Wildfires

Wildfires – Siberia

Wildfires in Russia’s Far East and Siberia swelled by 3,600 ha to 16,700 ha over the past 24 hours, the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service reported on Friday.

“The major increase occurred in the Magadan Region – in one day the wildfire area grew 43-fold from 40 ha to 1,700 ha. In the Amur Region the wildfires grew from 1,700 to almost 2,000 ha, and in the Irkutsk Region – from 4,000 to 5,200 ha,” the service said.

Wildfires – New Mexico, USA

Eleven wildfires are burning in New Mexico as of Thursday. The state Department of Health issued a smoke advisory for northern parts of the state.

Air Pollution From Wildfires Much Worse Than Previous Estimates

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Particle pollution from wildfires, long known for containing soot and other fine particles known to be dangerous to human health, is much worse than previously thought, a new study shows.

Naturally burning timber and brush from wildfires release dangerous particles into the air at a rate three times as high as levels known by the EPA, researchers at Georgia Tech found.

Scientists sampled air quality by flying planes directly into thick plumes from three major wildfires, including the 2013 Rim Fire, the largest wildfire in the Sierra Nevada. Previous EPA data was based on plume samples from controlled burns. Greg Huey is the study’s lead author.

“Under the conditions of the prescribed fires, it seems like you can get a smaller impact on air quality, So I think an extrapolation is that if you had more prescribed burning you might prevent some wildfires and in the process of doing that you would also probably help air quality issues,” Huey says.

The study also found wildfires spew methanol, benzene, ozone and other noxious chemicals.

Wildfires

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.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Firefighters are spending the weekend battling several wildfires in California, New Mexico and Arizona.

A wildfire is burning nearly 12 square miles in the San Mateo Mountains near Magdalena, which is about 100 miles southwest of Albuquerque. The fire was caused by lightning and is 20 percent contained.

In Arizona, firefighters are battling a much larger blaze. The Juniper Fire just south of the town of Young is now burning on over 28 square miles in the Tonto National Forest. That fire is also 20 percent contained and was caused by lightning.

Brush fires fed by a heat wave and tinder-dry conditions tore through the suburban hills north of Los Angeles on Saturday night, chasing hundreds of residents from their homes. Fire crews fought at least two blazes separated by only a few miles in West Hills and Calabasas, two suburbs above the San Fernando Valley.

Wildfires – Guatemala

Guatemala’s government on Saturday declared a state of catastrophe in the northern province of Peten, the cradle of Mayan civilization and one of the last green lungs of the Americas, due to wildfires that have destroyed 8,000 hectares (31 sq. miles) and put an additional 200,000 hectares (772 sq. miles) at risk.

At least 100 forest fires have been detected in Peten, a province with an area of 35,854 sq. kilometres (13,840 sq. miles) that borders Mexico and Belize

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical Depression Genevieve is located near latitude 13.1 north…longitude 150.1

west. The depression is moving toward the west near 7 mph…11 km/h. This general motion is forecast to continue through Thursday…with a slight increase in forward speed expected on Friday.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm 11w (Halong) is located approximately 266 nm west northwest of Navsta, Guam, and is tracking westward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

New Mexico, USA – Flood waters have struck parts of Albuquerque and other New Mexico cities as the state prepares for more severe weather.Heavy rain and thunderstorms sparked damaging floods Tuesday in Albuquerque’s South Valley and pockets of eastern New Mexico.

Romania – Romania’s Hydrology Institute issued a Code Red for flooding warnings for Gorj and Valcea counties in the Southern Romania while the Interior Ministry mobilized 1,600 troops from various institutions to help people who were affected by flooding in ten counties in the center and southern regions of the country.

Floods were caused by heavy rains at the beginning of this week. In Valcea, helicopters were sent to help evacuate 40 people from areas that were isolated due to flooding. Hundreds of people were evicted after their homes were flooded or even completely destroyed, and two people died.

Several road sections in Gorj county were blocked due to heavy rains, which caused landslides. A passenger train operated by private company Regiotrans derailed in Arges county, because of a bridge that was destroyed by the flooding. The derail caused four injuries.

