November 23 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. 

Burnout: Firefighter Trauma Rises in the American West

From Reuters by Ned Parker | November 18, 2021

Mental health struggles increase among front line workers as fire seasons lengthen and megafires continue to consume more and more forests, towns, and communities.

Wildfires Torched up to a Fifth of All Giant Sequoia Trees

From AP NEWS | November 19, 2021

Climate change's impact is being seen by the growing intensity of wildfires over the last two years killed an estimated 2,261 to 3,637 sequoias, killing one-fifth of the Earth's largest trees, until now considered nearly fire-proof.

Thousands of Giant Sequoias Ravaged in Recent Southern Sierra Wildfires, Study Says

From The Fresno Bee, by Carmen Kohlruss | November 19, 2021

Report Says It Takes Too Long to Deliver Federal Money to Areas Hit by Floods, Wildfires

From The Durango Herald by Kelsey Carolan | November 18, 2021

GAO Report for the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the 416 Fire in La Plata County recommends time limits for EWP projects be assessed to decrease delays in getting money to sponsors.

Task Force Phoenix Pilots Earn Prestigious Award in London for Creek Fire Rescue Mission

From US Army News, by Maj. Jason Sweeney | November 18, 2021

Two California Army National Guard flight crews are awarded by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots in London after the rescue of 263 people and 16 dogs who had been trapped during the Creek Fire in September of 2020.

California Nonprofit Brings Wildfire Recovery Experience to Santiam Canyon

From Salem Reporter, by Ardeshir Tabrizian | November 18, 2021

Leaders from After the Fire venture to Santiam Canyon to connect with community leaders and get information on what local organizations are doing and how the nonprofit can help aid the recovery effort there.

Oregon to Get More than $400 Million to Rebuild from 2020 Wildfires

From Canby First, Oregon Capitol Chronicles | November 20, 2021

Oregon is the second-largest recipient of the $2 billion distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for disaster recovery and resiliency funds.

Thousands of Trees to be Planted This Weekend

From The Malibu Times, by Judy Abell| November 18, 2021

Clarins and The Malibu Foundation are hosting a community event in the Santa Monica Mountains where they are hoping to plant 5,000 trees with the help of volunteers.

Challenges persist for rural Marion, Polk county residents lacking broadband as state plans for federal funds still uncertain

From Salem Reporter, by Ardeshir Tabrizian | November 18, 2021

With federal funding allocated for increasing broadband, it is still unclear how many Marion and Polk County people will benefit from these programs, and likely not soon, despite a large number of households lacking internet.

County Appeals to Governor After Wildfire Cleanup Contractor Vanishes

From Press Banner, by Drew Penner | November 18, 2021

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors are convinced Anvil Builders Inc., that made a quarter-billion dollars in the wake of wildfire destruction, left another disaster behind, severely damaging roads in the Last Chance area, according to resident testimony from wildfire victims.

State Lawmakers Tour Butte County Ahead of Potential New Housing Legislation in 2022

From KRCR, by Ryan Matthey | November 16, 2021

State lawmakers visit Paradise Community Village Apartments, a Camp Fire rebuilt affordable housing community, to better understand and respond to the barriers renters and property owners are facing across the state.

Harvest Hurdles: Century-Old Noble Orchards Faces Complications After Camp Fire, COVID

From Sacramento News & Review, by Ryan Matthey | November 17, 2021

Jim and Laurie Noble's business, Noble Orchards, struggles in the rebuilding of its remaining buildings needed for the farm to properly function amidst slow pace of promised payouts from the Fire Victims Trust, especially alarming as the year's apple harvest comes to a close.

Connecting the Public Health Benefits of Reduced Wildfire Smoke to Forest Restoration Activities

From Blue Forest, by Phil Saksa| November 3, 2021

With wildfire seasons becoming longer and more intense, there is a need for knowledge on how to decrease associated impacts of poor air quality, which is aided by new air quality sensors that can document how smoke is impacting communities.

PG&E Tests AI, Machine Learning For Wildfire Detection

From Market Watch, by Kimberly Chin| November 18, 2021

PG&E Corp. says 46 of the 138 new HD cameras it has installed across high fire-threat areas will use an AI testing program so that data is more quickly recieved and emergency responders can confirm fires.

3D Printer Homes Making Redding Debut Aren't 'Concrete Bunkers'

From Redding Record Searchlight by Michele Chandler | November 17, 2021

In Redding, computer-guided technology is coming this spring to use 3D printing to build homes. This technology promises to build modern homes more quickly, for less money and with fewer employees amid shortage of skilled trades workers in the North State.  The first structures slated are designed to provide affordable housing, along with disaster recovery accommodations and residences for people transitioning from homelessness.

Indigenous People Get Less Than 1% of Climate Funding? It's Actually Worse

From Mongabay, by Torbjørn Gjefsen | November 19, 2021

After many years of consistent and strategic campaigning, indigenous peoples and local communities finally receive recognition and support at COP26, but only after receiving a staggeringly low level of climate finance in the past, and uncertain funding in the future despite the new attention.

Heat, Floods, Fires: Jet Stream Is Key Link in Climate Disasters

From Bloomberg by Laura Millan Lombrana, Hayley Warren, and Brian K. Sullivan | July 22, 2021

Recent weather phenomena such as heat waves in the U.S. and Canada and heavy rains in China are becoming more intensified by climate change.

Lawmakers Advance Bill to Reduce Wildfire Impacts as Climate Change Fuels More Intense Blazes

From The Washington Post by Diana Leonard | November 17, 2021

The House of Science, Space and Technology Committee advances National Wildland Fire Risk Reduction Act that would direct substantial research funds — more than $2 billion over the next five years — to federal science agencies and lays out a national research agenda to better understand wildfires and reduce their impacts.

Feenstra Amendment Bolsters Use of Woody Biomass for Bioenergy

From Biomass Magazine by Erin Voegele | November 17, 2021

Amendment to the National Wildlife Fire Risk Reduction Program Act proposed by Representative Feenstra (R-Iowa) that will utilize biomass collected from wildfire and mitigation and post-fire recovery activities to create bioenergy, has been approved by House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Bentz Introduces Bill to Limit Northern Spotted Owl Habitat Designation

From KTVZ News | November 19, 2021

Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) argues for a new bill that will remove about 1 million acres of non-NSO habitat lands from the area designated as owl habitat in order to balance "needs of the owl against the needs of rural communities and the threat of massive wildfires."