Wildfires – Portugal

One sapling at a time, thousands of volunteers planted trees in Portugal’s oldest forest burned by last year’s devastating wildfires. Around 3,000 volunteers planted roughly 67,500 pine trees in the Leiria forest in central Portugal on Sunday.



Wildfires – Portugal and Spain

Three people have been killed in Portugal as the country is hit by a record number of forest fires, and three more have died in Spain where blazes sparked by arsonists have been fanned by strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia.

In total, about 440 fires were burning across Portugal on Sunday, which is “the worst day since the beginning of the year”, according to a spokesperson for the national civil protection agency.

In addition to the three dead, about 25 people had been injured, with thousands of firefighters deployed and three motorways, including one linking Lisbon and Porto, closed.

Wildfires – California

The wildfires that erupted last weekend have killed at least 40 people and destroyed at least 5,700 homes and other structures. As of Sunday, roughly 75,000 people were under evacuation orders, down from nearly 100,000 the day before. In all, 17 large fires are still burned across the northern part of the state, with more than 10,000 firefighters attacking the flames using air tankers, helicopters and more than 1,000 fire engines.


Wildfires – California

More than a dozen fast-moving wildfires tearing through California’s wine country have killed at least 10 people, destroying hundreds of homes, authorities said Monday.

Fanned by winds of over 80km/h, the blazes have forced more than 20 000 people to evacuate in the country’s heaviest populated state since they began on Sunday night.

California’s fire service said about 73 000 acres have been ravaged by the major infernos.

Rare “fire devil” spotted during Portugal wildfires

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Wildfires – Portugal

Eleven active wild fires are continuing to rage on in Portugal across six different fronts with high winds hampering efforts to contain them. Around 1500 firefighters, 200 military personnel and countless locals are desperately battling the blazes.

The fire in Pampilhosa da Serra is said to be the most serious and has left emergency services struggling to cope. Two villages in the Arganil municipality have been evacuated as a precaution and at least four people including three firefighters have been injured in Anadia.


Wildfires – Portugal and Greece

Portuguese officials say 112 people have been evacuated from their homes in the central town of Vila de Rei as more than 3,700 firefighters continue to battle dozens of wildfires across the country. 45 people were slightly injured in the fires over the past two days. Firefighters were hoping to make the most of a slight drop in temperatures to make progress in extinguishing some 210 fires still active.

Authorities in Greece have declared a state of emergency on the island of Zakynthos where wildfires are burning for a fourth day. The Fire Service says that the blazes are burning on 12 fronts and not threatening homes or resorts on the island, which is popular with tourists.

A large wildfire north of Athens is threatening homes as it sweeps through pine forest for a second day, uncontained due to high winds. Fire Service officials, two planes and five helicopters are fighting the blaze at Varnava, 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the Greek capital, while a main road in the area is closed to traffic to give fire trucks better access. The fire burned out of control for a second day Monday after damaging at least 20 homes the previous day and forcing the evacuation of holiday campsites used in the area for children’s vacations.


Wildfires – Portugal

Wildfires flared across Portugal yesterday following a rise in temperatures and strong winds, with more than 1,500 firefighters deployed to tackle 17 separate blazes in central and northern Portugal. A stretch of Portugal’s main north-south highway, the A1, was closed due to one blaze. Massive clouds of smoke prevented the use of water-dropping planes in some places. No injuries were reported.


Wildfires – Portugal

Portugal’s Civil Protection Agency says firefighters have brought under control a major 5-day-old wildfire that blackened a wide area of pine and eucalyptus forest.

The blaze at Serta, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Lisbon, is believed to have charred more than 25,000 hectares of woodland.

Other fires broke out Thursday, however, amid continuing hot and windy weather. The Weather Institute says more than 70 percent of Portugal is experiencing severe drought conditions. The Civil Protection Agency reports it has deployed more than 1,100 firefighters and 23 water-dropping aircraft to 13 blazes. Ten villages had already been evacuated after fires broke out on Sunday. By about midnight last night the fires had reached Macao, a town with a population of 2,000.


Wildfires – Portugal

Portuguese emergency services say they are gradually bringing under control a spate of wildfires that erupted after temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

The Civil Protection Agency says almost 1,700 firefighters are tackling eight large countryside blazes with the help of 20 water-dropping aircraft. It said seven other wildfires are being brought under control and 19 are almost out. Most of the wildfires are in northern Portugal, where thick forests of pine and eucalyptus trees and steep ridges make firefighting especially hard.

Wildfires – Croatia and Montenegro

Croatian authorities say firefighters have battled throughout the night to contain raging wildfires that threatened a key port on the country’s Adriatic coast. Parts of the coastal town of Split were enveloped in thick smoke Tuesday after flames reached suburban areas the previous evening. Residents have joined firefighters to defend the houses and stop the fire from spreading. Emergency services say some 80 people have been lightly injured. They say the situation has improved in the morning after firefighting planes took off and the wind slowed down.

