Reliance on petroleum fuels and raging wildfires: Two separate, large-scale challenges that could be addressed by one scientific breakthrough. Researchers have developed a streamlined and efficient process for converting woody plant matter like forest overgrowth and agricultural waste - material that is currently burned either intentionally or unintentionally - into liquid biofuel.
Researchers compared lake sediment, tree ring data and archaeological evidence to reconstruct a 1,200 history of fire, climate, and human activity of the Fish Lake Plateau, a high-elevation forest in central Utah in the U.S. They found that Indigenous people used small, frequent fires, a practice known as cultural burning, which reduced the risk for large-scale wildfire activity in mountain environments even during periods of drought more extreme and prolonged than today.
California Gov Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that authorize $536 million toward forest management projects and efforts to reduce wildfires before the worst of fire season strikes later this year. (April 13)
Few places have embraced sustainable design practices like . Experiencing dramatic droughts, wildfires and environmental issues, the state has started to create new policies and initiatives to promote environmentally-conscious design solutions. From eco-districts and water management strategies to building projects, the Golden State is making strides to reshape its future. Forming long-term visions and procedures through the lens of physical resource consumption, is working to better integrate its economic development plans with sustainable building methods.
Tens of thousands have been forced to leave their homes to escape the flames. Photographer Rachel Bujalski meets evacuees At the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, Michelle and Carlos Jacinto sat in their car at the fairgrounds to eat lunch and take a break from their designated temporary evacuation center. They left their home in Forestville two nights ago, as . They packed up the car with their dogs, pictures and important papers. Michelle and Carlos had come to this evacuation center last year during the fires, but they said this time was different: they were required to wear masks and keep distant from other people in a gymnasium.
Hot, dry conditions make Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah fertile ground for enormous blazes More than two dozen wildfires are burning across the American south-west as the region’s summers continue getting hotter and drier, laying bare the intensifying consequences of climate change. A continued drought this summer has made the south-west a tinderbox, with over a quarter-million acres burning in the Four Corners states alone, according to the . Six major fires in Colorado have burnt nearly 200,000 acres as of Tuesday afternoon. In Arizona, 16 blazes are affecting nearly 100,000 acres, including two major fires near the historic mining and tourism town of Globe that have forced evacuations. Five fires have spread across more than 9,000 acres of Utah lands. And in New Mexico, more than 4,400 acres are ablaze from four fires. The largest of them, the Medio fire, started in a national forest near Santa Fe and has threatened homes on the city’s outskirts.
LNU Lightning Complex and SCU Lightning Complex fires partially contained
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Summary Kari Paul here in Oakland, signing off for the day. Here are the top stories of the afternoon regarding the historic fires in California.
Because it is late in the day and the news is extra depressing lately, here is a picture of a Turkey Vulture inadvertently captured by a fire camera.
Santa Ynez bird
Officials have released a preliminary assessment map of damage caused by the CZU Lightning fire, which is extensive. Red areas on the map are “destroyed”, or have at least 50% of the area damaged by fires.
JUST IN: Santa Cruz County just released preliminary damage map. Red & black signifies "destroyed."
Time to get our asses handed to us.
Outside Magazine has published a from someone whose home located in the woods north of Santa Cruz was incinerated by the CZU Lightning Complex Fires. The letter is authored by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols and is addressed to his daughter. We built your home around you when you were still inside your mother. We built it stronger and more sturdy than it needed to be. I thought a lot about every piece of wood and stone. Every knob and switch. We filled it with our books, musical instruments, and interesting animal bones. I imagined you looking down after a bath through the railing upstairs.
For more context into the dry, hot conditions that preceded the massive wildfires in California: July 2020 was the second warmest month on record, globally.
July 2020 was another scorching month globally, tying as second warmest on record. The record or near record global heat in these monthly reports are starting to sound like a broken record.
Smoke from the California wildfires has expanded, floating across the United States all the way to the East Coast. And it looks, as one journalist noted, like Big Foot.
Looks like California smoke is Big Footing the country.
