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Trillion Trees: Reducing Wildfire Risk, Protecting People and Wildlife

An opaque, autumn haze smothers much of the western United States from the millions of acres burning across forests in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. Fire size and severity are rising in tandem with record heat, low winter snowpack, decreased summer rains, and abundant forest fuels. Wildfires in the West doubled in total size between 2000-2015 compared to the previous 15 years, burning an average 6.8 million acres annually in the last decade. This trend has wide-ranging consequences on the health and productivity of our national forests, our drinking water supplies, and wildlife habitat.

Forest Service Research Reduces Fire Danger in Chernobyl Contaminated Zone

In April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine exploded and heavily contaminated nearly 40,000 square miles with radioisotopes. The contaminated area became known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine and the Polesie Radioecological Reserve in Belarus. Today, the site remains heavily contaminated and access is restricted primarily to staff working to stabilize the remnants of the exploded reactor.

Partnership Efforts to Address Australia Wildfires

As wildfires, or “bushfires”, burn throughout Australia, the USDA Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior continue to deploy wildfire personnel to assist with fire suppression efforts. The two departments have sent more than 200 firefighters since November of 2019.

How Fire-Adapted Communities are Paying Off

Fire seasons have lengthened so much that we now use the term fire year, firefighting costs are breaking new records, and loss of life and property are part of an alarming new pattern. The ability to mitigate these impacts with community collaboration is critically important.

Fire and Bud Sprouts: New Study Looks at How Fire Affects Plants on our National Grasslands

Life on our national grasslands, some of the most distinct and treasured ecosystems in the world, depends on regrowth from buds, rather than seeds. Those endless expanses of grass exist because of plant buds, and at this time of year grasses have finished forming buds beneath the earth’s surface, where they will overwinter until spring.