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Mon, 28 Nov 2022
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Bizarro Earth

US: Winds spread wildfire, more flee near Arizona city

© David Sanders / AP
The Monument fire burns north toward Sierra Vista, Ariz., on Wednesday, June 15. Forty homes were destroyed or damaged three days into the fire.
Residents on the outskirts of Sierra Vista, Ariz., were told to evacuate Thursday, after 40-foot flames jumped a highway and high winds briefly grounded an air attack.

The wildfire in southern Arizona's Coronado National Forest is within 10 miles of Sierra Vista, population 40,000, and has destroyed or damaged at least 40 houses and 10 other structures over 14 square miles, or 9,500 acres.

Hundreds of residents in canyon areas outside the city had evacuated over the previous two days and more than 500 firefighters are attacking the blaze.

During the peak burning time Thursday afternoon, the fire is "probably going to look like a bomb went off," said fire information officer Dale Thompson. The next three days will be tough on the fire lines because of the winds gusting up to 40 mph, he said.

Officials on Thursday closed off a 12-mile stretch of State Route 92 due to the conditions. One county official driving along a still open section of SR 92 said he saw flames as tall as 40 feet on either side of the highway Thursday afternoon.

Winds and searing temperatures also were to move into New Mexico, where firefighters battling a blaze that surrounded Carlsbad Caverns National Park had it 70 percent contained and it was no longer threatening the park's visitors center and employee housing. The fire started Monday, charred about 30,500 acres of desert scrub and forced the park to close.

Interstate 25 reopened at 4 a.m. Thursday after being closed for four days because of the wildfire near Raton, N.M. However, Exit 454 in New Mexico and exit 2 in Colorado were to remain off limits Thursday because of the blaze burning on about 26,000 acres. Some nearby residents were able to return home Wednesday.

Cloud Lightning

US: Rain Helps Put Out Florida Brush Fire

Miami-Dade brush fire
© Tiffani Helberg / CBS-4
A raging western Miami-Dade brush fire can be viewed from Okeechobee Road. By Saturday the raging flames had destroyed at least 58,000 acres.
A massive brush fire that has been burning for nearly a week is almost extinguished thanks to some heavy rain.

Since last Sunday, fire crews have been trying to put out the brush fire, which consumed more than 58,000 acres in the Everglades. Krome Avenue, from Southwest Eighth Street to Okeechobee Road was blocked off as fire rescue crews battled the fire.

Bizarro Earth

US: Fires and Floods Threaten Parts of Colorado

High-country residents may nervously watch snow melt and rivers rise this week, as smoke from distant fires continues to choke parts of Colorado, authorities said Sunday.

Cooler temperatures this weekend slowed the melt of a still-abundant snowpack, according to the National Weather Service. However, temperatures are on their way up again.

"As temperatures continue to be above normal, mountain snowmelt is expected to accelerate again," the National Weather Service said Sunday. "Mountain streams will continue to see high streamflows through the end of the week."

Jackson County is under a flood warning until 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Grand County is under a flood advisory until noon Tuesday.

Colorado's snowmelt usually peaks by mid-June, but only about 45 percent of snowpack in some areas has melted this year, forecasters said.

Smoke continues to suffocate other parts of Colorado.


US: Firefighters Secure Homes as Brush Fire Grows

© Tiffanni Helberg/CBS-4
A raging western Miami-Dade brush fire can be viewed from Okeechobee Road. By Saturday the raging flames had destroyed at least 58,000 acres
West Miami-Dade brush fire consumes over 50,000 acres

The brush fire battle in West Miami-Dade isn't getting any easier for firefighters as it continues to burn Friday morning.

The fire has now consumed more than 50,000 acres and is about 55 percent contained, according to the Florida Division of Forestry.

On Thursday, firefighters evacuated homes in the Miccosukee Tiger Trail complex after the fire came as close as 40 feet to the homes. Miami Dade Fire Rescue along with The Florida Division of Forestry teamed up to knock down the flames

"We knew that we couldn't stop it," said Scott Peterich with the Division of Forestry. "So, Miami Dade Fire Rescue and us decided to go ahead and do this counter fire. We created a back fire, and now we have a black area making it safe for the structures."

Alarm Clock

Warning: extreme weather ahead

© Willoughby Owen/Getty Images/Flickr
A tornado makes its way across Baca county, Colorado, in May 2010.
Tornados, wildfires, droughts and floods were once seen as freak conditions. But the environmental disasters now striking the world are shocking signs of 'global weirding'

Drought zones have been declared across much of England and Wales, yet Scotland has just registered its wettest-ever May. The warmest British spring in 100 years followed one of the coldest UK winters in 300 years. June in London has been colder than March. February was warm enough to strip on Snowdon, but last Saturday it snowed there.

Welcome to the climate rollercoaster, or what is being coined the "new normal" of weather. What was, until quite recently, predictable, temperate, mild and equable British weather, guaranteed to be warmish and wettish, ensuring green lawns in August, now sees the seasons reversed and temperature and rainfall records broken almost every year. When Kent receives as much rain (4mm) in May as Timbuktu, Manchester has more sunshine than Marbella, and soils in southern England are drier than those in Egypt, something is happening.

