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

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

KEY RESOURCES

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

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  Photo: AP Photo/Noah Berger   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…

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.

World’s largest trees under siege from California wildfire as sequoias face new perils

By Hayley Smith and Lila Seidman  Photo: Noah Berger , Associated Press   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…

In California, Worsening Fires Show Limits of Biden’s Power

By Christopher Flavelle and Zolan Kanno-Youngs  Photo: Doug Mills , The New York Times   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…

When Hard Jobs Turn Hazardous

By Sergio Olmos  Photo: Jordan Gale   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.”

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.…

Forest Service officials confirm all California national forests to temporarily close

By Gregory Yee  Photo: Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times   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…

Lake Tahoe Suffocates With Smoke

By Thomas Fuller and Shawn Hubler  Photo: Max Whittaker for The New York Times   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.
AP

‘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…

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…

Gaps in US wildfire smoke warning network leave many exposed

By Matthew Brown and Padmananda Rama  Photo: Matthew Brown , AP   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…

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.

Caldor fire: crews prepare for high winds that could fan northern California blaze

08/21/21  
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…

California’s fires are stretching crews and stranding evacuees.

By Mike Ives  Photo: Max Whittaker / The New York Times   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…

California wildfires destroy homes; winds hamper containment

By Ethan Swope And John Antczak  Photo: Ethan Swope / AP Photo   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…

Caldor fire threatens more towns as California blazes destroy more than 1 million acres

By Lila Seidman  Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times   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…

California builds ‘Noah’s Ark’ as extinction looms – Los Angeles Times

By Louis Sahagún  Photo: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times   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.…

Crews battling California’s mammoth Dixie fire brace for high winds

By Steve Gorman  Reuters/david Swanson/file Photo   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.

In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts

By Henry Fountain  Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images   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…

Where Dark Skies Draw Star-Gazers, Wildfire Smoke Spoils the View

By Dave Philipps  Photo: Michael Ciaglo , The New York Times   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…

The Dixie Fire destroyed this small California town

By Marisa Iati  Photo: Marlena Sloss   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.

Exploding California Wildfires Rekindle Debate Over Whether To Snuff Out Blazes In Wilderness Areas Or Let Them Burn

By Anne Marshall-Chalmers  Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images   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…

The Ashes of the Dixie Fire Cast a Pall 1,000 Miles From Its Flames

By Livia Albeck-Ripka  Photo: Jungho Kim   08/09/21  
Captured by an astronaut’s camera, the Dixie Fire appears as a thick and sickening miasma pouring from the earth’s surface. At its center in the eastern mountains of California, the fire is devouring acre after…

‘Where do I go?’ Thousands flee as Dixie Fire morphs into third-largest blaze in California’s history

By Aaron Williams, Marisa Iati and María Luisa Paúl   08/06/21  
Teresa Hatch, 61, had evacuated her rural Northern California town several days ago as the Dixie Fire menaced, but soon was allowed back. Then the alerts started lighting up her cellphone Wednesday, telling her to…

Fighting fire with fire

By Amanda Monthei, Dylan Moriarty and more   07/29/21  
It’s a clear, sunny spring morning in Seeley Lake, Mont., and 34 firefighters are gathering on a road east of town, drip torches in hand. They are here to set a fire, not stop one.…

Survivors of California’s deadliest wildfire haunted as new blaze nears_ ‘I can’t do it again’

By María Luisa Paúl and Frances Stead Sellers  Photo: Kyle Grillot   07/28/21  
Stacey Hoffman has barely slept the past week, as the Dixie Fire edged closer to her new home in Chester, Calif. She spent nights by the window, haunted by her hellish escape from the 2018 fire that razed…

The pandemic slashed the West Coast’s emissions. Wildfires already reversed it.

By James Temple  Photo: Mario tama/getty images   07/27/21  
Wildfires raging across the US West Coast have filled the air with enough carbon dioxide to wipe out more than half of the region’s pandemic-driven emissions reductions last year. And that was just in July.…

Officials urge residents to flee as Dixie Fire, California’s biggest blaze this year, continues to grow

By Paulina Firozi and María Luisa Paúl   07/25/21  
A fire scorching parts of Northern California’s Butte County — the same county that in 2018 endured the deadliest wildfire in state history — has ballooned into the state’s largest wildfire this year. The Dixie…

Smoke From US Wildfires Is Turning the Moon an Eerie Color

By Michael d' Estries  Photo: Mathieu Lewis - Rolland , Getty Images   07/23/21  
Few locations this week have been spared the encroaching haze from the more than 80 wildfires presently burning in the American West. An area of high pressure across the U.S. prevented smoke from dissipating into…

Dixie fire becomes largest in California while crews struggle to gain footing on Tamarack blaze

By Hayley Smith  Photo: Noah Berger / Associated Press   07/23/21  
  As the Dixie fire becomes California’s largest wildfire of the year, new questions are being raised about how officials have handled the Tamarack fire near the Nevada state border. In a letter to U.S. Forest…

Opinion: We are fiddling while the world burns, floods and chokes

By Eugene Robinson  Photo: Mason Trinca , The Washington Post   07/22/21  
We are fiddling while the world burns. And floods. And chokes. And maybe even careens past some kind of unforeseen climate change tipping point that will make what are now extreme weather events devastatingly commonplace.

