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One of the biggest disasters in Colorado history

Back in March, Samuel Smith wondered "Will 2012 be the summer when Colorado finally burns to the ground?" A perfect combination of record high heat, record low snow pack, low humidity and high levels of underbrush made Colorado (and elsewhere) a tinderbox ready to blow. Unfortunately, that is now playing out. The Denver post says the fires are "shaping up as one of the biggest disasters in Colorado history." Some of the best sources for following the fires.. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 28, 2012 - 86 comments

Little Bear Fire

Incredible time-lapse video of the Little Bear fire near Ruidoso, New Mexico. [more inside]
posted by PapaLobo on Jun 20, 2012 - 4 comments

New "Normal" temperatures released by NOAA, increased extreme weather events

When a TV meteorologist says "temperatures will be ten degrees above normal", the word "normal" has a specific meaning. Every 10 years NOAA re-calculates the "normal" temps for the USA based on the prior 30-year averages. The new normals have just been released, based on the 30 year period 1980-2010. Hotter is the new normal. With hotter weather comes more extreme weather. Extreme Weather and Climate Change, 3-part series from Scientific America .. and map of extreme weather events 1995-present.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 30, 2011 - 35 comments

One Big Interdependant System

How are heatwaves in Russia and flooding in Pakistan related? Both result from a kink in the jet stream that has frozen in place. (Previous coverage of the disasters in Russia and Pakistan on the blue.)
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 15, 2010 - 19 comments

Russia is Burning

The worst heatwave in 1000 years has led to half of Russia being on fire.
posted by divabat on Aug 9, 2010 - 104 comments

The films of Jam Handy

Back of the Mike | Around the Corner | Behind the Bright Lights | Sky Billboards | Just a Spark [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Aug 9, 2009 - 6 comments

Why the West is ablaze.

Why the West is ablaze. [more inside]
posted by clearly on Jul 10, 2008 - 28 comments

BLM Pulls Funding After Controversial Results Emerge

First it was announced that an Oregon State University graduate student was publishing a story in the journal Science. titled, "Post-Wildfire Logging Hinders Regeneration and Increases Fire Risk," which undercut Bush administration-backed arguments for post-wildfire logging. A week later it was made public that nine professors in the College of Forestry (which gets 10% of its funding from a logging tax) lobbied the journal not to publish the article. Among them was John Sessions, lead author of a report that pressed the U.S. Forest Service to expand salvage logging. After attention was brought to the professors' attempts to keep the article from being published, many worried about the university's reputation regarding academic freedom, if not the state of academic freedom throughout the academic world. However if it wasn't difficult enough to just worry about your own professors standing in the way of getting your data published, you also have to worry about the government pulling your funding if your data doesn't match the data they want to see.

"The Bureau of Land Management acknowledged Monday that it asked OSU if the three-year study led by graduate student Daniel Donato and published last month in the journal Science violated provisions of a $300,000 federal fire research grant that prohibits using any of the funds to lobby Congress and requires that a BLM scientist be consulted before the research is published."

"It's totally without precedent as far as I can recollect," said Jerry Franklin, a professor at the University of Washington who has studied Northwest forests for decades. "It says, 'If we don't like what you're saying, we'll cut off your money.' "
posted by pwb503 on Feb 7, 2006 - 51 comments

Photographs from the Okanagan Fire

Okanagan Moutain Fire Here are some photos taken of a forest fire in British Columbia. So far I've seen evacuation numbers ranging from 5000 to 15000 people so far.
posted by synecdoche on Aug 22, 2003 - 12 comments

Smokey's Vault:

Smokey's Vault: all about the history of the campaign, the "real" Smokey Bear, and Smokey's unique place in American culture. Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear campaign is the longest running public service campaign in US History. Smokey's forest fire prevention message remained unchanged for 50 years until April 2001, when the Ad Council updated his message to address the increasing number of wildfires in the nation's wildlands.
posted by josephtate on Aug 24, 2002 - 11 comments

The war on drugs claims forest as casualty.

The war on drugs claims forest as casualty. A forest fire that burned out of control for almost two weeks and devastated over 50,000 acres near San Diego was caused by a helicopter looking for pot farms, a California Department of Forestry investigation has concluded. [link via disinfo]
posted by drezdn on Aug 17, 2002 - 33 comments

Man who started campfire charged with two counts of murder

Man who started campfire charged with two counts of murder Got a few questions for any legal scholars in the house. In a nutshell: How does a guy who neglected to put out a fire wind up getting charged with murder when two pilots accidentally crash into each other? The un-nutshelled version inside.
posted by Shadowkeeper on Aug 29, 2001 - 9 comments

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