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Cloud Lightning

Freak California weather: Wildfires, lightning and drought wreak havoc in US state leaving 1 dead

sand fire3
© Max Whittaker
Members of the CAL Fire Vina Helitack crew battle a spot fire as the fast-moving wildfire called "Sand Fire" burns near Plymouth, California
Two wildfires in northern California destroyed 13 homes on the weekend, while one man died after being struck by lightning in the south of the state

Wildfire has ravaged the drought-stricken region of northern California obliterating 13 homes and forcing the evacuation of hundreds on the same weekend that thunderstorms and freak lightning swept through the south of the state killing one.

As many as 1,900 fire personnel are battling a raging blaze in the Sierra Navada foothills amid a dangerous combination of high winds and temperatures above 38C.

The sand fire has burned through roughly 3,800 acres or six square miles since it started on Friday, but still threatens at least 515 properties, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) says.

It is now 50 per cent contained - with a fire-fighter sustaining minor injuries - as it continues to rip through the border of Amador and El Dorado counties, five miles north of the city of Plymouth.

Authorities have listed its cause as "vehicle into dry vegetation," leading to a blaze that has also resulted in the destruction of 38 outbuildings.
Extinguisher

Around 1,200 flee wildfire in rural California that has destroyed five homes

sand fire

Evacuations: About 700 homes have been evacuated in the area which has burned through five houses and 3,000 acres
A rapidly spreading wildfire in Northern California forced the evacuation of about 700 homes Saturday as it raced through Sierra Nevada foothills turned tinder-dry by drought.

Evacuation orders were expanded in and around the River Pines Estates community in Amador County. Previous orders had covered about 250 homes about 40 miles east of Sacramento.

Since Friday, the so-called Sand Fire has destroyed five homes and seven outbuildings. Many vineyards are in the area but the flames were moving away from them, said Lynn Tolmachoff, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Phoenix

State of emergency in Siberia's largest permafrost region because of wildfires

© Dozhd TV
States of emergency were introduced in areas of Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions, the Republic of Buryatia, and three districts of Trans-Baikal region, plus one of the Tyva Republic.
People evacuated after thunderstorms with no rain ignite foliage and forests.

More than one thousand people were evacuated from their homes in the Sakha Republic - also known as Yakutia - which is the largest region of the Russian Federation, while states of emergency are also in effect in other major regions such as Kransnoyarsk and Irkutsk.

Famed for its cold and permafrost, Sakha is now under siege from wildfires.

Vyacheslav Popov, head of the republic's Forestry Department, said: 'The area of wildfires doubled. There are 37 active wildfires in the republic right now covering the territory of 76,000 hectares. There is a threat to eight settlements in five areas of Yakutia''

Comment: See the report below for a possible explanation of what may have ignited these fires -

Colorado firefighters hampered by winds, heat -- and meteors

Bizarro Earth

Out of Control: Washington state wildfire wipes most of a small town off the map - destroying 100 homes

© AP
Charred: The foundation of a home and burned-out cars remain from a wildfire the night before, Friday, July 18, 2014, in Pateros, Washington
A raging wildfire in central Washington has wiped most of a small town off the map - destroying 100 homes as it whips out of control across 260 square miles of dry forest - and fears are now growing that it will claim a second community.

The Carlton Complex fire grew by nearly ten times Friday as four fires horrifically merged into one and exploded across the small village of Pateros, officials said. Residents of the town of Malott and outlying areas of nearby Brewster have been evacuated as flames rages only miles from their homes.

'We basically evacuated the whole town' of Malott, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday night. Those living in outlying areas of Brewster were also told to leave. Malott is home to about 500 people, while the population of Brewster is about 2,400.


Comment:


Bizarro Earth

Wildfires rage on U.S.West Coast causing evacuations of entire towns

carlton complex wildfires
© AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
A plane drops fire retardant on the Chiwaukum Creek Fire near Leavenworth, Wash., Thursday, July 17, 2014. The blaze closed a section of U.S. Highway 2, and resulted in the evacuation of nearly 900 homes.

A small north-central Washington town and a nearby hospital threatened by a wind-whipped wildfire have been evacuated, and the blaze has burned at least 35 homes in Okanogan County, the sheriff said.

Sheriff Frank Rogers said late Thursday he's heard of no injuries from the Carlton Complex of wildfires.

The sheriff issued his highest evacuation notice Thursday for Pateros, a town of about 650 people along the Columbia River. Residents drove south to Chelan. A hospital in nearby Brewster was evacuated as a precaution, with the patients sent to Omak.

"The whole town was evacuated," Rogers said in a telephone interview as he drove the eight-mile stretch between Brewster and Pateros. "It was a chaotic mess but we got everybody on the highway."

"There's nobody in Pateros" except a few "stragglers" who stayed, he said, adding the fire was burning in the town, although the small business district was believed intact.

