Posted on January 26, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Wildfire smoke may interact with other pollutants to raise ozone levels. @bobberwyn photo.
Across the U.S., ozone levels were higher on smoky days than on smoke-free days
Wildfire smoke on its own can trigger health warnings for direct exposure, and new research from Colorado State University suggests that there may be a more widespread impact after they linked smoke with elevated levels of ozone.
In globally warming world, where the number and size of wildfires keeps growing, the findings have significant implications for public health. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, wildfires | Tagged: air pollution, air quality, climate change, Environment, ozone, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Focusing on local threats, not climate change, may be the best way to spur wildfire mitigation actions
Colorado residents believe that climate change affects the risk of wildfires, but those beliefs don’t necessarily affect their actions when it comes to wildfire mitigation. Photo via U.S. Forest Service.
Wildfires are getting bigger in Colorado.
Whether or not people are convinced that human activities are changing the climate doesn’t play a big role in their decisions about trying to reduce wildfire risks around their property, Colorado-based researchers wrote in a new paper that focused on the Colorado Front Range.
The researchers tried to take a close look at social factors that might motivate people to try and lessen wildfire threats. They found that a “belief” in human-caused climate change is not as significant as previously thought. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, wildfires | Tagged: climate change, Colorado, global warming, Wildfires | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
More wildfires ahead as world warms up. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.
Study ties ancient wildfire surge in the Rockies to warmer climate phase
Offering yet more evidence that the West’s recent spate of megafires is linked with a warming climate, University of Wyoming researchers showed that a warm spell about 1,000 years ago also spurred more blazes. The study suggests that large fires will continue to increase as a result of a warming climate.
“What our research shows is that even modest regional warming trends, like we are currently experiencing, can cause exceptionally large areas in the Rockies to be burned by wildfires,” says John Calder, a Ph.D. candidate in UW’s Program in Ecology and the Department of Geology and Geophysics. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming, wildfires | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Rocky Mountains, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Budgets aren’t keeping up with wildfire risks
Red zone development boom eats up firefighting budgets.
Sprawling exurban development across the U.S. has put more homes than ever at risk of catastrophic wildfires, according to a new U.S. Forest Service report that maps recent expansion of the so-called wildland-urban interface.
The incredible spurt in home building in that fire-prone zone has direct implications for the cost of wildfire fighting. Increasing densities of people and infrastructure in the WUI makes wildfire management more complex and requires more firefighting assets to ensure an appropriate, safe and effective response, Forest Service officials said as they released new report. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming, US Forest Service, wildfires | Tagged: firefighting budget, Forest Service, Wildfires, wildland-urban interface | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The 2013 Big Meadows fire in Rocky Mountain National Park scorched more than 600 acres. Photo courtesy RMNP.
Drying grasses and shrubs up fire danger in parts of Colorado
FRISCO — Summer may be winding down, but the wildfire season is not over yet. In the past ten days, fire managers and park rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park have responded to four illegal, escaped campfires.
All four were quickly extinguished, each burning less than 0.25 acres, but park managers say they all had the potential to spread quickly and threaten lives and property. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, forest fires, Snow and weather, wildfires | Tagged: Colorado, fire danger, public lands, Rocky Mountain National Park, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Towering flames at the Fork Complex wildfire in California, Photo via Inciweb.
Feds spending $150 million per day and seek firefighting help from Canada, Australia and New Zealand
FRISCO — This year’s wildfire activity in the U.S. has surged to the highest level in 10 years, with the National Interagency Fire Center reporting that about 7.2 million acres have burned so far, and officials said they expect the wildfire season to intensify in the coming weeks.
The drought-stricken far West is hardest hit, with 16 large fires currently burning in Washington, 14 in California and 12 in Oregon. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said federal agencies are currently spending about $150 million per day on fighting fires across the West. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, climate and weather, climate change, Drought, extreme weather, global warming, US Forest Service, wildfires | Tagged: climate, drought, Forest Service, West, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
In late June, smoke from wildfires in Canada streamed down over North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Photo courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.
New study tracks regional nuances, global trends
FRISCO — U.S. Forest Service scientists and other researchers say there has been a significant increase in the length of wildfire seasons on nearly every continent, with the exception of Australia. Fire weather seasons around the globe have increased by nearly 20 percent and the global burnable area doubled over the past 35 years.
Most vegetation types, except boreal forests, showed significant increases in the fire weather season length, the new study found. Some areas, such as the Western and Southeastern United States, Alaska, tropical and sub-tropical South America and Eastern Africa and large parts of Eurasia show a steady lengthening of the fire season from 1979-2013. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, forest fires, forests, global warming, wildfires | Tagged: climate change, Environment, forest fires, global warming, greenhouse gases, Wildfires | Leave a comment »