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Wildfires tear through drought-racked Paraguay amid record heat

Members of Paraguay’s highway patrol and local residents try to extinguish a fire on 27 September in San Bernardino, east of Asuncion, Paraguay.
© Norberto Duarte/AFP/Getty Images
Members of Paraguay’s highway patrol and local residents try to extinguish a fire on 27 September in San Bernardino, east of Asuncion, Paraguay.
Country faces more than 5,000 fires, with yellow smoke reaching the capital as neighbouring Brazil and Argentina face blazes

Devastating wildfires have broken out across across Paraguay, as drought and record high temperatures continue to exacerbate blazes across South America.

A total of 5,231 individual wildfires broke out across the country on 1 October - up 3,000 on the previous day. Most of were concentrated in the arid Chaco region in the west of the country, but thick yellow smoke had reached as far as the capital, Asunción.

Paraguay's outbreak came as the southern hemisphere heads into summer and neighbouring countries also face unprecedented wildfires. The Brazilian Amazon is recording its worst blazes in a decade, with numbers up 61% on the widely reported fires of last year, and separate fires in the southern Pantanal region.


Fire

The Glass Fire in California burned 1 acre every five seconds as it tripled in size; reports on multiple fires across the state

Winery fire
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty
Chateau Boswell Winery, Glass Fire, St. Helena, CA, September 27, 2020.
Thousands of residents have been forced to flee their Northern California homes in recent days as the fast-moving Glass Fire continues to grow.

The fire has tripled in size since it began Sunday, burning 36,236 acres and having 0% containment, Cal Fire Division Chief Ben Nichols said at a Monday evening press conference. The Glass Fire sparked in Napa Valley early Sunday morning around 4 a.m. PT, growing at a rate of around 1 acre every five seconds between Sunday night and Monday morning, according to satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

More than 70,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in Sonoma and Napa counties. At least 21 people have been treated at hospitals for burns, according to local hospitals in the area. A red flag warning remains in effect for the region until 9 pm local time Monday.

Flames tore through vineyards and structures near St. Helena, roaring over hills and jumping across both the Silverado Trail and the Lodi River, despite fire crews efforts to contain it, according to CNN affiliate KPIX.
Fire St. Helena
© Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Burning building Glass Fire, St. Helena, California

Fire

'These are hidden deaths.' Over 1,000 likely died early due to California's wildfire smoke

Vehicles on Interstate 80 in Vacaville drive through smoke from California’s wildfires on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.
© DANIEL KIM
Vehicles on Interstate 80 in Vacaville drive through smoke from California’s wildfires on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. Dense wildfire smoke that blanketed the state for weeks in August and early September may have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Californians and sent thousands more to the emergency room, Stanford University researchers say.
Dense wildfire smoke that blanketed the state for weeks in August and early September — contributing to dangerous air quality from the San Francisco Bay area to Sacramento to Fresno and beyond — may have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Californians and sent thousands more to the emergency room, Stanford University researchers say.

Nearly 30 people have died in California wildfires that have destroyed millions of acres and continue to burn into late September. For weeks, skies above the Golden State were soiled brown or an apocalyptic orange grabbing headlines of a state on fire.

But "the total cost in terms of human lives and health is likely far larger due to the immense amount of smoke that has been inhaled over the last 3 weeks by the very large number of people living on the West Coast," said researchers at Stanford's Center on Food Security and the Environment.


Massive amounts of smoke pumped out from California's infernos sent soot levels soaring across Northern California from Silicon Valley to Fresno and here in the Sacramento region, with lethal consequences, especially for the state's senior population, the researchers showed.


Fire

5 of the 6 largest wildfires in California history are burning right now

A law enforcement officer watches flames launch into the air as fire continues to spread at the Bear fire.
© JOSH EDELSON/AFP
A law enforcement officer watches flames launch into the air as fire continues to spread at the Bear fire.
Five of the six largest wildfires in California state history have been sparked in the past two months — and they're all still raging.

The state's most aggressive fire, August Complex, has so far scorched nearly 860,000 acres of NorCal's Tehama County — nearly doubling the now second-largest Mendocino Complex in 2018, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Rounding out the all-time top six are four other blazes still currently burning, according to the agency and The Sacramento Bee, which first reported the staggering toll.

The SCU Lightning Complex has now consumed 396,624 acres near Santa Clara and Alameda counties, while the LNU Lightning Complex has decimated 363,220 acres around Sonoma and Napa counties.


