Oct 19 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. 

Fire Destroys Brannan Island Mobile Home Community In Minutes

From CBS Sacramento, by Marisa Perlman | October 12, 2021

A fast moving fire swept in the delta and quickly destroyed a mobile home park in minutes. CALFIRE stopped the fire but not before 42 homes were leveled.

California Wildfire Now Half Contained Amid Calmer Weather

From AP News | October 16, 2021

Firefighters in Santa Barbara get help from water-dropping aircraft and burn scars that slow flames enough to cancel evacuation orders for a number of properties.

How Fires, Dry Conditions are Drastically Increasing Air Pollution Across California

From PBS NewsHour by Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado | October 14 , 2021

Smoke and dust are blanketing central California. Air pollution is a chronic problem in the San Joaquin Valley but it is now reaching levels unlike any previously seen. With no measurable rainfall in weeks, and little chance of rain in the forecast, there is no end in sight.

Preparing for Post Dixie Fire Rain Events

From Plumas News \ September 16, 2021

As rainy season approaches, those living in the burn scar area of the Dixie Fire need to be alert and aware of the danger of flooding and debris flow hazards. The Burned Area Emergency Response team is conducting assessments in the 5-county area of the Dixie Fire, and work will need to be done to decrease risk in the immediate future and for several years post fire.

A Year After East Troublesome Fire, Dozens Still Waiting on Insurance Payments

From The Denver Channel, by Russell Haythorn \ October 15, 2021

After East Troublesome fires burns over three hundred properties, homeowners struggle with decision to rebuild, finding temporary homes, and struggles with insurance companies.

‘Trial By Fire’: First Responders Reflect on Calwood and Lefthand Blazes One Year Later

From Daily Camera \ October 16, 2021

Boulder County senior firefighter Kerry Webstar reflects on the beginning of the Calwood Fire and the steps and challenges it took to put the blazes out.

Climate Challenge: Latinos Disproportionately Impacted By Wildfires

From NBC News, by Steve Patterson | September 25, 2021

With the nearly year-round threat of wildfires on the West Coast, a new study found that Latinos are disproportionately affected. While the Latino population makes up 18 percent of the U.S., 37 percent live in areas described as extreme wildfire risk.

Community Input Needed For California’s Historic Broadband Investments

From CA FWD, by Nadine Ono | October 12, 2021

The California Public Utilities Commission is inviting public comment about the Open Access Middle-Mile Plan and the GO-Biz Broadband Community Survey. This article also links to policy and advocacy initiatives regarding expanded broadband infrastructure.

A new way to protect homes from wildfires

From CNBC News by Rahel Solomon | October 4, 2021

The story of a Colorado cabin that withstood a wildfire, thanks to a new way to protect structures from wildfire, using flame-resistant tarps.

A new $31 million radar system will radically improve Bay Area weather forecasts, down to the neighborhood

From SF Chronicle, by Tara Duggan | October 19, 2021

A new forecasting system, called Advanced Quantitative Precipitation Information (AQPI) paid for in part by a $20 million grant from the CA Dept of Water Resources, will help provide more precise data about drought, floods and atmospheric rivers that can bring billions in damage across the Pacific Coastal states.

Some firefighters facing mental health challenges after Oregon's devastating 2020 wildfires

From KGW8, by Christine Pitawanich | September 14, 2021

How important it is to focus on the mental health of first responders, and how one program uses therapy dogs to assist.

Why Native Americans are buying back land that was stolen from them

From PBS NewsHour, by Kira Kay

From 1877 to 1934, under a range of laws and reneged-upon treaties, the U.S. government appropriated tens of millions of acres of Native American land. In recent years there has been a growing movement known as “land back” to reclaim their lands.

Can landscape fuel treatments enhance both protection and resource management objectives?

From California Fire Science Consortium, by Kira Kay

This webinar presents results from a simulation study of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains that investigated the relative effectiveness of a variety of fuel treatment strategies and the tradeoffs of implementing fuels programs with competing management goals.

Fire Danger Explained: How Critically Dry Fuels Help Start and Feed Massive Wildfires

From Spectrum News, by Jacqueline Bennett

Explanation of technical terminology such as 'relative humidity, 'critically dry fuels', and 'fuel moisture' that are vital to understanding fire danger.

Moving Beyond America's War on Wildfire: 4 Ways to Avoid Future Megafires

OPINION From Winston-Salem Journal,

How fire suppression and past harvesting techniques have led to current wildfire conditions, and what steps are needed to move forward to minimize megafires.

La Niña Winter Weather: How it Could Impact California Wildfires

From ABC News by Melanie Woodrow

Cool rain showers may bring relief to the fire season, but as winter ahead looks dry, experts encourage people to cut grass and remove dry and dead materials from their homes.

Growing need for volunteer firefighters in Montana


This past fire season got off to an early start all across the state, and no matter how bad it got, it could have gotten a lot worse if not for our volunteer firefighters.

Battle Over California Fire Insurance Policies Intensifies

From AP News, by Adam Beam \ October 14, 2021

State insurance commissioner in conflict with industry due to growing amounts of wildfires making it more difficult for california homeowners to recieve property insurance.

School districts in Oregon's fire-ravaged communities hope lawmakers pass bill to protect funding

From KGW8, by Christine Pitawanich \ October 13, 2021

Unstable enrollment in local public schools following wildfire has caused a severe financial strain on school districts. Oregon's state lawmakers had some legislation on track to help shore up the schools, but the bill was stalled, causing the state's schools in fire impacted communities to use reserves and advocate for fast action by state lawmakers for emergency assistance.