Wildfires – North American Wildfire Smoke Travels to Europe

It’s been a particularly brutal bushfire season in parts of western North America, as several large blazes continue to cause headaches from California up to British Columbia. As shocking new satellite images show, the smoke from these fires hasn’t been limited to the US West Coast, or even the North American continent. It’s drifted all the way over the Atlantic Ocean into European skies.

As the smoke from western bushfires drifts higher and higher, it’s picked up by strong prevailing winds that take it across the continent and towards the Atlantic ocean. Incredibly, smoke that was above the Pacific Northwest on September 4 drifted to parts of western Europe in just four days.




Wildfires – Australia

Fire fighters gained the upper hand against more than 50 bushfires across NSW, moving to contain and extinguish blazes after hot and windy conditions fanned them toward homes earlier in the week.

Thursday’s raging Jervis Bay bushfire forced the evacuation of a primary school and nearby naval base, and came within one kilometre of homes. Fire authorities said on Friday they believe it was deliberately lit.

Some 73 fires are still burning around NSW with about 11 not under control.


Wildfires – Australia

An out-of-control bushfire in the New South Wales Hunter Valley was threatening houses on Wednesday as firefighters battled a number of fires amid unseasonable heat with Sydney experiencing its hottest September day on record. The NSW Rural Fire Service issued an emergency warning for Richmond Vale, near Cessnock on Wednesday morning. The blaze had broken containment lines and burned about 700 hectares of bushland.

Wildfires – Saskatchewan, Canada

Firefighters in northern Saskatchewan had to deal with shifting winds and hot, dry weather as they continue to battle wildfires. The dynamic conditions caused two of the three wildfires burning near Pelican Narrows to grow during the weekend.

The Granite fire, which is one kilometre east of Jan Lake, has grown to approximately 107,000 hectares, roughly six times the size of Regina.

The Preston fire, approximately three kilometres north and six kilometres west of Pelican Narrows, has grown to approximately 47,000 hectares.

A third wildfire in the area, the Wilkin fire, is currently not a threat to communities. Crews are working on securing the northern flanks of the fire.


Wildfires – Colorado, USA

Three wildfires ignited by lightning strikes were burning through timber, sagebrush and piñon-juniper forest across more than 10,900 acres in northwestern Colorado on Sunday, and federal authorities deployed more than 400 firefighters to contain the flames.

Wildfires – Montana, USA

The Eagle Creek Fire, which authorities said was sparked Sept. 2 by a 15-year-old boy playing with fireworks, was burning across 33,682 acres as of Saturday and the nearly 1,000 personnel working in Oregon had the wildfire 7 percent contained. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Paul Cerda warned the Eagle Creek Fire could double in size before it is contained.


Wildfires – California, USA

Wildfires forced thousands to flee their homes across the U.S. West during a sweltering, smoke-shrouded holiday weekend of record heat.

The fires Sunday caused evacuations in Glacier National Park in Montana and many other parts of the West; compelled crews to rescue about 140 hikers who had spent the night in the woods after fire broke out along the popular Columbia River Gorge Trail in Oregon; and led firefighters to step up efforts to protect a 2,700-year-old grove of giant sequoia encroached by flames near Yosemite National Park in California.

A sudden gusty series of rainstorms allowed Los Angeles, however, to cancel evacuation orders for a wildfire that the mayor called the largest in the city’s history and sent beach umbrellas and toy shovels bouncing down Southern California beaches late Sunday.

Fires burning up and down the Sierra Nevada and further to the northwest cast an eerie yellow and gray haze over much of California. Much of the state was under alerts because of poor air quality.

California authorities ordered evacuations for a small town Sunday in one of the wildfires, a blaze that has burned 9 square miles near Yosemite.


Wildfires – California, USA

A wildfire on the northern edge of Los Angeles rapidly grew on Saturday into what the mayor called the largest blaze in the city’s history, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people and the closure of a major highway.

