Category: Fire and Smoke
We moved to Washington to be free of the smoke, but apparently we can’t escape climate change.
Curtis Skene experienced loss and adaptation first hand after the deadly Montecito mudslide in 2018. The slide was triggered by a cascade of extreme events and climate change heightens the risk they will converge again.
Among the more well-known causes of wildfire — lightning, volcanic activity, neglected cigarettes, gender reveal parties gone awry — there remains a less notorious culprit: electrocuted birds.
The lingering effects of wildfires on ecosystems and communities are varied, but one of least understood is the effect on water quality. Conversations around post-wildfire water quality management are producing new insights for monitoring programs across the state.
In California, climate change has has left a collection of wildfire hazard zone maps, published 15 years ago, out of date.
In the era of global warming, an invisible force, as primal as atmospheric chemistry, is coming to bear on human pocketbooks. Even if you don’t believe in climate change, insurance companies do.
I’ve watched an army of white trucks topped with cranes and chippers remove the oaks, redwoods, bays and manzanitas from around the power lines on our mountain in Napa. PG&E is felling a million trees per year and spending over a billion to do it.
Scientists examined islands of near-total deforestation after fires and found new landscapes born from the scorched earth. They also found birds hunting for seeds and insects in these new open areas…
“We’re still in the process of analyzing our other fire-prone areas of town, but based on what we already know about Christmas Tree Hill’s vulnerabilities to fire and its limited access routes, we felt it was prudent to initiate this project right away,” says Ron Suokko, Corte Madera’s director of public works.
When Sonoma County residents smell smoke, they usually hop on social media or check some alert services like Nixle or PulsePoint to find out what’s going on. But social media isn’t really designed for quickly and accurately sharing disaster alerts.
Melinda Adams talks about wildfire and cultural fire, an indigenous stewardship practice where you can actually “see the healing that happens afterward.” Adams is a Ph.D candidate at UC Davis.
If late fall fires start up again after the October deluge, Alameda County will already have smoke alert protocols in place. The county developed specific thresholds and delivery systems for alerts over the past two years. “Our geography…