July 5 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. 

New wildfire strands roughly 100 Fourth of July revelers at California utility site

From USA Today, by Associated Press | July 5, 2022

Firefighters in Northern California were battling a fresh wildfire, the Electra Fire, that broke out Monday east of Sacramento at a recreation area packed with Fourth of July revelers and forced a number of evacuations.


‘A disaster waiting to happen’

From Albuquerque Journal, by Theresa Davis | July 2, 2022

How Northern New Mexico became susceptible to the destructive Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire that has destroyed at least 400 homes, threatened regional water supplies, displaced thousands of residents, and cost more than $270 million for fire crews to fight


Ecologists say federal wildfire plans are dangerously out of step with climate change

From OPB, by Eric Westervelt | July 3, 2022

The federal Government Accountability Office is launching an investigation after U.S. Forest Service-controlled burns that escaped caused the largest wildfire ever recorded in New Mexico.


Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires July 4, 2022, Daily Update

From New Mexico Fire Information | July 4, 2022

Update on acres burned, containment, evacuation, closure orders, and more regarding Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires


What is your Oregon home’s risk of wildfire? New statewide map can tell you

From OPB | by Cassandra Profita, June 30, 2022

The Oregon Wildfire Risk Explorer,a new map developed by Oregon State University, places every single tax lot in Oregon in a risk category ranging from zero to extreme.Officials will use the risk levels on 1.8 million tax lots to determine which properties will be subject to new fire safety requirements.

June 30, 2022: Six months after the Marshall Fire; Watching the Colorado River run (dry)

From CPR News, by Andrea Dukakis | June 30, 2022

Six months ago, after a spark or flame landed in some very dry grass and ignited, the Marshall Fire became the most destructive in Colorado history. Then, Colorado and states sharing the Colorado River have two months to figure out how to reduce the river water they use.

A push to rebuild better after the Marshall Fire

From PBS, by Jeremy Moore and Amanda Horvath | July 3, 2022

In the troubling fight to rebuild after the Marshall Fire, there is a suggestion of how to rebuild better through high-efficiency or Passive House standards, which are defined by air-tight, fully-electric, highly energy efficient buildings, and how to take advantage of financial incentives related to these advances.

Boulder County HOAs face challenges from Marshall Fire

From Daily Camera, by Rich Sheehan | July 2, 2022

The challenge facing HOA boards affected by the Marshall Fire is to adhere to a wide range of rules laid out in governing documents called the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and maintain the look of their communities, while supporting their impacted homeowners’ efforts to rebuild.

Portions of fire-scarred Big Basin Redwoods State Park will reopen this month

From Los Angeles Times, by Louis Sahagun | July 2, 2022

Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County will partially reopen to the public on July 22 for the first time since a wildfire tore through its towering ancient groves nearly two years ago.

‘Like a disaster movie’ – the film about the felling of California’s giant fire-poisoned sequoias

From The Guardian, by Hettie Judah | July 4, 2022

They’re 25 stories tall and 2,000 years old, but these ancient trees are now a hazard. Uta Kögelsberger talks about winning a prestigious award for capturing the brutal fate of these gigantic natural wonders

US testing new fire retardant, critics push other methods

From KTVB7, by Keith Ridler | July 2, 2022

U.S. officials are testing a new wildfire retardant after two decades of buying millions of gallons annually from one supplier, but watchdogs say the expensive strategy is overly fixated on aerial attacks at the expense of hiring more fire-line digging ground crews.

Biden Administration announces historic coastal and climate resilience funding

From National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | June 29, 2022

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates nearly $3 billion of funding over 5 years to NOAA in an effort to investment in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience, and climate data and services to advance ongoing federal efforts toward building climate resilience.

OPINION: We Need to Save America's Sequoias

From Time, by Kevin McCarthy, Scott Peters, and Bruce Westerman | July 1, 2022

Catastrophic wildfires, such as the SQF Complex Fire and Windy Fire have been killing Giant Sequoias at an alarming rate over the past few years, putting clean air, water, natural carbon storage, and wildlife habitat at risk. New congressional bipartisan legislation, the Save Our Sequoias Act, draws on this wide range of input to codify an action plan that can be implemented immediately by land managers and preserve these ecosystems for generations to come.