• A Lawsuit to Protect Streams Could Take Away an Important Firefighting Tool

    The U.S. Forest Service uses millions of gallons of fire retardant to fight wildfires. There have long been concerns about what happens when that mix of ammonium phosphate, emulsifiers, and colorants finds its way into water.

  • Controlled Burns Help Prevent Wildfires, Experts Say. But Regulations Have Made It Nearly Impossible to Do These Burns.

    Even though the 2021 Marshall Fire made it clear that the fire threat posed by Colorado’s grasslands endangers large urban areas, federal, state and local rules continue to make it difficult to address the risk.

  • Preventing Fires and Explosions

    Lines in natural gas grids have to be maintained and serviced regularly. This entails using flares to vent the natural gas. With FlareSimulator, research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF have developed an assistive tool that calculates the correct distance of flares to houses, trees and other nearby objects. This makes it easy to maintain minimum distances and prevent potential hazards and explosions.

  • Understanding Plants Improves Wildland-Fire Modeling in Uncertain Future

    Drought and warmer temperatures make vegetation dynamics crucial to fire behavior and effects. A new conceptual framework for incorporating the way plants use carbon and water into fine-scale computer models of wildland fire provides a critical first step toward improved global fire forecasting.

  • What’s Driving Re-Burns Across California and the West?

    Seasonal temperature, moisture loss from plants, and wind speed are what primarily drive fires that sweep across the same landscape multiple times, a new study reveals. As climate change sparks more new fires in old burn areas, understanding the underlying causes can help shape land management strategies.

  • For 400 years, Indigenous Tribes Buffered Climate's Impact on Wildfires in the American Southwest

    Devastating megafires are becoming more common, in part, because the planet is warming. But a new study suggests bringing “good fire” back to the U.S. and other wildfire fire-prone areas, as Native Americans once did, could potentially blunt the role of climate in triggering today’s wildfires.

  • Americans Are Flocking to Wildfire

    People are trading hurricane zones for wildfire areas, says national study of migration, natural disasters, and climate change.

  • Wildfires Threats Not Commonly Disclosed by U.S. Firms Despite Risk to Economy

    Wildfires in the United States, especially in Western states, increasingly pose a significant risk to entire communities, often destroying homes, businesses and lives. Yet U.S. firms rarely report their wildfire risks in required federal filings and instead bury such risks in nonspecific risk disclosures.

  • Major Fires an Increasing Risk as the Air Gets Thirstier

    Greater atmospheric demand for water means a dramatic increase in the risk of major fires in global forests unless we take urgent and effective climate action, new research finds.

  • Sensor Technology Detects Fires Before They Start

    Fire alarms generally operate by detecting the presence of smoke, open flame, or higher-than-normal levels of carbon monoxide. Such indicators, however, are byproducts of a fire once it has already started. By using functional nanomaterials-based fire sensor technology, researchers hope to take a step forward from existing detection methods.

  • A Machine Learning-Based Solution May Help Firefighters Avoid Deadly Backdrafts

    A lack of oxygen can reduce even the most furious flame to smoldering ash. But when fresh air rushes in, say after a firefighter opens a window or door to a room, the blaze may be suddenly and violently resurrected. Researchers have devised a plan for informing firefighters of what dangers lie behind closed doors.

  • Reducing Wildfire Danger

    With the climate crisis increasing the risk of wildfires in the UK and many other parts of northern Europe, scientists from across the world are sharing their expertise to help tackle the dangers.

  • Wi-Fi System Improves Fire Detection

    Engineers have developed a new fire detection system that could help save lives by monitoring the changes in Wi-Fi signals. A Sydney Harbour Tunnel explosion showcases the work of the researchers, which use wireless signals and artificial intelligence to more accurately identify dangerous fire situations.

  • Taming Tomorrow’s Wildfires

    Wildfire has ravaged the Western United States throughout the last decade. Over three million acres have already burned across the country this year. While firefighters battled blazes on the frontlines in 2021, a team of scientists helped from a unique vantage point: outer space.

  • Sensors Help Fight Wildfires

    As climate change leads to larger and more frequent wildfires, researchers are using sensors, drones and machine learning to both prevent fires and reduce their damage to the electric grid. Engineers are honing technology to remotely sense electrical arcing and faulty equipment, as well as the direction of spreading fires.