In neighboring Montenegro to the south, authorities say they might have to evacuate a village on the Lustica peninsula. About 100 people already have been evacuated the area as fires spread.


Wildfires – Portugal – Update

More than 1 000 firefighters were still battling Monday a giant forest fire that swept through central Portugal at the weekend, killing at least 62 people.

Portugal’s national route 236 was transformed into a road of hell as the ferocious blaze ripped through the wooded countryside around the epicentre in Pedrogao Grande.

Although the searing temperatures in Portutal had dropped slightly on Monday, the fire was still raging, spreading to neighbouring regions of Castelo Branco and Coimbra.

Firefighters were continuing a grim search for bodies, with Costa warning on Sunday that the death toll could still rise.


Wildfires – Portugal

A raging wildfire killed 57 people and injured dozens more in Portugal, with some victims burned to death in their cars as they tried to flee.

At least 59 people were injured in the blaze Saturday, including four firefighters and a child. Some were hospitalized in serious condition Sunday. Some victims got stuck in their cars and on the side of the road in what officials described as the “greatest wildfire tragedy of recent years.” The blaze spread Saturday onto Pedrogao Grande town, forcing residents to try and leave the town to escape towering flames.

Firefighters were still fighting the flames Sunday.

Wildfires – California, USA

An explosive wildfire Saturday quickly blackened more than 1,000 acres and destroyed two outbuildings at Castaic Lake, where firefighters toiled in hot and dry weather to prevent the flames from advancing. Access to fight the fire was limited, but fixed wing aircrafts and boats were brought in to fight the flames. Helicopters syphoned water from the lake to make drops on the flames.


Wildfires – Spain and Portugal

Thousands of firefighters in Spain and Portugal on Wednesday battled blazes that threatened locals and tourists, as authorities hoped the arrival of cooler weather would help tame the flames.

One of the most devastating fires was raging in Portugal’s Peneda-Geres National Park not far from the border with Spain’s northern Galicia region, where there were five major wildfires. “It is a calamity for the natural park, the only one in Portugal, and for tourism.”

The blaze encircled two hamlets of granite houses, Paradela and Varzea, leading officials to temporarily evacuate their residents overnight.

Some 300 firefighters brought one of the largest fires, which has been burning since Monday near the northern town of Boticas, under control on Wednesday afternoon.

On Spain’s eastern coast firefighters had managed to stabilise a wildfire raging since Sunday near the popular resort of Benidorm that prompted the temporary evacuation of 1,400 people.

Another wildfire on the holiday island of Menorca was declared under control on Tuesday night after destroying scrubland and pine forest near Arenal d’en Castell, emergency services said.

Wildfires have so far this year destroyed over 107,000 hectares of land in mainland Portugal and another 5,400 on the holiday island of Madeira, where fires killed three people in August and charred dozens of homes.


Russian pilots put out 17 wildfires endangering Portugal

Seventeen blazes, charring a total area of 2,000 hectares in Portugal, have been extinguished by the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s aircraft over the past two weeks.

Wildfires – USA

Thirty-five large, uncontained wildfires were burning in the West, and firefighters were making initial attacks on another 112 new blazes to prevent them from spreading.

Firefighters in the region mostly faced windy, dry conditions that have fanned flames that destroyed buildings and forced evacuations in California, Washington, Idaho and elsewhere. Here’s a look at the major wildfires in the West:

CALIFORNIA – Authorities say a wildfire that destroyed 45 homes on California’s central coast was not intentionally set but they were still trying to determine the cause. Cal Fire says arson has been ruled out in the 10-day blaze that has charred 64 square miles of dry brush and timber. The fire was 39 percent surrounded and at least 2,400 people were under evacuation orders in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. Additional warnings for people to be ready to flee were issued Wednesday and one arm of Lake Nacimiento was closed to boaters. Cal Fire’s Rich Eagan says flames were more than two miles from Hearst Castle, which remains closed but was no longer at immediate risk.

A fire burning for a month north of Big Sur grew again to 135 square miles. Hundreds of homes remain threatened by the fire in rugged wilderness coast along Highway 1. The blaze was sparked by an illegal campfire. It is 60 percent contained.

IDAHO – A fast-moving rangeland wildfire in eastern Idaho expanded to nearly 70 square miles Wednesday, forcing evacuations, threatening a windfarm and burning habitat needed by sage grouse, a federally protected bird. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office says evacuations are in place, with up to 70 buildings along U.S. Highway 26 threatened.

Officials say the human-caused fire reported Sunday about 7 miles east of Idaho Falls is making wind-driven runs to the north and east.

In central Idaho, a 160-square-mile wildfire in a remote, mountainous area continues to defy containment and burn through timbered slopes that are difficult for firefighters to reach.

MONTANA – Cooler weather has slowed Montana’s largest wildfire, though 45 homes are still evacuated and 130 more are on alert. The fire northeast of Thompson Falls had burned 33 square miles as of Wednesday morning. Fire officials say crews have made progress in securing fire lines and protecting structures. The weather was cooperating again Wednesday with lighter winds and higher relative humidity forecast.

