Wildfires – USA – Texas & Oklahoma

Crews are working to contain a wildfire that’s burning in a rural area of the Texas Panhandle while firefighters in Oklahoma fought back several blazes that popped up on an unseasonably warm and windy day. Crews attacked a fire that had burned nearly 11 square miles in Oldham County in the Panhandle. Texas A&M Forest Service said early Friday that the blaze was 50 percent contained and that the fire’s behaviour “has moderated.”

In Oklahoma, multiple fires broke out, and Oklahoma Army National Guard helicopters were dispatched to help battle the blazes.


Wildfires – Australia

Devastated residents are being allowed back into Carwoola after a mammoth bushfire destroyed up to 15 homes and numerous other properties. The fast-moving fire swept through the town of Carwoola, near the ACT, as firefighters fought desperately to contain the flames late yesterday. wo firefighters were injured fighting the severe blaze east of Queanbeyan.

Some residents did not know whether they would return to find their house still standing after reports that more than 15 homes had been lost. High winds and 34C heat fanned the flames that hit homes around lunchtime and had burned more than 2700ha by last night.

Wildfires – Florida, USA

A wildfire burning in southeastern Polk County has now consumed 5,500 acres as it continues to smoulder, but was 75 percent contained late Friday night, county officials say.

High winds initially fanned the flames Wednesday, allowing the fire to rapidly spread and force evacuations in the Indian Lake Estates area. County officials say they’ve found another home destroyed by fire there, bringing the total number to 12.


Wildfires – New Zealand

Hundreds of people in New Zealand’s second-largest city were evacuated from their homes Wednesday as wildfires burned down several houses and threatened to encroach further into some suburbs. A helicopter pilot who was a decorated soldier died in a crash while fighting the blaze on Tuesday. The region had been unusually dry for three years and the grass in the hills had turned brown over the Southern Hemisphere summer. Smoke and ash were being blown across Christchurch.


Wildfires – Oklahoma, USA

A large wildfire burned near Oklahoma City as dangerous conditions existed across that state and part of Texas. Hundreds of people were being evacuated as strong winds pushed the flames near homes.

Wildfires – Australia

Several homes were destroyed and two firefighters injured by huge wildfires that tore across Australia’s most populous state over the weekend, officials said Monday.

Scorching temperatures and fierce winds fanned the flames across a wide swathe of New South Wales on Saturday and Sunday. More than 2,500 firefighters fought nearly 100 fires as temperatures climbed to 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the state. One fire alone burned through 50,000 hectares (124,000 acres).

The full extent of property damage was still unknown on Monday, but an initial assessment showed that at least 19 homes were destroyed, the fire service said.


Out of control bushfires rage across New South Wales, Australia

There are now 87 fires across NSW, with five at the most serious emergency warning status and Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned that a southerly change expected to sweep across the state in the next few hours could make conditions far worse.

However there are hundreds of firefighters in action and thousands more at the ready from a total pool of some 2500 firefighters, with no firefighters needing to be called in from inter state.

While the Sir Ivan fire continues to rage near Dunedoo, with a fire front now some 20km long, and the Pappinbarra Rd fire near Port Macquaire shows no sign of slowing, there are also emergency warnings in place for fires at Binalong Rd Boggabri, White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat north east of Mudgee and Spring Hill Rd Dondingalong southwest of Kempsey.

There are nine more fires at watch an act status across the state.

The Baptist Church at Aberdare has been destroyed by fire. The evening service reportedly had only finished five minutes earlier. No one was hurt.


Chile Wildfire Emergency ‘Mostly Under Control’

President Michelle Bachelet says the worst wildfires that Chile has suffered in its history are now mostly under control. Bachelet said Saturday that for the moment there are no new blazes reported “and the rest are mostly controlled.”

The arrival of rains and dropping of temperatures in recent hours have helped stop the fires from spreading.

Statistics from the forestry agency say that across the country flames have blackened over 1 million acres during the current fire season that began on July 1.


Wildfires – Oklahoma, USA

Crews are battling two wildfires in rural eastern Oklahoma that have burned more than 10 square miles combined.

Oklahoma Forestry Services fire management chief Mark Goeller said the first fire in Haskell County was about 50 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon, but might continue to burn for another two days. Goeller said no homes or other structures were immediately threatened.

A second fire was burning about 5 miles northwest of Wilburton in Latimer County, but Goeller said officials haven’t determined how much of it has been contained.

Both counties are located in part of the state experiencing the worst drought conditions.

Wildfires – Australia

A large bushfire that forced the evacuation of residents from their homes at Sippy Downs on the Sunshine Coast this afternoon has been brought under control. Residents who had evacuated their homes have been allowed to return home.


Yellow Fever Taking Heavy Toll on Monkeys in Brazil’s Rainforest

The worst yellow fever outbreak in decades is not just killing Brazilians, it threatens to wipe out monkeys in the Atlantic rainforest that are already close to extinction, experts warned on Tuesday.

