October 5 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. 

scene of yellow smokey skies and downed trees with flames at ground level in a burned out woodland

Images of the KNP Complex Fire and a map of the fire zone.

fire map of the KNP Complex fire

KNP Complex of fires crosses Generals Highway east of Wilsonia, California

From Wildfire Today, By Bill Gabbert | October 4, 2021

The KNP Complex Fire burning in Sequoia National Park continues to grow near Redwood Mountain Grove, home to the largest grove of giant sequoias on earth.

Wildfire season continues across the western US and Canada

From Weather Live via Twitter | Oct 1, 2021

There are currently over 50 large active wildfires throughout California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado and Oklahoma, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The agency also reported that nearly six million acres have burned this wildfire season, which is currently below the 10-year-average. Wildfire season historically runs from May through October, but wildfires burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the US as early as December 2020. The 2021 wildfire season is forecast to be active as many western regions in North America are experiencing drought and extreme heat.

Greenville Rising: Week of September 28

From Plumas News by Meg Upton \ September 28, 2021

Greenville is showing tangible signs of hope and recovery this week nearly two months after the fire, from painted murals around town, community projects, first day back to school for Greenville Elementary, re-openings of Ebergreen market and the Indian Valley United community gathering.

Dogs sniff out cremation ashes amid wildfire destruction

From NOVA by Alissa Greenberg \ October 4, 2021

With cremation on the rise, more Americans are keeping cremains of loved ones in their homes. As larger and fiercer wildfires destroy communities in the West, archaeologists are teaming up with scent detection dogs to find ashes among the ashes.

'Your Responsibility, Your Duty': Board Makes Convenant Tweaks; Homeowners Realty Experts Still Concerned

From Lookout Santa Cruz, by Grace Stetson \ September 28, 2021

Homeowners and real estate workers fight for revisions on a covenant that would negatively affect financing and insurance for Santa Cruz homeowners who lost homes in the CZU fire due to location in geohazard zone.

News Video from KPIX 5 News by Devin Fehely | September 28, 2021

Supervisors Clarify Deed Requirement Affecting CZU Fire Survivors

From Press Banner, by Drew Penner | Sept. 30, 2021

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors agree to revise geological evaluation directive that would have possibly affected property values in Santa Cruz communities.

"It's a War": California Turns to New, High-Tech Helicopters to Battle Wildfires

From CBS News by Bill Whitaker | September 26, 2021

After two of the biggest wildfires in state history and short-staffed and overworked firefighters, fire chiefs in Southern California will use a fleet of high-tech helicopters to fight fires 24/7.

How an 11-Foot Tall 3-D Printer is Helping to Create a Community

From New York Times by Debra Kamin | September 29, 2021

Non-proft organization New Story, in partnership with other organizations, sets out to build entire communities of homes constructed through 3-D printed construction that will make building homes faster and easier for small properties. And other projects like this are emerging in other locations.

Using Tech to Transform Vegetation Management in the Wake of the Dixie Fire

From Tech Crunch by Elijah Priwer and Rita Rosiek | October 3, 2021

How PG&E's bankruptcy plans include an Enhanced Vegetation Management Program to account for the potential risk of dangerous trees could be enhanced by satellite technology.

New Debris-Flow Maps, Rules Aim to Help CZU Fire Rebuilding

From Santa Cruz Local by Stephen Baxter | September 28, 2021

New debris-flow modeling maps will serve as information for geotechnical engineers to evaluate possible hazards regarding watersheds, topography, and color coded debris-flow paths so that foundations can be designed accordingly.

The rest of the Black Hills forestry story

OPINION From WyoFile, by Dennis Knight

Forestry professor seeks to provide context for the debate over federal logging policy and timber industry in the era of climate change and wildfire.

'Dangerous Air' investigation prompts lawmakers to call for new worker protections, fire prevention investments

State and federal lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation and hold a hearing in response to air quality dangers resulting from wildfires.

Thompson's Bill to Reauthorize the Critical WHIP+ Program Passes the House

Mike Thompson's funding bill passes the House Agriculture Committee, a bill which will reactivate WHIP+ program to aid agricultural producers whose crops have been damaged by wildfires.

Merkley, Wyden announce passage of major funding for wildfire response and drought relief

Press release from the Office of Jeff Merkley, US Senator of Oregon, announces passage of key legislation to fund federal government until December to respond to natural disasters, including wildfire, drought, and outlines specific funding for recovery efforts in Oregon.