Minimal fire activity is also being reported from a fire burning west of Lakeside. About 75 homes and other structures are within a half-mile of the fire’s perimeter. No evacuations have been ordered.

UTAH – Firefighters in northern Utah are working to contain a growing wildfire near a ski resort that’s now crossed the border into southern Idaho. Fire spokeswoman Sierra Hellstrom said Wednesday that wind and high temperatures Tuesday afternoon had pushed the fire to 1.4 square miles. It’s burning about 23 miles northwest of Logan, and about one-fourth of a mile from the Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, which was on pre-evacuation notice this week. Hellstrom says no buildings are imminently threatened at the resort.

WASHINGTON – Favorable weather conditions helped crews make progress Wednesday against a series of wildfires in Eastern Washington that have burned at least 18 homes this week.

A fire burning on the Spokane Indian Reservation was 30 percent contained. That fire covered more than 27 square miles and had destroyed at least 13 homes on the reservation, said Jamie Sijohn, a spokeswoman for the tribe. “The devastating fire jumped the Spokane River from Lincoln County onto the Spokane reservation in three separate locations,” Sijohn said. It roared toward the town of Wellpinit, forcing the evacuation of the entire town on Sunday. But that order has since been lifted, Sijohn said.

Meanwhile, a fire near the town of Davenport in Lincoln County covered 6.5 square miles, and was 20 percent contained.

Another fire south of Spokane, in the Valleyford area, was 50 percent contained. It had burned more than 10 square miles and destroyed at least five homes, officials said. Mandatory evacuations ended on that fire on Tuesday night.

WYOMING – Some tourists heading to Yellowstone National Park during the busy summer season were facing an hourlong detour Wednesday as a wildfire in neighbouring Grand Teton National Park kept a highway closed. Major tourist areas in both parks are open as the National Park Service holds events to celebrate its 100th anniversary this week. A route leading into Yellowstone’s South Entrance was shut down, so visitors coming from the south through Wyoming had to take a detour into Idaho. But firefighters hope cooler weather slows the flames over the next couple of days.


Wildfires – Madeira, Portugal

Three people are now known to have died in wildfires that have advanced upon Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira.

A thousand people have evacuated from homes and hotels. Several buildings have been destroyed, including the five-star Choupana Hills hotel.

Fires have burned for two days on the holiday island off north-west Africa.

Wildfires have also affected the Portuguese mainland in recent days as temperatures climb above 35C.

There were 109 active fires burning on Wednesday morning, according to Portugal’s civil protection agency, with 11 causing particular concern – mainly in the north-west of the mainland.

In Arouca, dozens of people were forced to flee their homes overnight after strong winds fanned the flames of the fires. Some main roads have also been closed.

More than 3,200 emergency workers are battling the flames across the country.

Wildfires – California, USA

A Southern California wildfire has surged in size and put thousands of homes in potential peril.

Smoke plumes roiling from flaming ridges of the San Bernardino Mountains blew all the way across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas as the blaze on Monday forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes. People in some 375 homes were ordered to evacuate, authorities said. 5 000 more were warned to be ready to leave their homes.

Firefighters aided by 16 aircraft battled flames that spread across nearly 10 square miles on the northern side of the rugged mountain range east of Los Angeles.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Tropical cyclone 11p (Winston), located approximately 302 nm south-southeast of Suva, Fiji, is tracking northeastward at 13 knots.

Tropical cyclone 13s (Uriah), located approximately 1090 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia, is tracking west-southwestward at 08 knots.


Portugal – Flooding in northern Portugal has claimed life of a cyclist after being swept away by a river. River Vouga swept away the man whose body was recovered by firefighters from the northern town of Albergaria-a-Velha.


Wildfires – Arizona, USA

A raging fire broke out on Saturday in a wildlife refuge in northwestern Arizona near the California border, forcing the evacuation of about 150 homes.

Authorities ordered the mandatory evacuations from homes in the rural area after the wildfire sparked on Saturday afternoon grew to 2,000 acres in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. As of late Saturday, an undermined number of structures had been burned.

Wildfires – Portugal

Nearly 1,000 firefighters as well as six helicopters and three planes were deployed in Portugal Sunday to battle forest fires raging in the north and centre of the country, authorities said.

The worst fire scorched Vila Nova de Cerveira in the northern Minho region and was continuing to spread due to “difficult to access terrain, wind, high temperatures and the ongoing drought,” a fire service spokesman said, with 250 men battling the blaze.

Another major fire was raging at Miranda do Corvo, not far from the central city of Coimbra, with homes there also threatened.

Around 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the east at Covilha, two firemen were injured tackling another blaze which forced authorities to evacuate a camp site and a hostel before it was brought under control.

Nearly 80 percent of the country’s territory is considered to be in a severe drought, a situation that is likely to get worse in August, according to the Portuguese meteorological agency IPMA.