So far 400 monkeys have been found dead in the state of Espirito Santo where the fever outbreak has spread from neighbouring Minas Gerais.

At greatest risk is the muriqui monkey, Brazil’s largest primate and one of the planet’s 25 most-endangered species of primates, said biologist Roberto Cabral at the Brazilian environmental agency Ibama.

“The monkeys are vulnerable to yellow fever just like humans but we have vaccines to protect us, they don’t,” Cabral said. “They are being decimated.”

Farmers first alerted authorities about the dying animals when they realized that the forest had gone silent and the monkeys had disappeared.


Wildfires – Chile – Update

At least 11 people have died due to what Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has called the largest and most difficult wildfires in the country’s history.

A total of 127 fires were reported as of Sunday in an area of 396,089 hectares, and from those 63 are still burning, 50 have been controlled, and 14 have been put out, according to Chile’s National Forestry Corporation. This has forced the evacuation of at least 4,000 people, according to officials.

According to the government, 44 official aircrafts, including planes and helicopters, are being used in different regions of the country to fight the fires. Also, about 7,000 people are working on fire control, including members of the Armed Forces, firemen and volunteers, as well as people from local governments and private companies.

At least 2,970 people have been affected by the fires, 1,061 have seen their homes destroyed and 1,343 people are living in shelters. Authorities confirmed they had detained 30 people for suspicion of premeditated arson.


Wildfires – Chile – Update

An entire town has been consumed by flames in Chile as unusually hot, dry weather undermined efforts to combat the worst forest fires in the country’s recent history.

More than 1,000 buildings, including schools, nurseries, shops and a post office were destroyed in Santa Olga, the biggest of several communities to be reduced to ashes in the Maule region.

One body was later recovered from the ruins. Two people are missing, but most of the residents were evacuated unharmed. Few will have a home to return to.

Drone images showed entire neighbourhoods reduced to ashes. The roads are still neatly symmetrical, but the buildings in block after block lie in smouldering ruins under a hazy sky.

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Wildfires – Chile – Update

Wildfires continue to rage across a large area of land in Chile, with emergency teams working round the clock to put out the flames which have now claimed the lives of six firefighters.

The fire, which started last Wednesday, has so far destroyed some 155,000 hectares of land in Central and Southern Chile, forcing the evacuation of at least 4,000 people. Thousands of emergency workers and firefighters are trying to extinguish the flames.

Authorities say over 100 wildfires are raging across the country amid strong winds and a heat wave. The south-central region of O’Higgins and Maule has been suffering the most, where the inferno destroyed homes, pasture and livestock. All affected areas are under a state of emergency, while several cities, including capital, Santiago, are shrouded in smoke.

On Tuesday, officials said three more firefighters have died battling the flames, bringing the total to six, while another three have been wounded.

Wildfires – Oklahoma, USA

Authorities say two homes were destroyed in a fast-moving wildfire that burned in central Oklahoma. No injuries were reported in Tuesday’s blaze in Logan County, about 30 miles north of Oklahoma City.


Wildfires – Chile

Chile declared a state of emergency Friday as more than a dozen wildfires that have scorched nearly 50,000 hectares (123,500 acres) threatened to encroach on towns, factories and vineyards.

Firefighters, forestry service personnel and members of the military were battling 18 separate blazes in the centre and south of the country that have been fuelled by strong winds and a heat wave.

The largest has consumed 24,000 hectares in and around Pumanque, a rural area 140 kilometres (87 miles) south of the capital, Santiago, that is near some of Chile’s vineyards.


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Wildfires – Australia

A large, fast-moving bushfire has steered away from about 60 homes which were under threat on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, but firefighters are yet to bring the blaze under control. Currently, 37 fire crews and four water-bombing aircraft are trying to control the fire. Coolum Surf Club has been opened as an evacuation centre. The fire started in a national park and broke containment lines on Thursday afternoon. The fire burned an area of more than 540ha on Thursday night. Residents have been warned to evacuate or defend their homes.


Wildfires – Australia

Residents were evacuating and moving stock on Wednesday as firefighters battled worsening conditions and an out-of-control blaze near Canberra. The grass and bushfire near Tarago, which broke out on Tuesday, is now 3,290 hectares in size and has burnt through Taylors Creek Road, Bungendore Road and Mount Fairy Road. There are reports that some property has already been lost.

Wildfires – Italy

Arson and human error are the suspected causes of wildfires in hills around the northwestern Italian port city of Genoa that drove hundreds of people from their homes overnight, investigators said on Tuesday.

The blaze that ravaged hillsides in the Genoa district of Nervi may have been started accidentally by highway workers, investigative sources said on Tuesday. But the fire in Pegli was almost certainly an act of arson, the sources said.

The wildfires have prompted officials to close several schools in the area and have badly disrupted traffic in the Liguria region with tailbacks of up to seven kilometres reported along one stretch of the A10 highway.