EJToday: Top Headlines
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"The FLAME Act of 2009 was supposed to ensure the Forest Service had enough money to fight fires without having to cut into programs to provide recreation, protect habitat and improve forest health. But after Congress raided the fund established by the law during the 2011 standoff over the debt ceiling, and after further cuts this year, the fund is empty."
"MANTON, Calif. — Aided by a shift in wind direction, firefighters made a stand against a huge lightning-sparked wildfire burning on the edge of three small Northern California towns."
"Beside Seattle’s notoriously polluted Duwamish River, an excavator scoops up small pieces of waste metal and slings them onto a rusty mountain at Seattle Iron & Metals Corp. A pile of flattened cars and trucks squats nearby amid vast sheets of scrap metal. For at least the last four years, this auto-shredder and metal recycler has dumped more pollutants into the river than allowed under the federal Clean Water Act, government records show. The levels have ranged higher than 250 times above what’s known to harm salmon that migrate through the river."
"FEATHERVILLE, Idaho (AP) — Across the West, dozens of fires fueled by searing heat, dry weather and strong winds have added up to misery for weary residents who already are fed up with one of the region's worst fire seasons in decades."
"Firefighters battled wildfires across the U.S. West on Tuesday, including a massive out-of-control blaze that has destroyed 60 homes and burned more than 20,000 acres between two national forests in Washington state."
Rural residents near forest tracts in Oregon have tested positive for 2,4-D (an ingredient in Agent Orange) and atrazine in their urine -- and they think timber companies are to blame.
"BLACHLY, Ore. -- Six years ago, Eron King, an artist and young mother, moved from the edge of Eugene to a creekside plot of forest valley so her two boys could grow up raising hens and Toggenburg goats.
"Hundreds of firefighters battled a pair of wildfires that burned out of control in Northern California for a second day on Monday, threatening a clothing-optional resort and forcing the evacuation of some 500 homes. Meanwhile, authorities said a U.S. Forest Service firefighter was killed in Idaho while battling a blaze there."
"The [US Forest Service] abandons a long-held policy to let nature take its course on public wilderness lands. The long-term effects will be costly."
"For the first time, more than 8,000 temporary wilderness firefighters -- the men and women who battle some of the nation's most devastating fires -- will be eligible to receive federal health insurance, the White House said Tuesday."
"SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Predictably, the clash of the titans ended loudly Tuesday. With the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento and lumber giant Sierra Pacific Industries Inc. trotting out competing versions of a settlement's meaning, their epic legal match over who started the Moonlight fire and who should pay for the damages is closed."
"It took less than an hour last month for a Montana wildfire to reduce Scott McRae's ranch to thousands of blackened acres devoid of the grasses that were to sustain hundreds of cattle."
"The worst wildfire season in decades is not only blackening tens of thousands of acres in Western states; it is also creating significant environmental damage."
"To date in 2012, more than 173,000 acres have already burned in Colorado, destroying more than 600 homes and taken six lives, 7News reports. Now with 4th of July approaching, the heat combined with relative low humidity and unseasonable dryness has firefighters saying that fireworks are "not worth the risk" this year during the worst wildfire season in a decade."
"After several years of relatively benign fire seasons, the West is headed into a hot, dry summer of potentially ferocious blazes like the ones that have scorched Colorado in recent weeks."