Firefighting

Lack of Federal Firefighters Hurts California Wildfire Response

Roughly a third of all federal firefighters work in California, where more than 142,447 acres have burned this year.

Over 100 Fire Scientists Urge the US West: Skip the Fireworks This Record-Dry 4th of July

COMMENTARY | In heat and drought like the western U.S. and Canada are experiencing in 2021, all it takes is a spark to start a wildfire.

Western States Prepare for Battle in Historic Wildfire Season

States are poised to spend hundreds of millions, even billions, in state funding while U.S. senators urged the Biden administration to provide additional relief money quickly.

Rocky Mountain Forests Burning More Now Than Any Time in the Past 2,000 Years

COMMENTARY | Colorado’s East Troublesome Fire jumped the Continental Divide on Oct. 22, 2020, and eventually became Colorado’s second-largest fire on record.

California Lacks Federal Firefighters as Dangerous Season Looms

A third of Forest Service fire engines in California likely can’t run every day.

Wildfires Can Poison Drinking Water – Here’s How Communities Can be Better Prepared

COMMENTARY | Communities need to upgrade building codes to keep wildfires from causing this kind of widespread contamination of drinking water systems.

Local Police Departments Investigate Whether Their Officers Took Part in Capitol Riot

Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters attended the pro-Trump rally held before the riot began. Many are now on administrative leave while agencies probe their actions.

Fire Official Urges Governors to Be Proactive on Hardening Homes Against Wildfire

Failing to do so, the official said, means “we're just building tomorrow’s problems.”

Firefighters Push for Inclusion in First Phase of Covid-19 Vaccines

States are finalizing their vaccine distribution plans, which will determine which critical workers and high-risk people are first in line for a coronavirus vaccination.

Land Managers Can’t Burn the West Fast Enough

Prescribed burns, which create buffers against larger fires, can do only so much.

Tough Fire Season Takes Toll on Firefighters’ Mental Health

Wildland firefighters deploy for weeks or months, working nearly nonstop.

Fast Moving Colorado Wildfire Still Raging in State

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Michigan prohibits voters from carrying guns to the polls … Virginia home health workers to get one-time bonus pay … Rhode Island cracks down on break rooms.

As Wildfires Burn, Assigning Blame Is Complicated

COMMENTARY | Climate change has made environmental catastrophes more frequent and severe. But government missteps are also at fault.

California May Need More Fire to Fix its Wildfire Problem

The longstanding default position of suppressing every fire has created problems throughout the West.

Wildfires’ Toxic Air Leaves Damage Long After the Smoke Clears

Toxic air from fires has blanketed California and the Pacific Northwest for weeks now.

California Opens a Path to Professional Firefighting for Formerly Incarcerated People

In California, many wildfires are fought by incarcerated people trained to be firefighters. Their criminal records barred them from continuing in the field after release—until now.

Oregon Wildfires Prompt Evacuation Advisories for About 500,000

About 1 million acres are burning in the state and people have been told to leave areas within 30 miles of Portland.

They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won’t Anybody Listen?

This is a story about frustration, about watching the West burn when you fully understand why it’s burning — and understand why it did not need to be this bad.

COVID Plans Put to Test as Firefighters Crowd Camps for Peak Wildfire Season

Any outbreak that ripples through a camp could easily sideline crews and spread the virus across multiple fires.

Wildfires Raging in Several Western States

Fires are forcing hundreds of evacuations in the south and western United States.