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Wildfires

Phoenix

18 specialist firefighters killed battling Arizona wildfire

Yarnell fire
© AP/The Arizona Republic
June 30, 2013: Flames top a ridge as the Yarnell Hill Fire moves towards Peeples Valley, Arizona.

Yarnell - Local fire officials have confirmed that at least 18 firefighters have died while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in central Arizona.

The Prescott Fire Department confirmed to MyFoxPhoenix that the firefighters,all part of a group called the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots, had passed away Sunday evening.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has notified residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell to evacuate.

Roxie Glover, spokeswoman at Wickenburg Community Hospital, told The Associated Press that the hospital has been told to expect residents with injuries and firefighters.

Earlier Sunday, the fast-moving fire prompted the evacuation of at least 50 homes in the Buckhorn, Model Creek and Double A Bar Ranch areas about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.

Comment: What a horrible tragedy, the single worst such incident in the U.S. since 1933:
The tragedy ranks as the greatest loss of life among firefighters from a single wildland blaze in the United States since 29 men died battling the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles, according to National Fire Protection Association records.



Phoenix

Fire in Arizona prompts evacuation of 50 homes


A one square-mile wildfire burning in a central Arizona community has led to the evacuation of at least 50 homes that are threatened by the blaze.

Yaenell - A fast-moving wildfire burning in a central Arizona community has led the evacuation of at least 50 homes that are threatened by the blaze, and by Sunday afternoon, authorities had asked even more residents to leave.

The wildfire also forced the closure of about 15 miles of state Route 89, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced. The department did not have an estimate of how long the closure would last but advised drivers to use U.S. 93 or Interstate 17 as alternate routes.

Fire information officer Mike Reichling said earlier Sunday that no homes had been lost in the fire northwest of the Yavapai County community of Yarnell.

Early estimates put the number of evacuated homes at 120, but the number was downgraded by officials closer to the fire.

Reichling says the blaze was within a mile of some homes but was burning away from them.

The Yarnell Hill Fire prompted evacuations in the Model Creek, Buckhorn and Double A Bar Ranch areas about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. The blaze also was within 200 yards of the Model Creek School.

Crews cleared brush and did other work around the evacuated homes to help guard against the fire.

Bizarro Earth

Singapore haze at worst yet, Malaysia schools shut

Image
© The Associated Press/Mark Baker
A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, June 20, 2013.
Singapore urged people to remain indoors amid unprecedented levels of air pollution Thursday as a smoky haze wrought by forest fires in neighboring Indonesia worsened dramatically. Nearby Malaysia closed 200 schools and banned open burning in some areas.

The Pollutant Standards Index, Singapore's main measure for air pollution, surged to a record reading of 371, breaching the "hazardous" classification that can aggravate respiratory ailments. The previous all-time high before this week was in 1997, when the index reached 226.

The hazardous reading lasted three hours before easing to 253 in the evening, still "very unhealthy."

Smog fueled by raging Indonesian blazes has hit Singapore and Malaysia many times, often in the middle of the year, but the severity of this week's conditions has strained diplomatic ties. Officials in Singapore say Jakarta must do more to halt fires on Sumatra island started by plantation owners and farmers to clear land cheaply.

"This is now the worst haze that Singapore has ever faced," Singapore's Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrote on his Facebook page. "No country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans' health and wellbeing."

The haze has shrouded the city-state's skyscrapers in a pall of noxious fumes and posed numerous inconveniences for Singaporeans, some of whom complained of coughs and covered their faces with handkerchiefs while walking outdoors.

Phoenix

Toll of homes destroyed in Colorado wildfire rises to hundreds; 2 bodies found

destroyed home and vehicles
© Rick Wilking/Reuters
An aerial view of a destroyed home and vehicles in the aftermath of a wildfire in Black Forest, Colo. on Thursday.
Colorado Springs - Hundreds of firefighters battled lashing winds on Thursday as they raced to halt the spread of a ferocious wildfire that state officials said has destroyed more homes than any other in Colorado's history.

As thousands of residents were forced to evacuate under the smoked-stained skies, officials delivered a litany of grim news about the fire, which erupted Tuesday afternoon in the wooded community of Black Forest, north of Colorado Springs.

Officials reported that two bodies had been found in a garage, where they had apparently been packing up a car to flee the area. They said that 360 homes had been reduced to ash and cinder. About 38,000 people fled their homes in subdivisions and shaded hillsides. Plumes of smoke billowed from Black Forest, and officials said the fire was about 5 percent contained.

No cause for the fire has been determined.

