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Wildfires

Phoenix

Boulder crews contain half-acre wildfire on Flagstaff Mountain, Colorado

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© Paul Aiken / Daily Camera
Smoke can be seen rising from a fire on Flagstaff Mountain on Tuesday
Boulder crews were able to reach containment on a half-acre wildfire on Flagstaff Mountain near Fifth Street.

Dispatchers received reports of smoke and flames 2 to 3 feet high around 3:30 p.m. at the base of Flagstaff Road, but by about 4:20 p.m. officials on the scene said the fire had been contained and crews were in mop-up duty.

Officials said the fire started on private property, and the cause is unknown at this time.

Flagstaff Mountain Road has been re-opened.

Phoenix

Large grass fire threatens homes in Oklahoma City

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With winds gusting to 40 miles and hour Tuesday, it didn't take much for a Oklahoma City wildfire to get big, fast.

Firefighters say the fire started along 192nd between May and Penn and moved fast toward a nearby neighborhood.

Tim Branch saw the fire over his fence and got to work, doing whatever he could to stop the flames.

"I just don't want my house to catch on fire," he said, using a shovel to dig, creating a fire line. "If it was your house, you'd do the same thing, right?"

Firefighters soon appeared over the same fence, delayed by people on the roads who wouldn't get out of the way.

"We did have a pretty tense situation in the beginning when we were trying to get in here," said OKCFD battalion chief Brian Stanaland. "We were trying to evacuate personnel out here and the people that live here, and they weren't incredibly cooperative, so kind of got in the way a little bit."

That delay allowed flames to get close to several homes.

One home's fence was still on fire about a hour after most of the flames were extinguished. It was no match for the flames---that burned right through it, and right up to the back of the house.

Comment: Interestingly, just prior to the outbreak of this fire, 20 earthquakes were recorded a little way north of the city, accompanied by mysterious booms. See also: Scientists mystified as 20 earthquakes hit Oklahoma in one day


Extinguisher

Maintaining myth they can actually do something about extreme weather, California lawmakers drafting legislation to prevent wildfires

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© Jae C. Hong, AP
Firefighter Jeff Newby sprays water as he battles the flare-ups from a damaging wildfire on Jan. 17 near Azusa, Calif.
With record droughts fueling fears of devastating wildfires in the West, members of Congress from the region are trying to boost chronically underfunded federal fire prevention efforts.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has teamed up with Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, to offer a bill that would stop the vicious cycle of federal agencies raiding fire prevention funds to pay for emergency firefighting efforts.

The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, which was also introduced in the House this month, would create a special disaster fund to fight huge "mega-fires", which make up about 1% of wildfires but use up 30% of fire suppression funds.

The funding change would free up as much as $412 million a year in the Forest Service and Interior Department budgets to prevent fires by thinning the overgrown tree stands and underbrush that fuel the blazes.

Question

Despite cool temperatures and average humidity, numerous large wildfires break out in New Mexico and northern Texas

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© Preston Fowler
The largest 'winter wildfire' appears to be in Hutchinson County, where at least 600 acres have been torched.
Crews are fighting multiple grass fires in Curry County.

They're fighting one in Roosevelt County, too.

No word on how big, just that there are many.

We also know of one fire burning northeast of Borger right now. That fire started around 1:50 p.m.

We'll have more as it becomes available.


Phoenix

Despite hurricane and record flooding, fire crews dealing with large bog fire near Aberystwyth, Wales

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Large parts of Cors Fochno (Borth Bog) wetland nature reserve are on fire

We know it sounds strange with all this wet weather, but bog land near Aberystwyth is well alight this morning

Firefighters from Aberystwyth are tackling a major fire at bog land in Borth, near Aberystwyth.

The first call came at 5.20am, but fire crews were having difficulty accessing the land where the fire is raging because of the terrain.

A spokeswoman for Mid and West Fire Service said that around a hectare of land was alight, and that fire crews were assessing the situation as the fire is near to the railway line.

The area has been made famous in the recent Hinterland programme, with the final programme being set in and around the bogland.

Scottish Power has also sent representatives to the area because the fire is close to overhead cables.

Comment: Actually, it's the sogging wet grasses that are on fire, not the peat.

