Current Fires News and Events

Current Fires News and Events, Fires News Articles.
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Climate change and suppression tactics are critical factors increasing fires
Both climate change and forest management have been blamed for wildfire hazards increasing across western North America, but the relative influence of these drivers is still heavily debated. The results of a recent study show that in some ecosystems, human-caused climate change is the predominant factor; in other places, the trend can also be attributed to a century of fire suppression that has produced dense, unhealthy forests. (2021-02-17)

New timeline of deadliest California wildfire could guide lifesaving research and action
What made the Camp Fire so devastating? And what lessons can we learn to prevent another disaster of this scale? Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have begun to answer these questions by investigating the conditions leading up to the fire and meticulously reconstructing the sequence of events describing the first 24 hours of its progression. (2021-02-08)

Combined bark beetle outbreaks and wildfire spell uncertain future for forests
Bark beetle outbreaks and wildfire alone are not a death sentence for Colorado's beloved forests--but when combined, their toll may become more permanent, shows new research from the University of Colorado Boulder. (2021-02-08)

California's rainy season starting nearly a month later than it did 60 years ago
The start of California's annual rainy season has been pushed back from November to December, prolonging the state's increasingly destructive wildfire season by nearly a month, according to new research. The study cannot confirm the shift is connected to climate change, but the results are consistent with climate models that predict drier autumns for California in a warming climate, according to the authors. (2021-02-04)

Ancient indigenous New Mexican community knew how to sustainably coexist with wildfire
Wildfires are the enemy when they threaten homes in California and elsewhere. But a new study led by SMU suggests that people living in fire-prone places can learn to manage fire as an ally to prevent dangerous blazes, just like people who lived nearly 1,000 years ago. (2021-01-27)

Researchers find wildfire smoke is more cooling on climate than computer models assume
Many of the most advanced climate models simulate smoke that is darker, or more light absorbing, than what researchers see in observations. (2021-01-12)

Droughts, viruses and road networks: Trends that will impact our forests
A new UCPH study assembled an array of experts to highlight major trends that will impact the world's forests, and the people living around them, in the decade ahead. These trends include drought, viral outbreaks and vast infrastructure expansions across the globe. According to the researchers, a global strategy for human-nature interaction must be developed if we intend on ensuring the survival of both. (2020-12-22)

Identifying where to reforest after wildfire
Forest managers can now look to a newly enhanced, predictive mapping tool to learn where forests are likely to regenerate on their own and where replanting efforts may be beneficial. This study also indicates a not-so-evergreen future of fewer conifers. (2020-12-18)

Crops near Chernobyl still contaminated
Crops grown near Chernobyl are still contaminated due to the 1986 nuclear accident, new research shows. (2020-12-17)

Study: Oregon's Western Cascades watershed to experience larger, more frequent fires
Projected changes in temperature and relative humidity are expected to lead to longer fire seasons and more severe fire weather in Oregon's Western Cascade mountains, which in turn will result in larger, more frequent fires. (2020-12-14)

Index reveals integrity issues for many of the world's forests
Only 40 per cent of forests are considered to have high ecological integrity, according to a new global measure, the Forest Landscape Integrity Index. The Index was created by 47 forest and conservation experts from across the world, including Professor James Watson of The University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society. (2020-12-09)

How soil fungi respond to wildfire
When wildfires swept through the North Bay in 2017, graduate student Gabriel Smith saw a unique opportunity to study how fire affected his research subject: soil fungi. (2020-12-09)

Wildfire risk rising as scientists determine which conditions beget blazes
As wildfires burn more often across the Western U.S., PNNL researchers are working to understand how extensively blazes burn. Their investigation, aided by machine learning techniques that sort fires by the conditions that precede them, not only reveals that the risk of wildfire is rising, but also spells out the role moisture plays in estimating fire risk. (2020-12-08)

Thermal stability analysis technique for EV batteries to detect risk of fire or explosion
Recently, there have been a number of electric vehicle (EV) battery fire incidents. Unlike the batteries used in small mobile devices, such as smartphones, the battery pack of an EV is composed of hundreds of battery cells, and any instability can cause major casualties and property damage. Amid various efforts to pinpoint the cause of battery fires, Korean researchers have developed a new analysis method to evaluate the thermal stability of EV batteries. (2020-12-04)

Area burned by severe fire increased 8-fold in western US over past four decades
The number of wildfires and the amount of land they consume in the western US has substantially increased since the 1980s, a trend often attributed to ongoing climate change. Now, new research finds fires are not only becoming more common in the western US but the area burned at high severity is also increasing, a trend that may lead to long-term forest loss. (2020-11-30)

Changes in fire activity are threatening more than 4,400 species globally
More than 4,400 species across the globe are at risk from extinction because of changes in fire activity says a new paper involving 27 international researchers. (2020-11-23)

Geoscientists discover Ancestral Puebloans survived from ice melt in New Mexico lava tubes
New study explains how Ancestral Puebloans survived devastating droughts by traveling deep into the caves of New Mexico to melt ancient ice as a water resource. (2020-11-18)

Mattress flammability standard is a lifesaver, NIST report finds
Bed fires can grow quickly, creating life-threatening situations within minutes. Seeking to curb the danger of these fires, NIST researchers supported a 2007 mattress standard. Now, more than a decade later, a NIST study has found that the standard has done its job and done it well, saving an estimated 65 lives over a two-year period. (2020-11-18)

Community helps scientists evaluate smoke forecasts
Across the Wasatch Front, both researchers and community members maintain enough air quality sensors to provide a high-resolution picture of how the smoke moved through the valley--perfect for testing and refining smoke forecast models. (2020-11-17)

