Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

After months of bushfires raging across the Australian coast, elated firefighters have just announced that they have managed to contain all of the fires. The news comes after a week of historic rainfall in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Although there are still 24 active fires burning in the region, they are small enough for firefighters to manage accordingly.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Corsica

Strong winds from Storm Ciara have fanned a wildfire on the island of Corsica. Several hundred firefighters are battling the blaze which has consumed more than 450 hectares to date.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

At least one home was lost in a bushfire which descended on the Western Australian town of Katanning on Saturday. The bushfire has burned through about 4,500 hectares after being sparked by lightning on Friday. The fire tore through farmland as it approached the town of more than 3,500 people in WA’s Great Southern region in the afternoon. There were also reports farming machinery, sheds and infrastructure were lost in the blaze.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Colombia

Members of the Bogotá Fire Department are attempting to control three wildfires blazing out of control near the departmental border of Cundinamarca and Meta. The fires are located in a sector of the Sumpaz mountain range known as San Luis Cubarral and have consumed since Thursday 30-square kilometers of high-altitude wetland.

Sumapaz was declared a National Park in 1977 and covers an area of 221,000 hectares. The park also accounts for 43% of the total high altitude wetland in the world, and fragile habitat for deer, Andean condor, spectacled bears, armadillo and many other endangered species. The wetlands are also known for their towering frailejón (espeletia) plants.

The department of Cundinamarca has registered 61 fires since the start of the year.

Sumapaz

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More homes are believed to have been destroyed by bushfires in southeastern NSW where hundreds of properties have already been lost in blazes this summer.

Strong winds and high temperatures on Saturday night pushed the massive 177,000-hectare Border fire north towards Bega Valley while three separate blazes burning southwest of the region merged into one.

There were 70 fires burning in NSW as of Sunday evening with 30 not yet contained. There are 2,200 firefighters in the field.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A wildfire sparked by a military helicopter helping firefighting efforts was blazing out of control and threatening homes on the outskirts of Australia’s capital on Wednesday as fire danger escalated across the country’s southeast.

The fire had spread over 23,500 acres since it was started by a transport helicopter landing light that ignited grass in a national park south of Canberra on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

Wildfires

Circumnavigating Smoke

NASA satellite images show the thick pall of smoke from Australia’s firestorms, which reached South America last week, has blown entirely around the Southern Hemisphere, approaching Australia from the west.

Besides choking most of southeastern Australia, the smoke has also created an air pollution crisis downwind in New Zealand and darkened that country’s glaciers after falling on them as soot.

Meanwhile, days of rain are bringing some much-needed relief to Australia’s firefighters, but it won’t be enough to fully alleviate the threat of more than 140 fires that were still burning.

At least 80% of the Blue Mountains world heritage area and more than 50% of the Gondwana world heritage rainforests have burned in Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

The scale of the disaster is such that it could affect the diversity of eucalypts for which the Blue Mountains world heritage area is recognised.

Wildfires

Australia’s prehistoric Wollemi pine trees saved from bushfires

An ancient grove of pine trees whose ancestors are thought to have stood tall among dinosaurs some 200 million years ago has been saved from Australian bushfires in a covert firefighting mission.

Firefighters in New South Wales (NSW) were enlisted by the local government to save the prehistoric Wollemi Pine grove, which exists in a secret location within the 5,000-square-kilometre (1,930-square-mile) Wollemi National Park northwest of Sydney.

The oldest fossil of the rare pine species dates back 90 million years and the pines are thought to have existed during the Jurassic period.

Large air tankers of fire retardant were dropped inside the remote grove as part of the mission, while specialist firefighters attached to helicopters were winched down to set up an irrigation system to protect the trees from catching alight. There are fewer than 200 Wollemi Pines left in the wild.

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Wildlife

Australian Wildfire Rescue

Specialised animal rescue teams have been deployed to Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia after unprecedented bushfires ripped through one-third of the island’s bushland. Humane Society International has been building food and water stations for animals still in the wild while also searching for koalas, possums and wombats that may have survived.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Gale-force winds in Australia merged two enormous fires into a megablaze across land almost four times the area of New York City on Friday, while thousands rallied to again demand action on climate change. Temperatures soared above 40°C in parts of New South Wales and neighbouring Victoria. Australian authorities urged nearly a quarter of a million people to evacuate their homes and prepared military backup as soaring temperatures and erratic winds were expected to fan deadly wildfires across the east coast. Emergency alert text messages had been sent to 240,000 people in Victoria state alone, telling them to leave.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Australian authorities issued new warnings and evacuation notices across the country’s heavily populated southeast on Thursday as a return of hot weather fanned huge bushfires threatening several towns and communities.

A disaster notice in Victoria state, already in place for the past week, was extended by two days and people in danger zones were told to leave. In neighbouring New South Wales state, authorities told residents to prepare for worsening weather conditions on Friday.

The ongoing Australian firestorms that have caused such misery and death to the human population may have also killed billions of animals in recent weeks.

Beyond the scorched koalas and kangaroos, scientists also fear the long-footed potoroo marsupial may now be extinct in the wild due to the southeastern bushfires.

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Experts fear the ecosystems there will never recover, with several other animal and plant species left critically endangered or extinct.

Snipers were dispatched in helicopters to cull up to 10,000 feral camels that were nearing remote aboriginal towns in search of water.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

The scope of the fires is hard to comprehend. In New South Wales alone, blazes have created a fire front in the state that — if put into a straight line — would stretch from Sydney, across the Indian Ocean, and into Afghanistan.

The smoke plume alone is currently about 1.3 billion acres, or half the size of Europe, and is drifting more than 1,000 miles over New Zealand, where it is choking and yellowing the skies.

So far the bushfires have chewed through more than twice the area that burned in Amazon’s rainforests during 2019.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Bushfires burned dangerously out of control on Australia’s east coast on Saturday, fanned by high temperatures and strong winds that had firefighters battling to save lives and property, as a change in wind conditions merged several large fire fronts. By late evening, Victoria had 14 fires rated at emergency or evacuate warning levels, and New South Wales had 11 rated emergency, with more than 150 others burning across the states. New fires had started, and others had broken containment lines.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Australian bushfires sparked in September have spread for months, leading to a state of emergency in many regions.

As of the new year, the blazes have scorched more than 14 million acres of land, killed about half a billion animals, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Researchers from the University of Sydney believe 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been impacted in the state of New South Wales alone since the blazes first broke out in September.

The blazes are so large and widespread that satellites in space can easily photograph them from orbit.

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