Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

Not out of the woods

State's historic, massive tree die-off grows by 27 million — California is losing about 2 million trees each month

California’s forests are seeing a continued die-off of trees even a year after last year’s heavy rains ended the state’s crippling drought. U.S. FOREST SERVICE

U.S. Forest Service

KPIX San Francisco & San Francisco Chronicle

Another 27 million trees have died statewide since November 2016, bringing the total number of trees that have succumbed to drought and bark beetles to an historic 129 million, the U.S. Forest Service announced Monday. State officials also worry about dead groves becoming easy tinder for lethal wildfires, because efforts to remove hazardous stands have been slow due to the sheer volume of death.


How the Thomas Fire became a monster inferno

Los Angeles Times

Friday, an army of firefighters in Ventura County hoped it was finally beginning to turn the tide on the Thomas Fire. After burning hundreds of homes, the fire was slowing as Santa Ana winds calmed down. But over the weekend, the fire reemerged with a vengeance, pushing into Santa Barbara County and destroying more homes. Here’s a look at the fire that has refused to die.


Tiny fracking quakes may portend bigger tremors

Stanford University

Stanford geoscientists have devised a way of detecting thousands of faint, previously missed earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing. Their research indicates that tiny tremors caused by fracking of natural gas near the surface could be early signs of stressful conditions deep underground that could destabilize faults and trigger larger earthquakes.