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Wed, 19 Jan 2022
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Wildfires

Fire

Thousands evacuate fast-moving California wildfire, homes burn

A home is consumed by flames in the River Fire,
© REUTERS/Fred Greaves
A home is consumed by flames in the River Fire, a wildfire burning in Grass Valley, California, U.S., August 4, 2021.
A rapidly spreading wildfire burned homes and forced thousands to evacuate in two heavily wooded counties northeast of Sacramento in Northern California on Wednesday, generating a towering plume of smoke visible from at least 70 miles (110 km) away.

The so-called River Fire scorched 1,400 acres (566 hectares) in Placer and Nevada counties, with 1,000 acres burnt within the first two hours, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.

The River Fire was less than 100 miles (160 km) south of the enduring Dixie Fire, which according to Cal Fire has consumed 278,000 acres and was only 35% contained three weeks after it started.

Social media images showed the Dixie Fire on Wednesday had destroyed multiple structures in one section of Greenville, a town of about 800 people in Plumas County.


Fire

Athens: Major fire prompts evacuation of residential areas

A major blaze threatened northern suburbs of the Greek capital

A major blaze threatened northern suburbs of the Greek capital
A fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon in Varybobi, a northern suburb of Athens.

The Greek national road, which runs from Athens to Lamia has been closed due to the blaze.

The fire is thought to have started in the nearby heavily forested area of Kryoneri, but has spread significantly throughout the afternoon.

Evacuation of Varibobi was ordered short after 4:30 p.m.

As the blaze is near some power substation there are reports of problems in the power surge and thus on the hottest day in the Greek capital where over 42 degrees Celsius are being recorded.


Fire

At least eight dead as wildfires rip through southern Turkey

Turkey wildfires
© YouTube/Evening Standard (screen capture)
Parts of southern Turkey has been left devastated by the wildfires. Thousands have had to evacuate their homes after the fires ravaged through towns and villages. At least eight people have died in the blazes while villagers lost their homes and farm animals.

Some residents have scrambled to save their livestock, struggling to get them to safety. Turkish farmer Nurten Almaz said she lost everything including her home, her animals and "one century of people's labour". "I feel so much pain, like I lost a child," she added. The country has launched an international appeal for help in taming the fires.


Comment: Three dead and ten stranded as wildfire rages across southern Turkey


Cloud Lightning

Hundreds of lightning bolts hit dry Oregon, start 50 new wildfires

wildfire
Lightning bolts struck the parched forests of southern Oregon hundreds of times in 24 hours, igniting some 50 new wildfires even as the nation's largest wildfire continued to burn less than 100 miles (161 kilometers) away, officials said on Monday.

State, federal and contracted firefighters, augmented by helicopters and planes dropping fire retardant, pounced on the new wildfires in national forests in southwest Oregon before they could spread out of control. The largest one was estimated at up to 5 acres (2 hectares).

Thunderstorms unleashed some 700 lightning bolts that hit the ground and also brought rain to some places, but left others dry while triggering multiple fires, said Margueritte Hickman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.

Firefighters and support personnel worked through the night to locate and extinguish fires.


Fire

Four-mile long wildfire prompts evacuations in Hawaii

A large wildfire burns in Hawaii near Waimea on July 31, 2021.
© 25th Infantry Division/Handout
A large wildfire burns in Hawaii near Waimea on July 31, 2021.
A large wildfire is ripping through thousands of acres of dry brush in Hawaii County, prompting evacuations and threatening structures.

The 40,000-acre fire began on Friday morning near Mana Road in Waimea on the island of Hawaii. By Saturday, it had consumed over 10,000 acres and the Pu'u Kapu Hawaiian Homestead and Waiki'i Ranch areas were ordered to evacuate immediately.

Hawaii Fire Department Volunteer Captain John Bertsch told West Hawaii Today that at one point on Friday, one front of the fire reached four miles in length.

Two homes in the Department of Hawaiian Homelands Puukapu Subdivision were destroyed. The evacuation order in Waikoloa Village was lifted Sunday, but fire officials are cautioning residents and tourists to stay vigilant.


Fire

Italy: Wildfires reach Sicilian town of Catania

Le Capannina beach in Catania, one of the many areas affected by the fires

Le Capannina beach in Catania, one of the many areas affected by the fires
Firefighters in Italy were battling wildfires for the second day in a row on Saturday, with the blazes reaching the Sicilian port city of Catania.

Late Friday, some 150 people were trapped in two seaside areas in Catania, before eventually being evacuated by sea, where they were picked up by rubber dinghies and transferred to Coast Guard boats.

The fires also forced the temporary closure of the region's airport, as part of a procedure to give precedence to air rescue and firefighting missions.


Fire

29 wildfires ignited by lightning in Klamath National Forest, California

A heat map shows fires in the Klamath National Forest.
© Inciweb
A heat map shows fires in the Klamath National Forest.
The following is a press release from the U.S. Forest Service:

Lightning from thunderstorms over the last several days has ignited roughly 29 fires over the western side of the Klamath National Forest. More lightning is forecasted for today, and additional new fires are anticipated due to the volume of lightning that has been received.

All but four of the fires are on the Salmon-Scott River Ranger District and are being managed as a single incident called the River Complex. The largest of these fires is the Cronan Fire, which is located 3.5 miles northeast of Sawyers Bar. It has been reported as 20 acres in size. Yesterday, helicopters and air tankers were used to limit the fire's spread while ground crews work on gaining access. Five of the fires have been contained and two have been called out.

Fire

Three dead and ten stranded as wildfire rages across southern Turkey

Smoke and flames rise after a forest fire broke out

Smoke and flames rise after a forest fire broke out
Three people have died in a massive wildfire in southern Turkey, where firefighters battled the massive blaze for a second day on Thursday.

Efforts to rescue 10 stranded people near the resort city of Antalya were ongoing, the country's AFAD disaster agency said.

More than 100 other people had to be evacuated, required medical treatment or suffered damage to property as a result of the fire.


Fire

'Out of control': Greek wildfire rages through forest near Athens

Firefighters battle a wildfire in Dionysos, north east of Athens, on July 27, 2021.

Firefighters battle a wildfire in Dionysos, north east of Athens, on July 27, 2021.
Greek authorities have evacuated several areas north of Athens as a wildfire swept through a hillside forest and threatened homes near the country's capital.

The fire, which started on Tuesday morning, is "out of control," Dionysos mayor Yannis Kalafatelis told Greek radio.

The town located about 30 kilometres northeast of Athens is among those affected, along with neighbouring Stamata and Rodopoli.

74 firefighters were deployed on the ground to try and contain the fire, which sent smoke over Athens.

Five water-dropping planes and five helicopters were being used to fight the blaze.


Fire

Massive wildfires ravage Lebanon's north forcing residents to flee

Smoke billows from a fire in Qoubayat, Lebanon
© Reuters / Mouarbes Jean
Smoke billows from a fire in Qoubayat, Lebanon on July 28, 2021.
Multiple fires have broken out in northern Lebanon, devastating pine forests and threatening multiple villages. The blazes have forced some residents to flee their homes, while at least one firefighter died battling the flames.

Hot weather and strong winds have descended upon the country's northern province of Akkar, fueling multiple wildlife fires. On Wednesday, a massive wildfire broke out close to the town of Qoubayat, the largest Christian settlement in the region.

Footage from the scene shows the flames spreading extremely rapidly across wooded mountains, consuming iconic Lebanese pine forests. The blaze quickly approached the town, as well as other villages in the area.