Skip to main contentSkip to main content
Updating results

Forests

  • Updated

Three of New Mexico’s five national forests will be off limits to the public starting this week due to active wildfires and extreme fire danger. The announcement came Tuesday as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the damage from a record-setting fire burning in northern New Mexico will be significant with estimates of burned structures likely to range between 1,000 and 1,500 as more assessments are done. The governor stressed that was a rough estimate. The fire has charred more than 468 square miles over the last 42 days and evacuation orders remain in place for some surrounding villages. Wildfires also are burning elsewhere in New Mexico as hot and dry conditions persist.

Three of New Mexico’s five national forests will be off limits to the public starting this week due to active wildfires and extreme fire danger. The announcement came Tuesday as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the damage from a record-setting fire burning in northern New Mexico will be significant with estimates of burned structures likely to range between 1,000 and 1,500 as more assessments are done. The governor stressed that was a rough estimate. The fire has charred more than 468 square miles over the last 42 days and evacuation orders remain in place for many surrounding villages. Wildfires also are burning elsewhere in New Mexico as hot and dry conditions persist.

  • Updated

Lighter winds allowed for the most intense aerial attack this week on multiple wildfires in New Mexico, including the biggest U.S. wildfire burning northeast of Santa Fe. In Southern California, where a fire that has destroyed at least 20 homes in the coastal community of Laguna Niguel, the mandatory evacuation area was scaled back Friday from 900 residences to 131. West of Santa Fe, residents remain on alert as a fire slowly creeps toward the city of Los Alamos. That's where scientists at a U.S. national security lab are charged with assessing apocalyptic threats, including wildfires. Public schools remained closed there Friday as many residents prepared for possible evacuations.

Hudbay Minerals Inc. says it may appeal a court ruling against its planned use of forest land to store waste rock from a proposed new copper mine but that it also will continue planning for a nearby related project that would include using private land. A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the U.S. Forest Service went outside a federal mining law by approving Toronto-based Hudbay's plan to store waste rock on mining claims in the Santa Rita Mountains in southeastern Arizona. Hudbay said it would review the Rosemont Mine ruling but also  continue planning its Copper World project nearby in the Santa Ritas.

  • Updated

An appeals court has upheld a judge’s ruling overturning a federal agency’s approval of Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals' plan for a new open-pit copper mine  in southeastern Arizona. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Thursday that the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of a permit for the Rosemont Mine in a valley on the eastern flank of the Santa Rita Mountains violates part of a federal mining law. The court cited the planned use of national forest land for long-term storage of waste rock and the lack of valuable minerals on the property. Conservationists hailed the ruling. Hudbay says it's reviewing the ruling and will continue to pursue alternatives. 

  • Updated

Brazilian environmental and Indigenous organizations are urging the United States to fund forest protection initiatives that directly involve forest peoples. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is set to hold a hearing Thursday on a bill by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that would create a $9 billion fund to protect tropical rainforests. Ahead of the hearing, more than 300 organizations issued a letter asking lawmakers to bypass Brazil's national government and deal with them directly.

  • Updated

Firefighters in New Mexico are taking advantage of diminished winds to build more fire lines and clear combustible brush near homes close to the fringes of the largest wildfire burning in the U.S. The blaze has charred hundreds of square miles of tinder-dry forest, destroying dozens of homes and triggering the evacuation of thousands across an expansive stretch of rural northeastern New Mexico. President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for areas devastated by the fire, while a congresswoman pressed the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday for a full account of its role in lighting a prescribed fire that fed the conflagration.

  • Updated

With above-normal wildfire conditions present across much of Arizona, restrictions on campfires and other fire sources are taking effect in most of national forests in the state. The Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto forests imposed restrictions starting Thursday that prohibit campfires and use of stoves fueled by charcoal, coal or wood except within a developed recreation site. Smoking is prohibited except in a vehicle, inside a building or within a developed recreation site. Officials say the increased fire danger is due to insufficient moisture and dry fuel conditions.

  • Updated

Calmer weather conditions in northern New Mexico are helping over 1,000 firefighters battling the nation's largest active wildfire. They are trying Saturday to prevent it from getting closer to the state's small city of Las Vegas, where ashes fell. Strong winds pushed the fire Friday across some containment lines and toward the city of 13,000. A fire operations official said the fire's rapid growth to 152 square miles forced crews Friday to repeatedly change positions because of dangerous conditions. No injuries were reported. The official says improved weather Saturday would allow air support for ground crews as bulldozers clear containment lines. The fire has burned at least 166 homes.

  • Updated

Bronx Zoo officials have announced the birth of a baby tree kangaroo that's the first of its species born at the zoo since 2008. Zoo director Jim Breheny said Friday that the birth of the Matschie’s tree kangaroo joey is a unique opportunity to observe “one of nature’s most intriguing evolutionary adaptations.” The Matschie’s tree kangaroo is native to Papua New Guinea and is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is arboreal and lives in mountain rainforests. The joey is about the size of a human thumbnail at birth.

  • Updated

The Oregon Court of Appeals has overturned a $1.1 billion verdict against the state over its forest management practices. A Linn County jury found in 2019 that Oregon breached its contract with 13 rural counties and 151 local taxing districts by failing to maximize timber harvests on state forests over the last two decades. At issue in the long-simmering dispute is whether Oregon must manage more than 700,000 acres of state forestland for maximum timber revenue or if it has the discretion to manage them for wildlife and recreation. The plaintiffs can appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.

