How can smoke from West Coast fires cause red sunsets in New York?

Last week, much of the Midwest and eastern US experienced hazy skies and red sunsets. The cause was smoke transported from the Western US by the jet stream and spread as far as Boston and even Europe.

Jeffrey B. Halverson, Professor of Geography & Environmental Systems, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Sept. 22, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: atmosphere pollution wildfires smoke sun fire jet-stream fire-season

Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes

Wildfires aren't always wild. Many of the most expensive and damaging fires happen in suburban areas, and nearly all blazes in these zones are started by humans.

Jennifer Balch, Associate Professor of Geography and Director, Earth Lab, University of Colorado Boulder • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: climate-change development wildfires wildfire-fighting suburbs fireworks us-west prescribed-burning

Wildfires can leave toxic drinking water behind – here's how to protect the public

Two environmental engineers say governments need to do more to protect people from possible water contamination after wildfires.

Caitlin R. Proctor, Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 17, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: water camp-fire chemicals drinking-water natural-disasters california wildfires oregon disaster-recovery safe-drinking-water-act building-codes washington-state

Smoke from wildfires can worsen COVID-19 risk, putting firefighters in even more danger

Wildfire smoke makes it harder for firefighters's bodies to fight off viruses. Social distancing is difficult in that environment, but fire crews are coming up with solutions.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
Sept. 11, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health covid-19 coronavirus pandemic wildfires smoke

Coping with Western wildfires: 5 essential reads

How climate change and other human actions have combined to create conditions for explosive wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington state.

Jennifer Weeks, Environment + Energy Editor, The Conversation • conversation
Sept. 10, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: public-health climate-change risk california-wildfires insurance california wildfires oregon land-use wood-smoke essential-reads washington-state

Hurricanes and wildfires are colliding with the COVID-19 pandemic – and compounding the risks

Disaster preparation and evacuation procedures weren't made for social distancing. The pandemic means response decisions are now fraught with contradictions.

Ali Mostafavi, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University • conversation
Aug. 26, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: health covid-19 coronavirus pandemic hurricanes storms natural-disasters wildfires research evacuation vulnerability-map

What's in wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Wildfires blanketing several Western cities are creating hazardous health conditions. Don't count on cloth masks to protect your lungs.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health environment covid-19 coronavirus pollution lungs heat-wave forests air-pollution heat particulates wildfires smoke firefighting

What's in that wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Wildfires blanketing several Western cities are creating hazardous health conditions. Don't count on cloth masks to protect your lungs.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health environment covid-19 coronavirus pollution lungs heat-wave forests air-pollution heat particulates wildfires smoke firefighting

Amazon fires trap farmers into poverty – and into setting more fires

Fires that burn the forest burn crops and pastures alike. But farmers in the eastern Amazon are left with few good options.

Rachael Garrett, Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich • conversation
Aug. 17, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate-change agriculture brazil farming amazon-fires wildfires forest-fires fire-risk

Wildfires can poison drinking water – here's how communities can be better prepared

Buildings aren't the only things at risk in wildfires. Recent disasters in California have left local water system contaminated with toxic chemicals afterward, slowing return and recovery.

Caitlin R. Proctor, Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University • conversation
Aug. 3, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: water camp-fire chemicals drinking-water natural-disasters california wildfires disaster-recovery safe-drinking-water-act building-codes safe-drinking-water

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