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The climate crisis comes for outdoor tourism

Jun 23, 2022
A historic drought and massive wildfire have hurt the outdoor tourism industry in the Southwest United States.
Longer, more intense wildfire seasons are hurting towns in the southwest U.S. that rely heavily on tourism. Above, trees scorched by the Canyon Fire near Mora, New Mexico, on June 2.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Can winemakers salvage grapes tainted by wildfire smoke?

Jun 7, 2022
Scientists are looking at ways to determine if grapes from smoky areas can still be used, without adding an unpleasant ashy taste to wine.
Phil Crews at his Pelican Ranch Winery in Scotts Valley. Crews, an organic chemist at UC Santa Cruz, showed that a method pioneered in Australia can detect smoke's impact on California wines.
Jerimiah Oetting/KAZU News

Climate change is making prescribed burning trickier in the West

Jun 3, 2022
The controlled burns are supposed to help minimize wildfire hazards, but fires in New Mexico that got out of control have some questioning whether climate change is altering that calculation.
Prescribed burns are used to prevent large fires, but an incident in New Mexico is leading to some reconsideration about the practice.
Terray Sylvester/Getty Images

Long after wildfires race through rural communities, mobile home parks still await rebuilding

May 25, 2022
In September 2020, blazes destroyed many homes and RVs in mobile home parks. Rebuilding plans call for publicly funded affordable housing.
Charred tree stumps and barren home pads are among the few remnants of the Lazy Days mobile home park site in Blue River, Oregon.
Mitchell Hartman/Marketplace

Quantifying climate risk goes mainstream

May 16, 2022
People seeking to minimize flood and fire risk when looking for a home have new tools to guide them.
The 2017 Tubbs Fire decimated neighborhoods. Many people are seeking safer homes as fire risk worsens, but there are few tools to help them.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

U.S. Forest Service is short thousands of firefighters amid pay raise delay

May 10, 2022
With a pay raise funded by the infrastructure bill stuck in bureaucratic morass, the agency is struggling to staff up to the full force it needs.
Many firefighters have sounded alarms about crews and forests being critically short-staffed, even as they prepare for what is expected to be another challenging summer.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires in April signal growing costs of climate change

Apr 26, 2022
What to do when fuel for fires seems infinite, but resources to fight fires is decidedly finite?
As the risk for wildfires rises, small cities struggle to find the resources to combat them.

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California utility PG&E agrees to pay $55 million settlement to avoid fire prosecution

Apr 12, 2022
Attorneys said they decided to pursue a civil prosecution instead of criminal charges to "maximize the return to the fire victims rather than to seek criminal penalties."
The PG&E settlement money will go toward fire prevention but lets the company avoid criminal charges.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

How much is climate a factor in where people are moving?

Jan 28, 2022
Duluth, Minnesota, is welcoming people who say they are moving away from places like California because of climate concerns.
Doug Kouma moved to Duluth, Minnesota, from Sonoma County, California, in 2019. He said Duluth may soon be known as a "climate migration hub."
Dan Kraker/MPR News

In fire-prone California, experts push utilities to monitor the riskiest equipment on the grid

Jan 6, 2022
Power lines and equipment have sparked devastating blazes. Now companies are asked to take stock of their aging infrastructure.
Utilities have been making upgrades to their systems. Above, workers re-anchor a pole that suspends power lines outside Acton, California.
Lily Jamali/Marketplace