NBC News: Federal firefighter units juggle COVID-19 infection on fire lines. “Wildland firefighters are sometimes considered the last defense, called in after local resources are stretched thin. Federal crews spend the fire season crisscrossing state borders as they are sent to fight the latest burning blaze. And that constant traveling, as well as the close working proximity, have offered a challenge to COVID-19 mitigation, especially as firefighting methods like holding the line can require elbow-to-elbow teamwork.”
CNN: Senators demand recalls after CNN report finds Amazon’s own products are being flagged as fire hazards. “Three senators are demanding the recall of any hazardous products branded with Amazon’s name after a CNN investigation found that dozens of AmazonBasics electronics remained for sale despite customers reporting the products had melted, exploded or burst into flames.”
NASA Earth Observatory: A New Tool for Tracking Amazon Fires. “NASA-funded researchers have developed new tools that will make it easier for governments and other stakeholders to understand what types of fires are burning, where they are burning, and how much risk those fires pose to the rainforest. The satellite-driven, web-based tool quickly classifies fires into one of four categories—deforestation, understory fires, small clearing and agricultural fires, and savanna/grassland fires. The tool was made available on the web on August 19, 2020.”
Armenian Mirror-Spectator: Digital Archives of Armenian National Library Restored Online. “According to the acting director of the National Library of Armenia, Hrachya Saribekyan, online access to digitized materials of the library has been restored after almost three weeks. In a June 3 press conference, he reiterated that the digitized files had been preserved in hard drives which were undamaged despite the fire in the server section of the library.” You can learn more about the Armenian National Library fire here.
Released last month but I missed it. From the US Forest Service: USDA Forest Service Releases Community Wildfire Risk Website. “For the first time, community wildfire risk has been mapped nationwide to help community leaders mitigate risk. The USDA Forest Service today announced the free, interactive, easy-to-use website, Wildfire Risk to Communities. This website is designed to help community leaders nationwide understand how wildfire risk varies across a state, region, or county and allow them to prioritize actions to protect their communities.”
Phys .org: Coronavirus forces new approaches to fighting wildfires. “They are two disasters that require opposite responses: To save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19, people are being told to remain isolated. But in a wildfire, thousands of firefighters must work in close quarters for weeks at a time. Wildfires have already broken out in Texas and Florida, and agencies are scrambling to finish plans for a new approach. They are considering waivers for some training requirements to previously-certified crew members, and moving some training online.”
Hyperallergic: Scorched Museum of Chinese in America Archives Building Will Be Rebuilt. “After it was gutted by a five-alarm fire in January, the Chinatown building that housed the archives of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) will be torn down and rebuilt, the city announced this week. The announcement ended concerns by members of the community that the city may have neglected its pledge to help recover the museum’s damaged archives.”
Gothamist: Museum Of Chinese In America Archives “Very Much Salvageable” After Fire. “The archives of the Museum of Chinese in America may be in better shape than feared, after a five-alarm fire destroyed part of the Chinatown building where they were kept. City workers began the process of recovering the museum’s boxes from the building at 70 Mulberry Street on Wednesday.”
A GoFundMe is available to help the Museum of Chinese in America recover from its recent devastating fire. It’s available here: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/mocafirerecovery . (The museum itself is tweeting out the URL so I consider it verified.)
Gothamist: FDNY Still Fighting ‘Deep-Seated’ Fire In Chinatown Building Housing Museum Of Chinese In America Archives. “A five-alarm fire destroyed the top floors of a historic Chinatown building that housed the archives for the Museum of Chinese in America on Thursday.”
The Irish Times: Retrieval of Irish archive lost in 1922 fire ‘astounding’, historian says. “An attempt to recreate Ireland’s archives destroyed in a fire in June 1922 has been successful to a ‘greater extent than ever previously imagined,’ the historian behind the project has said.”
Nature: A global wildfire dataset for the analysis of fire regimes and fire behaviour. “Here, we present and test a data mining work flow to create a global database of single fires that allows for the characterization of fire types and fire regimes worldwide. This work describes the data produced by a data mining process using MODIS burnt area product Collection 6 (MCD64A1). The entire product has been computed until the present and is available under the umbrella of the Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS).”
Getty Blog: Why the Getty Center Is the Safest Place for Art During a Fire. “A major brush fire, dubbed the Getty Fire, broke out in the early morning hours of October 28, 2019, and consumed over 600 acres to the north and west of the Getty Center. Many of you—our visitors, readers, and followers on social media—were immediately concerned about the safety not only of firefighters, nearby residents, and staff, but also of the precious artworks and archival collections housed at the Getty. Were there plans to evacuate the collection? There is no need to evacuate the art or archives, because they are already in the safest place possible: the Getty Center itself. Opened in 1997, the Center is a marvel of anti-fire engineering. Both indoors and outdoors, its materials, design, construction, operations, and controls are purpose-built for safety.”
University of Queensland: Combatting combustible cladding hazards. “University of Queensland engineering researchers have developed a database of building materials to help industry professionals assess the risk of combustible cladding and boost the safety of our homes and workplaces. The cladding database, which is the first in the world, contains the needed flammability data for a range of materials used in Queensland’s publicly-owned buildings.” Cladding not ringing a bell? It’s one of the reasons the Grenfell Tower fire was believed to be so deadly.
Cal Alumni Association: Fired Up: A Woman’s Upbringing Is Informing Better Fire Response. “[Bailey] Farren joined forces with several other Cal alums—including Trevor Greenan, who lost his family home in the Tubbs Fire—to develop Perimeter, a fire modeling and simulation platform. It integrates satellite-generated information and images with data on weather, terrain, road closures, possible evacuation routes, and suppression resources—all in real time, with rapid refresh capability. The platform is undergoing beta testing through the current fire season.”