Archive for Category: "Fire suppression"

Up in smoke: federal wildfire suppression costs are rising

Up in smoke: federal wildfire suppression costs are rising

Federal spending to fight wildfires is trending higher. Not only is the overall, inflation-adjusted cost increasing, but the federal cost per wildfire and per acre burned are also on the upswing. Before the federal shutdown turned government websites into virtual ghost towns, I was snooping around the National Interagency Fire Center’s site, and I came […]

Arizona firefighter disaster could be pivotal moment

Arizona firefighter disaster could be pivotal moment

The shocking deaths of 19 firefighters yesterday in Arizona is a grim milestone in the history of wildland firefighting. Will the Yarnell Hill Fire also be a watershed event in how this nation approaches wildfires? Sadly, it often takes a national tragedy to raise awareness of problems and force action on solutions. We know wildfires […]

Yarnell Hill wildfire is third-deadliest for U.S. firefighters

Yarnell Hill wildfire is third-deadliest for U.S. firefighters

The Arizona Republic is reporting tonight that 19 firefighters have died in the Yarnell Hill Fire. This disaster looks to be the third-deadliest incident in the history of U.S. wildland firefighting and the highest number of deaths in a single episode since 25 were lost in a 1933 fire in Griffith Park, California. The Great […]

A century of wildland firefighter deaths

A century of wildland firefighter deaths

[6/30/2013 UPDATE: see this post for more details on how the deaths of 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire rank historically] I’m sorry to say that some wildland firefighters are likely to die in the coming months. Over the past decade, an average of 18 people have been killed each year while trying to […]

Gauging wildfire severity with suppression metrics

Gauging wildfire severity with suppression metrics

The number of acres burned is the most common metric used for tracking wildfires, but there are other important measures for gauging the severity of the fire season. The struggle to suppress wildfires is something that the federal government monitors very closely. For decades, it has been consistently reporting data on the army of firefighters […]