When disasters like Australia’s devastating brush fires ensue, it truly takes a community (and in this case, a nation) to grapple with the losses and begin to rebuild. There have been countless heroes who have risked–and even given–their lives so that others might be safe. The Daily Mail wrote a great roundup of Oz fire […]Continue Reading 337 words
A historic bush fire has torn through the eastern Australia coast, killing at least four people according to The Washington Post, and now hundreds of Australia’s most iconic symbol — koala bears — are also feared dead. But now, CNN reports that non-profits like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are using dogs trained to find koalas in the wild to rescue them.
Why This Matters: For Australians, this is a national tragedy, and it painfully demonstrates the link between climate change and biodiversity loss.Continue Reading 375 words
Firefighters in California are racing to contain fast-moving wildfires as powerful Diablo and Santa Ana winds sweep across the northern and southern parts of the state.
Why This Matters: THIS IS NOT NORMAL.Continue Reading 375 words
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A year after the deadly Camp Fire that killed 85 people in Northern California and destroyed an entire town, dry and hot conditions are creating a perfect storm for more wildfires.
Why This Matters: See where active fires are burning and whether PG&E’s planned outages are doing anything to prevent them.Continue Reading 362 words
The risk of wildfires in California and across much of the West is an escalating problem during the summers and dry fall season. Unfortunately, measures to prevent these fires (like the PG&E blackout fiasco last week) haven’t been very effective and have left officials scrambling for solutions. Although we’ve known that Native tribes have managed […]Continue Reading 505 words
After threats of trade retaliation from the EU, ridicule at the G7, and even pressure from the Pope, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has made the unexpected move of deploying troops to help fight the devastating fires raging in the Amazon rainforest. As CNN explained, “Brazil’s space research center (INPE) said this week that the country has […]Continue Reading 487 words
Wildfires raging across Siberia this year have reached historic levels — It is estimated that the fires released 300 megatonnes of carbon dioxide in July, the most since satellite records began around two decades ago. In response, the government declared a state of emergency for five regions of Siberia — with the “acrid smoke” impacting both small settlements and “major cities in Western Siberia and the Altai region as well as the Urals such as Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg,” and even disrupting air travel.Continue Reading 475 words
A study just published in the Journal Earth’s Future found that as a result of California’s increasingly long and dry summers caused by climate change, the state overall has experienced in the last 50 years a 500% increase in the amount of land burned in fires. While non-forest areas have not experienced a huge increase in fires in those areas, forested areas have seen an 800% increase in areas that have burned.Continue Reading 572 words
On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that would change the way the state pays for fire damages caused by utilities. As Reuters explained, Credit rating agency, S&P previously warned it could lower its ratings on the state’s two other major investor-owned power providers, Edison International’s Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy’s San […]Continue Reading 602 words
Extreme temperatures in Alaska are causing an outbreak of explosive wildfires throughout the state, with Fairbanks, Anchorage experiencing its warmest March to date, as reported recently by Our Daily Planet. Just in the week of July 3rd, more than 600,000 acres of lands burned – doubling the year-to-date burn total which now sits at 1.28 million acres. By the end of the year, it is estimated that 2 million to 3 million acres will have been engulfed in flames. Fires are not only getting more frequent, but increasingly bigger and harder to contain. In Anchorage, the Hess Creek fire is now the largest fire in the U.S. at over 149,000 acres.Continue Reading 507 words
Millions of acres of pine woodlands used to cover a large portion of the Midwest but as humans logged these trees and suppressed natural fires, dense forests with thick leaf litter and tree species that were less fire-resistant took their place–leading to more intense and unpredictable wildfires as well as the loss of native bird […]Continue Reading 325 words
Bloomberg News reported yesterday that California’s largest utility, PG&E, has a plan to cut off power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season because it the main cause of wildfires last year was power lines that were knocked down by high winds and the sparks from the live wires. And most residents don’t know and/or are not ready for the debilitating impacts. Governor Newsome is so concerned about the impacts of the blackouts that he has created a fund to help communities prepare.Continue Reading 501 words