Matt Rahn was about 200 feet away when flames started climbing up the side of the garage and creeping toward the car inside.
A wildfire researcher with California State University San Marcos, Rahn was at the edge of a fire that would go on to burn 4,240 acres across California’s Amador and El Dorado counties. He was there to study the smoke rising off blackening shrubs and trees. Watching the garage burn, though, he realized that firefighters fending off flames without any real lung protection were inhaling more than airborne remnants of burnt plants.
“Think about the average home, all the chemicals and things that are in there, not to mention all the building materials and furniture,” said Rahn, who also is a member of Temecula’s city council.
A man is wrenching hearts around the web after giving water to a koala that was badly burned by the wildfires ravaging Australia’s east coast.
Koala Hospital Port Macquarie, a rehab facility for the care and conservation of wild koalas, posted a video Wednesday of the heartbreaking moment that has garnered thousands of likes and an outpouring of sympathy from the social media masses.
The now viral Facebook clip shows a man identified only as “Darrel” caring for the scalded marsupial at the Bellangry State Forest in New South Wales, Australia, The Mirror reports. Darrel can be seen giving the poor creature — now named Kate — water from a plastic cup, which it gratefully laps up.
“So badly singed,” commented the kind-hearted Samaritan, who later wrapped Kate in a blanket and brought her to the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie.
New York Post
Fighting fires. Sucking smoke. Working hard in an inferno of heat. You’ve been on assignment for four days and you have 10 more to go. You’re ready for a hot shower and solid food, you’re tired. But you’re still smiling. You’re a wildland firefighter. There’s many different reasons why a person would get into fighting wildfires, but no matter how you got there, everyone remembers their first fire. Forrest Towne is a senior forestry technician for the Navajo Region Helitack Crew, based in Fort Defiance, Arizona. He was 18-years-old when he went on his first fire assignment. “We had a local fire here — it was my first fire, they called it the Wide Ruins Fire. I got the call and showed up. In an hour we were out there and I was sucking in smoke and my eyes were burning. I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m getting myself into,’ but it worked out,” Towne said.
Local inmates are doing their part to help revitalize Nevada’s wilderness. Around a dozen inmates at the Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City grew sagebrush to replant areas destroyed by fire.
This is part of the Sagebrush in Prison Project. It’s a partnership between the Nevada Department of Corrections, Bureau of Land Management, and Institute for Applied Ecology. The program started back in 2016 and works with inmates in Lovelock, as well. This year alone the inmates helped raise more than 200,000 plants.
Scott Kelly with the Nevada Department of Corrections said, “Wildfires are happening more often and wildfires are more intense.”
Kelly added, “If they don’t get sagebrush out and plant it in these areas, these areas can be overrun by cheat grass and other more flammable things.”
A new county study modeling post-fire flooding in the Rio de Flag shows such an event could send the same amount of water that runs down the Colorado River through the middle of Flagstaff.
A draft version of the study was finished earlier this year and modeled the impacts of a 100-year storm on the Rio de Flag if it followed a large wildfire.
Storms of such size are rare. A 100-year storm has a 1% chance of occurring every year, and the chances of one happening after a large wildfire is even less likely.
But Flood District Director Lucinda Andreani said it is important to model as the flood district develops a forest restoration plan, identifying high impact sections of the forest that the district may want to target for restoration efforts in the future.
Arizona Daily Sun