Firefighting

Planned Burns Can Reduce Wildfire Risks, But Expanding Use of ‘Good Fire’ Isn’t Easy

COMMENTARY | Forests across much of North America need fire to maintain healthy structures and watershed conditions and support biodiversity.

Tracking Cancer Among Firefighters

The National Firefighter Registry seeks to collect detailed information on cancer rates within the profession with the goal of improving research.

Federal Agency Drone Use to Monitor Natural Disasters Expanded Dramatically in 2018

The Interior Department flew more than 10,000 unmanned missions to survey federal land, monitor wildlife and respond to natural disasters.

After a Voter Mandated Pay Increase, the Threat of Firefighter Layoffs

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Looking at a Florida tolls contract ... Luxury tax on non-resident apartments in New York ... A tree falls in Los Angeles.

‘There’s No One to Help You Right Now’: 911 Calls Released From Deadly Firestorm

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Alaska localities decry governor’s budget cuts … a Texas city with 400,000 people and no transit system … and Ohio River flooding.

California Town Launches 'Goat Fund Me' for Fire Prevention

Officials from Nevada City are crowdfunding the rental of a grazing goat herd to eat flammable plants on city-owned land.

Invasive Species Have Some States Seeking Increased Federal Partnership

More than 5,000 invasive species—from plants like cheatgrass to rodents like nutria—inhabit the U.S. causing about $120 billion in economic damage annually.

A Prolonged Shutdown Will Hit Counties With Tight Cash Flows Hardest

From wildfire prevention efforts to farm loans to mass transit, here are the latest potential casualties of a long-term funding hiatus.

Police Layoffs Likely in Houston After Judge’s Pay-Parity Ruling

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Oklahoma’s unaccredited teachers … Connecticut’s new budget chief … and New Mexico’s backlog in unpaid film incentives.

A Tough Question in California: Whether to Rebuild in Places That Will Burn Again

Despite the clear and present dangers of the wildland-urban interface, many vow to rebuild in risky spots.

Poor and Minorities Face Outsized Wildfire Vulnerabilities, Study Finds

The analysis looks at both fire hazards and "adaptive capacity" in communities around the U.S.

A Thanksgiving Tradition: Cooking Mishaps That Keep First Responders Busy

Give thanks to those fighting major wildfires, but also to those who will respond to your deep-fried turkey disaster or when you simply forget about the yams in the oven.

‘Painstakingly Difficult’ Efforts to ID Camp Fire’s Victims as Death Toll Rises

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | States report continued low unemployment … Massachusetts marijuana sales … and San Diego’s costly broken sidewalks.

Despite Major Wildfires, Most Calif. Local Governments Won’t Feel Credit Ratings Impacts

Only small towns and school districts facing significant damage and weak liquidity will likely feel pressure, according to Moody’s.

When a Deadly Disaster Is 15 Minutes Away Or Less

The Camp Fire’s conflagration prompts important what-if questions for many communities that have limited evacuation routes.

California Utilities Feel Heat as State Burns

Fire investigators continue to look at the possible role power equipment may have played in starting the state’s deadliest wildfire on record.

More Than 200 Still Missing as Wildfire Death Toll Rises in Northern California

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Short-term rental crackdown in N.Y.C. … ‘Michigan left’ turns to expand in Tucson … and a small town’s big sewage leak.

Emergency Comms Survey Reveals Top Concerns for Public Sector Decision Makers

A good reminder for state and local governments: Is your employee contact information up to date?

Considering Whether a Federal Age Discrimination Law Applies to Small Public Agencies

A Supreme Court case looks at whether the law prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of age applies to a small fire district in Arizona.

Why Back-Up Battery Power for Garage Doors Can Be a Matter of Life and Death

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Mich. governor hopes to end labor dispute … “green slime” surrounds ritzy Fla. community … and a new site for massive Minn. homeless camp.