The 5,000-acre (2,023-hectare) La Tuna Fire, named after the canyon area where it erupted on Friday, has led authorities to evacuate more than 700 homes in a north Los Angeles neighborhood and in nearby Burbank and Glendale, officials said.

Authorities warned of erratic winds that could force them to widen the evacuation zone, after the fire destroyed three houses in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Wildfires – Washington USA

Wildfires were threatening thousands of homes and hindering travel in the Pacific Northwest on Saturday.

One such blaze has burned 23 square miles (60 square kilometers) about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southeast of Seattle and forced authorities to issue new evacuation notices. About 3,800 homes were at risk, authorities said.


Wildfires – Montana, USA

The fires represented on the map below are all actively burning and have scorched at least 1,000 acres. There are several dozen smaller fires currently burning in Montana that are not included in this map.

Screen Shot 2017 09 02 at 12 50 26 PM

Wildfires – Oregon, USA

The Chetco Bar fire near Brookings is the largest in the state at more than 201 square miles as of Wednesday night, when the wildfire was 5 percent contained.

High Cascades Complex fires are burning in over 41 square miles inside and relatively close to Crater Lake National Park.

Umpqua North Complex fires are burning in about 39.6 square miles in the Umpqua National Forest. The fires are 21 percent contained.

The Milli fire near Sisters is burning in about 34.7 square miles. “Be ready” and “be set” notices are in place. The fire is 44 percent contained.

Elsewhere in Oregon, large blazes are burning in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness and neighboring forest acreage, the Columbia River Gorge and parts of southern and southwest Oregon.


Wildfires – California, USA

Authorities on Wednesday arrested a man suspected of starting an illegal campfire believed to have ignited a growing Northern California blaze that destroyed 10 homes, damaged five others and threatened hundreds more.

The wildfire sparked Tuesday near the town of Oroville, a region already hard-hit by fire and a massive evacuation earlier this year caused by damage to sections of the nation’s tallest dam.

It’s one of many wildfires burning across the U.S. West, including blazes in and around California’s Yosemite National Park that have closed a popular road into the park, shuttered the iconic Wawona Hotel and evacuated nearby towns. Some 58 homes near the park have been destroyed.

Wildfires – Oregon, USA

Wildfires in Oregon are burning an area roughly equivalent to half the state of Rhode Island.

The two dozen blazes around the state Wednesday are affecting air quality and have forced the evacuations of more than 4,500 people.

The largest fire is near the coastal town of Brookings near the California border. That 196-square-mile (508-square-kilometer) blaze is 5 percent contained and 4,568 people have fled their homes.


Wildfires – Greece

A wildfire broke out at the village Anafonitria, in northern Zakynthos. The village is being evacuated after fire reached the front porches of some houses. Two more wildfires broke out in the Ano Volima area of the island, about five kilometres west of the first Anafonitria fire front.


First Nations Affected by British Columbia Wildfires

A First Nation in British Columbia’s Cariboo region is calling for a moratorium on hunting until officials can confirm sufficient numbers of wildlife have survived the wildfire season. The Nazko First Nation is concerned that wildfires in his traditional lands in the Cariboo Chilcotin region may have dramatically reduced the number of moose and deer.

The Nazko have survived as traditional hunters on their ancestral land for thousands of years with moose, deer and salmon as staple proteins.

Most of the community has been evacuated to Quesnel for weeks, while some remain on the First Nation’s main reserve, west of Quesnel.

The Cariboo Chilcotin has had 11 fires of note since early July which have caused a number of evacuations, a temporary ban on backcountry travel and burned 783,699 hectares of land.

A herd of wild horses was recently reported burned to death by the neighbouring Tsilhqot’in First Nation.

On top of the anxiety surrounding the annual hunting season, this year’s salmon returns have been dismal. Salmon are susceptible to liquid fertilizers found in fire retardant and ammonia compounds found in retardant can kill aquatic life if not diluted.


