November 16 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. 

What Does It Take to Build a Disaster-Proof House?

From the New York Times, by Candace Jackson | November 12, 2021

Homeowners in natural-disaster prone areas across the country find ways to design homes that can withstand multiple dangers, using some experimental technology that could be a glimpse into how future structures are built.

Google's Wildfire Boundary Maps: The Origin Story of This Safety Innovation

From ATTN: Google | November 10, 2021

Meet the team who helped create wildfire boundary maps — a mapping system that shows the approximate location of active wildfires in near real time on Google Search and Maps, helping affected communities get to safety during moments of critical need. Technological innovations like this have the potential to save millions of lives.

In a Disastrous Drought, a Grim Milestone: California Could See Its First Big Reservoir Run Dry

From The San Francisco Chronicle, by Kurtis Alexander | November 5, 2021

State officials warn that the upcoming winter season will not bring enough rain to meet water demands, leaving Lake Mendocino at high risk to run dry

Nature Needs Time to Heal: How Long for Redwoods to Recover From Fire?

From Lookout Santa Cruz by Julia Busiek | November 5, 2021

Redwood ecologist and environmental scientist describe how long it will take for redwoods to completely heal after the CZU fires, but that ninety percent of the trees are expected to recover.

redwood diagram of recovery at 10 years after fire

Cal Fire chief to retire in December after leading agency through record wildfire seasons

From Capitol Public Radio by Julia Busiek | November 5, 2021

Chief Thom Porter who steered Cal Fire through record-setting wildfire seasons has announced he will retire at the end of the year. He served for 2 years, having been appointed by Governor Newsom in January 2019.

Flocks of Sheep are the Firefighting Solution we Never Knew we Needed

From ABC News by Julia Jacobo, JP Keenan, Janet Weinstein | November 13, 2021

Researchers studying a balance that can be made between allowing natural fires to burn and preventing the threatening of human life, sheep become the answer of a more efficient and cost-effective method than using machinery for fuel mitigation.

BC Has Now Planted One Billion Trees Since 2018

From My Cowichan Valley Now, by Ashley Roberts | November 13, 2021

Using a mix of over twenty native tree species in order to reduce the effects of climate change, British Columbia plants over one billion trees since 2018, including 301 million this year alone.

How to Safely Recreate on Burned Land

From Bay Nature by Meredith Dennis | November 10, 2021

Knowledge from experts in fire ecology and land managers combine to instruct how to more carefully recreate on burned lands, like doing checks on gear and tires, being prepared to navigate without trails, and looking out for burned stump holes.

Jerry Brown Focuses on Saving Califonia Forests From Fires

From AP News by Kathleen Ronayne | November 9, 2021

Former Gov. Jerry Brown suggests urgent actions that must be taken to save California's forests from future wildfires, like processing harvested trees through the production of more biomass facilities and sawmills, and increasing spending on fire measures.

Flagstaff Prescribed Fire Training Exchange Aims to Proliferate Proactive Forest Management

From KNAU, by Ryan Heinsius | November 12, 2021

A new program designed to instruct on fire management teaches how to suppress fires through prescribed burns.

Marion County Residents Recovering From 2020 Wildfires Get $1.3 Million Boost

From Salem Reporter, by Rachel Alexander, Ardeshir Tabrizian, Saphara Harrell | November 12, 2021

Updates regarding Oregon residents including a flood watch for Salem and nonprofits in Santiam Canyon and Mid-Willamette Valley receiving $1.3 million to help with housing and rebuilding a water reservoir.

Report From Lawsuit Says Pacific Power Utility to Blame for Labor Day Fires

From Statesman Journal, by Zach Urness| November 10, 2021

Fire investigator states that a number of last year's Labor Day fires in Oregon could have been avoided if not for a failure to maintain the vegetation near Pacific Power's powerlines and a lack of action before dire wind conditions.

World Renew Providing Assistance to Canyon

From Keizer Times, November 14, 2021

World Renew will conduct community-wide surveys in Santiam Canyon to find disaster-related needs from residents and give assistance accordingly.

Three Years After 2018 Woolsey Fire, Only 55 Malibu Homes Rebuilt

From The Malibu Times, by Judy Abell| November 12, 2021

Homeowners become frustrated after three years of being removed from their homes and continue to face a combination of insurance struggles, COVID dangers, and rising cost of materials, but opening of City Hall begins to move things along again.

Finding Light After Woolsey’s Darkness

From The Malibu Times, by Joy Martin November 13, 2021

Malibu resident and psychologist Dr. Noelle C. Nelson describes her experience with the Woolsey Fire in her new published book, sharing a positive outlook on the future despite the hardships she and her town endured

Facing Future Wildfires, a Community Fights For Its Forests

From Pique, by Carl Segerstrom | November 14, 2021

Towns in central Idaho were spared from massive destructive fires due to a forest-thinning project planned by the communities. Now, conflicting arguments shape what decisions will be made about future logging and prescribed burning.

'Please Keep the Faith': California Marks 3rd Anniversary of Campfire That Killed 85

From KCRA, by Brittany Johnson | November 9, 2021

The town of Paradise continues to struggle with rebuilding, receiving insurance, and wondering if it is easier to leave everything behind.

Paradise Continues to Rebuild and and Evolve Three Years After the Camp Fire

From Chico State Today, by Jacquelyn Chase, Peter Hansen | November 8, 2021

As Paradise communities approach the three-year anniversary of the Camp Fire, they are able to celebrate business, nonprofits, and local officials that have all remained committed to recovery

Disaster-Focused Course Prepares Social Workers for the Future

From Chico State Today, by Ashley Gebb | November 9, 2021

Chico State's new School of Social Work course will teach "Contemporary Issues in Social Work Practice and Research", where students will learn how trauma impacts behavior, and mediating effects of trauma through healing-centered research and practice.

Interior Department Celebrates Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

From Char-Koosta News | November 12, 2021

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal ensures a historic down payment that will bolster climate resiliency by investing in water, wildfire, ecosystem, and tribal climate reilience and will also protect several communities within Indian Country.

Insurance Commissioner Lara Protects Additional California Wildfire Survivors from Insurance Non-Renewals

From Sierra Sun Times | November 10, 2021

Bulletin issued by Commissioner Lara to cover nearly 210,000 homes, bringing statewide moratorium total to more than 618,000 following 2021 wildfire disaster declarations.