See also:

Flashback: 2 April 2013: Huge wildfires across Scottish Highlands

28 Jan 2014: Many Tibetan monasteries and famous sites destroyed this winter by mysterious 'wildfires'

29 Jan 2014: Third 'winter wildfire' breaks out in Norway - Second in two days - What is going ON?!

10 Feb 2014: As wildfires break out in Alaska and Oregon, Georgia declares state of emergency due to continuing snowfall


Galaxy

Signs of Change in January 2014

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Dazzling green fireball filmed above Belgium, January 2014
Mysterious booms across the US, often occuring in and around earthquakes - A series of unusual earthquakes in Australia - More 'strange sky sounds' - More meteor fireballs raining down - Massive sinkholes swallowing houses, cars and people - Storm after storm battering the UK and Western Europe, bringing massive waves, widespread flooding and landslides - Mass whale stranding in New Zealand - Polar Vortex (twice!) freezing most of the US in ice age conditions and making it colder than Mars - Major flooding in Florida, while hurricane-force winds smash into Oregon and the Carolinas - Tonga flattened by most powerful cyclone to hit the region half a century - A strong earthquake hit Puerto Rico - 100,000 people affected by major flooding in the Philippines, while another 40,000 were displaced by heavy rainfall in Indonesia - Bats falling out of the sky as wildfires rage in Australia's record heatwave - 'Winter wildfires' raging across snow-covered US - An eerily quiet Sun that hasn't been seen since the 17th Century - Several volcanic eruptions in Indonesia causing multiple deaths and the evacuation of thousands - Another strong earthquake in New Zealand - More mass animal deaths, including a whole pod of pilot whales off the coast of Florida - Record-breaking snowfall across the US...

2014 has stated with a bang, literally, with a surge of loud booms being heard and felt throughout much of North America. But then again, didn't the last few years start this way? This video includes strange and extreme weather, geological and cosmic events, covering most of the month of January. Things aren't looking good for certain few heavily populated areas...


Cloud Precipitation

Nevada farmers turn to prayer as drought grips western U.S. states

Religious leaders and farmers held multi-faith prayer service in Reno to ask the divine for help easing drought conditions.

drought
© Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Folsom Lake, California, where a boat ramp is now several hundred yards away from the waters' edge.
Religious leaders of multiple faiths and farmers in Nevada and Utah turned to prayer this weekend for help easing severe drought conditions gripping the west.

The plea to above comes weeks after the federal government declared parts of 11 parched western and central states natural disaster areas.

Faith leaders asked for divine intervention during a special multi-faith service Saturday at a Mormon church in the Reno, Nevada suburb of Sparks. And on Sunday, the Utah Farm Bureau Federation asked the public to join in prayer and fasting for snow and rain for livestock and crops as part of its Harvesting Faith event.

"We can't go to the legislature to ask for help, (so) we decided to go to the guy upstairs," Ron Gibson, a dairy farmer in Weber County, Utah, told the Deseret News. "One thing you learn as a farmer is most of the things that happen in your life are totally out of your control."

Rajan Zed, who organized the Nevada service, said Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha'i and other faith leaders who participated are confident it'll bring positive results.

Phoenix

Winter wildfire scorches 400 acres in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma - Snow forecast next week

A swift-moving grass fire threatened homes Wednesday and burned hundreds of acres as it danced its way across a one-mile section from Benson Park Road to Hardesty Road, west of the SH 9A area.

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© Ed Blochowiak
Firefighters battle a grass fire in Pottawatomie County Wednesday as it swiftly moves across a one-mile section from Benson Park Road to Hardesty Road. No damages or injuries were reported.
Earlsboro Fire Chief Shane Rawls said nearly 30 firefighters joined forces to battle the blaze, with crews working all day and into the evening before getting that fire under control. Rawls estimated late Wednesday night that the wildfire burned at least 300 acres and maybe even up to 400 acres.

Phoenix

Wildfire warning issued for Alaska - apparently freeze-dried vegetation can 'spontaneously combust'

State officials issued a rare winter wildfire advisory for the Mat-Su area Thursday, cautioning against open burning at a time of sunny skies and dry conditions.

Warm weather in recent weeks has melted much of the snowpack in the area. From the north Knik River Bridge, open fields are exposed across Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge and in areas around Palmer and Wasilla.
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© wikipedia
Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Valley shown shaded in red north of Anchorage, Alaska
"Attention residents -- the Mat-Su Valley is dry," begins a public service announcement released by the state Division of Forestry.

Cooler temperatures can lead to a freeze-dried effect in grassy fields, said Norm McDonald, a state fire management officer.

Phoenix

Winter wildfire strikes Tuscon, Arizona

Coronado National Forest crews are mopping up a wildfire that began Thursday afternoon on Mt. Lemmon.
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© Unknown
The Little Bear Fire began around Noon near mile post 11 off of Catalina Highway, according to Mt. Lemmon Fire Chief Randy Ogden.