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Thu, 02 Feb 2023
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US: Colorado fire forced residents to make mad dash

wildfire Boulder
© AP Photo/Peter M. Fredin
Kurt Rieder, in white hat, with his 9 year old daughter Lily watch the smoke plume from a wildland fire burning in the Four Mile Canyon area just west of Boulder Colo. on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010. High winds pushed the smoke and ash eastward over the Colorado plains.
Boulder - David Myers knew it was time to leave when he looked out into the forest and spotted bright red flames towering skyward. Then came a blinding cloud of smoke and a deafening roar as the fire ripped through the wilderness.

"You can hear just this consumption of fuel, just crackling and burning. And the hardest thing is ... you couldn't see it because at the point the smoke was that thick," he said.

Myers was among about 3,500 people who desperately fled the fire after it erupted in a tinder-dry canyon northwest of Boulder on Monday and swallowed up dozens of homes. Residents packed everything they could into their cars and sped down narrow, winding roads to safety, encountering a vicious firestorm that melted the bumper of one couple's van.

Cloud Lightning

Fire Tornado in Brazil

Bizarro Earth

US: Homes evacuated overnight near Montana wildfire

© AP Photos/Lisa Holshue
Flames from a prescribed burn that turned into a wildfire are visible from Highway 279 on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010 near Canyon Creek, Mont. Forest spokeswoman Kathy Bushnell says the wind kicked up at about 1 p.m. driving the fire beyond the boundaries of the prescribed burn.
Wildfires drove early morning evacuations in western Montana and brought dozens of fresh firefighters to Washington state on Friday as crews battled dozens of blazes throughout the northwest.

Cooler temperatures and calmer winds helped firefighters control wildfires that had flared up Thursday across eastern Washington in hot, gusty winds.

But in Montana, a cold front brought lightning and sparked seven fires on forest service and private land.

Ravalli County authorities began knocking on doors at 3 a.m. Friday, warning residents about three miles west of Hamilton that a fire in the Bitterroot National Forest was threatening their homes.

The Downing Mountain fire was reported at 8 p.m. Thursday and quickly grew to 50 to 100 acres.

More than 50 homes or structures in the Blodgett and Canyon Creek areas are threatened.


Spain, Portugal fight wildfires

© Francisco Seco, AP
People fight a fire on the Peneda-Geres mountain near Pardela, northern Portugal.
Madrid - Officials say emergency services in Spain and Portugal are combating 19 sizable wildfires as cooler weather is now easing firefighting.

The regional government of Galicia, in the northwestern corner of Spain, says firefighters are working to control outbreaks in four areas of the province, including one "very large forest fire" in Negreira.

A fire in Barjas, in the neighbouring province of Leon, is being brought under control, mayor Alfredo de Arriba says.

Portugal's Civil Protection authority said on Sunday its forces had fought fires in 14 different areas and cooler conditions presented "a much more favourable scenario".

Comment: Footage of the fires in Portugal from Russia Today:


Fire-affected areas shrink in Russia

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry reported Monday that the wildfire-affected areas were reduced by some 8,000 hectares over the past 24 hours.

The number of fires decreased fourfold, the ministry was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Two NASA satellites registered a total of 371 hotspots in Russia on Sunday, according to the ScanEx website that received information from the satellites.


Nice day for a white wedding: Brides brave blankets of smog caused by Russian wildfires

© Reuters
Determined: A newly-married couple walks along Red Square amidst the heavy cloud of smog
The thick blanket of white smog which hangs over Russia was not enough to put off some determined brides from tying the knot today.

The women, barely visible in their white dresses, went ahead with their nuptials, despite the shroud of smog that has descended on the country.

The eerie cloud, which has caused a fourfold increase in airborne pollutants, including carbon monoxide, is the result of forest fires which have killed 50 people nationwide.

Flights at international airports have been grounded and visibility in the capital is down to a few dozen yards as the fires continue to tear through forests and villages.

Russians wore protective face masks as dozens of forest and peat bog fires around the city continued to burn, fanned by south-easterly winds and the country's most intense heat wave in 130 years.

More than 500 separate blazes are active today, mainly across Russia's European territory, according to the Emergencies Ministry.


Russian troops dig canal around Sarov nuclear base as wildfires grow

Emergency action reported to have 'stabilised' situation at Sarov, the closed town where first Soviet nuclear bomb was built

Russian troops dug a five-mile canal yesterday to protect a nuclear arms site from wildfires caused by a record heatwave.

The forest and peat fires have killed at least 52 people, made more than 4,000 homeless, diverted many flights and pushed air pollution in Moscow to six times its normal level, forcing some residents of the capital to wear surgical masks.


Wildfires spread through central Russia as pollutants in Moscow smog causes health concerns

© Metzel/AP
Tourists wear protective face masks as they walk along the Red Square in thick smog, with Saint Basil's Cathedral partially visible in the back, in Moscow, Russia.
Wildfires continued to spread throughout central Russia Saturday as smog consumed Moscow, raising health concerns for residents of the Russian capital.

290 new wildfires were reported in the last 24 hours, and weather forecasters said that Russia's heat wave would continue for several more days.

Meanwhile, pollutants in the Moscow smog have risen to dangerously unsafe levels. carbon monoxide levels are 6.6 times higher than acceptable, and tiny invisible particles from the fires are present in concentrations 2.2 times higher than normal levels, according to state air pollution monitoring service Mosekomonitoring.


Canada: Over 400 wildfires scorch British Columbia

© B.C. Wildfire Management Branch
The number of wildfires roaring throughout British Columbia climbed to more than 400 on Tuesday, with officials predicting the tally will rise as the province is plagued by hot, dry conditions.

"We don't anticipate any significant decrease in fire activity in the coming days," fire information officer Gwen Eamer said in an interview. "We expect to continue to pick up in the range of 50 fires every day."

Eamer said 183 new wildfires were reported during the B.C. Day long weekend. Since the beginning of the year, more than 760 square kilometres of land has been damaged or destroyed by fire.


Russia on Fire: No air to breath, no home to return to

Intense temperatures and the worst dry spell for generations continue to pound parts of Russia, with at least forty lives now claimed by wildfires. Hundreds have been injured. Seven of the hardest-hit regions are now in a state of emergency. One of them is the greater Moscow area. RT's Natalya Novikova gives us a picture from the center of the capital, which has been gripped by smog. While outside the city, Peter Oliver says the situation remains severe.