2015 wildfire season already a record-breaker

© U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Trees engulfed in flames at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Worst recorded years for U.S. wildfires are 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012. This year has already joined that list, and wildfire season is still going strong.

The 2015 wildfire season in the United States has already broken records. So far this year, more acres of land have burned as of mid-September than the total annual amount in 2011, which was the 4th worst year for wildfires at least since the 1960s. So will this year be the new fourth worst, third worst, second worst, or worst wildfire year since then? Read on, and take a guess.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, publishes a ton of useful statistics on wildfires that are critical for helping state and federal agencies manage the flames. These records date back to the 1960s.

The chart below, created with the National Interagency Fire Center data, shows that the worst years for wildfires in the U.S., since these records began being kept, were 2006 (9,873,745 acres burned), 2007 (9,328,045 acres burned), 2012 (9,326,238 acres burned), 2011 (8,711,367 acres burned), and 2005 (8,689,389 acres burned).

© D. E. Conners, EarthSky.
Annual amount of land burned by wildfires in the U.S.
Already as of September 18, 2015, 8,821,040 acres of land have burned across the U.S., and this number exceeds the total number of acres burned for 2011. Hence, 2015 has already earned a spot as the 4th worst year on record, and the 2015 wildfire season is still going strong.



California wildfires continue to rage, destroying more than 1,600 structures, killing six

© David Royal / Associated Press
A plane drops fire retardant on a fire along Highway 68 east of Laureles Grade in rural Salinas, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.
More than 1,600 structures have been destroyed as three deadly wildfires continued to burn through thousands of the acres in Northern California.

As firefighters made progress on the Valley and Butte fires, hundreds of people displaced by the blazes returned over the weekend to find the charred remains of their homes and towns.

The Valley fire, one of the most destructive in the state's history, has burned 75,781 acres, destroyed 1,050 structures and left three dead. It ignited Sept. 12 and traveled 10 miles in 10 hours, expanding to 50,000 acres in the space of a day.

Teams of firefighters were still crisscrossing the burn area Sunday, stamping out remaining hotspots and putting out smoldering stumps. By Monday morning, the fire was 70% contained.

"We're in the mopping-up stages now, just extinguishing smoke and hotspots," said Capt. Richard Cordova, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "You're not going to see any flames."

Comment: According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the 2015 wildfire season in the United States is a record breaker. 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

The wildfire outside Los Angeles in July this year that torched vehicles on its way through a major highway


California governor Jerry Brown warns: 'Climate change will cause mass migration in the US'

© Sacramento Bee
California Governor Jerry Brown
Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday that his legislative setbacks on climate change last week should be viewed "not in terms of me," warning California will endure European-style effects of mass migration if the state fails to act on global warming.

"What we've in Europe now with mass migrations, that will happen in California, as ... Central America and Mexico, as they warm, people are going to get on the move," Brown told reporters at a Mather news conference on California's wildfires.

Comment: Brown is confusing two issues here. People in central America, the Middle East and Africa aren't on the move northwards because it's 'warming'. They're on the move because the US and Europe shafted their home countries. In addition to that, far more people will soon be on the move because of catastrophic climate change, which is Nature's way of reflecting back to us the chaos caused by the psychopaths in power who lead the US and Europe to do such destructive things. This climate change is gradually building up to what looks like a climate shift into ice age conditions, and this climate change will cause massive movements of hundreds of millions of people.

Heat, rising sea levels and drought are expected to disrupt populations around the world in coming decades, though the current refugee crisis in Europe speaks to other causes of migration. Millions of people have fled Syria as a result of civil war.

Brown, who has made climate change the signature issue of his administration, suffered a setback when he and legislative leaders - facing opposition from oil companies and moderate Democrats - were forced to abandon a proposal to require a reduction in petroleum use in motor vehicles in California. Another bill, to increase California's greenhouse gas reduction targets, also fell apart.

Brown maintained that he will continue to seek petroleum reductions under his executive authority.

