Tag: Wildfires

As Wildfire Season Looms, Finding Tree Trimmers is a New Problem

OAKHURST, Calif. — Pacific Gas & Electric has a big problem. Its equipment keeps coming into contact with dry trees and shrubs and starting devastating wildfires. So the company is scrambling to trim or cut down hundreds of thousands of trees across its vast Northern California territory. But it has another problem: finding people to […]

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Utah Continues Its Assault on Federal Lands

On television, the state of Utah eagerly promotes the magnificence of its five national parks. “This is life elevated,” the narrator intones in one of the state’s many tourism commercials. “Five iconic parks. One epic experience.” But off screen, state and federal lawmakers from Utah have worked aggressively to dismantle protections for millions of acres […]

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California Says PG&E Power Lines Caused Fire That Killed 85

Electrical transmission lines belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric caused the Camp Fire of 2018, California’s deadliest wildfire, a state agency concluded on Wednesday. The fire, which started on Nov. 8, killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 homes, businesses and other buildings. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Wednesday that, […]

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Fire Forced Me From My Home. Then Water Trapped Me There.

I’ve lived in Idyllwild for the last 45 years. It’s a small town in the Southern California mountains, and it’s about a mile high where most people live. We don’t have any traffic lights. We don’t have fast food. We don’t even have a Starbucks. But we have many, many hiking trails. The Pacific Crest […]

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Judge Orders PG&E Directors to Visit Town Destroyed by Wildfire

In an unusual move, a Federal District Court judge on Tuesday ordered directors of Pacific Gas and Electric to visit the Northern California town destroyed by the state’s deadliest wildfire, which the utility has said was most likely started by its equipment. The judge, William H. Alsup, ordered the board members to visit Paradise by […]

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Blamed for Wildfires, PG&E Seeks Higher Electricity Rates

Pacific Gas & Electric has been blamed for starting some of California’s most devastating wildfires. Now it is asking state officials for permission to raise electricity rates to pay for safety improvements and to offset the financial risk of more wildfires. PG&E, working its way through its second bankruptcy in two decades, isn’t alone in […]

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Want to Escape Global Warming? These Cities Promise Cool Relief

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. DULUTH, Minn. — As the West burns, the South swelters and the East floods, some Americans are starting to reconsider where they choose to live. For advice, a few of them are turning to Jesse Keenan, a lecturer at the […]

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Venezuela’s Powerless Revolution

If you squint at NASA satellite photos taken on the evening of Mar. 7, you will see the immediate source of the blackout that paralyzed Venezuela for a week: two tiny wildfires, perilously close to essential power transmission lines. Zoom out and you’ll see the capital, Caracas, plunged into darkness. On Monday, another blackout struck […]

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Personal Data of 2.3 Million Disaster Victims Was Released by FEMA, Report Says

The Federal Emergency Management Agency unnecessarily shared sensitive personal data of more than two million disaster victims with a contractor, subjecting that information to potential identity theft and fraud, a government memo released on Friday said. The memo, known as a management alert and written by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of […]

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Home in Ashes, They’re Forced to Fight for Share of PG&E Money

Neil and Kathinka McKeown’s home in Calaveras County, Calif., burned down in a 2015 wildfire that regulators believe started when a power line made contact with a tree. Late last year, they thought they were finally close to rebuilding after reaching a seven-figure settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric, whose line was involved. But PG&E […]

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PG&E Says It Probably Caused the Fire That Destroyed Paradise, Calif.

Pacific Gas & Electric said Thursday that its equipment probably caused the Camp Fire, the catastrophic November blaze that destroyed thousands of homes in Paradise, Calif., and killed at least 86 people. PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, said it had recorded a $10.5 billion charge in anticipation of damage claims for that […]

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Wildfires Rage in Britain After Record Temperatures

LONDON — On the same day that Britain experienced record winter temperatures. wildfires broke out at some of the nation’s most beloved nature spots. Firefighters were deployed to tackle the blazes on Tuesday, when a record was set for the warmest February day since 1910 and the hottest winter day temperature. The night sky glowed […]

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The Political Playbook of a Bankrupt California Utility

SAN FRANCISCO — Eight years ago, federal investigators announced that a “litany of failures” by California’s largest utility had caused a massive gas explosion that killed eight people, injured 58 and incinerated a neighborhood in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno. Two days after that announcement, under blue skies at a baseball diamond on […]

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Trilobites: Aboriginal Hunters’ Fires Help Restore an Australian Desert

In Australia in recent decades, the bilby, the bettong, or rat kangaroo, the brush-tailed possum and other medium-sized mammals all disappeared from the Western Desert. It was a mystery: Typically bigger animals vanish first — often only after people show up. But ask the people who lived in this desert for 48,000 years what happened […]

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U.S. Midwest Freezes, Australia Burns: This Is the Age of Weather Extremes

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. In Chicago, officials warned about the risk of almost instant frostbite on what could be the city’s coldest day ever. Lansing, Mich., opened a warming center. And schools and universities closed across the Midwest as rare polar winds streamed down […]

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The Very High Costs of Climate Risk

Before the catastrophic Camp Fire destroyed Paradise, Calif., the Pacific Gas and Electric Company was worth more than $25 billion. Now it’s C.E.O. has stepped down and the company, which provides natural gas and electricity to 16 million people in California, has filed for bankruptcy as it confronts billions of dollars in potential liability claims […]

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PG&E Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Face of Large Wildfire Liabilities

LOS ANGELES — Pacific Gas and Electric, the largest electric utility in California, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday in anticipation of billions of dollars in liability claims for two years of wildfires. PG&E, which faces damage claims estimated at tens of billions of dollars for wildfires started by its equipment, said this month that […]

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