Wildfire


Extreme Heat and Wildfire in California

, senior climate scientist

California is burning (again). As a climate scientist living in California, the state’s wildfires over the past few years, while startling, have not been particularly surprising. This is, after all, what scientists have been predicting for a very long time. But there’s a profound difference between being clear-headed and understanding of predictions and feeling existential nausea because  this is the reality we have created for ourselves and our children. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Satellite view of California's wildfires and smoke. NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image on October 09, 2017. Photo: NASA

How Science Can Help Us Better Prepare for Wildfires: Insights from a NASA Scientist

, senior climate scientist

In the midst of the catastrophic wildfires of Northern California that have claimed 41 lives and either destroyed or damaged more than 5,700 buildings, I wanted to know where the cutting edge of science on this issue is today. What made the California wildfires so strong and unusually destructive? Regardless of what started the fires, what conditions allowed the fires to spread so quickly? Did climate change have anything to do with it? What are scientists currently working on that can help communities better prepare for wildfires?

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Glacier National Park Fire. Photo: Brett Timm, National Park Service

Western Wildfires Add to Disasters the Nation Faces: Will Congress Take Action?

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Record wildfires are now burning across a large swath of the Western US, even as the Southeast and Gulf coasts of the US are struggling to recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Yesterday the Forest Service announced that firefighting costs have already topped $2 billion in 2017, for the first time ever. Earlier this week Senators Daines and Tester separately called for action to address wildfire threats, the latest of similar bipartisan efforts. Congress needs to finally get wildfire funding and forest management legislation across the finish line without delay.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Heat Waves and Wildfires Signal Warnings about Climate Change (and Budget Cuts)

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Southern California and the Southwest US are experiencing a significant heat wave this week. More than 29 million people in California alone are under an excessive heat warning or heat advisory.

If you live in areas affected by this heat wave, please follow health advisories to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay safe. And watch for wildfire advisories while you’re at it. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: US Department of Agriculture/CC BY (Flickr)

Wildfires and Climate Change: Current Policies Fail to Limit Wildfire Risks

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Worsening wildfire seasons are outstripping the capacity of federal agencies to respond. Read more >

Bookmark and Share