Comment: Although he's off the mark in terms of attributing climate change to human causes, Brown's remarks are prescient in light of what Niall Bradley wrote here:

Syrian refugees in Europe, regime change in Damascus, and the mass migrations still to come
This is not a drill

While the focus is currently on Europe, an 'immigration crisis' has 'coincidentally' been brewing in the US. Decades of abuse by the US government and US corporations in their 'backyard' have brought ever-growing numbers of 'migrants' (or 'refugees', if you consider that parts of northern Mexico are effectively in a state of civil war) northwards, resulting in steel wire border fences, over-stretched security and social services, and a buffoon running for the White House on an anti-immigration platform.

These synchronous developments lead me to wonder whether something beyond geopolitical concerns may be taxing minds at the top of the food chain: mass migrations resulting from abrupt climate shift. A 2004 report commissioned by decades-long Pentagon foreign policy strategist Andrew Marshall provided the following future scenario to the Bush administration...
Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters.

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

"Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life," concludes the Pentagon analysis. "Once again, warfare would define human life." [...]

By 2020, "catastrophic" shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated. [...]

Randall [co-author] told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. "This is depressing stuff," he said. "It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat."

Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. "We don't know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years," he said. [...]

Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed 'Yoda' by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence's push on ballistic-missile defence.

An increasingly common scene: vehicles abandoned on a highway in Chicago in 2011
While the liberal British Observer assumed the report's authors had the 'official' climate change scenario in mind (man-made CO2 increase warming the planet and gradually producing dire consequences in 50 or 100 years' time), it's fairly clear that the authors were thinking of something else entirely: a rather sudden onset of extreme weather and planetary upheaval, including - or culminating in - a return to glacial conditions in much of the inhabited world, which is apparently what happened 8,200 years ago.

Note also the reference to "mass migration of populations". While what's happening now as a result of NATO's wars is bad, and may well end up being comparable to migrations in Europe during WW2, mass migration on a much larger scale may be around the corner.

What if, with one eye on the climate chaos to come, those 'Secret Government' types "across the pond in the US who feel like they're in a lab running all sorts of experiments on the rats" - as Putin aptly described them last year - are taking advantage of the 'resource war' they created in the Middle East to effect some sort of drill in which they test control methods, responses in the population and system capacities to sudden migrations of really large numbers of people caused by 'mother nature', who appears to be mirroring the planetary chaos created by psychopaths in positions of power?


Inside the inferno: Film shows one man's race to escape the deadly California wildfires


Anderson Springs: During one of the many eerie moments in the escape video, the driver speeds through his community's entrance shrouded in smoke like something out of an apocalyptic film

As state officials placed the number of people displaced by two wildfires decimating communities in North California at 23,000 Monday, one motorist's heart-thumping first person video of his escape from the blaze is showing the world just how terrifying the situation has become.

The harrowing two minutes of footage posted to YouTube by user mulletFive begins with the unnamed driver careening through the smoke-filled streets of Anderson Springs, where the Valley Fire in Lake County had consumed an astonishing 61,000 acres as of Monday

The fire rages on both sides of the speeding vehicle, which passes beneath the Anderson Springs town gate like a scene from a apocalyptic film and beneath the video the driver appeared to tell the tale of his brush with death.


Man risks life during harrowing drive to escape Valley Fire

© Youtube
Escaping the Valley Fire in Anderson Springs / YouTube / mulletFive575102As the catastrophic Valley Fire spread through Lake County, California, one YouTube user recorded his daring escape from his home down apocalyptic roads flanked by blazing pines. During the series of videos, he defied death on his way to safety.

The inferno ripped through 50,000 acres in just 36 hours, destroying as many as 1,000 homes and forcing more than 19,000 residents to flee the area. On Saturday night, with no warning, YouTube user mulletFive, realized he and his wife had to escape. He captured three videos of their harrowing flight to safety out of Anderson Springs.

"We are the last house at the very back of the Springs, down in a gulch. There was no smoke or ash coming our way, and there were no sirens or air support nearby, so we honestly didn't know how close it was," mulletFive wrote in a YouTube comment.

"Once we drove up out of our gulch, we realized how close it was. There were no sirens or air support because there was zero firefighting effort in Anderson Springs," he added.

"[W]e did wait way too long to get out," he wrote. "In retrospect, we should have gone out for a drive to find out what was going on, but we were a little preoccupied with packing."

On Sunday, the inferno was still 0 percent contained, and one person was reported dead due to the Valley Fire.

