Entries by Michael Cox

Spring Fire Ignites in Colorado

Colorado has already seen its fair share of wildfires this season. The 416 and Burro Fires ignited in early June and are still raging. Almost daily Red Flag conditions have punished the state and resulted in explosive fire growth. Late Wednesday evening (June 27th), strong winds and exceptionally dry conditions resulted in another new start […]


When most people think of natural disasters, the first thing to come to mind is not likely flooding. However, flooding is the most common natural disaster. Flooding occurs in all 50 states, accounts for 40% of natural disasters, averages 5 billion dollars in damage each year, and claimed an average of 75 lives per year […]

New Film Highlights the Unsung Heroes of Wildland Firefighting

2017 has brought devastating wildfires to much of the Western United States. Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington all fared way worse than expected with more than 8 million acres consumed and hundreds of homes lost. California was the hardest hit, experiencing the deadliest and most destructive fires in the state’s history. The fires that tore […]

What is a Fire-Use Wildfire and How is it Beneficial to Forests?

Not every naturally occurring wildland fire is actively suppressed. Naturally occurring wildland fires are normally caused by lightening strikes in areas with fallen trees and other dry accumulated fuels. Under certain circumstances, some wildland fires will be allowed to actively burn in order to help clear these fuels and promote forest health. When a wildland […]

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Today

Hurricane Season Begins

June 1 marks the official start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting that this year’s hurricane season, which runs from June 1st through November 30th, may be more active. The current forecast models suggest an above-normal hurricane season with the potential for as many as 17 named storms. Of these 17 named storms, 2 to 4 could possibly develop into major category 3 or larger hurricanes capable of producing winds well above 111 mph.

Sunshine Fire Prompts Early Season Evacuations

Sunshine Fire Unseasonably warm temperatures over the last few days have prompted an early start to Colorado’s fire season. The Sunshine fire started early Sunday morning (3/19) in the canyons west of Boulder, Colorado.  Gusty winds quickly pushed the fire through dry fuels causing officials at the Boulder Office of Emergency Management to issue mandatory […]

Does Heavy Rain Actually Fuel Wildfires?

It may seem contradictory, but the recent drought-quenching rains seen across much of the west may actually lead to a higher potential for wildfires.  Thus far, 2017 has brought severe winter storms and record rainfall. These drenching rains have been a welcome respite to many areas suffering from multi-year drought conditions.  The excess water, however, has also […]

Powerful Tornado Cuts a Path Across East New Orleans

Damage assessment teams are still sifting through destruction left in the wake of a tornado that struck east New Orleans on Tuesday. The tornado’s devastating winds swept through the 9th Ward community, damaging hundreds of homes and businesses. Residents of the 9th Ward of New Orleans are no strangers to severe storms, having suffered the brunt of […]