Rogers said perhaps 15-20 homes have burned in Pateros and another 20 homes in the Twisp-Winthrop area. He had no estimate of how many homes have burned in the entire county of about 40,000 people.
Phoenix

Wildfires prompt evacuations in British Columbia and Alberta

© THE CANADIAN PRESS
An aerial view of the Red Deer Creek wildfire near the B.C./Alberta boundary is shown in a government of British Columbia handout photo.
Aggressive wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta have prompted evacuation orders in both provinces as crews struggle to contain the flames.

A remote Alberta community was ordered to evacuate as a raging wildfire in B.C. approached the border.

A state of local emergency and evacuation order were declared Tuesday evening for the Municipal District of Greenview No. 16.

The evacuation order applies to a remote part of northwestern Alberta south of the Wapiti River, west of Nose Creek and the Two Lakes Road and north of Township 61.

Residents in the area were advised to immediately leave their homes with their personal belongings.
Cloud Lightning

3,400 lightning strikes in Central Oregon - dozens of wildfires erupt


Mt. Bachelor opened its mtn. bike park for the season Sunday -- but this is a far more electrifying moment caught on camera, a view of lightning appearing to hit the summit of South Sister
Thunderstorms rolled north through Central Oregon Sunday afternoon, accompanied by 3,400 lightning strikes that had crews scrambling to hit dozens of new, mostly small fires across the region -- some threatening homes on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. A Klamath County fire grew to 600 acres and burned structures.

About 3,400 lighting strikes pelted the region between early Sunday morning and the evening hours, resulting in 65 smoke reports by early evening to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Prineville, said spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean.

Nearly half of those resulted from an intense late-afternoon thunderstorm that rolled through the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville District of the BLM, as well as private lands in Crook County, she said.

The largest new fire in Central Oregon was burning at the extreme southern end, four miles northeast of Cabin Lake, near Forest Service Road 18, about three miles north of the Klamath-Deschutes County border.

That fire was estimated at about 40 to 60 acres, with five engines, a 20-person crew and a water tender working the fire, along with a pair of single-engine air tankers (SEAT planes) making retardant drops.

Extinguisher

Wildfires: Greek firefighters battle bushfire near Athens

Wildfire near Athens Greece
A massive bushfire is threatening houses near the Greek capital, Athens, with more than 100 firefighters struggling to contain the flames.

The fire began on Saturday in the town of Keratea, located some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of the capital.

The fire raged unchecked for several hours in the forested hills above the city's houses, with strong winds sparking new fronts for several kilometers.

Local mayor Costas Levantis told Greek media that one house has been burned down by the flames.

Authorities have dispatched 120 firemen, two planes, two helicopters and dozens of firefighting vehicles; however, they have so far failed to extinguish the blaze.

Residents in the affected area have already been evacuated for safety, as dark smoke and orange flames could be seen for kilometers. The flames are now threatening homes on the outskirts of Athens.

Meanwhile, the Greek government has warned that firefighting resources are stretched dangerously thin.

Greece has often been plagued during the summer season by hundreds of fires in the past, some of them deadly.

Last year, wildfires forced massive evacuations in the city of Avra, located some 50 kilometers from Athens, after ten houses went down in flames.

In 2007, over 70 people died in some 3,000 wildfires that destroyed an estimated 10,000 hectares of land across Greece.

Extinguisher

Wildfires burn 2,000 acres in rural California prompting evacuations

California wildfire
© CBS
California fire officials say the Bully Fire started Friday afternoon in a forested area in Shasta County.
Wildfires in rural California burned through 2,000 acres of brush and timberland on Friday, prompting some evacuations, but no homes were threatened, officials said.

A 1,200-acre fire erupted Friday afternoon in the unincorporated community of Igo, a few miles from Redding in Northern California. It was 10 percent contained by nightfall.

Evacuations were ordered near some roads to clear the way for fire crews and as a precaution in case a wind shift drove flames toward scattered homes in the area, state fire spokesman Dennis Mathisen said.

The fire was burning in a foothill area of brush and oak, he said.

Aircraft and about 280 firefighters were on the scene but the work was challenging because the fire seemed to be heading into steeper areas.

"They still have a lot of work ahead of them," Mathisen said.
Extinguisher

Wildfires: Forest fires sweep over 13,500 hectares in Siberia

Forest fires in Siberia
© ITAR-TASS/Viktor Chavain
Seventy nine forest fires were raging on more than 13,500 hectares in five Siberian regions. The Irkutsk region and the Krasnoyarsk territory were hit most severely with 8,400 and 4,900 hectares burning, the press service of the Siberian Federal District's Forestry Department reported on Thursday.

Forty nine fires on more than 6,000 hectares were extinguished on Wednesday in Buryatia, the Altai, Trans-Baikal and Krasnoyarsk territories and the Irkutsk, Novosibirsk and Tomsk regions, where 1,860 firefighters, including smoke jumpers, and 30 aircraft fought the blaze.

The fires were caused mainly by carelessness of people and thunderstorms.

There have been 6,390 forest fires on 1,156,000 hectares in Siberia since the beginning of the warm season
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