June 21 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 Mexico Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon - Visit Map Online https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8104/

A New Mexico firewatcher describes watching his world burn

From NPR, by Steve Inskeep | June 20, 2022

Interview with a New Mexico firewatcher who has witnessed the Hermits Peak megafire burning since May 13, which has destroyed forest lands he feels a deep personal connection to, and though he has seen other fires there before, this one is different.

4 buildings at observatory in Arizona lost in wildfire

From abc news, by The Associated Press | June 18, 2022

Four non-scientific buildings at the Kitt Peak National Observatory southwest of Tucson have been lost in a wildfire, but early indications show other buildings on the property don't appear to be damaged

picture of raging forest fire with title in white letters Report: Wildfires

Report: Wildfires

From Congressional Budget Office | June 16, 2022

CBO analyzes trends in wildfire activity; considers the effects of wildfires on the federal budget, the environment, people’s health, and the economy; and reviews forest-management practices meant to reduce fire-related disasters.

Native American tribes to co-manage national monument for first time

From The Washington Post, by Maxine Joselow | June 20, 2022

The unprecedented agreement gives five tribes more input in the management of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah

US adds $103M for wildfire hazards and land rehabilitation

From AP News, by Keith Ridler | June 17, 2022

As well as establishing an interagency wildland firefighter health and well-being program, the U.S. is adding $103 million this year for wildfire risk reduction and burned-area rehabilitation throughout the country

N.M. Congressional Democrats Announce Federal Government Will Fully Cover Emergency Watershed Program In Wake Of Historic Wildfires

From hienrich.senate.gov | June 15, 2022

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández and Melanie Stansbury are welcoming an announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will cover 100% of the costs through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program for debris removal and other measures to address watershed impairments in designated areas of New Mexico impacted by recent wildfires.

As more wildfires loom, concern grows about those who dedicate their lives to fighting them

From CBS News, by Tori B. Powell | June 18, 2022

As wildfires grow in size, frequency and intensity, officials are looking for new ways to fight back. But there's also a new focus on the mental and physical health of those who dedicate their lives to fighting the deadly blazes.

Trial by fire: The trauma of fighting California’s wildfires

From Cal Matters, by Julie Cart | June 13, 2022

Overworked California firefighters struggle with PTSD, suicide, fatigue, intensifying wildfires

CBS probes recruiting and retention problems in the US Forest Service

From Wildfire Today, by Bill Gabbert | June 18, 2022

Saturday morning CBS broadcast an 8-minute piece on national TV that laid out some of the issues causing the recruitment and retention issues for wildland firefighters in the federal land management organizations.

Reno Fire Department and partners utilize goats for wildfire prevention

From reno.gov | June 16, 2022

NV Energy and Nevada Division of Forestry team with City of Reno, again, to help protect Cashill Boulevard corridor

Sonoma County village runs wildfire evacuation drill

From CBS News, by John Ramos | June 18, 2022

About 100 Sonoma County residents practiced fleeing from a wildfire Saturday morning. It was just a drill but they all knew the threat is all too real.

Conservation groups sue feds to protect old-growth forests

From KGW8, by Andrew Selsky | June 15, 2022

The Trump administration amended a protection that had been in place since 1994 that prohibited the harvesting of trees 21 inches or greater in diameter.

Marshall and East Troublesome fire victims offered $10,000 to build disaster-resistant homes

From The Denver Gazette, by Carol McKinley | June 17, 2022

Boulder County is offering $10,000 to people who lost their homes in the Marshall and East Troublesome fires who are willing to build high-efficiency electric homes to better withstand such events in the future.

Areas affected by 2020 Labor Day fires will get 625 affordable homes

From Salem Reporter, by Julia Shumway | June 17, 2022

Grants announced this month will bring affordable homes and apartments to Oregon communities devastated by the wildfires in 2020.

How the survivors of the wildfires PG&E started are being victimized all over again

From The Sacramento Bee, by Robin Epley | June 19, 2022

Many fire victims have found it almost impossible to stay housed while waiting for their money, compounding their trauma.

‘Historic’ weather: why a cocktail of natural disasters is battering the US

From The Guardian, by Gabrielle Canon | June 18, 2022

As the world heats up, weather events will increase and overlap, testing the limits of nation’s resiliency and recovery

Western wildfires’ health risks extend across the country

From Science News, by Megan Sever | June 17, 2022

Those fires devastating communities in the West send bad air traveling, boosting emergency room visits in the East