Info

Hundreds of dead birds found in Eagle County, Colorado and also in New Mexico well before snowstorm struck on September 9

A snake visits the carcass of a yellow-rumped warbler in West Vail. Dead warblers have been found all over Eagle County in recent days.
© Dave Pleshaw
A snake visits the carcass of a yellow-rumped warbler in West Vail. Dead warblers have been found all over Eagle County in recent days.
When nature writer David Gessner published his most recent book Aug. 11, he mourned our disappearing bird populations.

"As I type this, it is being reported that we have almost a third fewer birds in the world than we did in 1970," Gessner writes. "Take a moment and consider this fact: our birds are disappearing."

Within weeks of the book's release, a massive die-off would begin to sweep the western United States, with an uncountable number of birds plummeting from the sky in mid-flight. Ornithologists say hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of birds have been lost over the past month.

Many are realizing now just how widespread the event has been, as social media has helped bird watchers and avian ecologists connect the dots.

Comment: It seems likely the early cold weather across Colorado simply compounded an already existing problem for most of these insectivorous birds - lack of food prey items due the record wildfires and the resulting extreme smoke cover during much of August.


Fire

Huge wildfire breaks out in Saudi Arabia's Taif region

wildfire
Emergency crews responded to a wildfire on the Amad mountain in Saudi Arabia's Taif region on September 16 and 17.

The fire broke out on September 16 and no deaths or casualties were reported, the Saudi state-owned Al-Arabiya reported.

Footage shared by Taif News, a local news account, shows the fire in Amad mountain. Saudi Civil Defense tweeted on the afternoon of September 17 that fire suppression and control operation were continuing.


Fire

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Will wildfire smoke cause record cold this Autumn?

In this photo provided by Frederic Larson, the Golden Gate Bridge is seen at 11am Wednesday morning in San Francisco, amid a smoky, orange hue caused by the ongoing wildfires
© AP
In this photo provided by Frederic Larson, the Golden Gate Bridge is seen at 11am Wednesday morning in San Francisco, amid a smoky, orange hue caused by the ongoing wildfires
With record amounts of smoke from the U.S west coast wildfires now drifting past NYC, you have to ask if the sunlight blocking will cause unusual cold and snow this autumn. Chinese farmers hoarding wheat because higher prices are being paid by traders than the government mandated price, this is causing shortages in China's National Strategic Grain Reserves. Still no sunspots on our Sun as Solar Cycle 25 is a non-starter.


Comment: See also:


Fire

US West Coast wildfires continue to rage: At least 36 people dead, nearly 5 million acres torched - smoke cloud reaches East Coast

wildfire
11 states are reporting 87 large fires

Raging wildfires are still wrecking havoc along the West Coast, and now there are almost 90 wildfires in nearly a dozen states, the National Interagency Fire Center reported Tuesday.

So far the fires have burned an estimated 4.8 million acres, with a majority of the damage occurring in California, Oregon, Washington, and now Idaho.

According to the NIFC, firefighters have been able to contain six large fires — one in Montana, two in Oregon, and three in California.


Fire

Wildfires sweep into Brazil park harboring jaguars

An injured jaguar drinks from a river in Mato Grosso State, Brazil, as the region suffers its worst fires in more than 47 years

An injured jaguar drinks from a river in Mato Grosso State, Brazil, as the region suffers its worst fires in more than 47 years
Wildfire has infiltrated a Brazilian state park known for its population of jaguars as firefighters, environmentalists and ranchers in the world's largest tropical wetlands region struggle to smother record blazes.

The fire had surrounded the Encontro das Aguas (Meeting of the Waters) park in the Pantanal, located at the border of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul states, but for a time rivers helped keep the blazes at bay. Then wind carried sparks into the park and flames have been wreaking destruction for over a week.

There is little outlook for any near-term help from rainfall, said the Mato Grosso firefighters' spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Sheila Sebalhos.

"The forecast isn't good," Sebalhos said by phone from the state capital of Cuiaba, after spending weeks in the fire zone. "High speeds of those winds that change direction many times throughout the day are favoring the rapid spread (of fire)."

Some 200 jaguars have already suffered injury, death or displacement because of the fires, according to Panthera, an international wild cat conservation organization.


Fire

1,000 firefighters, 15 aircraft battle huge wildfire in central Portugal - perimeter over 34 miles long

WILDFIRE

Proença-a-Nova fire spreads to two more municipalities
Almost 1,000 firefighters and 15 water-dropping aircraft battled a major wildfire in central Portugal on Monday, as strong winds pushed the flames through dense and hilly woodlands.

The blaze was in central Portugal around Proença-a-Nova, 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Lisbon.

The fire's perimeter stretched more than 55 kilometres (34 miles), local Civil Protection Agency commander Luis Belo Costa told a news conference, adding that an "extraordinary" amount of tinder-dry vegetation was fueling the flames.