The SCU Lightning Complex fire, the largest of several fires currently blazing across the state and the second largest wildfire in California history, is now 15% contained, officials from Cal Fire said in a press conference on Tuesday. Some 363,772 acres of land have been burnt by the fire and 18 structures have been destroyed. There but five confirmed injuries of civilians and fire personnel.
Strike teams and firefighters from nine states are assisting California fire personnel in fighting historic statewide wildfires. Thank you to all of the mutual aid for protecting our state.
Some 600 goats have been successfully evacuated from Santa Clara County to escape the Coyote Fire, ABC7 reported on Tuesday.
The local Boys & Girls Club of St Helena and Calistoga near the wildfires is asking for donations to help those affected by the fires. They are accepting money, gift cards, meals, water and PPE to deliver to families who have evacuated and are camping.
DONATIONS NEEDED. The Boys & Girls Club of St. Helena & Calistoga is helping families evacuated by . Accepting donations of $$, gift cards, restaurant meals, water, PPE to deliver families camping and car camping. Contact email@example.com or 707-280-1257. PLZ RT! TY!
Fires in California have now charred 1.25m acres since 15 August when lightning strikes ignited blazes across the state, according to the latest numbers from Cal Fire. The areas have now reached the size of Delaware. These “megafires” could burn for weeks, Cal Fire officials warned.
The latest numbers on the Aug. Lightning Siege that has charred 1.25 million acres since Aug. 15. We are grateful to the over 14,000 firefighters that continue to battle these intense wildfires.
The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and wildfires in California have created a uniquely difficult situation, top health official Mark Ghaly said on Tuesday.
California's top health official, Dr. Mark Ghaly, on wildfires amid the pandemic: "This is indeed a difficult time in California. We knew something like this would come...but the reality of it is challenging for so many Californians."
Cal Fire teams are in Felton, California, clearing brush from forests and paths as the CZU Lightning Complex approaches the area.
Cal Fire strike team near Felton clearing brush for a fire break as flames head towards them down the road. CAL FIRE ABC10
Children with homemade posters lined the streets in Pleasanton to thank firefighters for their efforts, according to a video shared with local news station KRON4.
THANK YOU ❤️: Pleasanton community comes out to cheer on the thousands of firefighters who are stationed at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Thanks to Tiffany Shunn for sharing!
In a press conference Tuesday morning, officials from the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit of Cal Fire (the California department of forestry and fire protection) shared that they have made significant progress in addressing the LNU Lightning Complex in the last 48 hours. Officials attributed this progress to better weather and an increase in resources over the last five days. Monday and Tuesday saw calmer winds and cooler temperatures, and clearer air on Monday afternoon allowed aircrafts to carry out firefighting efforts. Planes and helicopters are often grounded when the air is too smoke-filled, the official said.
Smoke alerts have been issued to several California counties as wildfires continue to affect air quality across the state. The California department of public health and the office of Governor Gavin Newsom all Californians to stay indoors when possible, with windows and doors closed.
Wonder where animals go in a wildfire? Read San Francisco Chronicle story to find out. A “vast network” of animal sanctuaries and rescue groups has formed over many years of California wildfires to get animals evacuated safely when fires begin nearing.
Weather continues to play a major role in firefighting as historic blazes rage on in California. Firefighters say good weather on Monday helped them to make progress fighting the blazes. But storms brewing on the border of Northeast California and Northwest Nevada threaten to spark more fires on Tuesday.
A line of thunderstorms have developed south from Truckee north to the Black Rock Desert. Primary threats associated with these storms are: * Dry lightning with potential for new fire ignitions * Winds in excess of 30 mph * Blowing dust
Aerial footage from NBC Los Angeles shows the devastation in Santa Cruz County, just South of the Bay Area.
Aerial footage in Santa Cruz County shows some of the devastation from the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. The fire has destroyed more than 200 homes and structures.
Good morning from the West Coast, this is Kari Paul, logging on to write about the fires raging about 40 miles from our Oakland office. Stand by for updates.
