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California Lawmakers Want to Let Emergency Responders Disable Drones

Last week firefighting crews couldn’t do their job because five amateur drones were circling the area. And this wasn’t the first time. Drones are getting in the way, and some lawmakers in California want to change all that. Specifically they’d like to give emergency responders the legal ability to disable drones. » 7/22/15 7:50pm 7/22/15 7:50pm

It's So Dry Even America's Old Growth Rainforests Are on Fire

The season of terrible drought and fire keeps getting worse. In the past few weeks, hundreds of patches of forest in the Canadian and Alaskan boreal have gone up in flames. Now, one of America’s last remaining old growth forests—the Queets rainforest in Olympic National Park, Washington—is also burning. » 7/09/15 8:20pm 7/09/15 8:20pm

So Many Fires Are Burning In Alaska the Midwest Is Covered In Smoke

The drought hitting the West is not just striking the continental US. That same weather pattern that’s sucking the life out of California is also making life hot, dry, and dangerous for the top third of North America: Alaska and Canada have seen little rainfall, soaring spring temperatures, and now, a record-breaking… » 7/01/15 6:00pm 7/01/15 6:00pm

This Origami Cardboard Shelf Makes Starting Campfires A Little Easier

Unless you're on some reality show trying to prove your chops at wilderness survival, it's not a crime to bring along tools that make camping a little easier. Like this simple fold-up cardboard shelf that makes it easy to get a campfire started if you're too tired to scrounge for kindling. » 10/07/14 2:00pm 10/07/14 2:00pm

Detroit's Under-Funded Fire Departments Use a Soda Can For a Fire Alarm

Where absent money leaves gaps, ingenuity fills in. Nowhere is that more true than in Detroit's fire departments, where, as Detroit Free Press reporter Tresa Baldas shows us, a soda can full of jangling coins and screws alerts the Motor City's long-suffering heroes when there's an emergency. » 9/06/14 9:00am 9/06/14 9:00am

Shoelaces That Include Everything You Need To Start an Emergency Fire

Unless you're trying to prove yourself on some ill-conceived reality survival show, it's always a good idea to bring some way to easily start a fire when you head off into the wilderness. But if things go awry, this simple set of shoelaces can be used to start a fire in the event of an emergency. » 8/08/14 12:02pm 8/08/14 12:02pm

The Decrepit, Unreliable Fire Hydrant Just Got a Brilliant Upgrade

These days, fires are rare enough that most of us rarely think about the state of our fire hydrants. But unfortunately, that also means we're ignoring a dangerously decayed piece of urban infrastructure. Except for a retired NYC firefighter and inventor named George Sigelakis, that is. Meet the fire hydrant of the… » 6/03/14 10:40am 6/03/14 10:40am

Sparking Titanium Golf Clubs Might Be Causing California Wildfires

Researchers at UC Irvine have determined that golfers who can't keep their shots out of the rough might actually be responsible for wildfires in California in recent years. Specifically, certain clubs made from a titanium alloy have been found to produce sparks up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit—more than hot enough to… » 3/24/14 4:00pm 3/24/14 4:00pm

Snuggle Up To a Cozy Yule Log and the Science of Fire This Evening

Those few precious days off you have during the holidays are best spent taxing your brain as little as possible. But who says you can't learn something even when away from work or school? If you're lacking a fireplace to curl up next to, this wonderful video from AsapSCIENCE will keep you cozy while educating you on… » 12/25/13 4:00pm 12/25/13 4:00pm

Smokey the Bear Meets the 21st Century in These Firefighting UAVs

Remember, only you can prevent forest fires. But that doesn't stop them from happening with frightening regularity and increasingly destructive force. To better understand and predict the atmospheric conditions that lead to these wildfires, one research team wants to float an armada of disposable, self-guided… » 7/23/13 11:30am 7/23/13 11:30am