VIDEO: After months of devastation, all the fires burning in the Australian state of New South Wales were declared contained for the first time last week. And who else to thank but the thousands of firefighters who have put their life on the line to extinguish them?
Knowing that a simple "thank you" wouldn't suffice, the NSW Rural Fire Service took out a 70-foot billboard in New York's Times Square to thank all the firefighters who helped battle the blazes.
The size was intentional.
"Imagine fighting a bushfire higher than this billboard," the video in the billboard reads. "Thank you to the brave Australian and US firefighters defending Australia. And to the world for all your support."
Projects to reduce the risk of wildfires and protect water sources in the U.S. West have created jobs and infused more money in local economies, researchers say, and they were funded by a partnership between governments and businesses that has become a model in other countries.
A team from the U.S. Geological Survey reviewed work being done in several counties along the New Mexico-Colorado border that make up the watershed of one of North America's longest rivers, the Rio Grande.
The review shows how public-private partnerships could become a critical component for safeguarding the land and benefiting the economy amid the threat of federal funding cuts and worsening wildfires brought on by climate change. The study focused on 2018, when the partnership, called the Rio Grande Water Fund, doled out $855,000 to contractors in the region. The spending supported an estimated 22 jobs, ranging from forest thinning to research, environmental consulting and fence removal.
Laredo Morning Times
More than two acres of land were burned by a wildfire that broke out under some power lines in Smithfield over the weekend.
Ben Arnold is the Principal Forest Ranger with DEM’s Division of Forest Environment. He says, "It was human caused, definitely. It could have been anything from somebody flicked a cigarette in there to something else."
He says the area that burned was covered in dried grasses and debris.
Arnold says, "It was leaf litter and light flashy fuels, grasses, and different brush."
The DEM says the key factor is the fact that there's no snow on the ground, leaving that grass and debris to dry out, which typically wouldn't happen until the spring.
Arnold says, "Even though it's been fairly wet this season, we've gotten our fair share of rain, it doesn't take long for those receptive fuels to dry out. You get a couple days of sunshine and a little bit of wind and that's all it takes."
WLNE-TV ABC 6 Providence
The addition of 536 new homes on a former golf course in Rancho Penasquitos won't clog the one road leading out of the neighborhood in the event of an emergency evacuation, according to a new city study.
The city released the environmental impact reporter for Lennar's Juniper proposal on Wednesday. Lennar is proposing to turn the languishing course behind the old Hotel Karlan on Penasquitos Drive into 536 housing units for senior citizens, including 81 affordable.
The project also includes a nearly three acre public park, a three-mile trail. The environmental document analyzes impacts such as noise and traffic.
It also looked at how the additional homes would impact evacuations in the northeast portion of Rancho Penasquitos, a neighborhood with only one road in and out.
KGTV ABC 10 San Diego