Articles on Wildfires

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Firefighters hose down flames from an advancing wildfire July 28, 2018, in Redding, Calif. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

A high-adrenaline job: 5 questions answered about fighting wildfires

Wildland firefighting has always been a risky job, but development in fire-prone areas is making it more dangerous by putting forest firefighters in situations they are not equipped or trained for.
Wildland firefighters, like this crew heading into New Mexico’s Gila National Forest, in 2012, are equipped and operate differently from urban firefighters. USFS Gila National Forest

All wildfires are not alike, but the US is fighting them that way

A historian of wildfires explains the difference between urban and rural fire cultures, and what it means for protecting communities in fire-prone rural areas.
Fire burns the hillsides along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, California, on July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

How to protect your children from wildfire smoke

And wildfires rage along the West Coast of North America, parents should know the impact on their children's health, and how to protect them.
Searching for victims after a rain-triggered mudslide that blanketed a village and killed at least 178 people in north China’s Shanxi province, Sept. 13, 2008. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Global toll from landslides is heaviest in developing countries

While the Montecito, California mudslides took 20 lives, landslides kill far more people in developing countries. Tighter construction standards and early warning systems could help reduce their toll.
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.
Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, California, Dec. 5, 2017. Daniel Dreifuss via AP

Exposure to wildfire smoke: 5 questions answered

Intense wildfires in southern California are triggering air quality alerts. Health experts know surprisingly little about how inhaling smoke affects human health, especially over the long term.

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