Wildfire Media Roundup: October 28

In an effort to blog more regularly and to provide a resource for those of you out there who are interested in wildfire reporting but can’t be on Twitter 24/7, I’m trying something new: a weekly or bi-weekly “Wildfire Media Roundup.” The idea is to summarize and link to a handful of media stories from around the web in one place–articles, radio pieces, video, and other resources. Here’s this week’s roundup:

  • Wildfire, climate, and controversy at the LA Times: Last week the LA Times published an article claiming that there is no established link between climate change and recent fire activity in California, accusing Governor Brown of misinforming the public. Many fire scientists took issue with the story (including people quoted in the article!), and wrote to the newspaper, discussing the evidence that does exist for the climate-fire link and describing the holes in the first article. This week, the LA times published several of those letters.
  • “As wildfires spread, homeowners insurance retreats”: This is a quick radio story about homeowners insurance in the wake of California wildfires. Fire is still covered under homeowners insurance, unlike floods and earthquakes, which have separate policies. But recent fires are making it harder for people to get homeowners insurance at all, with many people unable to renew existing policies.
  • Smokey Bear says it’s wildfire prevention month:  Apparently, it’s Wildfire Prevention month. I have a lot of opinions on this and Smokey Bear, which I’m saving for a later blog post, but for now, skim through Smokey’s Twitter live chat from this morning to get a sense for current Smokey rhetoric and priorities.
  • “Forest renews itself in the wake of ‘devastating’ Lake Fire”: A beautifully written article describing a hike through the burn area from the Lake Fire this past June, down in the San Bernardino mountains of Southern California. Some history and discussion of wildfire policy, with the view that high-intensity wildfires have value.
  • “Lessons learned–and ignored–from a fire that destroyed 3,000 homes”: A short article about the ways that home construction and fire prevention efforts have shifted in the 24 years since the Oakland Hills Fire, from new roofing and brush clearance to “fire millionaires” building bigger and fancier homes.

Happy reading, and feel free to add links to articles I missed in the comments.


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