The heavy rain also reduced Romania’s grain crops by 20 to 30 percent and destroyed 40 to 60 percent of the vegetable crops in the southern part of Romania, farmers’ associations said. Some regions were also affected by hail and specialists estimate that this will cause a decline in Romania’s agriculture production.

Tasmania – Wild weather continues to cause blackouts in Tasmania, as communities in the state’s north face possible flash flooding. As 900 homes in Scottsdale had their power reconnected on Wednesday night, another 1000 homes lost electricity in Verona Sands in the state’s south. Flood warnings have been issued for all northern river basins and a sandbagging effort is being co-ordinated out of Young Town on Launceston’s outskirts.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

In the Atlantic Ocean:

Tropical storm Humberto is located about 1210 mi (1945 km) WSW of the Azores. No threat to land.

Tropical Depression Ingrid is located about 75 mi (125 km) W of La Pesca, Mexico. Expected to dissipate today.

The death toll from heavy rains and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid has risen to claim at least 21 lives in Mexico. The stormy conditions forced thousands to evacuate.

In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm Man-Yi is located approximately 169 nm south of Misawa, Japan. The final warning has been issued on this system.

NewsBytes:

Floods in Odessa in the Ukraine have claimed the lives of at least two people and displaced around 600 families. Flood waters severely damaged more than 450 houses.

Some areas of New Mexico, USA received close to 10 inches of rain since a deluge that has caused widespread flooding started Tuesday. Parts of Albuquerque have seen more than 4 inches, marking the wettest September on record for the city.

Drought

Drought is transforming New Mexico into desert

Drought has seriously affected the Rio Grande Valley, where animals are dying, crops are failing and the Rio Grande has been nicknamed the “Rio Sand.” People are subsisting on trucked-in water or attempting to dig deep wells that cost upwards of $100,000.

The question many here are grappling with is whether the changes are a permanent result of climate change or part of cyclical weather cycle. The governor’s drought task force is cautious about identifying three years of extreme drought as representing a new climate pattern for New Mexico. It could be a multi-year aberration.

Nonetheless, most long-term plans put together by cattle ranchers, farmers and land managers include the probability that the drought is here to stay.

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Drought in Namibia Worsens

A severe drought that sparked a state of emergency in Namibia has left 400,000 people facing hunger.

Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, and only two percent of land receives sufficient rainfall to grow crops.

The southern African country has seen several droughts in the recent decades.

The number of people at risk from hunger has risen from 300,000 in May, when President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared a state of emergency.

In May, the government started handing out maize meal bags to rural areas in a central part of the country and authorities are appealing for international support.

Unicef says more than 778,000 people including 109,000 children under the age of five are at risk of malnutrition.

Wildfires

New Mexico Wildfires – USA

A blustering blaze burning in southern New Mexico’s Gila National Forest has swelled to 158 square miles as more than 700 firefighters work to keep up amid a record heat wave.

Fire officials said Friday that the Silver Fire continued to advance primarily on the northwestern edge of the blaze. Eastern winds fueled flames on the west flank and pushed smoked over nearby towns.

The inferno is still only 20 percent contained and burning 20 miles northeast of Silver City.

No new evacuations have been ordered, however, some area roads and highways remained closed.

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Meanwhile, crews in northern New Mexico continued to battle Friday a nearly 16-square-mile wildfire in the Pecos Wilderness. Officials say that blaze was moving closer to the headwaters of the Pecos River.

Wildfires Continue In Southwest Alaska

The Lime Hills Fire received much some needed rain over the past couple days, up to 6 tenths of an inch. The fire shrank 46 thousand acres over 24 hours, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. It now stands at about 220 thousand acres.

Wildfires

Colorado and New Mexico Wildfires – Update

The massive wildfire burning in southwestern Colorado is finally slowing down a bit. The West Fork fire complex was burning on 127 square miles on Wednesday, 3 square miles more than the day before, thanks to diminished winds.