  • Updated

A bird that is inextricably linked to the piñon and juniper forests that span the Western United States has seen its numbers decline over the last half century. Environmentalists announced Tuesday that they're petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the pinyon jay under the Endangered Species Act as a way to save the species and the trees. A very social bird, the jay is known for stashing away piñon seeds, a habit that helps propagate the next generation of trees. Piñon and juniper forests across the West already have been effected by climate change, hotter and drier conditions and more severe wildfires.

A bird that is inextricably linked to the piñon and juniper forests that span the Western United States has seen its numbers decline over the last half century. Environmentalists announced Tuesday that they're petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the pinyon jay under the Endangered Species Act as a way to save the species and the trees. A very social bird, the jay is known for stashing away piñon seeds, a habit that helps propagate the next generation of trees. Piñon and juniper forests across the West already have been effected by climate change, hotter and drier conditions and more severe wildfires.

  • Updated

Destructive U.S. Southwest fires have burned dozens of homes in northern Arizona and put numerous small villages in New Mexico in the path of danger, as wind-fueled flames chewed up wide swaths of tinder dry forest and grassland and plumes of smoke filled the sky. More than 1,600 firefighters were battling six blazes in New Mexico and three in Arizona that have consumed more than 100 square miles of timber and brush. Just east of Santa Fe, New Mexico, ranchers and other rural inhabitants were abruptly told to leave by law enforcement.

  • Updated

A woman who accidentally dropped her cellphone into the hole of an outhouse in a national forest and fell in while trying to retrieve it had to be rescued by firefighters in Washington state. Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly says the woman was using her phone when it fell into the toilet in the Olympic National Forest. He says she used dog leashes to tie herself off so she could reach the phone, but she ended up falling into the toilet headfirst. Firefighters passed her blocks to stand on to reach a harness, which they used to pull her out of the vault. The Kitsap Sun reports the woman was uninjured.

  • Updated

President Joe Biden spent Earth Day in Seattle, where he signed an executive order intended to help restore national forests that have been devastated by wildfires, drought and blight. The visit was intended to reassert his environmental credentials when he's been more focused on lowering gas prices that have risen during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, Biden's more ambitious climate change proposals remain stalled in Congress, casting doubt on the country's ability to hit his targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He expressed frustration with Republicans and some Democrats for preventing progress and challenged them to get legislation to his desk. 

  • Updated

Ideas for reducing greenhouse gas in the atmosphere are getting a funding boost from famed entrepreneur Elon Musk. The Tesla electric vehicle and SpaceX rocket company developer is bankrolling a $100 million XPRIZE competition for the most promising ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by grabbing the gas out of the air. The 15 initial “milestone round” winners of the contest announced Friday will get $1 million each, helping the teams to carry on with and scale up their work. Winning ideas range from restoring rain forests by farming algae on cleared lands to producing a sort of artificial limestone with a process mimicking ocean chemistry.

  • Updated

After a brief break in the weather allowed for new aerial attacks on some of the many fires burning in the Southwest, crews are preparing for ferocious winds to return through the end of the week. Resources are tight, and fire managers are scrambling to get crews on board. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated. One of the biggest blazes near Flagstaff, Arizona, has grown to more than 32 square miles. Helicopters were able to drop water on that fire for the first time Thursday. Forest Service officials in New Mexico says there is “high confidence that a widespread extreme and catastrophic fire weather event will occur on Friday.”

  • Updated

Firefighters attacking blazes across the Southwest are preparing for winds to strengthen through the end of the week. Resources are tight, and fire managers are scrambling to get crews on board. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated because of multiple wildfires. One of the largest outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, has grown to more than 32 square miles. Firefighters had been hampered by erratic winds but helicopters for the first time were able to drop water on the fire Thursday. One incident commander on a fire south of Prescott, Arizona, says conditions are some of the worst he's seen in nearly five decades of firefighting. Hundreds of people fled wildfires burning in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.

  • Updated

Fire managers across the Southwest are reckoning with strong winds that are fueling wildfires. The weather isn't expected to let up this week, and forecasters say that could mean explosive growth on blazes in Arizona and New Mexico. A northern Arizona wildfire more than tripled in size Wednesday as flames ran through neighborhoods on the outskirts of Flagstaff. Hundreds of residents have been forced from their homes and more than two dozen structures have burned. Investigators don't know yet what caused the 30 square-mile wildfire. Firefighters also were battling wind-driven blazes in New Mexico and Colorado. 

  • Updated

Fire managers across the Southwest are reckoning with strong winds that are fueling wildfires. The weather isn't expected to let up this week, and forecasters say that could mean explosive growth on blazes in Arizona and New Mexico. A northern Arizona wildfire more than tripled in size Wednesday as flames ran through neighborhoods on the outskirts of Flagstaff. Hundreds of residents have been forced from their homes and more than two dozen structures have burned. Investigators don't know yet what caused the 30 square-mile wildfire. Firefighters also were battling wind-driven blazes in New Mexico and Colorado. 

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Breaking News (FlagLive!)