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Recent California Water News


Thin the Forests

Aug 24, 2020

California fires: State, feds agree to thin millions of acres of forests

The two dozen major fires burning across Northern California were sparked by more than 12,000 lightning strikes, a freak weather occurrence that turned what had been a relatively mild fire season into a devastating catastrophe.  Yet what’s driving these enormous fires is not sparks, but millions of acres of fuel: bone-dry trees and brush that haven’t burned in many years. … Last week, in a little-noticed milestone, state officials signed a major agreement with the federal government that aims to reshape how forests are managed for years to come. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  California fires: State, feds agree to thin millions of acres of forests

Wildfires hit California’s redwoods and condors, but there’s still hope

At 3 a.m. on Friday morning, biologist Kelly Sorenson was awake, nervously watching the live webcam feed of a California condor nest on the Big Sur coast. He could see a 5-month-old chick, still unable to fly, as the flames of the Dolan Fire came into view.  “It was just terrifying,” Sorenson said. “Having the live-streaming webcams was both a blessing and a nightmare because we had to watch the fire as it burned through the canyon.”  California’s massive wildfires have burned more than 1,000 homes and buildings over the last week, destroying irreplaceable possessions and memories for some residents. At the same time, the fires are also threatening some of the state’s rare ecosystems and wildlife. … ”  Read more from NPR here: Wildfires hit California’s redwoods and condors, but there’s still hope

To Manage Wildfire, California Looks To What Tribes Have Known All Along

On a cool February morning, around 60 people gathered in the Sierra Nevada foothills to take part in a ceremony that, for many decades, was banned.  Men and women from Native American tribes around Northern California stood in a circle, alongside university students and locals from around the town of Mariposa. Several wore bright yellow shirts made of flame-resistant fabric. For the next two days, the group would be carefully lighting fires in the surrounding hills. … ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here:  To manage wildfire, California looks to what tribes have known all along

Worst yet to come for California fires

Two of the three largest fires in California history are raging across the state alongside about 600 others, burning more than 1.3 million acres — an area about the size of Delaware — and forcing more than 100,000 people to evacuate.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. … ”  Read this wrap up of California wildfire coverage from Cal Matters here:  Worst yet to come for California fires