As hundreds of firefighters raced to save homes and keep the 15,700-acre fire from leaping over highways, tanker planes and helicopters chirred through the sky like dragonflies, dropping water and retardant. But the weather thwarted fire crews at every turn. Afternoon thunderstorms brought lightning but little rain. Lashing winds lofted flames into the Ponderosa pines and steered the blaze in unpredictable directions.

"All we can do is fight," Gov. John W. Hickenlooper said after visiting residents who had taken shelter in a high school.


Comment: Comment: Reign of Fire: Meteorites, Wildfires, Planetary Chaos and the Sixth Extinction


Attention

1,000 homes evacuated in 'most destructive wildfire in Colorado's history'

Colorado wildfire
© AP
The Black Forest wildfire is now the most destructive in Colorado history.
Residents of 1,000 homes in Colorado Springs are being ordered to evacuate because of a wildfire that's already destroyed at least 360 houses.

Thursday's evacuation order is the first within the city limits. About 38,000 people already have been evacuated because of the fire that started in a populated, wooded area east of the city.

The city of about 430,000 people is also asking residents of 2,000 more homes to be ready to evacuate because the fire has reached a designated trigger point.

The blaze in the Black Forest area is now the most destructive in Colorado history.

Comment: Bearing in mind that the bar was set by last year's 'most destructive wildfires in Colorado history', locals have got to be asking themselves, like El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa above, "What's up?"...

Reign of Fire: Meteorites, Wildfires, Planetary Chaos and the Sixth Extinction


Phoenix

Colorado wildfires 2013: Black Forest fire burns homes, Royal Gorge fire burns hundreds of acres, Big Meadows fire continues

Black Forest fire
© Denver Post
Colorado Springs - At least four major wildfires fueled by hot, gusty weather burned along the front of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado on Tuesday, destroying a handful of large houses and chasing people from hundreds of homes.

Thick smoke plumes visible for miles billowed from fires near Colorado Springs, in southern Colorado, and in Rocky Mountain National Park to the north.

A wildfire in a heavily wooded residential area northeast of Colorado Springs led to the mandatory evacuations of more than 1,000 homes, including some worth more than $1 million, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said.

Video from a helicopter showed several large homes engulfed in flames. About eight homes had burned, Maketa said, but he had no exact number because the fire was moving so quickly across the parched forest.

"Right now the firefighters are more focused on fighting fires, drawing lines. And law enforcement, to be very honest, is scrambling to get people out of there as well as do searches," Maketa said. He said firefighters have shifted from evacuation mode to search-and-rescue mode.

Military officials said a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the Colorado Army National Guard and three helicopters from Fort Carson were helping firefighters. Another National Guard helicopter was on standby for search and rescue.

The area is not far from last summer's devastating Waldo Canyon Fire that destroyed 346 homes and killed two.

Comment: Comment: Reign of Fire: Meteorites, Wildfires, Planetary Chaos and the Sixth Extinction


Windsock

Extreme weather events and earth changes in May 2013



Fireball

Wildfires roar uncontained in California and New Mexico

Image
© Reuters / Gene Blevins
Firefighters battle the Powerhouse wildfire at the Angeles National Forest, with the fire now having destroyed several homes near the Lake Hughes area in California June 1, 2013
Some 2,000 homes have been evacuated in Southern California as firefighters struggle to contain tens of thousands of acres of wildfire amid extremely hot, dry and windy weather. Two major blazes in New Mexico have also spiraled out of control.

The Powerhouse Fire, which broke out near a Santa Clarita hydroelectric plant in the Los Angeles County on Thursday, has more than tripled in size overnight. A total of 2,100 personnel are now fighting the fire, with air tankers and helicopters deployed to the scene.

Blackbox

Video: Strange weather phenomena over the last days of May 2013


Comment: See also Video: Strange weather phenomena for the first days of May 2013

We suspect that the Cyprus fireball video midway through the above compilation of strange weather events in the second half of May is faked. Contrary to the original YT uploader's claim, there were no NASA reports of this alleged fireball event. In fact, there were no other reports at all.


Extinguisher

Southern California fire burns 1,000 acres; thousands flee

Image
© Valerie Walston, Santa Barbara County Search And Rescue
This photo released by the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue taken on Monday May 27,2013 showing smoke from a wildfire burning long the mountains north of Santa Barbara, Calif.
Crews in Southern California struggled to get the upper hand on a fast-moving wildfire in Santa Barbara County early Tuesday.

Known as the White Fire, the blaze had already charred some 1,000 acres after getting its start Monday afternoon, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madsen said. The flames were 5% contained.

The Forest Service expects to have 700 personnel in place Tuesday morning.