October 12 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. 

Why the American west’s ‘wildfire season’ is a thing of the past – visualized

From The Guardian, By Gabrielle Canyon and Rashida Kamal | October 8, 2021

What was once a four month fire season is now six months or longer, with fires larger and more costly to fight. This article provides visualizations of how the fire season has unfolded.

Wildfire season is far from over in California, Bay Area

From SF Gate by Amy Graff | October 11, 2021

The height of summer produced many large active wildfires and cooler weather has seemed to bring a reprieve, but fire officials warn the season is far from over, and the region needs to be prepared through October and November with forecasters predicting an above normal risk.

California Wildfire May Have Killed Hundreds of Giant Sequoias, Burning Through Earth's Largest Grove

From USA Today, By Joshua Yeager | October 8, 2021

The KNP Complex Fire possibly destroys hundreds of sequoias in Redwood Mountain Grove after plans for aerial crews to drop fire-resistant gel on high-risk trees was cancelled due to dangerous conditions.

Alisal fire explodes to 6,000 acres near Santa Barbara, closes 101 Freeway

From The LA Times, by Gregory Yee, and Lila Seidman| October 12, 2021

High winds and dry conditions are factors that are rapidly increased a brush fire in Santa Barbara County to more than 6000 acres (The Alisal Fire).

Inside the Fight Against the Dixie Fire

From The New York Times, by Brent McDonald, Sashwa Burrous, Eden Weingart and Meg Felling | October 11, 2021

This story in pictures unfolds the story of the effort to fight the Dixie fire, relating the immense size and scale of both the fire and the effort to stop it.

It’s tempting to blame the US west’s wildfires on arson. The truth is more complex

From The Guardian, by Dani Anguiano | October 12, 2021

The cause of wildfire requires time to verify, but in the meantime wild and unsubstantiated claims and conspiracy theories fly on social media.

An Expert on the Criminal Mind, Now He’s Suspected in an Arson Spree

From The New York Times, by Thomas Fuller and Livia Albeck-Ripka | October 12, 2021

The majority of wildfires are caused by human action, and arson is one of the most challenging to prevent. Three recent fires in California were started by arsonists, who now face charges.

Many Greenville residents struggled to get fire insurance. Then the Dixie Fire came

From PBS NewsHour by Cat Wise \ October 11, 2021

A look at the first steps to recovery in Greenville after the Dixie Fire.

Shannen Doherty Wins $6.3M in Woolsey Fire Lawsuit

From CBS Los Angeles by Katie Johnston \ October 5, 2021

Actress Shannen Doherty is to receive $6.3M from State Farm after jury decides they did not fully pay to cover damages on her home and caused further emotional distress.

Detroit's Water System Still a Work in Progress After 2020 Wildfires- Portland, Oregon

From Eminetra \ October 6, 2021

The Town of Detroit, OR is still deep in recovery after the Bull Complex Fire, including housing reconstruction and restructuring the town's drinking water system after reservoirs were rendered unusable by the wildfire.

How to Know if Your Oak Tree Survived a Fire

From Record Searchlight by Leimone Waite \ October 8, 2021

How to look for signs to see if an oak tree is dead after a wildfire, including examining the depth of damage to the roots, thickness of bark, and damage to the canopy.

New Approches Needed to Fight Wildfires

OPINION From CalMatters by Dana Hessheimer | October 6, 2021

National Guard dual-status commander for Camp Fire reflects on new methods needed in order to fight future wildfires, including aerial firefighting systems that can drop gallons of water and retardant and help provide cover for ground crews.

Housing Arrangement and Vegetation Factors Associated with Single-Family Home Survival in the 2018 Camp Fire, California

From Fire Ecology, by Knapp, E.E., Valachovic, Y.S., Quarles, S.L. et al

A research report, drawing on research from recent California wildfires including the Camp Fire in Butte County, on how home survival can be influenced by distance from neighboring burning homes and surrounding vegetation, and date of build taking those code requirements in place at the time to determine which homes are at higher risk than others.

WA Lands Comissioner Reflects on 2021 Wildfire Season

From Spokane Public Radio, by Doug Nadvornick

WA lands commissioner Hilary Franz compares experiences from the 2020 wildfire season to hardships during the 2021 season, and what methods they plan on employing from now on in an effort to slow down the fires, like attacking fires as early as possible, and fighting fires from the skies.

California Needs to Rethink Water, Fire to Mitigate Climate Risks, Say Experts at McGuire's Climate Town Hall

From The Mendocino Voice, by Sonia Waraich | October 11, 2021

Climate scientists at town hall meeting hosted by Mike McGuire describe how water systems in California are designed for a different climate and how things like prescribed burns and vegetation treatment.

UC ANR: Can Homes Be Designed to Withstand Wildfire?

From The Sierra Sun Times, by Pamela Kan-Rice

Research during the aftermath of the 2018 Camp Fire could lead to new information on home arrangements and vegetation distances that may help future home designs from being susceptible to wildfire.

As Biden Restores National Monuments, Western Republicans Tout Alternative Conservation Plan

From The San Francisco Chronicle, by

As the Biden administration pledges to restore and protect monuments, opposing groups argue that more active control and efforts need to take place in order to prevent catastrophes such as wildfires in the future.

California Fire Threat Mounts as Dry Winds Start to Rise

From Bloomberg Green, by Brian K. Sullivan and Mark Chediak

Dry winds coming in from the east paired with historic drought sets the region at even higher risk during the upcoming dangerous part of the fire season: companies such as PG&E prepare against the approaching risks.