Rocky Mountain fires leave telltale ash layers in nearby lakes like this one. Philip Higuera What the extreme fire seasons of 1910 and 2020 – and 2,500 years of forest history – tell us about the future of wildfires in the West Kyra Clark-Wolf, University of Colorado Boulder and Philip Higuera, University of Montana Strong winds … Continue reading 2,500 Years of Forest History
What happened when two experienced hikers got caught in the Bolt Creek Fire. Kylie Mohr/High Country News Matt Bishop and Steve Cooper grabbed exposed roots and mossy rocks for balance as they climbed up a steep hillside. It was just after 7 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2022, and the two friends were headed up Baring Mountain, … Continue reading ‘We have fire all around us and we can’t get out’
Fires are increasing in high mountain areas that rarely burned in the past. John McColgan, Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Fire Service Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Mojtaba Sadegh, Boise State University As wildfire risk rises in the West, wildland firefighters and officials are keeping a closer eye on the high … Continue reading Fire danger in the high mountains is intensifying: That’s bad news for humans, treacherous for the environment
California’s snowpack was more than twice the average in much of the state in early March 2023. Mario Tama/Getty Images Dan McEvoy, Desert Research Institute After three years of extreme drought, the Western U.S. is finally getting a break. Mountain ranges are covered in deep snow, and water reservoirs in many areas are filling up … Continue reading Is the Western drought finally ending? That depends on where you look
Reflection Canyon Utah taken in 2015 What comes next for Lake Powell? Craig Childs/High Country News There is the crumpling, the mess. A marina that once floated in a cove has been towed out of the shrinking lake and dropped in a field of Russian thistle, its metal pontoons partially sunk into dry, crack-crazed soil. Cooler … Continue reading Glen Canyon Revealed
Climate change and rising demand are sucking the life out of the Southwest’s water supply. Jonathon Thompson/High Country News One of the most visible signs of the state of the West’s water supply is the big bathtub ring around the sandstone rim of Lake Powell, the nation’s second-largest reservoir. Whenever the massive hydrological system that delivers … Continue reading The Incredible Shrinking Colorado River
Another dangerous fire season is looming in the Western U.S., and the drought-stricken region is headed for a water crisis Dry conditions across the West follow a hot, dry year of record-setting wildfires in 2020. Communities were left with scenes like this, from California’s Creek Fire. Amir Aghakouchak/University of California Irvine Mojtaba Sadegh, Boise State … Continue reading Another dangerous fire season is looming in the Western U.S.