Fire

Chicago's Great Fire sparked on October 8, 1871 and raged for more than 24 hours. 

History of Now

Chicago's Great Fire, 150 Years Later

An exhibition at the Chicago History Museum explores the legacy of the blaze, which devastated the Midwestern city and left 100,000 homeless

The fire destroyed the property's porch, which was built more than 100 years ago but wasn't originally part of the house.

'Suspicious' Fire Destroys Porch at Susan B. Anthony House and Museum

Authorities are investigating the blaze, which left the New York landmark's historic interior and contents largely unscathed

“Air temperatures rapidly rose above 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit,” writes study co-author Christopher Moore. “Clothing and wood immediately burst into flames. Swords, spears, mudbricks and pottery began to melt. Almost immediately, the entire city was on fire.”

Ancient City's Destruction by Exploding Space Rock May Have Inspired Biblical Story of Sodom

Around 1650 B.C.E., the Bronze Age city of Tall el-Hammam was wiped out by a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb used at Hiroshima

New research suggests that clouds affected by wildfire smoke hold more water droplets but are tiny and less likely drop as rain.

Smoky Clouds That Form Over Wildfires Produce Less Rain

Particles from the smoke create tiny droplets too small to fall to Earth

Smoke from nearby wildfires turned the sky above San Francisco a dark orange color last September.

Wildfire Smoke Linked to Covid-19 Cases and Deaths in the West

Thousands of coronavirus cases and hundreds of deaths may be attributable to the particulate matter in wildfire smoke

A man in Seattle wears a mask as wildfire smoke descends on the city in September of 2020.

Covid-19

Four Ways to Protect Yourself From Harmful Air Pollution Caused by Wildfires

Awareness about exposure, high-quality masks and air filters can help protect you from dangerous pollutants in smoke

The Parthenon, the temple that sits atop Athens' Acropolis, seen surrounded by smoke on August 4

Ancient Olympics' Birthplace Saved as Fires Rage Across Southern Europe

A massive heatwave sparked blazes along the Mediterranean, threatening cultural heritage sites and forcing mass evacuations

The team conducted a non-destructive analysis of a panel depicting the prophet Nathan.

Art Meets Science

Canterbury Cathedral's 12th-Century Stained Glass May Be England's Oldest

New research suggests four of the English church's intricate windows were in place when Henry II's men murdered Thomas Becket in 1170

The billowing smoke resulted from nearly 300 wildfires currently ravaging British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost providence, and 80 fires blazing through states in the Western United States.

Plumes of Smoke From Fires in the North American West Stretch Across the Continent

Particle pollution is affecting air quality in cities thousands of miles away

An explosion seen off the Caspian Sea on July Fourth was attributed to a mud volcano eruption.

Azerbaijan Mud Volcano Erupts in Fiery Display

The flames towered an impressive 1,600 feet into the air

Researchers found the charred remains of wooden furniture at the site of the former Astra cinema in Verona.

Cool Finds

'Miniature Pompeii' Found Beneath Abandoned Verona Cinema

In the second century A.D., "a calamitous event, in this case a fire, suddenly marked the end of the complex," notes a statement

“Not much in my life in the natural world has made me cry, but this did,” Nate Stephenson, an ecologist at the USGS who has been studying sequoias for 40 years, tells the Chronicle. “It hit me like a ton of bricks.”

Fire Destroyed 10 Percent of World's Giant Sequoias Last Year—Can They Survive Climate Change?

A new draft report suggests between 7,500 and 10,600 of the massive trees were killed by wildfire in 2020

A few short years after the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Greenwood’s homes and businesses came back. This photograph shows a parade held in the Oklahoma neighborhood during the 1930s or '40s.

Remembering Tulsa

Decades After the Tulsa Race Massacre, Urban 'Renewal' Sparked Black Wall Street's Second Destruction

In the 1960s, construction of four federal highways brought the rebuilt neighborhood of Greenwood's prosperity to an abrupt end

“I am not setting out here to rehabilitate Nero as a blameless man,” curator Thorsten Opper says. “But I have come to the conclusion that almost every single thing we think we know about him is wrong.”

Was Emperor Nero Really as Monstrous as History Suggests?

A new exhibition at the British Museum introduces visitors to the man behind the mythical Roman ruler

The California condor was included on the first list of endangered species published by the federal government.

Planet Positive

After Last Year's Deadly Fires, the California Condor Soars Once Again

A colossus of the sky, the bird of prey was nearly gone when biologists rescued it from extinction. Then came a terrible new challenge

Via Getty: "Trees burned by the recent Bear Fire line the steep banks of Lake Oroville where water levels are low on April 27, 2021 in Oroville, California."

California's Fire Season May Be Starting Early This Year

The state issued a 'red flag' fire warning on May 2, the first one issued in May since 2014, during a stretch of abnormally hot, dry and windy weather

“We think of fire often as this destructive tool,” says lead author Jessica Thompson. “That doesn’t have to be the case.”

Cool Finds

Did Stone Age Humans Shape the African Landscape With Fire 85,000 Years Ago?

New research centered on Lake Malawi may provide the earliest evidence of people using flames to improve land productivity

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze at the University of Cape Town's Jagger Reading Room on April 18.

Why the Cape Town Fire Is a Devastating Loss for South African Cultural Heritage

The inferno destroyed much of the University of Cape Town's special collections, including rare books, films, photographs and records

Smoke rises from a wildfire in the summer of 2019 near Talkeetna, Alaska.

New Research

New-Growth Alaskan Forests May Store More Carbon After Wildfires

Researchers find forests are regrowing with more deciduous trees, which are more resistant to burning and may eventually store 160 percent more carbon

Workers felling 150-year-old oak trees in the Villefermoy forest, near Echouboulains, France, on March 15. The wood will eventually used to reconstruct Notre-Dame Cathedral's roof and spire.

Hundreds of Centuries-Old Trees Felled to Rebuild Notre-Dame's Iconic Spire

French authorities cut down some 1,000 historic oaks as part of the Paris cathedral's ambitious reconstruction process

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