Comment: Yes, the climate is changing. No, it's not caused by man-made forces. For the real scoop on 'climate change', try these:

Planet-X, Comets and Earth Changes by J.M. McCanney

Planetary Alignments and the Solar Capacitor - Things are heatin' up!

Cyclones, Earthquakes, Volcanoes And Other Electrical Phenomena

Pole Shift? Look to the Skies!


US: Wallow Fire Now Likely to Become Arizona's Biggest

© Jill Torrance / Arizona Daily Star
Shelly Billingsley, center, receives some comforting words from Shelly Myrick, both of Springerville, in the evacuation center at Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop. At left, Lucille Ashcroft partakes of a meal prepared by volunteers.
Authorities say a raging wildfire that could become the largest in Arizona history is now 5 percent contained after charring more than 386,000 acres and destroying 22 homes in Greer.

The Wallow Fire has burned more than 525 square miles in Eastern Arizona. But fire officials Thursday evening said they were optimistic some residents who have been forced to flee the flames would be allowed back home by the weekend.

Full evacuations were still in place for Eagar, Springerville, Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso and many subdivisions. More than 5,000 residences are threatened by the massive fire, officials said.

Fire officials reported earlier Thursday that six homes were burned overnight in Greer. But crews finished touring the area and assessing the damage by late afternoon and said 22 homes in Greer were destroyed and five other homes were damaged.

Officials also say 24 outbuildings in Greer were destroyed along with one vehicle.

A total of 29 residences have been destroyed so far.


Wildfires more rampant in Russia in 2011, spread over east

© Valery Gacheev
Wildfires more rampant in Russia in 2011, spread over east
Russia reported 186 wildfires burning in forests and peat bogs on Sunday, covering an area more than three times the size of that for the same period last year.

"Overall, more than 12,100 wildfires have emerged in Russia since the beginning of the fire-hazardous season of 2011 on a total area of about 752,500 hectares as compared with 228,400 hectares last year," the Emergencies Ministry said.


Arizona Burns: Wallow wildfire now worst in state's history as blaze spreads to New Mexico

Raging: The Arizona wildfires have now crossed into New Mexico
he devastating wildfire sweeping through Arizona has become the worst ever in the state's history.

The Wallow Fire has burned more than 600 square miles, 408,887 acres, and is now six per cent contained.

At least 10,000 people have been displaced and more than 30 homes have been destroyed so far. Authorities said full containment is nowhere in sight, and power lines that supply much of West Texas and Southern New Mexico with electricity are also in jeopardy.

© AP
Perilously close: The Wallow Fire burns near homes in Eagar.
Yesterday an absence of strong winds allowed firefighters to set preventive burns and cut fire breaks. The winds, however, are expected to pick up and pose more challenges to fire fighting crews.

Last night the massive fire did cross the border into western New Mexico.

More than 5,000 residences are threatened by the massive fire, officials said.

Arizona cut $250,000 from the 2011 fire budget under the assumption that it would be a 'quiet' year for fires. This is now the third wild fire in Arizona this year.

Next year the budget calls for $300,000 in cuts from the department.

Full evacuations were still in place for Eagar, Springerville, Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso and many subdivisions. Officials also say 24 outbuildings in Greer were destroyed along with one vehicle.

On Thursday, more than 3,000 firefighters got a break from nature when high winds driving the flames lost strength.

Bizarro Earth

Wallow Fire, Arizona, USA

Wallow Fire
© Earth Observatory, NASA
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and Engineering Center MODIS Direct Broadcast system.
After several days of extreme fire behavior, the Wallow Fire has become the second largest fire in Arizona history. By early afternoon on June 8, 2011, the fire had consumed 389,000 acres (608 square miles), largely in the Apache National Forest, and was completed uncontained. This image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite, shows the fire at 1:25 p.m. local time.

The actively burning fire front (outlined in red) surrounds a vast area of charred land. High winds propelled the fire, igniting spot fires as much as three miles ahead of the fire front on June 8, said the Arizona Emergency Information Network. Dense plumes of smoke billow from the fire and stream northeast in the strong winds that drove the flames. The smoke has been affecting air quality through much of the United States.

Bizarro Earth

US: 'Wild and Weird' Weather Leaves its Mark

© Joe Gamm, The Amarillo Globe News, via AP
James Dickinson, left, and Alton Pickup of the United States Forest Service Task Force attempt to slow the spread of a wildfire in Randall County, Texas, on May 25.
Monster tornadoes, historic floods, massive wildfires and widespread drought: Springtime has delivered a wallop of weather-related destruction and misery across much of the nation this year. And it may all be related.

Never mind the debate over global warming, its possible causes and effects. We've got "global weirding."

That's how climatologist Bill Patzert describes the wide range of deadly weather effects that have whipped the nation this year, killing hundreds of people and doing billions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses, schools and churches.

"Sometimes it gets wild and weird," says Patzert, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.