5 posts
More wildfires than ever

Peter Aldhous for BuzzFeed News delves into the increasing number of wildfires in California: Most of California’s rain and snow falls in between October and March, which means that fire season peaks in the summer, as vegetation dies and dries out. In Southern California, the season extends into the fall, when Santa Ana winds, which blow from the dry interior toward the coast, whip up small fires into major conflagrations....

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Scale of the California wildfires

The Mendocino Complex Fire, now the largest in California ever, continues to burn. I live a couple of hundred miles away, but the sky is yellow and orange at times, and it was smokey a few days ago. It’s a bit crazy. Lazaro Gamio for Axios provides a quick view to show scale with an animated graphic compared against Washington, D.C. and Manhattan. Tags: Axios, California, fire, scale

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Charting all the major California wildfires since 2000

Based on data from CAL FIRE, Erin Ross, for Axios, plotted California wildfires that spanned at least 300 acres since 2000. Each triangle represents a fire, where the height represents acres burned (width is the same for all triangles) and color represents duration. The fires appear to be burning hotter and longer. I wonder if it’s worth doubling up on the triangle encoding by using width to represent duration, similar...

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Getty Center fire resistance

Fire spread over Los Angeles, but the famous art works in the Getty Center stayed put. John Schwartz and Guilbert Gates reporting for The New York Times: The Getty’s architect, Richard Meier, built fire resistance into the billion-dollar complex, said Ron Hartwig, vice president of communications for the J. Paul Getty Trust. These hills are fire prone, but because of features like the 1.2 million square feet of thick travertine...

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Map of Santa Rosa fires

Using both satellite images and ground surveys, The New York Times maps the damage due to the fires in Santa Rosa. Crazy. I live a couple of hours away from the area and I still could smell the smoke. See also Nicolette Hayes’ more personal map. Tags: fire, New York Times

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Algorithm to detect wildfires earlier

Traditional detection algorithms use infrared heat as the main signal of a wildfire. The Firelight Detection Algorithm uses visible light instead, detecting a fire possibly a day earlier. FILDA uses the visible light of fire, detecting high resolution images of fires. Using VIIRS technology, images of fires at night can be captured using infrared and visible light information. FILDA can also detect 90% more pixels than previous methods, and can...

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