As the country grapples with multiple natural disasters at once, a trend influenced and worsened by climate change, Minnesota is having to confront its own climate issues. The state’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) wilderness closed for the first time in 45 years due to fires across the northern part of the state. The Greenwood Fire in Superior National Forest— Minnesota’s largest fire in almost 10 years, according to Bring Me The News— was just under 26,000 acres, or around the size of St. Cloud, CBS Minnesota reported. The BWCA is also combating an additional two smaller fires, the John Ek and Whelp fires. You can read more in this article from AP. The recent cooler weather and rain has helped mitigate some of the fire, allowing for parts of the BWCA to reopen, according to the Star Tribune. The article says the Greenwood fire “is now expected to be brought under complete control by Oct. 10, a month later than earlier forecast.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the country is also struggling against climate-related issues. The Caldor Fire— the 17th largest wildfire on record in California, said CNN— has wreaked havoc in California and Nevada, prompting evacuation in the Lake Tahoe region. “Full containment” of the Caldor Fire is expected by September 13. The past couple of days have been pivotal in determining how the rest of the firefight will proceed.
And of course, Hurricane Ida is battering the Louisiana coast with up to 150 mph winds, knocking out power in New Orleans and causing two fatalities so far, NPR reported. The New York Times reported that the Louisiana governor said Hurricane Ida could be one of the strongest storms to hit the state since the 1850s.
These climate disasters happening both around the country and in our home state are continuously sharp warnings about the consequences of human-caused climate change— it is imperative we prioritize climate action and policy and environmental equity.
Please share our MN Equity Map around your network or with any organizations, initiatives and activists that you think may want to add their work to the map! For it to most effectively serve as a tool to highlight statewide regional, racial, and environmental equity work, connect community members who want to create change, and act as a legislative advocacy resource, we need more stories! You can find the map, more information, and the link to the interest form on our website here.
"As many of you are aware, we are seeing larger and more destructive fires burn throughout California on a much more frequent basis. Historically, we've used the terms such as anomaly, unprecedented, or extreme to describe the wildfires that we have seen burn throughout the state over the last 20 years. These terms are no longer appropriate given the clear trends associated with drought, changing climate.” — Cal Fire Chief Chris Anthony, as quoted in CNN