How the budget fight in Congress threatens federal wildland firefighters' pay

Feb 21, 2024
Federal firefighters make as little as $15 an hour. A permanent boost has bipartisan support, but it’s tied up in Congress' budget fight.
Federal firefighters starting out in their careers may earn as little as $15 an hour.
Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images

New Biden administration rules aim to unsnarl FEMA relief for disaster victims

Jan 23, 2024
The rules include up-front housing vouchers and broader access to flexible, critical-needs payments in the aftermath of a disaster.
Two years after the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s history, hundreds of victims are still waiting on FEMA payouts. Updates to FEMA’s regulations are meant to cut through red tape.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

How this California business puts animals to work preventing wildfires

Oct 25, 2023
Shepherdess Land & Livestock offers prescribed grazing services with sheep and goats.
“We use our animals in a very special, targeted type of manner, very different to traditional ranching with grazing animals,” says Cole Bush, owner and operator of Shepherdess Land & Livestock in California’s Ojai Valley.
Paul Mirah Collins

The hidden costs of wildfires go beyond putting them out

Jun 9, 2023
Where there’s smoke, there’s a massive increase in costs for health care, commerce, and productivity.
People wear face masks as they arrive to Newark Liberty International Airport amid hazy conditions due to smoke from Canadian wildfires.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

More wildfires mean worsening air quality. How do we adapt?

Jun 8, 2023
Some pandemic-related tools get a second life, while investors look at more high-tech solutions.
A person wears a face mask as smoke from Canada wildfires blankets Manhattan on June 7, 2023 in New York City.
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Prescribed burns need insurance. It's increasingly hard to get

Apr 26, 2023
Why companies that conduct controlled burns are having a harder time finding insurance policies willing to cover them.
Firefighters light a controlled burn during the Mosquito Fire in Foresthill, California.
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Hurricane risk will grow in the coming decades, report warns

Mar 1, 2023
A new tool shows the likelihood of wind damage by property address.
Cleared lots were all that remained of some homes in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, in late January, months after Hurricane Ian ravaged the area.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

Wildfires are more frequent, getting worse — and straining government budgets

Dec 12, 2022
Federal spending by the two main agencies that manage wildfires has doubled in the last decade, Pew found. States are spending more too.
A fire burns east of Eugene, Oregon, in September 2020. Pew researcher Colin Foard pointed out that the state of Washington's average annual spending on wildfires more than tripled during the 2010s.
Tyee Burwell/AFP via Getty Images

Logging could make California forests more resilient, but supply chain woes abound

Oct 19, 2022
Sawmills are poised to play a big role in making California more resilient to wildfires, but there may not be enough of them to go around.
The aftermath of the 2021 Dixie Fire, outside of Greenville, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The prescribed burn paradox: Climate change makes them harder to contain, and more necessary

Sep 16, 2022
Prescribed fires are supposed to burn excess fuels to help contain wildfires, but the U.S. Forest Service is adding stricter controls in light of a burn that got out of control in New Mexico.
New Mexico fires from the vantage point of Air Force One on June 11, 2022.
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images