A fireman tackles one of the wildfires that swept through parts of California in October.
This year is poised to go down as the hottest non-El Niño year ever recorded, with record low polar ice and extreme weather that left many regions battling bushfires and hurricanes.
Wildfire threatens a home near Possum Kingdom, Texas, April 19, 2011.
Many countries around the world are vulnerable to wildfires, but a fire engineer warns that most are not spending enough on research into how fires spread and ways to reduce risks.
Burned area in Santa Rosa, California, Oct. 11, 2017.
US Department of Defense
Fire is part of the ecology in much of California, but recent wildfires have caused much more damage than past burns of similar size. A fire ecologist points to two key factors: winds and population growth.
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
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.
Picking up the pieces after fire devastated the city of Santa Rose, California.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
A California fire expert explains why municipalities need to reassess urban fire risk and take steps to learn how to coexist with fire.
The ‘war on cash’ is slowly eliminating paper currency.
A cashless society depends on three things, all of which have failed in recent weeks as a result of natural disasters and security breaches.
Trees burn in the High Park wildfire near Fort Collins, Colorado, June 17, 2012.
Much disaster reporting simply chronicles events, but good journalism digs deeper and examines causes. Stories about Colorado wildfires have raised questions about risk, especially on fire anniversaries.
Avoiding fires in Indonesia’s peatlands should be a common goal of everyone involved.
Antara Foto/Jessica Helena Wuysang/ via REUTERS
Indonesian peatlands are important to many people: farmers, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and conservationists. But preserving this value for everyone will mean listening to everyone's concerns.
Forest fires are a key part of the lifecycle of the woods, but they can also be deadly.
Italy, Portugal and Spain have all gone up in flames in recent weeks, highlighting the need to rethink how Mediterranean countries protect people and save ecosystems.
Wildfires may grow more frequent and intense in North America amid climate change, like the Fort McMurray blazes in 2016, which were among the worst in Canadian history.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Wildfires amid climate change may spark a radical shift in forest habitats and wildlife. They aren't just a destructive force of man and nature. They're a key factor in forest ecosystem renewal.
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina.
Forests are valuable for many uses, including timber, clean water, wildlife habitat and recreation. Stresses on U.S. forests include wildfires, pest invasions and development of private lands.
Scientists work hard to understand fire activity and how it relates to vegetation communities, topography and climate change.
Climate change should have a significant impact on fire activity across the globe.
An airtanker in the Chelan Butte wildfire in August 2015.
In a part of Washington state hit hard by extreme fire, a fire ecologist explains how prescribed burns and thinning can make the land more fire-resilient.