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Sat, 17 Nov 2018
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Wildfires

Fire

Major wildfire sweeping through Chernobyl nuclear disaster area, up to 24 acres in flames

wildfire chernobyl june 2018
© www.dsns.gov.ua
A major wildfire is sweeping through the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area. The authorities have deployed dozens of fire trucks as firefighting aircraft bombard the radioactive exclusion zone with massive amounts of water.

The fire inside the Chernobyl 'dead zone,' which is now part of Ukraine, started on Tuesday morning, when dry grass was ignited, local emergency services said in a statement. The wildfire subsequently reached a forest, where up to 10 hectares (24 acres) are now in flames.

Some 29 vehicles and 126 personnel have been dispatched at the scene, with several planes and helicopters dropping water from the sky on the area engulfed by wildfire.

Fire

Wildfires sweep through Colorado and New Mexico; hundreds of acres ablaze

Ute Park Fire

Teachers cook for first responders on the scene of the Ute Park Fire in New Mexico.
Massive wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico have torched thousands of acres and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes. A blaze known as the 416 Fire in Colorado's La Plata County has burned 1,100 acres, US Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen told CNN on Saturday.

The fire, about 15 miles outside the town of Durango, is 0% contained and has forced the evacuations of 1,500 residents, Mackensen said. No structures have been destroyed, he added.

By Friday evening, the blaze had prompted La Plata County Manager Joanne Spina to declare a state of local disaster.Grass, brush and timber continued to fuel the fire on Saturday morning.

The fire broke out on the west side of US 550, according to a Forest Service update posted on InciWeb, a government-operated multiagency fire response site. That highway is closed as firefighters work to prevent the fire from crossing it.

Fire

Firefighters battle for second day three large wildfires which broke out in different areas of Scotland's west coast

wildfires scotland May 2018
More than 1,000 properties in the Highlands were without power yesterday after a wildfire damaged the Lochcarron substation.

The loss of power to hundreds of homes and businesses in the north west of the region happened on one of the busiest bank holiday weekends of the year.

Proprietors of hotels and restaurants were unable to provide food for their guests as SSE scrambled to reconnect them to the grid.

The areas affected were Torridon, Diabeig, Shieldaig, Alligin, Kishorn, Strathcarron and Applecross.

Comment:
wildfires scotland

Luke Bowers @ ‎Raging Skies UK: fires at strathcarron & at Torridon & Skye seen from space You make out the trails.


It seems rather early for wildfires especially considering the UK was just recovering from a particularly brutal winter, and southern England along much of Europe are experiencing unseasonable lightning storms, hail and flooding:


Fire

23,700 square miles of forest on fire in Russia

The track is in sprawling Amur region, an area in the far eastern part of Russia and is surrounded by fire

The track is in sprawling Amur region, an area in the far eastern part of Russia and is surrounded by fire
A shocking video shows how a train in Russia was forced to go through a raging wildfire as flames licked its sides.

The driver launched a foul-mouthed tirade as he realised the scale of the inferno close to the remote Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), an offshoot of the Trans-Siberian railway.

Some areas of Siberia are facing catastrophic wildfires - with one city Komsomolsk-on-Amur under siege from flames and choking smoke.


Fire

Wildfires in northwest Oklahoma have killed one, burned more than 366,000 acres

Wildfires have burned thousands of acres in northwest Oklahoma.
© KOKH
Wildfires have burned thousands of acres in northwest Oklahoma.
One person has died as a result of wildfires that have ravaged thousands of acres in northwest Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management confirms that a 61-year-old man died April 12 in Roger Mills County as a result of injuries he sustained in a fire that began southeast of Leedey. A turkey hunter who went missing the fires in Dewey County was rescued from the fires and transported to a burn center.


Fire

Wildfires in NW America in 2017 were the biggest ever recorded and had same effect as a volcanic eruption

2017 wildfires in California
© Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department/Handout via REUTERS
2017 wildfires in California
The wildfires that raged in northwest America last August were so ferocious that they had the same effect on the planet as a volcanic eruption.

The heat and smoke from the fires led to the formation of massive thunderstorms known as pyrocumulonimbus. These storms, called pyroCbs for short, pumped the smoke from the fires so high in the atmosphere that it spread over the entire northern hemisphere and remained there for months, until November and December.

