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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

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

How much water is in plants? The answer can be critical to forecasting wildfires.

Sep 13, 2022
"Fuel moisture" drives wildfires, and the metric can be used to better allocate firefighting resources.
Taylor Zarifis of the Bureau of Land Management in Boise, Idaho, plucks live leaves off  sagebrush to measure fuel moisture levels.
Madelyn Beck/Mountain West News Bureau

Shining a light on our broken power grids, and the risks they pose

Aug 30, 2022
"California Burning" tells how the struggle to manage aging infrastructure, climate change and the bottom line can lead to disaster.
The Camp Fire destroys a home in Northern California in 2018. Author Katherine Blunt discusses the disaster's consequences for the region's residents and for the Pacific Gas and Electric utility in her book "California Burning."
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

The business of "wildfire survival" is booming

Aug 11, 2022
Tree trimming and brush clearing around a home can improve its chances of making it through a blaze — but those services can be costly.
Dustin Carlson, a foreman with Wilderness Forestry, uses a high-powered weed trimmer on brush in northwest Reno, Nevada.
Kaleb Roedel/Mountain West News Bureau

As wildfire disasters multiply, evacuation planning lags

Aug 8, 2022
Fires are unpredictable. They can spark anywhere, grow to any size and move in any direction, says Caroline Mimbs Nyce of The Atlantic.
Evacuated residents watch a fire burn a hillside in California. Wildfires are a relatively new form of disaster, says Caroline Mimbs Nyce, a staff writer at The Atlantic. "There's no playbook."
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires disproportionately affect low-income Americans, study finds

Aug 3, 2022
The overlap between wildfire risk and concentrated insurance markets leaves residents with few options.
A firefighting helicopter flies near smoke and flames at the McKinney Fire, in the Klamath National Forest near Yreka, California, on August 2, 2022.
DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images