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

Wildfires

WILDFIRES

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.

CURRENT NEWS

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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Climate Change Is Raising Texas’ Already High Wildfire Risks

By Delger Erdenesanaa and Christopher Flavelle 02/29/24
Climate change is increasing the risk of wildfires in Texas, a danger made real this week as the Smokehouse Creek fire, the largest in state history, burns out of control across the Panhandle region.
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Texas Wildfire Conditions Seen Worsening After Brief Respite

By Brian K Sullivan and Joe Carroll 02/28/24
Dry, windy weather that’s been fanning the worst Texas wildfire in almost two decades will return later this week after a brief respite of rain and snow.
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These wildfires never went out — they just moved underground

By Joshua Partlow 02/24/24
Under the ground, even under the snow, zombie fires are burning. The remnants of the most extraordinary wildfire season in recent Canadian history are still smoldering on a scale that experts say is unprecedented. The…
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Indictment of US Forest Service ‘Burn Boss’ in Oregon Could Chill ‘Good Fires’ Across the Country

By Grant Stringer 02/08/24
A “burn boss” with the U.S. Forest Service is facing unprecedented criminal charges for an escaped prescribed burn in rural Oregon, which may complicate nationwide goals to set low-intensity fires that can thin out excess…
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KEY RESOURCES

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

09/06/23
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

06/08/23
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

06/07/23
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

05/24/23
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…

Wildfires

09/13/22
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

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…

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

08/27/21
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

09/16/20
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

09/08/20
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

11/18/19
Eden Reforestation projects reduces extreme poverty and restores healthy forests by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year.

Global Forest Watch

09/09/19
Forest Monitoring Designed for Action: Global Forest Watch offers the latest data, technology and tools that empower people everywhere to better protect forests.

MORE NEWS

Wildfires Across Northern California Devastate Farmers and Farmland

By Hannah Ricker   08/24/20  
On Tuesday night, Judith Redmond was alarmed by the thick brown smoke that clouded the air as she drove the 75 miles back from the Berkeley farmers’ market to Full Belly Farm in the Capay…
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Wildfire smoke and environmental justice: One little girl’s story

By Lee Romney   08/06/20  
Extreme wildfires fueled by climate change have been spewing more harmful smoke into California's air in recent years. But not everyone is affected equally. Kids like Ta'Kira Dannette Byrd, who live in unhealthy, high-poverty neighborhoods,…
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Wildfires Scorch The Arctic As Siberian Heatwave Rages

07/25/20  
Exceptionally hot temperatures are melting sea ice off Russia's Arctic coast and fueling massive fires.
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How PG&E Is Racing to Improve Safety as Fire Season Approaches

By Ivan Penn   07/18/20  
The utility, which recently emerged from bankruptcy, is upgrading power lines, trimming trees and making other changes to prevent another big fire.
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California, Washington and British Columbia Unite to Protect Forests From Wildfires

By Yale Climate Connections   07/16/20  
Some of the largest wildfires on record have swept across the West in recent years.     Restoring these areas and managing forests to prevent more dangerous fires is complicated, especially as the climate warms.…
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Explainer: How climate change is affecting wildfires around the world

By Daisy Dunne   07/14/20  
This year has seen unprecedented wildfires cause havoc across the world. Australia recently battled its largest bushfire on record, while parts of the Arctic, the Amazonand central Asia have also experienced unusually severe blazes.
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As COVID-19 upends wildland firefighting, Pacific Northwest forests poised for conflagration

By Levi Pulkkinen   06/01/20  
With nearly triple the usual number of wildfires this year, Washington and Oregon are set to have the worst summer fire forecasts in the nation. ...
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California’s Rainless February Points to Dangerous Drought, Early Wildfires

By Jordan Davidson   02/21/20  
California is headed toward drought conditions as February, typically the state's wettest month, passes without a drop of rain. The lack of rainfall could lead to...
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Is living with fire the new normal?

By Bella Ota   12/20/19  
My grandmother believed in the cleansing powers of controlled burning. She claimed it got rid of snakes, it got rid of vermin and it got rid of weeds. She conceded, yes, the lands looked a…
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Meet the scientists trying to understand the world’s worst wildfires

By Alissa Greenberg   12/16/19  
It won’t be easy to update the 47-year-old standard for predicting what fires will do—but it will save lives.
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The World Burns All Year. Are There Enough Planes to Douse the Flames?

