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Fri, 03 Dec 2021
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Australia's wildfires created a 'record-breaking' smoke plume in the upper atmosphere

Ukraine wildfires
Australia's bushfires set a record for the largest smoke cloud generated by a wildfire, a new paper reports. The plume was at least three times larger than any previously recorded one.

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan's (USask) Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies say that last winter's Australian wildfires created a smoke cloud that pushed all the way to the stratosphere, some 35 kilometers above the surface, and reached incredible sizes. At its largest, it measured 1,000 kilometers across. The cloud remained intact for three months and traveled over 66,000 kilometers.

King smoke
"When I saw the satellite measurement of the smoke plume at 35 kilometres, it was jaw dropping. I never would have expected that," said Adam Bourassa, professor of physics and engineering physics, who led the USask group which played a key role in analyzing NASA satellite data.

Comment: The smoke these wildfires produce, together with particulates from meteor 'smoke' and volcanic eruptions, all jointly contribute to the increased dust-load in the atmosphere. This changes its electric charge rebalancing mechanisms, producing more intense storms and precipitation in the form of record rainfall, hail, lightning strikes, atmospheric 'anomalies' etc.

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Wind-fuelled wildfire in Southern California leads to evacuation order for 100,000

Weather conditions are hampering efforts to bring the fires under control
Weather conditions are hampering efforts to bring the fires under control
A fast-burning wildfire has triggered evacuation orders for 60,000 Southern California residents, as hundreds of thousands elsewhere across the state endured a second straight day of power shutoffs due to heightened fire risks from high winds. The Silverado fire sparked early in Orange county, quickly jumping a highway and exploding to 4,000 acres. The fire had doubled in size within two hours, with strong wind gusts pushing flames along brushy ridges in Silverado canyon toward thousands of homes. The latest threats came amid California's worst wildfire season on record in terms of landscape burned, with more than 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) scorched since the start of the year, along with thousands of homes destroyed and 31 lives lost.

Comment: Four million acres burned in California wildfires


East Troublesome wildfire in Colorado explodes to 170,000 acres: 'Really unheard of'

Troublesome fire

East Troublesome fire
The East Troublesome Fire grew almost another 50,000 acres on Thursday, after growing about 100,000 acres Wednesday night. As of Thursday evening, the fire was estimated at 170,000 acres — making it the second largest fire in Colorado history.

"We prepare for the worst. This is the worst of the worst of the worst," Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said.

There are concerns the fire could merge with the Cameron Peak Fire, which has burned over 200,000 acres.


Massive Colorado wildfires force thousands to evacuate

In Boulder County, the CalWood fire exploded to nearly 9,000 acres leaving whole neighborhoods in ruin and forcing nearly 3,000 people to flee their homes. In Northern Colorado firefighters are scrambling to contain the Cameron Peak fire—the largest wildfire in state history.

Comment: Cameron Peak Fire is now the largest wildfire in Colorado history


Cameron Peak Fire is now the largest wildfire in Colorado history

Cameron Peak Fire evacuation
Airn Hartwig loads a chicken into a cardboard box as she evacuates due to the threat from the Cameron Peak Fire in Masonville, Colorado, on Wednesday.
The Cameron Peak Fire, burning just west of Fort Collins, is now the largest wildfire in Colorado history, Gov. Jared Polis said in a tweet Wednesday night.

The blaze has burned through more than 158,000 acres and is 56% contained, officials said. It was ignited on August 13 and has since been fueled by high winds and dangerous terrain that's worked against firefighters' efforts to battle the flames and increase containment.

It has now surpassed the Pine Gulch Fire, which burned about 139,007 acres earlier this year and the Hayman Fire, which burned through more than 138,000 acres in 2002, according to the US Department of Agriculture.The Cameron Peak Fire also prompted several evacuation orders Wednesday. In a statement posted on Facebook, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday announced there was a mandatory evacuation order for Lory State Park.

Comment: Think 2020's disasters are wild? Worse is yet to come say experts


Two dead as dozens of forest fires burn in Syria and Lebanon

Forest fires in Syria and neighbouring Lebanon have killed two people and burned swathes of land since Thursday, state media and officials said.

Syrian state television on Saturday morning broadcast scenes from the affected areas, where firefighters were working to extinguish the blazes.

It said hundreds of hectares had burned in the countryside of Syria's coastal Latakia and Tartus provinces, and in the central Homs province.

The health ministry said two people died in Latakia province on Friday as a result of the fires, and that 70 people in the area were taken to hospital suffering breathing difficulties.

Snowflake Cold

Ice and fire in Argentina - 2 feet of late snowfall in Patagonia after storm

Two feet of snow and far below freezing in some areas, temperatures up to 43°C in others.

Meteorología de la República Argentina

PATAGONIA - Snowflakes 50 to 60 cm (2 ft) of snow in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. With temperatures below zero, it differs from the North Argentina, registering thermal contrasts of + 40°C.


Four million acres burned in California wildfires

A firefighter battles the Glass Fire burning in a Calistoga, Calif., vineyard Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
© AP/Noah Berger
A firefighter battles the Glass Fire burning in a Calistoga, Calif., vineyard Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.
California is poised to hit a fearsome milestone: 4 million acres burned this year by wildfires that have killed 30 people and incinerated hundreds of homes in what is already the worst fire season on record.

Flames have scorched an area larger than Connecticut and fire crews at a blaze in the northern wine country were on high alert as forecasters warned of red flag conditions of extreme fire danger into Saturday morning.

Winds up to 30 mph (48 kph) were forecast to push through the hills in Napa and Sonoma counties as the Glass Fire, exploded in size earlier in the week, continued to threaten more than 28,000 homes and other buildings.

"It's a time of nervousness," said Paul Gullixon, a spokesman for Sonoma County.


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.


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