Siberian fires cause red sunsets in the Pacific Northwest

© Tim Durkan
A reddish sun warms the seattle skyline
A fiery sunset greeted people in Washington Sunday.

The deep reddish color caught Seattle native Tim Durkan's eye. He photographed a handful of aerial shots of the sunset warming the city's skyline and shared them on CNN iReport.

The stunning sunsets were the result of raging wildfires in parts of Siberia.

"The dramatic sunsets began showing up over the weekend and had Seattle locals wondering where the amber-colored haze was originating from," Durken said.

The fires were started in southeastern Siberia, by farmers burning grass in their fields. But on April 14, it is believed that the flames quickly grew out of control because of strong winds and spread throughout the region, according to CNN affiliate KOMO-TV.

As a result, the fires have destroyed dozens of villages in the region. Rescue crews were able to put out the flames. However, the lingering smoke from the widespread fires were pick by atmospheric winds.

The winds carried the smoke from Siberia across the Pacific Ocean and brought it to the Pacific Northwest. Parts of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are seeing the results of the smoke, wind and solar light combination.


Haunting video: Ash rains down on cars fleeing wildfire inferno in Russia

A haunting video emerged online of a wildfire trapping residents in eastern Siberia as they try to flee in their cars. The blaze surrounds the vehicles and what looks like volcanic ash rains down on them.

The grassland fire in Zabaykalskiy region, Russia, bordering Mongolia, has been raging since March 19, displacing people from over 1,200 dwellings in 20 separate towns and villages. Fifteen people have been killed and over 480 people injured.

A total of 22 districts in the Zabaykalskiy region have been affected, with some 93 fires there alone affecting natural reserves, according to local authorities.

All emergency situation procedures are still in place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally coordinated emergency services operations in Khakassia:


Massive grassland fire: 23 dead, 900 injured in Siberia

The massive fires that swept through nearly 60 villages and towns in the Siberian republic of Khakassia have left 23 people dead, and more than 900 injured, according to an official committee investigating the tragedy.

© RIA Novosti / Evgeny Yepanchintsev
A forest fire in the village of Smolenka and summer house settlement Dobrotny in the Chitinsky district. The fire got close to residential buildings because of strong winds.
"Currently the committee can confirm 23 deaths," head of the investigative committee Vladimir Markin was quoted as saying by TASS.

More than 1,400 homes were destroyed in the fire, leaving some 6,000 people homeless, according to regional governor Viktor Zimin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally coordinated emergency services operations in Khakassia, according to his spokesperson.

Some 5,000 firefighters as well as thousands of volunteers worked to contain the blazes through the night, extinguishing the fires by Monday morning. Temporary camps have been set up in the Beisky and Shirinksy districts nearby for those displaced by the fire.
© RIA Novosti / Denis Mukimov
Local residents observe the fire on the outskirts of Abakan.
The fires started after mass grass burning by residents in the region. Grass burning is a springtime tradition among farmers in some parts of Russia, meant to clear the fields of dry grass and prepare them for planting. Officials blamed the extreme severity of this year's fire on "uncontrolled burning, dry weather and uncharacteristically strong and rough winds."

Comment: See also:


Wildfire spreads quickly in Minnesota, destroying buildings

© AshLee Ervin-Tupper
A fire grew quickly east of Aldrich Saturday evening. Four fire departments were battling the blaze.
Several fire departments and the DNR continued to battle a large fire southeast of Aldrich into the early morning hours Sunday.

The fire spread quickly with windy, dry conditions. The Staples (Minn.) Fire Department was on the scene, along with fire departments from Wadena, Hewitt, Verndale, Sebeka and Menahga, Minn. The Department of Natural Resources also aided the fire departments with aircraft and grass units.

Todd County Sheriff Don Asmus issued a news release late Saturday night asking people to stay out of the area to allow firemen complete access to the area.

Comment: Also see:

  • US: Colorado's wildfires continue to rage
  • US: 100 acres burned by another wildfire in North Carolina
  • Massive wildfire in Siberia destroys homes, injures over 70


100 acres burned by another wildfire in North Carolina

© WRAL News
Another wildfire burning in Black Mountain, North Carolina
The U.S. Forest Service said trails and roads are closed for a wildfire burning near Linville Gorge.

