August 2 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. 

Northern California wildfires: Where to find updates on air quality, evacuations, and official information

From capradio | August 1, 2022

Information updates on McKinney Fire, Oak Fire, Washburn Fire, and fully contained fires in Northern California

Firefighters make progress against California's largest wildfire near Yosemite National Park

From USA Today, by Celina Tebor | July 24, 2022

Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park slows in growth, with some evacuations orders lifting and firefighters finding success amid low humidity and warm temperatures

Forest Service addresses increased staffing due to storms as well as flash flood potential

From Plumas News | July 30, 2022

Plumas National Forest Fire and Aviation resources put on extended staffing due to thunderstorms, flash flood warning, increased fire dangers, and widespread lightning

Western flames spread, California sees its largest 2022 fire

From AP News, by Noah Berger | August 1, 2022

McKinney Fire in Northern California’s Klamath National Forest is expected to possibly grow even larger with the threat of thunderstorms and dry fuels which could further ignite with lightning

Windy, hot conditions fuel the explosive growth of fires in California and Montana

From Nevada Public Radio, by The Associated Press | July 31, 2022

The McKinney Fire in California and Elmo Fire in Montana continue to grow rapidly with increased risks of lightning and thunderstorms affecting dry fuels

These ancient trees survived a wildfire because of fire

From Freethink, by B. David Zarley | July 31, 2022

The sequoias in the Mariposa Grove survived where others did not because of controlled burns like the kind Native American tribes have used in the past to manage land

Los Padres plans to reintroduce fire as forest management tool; public comments wanted

From Santa Ynez Valley News, by Mike Hodgson | July 29, 2022

The Los Padres National Forest Ecological Restoration Project is proposed as a plan that will alter the forest’s ecology by restoring fire-adapted ecosystems and implementing prescribed burning to help reduce fuels

Vilsack: National forest management must improve

From Bonner County Daily Bee, by Bill Buley | July 30, 2022

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, sites the losses of two helicopter pilots who died in the midst of wildfire emergencies as a reason why federal and state governments must work harder to minimize forest fires

House-Passed Wildfire, Drought Bill Faces Bumpy Path in Senate

From Bloomberg Government, by Kellie Lunney | July 29, 2022

As the House-passed wildfire and drought bill moves to the Senate, it faces opposition from those who argue it would create programs and authorizations without guaranteeing funding for the agencies to adequately carry them out

Leaders introduce bill to safeguard wildfire settlement payments

From Plumas News | July 31, 2022

New bill proposed to help victims of wildfires who have received compensation for damages including eliminating income taxes on settlement payments and allowing recipients of compensation payments to deduct attorney and court fees from their taxes

House approves legislation to help the West cope with wildfires and drought

From PBS, by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | July 30, 2022

The House approves a wide-ranging legislation that will aim to help communities cope with increasing wildfire and drought, raise pay for firefighters, boost resiliency and mitigation projects, and make it easier for wildfire victims to get federal assistance

New study finds global forest area per capita has decreased by over 60%

From Phys.Org, by Institute of Physics | August 1, 2022

According to a team of researchers who used global land use dataset to examine how global forests have changed over space and time, the global forest area has declined more than 60% per capita, threatening the future of biodiversity and the lives of 1.6 billion people

NM governor declares state of emergency over Las Vegas drinking water supply

From KOB 4, by Jonathan Fjeld | July 29, 2022

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed executive orders Friday declaring a state of emergency in the city of Las Vegas as the burn scar flooding threatens the area’s drinking water supply.

Paradise, the Wildfire-Ravaged California Town, Warns of Municipal Bond Default

From The Wall Street Journal, by Matt Wirz and Heather Gillars | July 22, 2022

Local agency is running out of funds to repay $5 million bond after its tax revenues were decimated, highlighting growing investor worries over the risk climate change poses to municipal finances