Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire which was burning out of control on the Yorke Peninsula has been downgraded after a mass response from Country Fire Service volunteers. The fire was burning towards Maitland, Warawurlie, Yorke Valley, Spencer Highway and Port Victoria Road. Eleven CFS units from across the Yorke Peninsula responded to the fire, supported by bulk water carriers. Four waterbombers were also called to protect the town.

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Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.8 earthquake hits Jan Mayan Island.

5.8 earthquake hits the southern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.5 earthquake hits the southern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.3 earthquake hits Costa Rica.

5.0 earthquake hits western Australia.

5.0 earthquake hits Tristan de Cunha.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 03s (Alcide), located approximately 594 nm north of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking west-southwestward at 07 knots.

NewsBytes:

Australia – Thousands of Victorians were left power after a slow-moving storm caused flash flooding in Melbourne, with half of the city’s November rainfall arriving in just three hours. Flooding has caused chaos along the Kingsway, at the tunnel entrance onto the CityLink, as well as in parts of Southbank, Rowville, Balwyn North, Windsor, Hawthorn, Ashburton and Narre Warren. Cars were left submerged, with some motorists forced to push their cars through the floodwaters.

Kuwait – Heavy rain inundated Kuwait on Monday night and early Tuesday morning causing flooding across several cities in the country. The Education Ministry announced the closure of schools and colleges as a result of the wet weather. The thunderstorms responsible for the flooding have been particularly vicious, with downdraught gusts typically reaching 90 kilometres per hour. On the peninsular east of Kuwait City, Salmiyah, a gust of 115km/h was reported in the early hours. The latest downpour was actually the tail end of a very active system that has covered much of Iraq and Syria. In two or three days, over 100mm of rain has fallen over the Euphrates and Tigris floodplains.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Firefighters worked into the night on Friday to contain a bushfire outside Canberra in treacherous conditions. The fire had burnt through 147 hectares and was seven kilometers away from Kambah on Canberra’s western outskirts by Saturday morning but no homes were threatened.

In New South Wales, meanwhile, a raging fire that broke out at the edge of a major highway caused disruption for commuters traveling home Friday afternoon. The bushfire came dangerously close to the Pacific Highway in Freemans Waterhole, a small town west of Lake Macquarie, about 3pm.

Fire warnings are also in place in Swanston in eastern Tasmania where a 600 hectare blaze has been exacerbated by strong winds.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Greece

A wildfire has broken out and burned an area covered with pine trees on the Sithonia peninsula in northern Greece on Thursday, with strong winds hindering the efforts of the firefighters. The region of central Macedonia has now called a state of emergency for the village of Sarti. Police blocked off roads in the area as firefighters continued to battle with the blaze with the support of helicopters.

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire that started October 11 in Western Australia 120km southeast of Broome burned 880,000 hectares, or 2,174,527 acres. Dry winds from variable directions and high temperatures made it very difficult to suppress. The remote location and a lack of water restricted the tactics to fighting fire with fire, constructing firelines with heavy equipment, and using aircraft.

When the wind direction changed last week, firefighters had to shut down the Great Northern Highway, National Route 1. In spite of the enormous size of the blaze in Western Australia there were no fatalities or damage to major structures.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Western Australia

Residents have been told to be prepared to flee their homes after an out-of-control bushfire has swept through areas of Broome.

Early this morning the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services put out a watch and act alert for Thangoo Homestead, Barn Hill Station and Eco Beach, and surrounding areas in the Broome Shire. The blaze, which started on October 11, has so far burnt about 200,000 hectares.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Colorado-Wyoming, USA

Warm temperatures and dry conditions allowed a wildfire burning along the Colorado-Wyoming border to continue to spread, officials said Saturday. The Ryan Fire has burned at least 2,986 acres in Jackson County, Colorado and Carbon County, Wyoming. It is burning about 27 miles northwest of Walden. Containment remains at 0 percent.

Wildfires – Australia

An emergency warning has been issued for a bushfire raging in remote WA, with residents told it is now too late to leave. Those living in the suburb of Lakeside in Kununurra, at the eastern extremity of the Kimberley, close to the Northern Territory border, have been told to shelter in their homes.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Firefighters have taken control of the blazes that have ravaged rural areas to the north and west of Townsville. Crews have battled the bushfires bravely this past fortnight with thousands of hectares of grassland destroyed, but importantly no lives or structures were lost.

Fire crews and property owners are battling two fast-moving and unpredictable bushfires in Queensland.

A large fire is moving in an easterly direction from Toogoolawah, near the Brisbane Valley Highway and Angledale Lane towards the Somerset Dam region. Mount Bepppo is expected to be the next location hit.

Another fire west of Gympie started on a Woolooga property yesterday and quickly spread, missing homes by just metres. The blaze intensified against just before midday amid rapidly changing conditions. It remains out of control and is moving in a north-easterly direction from west of Woolooga to north of the Wide Bay Highway.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Bushfires could travel underground across parched parts of Queensland in coming days, the Rural Fire Service has warned. The dire warning comes as most of Queensland faces a very high fire danger over the next two days and a total fire ban across the state’s south-east.

