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Articles on Wildfire

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Sea lions, otters and birds were some of the many wildlife species that were hit hard by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Oil spills like these expose the wildlife to new contaminants and can be fatal. (AP Photo/Jack Smith, File)

Once the slick is gone: New tool helps scientists monitor chronic oil in Arctic wildlife

ToxChips study the changes in the DNA of animals exposed to contaminants, like those found in oil spills.
A mother and son watch as firefighters battle wildfires in Shoresh, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, on Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Rapidly increasing climate change poses a rising threat to mental health, says IPCC

For the first time, an IPCC climate report has assessed evidence that weather and climate extremes are already affecting mental health — and are likely to worsen.
Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

IPCC report: this decade is critical for adapting to inevitable climate change impacts and rising costs

As the impacts and costs of climate change increase over time, New Zealand’s financial systems could become less stable and the government less able to support those affected.
Homes overlook a forest in the wildland-urban interface in Arizona. Marius von Essen

The fastest population growth in the West’s wildland-urban interface is in areas most vulnerable to wildfires

A new study maps vegetation’s fire risk across the West and shows where population in the highest-risk areas from California to Texas is booming.
Forest thinning and prescribed burns leave less fuel to burn. Escaflowne via Getty Images

New federal wildfire plan is ambitious – but the Forest Service needs more money and people to fight the growing risks

After another devastating wildfire year in the West, the Biden administration has a plan to ramp up forest thinning and prescribed burns. Two foresters explain why these projects are so important.
A firefighter checks homes after a mudslide that killed 23 people in Montecito, Calif., in 2018. Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Evacuations ordered as a powerful storm heads for California’s wildfire burn scars, raising risk of mudslides – this is what cascading climate disasters look like

Studies show climate change is raising the risk of cascading hazards that alone might not be extreme but add up to human disasters. Communities and government agencies aren’t prepared.
Tools for a prescribed burn conducted in the Sierra Nevada in November 2019. Susan Kocher

Moving beyond America’s war on wildfire: 4 ways to avoid future megafires

Two forest researchers whose own communities were threatened by fires in 2021 explain how historic policies left forests at high risk of megafires.
Before satellites, fire crews watched for smoke from fire towers across the national forests. K. D. Swan, U.S. Forest Service

Big fires demand a big response: How 1910’s Big Burn can help us think smarter about fighting wildfires and living with fire

The US has learned that it cannot suppress its way to a healthy relationship with fire in the West. That strategy failed, even before climate change proved it to be no strategy at all.

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