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.”

CanIndia News: Google unveils new California wildfire map in Search, SOS alerts

CanIndia News: Google unveils new California wildfire map in Search, SOS alerts. “As the devastating wildfires tore through Northern California, Google on Thursday launched a new wildfire boundary map in Search and Maps SOS alerts to provide deeper insights for areas impacted by an ongoing wildfire.”

NASA Earth Observatory: A New Tool for Tracking Amazon Fires

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.”

Twitter Blog: Using data from the conversation on Twitter to help detect wildfires

Twitter Blog: Using data from the conversation on Twitter to help detect wildfires. “This wildfire season, Mayday.ai is set to combine data from the unfolding conversation on Twitter with its proprietary incident detection system, which is based on satellite sensors, an array of 35,000 traffic cameras, and IP911 to power a comprehensive detection and a highly targeted notification tracker. Mayday.ai has developed a comprehensive dispatch platform and a mobile app which will provide first responders and civilians unprecedented access to real-time incident information — and has so far had much success in detecting wildfires using its proprietary platform and is being used as a template for other disasters in Mayday’s roadmap.”

Utah State University: The Utah Fire Atlas Offers Land Managers a New Tool

Utah State University: The Utah Fire Atlas Offers Land Managers a New Tool. “Using the fire atlas, researchers will characterize both wildfires and prescribed fires in Utah so the data can inform land management and policy decisions that will create greater resilience to wildfires and optimize post-fire conditions. The institute is concentrating on fires from 100 to 1000 acres – a size relevant to managers considering prescribed or ‘let burn’ fires.”

Phys .org: Mapping dry wildfire fuels with AI and new satellite data

Phys .org: Mapping dry wildfire fuels with AI and new satellite data. “Anticipating where a fire is likely to ignite and how it might spread requires information about how much burnable plant material exists on the landscape and its dryness. Yet this information is surprisingly difficult to gather at the scale and speed necessary to aid wildfire management. Now, a team of experts in hydrology, remote sensing and environmental engineering have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states, from Colorado, Montana, Texas and Wyoming to the Pacific Coast.”

Phys .org: COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season, says expert

Phys .org: COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season, says expert. “COVID-19 may cause a drop in spring wildfires as people are still being asked to self-isolate throughout May, Alberta’s riskiest fire month, says a University of Alberta expert. ‘Since we’re still staying at home in May, there are fewer people recreating or working in the forests and human-caused fires will be reduced,’ said wildfire scientist Mike Flannigan. ‘Over 80 percent of Alberta’s wildfires in May are started by humans.'”

US Forest Service: USDA Forest Service Releases Community Wildfire Risk Website

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.”