• The two largest fires in California grew slightly overnight, and 7,000 other fires are still burning in the state, but officials were optimistic that favorable weather conditions could help them to control the blazes. •Firefighters at the CZU Lightning Complex fires, near Santa Cruz, “had success” in tackling the blaze on Monday, operations section chief Mark Brenton said. “We’re going to see for the next few days that same success,” he added.
Lake Berryessa, 40 miles west of Sacramento, became a sanctuary for people fleeing cities during the coronavirus epidemic. Now much of the pretty town, which sits on an eponymous lake, has been ravaged by fire, turning the “lovely greenery into black and ashy swaths of land”, according to : The official damage to the area surrounding Lake Berreyssa is still unclear, but Sandy Storck, Chief of the Capell Valley Fire Station, said she knew of quite a few neighborhoods that were pretty much gone. The timing couldn’t have been worse, she said. “People were just finding this as a fun area during COVID,” she said. “But now everything is burned.”
The two largest fires in California grew slightly overnight, Cal Fire said, although firefighters have managed to contain the same proportion of each blaze. The SCU Lightning Complex, already the second biggest fire in California’s history, is now 363,772 acres, , up around 3,000 acres since Monday night. The fire, south-east of San Francisco, is 15% controlled.
The fires in California pose a real threat to some of the state’s rare ecosystems and wildlife – including redwood trees and the endangered California condors. “Biologists are watching closely as the blazes encroach on old-growth redwood trees in Northern and Central California, where some giants are more than 1,000 years old and are known by individual names,” While some seem to have been spared, Big Basin State Park — the oldest state park in California — saw significant fire damage. Still, biologists say there are reasons to be hopeful, because redwoods have incredibly thick bark that can withstand wildfires. Even fully charred trees can sprout again.
Firefighters expect to see success in the coming days in tackling the CZU Lightning Complex, near Santa Cruz, officials said this morning. In a press conference IMT 3 operations section chief Mark Brenton said:
6 a.m. Media Update mg
California had cause for quiet optimism in its battle with deadly wildfires on Tuesday morning, as the state largely avoided predicted lightning storms and firefighters made progress in bringing one of the largest fires under control. , which include two of the largest in California’s history, and at least 12,000 structures had been destroyed by Monday night.
Thanks for sticking with us through our coverage today. We’ll be back tomorrow with more news about the California wildfires.
I surveyed the Alameda County fire damage along Calaveras Resevoir today. Thank you residents for cooperating with evacuation orders and warnings.
Here’s a map of the fires burning throughout California at the moment:
Statewide fire map for Monday, August 24. Thank you to all who are helping keep California safe!
This “historic” spate of California wildfires have so far displaced hundreds of thousands during a pandemic, killed seven, destroyed at least tens of thousands of structures, burned through the equivalent acreage of a small state and sent plumes of smoke over several regions, forcing millions indoors during a heat wave. Yet the country’s paper of record – the New York Times – seems unwilling to feature this incredibly newsworthy disaster that has affected millions of Americans prominently on its pages.
California's record-setting wildfires have displaced 120k and are spreading uncontrolled. There's more lightning on the way. This country's premier news operation is parking coverage at the bottom of screen three, after a "live" section for a TV event that starts in 2.5 days.
The fires are off the front page entirely today.
The massive LNU Lightning Complex Fire is burning within miles of two California state prisons, including one that imprisons terminally ill people in hospice care, the elderly and medically vulnerable. My brilliant colleague Sam Levin reports that authorities have resisted calls to evacuate the California Medical Facility and Solano state prison.
It appears that the smoke from the wildfires in California has gotten so intense that it has spread clear across the country.
Smoke from out west is actually reaching our area. We won't see poorer air quality, but we will see more colorful sunrises & sunsets
The smoke arrives sometime on Tuesday afternoon. Currently not expecting much in the way of surface air quality problems since this should mostly remain aloft, but you will definitely notice it in the sky this week
Smoke from continues to impact us, in effect through Wednesday. Seeing some signs of improvement from Tam cam. Hoping for better air quality soon!
