Two of Nevada’s leading wildfire experts — Tim Brown, director of the Western Regional Climate Center at the Desert Research Institute, and Christina Restaino, director of the Living With Fire program at UNR — offer insight into why wildfires have gotten so bad, their hidden costs and the mitigation efforts that are needed from local up to federal levels.
A multiyear battle over whether Southern Nevadans should pay for natural disaster protection work in Northern Nevada raises an increasingly pressing public policy question: Are natural disasters statewide or local issues?
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Wildfires have burned more than 8.8 million acres over the past 20 years in Nevada. A series of public-private partnerships and projects funded by federal and state appropriations could prevent more from sparking around Northern Nevada.
Substantial portions of Humboldt, Elko, Washoe and Pershing counties and the northern tips of Lander and Eureka counties have an “above normal” chance of seeing significant wildfire activity through October, according to the National Interagency Fire Center’s Predictive Services office.
Northern Nevada is famous for its beautiful outdoors, including Lake Tahoe and an abundance of camping sites and trails to explore. But the outdoor recreation that is a cultural staple for the region may be cut short by another summer tradition: wildfire season.
Two weeks after thousands of South Lake Tahoe residents fled their homes, the flames of the Caldor Fire threatening to consume the tourist destination, Stephanie is relieved to be back in her house again.
Monterrosa said the work of photographing fire — and people fleeing for their lives — is physically and emotionally taxing. At the same time, he said he’s feeling even more motivated to cover these disasters.
Officials orchestrated an unprecedented evacuation of South Lake Tahoe as the Caldor Fire spread closer to the lake. For residents, that has brought uncertainty, dislocation and questions about what the future looks like.
Operators of the four major casinos in South Lake Tahoe began closing portions of their gaming floors Monday after fire officials in California ordered evacuations of residents all the way up to the Nevada border in response to the fast-spreading Caldor Fire.
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at new research modeling increases in “atmospheric thirst” as the climate changes in Nevada and California. That all might sound technical, but scientists expect the changes to prime the landscape for more extreme wildfire and drought in the coming decades.