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Mon, 23 May 2022
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Wildfires


Fire

New Mexico wildfire — one-quarter the size of Delaware — now largest in state's history

A wildfire in northern New Mexico
© ap
A wildfire in northern New Mexico has now burned through 405 square miles, an area bigger than Dallas, Texas. Overgrown mountainsides covered with Ponderosa pine and other trees sucked dry of moisture over decades are fueling the flames.
A monster blaze churning in northern New Mexico for more than a month has blackened enough acreage to earn a place in the state's record books.

Aside from being the largest wildfire currently burning in the U.S., the fire moving over the Sangre de Cristo mountain range is now the largest in the arid state's recorded history. It covers more than 465 square miles, or an area nearly one-quarter the size of Delaware.

More than 260 homes have burned and more evacuations were prompted over the weekend as the blaze moved through dry — and in some cases dead — stands of pine and fir trees. Huge columns of smoke could be seen from miles away, and fire officials and weather forecasts continue to refer to it as an unprecedented situation.


Fire

Taming the 2nd-largest wildfire in New Mexico history has been a 'nightmare,' firefighter says

Firefighters on Thursday trying to hold the Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire near Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Firefighters on Thursday trying to hold the Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire near Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Taming the second-largest wildfire in New Mexico history has been a nightmare for crews who have been battling the blaze for more than a month, a firefighter said Thursday.

At one point, the ferocious Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire was spreading at 50 miles per hour, said Travis Regensberg, a general contractor brought in by New Mexico to help protect homes and buildings.

"It's been a nightmare," Regensberg told CNN on Thursday. "It's been really tough for us. I've been on this 17 days straight -- three, four hours of sleep a night to protect the communities here."

The firefighters have been protecting buildings by creating perimeter rings around them and using bulldozers to cut fire lines, he said. Additionally, they try to minimize harm to septic and well systems so that people have "a place to come back to," Regensberg said.


Fire

More than 1,000 firefighters battle 150 square mile wildfire in New Mexico

Hermit Peak Fire burning near the San Miguel and Mora County line, north of Sapello, New Mexico on Wednesday 27 April.
© Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal
Hermit Peak Fire burning near the San Miguel and Mora County line, north of Sapello, New Mexico on Wednesday 27 April.
More than 1,000 firefighters backed by bulldozers and aircraft battled the largest active wildfire in the US on Saturday after strong winds pushed it across some containment lines and closer to a town in northern New Mexico.

Preliminary overnight mapping imagery indicated that the fire that has burned at least 166 homes grew in size from 103 square miles on Friday to 152 square miles by early Saturday, officials said.

Ash carried seven miles through the air fell on Las Vegas, population about 13,000, and firefighters were trying to prevent the blaze from getting closer, said Mike Johnson, a spokesperson for the fire management team.

Calmer winds on Saturday were aiding the firefighting effort after gusts accelerated the fire's advance to a point on Friday when "we were watching the fire march about a mile every hour", said Jayson Coil, a fire operations official.


Fire

Deadly fires continue out west, early in wildfire season

This image provided by the Nebraska State Patrol shows smoke from a wildfire, Saturday, April 23, 2022 near Cambridge, Neb.
© Nebraska State Patrol
This image provided by the Nebraska State Patrol shows smoke from a wildfire, Saturday, April 23, 2022 near Cambridge, Neb.
Multiple wildfires continue to tear through several states across the west in an early start to fire season. The flames turned deadly with Nebraska authorities announcing a retired fire chief was killed and at least 15 others injured while battling the blaze.


Fire

'This is not typical': Arizona wildfire fighters brace for threat 'on steroids'

Smoke drifts from the Tunnel Fire north of Flagstaff, Arizona, this week.
© Reuters
Smoke drifts from the Tunnel Fire north of Flagstaff, Arizona, this week.
Firefighters working to keep more homes from burning on the edge of a mountain town in northern Arizona were treated to scattered showers and cooler temperatures early on Friday, but the favorable weather was not expected to last as more ferocious winds were forecast to batter parts of Arizona and all of New Mexico through the weekend.

