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California’s Sierra Snowpack Shows Improvement; Drought Still Not Over

National Public Radio: Updated snowpack measurements show El Nino has helped ease the drought in California. While reservoirs are filling up, conservation measures remain in place.

Drought-Stricken California Prepares For Strong El Niño Winter

National Public Radio: In parched California, water managers and emergency management officials are preparing to move from one extreme to another with predictions of a "too big to fail" El Niño winter ahead.

Rough Fire Spreads Near Ancient Sequoia Grove In California

National Public Radio: The Valley fire is just one of more than a dozen currently burning in California. The largest, the Rough Fire, is burning near a grove of ancient Sequoias. It is currently 40 percent contained.

Wildfire Worries Rage In Typically ‘Wet’ Washington State

National Public Radio: The iconic forests of the Pacific Northwest — with their towering, moss-covered fir and pine trees — have never been this dry. The grass underneath the ferns has already turned gold. Of the five large wildfires burning in Washington alone right now, one has scorched more than 1,500 acres of a rainforest on the typically misty Olympic Peninsula. The wildfire threat in the drought-stricken Pacific Northwest right now is extraordinary, and there are concerns that the region may not be prepared for...

Even In A Desert, Drought Spells Trouble For Ranchers

National Public Radio: In northern Nevada, a place famous for its wide, open spaces and expansive cattle operations, ranchers are in a bind due to the historic drought. Much of the state is desert, so when people talk about drought, they're really talking about the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. It's at barely 20 percent of average. This is a huge concern for farmers and ranchers like Julie Wolf, because the mountains store the snow that melts and feeds rivers and reservoirs. These bodies of water then allow the...

Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection

National Public Radio: Thirty-four wildland firefighters died in the line of duty this year. Some of those fatalities were isolated incidents, but one event captured the nation's attention, sparking a larger conversation about the new dangers firefighters face. That event unfolded in central Arizona on Sunday afternoon, June 30. "I'm here with Granite Mountain Hot Shots, our escape route has been cut off," says a crew boss on recently released radio traffic from the Yarnell Hill Fire. "We are preparing a deployment...