Government climate report warns of worsening US disasters

As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of extreme weather disasters are worsening in the United States. The White House report quietly issued the Friday after Thanksgiving also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. The National Climate Assessment was written long...

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Study: National Parks Bearing The Brunt Of Climate Change Impacts

Yellowstone National Park escaped the summer without any large conflagrations in its forests, but that could be an anomaly under the current pace of climate change. Pikas could vanish from parks such as Lassen Volcanic and Great Basin. Glaciers and Joshua trees could be seen only in photographs and paintings in their namesake parks, and Virgin Islands and Hawai’i...

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Glacier National Park is on fire — and yes, warming is making things worse

This summer has felt like a global warming turning point. Now, another milestone: Saturday, August 11, 2018 was the hottest day in the history of Glacier National Park, and its first recorded time reaching 100 degrees F. On the same day, lightning started three fires in the Montana park, which has since been partly evacuated and closed. On Sunday, hot and dry winds...

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The world is hot, on fire, and flooding. Climate change is here.

The worst ravages of climate change are on display around the world. Wildfires have ripped through towns in Greece, floods have submerged parts of Laos, and heat waves have overwhelmed Japan and Great Britain. These are striking examples of climate change playing out in its deadliest forms, and they’re making the term “natural disaster” an outdated concept. People in...

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They Bonded as the Pacific Crest Trail Burned. Now They Heal It.

He posted photos of himself on Facebook as he hiked hundreds of miles of the vast Pacific Crest Trail, masked in a bandanna to protect his lungs from the smoke of the fires that had closed down parts of it. She told him about the inner workings of NASA, where she was a college intern in Alabama. As the West burned a year ago, Mark Beebe, the hiker, and Tara Prevo, the...

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Boland Ridge Trail, Wind Cave National Park

Located in the remote northern corner of Wind Cave National Park, Boland Ridge Trail crosses the wide open prairie, then a series of ridge climbs offer panoramic views of the Black Hills, the Red Valley, and the western South Dakota plains beyond. Because of the isolated nature, elk and bison are often seen along this trail. In fact, we had to cut this one about a mile...

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Fire and Ice: The Pacific Crest Trail in the Era of Climate Change

“Last year was the most challenging year we’ve had in terms of dealing with closures on the PCT,” said Beth Boyst, who for the last 11 years has been the trail’s chief administrator with the U.S. Forest Service (the PCT passes through all different designations of federal and state land, but USFS holds the lead oversight role). Boyst’s tenure has...

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It’s not only trees — wildfires imperil water too

The Fourmile Canyon Fire, sparked by a backyard burn west of Boulder, Colorado, in 2010, caused $220 million in damage and destroyed 168 homes. It also scorched nearly a quarter of a watershed that supplies water to the nearby community of Pine Brook Hills. The problems didn’t end there: Long after the blaze was put out, intense rainstorms periodically washed sediment...

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Important Facts You Should Know About Post-Wildfire Restoration

As of September 15, 2017, over 8,834,487 acres across the United States have been burned by wildfire, the highest number of wildfire acres burned in year-to-date records kept by the National Interagency Fire Center. The highest total acreage burned in any year on record is 9,873,745, in 2006. Wildfire is a necessary and important part of a natural landscape, but it is...

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Inside the dangerous and unpredictable behavior of wildfire

Aircraft N2UW has flown through all kinds of weather. The twin-propeller plane is sleek, petite, and so packed with scientific gear for studying the atmosphere that there’s barely room for two passengers to squeeze into its back seats. Monitors show radar reflections, gas concentrations and the sizes of cloud droplets. The plane has flown through tropical rainstorms in...

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Driven by heat and high winds, wildfires are 10 times worse so far this year than average

Wildfire season, or the period between spring and late fall when dry weather, heat, and ignition sources make wildfires more likely, is already off to a devastating start, with fires already burning through a combined 2 million acres across the country — ten times the average for mid-March. Record-high temperatures combined with low humidity and high wind have created...

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Fire burns in Tellico Plains area; Trail of Tears a concern

A fire in the Tellico Plains, TN area near Cherohala Skyway is threatening structures as well as a part of the historic Trail of Tears, said Nathan Waters, assistant district forester with the state Division of Forestry. Terry McDonald with the U.S. Forest Service said the fire was reported around 2 a.m. and was covering 30 acres but would likely grow before it is...

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“Smoke waves” from wildfires are getting worse — and getting more people sick

Shrouded by smoke from a fire in California’s parched San Bernardino Mountains, schools in the Victor Valley closed their doors earlier this month. The Pilot Fire was contained eventually — shortly before the Blue Cut Fire broke out, billowing soot and ash over the valley afresh, forcing further closures. As the district warned valley residents to “limit time spent...

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Shenandoah wildfire grows to 3,000 acres, shuts down 12 trails and Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park is on fire and the blaze is growing. The National Park Service said that 3,000 acres have been charred since the fire started on April 16, 2016. Officials don’t know what sparked the fire, but they think it was likely human-caused. The smoke from the confusingly-named “Rocky Mount” fire could be seen on visible satellite imagery. Photos show...

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America’s wildfire crisis is getting worse. Here’s what Congress can do.

We have reached a new fire normal, a clear signal that a changing climate will inevitably require an adjustment to how we manage our forests if we wish to maintain the benefits they offer, such as providing half of our nation’s water supply. In response to this unprecedented wildfire risk, for the first time in its history, the U.S. Forest Service will spend more than...

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The West Is Still On Fire

Just in time for peak tourist season, Montana’s Glacier National Park is on fire. As of July 28, some 3,200 acres of the park were engulfed by wildfire, which began a week ago and caused park officials to shut down three separate campsites throughout the park as well as close off the St. Mary Visitor Center. As of the 29th, the wildfire was 56 percent contained, and...

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Temporary Trail Closure Announced Due to Wildfire in McDowell County, NC

NEBO, N.C., July 18, 2015 – An estimated 2 acre wildfire burning on Forest Service land near Bald Knob in McDowell County will require temporary closure of a section of the Mountains to Sea Trail between the footbridge over the North Fork of the Catawba River and Dobson Knob Road (Forest Service Road 106). The trail closure will be in effect until fire is declared...

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Alaska Entering New Era for Wildfires

Alaska, the great northern frontier of America, is being reshaped by climate change. While rising temperatures are altering its character and landscape, they are also bringing the ravages of wildfires. In the past 60 years, Alaska has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the country, with average temperatures up by nearly 3°F. By 2050, temperatures are projected...

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Congress considers treating wildfire like other natural disasters

As the West girds itself for what looks likely to be a fierce wildfire season, a bipartisan group of Western senators is pushing a bill to rethink the way the federal government pays to fight catastrophic fires. The idea is that the largest wildfires would be treated like natural disasters. As with big hurricanes or earthquakes, funding for them wouldn’t have to come...

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Wildfire shuts down 25 miles of Pacific Crest Trail

A large swath of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Southern Cascades will be shut down beginning August 23, due to the growing activity of the 790 Fire. The closure covers roughly 25 miles from Oregon Highway 140 north to the boundary of Crater Lake National Park, the U.S. Forest Service said. The closure includes most trails in the popular Seven Lakes Basin of the Sky...

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