A furious wildfire torching through the mountains of Southern New Mexico’s Gila National Forest has grown to 127 square miles, forcing some ranchers to ship their cattle out of state as the blaze burns through entire grazing areas.

The Silver Fire was still about 5 miles west of the nearest community, but it has left ranchers in this drought-stricken corner of the state with few choices for feeding their cattle. State agriculture officials said the combination of drought and fire has forced some ranchers to ship what remaining cattle they have to other areas, including South Texas.

Wildfires Burning in Russian Far East

Some 49 forest fires broke out in the Russian Far East on Wednesday. There were 42 fires in Yakutia, five in the Amur region, one in Kamchatka and one in the Khabarovsk territory.

Ten wildfires were put out in Yakutia.

There remain 39 forest fires in the Russian Far East now.

More than 1,600 firemen, almost 80 fire trucks, eight planes and seven helicopters are putting out the blazes.

The Far Eastern Federal District has reported 816 forest fires of a total area exceeding 346,600 hectares in the 2013 wildfire season.

Wildfires

Wildfires – New Mexico, USA

A blaze burning in southern New Mexico was expected to grow again Sunday, a day after it made a run that consumed nearly 19 square miles of rugged terrain in the Gila National Forest.

The Silver Fire has charred more than 88 square miles since being sparked by lightning on June 7. Almost 500 firefighters and support personnel were assigned to the fire.

Crews braced for a hot, dry and windy day as weather forecasters issued another red flag warning for the area on Sunday. Humidity levels were extremely low and winds were likely to gust to 30 mph.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Utah firefighters on Friday scrambled to control new blazes ahead of what could be a hot and dry weekend.

The Jaroso Fire burning in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico is growing fast and will keep on growing, as there is plenty of fuel in its path and fire officials say that right now they can do little to suppress it. Heavy smoke has thwarted air attacks.

Wildfires

Wildfires burn out of control in Colorado

A fire has destroyed 92 homes and forced more than 7000 residents to flee in Colorado in the US. The wildfire, fuelled by hot temperatures, gusty winds and bone-dry forests has destroyed 92 homes and prompted more than 7000 residents northeast of Colorado Springs to flee.

A separate Colorado wildfire to the south has destroyed 20 structures, including some in Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, and prompted evacuations of about 250 residents and nearly 1000 inmates at a medium-security prison.

To the north, another fire burned in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Wildfires also were burning in New Mexico, Oregon and California, where a smokejumper was killed fighting one of dozens of lightning-sparked fires.

Crews were so busy battling blazes across the West that the US Forest Service said on Wednesday it was mobilising a pair of Defense Department cargo planes to help – a step taken only when all of the Forest Service’s contracted tankers already are in use.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – New Mexico, USA

It’s been a week since the Thompson Ridge Fire broke out in the Jemez Mountains, and it’s now the largest of three major wildfire in the state. As of Friday morning it was reported at more than 14,000 acres with 10 percent containment.

Firefighters are on their way to four new wildfires reported across the Santa Fe National Forest and near Cimarron.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

A wildfire burning in mountains north of Los Angeles has consumed just over 30 000 acres and destroyed 24 homes including a number of summer cabins, fire officials said on Thursday after it was safe enough to send in an on-foot assessment team.

The damage wrought by the Powerhouse Fire comes as officials in California have warned of a particularly early and intense start of the fire season. Two major wildfires are also burning in New Mexico, including one that was threatening Native American sites.

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Wildfires

Wildfires USA

A wildfire in the mountains north of Los Angeles was slowed by morning overcast Friday, but about 25 homes were evacuated as scattered flames continued to leap hillsides.

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Also Friday, a fast-moving blaze in the mountains west of Santa Fe, N.M., prompted evacuations, threatened upscale cabins and vacation homes and closed a highway. Officials asked residents of about 150 homes and cabins to leave the area as crews battled the 500-acre wildfire near Pecos and the village of Tres Lagunas. Officials believe the blaze was sparked on Thursday by a downed power line on private land.

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