The combination of high winds, warmer temperatures and extremely dry conditions will make for an atmosphere that's "pretty much on steroids", said Scott Overpeck, with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"This is not typical," he said, looking ahead to what could be explosive fire growth on Friday. "This is really one of those days we need to be on our toes and we need to be ready."

The weather conditions will complicate the firefight on a half-dozen large wildfires burning in the American south-west.


Fire

2 firefighters injured, 2 homes destroyed, 24,500 acres burned at Beaver River, Oklahoma

Beaver River Fire

Beaver River Fire
New video released by Oklahoma Forestry Services shows the massive size of the Beaver River Fire.

As of Wednesday morning, it had destroyed two homes, consumed 24,537 acres and was only 15-percent contained.

Two volunteer firefighters were injured battling the fire. They are being treated in the burn unit at University medical Center in Lubbock.

Oklahoma Forestry Services said the fire also destroyed 10 outbuildings.

Crews from three states and eight counties continue to fight the fire.


Fire

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declares a disaster as massive 45,000-acre Eastland Complex Fire burns through at least 50 homes and leaves sheriff's deputy dead

Videos of the blaze posted to social media show the blaze form into what appears to be a 'fire tornado'

Videos of the blaze posted to social media show the blaze form into what appears to be a 'fire tornado'
A declaration disaster was issued in 11 Texas counties as a massive wildfire that has burned down at least 50 homes and left a sheriff's deputy dead continues to spread.

Firefighters are tackling the Eastland Complex Fire, which has burned through 45,000 acres and was only around 15 percent contained as of Saturday, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service fire.

The fire started on Thursday and has quickly spread because of the dry conditions and wind gusts of more than 40 mph in large parts of the state.

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a disaster in the counties hardest hit by wildfires after confirming that dozens of homes had been destroyed by the flames.

About 18,000 people live in Eastland County. In the town of Gorman, about 475 homes were evacuated, but officials don't yet know how many structures may have burned, Texas A&M Forest Service spokesman Matthew Ford said.

The Texas A&M Forest Services warned that fires could also affect parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, and Nebraska warned of an extreme fire risk.


Fire

Firefighters continue to battle massive wildfires in Florida Panhandle

Crews in the Florida Panhandle
© FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE
Crews in the Florida Panhandle continue to fight three large wildfires, which are destroying homes and prompting evacuation orders.
Three wildfires in the Florida Panhandle have burned through more than 13,000 acres and forced evacuations of at least 1,100 homes in an area still recovering from a Category 5 hurricane three years ago.

The Bertha Swamp Road Fire is estimated at 12,000 acres and is 10% contained as of Monday morning, according to the Florida Forest Service. The fire began in Gulf County on Friday and was pushed by winds into neighboring Calhoun and Bay counties on Saturday.


Fire

Wildfire triggers mass evacuation in South Korea

A major wildfire has devasted a large area on South Korea's eastern coast

A major wildfire has devasted a large area on South Korea's eastern coast
A wildfire in an eastern coastal area of South Korea has forced the evacuation of more than 6,000 people. The blaze temporarily threatened a nuclear power station, with the president issuing an alarm.

Thousands of South Korean firefighters and troops on Saturday worked to put out a large wildfire that has spread across more than 6,000 hectares (almost 15,000 acres) since breaking out on a mountain on the country's eastern coast.

The fire threatened at one stage to reach a nuclear power plant and South Korea's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) production complex, but firefighters brought the blaze under control before it reached the facilities, according to officials cited by Yonhap news agency.


Fire

Forest fires burn out of control in Valparaíso, Chile

Red alert for forest fire in Chilean region of Valparaiso

Red alert for forest fire in Chilean region of Valparaiso
Large forest fires occurred in Valparaíso, Chile on March 1st 2022.

Around 200 hectares of forest have been destroyed by wild fires in the region. The fires started on February 28th, but quickly spread due to high winds and dry conditions.

Roads were closed in the vicinity of the fire as it spread. Warnings are in place due to the proximity of the fire to power cables.

Air quality has been affected, as smoke fills the sky. In local areas, ash has been seen covering streets, with fears of acid rain caused by toxins in the air.

Fire services are working to contain the fire's spread as it threatens nearby settlements, however the fire is still spreading rapidly. This situation is being monitored as it develops.