READ MORE: California burning: One dead, 1,000s evacuated as wildfires scorch 400 homes (PHOTOS)

MulletFive wrote that he thought that most of the houses he passed during his dangerous drive would have been consumed by fire. He and his wife are waiting to receive the all-clear to go back home to inspect the damage, but he expects that to be several more days.

"I am in the Bay Area waiting for the roads to reopen, and as soon as they do I will shoot video driving around the Springs and post it ASAP," he wrote Sunday evening.

As of 8 a.m. local time on Monday, the fire was 5 percent contained and it had burned through 61,000 acres.

"Hundreds of homes and hundreds of other structures destroyed," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection noted on its website.


California wildfire mayhem: Windscreen of car is smashed by pieces of firefighting plane after engine explodes on take-off from Fresno airport


Witnesses said the metal pieces were hot to the touch after crashing through a car's rear window
Residents of a California city narrow avoided injury when metal pieces from a plane fell from the sky as the aircraft experienced engine trouble.

A passenger jet was flying over Fresno when one of its engines failed shortly after take-off and it was forced to return and make an emergency landing.

One resident told local media she heard a loud 'boom' that shook her house moments before debris landed on her car.

Jeanette Sanders, who was inside her home at the time of Sunday's incident, told ABC30: 'I came out to check everything out and then I turned around and looked at my car and I had a hole in the back end, the windshield was busted out.'

Pieces of the jet engine crashed through the car's rear window as it was parked in front of her home.


California wildfire burns 65,000 acres, threatens 6,000 structures; 5% contained

© Noah Berger/Reuters
A firefighter works to save a residence as the Butte fire burns in San Andreas, California September 11, 2015.
Roughly 2,700 people were ordered to evacuate the town of San Andreas, California as a wildfire rages in the surrounding area, the Associated Press reported on Friday, but that order has now been lifted. A state of emergency has been declared.

Other areas remain under evacuation, however, according to state fire officials, and those in San Andreas have been told to remain prepared.

Images posted online show the fire creeping closer towards the town, with smoke filling the air.

The "Butte Fire," as it's been called, was described as "extremely dangerous" by California state fire spokeswoman Nancy Longmore, the AP stated.

"It's expanding like a balloon," she said. "It's moving very fast. There's many homes threatened."

Though it began Wednesday, the Butte Fire only burned through a few hundred acres earlier through Thursday. On Friday, it had engulfed 65,000 acres after being prodded by temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's now only five miles away from San Andreas, according to AP, and only 5 percent contained, according to state officials.

Comment: Just this morning, 14,000 acres were reported burned, ten percent of the fire contained.

California wildfire triples in size forcing evacuations


California wildfire triples in size forcing evacuations

Driven by high winds and soaring temperatures, a wildfire in California more than tripled in size Thursday, swelling to more than 14,000 acres, fire officials said.

The so-called Butte Fire, located east of the town of Jackson southeast of Sacramento, was a little more than 100 acres shortly after it broke out at around 2:26 p.m. Wednesday, and grew to around 4,000 acres by Thursday.

Comment: All over the world we are witnessing extensive wildfires, which in some regions have been described as "unprecedented". The wildfire season in the US has worsened dramatically in recent years and 2015 is set to be the worst yet.

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? A wildfire in Utah last week was attributed to being 'sparked' by an underground transformer exploding, according to fire officials. See also:

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


Large fire sparked in Yosemite National Park

© National Park Service

A 100-acre fire sparked in Yosemite National Park floats above mountain ranges Tuesday afternoon.

The smoke visible Tuesday in the Yosemite Valley is coming from the Tenaya Fire, which is located in Indian Canyon above the north rim of the Valley on both sides of the Lehamite trail, between the Valley and Tioga Road.

The fire was discovered last night and is currently estimated at 100 acres. The fire is spotting among dead trees creating much of the large smoke plume we are seeing in Yosemite Valley.

Full suppression efforts are underway, with two 20-person Type-1 hand crews on scene. Four air tankers and two helicopters are also assisting. Temperatures are expected to drop tonight which should help firefighting efforts. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Smoky conditions are likely to persist over the next few days.

Trails on the north rim of Yosemite Valley south of the Tioga Road and east of Yosemite Creek, to near Olmsted Point, are closed.

No estimate on a containment date was given.

Details: Here.


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.