Articles on Wildfire

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A firefighter in California. Firefighting is getting more and more expensive as fires get more destructive. PETER DASILVA

The bitter lesson of the Californian fires

The California fires are just the most recent in a series of major wildfires. Together, they suggest we need to look at alternative ways of living with fire.
Black water cascaded down Cameron Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta after a 2018 wildfire denuded the landscape. (Kaleigh Watson)

Soot-filled rivers mark the need for a national wildfire strategy

Much of the country depends on water stored and filtered in forests. Fire-scarred watersheds highlight our need for a national wildfire strategy.
A firefighter runs while trying to save a home near Lakeport, Calif. on July 31, 2018. AP Photo/Noah Berger, File

Fighting historic wildfires amid bad ideas and no funding

Canada's boreal region faces bigger, hotter and more frequent wildfires that are increasingly unpredictable, but it lacks an investment in fire science that could help keep communities safe.
Can California update its building codes to minimize fire damage? AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

California fire damage to homes is less ‘random’ than it seems

There are well-understood ways to minimize the risk of fire spreading through housing – if only developers, homeowners and officials took heed.
In explaining the causes of wildfires, the media and policymakers typically point to environmental factors, but that’s not the whole story. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Don’t blame California wildfires on a ‘perfect storm’ of weather events

The media and policymakers often say a 'perfect storm' of environmental factors cause wildfires but that ignores the role of irresponsible urban planning and development in raising fire risks.
U.S. Army Spc. Pam Anderson applies first-aid medical attention to an elderly man during flood relief operations just outside of Winona, Minnesota, August 20, 2007. Staff Sgt. Daniel Ewer, U.S. Army

Disasters can harm older adults long after storms have passed

New research shows that older people are especially at risk during and after natural disasters, and may need medical help or other support well after relief operations end.
Wildfires are getting bigger and more costly. Can we return them to a less dangerous state by looking to the past? U.S. Department of Agriculture

Recreating forests of the past isn’t enough to fix our wildfire problems

Restoring forest landscapes through active thinning and letting fires burn in order to minimize fire damage has proved harder and less effective than advocates believed, says historian of fire.

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