This is how you evacuate 600+ goats.
Successful goat evacuation! says their goat ranger had to evacuate their 600+ goats when the sparked last week. They all made it safely out.
The largest wildfires that firefighters are battling in California at this moment are called lightning complex fires. Cal Fire has referred to the past week as the August Lightning Siege.
Timelapse footage captured a severe tropical storm that battered parts of northern California, as lightning illuminated the sky over Pacifica and officials issued a red flag fire warning.
As evacuees fled their homes, carrying just what they could pack into their cars, some were forced to roll out their sleeping bags and set up for the night in a community park. Photographer Rachel Bujalski captured a devastating snapshot of the choices that some evacuees faced while escaping the LNU Lightning Complex fire.
Tens of thousands around California have had to evacuate since the lightning fires began last week. Some have been able to return to their homes, but others are not so fortunate. Which raises the question: how do you set up emergency evacuation shelters in the time of social distancing and Covid-19?
THANK YOU for protecting Santa Cruz County from these raging wildfires. Thank you staff, , and community members for the safe evacuation of campus. Thank you for feeding our students at the evacuation center.
Two of the lightning complex wildfires burning around the San Francisco Bay Area have grown to the size of the second- and third- largest in California history. The LNU Lightning Complex Fire, burning in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo and Lake counties, has now grown to 350,000 acres and 22% containment, according to the governor.
The governor used the term “historic” to describe the wildfires. Here’s some context, with more up-to-date numbers. This time last year, California had 4,292 wildfires burning across 56,000 acres.
The lightning event that everyone was dreading resulted in 289 lightning strikes that sparked 10 new fires, Gavin Newsom, California’s governor, said.
Gavin Newsom, California’s governor, will be providing an update on the wildfires as well as the pandemic. We’ll be providing a summary of his briefing, but you can follow along here as well:
LIVE NOW: Governor provides an update on the state’s response to wildfires and the pandemic.
Wildfires have burned more than 1.27 million acres – 1,988.7 square miles – of California since 31 July. That’s more than the size of Delaware. That’s two times the size of Luxembourg.
The latest numbers on the Aug. Lightning Siege that has charred 1.2 million acres since Aug. 15. We are grateful for the 91 fire engines from Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Utah, Washington to assist us in battling more than 2 dozen major wildfires.
Northern California health officials are telling residents to stay inside, to protect themselves from the poor air quality caused by the wildfire smoke. But for many, that’s not an option. A vulnerable, essential labor force – the more than 381,000 agriculture workers in California – already by the coronavirus pandemic as others flee and take shelter.
The smoke is thick where farm workers were laboring harvesting strawberries in the Salinas area. Thank you for sending us this video documenting the hard work in difficult conditions farm workers do so we can have food on our tables.
The three wildfires burning around the San Francisco Bay Area have grown to a total size larger than the state of Rhode Island.
Surveying the SCU Lightning Complex -- this is now the third largest wildfire in CA history.
Northern California braced itself for a dry lightning event last night. After all, a number of the hundreds of wildfires currently burning in the state - the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, the SCU Lightning Complex Fire just to name a few - were sparked by lightning. Yet while strikes in the Central Valley and westerns Sierra foothills may have sparked new fires, they were “less widespread and intense than earlier feared.”
Finally some good news to report: last night's dry lightning event was less widespread & intense than earlier feared. Nearly all lightning spared Bay Area, though there were strikes in Central Valley & western Sierra foothills that may have sparked new fires. (1/3)
What happened? Well, there was *plenty* of elevated convection just above everywhere, but it wasn't *quite* deep enough to generate much lightning. Models were slightly off with timing, and may have underestimated smoke effect, and that made all the difference. (2/3)
We have CANCELLED the Red Flag Warning. Stay weather aware as weak cells are still over the North Bay; however, most moisture has moved north of our area and instability has decreased giving us confidence to let the warning expire early.
