December 7 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. 

Pilot Project on Caldor Fire Tested Resource Tracking and Mesh Communications

From Wildfire Today, by Bill Gabbert | December 3, 2021

An interagency team tested three different hardware tracking systems and real time video feed made instantly available to firefighters during the late stages of the Caldor Fire

Startup Uses AI, Panoramic Cameras for Wildfire Detection

From Government Technology, by Gregory Thomas | December 3, 2021

A system of rotating cameras placed on California mountaintops will snap photo of landscape every sixty seconds to help spot wildfire signs

'Charcoal as Food': UC Berkeley Study Analyzes Role of 'Fire-Loving' Fungi

From The Daily Californian, by Lauren Cho | December 3, 2021

Study from UC Berkeley researchers has found that Pyronema fungus plant may be able to consume charcoal and bring back charred materials into the ecosystem for other organisms

A Rare Winter Wildfire is a Sign of Climate Change Lenghtening Fire Season

From NPR, by Shaylee Ragar | December 4, 2021

Fire ecologist describes how rare winter wildfire in Montana that destroyed dozens of homes and businesses is evidence that fire season is lengthening due to climate change

Headwater Refuges: Combined Effect of Drought and Fire on Stream Communities

From Science Daily | December 1, 2021

Streams and rivers in the Pacific Coast region foster plants and wildlife, also providing sanctuary during droughts and can serve as the path for recovery after fires.

West Wind Fire Burns Grain Elevators and Dozens of Structures in Denton, Montana

From Wildfire Today, by Bill Gabbert | December 2, 2021

The town of Denton, Montana prepares for the recovery process after fire that destroyed grain elevators and 25 homes

Firefighters Responding To The West Ranch Fire In Jefferson County

From CBS Denver, by Danielle Chavira | December 5, 2021

More than 30 firefighters continue to fight fire burning in Jefferson County near Morrison

Merkley, Wyden Announces $2.4M FEMA Grant to Shelter Victims of Wildfire Disasters

From The News Guard | December 5, 2021

Major federal grant is announced by Oregon's senators that will come from FEMA and will help reimburse significant costs for providing non-congregate shelter to Oregonians who lost their homes or were displaced during the 2020 wildfires.

PG&E Agrees to Remove Debris Left On CZU Complex Fire Survivors' Land

From The Mercury News, by Hannah Hagemann | December 3, 2021

To settle a lawsuit with Santa Cruz County, PG&E will remove dead trees and wood debris it left on CZU Lightning Complex Fire survivors’ properties

Homeowners Willingness to Pay to Reduce Wildfire Risk in Wildland Urban Interface Areas: Implications for Targeting Financial Incentives

From Science Direct, by José J.Sánchez, Tom Holmes, John Loomis, Armando González-Cabána | November 27, 2021

Study that estimates homeowner's willingness to pay for public and private fuel reduction programs in wildland urban interface areas using a choice experiment implemented in California

As Wildfires Get Hotter and More Common, These Start-Ups Are Helping People Protect Their Homes

From CNBC, by Salvador Rodriguez | December 5, 2021

With climate change posing a danger to homes and buildings, homeowners are looking for new technology that will harden their properties against natural disasters

Kettle Books $25M For Its Reinsurance Platform Against Fire and Other Catastrophies

From TechCrunch, by Ingrid Lunden | November 19, 2021

Insurance startup Kettle believes it has built reinsurance underwriting product that will account for severe forest fire burns and intense floods

Insurtech Startup Kettle Raises $25M to Expand Wildfire Reinsurance Protection

From Insurance Journal | November 24, 2021

San Francisco-based reinsurance startup, Kettle, has claimed it is bringing advanced technology to the $400 billion-a-year reinsurance industry, starting with California wildfires

After Wildfire, How Do We Rebuild for a “Resilient Recovery”?

From Public Policy Institute of California, by Sarah Bardeen | November 29, 2021

With climate change causing more fires and displacement among communities, a report on ways communities can rebuild after a wildfire recommends retreating, clustering, or maintaining the status quo for state and local land use policies

Cal OES Debris Program Working On Cleanup in Lake County, Across the State

From Lake County News | November 27, 2021

Crews from California's Consolidated Debris Removal Program have removed burned metal, concrete ash and contaminated soil from 458 properties to date

Pine Creek Community Restoration Group Receives $750,000 Grant to Assist with Wildfire Recovery

From Big Country News | December 3, 2021

The Pine Creek Community Restoration group will receive a grant up to $750,000, which will primarily help with housing, relocation assistance, community development, health and wellness, and disaster preparedness.

'You Can't Kill Little Towns Like This': Denton Starts Long Recovery After Wildfire

From Independent Record, by Holly Michels | December 5, 2021

Residents of Denton prepare for recovery process after wildfire destroys many homes, and receive support from Custer County, Big Timber, Bozeman, and Oregon to help strategize monitoring for flare-ups and starting to remove hazards and debris.

Proposed Regulation to Require Discounts for Wildfire Mitigation Measures Must Also Regulate Scores Secretly Used to Deny Home Insurance, Consumer Groups Urge Insurance Commissioner

From PR Newswire, by Consumer Watchdog | November 10, 2021

Regulation posed by California Insurance Commissioner will require discounts for homeowners who take home-hardening steps to reduce their risk of damage from wildfires, but must also apply to insurance companies' decisions about which properties they will insure