Series: Megafires http://kunc.org en 'Torture Lab' Kills Trees To Learn How To Save Them http://kunc.org/post/torture-lab-kills-trees-learn-how-save-them <em>Last of a</em> <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/158936457/megafires-the-new-normal-in-the-southwest">five-part series</a><p>The droughts that have parched big regions of the country are killing forests.<p>In the arid Southwest, the body count is especially high. Besides trying to keep wildfires from burning up these desiccated forests, there's not much anyone can do. In fact, scientists are only now figuring out how drought affects trees.<p>Park Williams studies trees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, but not the way most scientists do. Sun, 26 Aug 2012 09:20:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 32682 at http://kunc.org 'Torture Lab' Kills Trees To Learn How To Save Them Is It Too Late To Defuse The Danger Of Megafires? http://kunc.org/post/it-too-late-defuse-danger-megafires <em>Fourth in a </em><a href="http://www.npr.org/series/158936457/megafires-the-new-normal-in-the-southwest">five-part series</a><p>Forests in the Southwest have become a fuel stockpile. A century of U.S. Forest Service policy of quashing all fires has allowed forests to become overgrown, and now a warming climate is making the problem worse.<p>Scientists are trying to defuse these green time bombs. Is it too late?<p>I hike up into the Santa Fe National Forest just outside Santa Fe, N.M. My guide is William Armstrong, the service's fire manager for this forest. Fri, 24 Aug 2012 19:37:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 32636 at http://kunc.org Is It Too Late To Defuse The Danger Of Megafires? Why Forest-Killing Megafires Are The New Normal http://kunc.org/post/why-forest-killing-megafires-are-new-normal <em>Second of a </em><a href="http://www.npr.org/series/158936457/megafires-the-new-normal-in-the-southwest">five-part series</a><p>Fire scientists are calling it "the new normal": a time of fires so big and hot that no one can remember anything like it.<p>One of the scientists who coined that term is Craig Allen. I drive with him to New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument, where he works for the U.S. Geological Survey. We take a dirt road up into the Jemez Mountains, into a landscape of black poles as far as you can see.<p>Except they aren't poles. Every single tree is dead. Thu, 23 Aug 2012 18:30:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 32577 at http://kunc.org Why Forest-Killing Megafires Are The New Normal California and Washington Spotlight Country’s Costly Wildfire Problem http://kunc.org/post/california-and-washington-spotlight-country-s-costly-wildfire-problem <p><a href="http://www.kunc.org/post/wildfires-have-burned-nearly-7-million-acres-so-far-6-percent-last-year">Wildfires continue to rage</a> across parts of Northern California and Washington, producing images that look familiar to many in Colorado. Thu, 23 Aug 2012 15:15:10 +0000 Grace Hood 32565 at http://kunc.org California and Washington Spotlight Country’s Costly Wildfire Problem How The Smokey Bear Effect Led To Raging Wildfires http://kunc.org/post/how-smokey-bear-effect-led-raging-wildfires <em>First of a </em><a href="http://www.npr.org/series/158936457/megafires-the-new-normal-in-the-southwest">five-part series</a><p>The history of fire in the American Southwest is buried in a catacomb of rooms under the bleachers of the football stadium at the University of Arizona.<p>Here rules professor Thomas Swetnam, tree ring expert. You want to read a tree ring? You go to Tom. He's a big, burly guy with a beard and a true love for trees.<p>Tree sections are stacked floor to ceiling. They're like rounds chopped from a carrot, the carrot being a tree trunk. Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:43:00 +0000 Christopher Joyce 32551 at http://kunc.org How The Smokey Bear Effect Led To Raging Wildfires