Fire-lookout towers perched atop remote, craggy peaks across the U.S. West may seem like quaint reminders of an era before satellites, smartphones and jet-propelled air tankers.
Officials say they’re losing the battle against a devastating combination of invasive plant species and wildfires in the vast sagebrush habitats in the U.S. West that support cattle ranching and recreation and are home to an imperiled bird.
The acting chief of the U.S. Forest Service says there’s a sense of relief at the agency for the billions of additional dollars made available by lawmakers over the next decade to fight catastrophic wildfires but also a duty to spend it wisely.
Officials at an eastern Idaho nuclear site where a radioactive sludge barrel ruptured inside a contained building say there have been three other ruptures.
Fines paid by the U.S. Department of Energy to Idaho for missing a deadline to get radioactive liquid waste out of underground storage tanks have surpassed $3.5 million and the money could be used for enhanced monitoring of a huge aquifer beneath the site, officials say.
Storms brought cooler and wetter weather into the Western and Northwestern U.S. this weekend, breaking up a temperature inversion that had blanketed much of the region with acrid smoke from dozens of wildfires.
A black bear attacked a man jogging in the Panhandle National Forests in northern Idaho in the second bear attack at the popular recreation area in a month but the bear ran away after the jogger kicked at it, officials said Wednesday.