April 19 Digest: This Week in Wildfire Recovery News

This is a digest of selected news and media that emerged over the last week related to wildfire emergencies, recovery efforts, and resilience building efforts in the American West. 

After a rough year, new wildfire warnings have Boulder, Colo., on edge

From NPR, by Kirk Siegler | April 14, 2022

After the destructive Marshall Fire, Boulder residents, elected leaders and emergency responders will need to brace themselves for not just fire seasons, but the impending threat of dry fire years, and be ready to evacuate and stop the spread of wildfire on this front range mountain community.

FEMA grants Paradise money for early warning system

From Paradise Post, by Rick Silva | April 16, 2022

Congressman Doug LaMalfa announces $2.2 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency hazardous mitigation grants has been secured to help Paradise build the early warning system.

Experienced wildland firefighter explains why he resigned

From Wildfire Today, by Bill Gabbert | April 14, 2022

A wildland firefighter who had worked his way into middle management of the Truckee Interagency Hotshot Crew has publicly resigned. A two-page letter laying out his reasons has been widely circulated, along with a copy of an email written by the Superintendent of the crew discussing the loss of this experienced firefighter.

PG&E wildfire settlement met with skepticism

From FOX40, by Karma Dickerson and Jose Fabian | April 14, 2022

There is pushback after news that Pacific Gas and Electric will not face criminal charges for causing the Kincade and Dixie fires.

PG&E launches online portal for Dixie Recovery direct payments

From Plumas News | April 14, 2022

PG&E announces the launch of its new Direct Payments for Community Recovery (DP4CR) program, which will open to individuals whose homes were destroyed by the 2021 Dixie Fire on May 2, 2022.

Newsom hailed this 'critical' wildfire-prevention program. Two years on, it hasn't completed a single project

From Jefferson Public Radio, by Scott Rodd | April 15, 2022

In late 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new program to dramatically speed up the state’s wildfire prevention work. But an investigation by CapRadio and The California Newsroom found the program hasn’t resulted in a single completed project.

From the Mayor’s Desk: Wildfire preparedness is key for Saratogans

From The Mercury News, by Tina Walia | April 17, 2022

With roughly half of Saratoga at high or very high risk for wildfire, wildfire preparedness for residents should include removal of dead leaves and other debris from gutters, removal of flammable materials near homes and other structures, and cutting back trees and brush

Two Communities in Santa Barbara County Turn Brush Clearing into Insurance Savings

From Santa Barbara Independent, by Jean Yamamura | April 16, 2022

Wildfire Safety Activities at San Marcos Trout Club and Hollister Ranch Earn Firewise Program Credential

What is a controlled fire and why are they used?

From ABC4, by Cali Jackson | April 15, 2022

Controlled or prescribed fires are fires that are set purposely for forest management, farming or restoration. Deputy Director Jason Curry at Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands speaks about controlled fires in Utah

County sheriff and ‘cooperators’ hold pre-season fire meeting

From Calaveras Enterprise, by Marie-Elena Schembri | April 14, 2022

Topics at pre-season cooperators fire meeting at Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Center covered included mutual aid, resource availability, evacuation, repopulation procedures, and aircraft availability.

Authorities lift some evacuation orders after a fire breaks out in New Mexico

From Nevada Public Radio, by The Associated Press | April 16, 2022

Some evacuation orders are lifted by authorities for mountain community in southern New Mexico as firefighters worked Saturday to contain a wind-driven blaze that killed two people and destroyed over 200 homes.

Factors including extreme winds, topography and vegetation influenced the severity of burns from Oregon's devastating 2020 megafires

From Science Daily | April 14, 2022

In a new study examining burn patterns from the 2020 Labor Day fires, research confirms that extreme winds over the Labor Day holiday were the primary driver of the destructive force of the fires yet demonstrates how forest vegetation structure (e.g., canopy height, the age of trees, etc.) and topography played a significant role in burn severity patterns.

California, Utah and other Western states face scary wildfire season

From Deseret News, by Amy Joi O'Donoghue | April 11, 2022

Northern California is suffering when it comes to extreme drought conditions, very little snow and a wildfire season predicted to start much earlier.

Students work with NASA to launch early wildfire detection technology

From Spectrum News 1, by Parker Collins | April 15, 2022

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona students rigged a special setup to train the artificial intelligence they developed called Bronco Ember. The AI uses an infrared camera to decide if something is burning from afar.

Rural County Representatives of California Comments on PG&E and Southern California Edison 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plans

From Sierra Sun Times | April 18, 2022

All electrical utilities are required to construct, maintain, and operate their lines and equipment to minimize the risk of a utility-caused wildfire and undertake comprehensive mitigation measures through a Wildfire Mitigation Plan.

Supes may authorize Tahoe fire awareness campaign, send letter supporting fire legislation

From Tahoe Daily Tribune | April 18, 2022

El Dorado County supervisors on Tuesday may authorize a proclamation that establishes a wildfire awareness education campaign through the summer at Lake Tahoe and they also may send a letter supporting legislation that would have the Forest Service immediately suppress wildfires.