September 6 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. 

California battles wildfires and faces blackouts during a brutal heat wave

From NPR by AP News  | Sept. 6, 2022

As California faces a sustained heat wave with record high temperatures over 100, the power grid is taxed to its limit, Flex Alert protocols are activated and deadly wildfires spread.

See Mill Fire Burn Close To Homes In Northern California

From Sacramento Bee via YouTube video by Ryan Sabalow | Sept. 4, 2022

The Mill Fire burns the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Weed on Sept. 2, 2022, in Siskiyou County before heading north to threaten houses around Lake Shastina.

Flashbacks: Charred California town no stranger to wildfire

From AP News by Adam Beam | Sept. 3, 2022

The town of Weed near Mt. Shasta is a location with a steady breeze, a fact which makes it more prone to wildfire. The fire destroyed 100 homes there this week is the third that struck this rural sawmill town since 2014.

Crews begin containment work on remote Oregon wildfire

From AP News by Adam Beam | Sept. 4, 2022

About 300 firefighters assisted by air tankers and water-dropping helicopters were building containment lines Sunday to combat a growing wildfire in remote eastern Oregon that forced has evacuations of campers, authorities said.

Two years after Beachie Creek Fire, town of Detroit continues to rebuild

From KGW by Christine Pitawanich, | Sept. 5, 2022

A video tour of Detroit with the town's mayor, Jim Trett, to see what progress has been made since the Beachie Creek Fire.

She thought Covid-19 was the worst thing to happen to her schools. Then the fire came

From The Guardian by Colleen Hagerty | Sept. 5, 2022

The job of School Superintendent is challenging in normal times, but two years of pandemic, followed by devastating wildfire created daunting challenges for Plumas County Schools veteran educator Kristy Warren, whose experience is now helping her council others in disaster-prone areas. Climate change is making extreme weather events increasingly severe and common, and a Government Accountability Office study found more than half of the nation’s public school districts are located in counties that were officially declared disaster areas between 2017 and 2019.

Homeowners could continue losing insurance as wildfire threat looms

From Insurance News Net and Ukiah Daily Journal | Sept. 1, 2022

In response to growing uncertainty in the insurance market, California has imposed new wildfire regulations in recent years aimed at bringing down costs and protecting homeowners. But the insurance industry has pushed back hard against the reforms, arguing the state should instead overhaul how it regulates policy rates to account for more frequent catastrophic fires. Some carriers are even leaving the state for good.

The Terrifying Choices Created by Wildfires

From New Yorker, by Infei Chen | Sept. 6, 2022

Understanding the terrifying choice of evacuating or staying to defend one's property is one that might have occurred once in a lifetime, but in California and other Western states, this is occurring with more frequency in the last decade.  What kind of trust is needed for an effective evacuation? And what tools can civic leaders use to make them successful in times of extreme danger?  And how can individuals take responsibilty for preparedness?

Weather Updates: California Heat to Peak Amid Fire and Power Worries

From NY Times | Sept. 6, 2022

This 'Extreme Weather' thread, with ongoing updates, is tracking the extreme heatwave event and how it is impacting 46 million Californians, the power grid infrastructure and the increased threat of deadly wildfire.

As forests go up in smoke, so will California’s climate plan

From LA Times, by Tony Briscoe | August 29, 2022

Scientists and officials are growing increasingly concerned that the state is nearing a tipping point in which its forests emit more climate-warming carbon dioxide than they absorb

Oregon agency drafts wildfire prevention recommendations

From Oregon Public Broadcasting, by OPB Staff | Sept. 5, 2022

Oregon's Dept of Land Management has drawn up a list of recommendations for land use and development in the context of wildfire threat, and is seeking public input on the document. The recommendations include

  • Community Information and Engagement
  • Safe Evacuation and Firefighting Response
  • Wildfire Risk Mitigation Requirements for Areas of New Development
  • Recovery Planning
  • Areas Subject to Natural Hazards

State tax relief for wildfire survivors passes legislature; needs Governor’s signature

From Sacramento Bee, by Lorraine Dechter | Sept. 1, 2022

AB1249, a bill providing CA State Income Tax relief to claimants in the PG&E Bankruptcy Settlement passed both the Assembly and Senate, and awaits the Governor's signature.