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Common Dreams

Idaho Wildfires Head Toward Radioactive Sites

by
Common Dreams staff

The Mustang Complex wildfires in Idaho are seen from the International Space Station at an altitude of approximately 260 miles above earth in this NASA handout photo taken by a crew member from Expedition 33, September 19, 2012.

The wildfires that have ravaged Idaho for over a month are now bringing new fears as the fires have burned through three radioactive mining sites and are heading towards a fourth, Reuters reports.

The news agency reports that the four sites hold radioactive thorium and uranium. One of the sites is a defunct uranium mine, and the buildings on the site, one of which has burned, have never been decontaminated.

"Because there is potential and because there has been concern amongst the citizens, we will be measuring radioactivity," said Erick Neher, a regional administrator of the Department of Environmental Quality.

A recent report from Climate Central says that we are now in "the age of western wildfires," and they predict that continued climate change is going to make wildfires much more common in the coming decades.
 

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