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Mon, 18 Jan 2021
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Township 'wiped off map' by bushfire in Victoria, Australia

Andrew Clarke could do nothing but watch as his
© Channel 9
Andrew Clarke could do nothing but watch as his life’s work went up in flames.
Incredible vision from the fire front shows how painstakingly difficult fighting a raging bushfire can be.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade shared footage from Garfield North, 68km southeast of the Melbourne CBD, where the Bunyip State Park fire raged out of control.

"This is what firefighters faced on the ground," the MFB wrote.


Australian bushfire emergency: Eastern Victoria's rolling inferno

Fires rage in Bunyip State Park

Fires rage in Bunyip State Park
A fire in Victoria's east is worse than the Black Saturday blaze that burned in the same spot 10 years ago, a firefighter says.

More than 30 fires are burning across the state, following lightning strikes, blistering temperatures and searing winds.

Five buildings, including three homes, were destroyed by Sunday afternoon.

Two of those homes were in the Garfield North area near the Bunyip State Park, where a fire has already burned through 6000 hectares and is racing towards the Princes Highway.

"This is an active fire. It is moving, and there is every likelihood there will be further property losses," Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp told reporters.


Trans-Siberian train narrowly escapes inferno of raging wildfire

© Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov
Dramatic footage posted on Youtube shows a train battling through a wall of fire and smoke in Russia's Far East as wildfires reduced the region to a hellscape.

In the terrifying video captured by passengers, the flames are seen coming close to the train while the railway completely disappears in a cloud of smoke. The inferno is rapidly extending across the region and threatening to paralyze railway traffic, including the legendary Trans-Siberia railway connecting Moscow to Vladivostok.

Comment: 2nd wildfire in 24 hours hits UK: Arthur's seat in Edinburgh ablaze


2nd wildfire in 24 hours hits UK: Arthur's seat in Edinburgh ablaze

arthurs seat fire
© Holyrood Park, Edinburg PA
Scene of a gorse fire below Salisbury Crags inHolyrood Park, Edinburg
Firefighters are battling a large gorse fire on Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh.

Around 800 square metres of gorse is ablaze on the Salisbury Crags.

Two fire engines from Edinburgh went to the scene after the alarm was raised at around 6.30pm on Tuesday.

Comment: See: Major moorland fire in Yorkshire, UK - In February?


Major moorland fire in Yorkshire, UK - In February?

Yorkshire moorland fire
A major moorland fire has broken out above Marsden in West Yorkshire.

Around forty fire fighters are at the moment tackling the blaze next to the Great Western Inn on Manchester Road.

Four appliances from West Yorkshire are there and one from Greater Manchester is tackling the fire from their side.

200 square metres of moorland are ablaze and the fire service say it's likely that they'll be there throughout the night. No cause is yet known.

Comment: Whatever the cause, a wildfire in February in Yorkshire is certainly unusual. It could be related to the record heat much of the UK has seen in recent days: UK: Hottest February day ever as temperatures soar to 20C/68F

It's also notable that the summer drought and heatwave of 2018 brought about an unprecedented number of wildfires to the UK: Wildfire the size of 50 football pitches breaks out in "tinder dry" New Forest, UK

And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?


Curfews imposed in Chile as 5 simultaneous wildfires spiral out-of-control

Chile wildfires

Chile wildfires tear through Valparaiso on Pacific coast in 2014
In central regions of Chile, a curfew has been imposed due to forest fires going out-of-control in urban areas. The Chilean has already killed 2 last week. Two days ago, 5 fires have started simulteneously and are now threatening buildings in Penco and San Pedro de la Paz. Residents had to flee the flames. Regional authorities suspect arson as the cause of the fire and have introduced a curfew from 11:00pm to 7:00am in 10 provincial communes.


Major wildfire engulfs forest in Chernobyl's EXCLUSION ZONE

Sign warns about high levels of radiation
© AFP / Genya Savilov
A sign warns about high levels of radiation in a forest located in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
A major blaze has broken out in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - the site of the worst nuclear disaster in human history. The fire hit a forest some 20 kilometers away from the ill-famed nuclear power station.

The blaze inside Chernobyl's 'dead zone' in northern Ukraine started on Sunday when dry grass caught fire, the Ukrainian emergency service said in a statement. The blaze then reached a forest near the abandoned village of Bychki located some 24km (15 miles) away from the damaged nuclear reactor.

Some 5 hectares (12 acres) of forest went up in flames. Three firefighting vehicles and 18 emergency crew members were dispatched to tackle the blaze, according to the emergency service's statement.

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, an area heavily contaminated by the disaster, has repeatedly witnessed wildfires over recent years. A large fire broke out there in June 2018. Another blaze, which scorched 25 hectares (60 acres) of land, hit it in 2017.


Floods, fire and drought: Australia bearing the brunt of rise in extreme weather

australia flood
© Dan Peled/EPA
Residents wade through floodwaters in the suburb of Hermit Park in Townsville this week.
Amid record temperatures, severe flooding and devastation of wilderness, the political message from the government is business as usual

The people of Townsville know about heavy rain, but this was new. Over the past fortnight, the northern Queensland city's 180,000 residents have been hit by a monsoon strengthened by a low-pressure front that dragged moist air south from the equator to Australia's top end.

It dumped an unprecedented 1.4 metres of rain in less than two weeks - roughly double what falls on London in a year.

The ensuing chaos has wrecked homes and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to property. Two men have drowned and videos posted to social media have shown crocodiles climbing trees and taking to elevated highways in search of shelter.

But amid the deluge, not everyone heeded the evacuation advice.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?


New Zealand is battling its worst wildfire in more than 60 years

wildfire on New Zealand’s South Island
© Reuters
A firefighter puts out a blaze during a week-long wildfire on New Zealand’s South Island.
A massive bushfire has churned through more than 5,600 acres on New Zealand's South Island in what is believed to be the country's worst forest fire since 1955, BBC reports.

A state of emergency was declared on Feb. 6, two days after the Pigeon Valley Fire began near the city of Nelson. As of Monday, the blaze was still scorching the island's arid countryside, but as firefighting conditions improved, around 3,000 evacuated residents were allowed to return home.

Local MP Nick Smith described the region as a "tinderbox" and said 70,000 residents in the fire's range remain "on edge."

Twenty-three helicopters and two planes have reportedly been deployed to combat the blaze in the nation's largest aerial firefight on record, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Fire chiefs have warned that the flames could continue until March.

The bushfire follows a heatwave that saw some areas of New Zealand sweating out 90°F days last month. The New Zealand Drought Index reports "extremely dry" conditions in the Nelson area, which has reportedly been parched since November 2018.


Dozens of out-of-control fires tear through Tasmania, Australia

The blaze at Miena has been bought fought by crews on the ground and in the air.
© Claude Road Fire Brigade
The blaze at Miena has been bought fought by crews on the ground and in the air.
Fire crews in Tasmania are preparing for what is expected to be the most dangerous day for bushfires due to hot and windy weather.

Residents have been told to enact their bushfire survival plans with 29 out-of-control fires burning across the state.

The bushfires have already ripped through more than 66,000 hectares, creating a line of fire more than 800 kilometres long.

A total fire ban remains in place.