TechCrunch: BreezoMeter, which powers air quality in Apple’s Weather app, launches Wildfire Tracker

TechCrunch: BreezoMeter, which powers air quality in Apple’s Weather app, launches Wildfire Tracker. “BreezoMeter has been on a mission to make environmental health hazard information accessible to as many people as possible. Through its air quality index (AQI) calculations, the Israel-based company can now identify the quality of air down to a few meters in dozens of countries. A partnership with Apple to include its data into the iOS Weather app along with its own popular apps delivers those metrics to hundreds of millions of users, and an API product allows companies to tap into its data set for their own purposes.”

CNN: Smoke and soot from wildfires may be causing more Covid-19 cases and deaths, study finds

CNN: Smoke and soot from wildfires may be causing more Covid-19 cases and deaths, study finds. “As the coronavirus surges again in the United States, scientists have found another disaster is playing a key role in the number of people who contract severe Covid-19 cases and how many die: wildfires. A new study published in the journal Science Advances found that increases in fine particulate matter from wildfire smoke in 2020 led to a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths in California, Oregon and Washington.”

GeekWire: Interactive new tool using satellites and AI creates more precise wildfire maps for public, firefighters

GeekWire: Interactive new tool using satellites and AI creates more precise wildfire maps for public, firefighters. “The RADRFIRE tool uses infrared satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to create detailed wildfire maps to track and forecast fires. It was developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Eastern Washington, in consultation with numerous agencies responsible for battling the fires — a job that keeps getting harder with worsening droughts and climate change. The Bootleg Fire currently burning in Southern Oregon is so fierce that it’s generating its own weather.”

WWF: Google’s AI technology to identify animals impacted by bushfires

WWF: Google’s AI technology to identify animals impacted by bushfires. “Artificial intelligence and an army of new sensor cameras will be used to track the recovery of animals impacted by bushfires in one of the most extensive post-fire surveillanceprograms ever undertaken in Australia. WWF-Australia and Conservation International, supported with a USD 1 million grant from Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org, have launched An Eye on Recovery, a large-scale collaborative camera sensor project.”

NBC News: Federal firefighter units juggle COVID-19 infection on fire lines

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.”

Mashble: Facebook removes misinformation related to Oregon wildfires

Mashable: Facebook removes misinformation related to Oregon wildfires. “Another day, another slew of misinformation being shared on Facebook. But this time, the social media platform is removing several false claims before they spread to an even wider audience. On Saturday, Facebook’s policy communications manager, Andy Stone, tweeted that the platform is removing misinformation related to the wildfires in Oregon, which have killed at least 10 people.”

Fast Company: This tool is mapping every tree in California to help stop megafires

Fast Company: This tool is mapping every tree in California to help stop megafires. “If you zoom in on a new map of California, you’ll start to see that the fields of green that represent the forest are actually made up of individual green points, and each point represents a real, individual tree. The tool, called the California Forest Observatory, uses AI and satellite images to create an ultradetailed view of the state’s forests—aiding work to prevent the type of catastrophic megafires that the state is experiencing now.”

CNN: QAnon fans spread fake claims about real fires in Oregon

CNN: QAnon fans spread fake claims about real fires in Oregon. “Authorities in Oregon are pleading with the public to only trust and share information verified by official sources about the unprecedented wildfires sweeping the state. The pleas come as law enforcement agencies described 911 dispatchers being overrun with calls about a false online rumor that ‘Antifa’ members had been arrested for setting the fires — a claim promoted by the anonymous account behind the QAnon conspiracy theories.”

PolitiFact: Antifa activists did not start the West Coast wildfires

PolitiFact: Antifa activists did not start the West Coast wildfires. “Dozens of other posts blaming antifa for the wildfires were flagged as part of the company’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) Collectively, they’ve been shared thousands of times. Is there some evidence that these left-wing activists are responsible for the wildfires ravaging the West Coast? No. Officials have dispelled the rumors, and while investigations are still ongoing, many of the fires appear to have been sparked accidentally.”

San Francisco Chronicle: Worried about Bay Area smoke? Here’s how to look up the air quality in your microclimate

San Francisco Chronicle: Worried about Bay Area smoke? Here’s how to look up the air quality in your microclimate . “The air over much of the Bay Area is generally clean, thanks to ocean breezes. But when the skies fill with wildfire smoke, that changes. For your health and safety, it’s vital to know the latest air quality information in your community. But it can be hard to find, especially since the Bay Area has so many microclimates. Here is a guide to resources that can help you monitor and understand your local air quality.” This article was written for people in the Bay Area, but it has plenty of resources for California in general and a couple for the entire United States.

Slate: All the Ways the Pandemic Makes the Wildfire Crisis Worse

Slate: All the Ways the Pandemic Makes the Wildfire Crisis Worse. “We are living through multiple crises at once. Remember way back in May, when we all realized the coronavirus was not going to be under control any time soon, and we wondered how an uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic might hamper the emergency response to any other natural disasters we might experience? It’s happening now, in California. Here are all the ways COVID is making this particular climate disaster harder to face.”