Wildfires – British Columbia, Canada

An evacuation order affecting about 1,100 people living east of Kelowna, B.C., was issued Thursday because of the threat of a new wildfire. Fire crews from the Joe Rich, Kelowna, Ellison and Lake Country departments along with the BC Wildfire Service were fighting the blaze that was reported shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Wildfires – South Africa

Farmers are still counting the cost of wildfires that killed livestock, and destroyed more than 60 000ha of grazing and 4 500 bales of feed across the Free State in the space of a week, according to Free State Agriculture (FSA).

In the Petrus Steyn district, an estimated 11 500ha were destroyed by a fire that is believed to have started in a nearby township.

A fire in the Frankfort area on the same day burnt a 26km swathe along the N3. About 50 000ha were destroyed in the district

A second fire that occurred in the Cornelia area at the same time, burnt [along a] 14km [stretch] before it could be brought under control.


Wildfires – Croatia

Several wildfires are raging on the Adriatic coast in Croatia, prompting the evacuation of dozens of villages. Strong winds are spreading the blazes, officials said, making it difficult for firefighters to operate. Firefighting planes have been called to tackle the pine forest blaze near the resorts of Sibenik and Zadar. Fires also raged on the islands of Hvar and Brac. The main road from the capital, Zagreb, to the port of Split was closed briefly.


Wildfires – Oregon, USA

600 people are evacuated because of the Milli Wildfire near the town of Sisters. And fire officials said Saturday that another thousand residents have been told to be ready to leave if necessary. That fire is burning eight thousand acres and is causing smokey skies all over central Oregon. Firefighters are working hard to save nearby buildings.

And a level one evacuation notice was issued Saturday for the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort in the Warm Springs Reservation. The Nena Springs Fire is burning 66 thousand acres nearby. In the last two days, that fire has grown by 19 thousand acres.

Some campsites and recreational areas are also shut down in the Deschutes National Forest because of a 12-square-mile wildfire that jumped the fire lines this weekend.

Wildfires – British Columbia, Canada

A handful of small fires in B.C.’s west Cariboo region have merged to create what is now the largest fire in the province. The Plateau wildfire, northwest of Williams Lake, is estimated to be about 438,000 hectares and 130 kilometres from one end to the other. The fire information officer said the fire hasn’t grown significantly in size, but several wildfires burning since about July 7 have now joined together.


Wildfires – Oregon, USA

Fire officials have ordered about 1,200 people living in central Oregon to get ready to evacuate due to a 3,000-acre wildfire. The Milli Fire grew from 300 acres on Wednesday to 3,000 on Thursday because of high winds, pushing back firefighters. The fire in Deschutes County now threatens 434 structures. More than 1,000 people living in Sisters, Ore., have been advised to prepare for evacuation, officials said.

Wildfires – Montana, USA

One of several wildfires burning in Montana destroyed two homes after jumping control lines as firefighters braved another day Friday of high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity. The homes, southwest of the town of Lolo, were among 750 residences evacuated after the fire, started by lightning in July, blew up late Wednesday. Several outbuildings were burned late Thursday. The blaze burned nearly 30 square miles (76 square kilometers) of forest land.

A wall of flames hundreds of feet high burn on a ridge south of Lolo, Montana

Screen Shot 2017 08 19 at 12 55 29 PM


Wildfires – Balkans, Europe

Firefighters in Montenegro and Croatia are trying to extinguish several wildfires on and near the Adriatic coastline that have already destroyed swathes of forest and threatened villages.

A fire on Mount Lovcen national park in central Montenegro is endangering a mountain top mausoleum in which the well-known 19th century Montenegrin poet and ruler Petar Petrovic Njegos was buried. Officials say the fires are worsened by strong winds.

In neighboring Croatia, a huge fire that has threatened villages near the Adriatic resort of Sibenik has been put under control with the help of 150 firefighters, army troops and firefighting planes.