Wildfires – South Africa

A spate of wildfires across the Garden Route, which have spread from George to the Karatara area, claimed the lives of at least eight people – including a newborn baby and its mother, two children and a toddler – on Monday, and led to the evacuation of hundreds of people.



Wildfires – Oregon, USA

The Tepee Fire grew to 1,592 acres Friday night, fueled by strong winds. A fire line was established around 60 percent of the blaze, mostly on the western side..

The Willow Fire is estimated at 300 acres, burning south of Pelton Dam and Willow Canyon, about six miles northwest of Madras. Air tankers and a heavy helicopter have been assisting firefighters on the ground. The Willow Fire is now 20 percent contained.

Wildfires – Montana, USA

The Boundary wildfire burning in Montana’s Glacier National Park spilled over into Canada on Friday. Dry and windy conditions flared up fire activity on the blaze at about 3 p.m.

The wildfire then jumped the border into Alberta, burning most of the basin on the southwest-facing slope of Mount Richards and the south- and east-facing slopes of Mount Alderson. The entire wildfire, now burning in the Boundary Creek Valley, Glacier National Park and Water Lakes National Park, is estimated to be 1,100 hectares in size and is considered “out of control.”


Wildfires – Kansas, USA

Three fires in Rice County are about 70-percent contained but high winds continue to be a problem for crews fighting the fires.

Between seven and eight thousand acres have burned in the fires. One unoccupied home and several outbuildings were also destroyed. At least four Black Hawk helicopters were used to help gain control of the fire.

While the fire is mostly contained, dangerous conditions continue through Friday.


Wildfires – New Mexico, USA

The Stateline Fire burning in Union County, north of Clayton, New Mexico, is currently estimated at 21,253 acres, of which 7,160 acres has crossed over into Colorado. The fire started Thursday morning March 8 on private property in New Mexico. There is no immediate threat to structures at this time.

Wildfires – Florida, USA

Saturday’s rains did little to stop the Big Cypress National Preserve brush fire, which has grown to 3,019 acres, closing trails and campgrounds, the National Park Service reported Sunday.


Wildfires – Kansas, USA

Around 50 fires have been reported across Kansas with high winds and dry conditions on Monday and Tuesday. Crews on Wednesday were still working on a number of fires, and most of them were in some level of containment. The fires have burned more than 25,000 acres. Weather conditions were improving with increased humidity and decreasing winds, but grass is still very dry and people are urged to continue using caution with any sources of fire.

Global Warming

South African Wildfires Create Climate Cooling

University of Wyoming researchers led a study that discovered that biomass smoke originating from South Africa that drifts over the southeast Atlantic Ocean significantly enhances the brightness of low-level clouds there — creating a reflective process that actually helps cool the Earth and counteract the greenhouse effect.

In their study, the researchers found the smoke comes down and can mix within the clouds. The changed clouds are more reflective of sunlight. Brighter clouds counteract the greenhouse effect. It creates cooling.

For years, scientists determined that smoke, overall, diminishes the clouds’ cooling effect by absorbing light that the clouds beneath the aerosols would otherwise reflect. This new study does not dispute that phenomenon. However, more dominantly, the new study found that smoke and cloud layers are closer to each other than previously thought. This makes the clouds more reflective of light and, thus, accelerates the clouds’ cooling effect. This is due to the tiny aerosol particles from the smoke that serve as the nuclei for the formation of cloud droplets.


Wildfires – Colorado, USA

Firefighters have fully contained a 377-acre brush fire that broke out Sunday morning south of Kiowa, burning four homes and five barns.

Wildfires – Scotland

Firefighters have been tackling three wildfires on the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. They were joined by coastguard and RNLI volunteers and members of the public to try to extinguish the flames.

Emergency services have also been working to extinguish a three kilometre-long blaze at Portree, on the isle of Skye.


Wildfires – Texas, USA

Wildfires that started Monday afternoon in three counties around Abilene are contained this morning, according to authorities.

The Newell Fire off of U.S. Highway 180 about 13 miles west of Albany is “out,” according to the Shackelford County Sheriff’s Office. The fire burned about 2,500 acres.

About 700 acres were burned in Fisher County near farm roads 57 and 419 about 10 miles north of Sweetwater, according to the forest service.

Wildfires – Australia

Strong winds fanned out-of-control bushfires in NSW and Victoria. A blaze started on Boggy Creek Road in Myrrhee near Whitfield on Wednesday afternoon, fanned by strong winds of about 40km/h. More than 250 firefighters battled the fire, along with aircraft, bulldozers and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning vehicles.

Meanwhile water-bombing aircraft were sent out to a fire burning near Barooga Road, about four kilometres north of Mulwala earlier on Wednesday afternoon. NSW Rural Fire Service said the fire had been burning in a south-easterly direction under strong, north to westerly winds ranging from 40 to 60 kilometres per hour.


Wildfires – California, USA

A wind-driven wildfire in rural central California threatened hundreds of buildings Monday, including a historic railroad station, but officials said they made some gains after the flames exploded in size.

The blaze scorched 3½ square miles of chaparral bush and shrub oak in the small town of Bishop on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada that is popular for hiking, fishing, climbing and hunting.

Officials ended most evacuations that were ordered near the town but warned that strong winds were expected in the area and urged residents to remain vigilant.


Wildfires – Hawaii, USA

Big Island firefighters and multiple agencies continued their efforts Sunday to extinguish a brush fire burning hundreds of acres in Waikoloa. The fire is estimated to have burned between 830 to 900 acres over the last 24 hours, officials said. At last check, the fire was 35 percent contained.

Wildfires – Chile

About 1,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed in the past 24 hours in Chile’s central region of Valparaiso, while authorities have declared the red alert in five areas on Sunday. The fires have been fed by a prolonged drought and temperatures that have topped 40 degrees Celsius.

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire is burning out-of-control in Perth’s southern suburbs, shutting a major freeway. Kwinana Freeway has been shut in both directions from Mortimer Road and Mundijong Road due to smoke from a fast-moving fire in Baldivis.

Up to 150 firefighters, two air tankers and about 13 bulldozers and tractors will spend today strengthening and building containment lines on the Mt Canobolas blaze that’s already destroyed more than 790 hectares, a NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman said.


Wildfires – USA

A wildfire is burning near the Dragoon Mountains southeast of Tucson. The fire started on on Saturday.

The Knob Hill Fire started on private land west of the Dragoon Mountains and has burned over the top toward the east side of the mountains into Coronado National Forest Land. The fire was human caused but is still under investigation.

The wildfire is estimated to have burned 2,000 acres, according to a Monday morning update from the incident command on Inciweb.


Wildfires – Oklahoma, USA

Firefighters say wildfires have scorched thousands of acres of dry grasslands in northeastern Oklahoma.

Dozens of firefighters fought a grassfire along Oklahoma Highway 20 in Osage County Saturday evening that officials say burned up to 10,000 acres. Officials say another large fire in Mayes County burned hundreds of acres more.

Authorities say no homes or other structures were damaged in the fires and no injuries were reported.