Also: we still aren't totally out of the woods in NorCal. Dry thunderstorms are still expected today, mainly in northern 1/3 of state but possibly clipping North Bay. These could yet spark new fires. But all in all, a better than expected outcome. (3/3)
Hey all, Vivian Ho on the west coast taking over the liveblog for the day. The San Francisco Bay Area received a light reprieve in the way of rain last night, a part of the lightning event that ended up being “” in the region as earlier predicted.
It’s pouring rain in north Oakland. My neighbors are cheering in the street. Hopefully this travels to help out our firefighters ❤️
Firefighters and residents in North California have been given a boost this morning, as predicted bad weather has so far evaded the state. Humidity rose on Monday, Associated Press reported, and there was no return of the onslaught of lightning strikes that ignited the infernos a week earlier.
ABC News has this video from firefighters driving through a wildfire. According to the news channel 14,000 firefighters have now been deployed in California.
First-person video shared by California firefighters gives a glimpse of what it's like to drive through massive wildfire burning south of San Francisco. More than 14,000 firefighters are battling numerous wildfires raging across the state.
The San Lorenzo Valley water district, 70 miles south of San Francisco and 10 miles north of Santa Cruz, has lost 4.5 million gallons of water after fire melted a main water pipeline. KSBW8 reported that the five mile long pipe melted due to intense heat from San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.
The Ranch Fire, which in California in 2018, is the largest fire in state’s history. According to the latest statistics from the California department of forestry and fire protection (Cal Fire) two of the fires burning outside of the San Francisco Bay Area are not far behind.
in Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano county is 350,030 acres and 22% contained.
in Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Joaquin County, and Stanislaus County is 347,196 acres and 10% contained.
Sparked by a rare lightning storm and stoked by hot, windy weather, into the Sierra Nevada, southern California, and regions north, east and south of San Francisco, . Maanvi has written on how the fires started and began to rage out of control: A confluence of extreme weather conditions set the stage, said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. First came a record-breaking, continuing heatwave across the state. Temperatures in Death Valley hit 130F and the state saw rolling blackouts for the first time in nearly two decades as millions of Californians seeking to cool their homes strained the electrical grid. Next, a tropical storm in the Pacific Ocean spun moisture toward California, triggering a rare lighting storm that zapped California more than 10,800 times over a three-day period, sparking small fires across the Bay Area and northern California. Then the humidity dropped and winds picked up, stoking the small flames until they erupted into full-blown infernos.
Firefighters in California are not just at risk from the blazes which have besieged the state – they also pose a potential coronavirus threat, to themselves and others. Public health officials are increasingly concerned that the 12,000 firefighters – many of them from out of state – could trigger a super-spreader coronavirus event as they tackle the fires, : The concerns are multilayered. Most important: No one wants firefighters to get sick, for their own sake. Also, the state can’t afford to pull crews off duty when staff resources are so thin. With personnel coming to the region from throughout the state as well as other parts of the country, public health experts fear a “super-spreader” event if someone infected on the front lines brings the virus back home. “It’s the perfect storm: Bring people in from all over the western United States to work together in a communal setting, and then send them back,” said John Swartzberg, a UC Berkeley infectious disease expert who also advised the U.S. Forest Service.
Almost 250,000 people are under fire evacuation orders and warnings in California, as three huge fires continue to rage around the San Francisco Bay Area. Firefighters are bracing on Monday for more damage, as the National Weather Service (NWS) that fast moving storms will lead to a risk of new fires erupting.
San Francisco Bay Area dodges major lightning storm
Governor describes blazes as ‘historic’
Firefighters in California saw some reprieve on Monday after dodging a major lightning storm in the San Francisco Bay Area, as the state continues to battle blazes the governor described as “historic”. Two of the three largest wildfires ever recorded in California have scorched through more than 1m acres, displaced more than 100,000 people, and killed seven. Officials are cautiously optimistic but pleaded with residents to stay out of evacuation zones and prepare for days away from home, as the massive fires near the Bay Area spread smoky air.