wildfires

Chip Redmond

The Mullen Fire continues to be very active with increasing smoke in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado. 

U.S Forest Service

As the Mullen Fire continues to burn throughout southern Wyoming, the rest of the state is still in the midst of fire season.

"We've had an incredibly active fire season," Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser said.

Justin Hawkins

The Mullen Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest doubled in size Saturday, reaching nearly 70,000 acres - and has since surpassed 80,000 acres.

A new study suggests smoke from wildfires is more dangerous than other air pollutants for asthma patients. 

Liz Rader Haigler

The Mullen Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest doubled in size Saturday, reaching nearly 70,000 acres.

Communities near the Colorado border in Albany County have been evacuated as the more than 400 firefighters on-site prioritize protecting homes and structures.

Large numbers of migratory birds have reportedly dropped dead in New Mexico and Colorado.

There’s still confusion over the deaths, like how many died and what exactly killed them. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes the bird deaths in Colorado and New Mexico were caused by an unusual cold front.


USFS, Jerod Delay

The Mullen Fire continues to burn in Medicine Bow National Forest as upcoming windy conditions threaten to make the situation worse.

Jessica Ulysses Grant

In 1988, Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas experienced a huge wildfire. And only a couple of decades later, some of those areas burned again. 

Nathan Gill, an assistant professor of fire ecology at Texas Tech University, has been studying how this affects trees' seeds dispersal. It turns out more frequent fires don't allow enough time for the tree to grow back and spread its seeds. 

The Mountain West has seen plenty of wildfires this year, but nothing like the catastrophic large fires still burning along the West Coast. That's largely thanks to a relatively wet spring.

For days now, wildfire smoke has degraded the air quality in much of the Mountain West, and that unhealthy air is forcing tough decisions for schools that are trying to reopen.

 


TERRA earth

Skies are hazy across the region thanks to the many wildfires burning in the West, and that smoke is more dangerous during the pandemic. 

Brocken Inaglory / (CC BY-SA 3.0)

As August comes to an end, conditions are ripe for potential fires.

Many counties and federal agencies have issued fire restrictions throughout the state due to the prime fire conditions: hot, dry and windy.

No, it's not a sci-fi movie. A fire tornado touched down near the Nevada-California border Saturday, during the Loyalton Fire about 25 miles west of Reno, Nev.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Lots of wildfire smoke in the summer can lead to more flu outbreaks in the winter, according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environment International

As the country turned its attention toward the pandemic, something else was creeping into the Mountain West: drought conditions.

Wildfire season is upon us. As fire crews start heading out, politicians and the Trump administration are at odds over the measures needed to keep firefighters safe and on the job.

InciWeb

Many parts of the Mountain West are predicted to have above normal wildfire potential this summer. The coronavirus promises to make fire season abnormal in other ways, too.

As the pandemic decimates local budgets across the Mountain West, another threat looms large at local fire stations across the region: wildfires. That has lawmakers and firefighters demanding more federal support.

How are wildland firefighters expected to battle blazes during a pandemic? That's not entirely clear, but a bipartisan bill proposed by Mountain West lawmakers aims to help ensure firefighters' safety.

It's a situation nobody wants to imagine: a major earthquake, flood, fire or other natural disaster strikes while the U.S. is grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Severe weather season, flooding — those things don't stop because we're responding to COVID-19," says Joyce Flinn, director of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

As the U.S. Forest Service prepares for the wildfire season, it must also confront COVID-19.

Already the agency's put a stop to prescribed burning. And it says it will continue fire suppression and other activities with guidance from the CDC.

InciWeb

The U.S. Forest Service is rethinking how it employs firefighters.

NPS

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy calls for more prescribed burns in the future. But according to a recent study, that may not do much in mitigating wildfires after all. The study looks specifically at Grand Teton National Park and predicts widespread wildfires there for the second half of the century—even if there are managed wildfires.

A new and sweeping partnership is looking at preventing and preparing for worsening wildfires in the West. 

The Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative is a collaboration of 30 partners including utility companies, wildlife nonprofits, hunting groups, the Forest Service, and water management agencies with a mission to “increase the resilience of forests and communities.”

Senators from Colorado and Nevada are among those sponsoring a bill aimed at reducing firefighters’ exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. 

Earlier this month the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously approved the bill, which aims to protect firefighters from being exposed to a group of chemicals known as PFAS that are found in firefighting foams and gear.

For much of the last decade, air pollution was decreasing. But it’s now on the rise, particularly in the West.

That’s according to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. It found that between 2016 and 2018, the levels of fine particulate matter increased 11.5% in the West. California's been impacted the most.

In the next few weeks, the U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a massive controlled burn on a remote mountain in Utah, part of the agency’s efforts to better understand the behavior of giant fires that are becoming more common in the West.

A new study suggests huge fire blankets can help protect homes during wildfires.

Telemetry: Special 3

Oct 11, 2019
Jennifer Jerrett

In this episode, we're turning up the heat—both on and under the landscape.

Colorado and Oregon researchers writing this week in the journal Science say there's an urgent need to reevaluate wildfire management practices, calling for more “collaborative governance” and more prescribed fire.

“Science tells us these are fire-adapted ecosystems and we have to get fire back on the ground, and that’s a key strategy for mitigating future fire and also for the long-term resilience of those ecosystems,” said Courtney Schultz, professor of natural resource policy and governance at Colorado State University.

Pages