The Blue Gravel wildfire is burning in a remote area east of Shortoff Mountain outside of the Linville Gorge Wilderness area on the Pisgah National Forest.

The size of the fire is estimated at 100 acres.

Comment: Also see:

  • Wildfire in North Carolina expected to burn several more days
  • Colorado's wildfires continue to rage

Bizarro Earth

Massive wildfire in Siberia destroys homes, injures over 70

© Anatoly Kukaev
More than 70 people were injured and over 118 homes were destroyed in a massive wildfire in the Republic of Khakassia in Siberia.

More than 70 people were injured in a massive wildfire in the Republic of Khakassia in Siberia. Information about the death of two people is currently being verified, according to the official website of the republic.

On Sunday, due to strong gusty winds in Khakassia, the risk of fire escalated sharply. At 1:00 PM local time, the head of the republic introduced an emergency regime in Khakassia. Earlier, a law enforcement source in the region said that as a result of fires in Khakassia, 47 people had been injured and two died, reports RIA Novosti.

"As of 6:00 PM local time the fire has affected more than 70 people. There is circumstantial evidence of two of the victims. The numbers are constantly being clarified," said in a statement.

Earlier it was reported that, according to recent data, 118 houses had burned down and a state of emergency was announced.

Comment: The season is only beginning. Look for larger and more devastating events this year.


Firefighters put out wildfire in Killarney, Ireland: 50 reported in the area since 1st March


Wildfire near Killarney
The blaze began near the base of Mangerton Mountain at around 5.30pm on Wednesday.

The fire quickly spread over 100 acres across the foot of the mountain.

Fire crews from Killarney, Castleisland, Kenmare and Killorglin were deployed to the area.

It took 30 firefighters around 12 hours to bring the blaze under control.

The fire was extinguished around 6am on Thursday.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Gardaí are investigating the cause of the fire to determine if it was started maliciously.

Firefighters estimate they have been called out to at least 50 gorse fires in the area since 1 March.


Two-mile wide wildfire blazes overnight in Dornoch, Scotland: 5 others reported across the region

© Chris Cogan via STV
Highland wildfire
Thirty firefighters are battling a wildfire which spread across two square miles of moorland overnight.

The blaze began in gorseland near the water treatment works at Dornoch in the Highlands at midday on Thursday.

Dry conditions, strong winds and low humidity helped the fire spread and firefighters have been faced with challenging conditions.

Twenty-five firefighters are tackling a wildfire which broke out near Tongue at around 8.20am and there have also been blazes in Cluny, Benbecula, Lochinver and Skye.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service incident commander John MacDonald said: "We are dealing with a very protracted wildfire which covers a wide area and where access is difficult in places.

"I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and effort of fire crews who have been dealing with this incident. I'd also like to thank local residents for their assistance and support."

Eight fire engines were scrambled along with a water carrier and support vehicles. Six pumps remained on scene overnight.


Californian wildfire nearly contained after hundreds were evacuated

A wildfire that forced several hundred people from campgrounds in California's Sierra Nevada is now 40 percent contained.

The fire erupted Saturday in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and has burned 20 acres of forestland.

Spokesman Michael Theune says it began near the Potwisha Campground, in the foothills southeast of Fresno.

Comment: Also see:
  • Are drought conditions really to blame for winter wildfire outbreak across US? Wildfire breaks out in Florida marshland
  • SOTT Earth Changes Video Summary - March 2015: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, and Meteor Fireballs


After burning 780 acres Virginian wildfire finally being contained

© Unknown
Unpredictable and dangerous
State foresters say they have made significant progress containing a wildfire in Botetourt (BAHT'-uh-tawt) County that has burned 780 acres.

Working in steep and rocky terrain, firefighters have used hand tools and bulldozers to create a line around the fire. The Virginia Department of Forestry reported Thursday the fire is 70 percent contained.

Still, the department expects the fire will have scorched more than 1,300 acres before it is fully snuffed.

Comment: One wonders if there is a connection between this wildfire outbreak and the recent "loud booms" (potentially overhead meteor explosions) heard in the end of March:
For a second day, people are wondering what's causing the ground to shake and where the loud booms are coming from...

Edna H. wrote, "I am in the Denbigh Section of Newport News. We have already had 4 loud blasts in less than an hour. What is going on????"

Linda T asked "Where are the sonic booms coming from?"