Category: Fire and Smoke

Chasing the Fireline

In California, climate change has has left a collection of wildfire hazard zone maps, published 15 years ago, out of date.

Tears for Trees

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.

Burns for the Birds

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…

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Chasing the Fireline

In California, climate change has has left a collection of wildfire hazard zone maps, published 15 years ago, out of date.

Overhauling Insurance for the New Normal

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.

Tears for Trees

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.

Burns for the Birds

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…

Power Down, Safety Up for Christmas Hill

“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.

Yell Fire on a Community Network

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.

Fighting Wildfire with Cultural Fire

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.

Purple Air Warnings Not Enough

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…

Fire Improves Traditional Plants

Scholar Melinda Adams is reclaiming fire. “When you look at migration patterns of Indigenous peoples, we led with fire. It’s related to our subsistence diets, it’s what kept us healthy,” says Adams, a UC Davis scholar who identifies as Apache and researchs “Indigenous Epist(e)cologies,” or the merge of ecological knowledge with Afro-Black Indigenous epistemologies.

Grants Underwrite Fire Resistance

Looking to get out ahead of what is quickly shaping up to be a long and brutal wildfire season, the State Coastal Conservancy wasted no time distributing $12 million in fire prevention money it received as part of the $536 million in wildfire resilience funds Governor Newsom announced in April. Following a lightning speed grant process that featured a two-week request for proposals period, 17 Bay Area governments, tribes, fire districts, parks, and other agencies are set to receive more than $6 million—to be spent before the official start of the 2021 fire season.

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