wildfires

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2 Teens Charged in Devastating Tennessee Wildfire

Tips from the public reportedly helped

(Newser) - Authorities on Wednesday charged two juveniles in an East Tennessee wildfire that killed 14 people and destroyed or damaged more than 1,700 buildings in an iconic tourism spot at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, the AP reports. Officials offered few other specifics about how they think the... More »

Firefighter Pleads Guilty to Setting Fires So He'd Get Paid

The part-time firefighter only got paid for hours spent fighting fires

(Newser) - A 31-year-old Cherokee man in North Carolina pleaded guilty Monday to setting seven fires in order to get paid for putting them out, the Charlotte Observer reports. Part-time firefighters hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs only get paid for the hours they spend fighting fires or doing maintenance on... More »

Tourists Separated From Sons Perished in Gatlinburg Fire

ATF agents investigating source of 'human-caused' blazes

(Newser) - Crews discovered the remains of more people as they searched the rubble of wildfires that torched hundreds of homes and businesses near the Great Smoky Mountains, bringing the death toll to 11, officials in Gatlinburg, Tenn., said Thursday. The Commercial Appeal reports that Memphis couple Jon and Janet Summers are... More »

For Gatlinburg's Mayor, Fire Brought Personal Devastation

He lost his home and 7 other buildings

(Newser) - Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner has been the voice of calm while the Tennessee city battled a 15,000-acre wildfire that killed at least seven people before it was put out with help from some much-needed rain. That didn't change Thursday as he noted cleanup efforts are now underway and... More »

3 More Bodies Found in Tenn. Wildfire Ruins, Toll at 7

It's unclear how many more people are missing

(Newser) - Three more bodies were found in the ruins of wildfires that torched hundreds of homes and businesses in the Great Smoky Mountains area of Tennessee, raising the death toll to seven, the AP reports. Search-and-rescue missions continued, and Sevier County mayor Larry Waters said they had found three people who... More »

Father Searches for Family Amid Horrific Tenn. Wildfire

'We are just hoping for a miracle'

(Newser) - More than 14,000 people have evacuated as a wildfire engulfs the Tennessee cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, with hundreds of them ending up in emergency shelters around the area. Michael Reed hopes his wife and their young daughters are among them. Reed tells WATE he spoke to his... More »

'Apocalypse': Tenn. Wildfires Force Aquarium to Leave 10K Animals

Flames threaten Ripley's, Dollywood as much-needed rain finally falls

(Newser) - One of at least 14 wildfires raging in Gatlinburg, Tenn., is threatening thousands of animals at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Flames engulfed at least 30 buildings in the area late Monday—including a 16-story hotel outside the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge—leading aquarium employees to be... More »

Israel Blames 'Terror' for Massive Wildfire

Police believe Haifa blaze was 'politically motivated'

(Newser) - A wildfire roared through parts of Israel's third-largest city on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes as the country's leaders raised the possibility that Arab assailants had intentionally set the Haifa blaze. While there were no serious injuries, several dozen people were hospitalized... More »

This State's 102M Dead Trees 'Should Be Concerning for Everyone'

California's wildfires are getting more common and more dangerous

(Newser) - In drought-stricken California, 36 million trees have died since May, the Los Angeles Times reports. They're part of 62 million trees that have died in the state since 2016 and 102 million trees that have died over the past six years. "It's not beyond the pale to... More »

Area Bigger Than Manhattan Has Burned in Southeast

Tennessee Valley Authority issues burn ban

(Newser) - "This fire has the characteristics of western fires, of California fires," a North Carolina fire chief tells the Charlotte Observer as dozens of major wildfires blaze in the drought-ravaged South. "This is the worst I've ever seen." The Tennessee Division of Forestry is currently fighting... More »

Bacteria May Be Weapon Against Cheatgrass Invading the West

Cheatgrass now 'dominates' the Great Basin

(Newser) - Cheatgrass is about as bad as it sounds. The invasive plant sends out roots in the spring that deprive nearby plants of water, then dries out in the summer as it transforms into extremely effective tinder for wildfires to then kill competing nearby native plants, not to mention the habitat... More »

Police: Wildfire Started by Amateur Facebook Weatherman

'He's not a bad kid...just misguided'

(Newser) - A wannabe weatherman was jailed for arson after police say he admitted starting a wildfire to draw attention to his selfie videos on Facebook, the AP reports. "It's really too bad because he's not a bad kid—he's just misguided," said James Stephens, the police... More »

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 »

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