Wildfires – California – Update
Hundreds of people remain missing in the wake of a pair of deadly wildfires that have been burning across both ends of California.
The two monstrous blazes, which both ignited earlier this month, have claimed at least 87 lives while laying waste to a total area of nearly 400 square miles, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials said that the remains of at least 54 people have been positively identified so far.
The vast majority of the deaths — 84 in total — were due to the Camp Fire in Northern California’s Butte County, making it the deadliest and most destructive wildland fire in the state’s history.
The number of people missing or unaccounted for in Butte County was down to 475 on Friday evening after having reached 605 on Thursday, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. The number is expected to continue fluctuating as officials account for residents.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
In the Eastern Pacific: Tropical Depression Eleven-E is located about 40 mi…60 km NW of Socorro island with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…NW or 315 degrees at 9 mph…15 km/h.
In the Western Pacific: Typhoon 07w (Noru), located approximately 188 nm south of Sasebo, Japan, is tracking northward at 04 knots.
Tropical Depression 13w (Nalgae), located approximately 739 nm north-northeast of Minami Tori Shima, is tracking northward at 19 knots.
California, USA – Hot tropical weather spawned thunderstorms that sent flood waters rushing through the Acton area Thursday, halting Metrolink service and prompting the evacuation of about 200 train passengers.
Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
No current tropical storms.
Australia – The Katherine River is set to flood as an active monsoon trough causes heavy rains and squally showers across the Northern Territory, registering the wettest day in five years. The low-pressure system located near Katherine is expected to track westwards over the next two days, with falls of up to 150mm expected on Tuesday. Darwin Airport’s rainfall gauge registered 145.6mm for the 24 hours until 9:00am on Tuesday, which the BOM said was the wettest day since January 25, 2012.
California, USA – After another round of heavy rains soaked parts of California, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency late Monday for several counties dealing with an estimated tens of million dollars in damage from flooding, erosion, and mud flows. The rains that deluged Southern California over the weekend continued Monday, with showers punctuated by bursts of sunshine. Hail was reported in Burbank and snow was anticipated in the Antelope Valley. The storm, which forecasters said was the strongest in several years, set new rainfall records on Sunday and caused widespread flooding after several hours of sustained, pouring rain. Monday’s rain was not as intense as it was over the weekend.
South Africa – Shoppers at Jubilee Mall in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria had to be evacuated on Saturday afternoon after heavy rains and flooding. On Sunday, shopkeepers and staff spent most of the day mopping up the water. The heavy flooding also left some shops submerged in water, resulting in businesses closing down for the day.
Wildfires – Sicily
Firefighters in Sicily are battling more than a hundred wildfires on the Italian island, some of which may have been started deliberately.
Strong winds have helped spread the flames, forcing dozens of residents around Palermo to flee their homes.
Several parts of northern Sicily have been affected, including Palermo, Messina and Collesano.
Wildfires – California, New Mexico
Hundreds of people have evacuated to escape a wildfire in coastal Southern California and a larger blaze in rural New Mexico as hot weather feeds the flames, raising health concerns in other regions, officials said on Thursday.
Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown told a news conference his deputies had asked occupants of 400 homes and businesses to evacuate structures in areas threatened by flames from the California fire. Campers and horses on ranches have also been forced out, officials said.
The blaze, which ignited on Wednesday in a wilderness area northwest of Santa Barbara, has consumed chaparral and tall grass in the Los Padres National Forest, blackening some 1,200 acres (490 hectares), according to the InciWeb fire information centre.
In New Mexico, the so-called Dog Head Fire that broke out on Wednesday about 6 miles (10 km) northwest of the town of Tajique has forced evacuations and grown to more than 12,000 acres (4,900 hectares). Tajique is around 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Albuquerque.