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2 Lawn-Mowing Seniors Face $37M Bill Over Wildfire

Oregon holds people financially accountable

(Newser) - Two men suspected of starting a wildfire last year that scorched 40 square miles of Oregon forestland could soon get a bill for at least $37 million, reports AP . Jeff Bonebrake with the Oregon Department of Forestry says they're still finalizing firefighting costs for the 2015 Stouts Creek fire... More »

Illegal Campfire Burns Area the Size of San Francisco

1 man has died in fire-related accident

(Newser) - It started with a small, illegal campfire. Now an area the size of San Francisco has been scorched in a deadly blaze ripping through California's Monterey County since July 22. State fire officials announced the cause of the blaze, dubbed the Soberanes Fire, in a closed area of Garrapata... More »

Massive Calif. Wildfire Moving Like 'Freight Train'

Fire officials say out-of-control Sand fire near LA has now spread to 33K acres

(Newser) - More than 1,600 firefighters fought an uncontrollable wildfire Sunday in California's Santa Clarita Valley, an inferno that fire officials say grew three times larger over the weekend due to hot, arid conditions and winds up to 20mph, NBC News and the Los Angeles Times report. More than 33,... More »

Alabama Campers Arrested Over Colorado Wildfire

More than 600 acres have been scorched, 2K people evacuated

(Newser) - More than 50 Colorado National Guardsmen are helping hundreds of firefighters battle a blaze that the Boulder County Sheriff's Office says was started by two careless campers from Alabama, USA Today and the AP report. Jimmy Suggs, 28, and Zackary Kuykendall, 26, of Vinemont were arrested Sunday and charged... More »

Odd New Tool in Study of Wildfires: Rattlesnakes

Researcher will track snakes near Washington burn site

(Newser) - Animals flee fire—but what happens when the flames are extinguished? That's exactly what Joey Chase of Central Washington University is trying to find out. Over the next year, he plans to track two male Northern Pacific rattlesnakes, each about 10 years old, found near the site of a... More »

Canadian Officials Seek 'Death Grip' on Wildfire

Turning point seen in Fort McMurray blaze

(Newser) - Officials said Sunday they reached a turning point in fighting an enormous wildfire, hoping to get a "death grip" on the blaze that devastated Canada's oil sands town of Fort McMurray amid cooler temperatures and light rain, the AP reports. Meanwhile, a massive evacuation of residents displaced by... More »

Giant Canadian Wildfire Set to Double in Size

The only thing that can stop Fort McMurray fire is rain

(Newser) - Canadian officials fear a massive wildfire could double in size by the end of Saturday as they continue to evacuate residents of fire-ravaged Fort McMurray from work camps north of Alberta's oil sands city. Thousands more displaced residents will get a sobering drive-by view of their burned out city... More »

Huge Convoy of Evacuees Moves South as Canada Wildfire Grows

As officials hope for rain

(Newser) - A massive convoy was underway Friday to move evacuees stranded at oil field camps north of fire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta, to areas south of the Canadian oil sands capital, reports AP . Police and military are overseeing the procession of an estimated 1,500 vehicles. Meanwhile, a mass airlift of evacuees... More »

Canada Wildfire Torches 1.6K Homes

Fort McMurray residents describe apocalyptic scenes

(Newser) - Alberta declared a state of emergency Wednesday as crews frantically held back wind-whipped wildfires that have already torched 1,600 homes and other buildings in Canada's main oil sands city of Fort McMurray, forcing more than 80,000 residents to flee. Whole neighborhoods have burned, but an Alberta Emergency... More »

Entire Canadian City Evacuated as Wildfire Spreads

Fire has overrun Fort McMurray, chief says

(Newser) - The entire population of the Canadian oil sands city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, has been ordered to evacuate from a wildfire that officials say destroyed whole neighborhoods. More than 80,000 residents were ordered to flee as flames continued to make their way into the city Tuesday, the AP reports.... More »

Man Who Filmed Himself Starting Massive Wildfire Gets 20 Years

The video was a key piece of evidence in his conviction

(Newser) - A man who took a video of himself after starting a fire that would go on to burn more than 150 square miles of land was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $60 million fine, the AP reports. According to Reuters , Wayne Huntsman pleaded guilty to three counts... More »

Two Birds Might Be Purposely Starting Wildfires in Australia

Which opens the possibility that humans weren't the first to tame fire

(Newser) - Two species of birds might be deliberately starting wildfires in Australia, the Tech Times reports. This might seem outlandish, but cultural geographer Mark Bonta tells Newsweek it's "standard knowledge" among the aboriginal community and firefighters in northern Australia. According to the Washington Post , birds of prey are known... More »

Study: Fires Seem to Observe Religion, the Workweek

Australian researchers find weekly pattern to global wildfires

(Newser) - And on the seventh day, the wildfires rested. That’s what Australian researchers discovered after using NASA satellite images to track global fires—both naturally occurring and human-caused—from 2001 to 2013 as part of a new study . They found that there are fewer fires on Sundays—the Christian day... More »

Cali Wildfires Kill 1, Destroy 1.4K Homes

And thousands more homes are being threatened

(Newser) - A new wildfire in Northern California has killed one person and destroyed or damaged 10 homes in Monterey County, a week after two other blazes killed five people and destroyed at least 1,400 homes, fire officials said today. The blaze burning about 2 miles north of the community of... More »

Reporter Reunites Dog With Owner After Wildfire

Thumper is safe and sound

(Newser) - A great story out of the California wildfires, as told in the first person by Associated Press reporter Brian Skoloff. He met a 76-year-old man who had been evacuated to a high school near Middletown. After five days away, Lawrence Ross was worried about his home and his dog, and... More »

This 'Garden of Eden' Is Now Blackened Dust

Harbin Hot Springs among businesses torched by Valley Fire

(Newser) - The hot springs resort that fell victim to a raging wildfire was among the oldest hot springs of its kind in California—and just happened to have a clothing-optional policy, reports USA Today . Footage of the nonprofit holistic center Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown—which one visitor compared to the... More »

Wildfire Aftermath: 'That I Left Her There, It Haunts Me'

Barbara McWilliams had MS, told caretaker she didn't want to leave

(Newser) - Barbara McWilliams told her caretaker she didn't want to leave her home near Middletown, Calif., despite a nearby wildfire . The world traveler and sharp-minded woman with advanced multiple sclerosis said she would be fine. The decision ended up costing the 72-year-old her life . Her body was found late Sunday... More »

'Mind-Boggling' Calif. Wildfire Turns Deadly

One dead, at least 400 homes destroyed in Lake, Napa counties

(Newser) - Fire officials say one person is dead as California's fastest wildfire in recent history continues to race across the north end of the state. It's the blaze experts had feared all summer: At least 400 homes have been destroyed in Lake and Napa counties, with flames initially ripping... More »

Thousands Flee as Wildfires Sprint Across California

State of emergency declared

(Newser) - An explosive wildfire raced across several rural communities in Northern California, charring more than 60 square miles over a matter of hours, chasing thousands of people from their homes and sending four firefighters to the hospital with second-degree burns. The fire erupted in Lake County, about 100 miles north of... More »

This Striking Photo Emerges From West's Wildfires

Idaho man says dogs were protecting body of fawn

(Newser) - An Idaho man has captured an indelible image in the midst of that state's wildfires: It shows a sheepdog and her two pups appearing to guard a dead fawn. "They were definitely trying to protect it," Louis Armstrong of Kamiah tells KBOI2 . "I thought it was... More »

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