DNR weekend reading: U.S. west has lessons to teach world’s firefighters about wildfire

BC firefighters
At a pre-deployment checkout, some of the 100 firefighters dispatched from British Columbia to help on wildfires in central Washington practice deploying emergency fire shelters. Photo: DNR.

DNR weekend reading selections come from scientific, academic and general interest periodicals:

Green (New York Times): Burning a Forest to Save It
Firefighters from around the world come to the parched U.S. West to refresh skills in conducting burn outs and other techniques to control or prevent wildfires.

PLoS ONE: Malaria Moves North
Malaria is a tropical disease, right? Actually, malaria parasites can be found as far north as Alaska–at least in birds. And a warming climate may push avian malaria even farther north by the end of the century, according to a study in the journal PLoS ONE.

environment360: Big-Box Retail Stores in U.S. Lead Surge in Solar Power Installation
Led by the nation’s largest big-box retailers, a growing number of major U.S. companies are installing rooftop solar power systems to help cut energy costs and increase profits, a new report says. More than 3,600 non-residential systems were activated in the U.S. during the first half of 2012, led by retail giants such as Walmart, Costco, and Kohl’s department stores.

Scientific American: The Dark Side of LED Lightbulbs
LED bulbs appear poised to displace compact fluorescents as the king of the hill of green bulbs, but a study published in  Environmental Science and Technology found that while potentially more friendly to the environment than today’s compact flourescent lights, LEDs do contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially dangerous substances.

Reuters: Gov. Brown gives green light to driverless cars in California
While fully automated vehicles may be several years away, California will allow self-driving vehicles on the state’s public roadways by next year. Newly signed legislation initiates a testing and standards program that will help jump-start the fledgling technology.

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