wildfires

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Teen Is Main Suspect in Raging Oregon Wildfire

Witness says she saw him throw a firecracker into canyon

(Newser) - A wildfire that started over the weekend in Oregon torched at least 10,000 acres, stranded more than 150 hikers, and forced the evacuation of multiple towns—and officials think a teen fooling around with firecrackers may be to blame. The Columbian reports that a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver, Wash.... More »

As LA's Biggest Wildfire Blazes, Hundreds Flee

La Tuna wildfire near Burbank has already burned 5K acres amid 'erratic' winds

(Newser) - Houston is underwater, but Los Angeles is on fire as the largest wildfire in its history burned at least 5,000 acres and forced hundreds of people to evacuate amid scorching temperatures and unpredictable winds of up to 50mph. "The La Tuna Canyon Fire is an emergency that requires... More »

Amid French Wildfires, 2 Teens Accused of Arson

Authorities say the 16-year-olds set one of the recent fires

(Newser) - Two adolescent boys will go before a judge Friday on suspicion of deliberately starting one of the wildfires that devastated parts of southeastern France and Corsica this week, an official said. The two boys, both aged 16, were stopped Wednesday by police who believed arson was behind the blaze in... More »

How Hot Is It in LA? Record- Breaking Hot (and Dangerous)

'Potentially life-threatening,' says National Weather Service

(Newser) - A blistering heat wave has broken a 131-year-old record in Los Angeles. The National Weather Service reports that the temperature hit 96 degrees Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, beating a record of 95 degrees for the date set in 1886, the AP reports. Other records for the day fell at... More »

'Biggest Tragedy of Human Life We Have Known in Years'

At least 57 dead in Portugal, many killed in cars as flames blew across road

(Newser) - Raging forest fires in central Portugal killed at least 57 people, many of them trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road, in what the prime minister on Sunday called "the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years." Nearly 60 other people... More »

6 People, Thousands of Cattle Killed in Devastating Wildfires

Blaze was biggest in state history

(Newser) - Devastating wildfires have set a record that the Kansas Division of Emergency Management says "it never hoped to see and never hopes to surpass." More than 500,000 acres in two counties in the southwest of the state have burned this week in what is believed to be... More »

Cause of Most Wildfires: People

Study finds humans are causing wildfire season to last longer

(Newser) - People have triggered five out of six wildfires in the US over the last two decades, tripling the length of the wildfire season and making it start earlier in the East and last longer in the West, a new study finds. Even as climate change worsens the nation's fire... More »

Chile's Worst-Ever Wildfires Wipe Out Entire Town

Firefighter, police officers among 10 killed

(Newser) - Flames from one of Chile's worst wildfires completely consumed the town of Santa Olga as the death toll from the blazes since November rose to 10, officials say. The flames engulfed the post office, a kindergarten, and about 1,000 homes in the town, located 220 miles south of... More »

Teens Could Get Life in Tenn. Wildfire

'Everything is on the table,' prosecutors say

(Newser) - Everything, including murder charges that could bring a sentence of life in prison, is "on the table" for two teenagers accused of starting a devastating wildfire in Tennessee, prosecutors warn. The pair, whose names and ages have not been publicly released, were charged with aggravated arson earlier this month... More »

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 »

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