California’s PG&E to bury 10,000 miles of power lines to prevent wildfires

By Noor Zainab Hussain  Photo: Elijah Nouvelage , Reuters   07/22/21  
 California power company Pacific Gas and Electric (PCG.N) said on Wednesday it would bury 10,000 miles of power lines in high-risk fire zones as a safety measure after its equipment caused multiple destructive wildfires over several…

How to protect yourself from wildfire smoke

By Hayley Smith  Photo: Eric Risberg   07/22/21  
Wildfire season is already off to a record-breaking start, and experts are warning that smoke from the state’s biggest blazes may be as dangerous as the flames themselves. In 2020, smoke from California’s wildfires blanketed…

Dixie fire burns more than 100,000 acres while Tamarack fire crosses state lines

By Hayley Smith and Matthew Ormseth  Photo: Noah Berger / Associated Press   07/22/21  
The Dixie fire burning in Butte and Plumas counties mushroomed to more than 100,000 acres Thursday, becoming the second California blaze this year to surpass that acreage milestone. The aggressive fire has now destroyed at…

Western Wildfires Hurt East Coast Air Quality—It’s Time to Rally Together

By Sami Grover  Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images   07/22/21  
When I was watching the horrific videos of flooding in China, my sense of foreboding was heightened by the itching of my eyeballs. The air here in Durham, North Carolina, was decidedly hazy and unpleasant. This…

See How Wildfire Smoke Spread Across America

By Nadja Popovich and Josh Katz  Photo: Global Systems Laboratory   07/21/21  
Wildfire smoke from Canada and the Western United States stretched across the continent this week, covering skies in a thick haze and triggering health alerts from Toronto to Philadelphia. Air quality remained in the unhealthy…

Extreme fire behavior has erupted in the West. Here’s what that means.

By Matthew Cappucci   07/20/21  
Months remain until the peak of wildfire season in the western U.S., but hundreds of blazes have already torched more than a million acres, pouring smoke into the sky and offering an ominous warning of…
cnn

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is so large, it’s creating its own weather

By Joe Sutton, Michael Guy and Hollie Silverman   07/20/21  
As hot, dry weather conditions continue to fuel wildfires across much of the United States, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon has become so intense that it's creating its own weather. The fire has scorched more than 606 square miles --…

Dangerous conditions complicate wildfire fight in Western U.S.

By Washington Post Staff   07/19/21  
Erratic winds and dry lightning added to the dangers for crews battling the nation’s largest wildfire on Monday in parched Oregon forests, just one of dozens burning across several Western states.

As the Bootleg Fire burns, locals are faced with the realities of climate change — and remain skeptical

By Joshua Partlow  Photo: Mason Trinca   07/17/21  
Youth pastor Matt Wolff and his wife, Jennifer, followed God’s direction when they settled at the end of a rutted dirt track in the pine forests above this southern Oregon town. And they have prayed…

Heavy smoke expected to linger above western Montana

07/16/21  
Smoke from wildfires across the U.S. West has wafted over large swaths of western Montana on Friday, leading to unhealthy air quality in Missoula and Frenchtown. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality recommends that active…

Bootleg Fire rages in Oregon, burning 50 structures and threatening California’s power supply

By Paulina Firozi and Reis Thebault   07/13/21  
A fast-growing wildfire blazing across southwest Oregon has burned through more than 153,500 acres, forced hundreds of evacuations and is imperiling a major power grid as much of the West endures yet another heat wave.

Heat Wave Updates: West Gets Some Relief From Scorching Temperatures

By Giulia Heyward  Photo: Noah Berger/Associated Press   07/13/21  
The scorching temperatures from the West’s third heat wave of the summer, which fueled quick-spreading wildfires and fears of power outages over the weekend, began to ease some this week. But warnings of dangerous conditions continued in…

Brutal heat wave persists in U.S. West as Oregon wildfire rages

By Sergio Olmos   07/13/21  
PORTLAND, Ore. July 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. West endured a fourth day of scorching heat on Monday as temperatures again threatened to shatter records, major wildfires burned nearly unchecked in drought-stricken Oregon and power…

California fires are burning faster, hotter, more intensely — and getting harder to fight

By Hayley Smith and Alex Wigglesworth  Photo: Noah Berger / Associated Press   07/13/21  
The fires have burned more than 140,000 acres, from soaring mountains along the California-Nevada border to forest north of Mt. Shasta and the gateway to Yosemite. But many of 2021’s biggest blazes have one thing…

Western officials reckon with reliability challenges as heat and ‘wildcard’ wildfire threaten grid

By Kavya Balaraman  Photo: David McNew via Getty Images   07/13/21  
Energy officials in the Western U.S. are reckoning with short and long-term electricity reliability challenges as soaring temperatures and a "wildcard" wildfire strain the power grid. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), over the weekend,…

Wildfires blaze across western states as two die in Arizona plane crash

By the Associated Press   07/12/21  
Firefighters struggle to contain northern California fire amid warning of potential for ‘extreme growth’ of Oregon blaze.

Western states at risk of unprecedented heat as wildfire season begins

By Zack Budryk  Photo: Getty Images   07/12/21  
Forecasts indicate the Western U.S. is set for another week of above-average heat as the traditional wildfire season begins. The National Weather Service (NWS) on Monday warned that portions of the region are at risk…

California hit by record-breaking fire destruction: ‘Climate change is real, it’s bad’

By Hayley Smith  Photo: Noah Berger / Associated Press   07/12/21  
California is off to another record-breaking year of wildfires as the state enters its most dangerous months, with extreme heat and dry terrain creating the conditions for rapid spread.

Soaring Temperatures, Wildfire Threaten California’s Power Grid

By Anne C. Mulkern  Photo: Josh Edelson Getty Images   07/12/21  
Extreme heat and a wildfire in Oregon pushed California to the brink of switching off power to thousands of people over the weekend as climate-related disasters affect communities across the parched western United States.