wildfire News

Moody’s Says Wildfire Catastrophe Losses the New Normal in Calif.

California had long been a good bet for homeowners’ insurers, with most carriers having no problem recouping paid losses through premiums. But in 2017 and 2018, the state experienced six of the 10 most destructive wildfires in its history and …

Global Warming Brings Wildfire Risk to Rainy Northwest

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Nestled in the foothills of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, the bustling Seattle suburb of Issaquah seems an unlikely candidate for anxiety over wildfires. The region, famous for its rainfall, has long escaped major burns even as global warming …

AI and Bionic Eyes Are Helping to Keep Wildfires Contained

On a tower in the Brazilian rain forest, a sentinel scans the horizon for the first signs of fire. Only these eyes aren’t human. They don’t blink or take breaks, and guided by artificial intelligence they can tell the difference …

Businesses Learn Hard Lessons When not Prepared for Disaster

NEW YORK — When Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, Carlos Melendez couldn’t contact the staffers or customers of his San Juan-based technology firm, Wovenware. Melendez learned a lesson that would help his business during the next storm, …

Tiny Beetles Munch Through Habitat, Spread Wildfire Risk

CLARKDALE, Ariz. — Matt Johnson treks along an Arizona riverbank and picks out a patch of yellow-tinged tamarisks. He sweeps a cloth net across the trees, hoping to scoop up beetles that munch on their evergreen-like leaves. He counts spiders, …

Scientists Warn Oregon is Lagging in Disaster Preparedness

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon state lawmakers abandoned a multimillion-dollar project to develop early warning systems for earthquakes and wildfires, and scientists warn that the funding shake-up could endanger public safety and put Oregon further behind other West Coast states in …

Fire No Longer Threatens Key Idaho Nuclear Facilities

BOISE, Idaho — The nation’s primary nuclear research facility planned to go back to regular operations on Thursday after a change in wind direction pushed a wildfire away from the sprawling site in Idaho. The fire no longer poses a …

Rains Aid in Battling Ponderosa Pine Fire Near Flagstaff, Arizona

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Flames raged mostly unchecked for a third day through America’s largest ponderosa pine forest, threatening thousands of residents in and around Flagstaff, Arizona, but firefighters made the most of afternoon rains on Tuesday to finally take the …

Hawaii’s Maui Island Wildfire Forces Evacuations

Thousands of residents and visitors on Hawaii’s Maui Island were ordered to evacuate two communities on Thursday as a spreading wildfire sent smoke billowing high into the sky, officials and local media said. The 3,000 acre brush fire in Maui’s …

Air Quality Plummets as Wildfire Smoke Hits Alaska’s Most Populous Cities

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Smoke and soot from central Alaska wildfires have afflicted the subarctic city of Fairbanks with some of the world’s worst air pollution in recent days, forcing many residents indoors and prompting one hospital to set up a …