Environment

News about energy and the environment

Courtesy of Dr. Sallie Phillips

The Goose Fire burning in the foothills of Fresno County near Prather has burned more than 1,800 acres. It’s threatening 400 structures and has forced hundreds of people to evacuate. The blaze is 15 percent contained. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports that people aren’t the only evacuees. 

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that 600 animals have been evacuated off mountain ranches and homes because of the Goose Fire.   

Bureau of Land Management

Wildfires across the country have burned more than two millions acres of forest this year. And as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports fire officials hope a new real-time warning system will keep civilian operated drones out of the fire fight.

--

Kerry Klein/KVPR

In the Sierra Nevada, it’s estimated that tens of millions of trees have died as a result of drought, many of which succumbed to infestations from bark beetles. As a result, we’ve been told our risk of wildfire is far higher than normal, but FM89’s Kerry Klein says the science doesn’t necessarily agree.

The effort to preserve a healthy population of salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a huge challenge. Those little salmon have a lot of factors working against them. Now a bill in the House of Representatives is trying to take on one of them, the striped bass.

The “Save Our Salmon Act” by Republican Jeff Denham of Turlock would update a 1992 environmental law that manages fish in the Delta. That law sought to increase the number of salmon, but it also set out to double the number of striped bass.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/USDA Forest Service

New data from NASA is helping forest managers deal with millions of dead trees in the Sierra. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports the mapping project is already yielding results.

Since 2013 NASA has flown a plane over the Sierra Nevada collecting images to map changes in the landscape. Zachary Tane with the Forest Service developed an algorithm to break down those measurements and layered the data into a map detailing the exact concentration of dead trees.

flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Fresno has many hidden gems. One of them is tucked away on Winery Avenue not far from the Fresno Airport. It's called The Discovery Center. It's here on Friday nights during June, July and August  that a local professor leads what he calls Star Parties

Study: Water Windfall Beneath California's Central Valley

Jun 28, 2016
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new study finds California’s Central Valley has three times more water beneath it than previously estimated. As Capital Public Radio’s Amy Quinton reports, researchers say that doesn’t mean accessing the groundwater will be cheap or easy.

Researchers at Stanford University found what they call a “water windfall” deep beneath the Central Valley. Stanford Earth Science Professor Rob Jackson is the report’s co-author.

Kern County Fire Department

(Editorial Note: This is an evolving story likely to have updates.)

(update 6/27 5:38 p.m.)

Fire crews are making progress today on what is being called the most destructive wildfire in Kern County history, and some residents are beginning to return home.

The Erskine Fire has burned more than 45,000 acres and has destroyed 200 homes near Lake Isabella. It also killed two people.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Valley Air District is asking the federal government to do more to help clean up the air in Central California. 

The district has submitted a petition to the U.S. EPA asking the agency to adopt more stringent national standards for cleaner trucks and trains.

The district’s executive director Seyed Sadredin says despite on-going local efforts to reduce ozone and particulate pollution, meeting the newest federal health standards would require reducing fossil fuel emissions by another 90 percent. And that he says isn’t something the district can’t do alone.

Ezra Romero/KVPR

Residents in a valley community with one of the highest concentrations of dry wells will soon be getting some relief.  For years, residents in East Porterville have watched their wells dry up in the drought forcing them to rely on water delivery and tanks.

Now, the state of California is offering to pay to hook up the tiny unincorporated community to the much larger city of Porterville.

Eric Lamoureux with the Office of Emergency Services says the state will make an initial $10 million dollar investment to begin hooking up the roughly 1,800 homes in East Porterville.

Pages