12/21  
When the Dixie Fire struck, a wall of flames marched down the mountains, incinerating small businesses and melting homes into ash. Helicopters circled overhead, dropping flame retardant in a desperate attempt to stop the blaze.
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Exploding California Wildfires Rekindle Debate Over Whether To Snuff Out Blazes In Wilderness Areas Or Let Them Burn

By Anne Marshall-Chalmers   08/10/21  
It was the afternoon of July 4, and in a few hours, fireworks would crackle over drought-parched California, raising concerns about possible fires. But hours earlier, along the California-Nevada border, high in the Sierra Nevada…
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