Articles on Wildfire

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When faced with a wildfire, responders must act quickly and decisively to save lives. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Making life-or-death decisions is very hard – here’s how we’ve taught people to do it better

Emergency responders and military personnel need to think creatively – even imaginatively – to save lives under pressure. Analyzing the Grenfell Tower Fire in London reveals useful lessons.
Drones are increasingly used to gather information and inform research. As technology develops longer-lasting batteries and more sensitive cameras, the role of drones in research will continue to grow. (Shutterstock)

Drones help track wildfires, count wildlife and map plants

Drones have proven extremely useful for research, collecting detailed data to help monitor hard-to-access areas.
A wildfire moves towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alta. in May 2016. Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP

More frequent fires could dramatically alter boreal forests and emit more carbon

The boreal forest is being reshaped by wildfire. As climate change intensifies wildfire activity, the boreal forest will likely become a carbon source.
A wildfire rips through the forest near Fort McMurray on Highway 63 in May 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

How to fight wildfires and climate change with wetlands

As unlikely as it may sound, a new approach for fighting the destruction of wildfires in Canada’s boreal region may lie in wetlands packed with soaking layers of peat and topped with living moss.
Muddy water from debris flows like those in the Macalister catchment (West Gippsland, February 2007) can disrupt a region’s drinking water supply for years. Photo: Adrian Murphy (Melbourne Water)

Freak mud flows threaten our water supplies, and climate change is raising the risk

Australia's water supplies are at risk as climate extremes provoke erosion events that threaten lakes and dams.
About 100 homes in Angus, Ont. were damaged by a tornado in June 2014. Ten lost their roofs and had to be demolished. Gregory Alan Kopp, Western University

As climate changes, the way we build homes must change too

Weather-related catastrophic events have cost Canadians more than $17 billion in the past decade. That only stands to grow, unless building codes change to make homes more resilient.
Firefighters tackle a large blaze on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester, England, February 2019. West Yorkshire Fire Service

Are winter wildfires actually due to climate change?

Wildfires broke out across the British Isles during a recent heatwave. But the burning question of the link to climate change does not have an easy answer.
An image from the International Space Station captures plumes of smoke from California wildfires on August 4, 2018. NASA

Stories that made The Conversation unique in 2018

From the curious to the serious – a bird's eye view of the unique ways in which The Conversation covers the world.
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.

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