It was by far the largest event like this ever recorded. "This was the mother of all pyroCbs," said David Peterson of the US Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, California, who presented his team's finding this week at a meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna.

With 2017 being a record year for wildfires in the US, the worry is that this phenomenon will become more common as the planet warms. PyroCbs form from wildfires when conditions are right for the hot air and smoke to generate clouds, which can sometimes develop into a full-blown thunderstorm.

"The difference is that the thunderstorm is driven by fire heat, and you end up with a very dirty thunderstorm," said Peterson.

Fire

Around 31 grassfires sweep across Victoria, Australia

'We'll see fires move around in the night with levels of intensity and fire behaviour that'll be quite erratic,' Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said

'We'll see fires move around in the night with levels of intensity and fire behaviour that'll be quite erratic,' Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said
Residents near raging fires west of Melbourne have been told it's not safe to leave their homes and to take shelter immediately.

A warning has been issued by the Country Fire Authority said people should stay within their homes as it is 'not safe for you to leave'.

Dramatic video footage shows massive flames and explosions emerging from a substation in Terang, while a grassfire burns out of control in Boorcan, 199km west of Melbourne.

Nearby resident Brett Gasper told the Herald Sun the scene of the fire caused a 'red sky and smell of smoke' which was 'daunting'.

A CFA spokesperson said people had been evacuated from nearby homes.


Wolf

Border collies run like the wind to restore new life to Chilean forest

Border collies
© Francisca Torres
Border collies Olivia, Summer and Das in the woods on a non-working day.
The worst wildfire season in Chile's history ravaged more than 1.4 million acres early in 2017, destroying nearly 1,500 homes and killing at least 11 people. More than a dozen countries sent fire-fighting specialists to help battle the dozens of destructive blazes. When the fires were finally extinguished, the landscape was a charred wasteland.

A few months later, a unique team was brought in to help restore the damaged ecosystem. They have four legs and a penchant for careening at high speeds through the forest.

Border collies Das, Summer and Olivia were outfitted with special backpacks brimming with seeds. Then they were sent on a mission, let loose to race through the ruined forests. As they bounded and darted, their packs streamed a trickle of seeds. The hope is that these seeds will take root and sprout, bringing the forest slowly back to life one tree at a time.

The job is a serious one, but for the dogs, it's an excuse to have fun, says their owner, Francisca Torres.

Comment: "Border collies are supersmart!" This is a great example of a very smart dog owner giving her working dogs an important task in helping to restore the damaged ecosystem.


Comet 2

Early humans witnessed global cooling, warming, and massive fires from comet debris impacts says major study

global temperatures 20,000 years

Graph of temperature for the last 20,000 years, provided to illustrate this story, but was not part of the original press release.
New research suggests toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killers

On a ho-hum day some 12,800 years ago, the Earth had emerged from another ice age. Things were warming up, and the glaciers had retreated.

Out of nowhere, the sky was lit with fireballs. This was followed by shock waves.

Fires rushed across the landscape, and dust clogged the sky, cutting off the sunlight. As the climate rapidly cooled, plants died, food sources were snuffed out, and the glaciers advanced again. Ocean currents shifted, setting the climate into a colder, almost "ice age" state that lasted an additional thousand years.

Comment: For more on the events surrounding the Younger Dryas Impact and the very real possibility of it occurring again, see:


Road Cone

California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?

oprah mudflow

Oprah Winfrey surveys the damage from the mudflow on her property in Montecito, southern California
13 years to the day since the La Conchita landslide killed 10 people following a deluge, the same stretch of southern California between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles was hit with another deluge that produced instant and devastating mudflows. With the area torched by the Thomas Wildfire the preceding month, the heavy rain that fell on 9-10 January produced instant run-off from higher ground that washed away everything in its path, all the way down to the ocean.

As more dead bodies are found in the disaster zone, local authorities have gradually increased the death toll - which currently stands at 20 - while they report that another 8 people remain missing. The surge also injured about 200 people and destroyed or damaged about 500 homes in Montecito, Santa Barbara County - located just a few kilometers from La Conchita - and washed out a 30-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway.

From above, the debris flow appears to have converted the wealthy neighborhood - which is home to mega-stars like Oprah and Ellen - into a brown swamp.