Soils throughout much of the state are extremely dry and that can help the spread of what is called “subterranean fires”. A subterranean fire burns through a tree stump or a tree and it burns what you can see, but what you’re not seeing is that it is burning underground through the root system. These sort of fires can then “pop out” of the ground days or even weeks later. The root systems of these trees can go for many, many metres into unburnt country and pop out three days later, five days later, three weeks later and start another fire.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

5.4 earthquake hits Western Australia.

5.4 earthquake hits of the Kuril Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

5.1 earthquake hits the Pacific – Antarctic Ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

5.0 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits offshore Guerrero, Mexico.

5.0 earthquake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A number of homes on the New South Wales south coast remain under threat from two out-of-control bushfires being whipped up by increasingly strong winds. An emergency warning has been issued for people near Yankees Gap Road at Bemboka and for the Mount Kingiman fire south of Ulladulla.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Portugal

More than 1,000 firefighters are battling blazes for a seventh day in the popular tourist area of the Algarve in Portugal. Extremely high temperatures have been blamed for sparking the wildfires.

Wildfires – Australia

Three bushfires that were burning out of control near Darwin in the Northern Territory have been downgraded to Advice level warnings after threatening homes at one stage. Earth-movers and water-bombing aircraft were brought in to help bring the fires under control.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Sydney, Australia

Sydney residents are set to endure poor air quality as smoke from a large uncontrolled bushfire in a military reserve spreads across the city. Wollongong and South Coast residents are also expected to be affected by smoke from the large blaze in the Holsworthy military reserve, 25km southwest of Sydney’s CBD.

Unexploded military ordnance and dense bushland has hampered efforts to contain the blaze, with aircraft and firefighters told to avoid getting too close to the fire front. Instead, firefighters have begun a 4000-hectare backburning campaign, which has greatly contributed to the smoke haze.

Wildfires – California, Texas, Oregon, USA

More than 50,000 people have been evacuated in Northern California bushfires that have killed six, including two children and their great-grandmother, as fire crews battled on to quell flames that have destroyed entire neighbourhoods.

Officials said a second firefighter, who died fighting a huge blaze near Yosemite National Park, was among the six confirmed deaths.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Sunday that 12,000 firefighters were battling 17 significant fires in California.

The Carr fire, the deadliest and most destructive of nearly 90 fires burning from Texas to Oregon, has charred 36,095 hectares of drought-parched vegetation since erupting last Monday. More than 5,012 structures were threatened by the fire, officials said. The flames destroyed 517 structures and damaged 135.

Wildlife

Feral Cats Are Devouring Australia’s Reptiles

Outdoor cats are feasting on the reptiles of Australia, and conservationists are concerned about the toll their snacking habits might take on the country’s biodiversity.

Feral cats kill, on average, 1 million reptiles each day in Australia, according to a new study published today (June 25) in the journal Wildlife Research.

Feral cats (Felis catus) are those animals that used to be (or their ancestors used to be) domesticated, but who now roam in the wild. In the 18th century, the Europeans who came to Australia introduced these furry felines to the continent, bringing them along as pets, according to the study. But 230 years later, the descendants of those cats — totaling more than 2 million — are now menacing populations of lizards, turtles and snakes. [Here, Kitty, Kitty: 10 Facts for Cat Lovers]

To figure out the toll cats took on Australian reptiles, the researchers looked at more than 80 studies that included, in total, analyses of more than 10,000 samples of cat poop or stomach samples. They found that the feral cats in the studies eat 258 different kinds of Australian reptiles, including 11 threatened species such as the Christmas Island forest skink (Emoia nativitatis), the pygmy copperhead snake (Austrelaps labialis) and some turtles. They also found that the cats hunted reptiles much more in areas that were hotter and drier.

However, the actual number is likely higher. That’s because many reptiles are local to specific areas of Australia, and the researchers weren’t able to sample every region of the country. Rainforests, for example, were largely unsampled, they wrote.

Some of the cats in the studies truly indulged: For example, one cat was found to have the remains of 40 reptiles in its stomach, most of which were lined earless dragons (Tympanocryptis lineata), and another cat was found to have ingested 27 skinks, according to the study.

In total, feral cats were responsible for killing, on average, 466 million reptiles a year in Australia, most of which were native to the continent. But when the researchers also added in pet cats and cats who roam in areas where they can find food from humans (such as cities or dumps), they found that all cats in the country were responsible for killing, on average, 649 million reptiles a year.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Life-threatening bushfires in Western Australia’s south have destroyed at least one home and buildings at a holiday-stay farm. An emergency warning was issued for parts of Napier, Redmond and Marbelup in the City of Albany on Thursday night and also for Elleker on Friday afternoon.

More than 50 bushfires have torn through the region since Thursday, including at Stirling Range National Park, where over 17,800 hectares have been burnt.

The two most dangerous bushfires had burnt through about 4300 hectares by Friday afternoon and more strong winds are expected.