Western States Lived with a Constant Reminder of Climate Change in 2017

The Eagle Creek Fire was one point in a fire season defined by disastrous, fast-moving fires, from the deadly fires that tore through Northern California in October to the fire that decimated thousands of acres of Glacier National Park in Montana this fall. Taken together, however, these fires seemed to prove what scientists have been warning for years — that climate change will tilt the scales of probability in favor of bigger, more destructive wildfires, and that everyone, not just the most isolated rural communities, will start to pay the price.

Climate Change gives California’s Wildfire Season an Unwelcome Boost

Ferocious wildfires are raging across Southern California, destroying hundreds of homes adorned with holiday decorations and forcing thousands of residents to flee. With high winds expected to continue, forecasters are warning that dangerous fires could endanger the region for days. California is susceptible to fires year-round, but the worst of the wildfires aren’t supposed to occur this late into the year.

Life in the Anthropocene: Field Notes from the Santa Rosa Fire

These firemen drove straight into a firestorm that was much larger than they expected. Once there, they looked around for something they could save – and set to work saving it. We live in the age of the Anthropocene, a firestorm that is likely to be so much larger than we expected. How can we, in an analogous way, find our own “Line of Sorrow” and work to save what can be saved?

Rampant Wildfires Will Affect Our Drinking Water

Once trees catch fire, they unleash ash, sediments and various noxious chemicals. And heat from fires undermines soil stability. Then, when heavy rain falls, tainted water slides into rivers rather than seeping into underground aquifers. If it rains hard enough, flooding often follows, especially when there are no trees to take up what moisture is absorbed into the soil.

Europe’s Hurricane-Fueled Wildfires might Become a Recurring Nightmare

What happened this week in Portugal points toward the scariest aspects of the Anthropocene: We are changing the world around us so fast that, in many cases, adaptation will be near impossible. As a hurricane, Ophelia was literally off the charts, and meteorologists have no doubt that the storm made the fires worse, rapidly transforming the smallest flames into towering infernos.

Smoke from California’s Raging Wildfires Spreads a Public Health Emergency across the Bay

As you might have heard, those of us who live in the Bay Area are breathing air this week that rivals Beijing’s, thanks to the fires raging across Northern California. West Oakland deals with bad air quality all the time, so I reached out to some folks there seeking perspective.

What Needs to be Done to Stop Wildfires in Drought-Killed Forests

It’s now widely understood that a century of misguided – but well-intentioned – policies over the past 100 years produced forests that are too densely packed with small trees and too vulnerable to possibly catastrophic fires. Water supplies are also a concern, because the forests are nature’s water-storage sponges.

Northern California Firestorm ‘Literally Exploded,’ Killing 17 and Destroying Hundreds of Homes

High temperatures and fast winds are fueling more than a dozen wildfires across California, forcing more than 20,000 northern California residents to evacuate their homes and communities. At least 17 people have died, and more than 200 have been reported missing, after several fires spread rapidly throughout Monday.