By Damien Cave   11/21/19  
Sharing the giant air tankers that fight fires 5,000 gallons of water at a time used to be simpler. California’s wildfires faded before Australia’s bush fires surged, leaving time to prepare, move and deploy planes…
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Reagan Library spared from flames as powerful wind gusts drive new wildfire near Los Angeles

By Scott Wilson,   10/31/19  
Hurricane-force gusts and single-digit humidity levels combined Wednesday to spark a number of fires across Southern California, including one here that threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for several morning hours.
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California’s new normal: How the climate crisis is fueling wildfires and changing life in the Golden State

By Ray Sanchez and Brandon Miller   10/30/19  
More than a dozen wildfires displace hundreds of thousands of Californians. Nearly 30 million people from California to Arizona wake up to red-flag warnings that signal conditions ripe for fire danger. Utilities throw entire communities…
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Fire In Paradise

By Jane McMullen   10/29/19  
In November 2018, the deadliest wildfire in California state history burned an area the size of Chicago, destroyed around 30,000 people’s homes, decimated the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.
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Brown: California fires show ‘the horror’ world will face from climate change

By CARLA MARINUCCI   10/28/19  
As Californians suffer widespread power outages and mass evacuations due to wildfire dangers, former Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that the dark scenario may be “only the beginning” for Americans across the country — unless…
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The Quiet, Intentional Fires of Northern California

By Kiliii Yüyan   10/16/19  
In the wake of catastrophic wildfires like the one in 2018 that burned the California city of Paradise, wildfire management has become a pressing topic, to say the least. Especially under scrutiny is the US…
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A Night of Triumph; The firestorm surrounding Safari West

By Paige Peterson   10/09/19  
On October 8, 2017, the worst fire in California’s history was destroying drought-ridden Northern California. The 400 acres of Safari West, a preserve and home to 1,000 exotic animals was in its path. All guests and…
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Across America, climate change is already disrupting lives

By Zoeann Murphy and Chris Mooney   09/26/19  
The continental United States is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago. Seas at the coasts are nine inches higher. The damage is mounting from these fundamental changes, and Americans are affected…
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“There’s no doubt about it” — Researchers suggest increased fire activity, and cost, due to climate change in Alaska

By Derek Minemyer   09/02/19  
Researchers in Alaska say climate change is shifting the way the state manages resources, including around wildfires. They predict a warmer climate will bring bigger and hotter fires and a higher cost of suppressing those…
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A Trailblazing Plan to Fight California Wildfires

By Nicola Twilley   08/19/19  
Throughout the twentieth century, federal policy focussed on putting out fires as quickly as possible, but preventing megafires requires a different approach.
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Over 1,000 firefighters battle flames in Western states

07/29/19  
More than 300 firefighters battled three blazes in western Montana yesterday, and Gov. Steve Bullock (D) declared a state of emergency to allow truck drivers to work longer hours to deliver supplies to the lines.
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Arctic wildfires in June equivalent to Sweden’s annual emissions – U.N.

By Tom Miles   07/12/19  
Arctic wildfires, some the size of 100,000 soccer pitches, emitted as much carbon dioxide (CO2) last month as the country of Sweden does in a whole year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday.
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Beach pollution surges after massive wildfires and heavy rains, report finds

By Hannah Fry   06/27/19  
If there was one upside to the severe drought that plagued California for seven years, it was how the lack of rain and dirty runoff improved beach water quality. But ocean pollution has surged once…
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Smoke from US wildfires boosting health risk for millions

By Matthew Brown   06/25/19  
Climate change in the Western U.S. means more intense and frequent wildfires churning out waves of smoke that scientists say will sweep across the continent to affect tens of millions of people and cause a…
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Blame Utilities for Wildfires, But Blame Everyone Else Too

By Matt Simon   06/21/19  
It's hard to feel sorry for the California utility PG&E. Consider that its equipment sparked 17 major fires in 2017 alone, according to a Cal Fire spokesperson. Last year, it was responsible for igniting the…
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California Wildfires: How PG&E Ignored Risks in Favor of Profits

By Ivan Penn, Peter Eavis and James Glanz   03/18/19  
Five of the 10 most destructive fires in California since 2015 have been linked to PG&E’s electrical network. Regulators have found that in many fires, PG&E violated state law or could have done more to make its…
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Wildfires, hurricanes and other extreme weather cost the nation 247 lives, nearly $100 billion in damage during 2018

By Chris Mooney   02/06/19  
Experts say that climate change might already be fueling an increase in the number of billion-dollar disasters.
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Cities Have Turned Into Fire Bait—But We Can Fix Them

By Matt Simon   11/26/18  
The Northern California city of Paradise is gone—the Camp Fire, by far the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history, has reduced home after home to ashes. It conjures images of a tsunami of…
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How California’s Efforts to Prevent Wildfires Reflect a National Crisis on Climate Change

By Carolyn Kormann   11/26/18  
The California assemblyman Jim Wood spent most of the past week in the Sacramento morgue, analyzing the charred remains of human teeth. Wood is a forensic-dentistry expert, and has worked on some of the nation’s…
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