4.3 earthquake hits north central Washington wildfire zone

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake has hit the wildfire zone in north central Washington.

The quake, which was six miles deep, hit 26 miles east of Okanogan and 25 miles north of Grand Coulee at 9:42 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

KIRO 7 meteorolgist Morgan Palmer said an earthquake of that depth was considered shallow and was likely felt as a jolt.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network asks if you felt the earthquake, to fill out the form here.


Washington state battles worst wildfire in history

The state of Washington, in the North-west of the United States, is battling its largest wildfire on record.

The flames have devoured more than 1,000 square kilometers of land so far, burning over 200 homes and now threatening thousands more.

Heavy smoke has grounded firefighting airplanes and helicopters, making it difficult to contain the flames.

At Okanogan county, near the Canadian border, Incident commander Todd Pechota said firefighters were gradually making progress against the fires.

2015 US wildfires

Comment: It is not only volunteer firefighters from Australia and New Zealand who are assisting with these unprecedented US wildfires. In California, 4000 PRISONERS not firefighters have been tasked with putting out raging wildfires there!


Battle for Baikal: Raging Siberian wildfires threaten world's biggest freshwater lake

© Chono Erdenebayar
The world's oldest and deepest lake could face severe damage from wildfires which are burning out of control along its shores. Lake Baikal, home to 20 percent of the world's unfrozen fresh water, is facing a potential ecological catastrophe with 36 fires burning in the region.

It is one of the jewels of Russia, both in terms of its importance ecologically and for tourism. However, as plumes of smoke billow out in southern Siberia, thousands of hectares of forest are being destroyed around Lake Baikal.

Comment: All over the world we are witnessing extensive wildfires, which in some regions have been described as "unprecedented". Could some of these wildfires have been fueled from outgassing, then possibly 'sparked' by an increase in atmospheric electric discharge events, such as lightning strikes? See also:

Study: Wildfire seasons are more destructive and lasting longer almost everywhere on Earth


'Firenado' filmed at Idaho's Soda fire

© Craig Fluer
A firefighter battling Idaho's Soda Fire captured footage of a so-called "firenado" shooting flames high into the air.

Craig Fluer, a wild land firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service, posted a video to Instagram of the firenado, or "fire whirl," throwing flames 100 feet into the air.

"Saw a #firewhirl for the first time last night," Fluer wrote. "This sucker was shooting flames 100 ft in the air before it passed right in front of the line, all while dropping hot dirt and ash on our helmets."

Experts said intense heat from large fires can cause the air to rise rapidly, leading to the spinning fire and smoke known as a "firenado" or "fire whirl."

The Soda Fire has burned through more than 280,000 acres since it was first reported Aug. 10. Officials said the fire was 90 percent contained Tuesday.


Three firefighters are killed battling devastating wildfires across Washington state; one million acres on fire


Authorities on Wednesday afternoon urged people in the north-central Washington town to evacuate because of a fast-moving wildfire
Three firefighters in Washington state were killed and four injured while battling a wildfire threatening the north-central town of Twisp, Governor Jay Inslee said on Wednesday, as more than a dozen major blazes burned across Western U.S. states.

The deaths came as a fast-moving wildfire forced authorities late on Wednesday to order the evacuations of Twisp and Winthrop, towns in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, Okanogan County Emergency Management said on Facebook.

'I was just told that three firefighters died while battling the Twisp fire and four were injured,' Inslee said in a statement.

Fires have blackened more than 1 million acres (400,000 hectares) across the arid Western region, prompting fire managers to call in help from the U.S. Army and abroad to reinforce civilian crews.

Cloud Lightning

Signs of Change: Extreme weather and environmental upheaval in August 2015 (VIDEO)

© HawkkeyDavisChannel/YouTube
Floods and infernos: August has seen flooding and fires in areas all over the world.
Hawkkey Davis' latest video compilation of extreme weather events (and general environmental chaos) from the past month or so.

The Solomon Islands, Alaska's Aleutian Islands, the Bay Area, Indonesia, Queensland and Maryland are rocked by earthquakes; Reunion Island (the site of the alleged MH370 'wreckage' found earlier this month) and Mexico by volcanoes. The Queensland quake was the biggest in a century. Flash floods in Arizona, northwest China, Iran, Pakistan, Florida, India, Myanmar, Colorado, and Argentina. Wildfires in France, Spain, Montana and California. The Dead Sea tourism industry is threatened by unprecedented sinkholes. All this, plus storms, tornadoes, sand, fireballs, record-breaking heat and more!

Comment: See also: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - July 2015: Extreme Weather and Planetary Upheaval

Bizarro Earth

Fast moving wildfire destroys homes, forces evacuations in central Idaho

© Barry Kough, AP
Fire consumes trees along the Clearwater River in north central Idaho on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, part of the Lawyer complex of wildfires caused by lightning earlier in the week.
A 70-year-old woman was killed when she fell while preparing to flee from a wildfire expanding quickly east of Lewiston, the Idaho County Sheriff's Department said Saturday.

