Center for Fire Research and Outreach
Center for Fire Research and Outreach
Center for Fire Research and Outreach
University of California
Center for Fire Research and Outreach


Latest Center News

12/14 - What tech can — and can't — do to prevent and put out wildfires

"Los Angeles is in its second week of trying to contain the Thomas fire that has spread through two counties. Millions of acres have burned across the U.S. this year, and one fire killed 44 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in California wine country in October. What role is technology playing in preventing harm from wildfires? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Brandon Collins, a research scientist at UC Berkeley’s Center for Fire Research and Outreach, about fire prevention technology – and its limits. "

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12/13 - The ‘extraordinary situation’ that led Edison to cut power to thousands as wildfire-prevent

A decision to cut power – on purpose – to thousands of residents in Riverside County mountain communities for about 33 hours last week is an example of how far Southern California utilities are willing to go to prevent arcing power lines from sparking wildfires during high winds.

And, in the wake of the deadliest fires in California history in October, it’s a practice that may spread to the northern part of the state, according to Bill Stewart, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Fire Research and Outreach.

“It’s going to be a great big regulatory issue, I’m sure,” Stewart said Monday.

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12/12 - What fire researchers learned from Northern California blazes

"A four-hour drive east of wine country, gray trunks of dead incense cedar and white fir cover the steep slopes of the Eldorado National Forest. Deep into a canyon and up to a ridge in the distance, the trees are so close together that their branches touch. UC Berkeley fire ecologist Brandon Collins brought me here to show me the consequence of decades of fire suppression combined with climate change. This forest would usually burn nine times over the course of 100 years, but no fire had blazed here since at least 1908. “Without fire, you’re going to have these dense stands no matter what,” Collins says."

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10/17 - Wildfire and post-wildfire resources from UCANR and beyond

The devastation caused by the recent wildfires in California will continue to have impacts for years to come. The speed and severity of these fires has highlighted the fragility of our communities in the event of natural disasters. We have received many questions about where to get information on how to prepare for such an event. While no amount of preparation will can remove 100% of risk, UC Cooperative Extension has an assortment of materials regarding pre- and post-wildfire information. We will do our best to provide links to where to get the most up-to-date information, and if readers know of better information, we are happy to update it. This list should not be considered exhaustive, but we hope it will be helpful.

Nota: Recursos para desastres naturales en español estan disponible aquí

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A FIRE’S FIRST, FATAL HOURS: A monster firestorm became unstoppable almost as soon as it started

The fires awed Bill Stewart, a UC Berkeley forestry professor.

“These fires are off the charts,” he said. “There just aren’t enough firefighters in the West to fight that much fire. ... Those trees, on fire, were pure ember machines that really kicked things into a new level. We’ll be studying this for years to come.”

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For today's top fire-related news stories, please view our Wildfire News


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