On the hunt for wild bananas in Papua New Guinea
Scientists are racing to collect and conserve wild banana species. A recent expedition to the epicenter of banana diversity shows that wild species hold traits critical to helping the world's favorite fruit survive climate change, pests and diseases (2020-11-06)

Carbon-releasing 'zombie fires' in peatlands could be dampened by new findings
New simulations have provided clues on reducing uncontrolled peat fires, which hide underground and are notoriously bad for human health and the environment. (2020-10-30)

International team tracks record-setting smoke cloud from Australian wildfires
Researchers with the University of Saskatchewan's Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies are part of a global team that has found that the smoke cloud pushed into the stratosphere by last winter's Australian wildfires was three times larger than anything previously recorded. (2020-10-29)

Study finds seabird ecosystem shift in Falkland islands
The 14,000-year-old record raises a very troubling question about where seabirds in the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean will go as the climate continues to warm. (2020-10-28)

A new approach boosts lithium-ion battery efficiency and puts out fires, too
Building new functionality into an overlooked lithium-ion battery component addresses two major goals of battery research: extending the driving range of electric vehicles and reducing the danger that laptops, cell phones and other devices will burst into flames. (2020-10-15)

Without the North American monsoon, reining in wildfires gets harder
New research shows that while winter rains can temper the beginning of the wildfire season, monsoon rains are what shut them down. This monsoon season was the second-driest on record, leaving Southern Arizona dry and vulnerable. (2020-10-13)

Fuels, not fire weather, control carbon emissions in boreal forest
A team led by Northern Arizona University found that the amount of carbon that burns in wildfires in western boreal forests depends more on available fuels than on fire weather such as drought conditions, temperature, or rain. (2020-10-12)

World's largest experiment shows shack fires move with devastating speed
An experiment by the Fire Engineering Research Unit at Stellenbosch University, the Western Cape Disaster Management, Fire & Rescue Services and the Breede Valley Municipality Fire Department, showed that a fire spreading through an informal settlement can destroy twenty shacks (informal houses) in five minutes. The work on how to reduce the impact of such fires is in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and funded by the UK-based Global Challenges Research Fund (2020-10-08)

California's August Complex largest fire in state's history
NOAA/NASA's Suomi NPP satellite captured another startling image of the August Complex of fires that has grown to over 1,000,000 acres burned (1,006,140 acres total) and because of that grim milestone the complex has been dubbed a ''gigafire.'' The August Complex is only 58% contained. (2020-10-06)

Enforcement more effective than financial incentives in reducing harmful peat fires?
A new study looking at incentives to reduce globally harmful peatland fires suggests that fear of enforcement and public health concerns influence behaviour more than the promise of financial rewards. The findings come as wildfires devastate the US West Coast and Russian Arctic, and fire season begins in Australia, Indonesia and Brazil. (2020-09-30)

New fire containment research addresses risk and safety
A team from Colorado State University and USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station address new ways to assess risks and evaluate fire fighting effectiveness. (2020-09-29)

Someday, even wet forests could burn due to climate change
While today's fires are exacerbated by dry conditions, researchers found that forest fires 94 million years ago increased even in wet regions due to changes in global climate. (2020-09-29)

Disastrous duo: Heatwaves and droughts
Simultaneous heatwaves and droughts are becoming increasingly common in western parts of the Unites States, according to a new study led by researchers from McGill University. Periods of dry and hot weather, which can make wildfires more likely, are becoming larger, more intense, and more frequent because of climate change. (2020-09-28)

The Arctic is burning in a whole new way
'Zombie fires' and burning of fire-resistant vegetation are new features driving Arctic fires -- with strong consequences for the global climate -- warn international fire scientists in a commentary published in Nature Geoscience. (2020-09-28)

NASA observations aid efforts to track California's wildfire smoke from space
Wildfires have been burning across the state of California for weeks - some of them becoming larger complexes as different fires merge. One of those was the August Complex Fire, which reportedly began as 37 distinct fires caused by lightning strikes in northern California on Aug. 17. That fire is still burning over a month later. (2020-09-25)

Leading water scientists warn of risks in shift to monoculture crops, tree plantations
Conversion of large swaths of land to uniform tree plantations and single-crop species may lead to unintended consequences for the water cycle, putting ecosystems at greater risk for fires, floods, droughts and even hurricanes, warns a think-tank group of almost 30 water scientists from 11 countries. (2020-09-24)

New research strengthens evidence for climate change increasing risk of wildfires, review finds
New scientific publications reviewed since January 2020 strengthen the evidence that climate change increases the frequency and/or severity of fire weather in many regions of the world. The updated review on the link between climate change and risks of wildfires focuses on articles relevant to the fires ongoing in the western United States, new findings relevant to the southeastern Australian wildfires that raged during the 2019-2020 season, and new findings published since an initial review of research was conducted in January 2020. (2020-09-24)

Battery fires: Industry and research must work together for safer batteries
Fire safety issues with lithium-ion batteries could be addressed with better collaboration across sectors, Imperial College London experts have said. (2020-09-23)

Halt post-disturbance logging in forests
Please do not disturb: After forest fires, bark beetle infestations and other damage, the affected forests should not be cleared. (2020-09-23)

Combined droughts and heatwaves are occurring more frequently in several regions across the US
The frequency of combined droughts and heatwaves -- which are more devastating when they occur in unison -- has substantially increased across the western US and in parts of the Northeast and Southeast over the past 50 years, according to a new study. The findings also suggest areas that experience compound dry-hot extremes are growing less scattered and more connected, resulting in larger impacted regions that place enormous strain on regional and national relief efforts. (2020-09-23)

Amazonia racing toward tipping point, fueled by unregulated fires
Amazonia is closer to a catastrophic ecological tipping point than any time in the last 100,000 years, and human activity is the cause. (2020-09-23)

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