Authorities said Cheryl Lee Wissler of Adams Grade died Friday from a head injury she sustained when she fell.

An estimated 30 homes and 75 other structures were lost to the blaze, the sheriff's department said. The fire is surrounding the small town of Kamiah, about 60 miles east of Lewiston, and burned to the edge of Clearwater River, directly across the water from downtown.

The blaze is one of dozens taxing fire crews across the Pacific Northwest. Wildfires have destroyed dozens of homes in Oregon, Idaho and Washington, forced thousands of evacuations throughout the region and left at least 9,000 without power in eastern Washington.

Many of the fires were started by lighting from a storm that swept through the region. They grew quickly in hot weather, fueled by bone-dry vegetation.


United Corporations of Amerika: 4,000 PRISONERS - not firefighters - are tasked with putting out raging wildfires in California

A shocking number of firefighters battling California's numerous wildfires are actually prisoners sometimes working for less than $2 a day. They're hoping to earn shorter sentences - and they're saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

Comment: No, they're saving private corporations millions of dollars. Why pay for firefighters when you can pay for slaves?

Somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of the state's forest firefighters, or nearly 4,000 people, are low-level felons from state prisons, Mother Jones reported. Working in "Conservation Camps" set up by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the inmates are trained to clear brush that can potentially trigger a fire and also battle the flames when a blaze does occur.

In return, they make somewhere between $1.45 and $3.90 per day, according to the CDCR. They also have two days knocked off of their sentences for every day they work.

Speaking with KQED, inmate Cory Sills said that, despite sometimes having to work 24-hour shifts, he generally feels like the camps are a good thing, especially since prisoners are treated better than they are behind bars.

"There's an assembly where we have a formation in the mornings and it was like my second or third day and the lieutenant comes out and he goes, 'Look, we'll treat you like men first, firefighters second, and prisoners if we have to,'" he said last July. "That right there, that stuck in my head for two years now because now I have a chance to be treated like a man."


Area of forest fires in Russia's Siberia has grown over three times in the last 24 hours

© Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.
The area of forest fires in Russia's Siberian Federal District has grown over three times over the last 24 hours to 108,300 hectares (267,615 acres) for a total of 146 fires.
The area of forest fires in Russia's Siberian Federal District has grown over three times over the last 24 hours to 108,300 hectares (267,615 acres) for a total of 146 fires. More than half of forest fires on the area of 63,600 hectares are blazing in the Buryatia Republic in south Siberia (red dots indicating fires in this Terra satellite image). Lake Baikul cannot be seen in this image. It is obscured by clouds and smoke.


Canadian natural gas pipeline shutdown and burn-off implemented, after dangerous hydrogen sulfide build-up

© Alliance Pipeline
The Alliance Pipeline natural gas pipeline runs through northern B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and several states in the U.S.

The company shut its B.C.-to-Chicago pipeline after sensors detected high amounts of the corrosive, flammable gas

CALGARY—A natural gas pipeline that extends from northeastern British Columbia to the Chicago area was on August 7 shutdown while its operator disposed of dangerous hydrogen sulphide gas that got into the system.

Alliance Pipeline said it expects its mainline to be closed for an "indeterminate amount of time" as it deals with the gas, which is poisonous, corrosive, flammable and smells like rotten eggs. The company did not say how much of it entered the pipeline, only that the amount exceeded its standards.

"Our chief concern now is to ensure the safety of the public, employees and the environment," vice-president Daniel Sutherland in a news release late Thursday.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our customers and we are working with our partners and the regulator to determine the cause."

Alliance has begun burning off the gas at its Alameda compressor station about 250 kilometres southeast of Regina and at a block valve 24 kilometres northwest of the station, said Tony Straquadine, manager of commercial and government affairs.

Detectors along the pipeline alerted Alliance to the fact that hydrogen sulphide levels were too high and the pipeline was shut on Friday morning.

Alliance said the incident was the result of "complications experienced by an upstream operator," but did not identify the company involved.

Comment: This pipeline extends through the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan, which have suffered extensive wildfires this year.

Describing the biggest evacuation effort in Saskatchewan's history, Premier Brad Wall said recently, the number of evacuees affected by raging wildfires in the province's northern regions is "unprecedented" with the amount of hectares burning as about 10 times the average year.

Pipeline detectors alerted that "hydrogen sulphide levels were too high", indicating that some of these wildfires may have been fueled from outgassing, possibly 'sparked' by an increase in atmospheric electric discharge events, such as lightning strikes. See also:

Study: Wildfire seasons are more destructive and lasting longer almost everywhere on Earth