forest fire

19 Stories

16 Dead as Chile's Historic Valparaiso Burns

500 homes destroyed so far in Valparaiso

(Newser) - Chile has been rocked by earthquakes lately , and now a fire raging in the colorful port city of Valparaiso has killed at least 16 people and destroyed 500 homes, President Michelle Bachelet said today. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a... More »

In Chernobyl's Forests, Decay Is Terribly Stalled

Leaves aren't decaying, and they could fuel fires

(Newser) - Radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is messing with local forests' ability to decay—and that's dangerous, both for local ecosystems and perhaps the area's neighbors. Researchers were concerned that decades after the disaster, dead trees in the area still hadn't decomposed, the Smithsonian notes. "We... More »

77-Year-Old Hit With $6.3M Bill for Sparking Forest Fire

Forest Service says he let fire in barrel get out of control

(Newser) - One minute you're burning twigs and paper in a rusted-out old barrel on your son's property; then, before you know it, five square miles of national forest have burned and you're being charged $6.3 million. Such is the saga of James G. Anderson Jr., the 77-year-old... More »

Singapore: Indonesia Is Ruining Our Air

Hazardous haze now in Malaysia, too

(Newser) - The hazardous smog that choked Singapore late last week won't dissipate any time soon, says the nation's PM, and it has officials pointing a finger at Indonesia. The pollution, which could last for weeks, has apparently been brought on by illegal forest fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island,... More »

Colorado Wildfire Now a 'Crime Scene'

483 structures destroyed

(Newser) - Colorado's Black Forest fire is now 65% contained, but authorities are still puzzling over the cause of the blaze that's destroyed at least 483 structures. Now, the El Paso County sheriff is calling the 16,000-acre fire a "crime scene" until there's proof to the contrary,... More »

Colorado Fire Sets Destruction Record

Death toll now at 2

(Newser) - The Black Forest Fire, near Colorado Springs, has claimed 360 homes, a record for the state, the Denver Post notes in its live blog. Meanwhile, 15,700 acres have burned and the fire is just 5% contained—and the death toll now stands at two. Some 38,000 have evacuated,... More »

Russia: Al-Qaeda Behind Europe's Forest Fires

And they may soon try it in the US, too

(Newser) - The forest fires that have been raging through the EU lately aren't random catastrophes—they're terrorist attacks. That's what Russian security service chief Alexander Bortnikov told a meeting of security and law enforcement chiefs earlier this week, RIA Novosti reports. The fires, he said, are "one... More »

Man Who Set Deadly Wildfire May Get Death Sentence

Jury recommends it in 2003 California fire

(Newser) - A jury has recommended death for an arsonist convicted of murdering five men who died of heart attacks during a wildfire that ripped through Southern California nearly a decade ago. The murder charges against Rickie Lee Fowler, 31, signaled a tough new standard for such cases. The Old Fire scorched... More »

Forest Service Axes 30-Year Ban on Night Flights

Rule blamed in disastrous 2009 Station fire

(Newser) - California's disastrous 2009 Station fire made wildfire authorities rethink their approach to battling blazes at night—and now they're uplifting a longstanding rule. For the first time in about three decades, the US Forest Service will allow night flights to combat flames, the Los Angeles Times reports. "... More »

Giant New Mexico Fire Could Be First of Many

And it's just getting bigger

(Newser) - New Mexico's biggest-ever wildfire may herald an onslaught of giant blazes in the western US, experts say. "We've been in a long drought cycle for the last 20 years, and conditions now are great for these type of fires," says an Arizona science professor. "Everything... More »

Fire Now Largest in New Mexico's History

Has burned 265 square miles in Gila National Forest

(Newser) - A massive wildfire that has burned more than 265 square miles in the Gila National Forest has become the largest fire in New Mexico state history, fire officials confirmed today. The erratic blaze grew overnight to more than 170,000 acres, surpassing a blaze last year that burned 156,593... More »

Arizona Wildfire Now Threatens New Mexico

Fire has burned through 603 square miles of timber

(Newser) - Arizona’s Wallow wildfire continues to rage, and it’s approaching New Mexico, where workers are setting up fire lines and one town is readying for an evacuation. Now the second-largest Arizona wildfire ever recorded, the flames have charred some 603 square miles of timber, destroyed 22 homes in a... More »

Arizona Towns Evacuate as Wildfire Grows

Blaze covers 287 square miles

(Newser) - A forest fire continues to rage in Arizona, now covering 287 square miles with some 2,300 firefighters on the scene. The fire, located some 160 miles east of Phoenix, has been blazing for nine days, remains uncontained, and has prompted the evacuation of several towns and subdivisions. Most residents... More »

40 Killed in Israel Forest Fire

Bus overturns; crews unable to stop flames

(Newser) - A forest fire in northern Israel has killed at least 40 people after a bus overturned in the flames, the Jerusalem Post reports. The fire, which began this morning near a village, has spread across some 1,400 acres. Fire crews battled the flames as a kibbutz and a prison... More »

Wildfire Smoke Shrouds New England, Quebec

Blazes raging in Canadian forest send clouds hundreds of miles

(Newser) - Massive clouds of smoke from forest fires raging in Quebec have moved south and east across New England, screening the holiday-weekend sun throughout the region. "I just walked to the beach in Sandwich where you can usually see white cliffs in Plymouth, the Sagamore Bridge and sometimes the Provincetown... More »

Back From Brink, Eastern Forests Face New Threats

Damage from early colonization recouped, but other forces conspire

(Newser) - In the early days—or, rather, centuries—of the American experiment, the vast Eastern forests were logged almost to oblivion. But with the opening of the frontier to the West, trees from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast rebounded, and by 1997 the forests had regained almost 70% of their... More »

Yellowstone Fire Grows

Officials say park still safe to visit despite 10,000-acre blaze

(Newser) - A wildfire at Yellowstone has consumed almost 10,000 acres of pine forest and closed one of the main roads through the national park. Hundreds of firefighters are working to manage the blaze and keep it away from the park infrastructure. The fire has been burning for at least two... More »

Smokey Bear's Fire Still Burning at 65

But some criticize his simple message

(Newser) - He turns 65 this year, but Smokey Bear’s nowhere near extinguished, the Los Angeles Times reports. The mascot remains as fiercely beloved by baby boomers as he is fiercely protected by the government: Federal law keeps his image from unauthorized use, which can result in a $150,000 fine.... More »

Fires Fuel Climate Change, More Fires

Scientists warn that fires must be included in climate models

(Newser) - Climate change calculations have missed the blazingly obvious, according to a new report from a global group of scientists. They warn that forest fires—generally considered to be a part of natural cycles—are a key driver of climate change, releasing vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and creating... More »

19 Stories