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.
Recent and Active Fires
From The San Francisco Chronicle, by Kurtis Alexander, August 28, 2021 – updated August 30
Climate changes are making California’s wildfires are grow bigger, reaching new altitudes once considered too cool to burn.
From The Associated Press Post by Sam Metz and Janie Har, August 31, 2021
Caldor Fire advances and windy conditions worsen in South Lake Tahoe following evacuations in both California and Nevada.
From The Sacramento Bee, by Ryan Sabalow, August 31, 2021
USDA Forest Service is closing all 20 million acres of California’s national forests to public access for two week
From Action News Now, by Anna Torrea August 31, 2021
Update on the Dixie Fire from Shasta County, as it burns through Lassen Volcanic National Park.
From KPIX5 CBS SF Bay Area News, August 31, 2021
Dixie Fire had burned 807,396 acres, or nearly 1,300 square miles since the fire began on July 14. People have been evacuated from their homes in five counties: Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, and Tehama. The wildfire has destroyed more than 1,200 structures, including nearly 700 homes.
Before the Fire: Reducing Risk, Building Resilience
OPINION From The Sacramento Bee by Jonathan Kusel, executive director of the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment August 26, 2021
The Dixie Fire has destroyed much more than wildlands and structures, but also threatens water and power infrastructure with the potential for a statewide impact. This opinion piece argues for investments in long term restorative practices and new investment in community-scale businesses.
from The New York Times, by Ivan Penn, August 30, 2021 updated August 31
California regulators have introduced ambitious and sweeping new building regulations to combat carbon emissions toward carbon-neutral goals; the cost of building will rise even as those rebuilding from fire disasters try and recover.
OPINION from Bloomberg by Francis Wilkinson, August 29, 2021
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a code-red warning for the New Jersey shore, which is in danger from sea level rise and sinking land. Will taxpayers foot the bill to protect the shore, and its million dollar properties from the forces of climate change? The price tag is hefty and challenge immense.
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel by Hannah Hagemann, August 15, 2021
Badly burned redwoods — though already resprouting — will likely take upwards of 100 years to fully recover from the CZU Complex.
From Sierra: The Magazine of the Sierra Club, by Juliet Grable, August 31, 2021
“While experts debate the lessons of fires such as Bootleg, the answers they arrive at will have real consequences for tens of millions of people living in the West.”
Communities Navigating Recovery: Stories of Resilience and Hope
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel by Hannah Hagemann, August 16, 2021
Personal stories of the physical and emotional stresses of the first year after wildfire took their homes and changed their communities forever.
From Salem Statesman Journal, by Wesley Lapointe, August 22, 2021
Fire-resistant siding, windows, more house materials become popular as Northwest home builders adapt to persistent wildfires
Oregonians rebuilding their homes after fire are opting for more resilient, fire resistant home construction choices.
From The Atlantic, by Jeffrey E. Stern, August 30, 2021
When two megafires converged on a small town in Oregon, the community faced a choice. People could flee, leaving the town to its fate. Or they could stay and fight.