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Fri, 18 Jan 2019
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Wildfires

Bizarro Earth

US: Update on Arizona Burning

Thousands of residents in two towns were packing Tuesday, having been told to be prepared to evacuate quickly as the massive wildfire in eastern Arizona grows and weather conditions remain dangerous. A huge pall of black smoke loomed over the twin towns of Eager and Springerville, home to about 7,000 people.


Phoenix

Fears Mount That Russia Could Face Another Summer Of Deadly Forest Fires

Image
© Reuters
Dry grass, brush, and trees burn on the bank of the Yenisei River in Russia's Taiga district, near Krasnoyarsk, in late April, when some were already warning of the acute risk of fires.
As raging wildfires continue in Russia's Far East, fears are mounting that the country could face out-of-control blazes for the second summer in a row.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said at one point last week that 421 peat and forest fires had burst out in a 24-hour period in Siberia and in the Urals region, covering an area of 1,160 square kilometers.

The fires were already covering an area twice what they were at this time last year, when a record-breaking heat wave and drought led to the blazes spreading to vast swaths of Russian territory, killing dozens and destroying one-quarter of the country's crops.

But environmentalists warned that authorities were repeating the mistakes of a year ago by failing to address the problem early.

Phoenix

US: Evacuations Continue as Arizona Fire Spreads

Image
© Eastern Arizona IMT
Burning: The Wallow Fire rages through dry pines in Arizona, while firefighters battle to save homes
A massive wildfire continued to force evacuations Monday from towns in the eastern part of Arizona and threatened more communities as flames pushed toward New Mexico.

The so-called Wallow Fire, burning across Arizona wilderness and the Apache National Forest, has grown to 233,000 acres since it started more than a week ago. The fire, the third-largest in state history, has forced 2,100 people to flee their homes.

More than 2,000 firefighters fought to contain the blaze as hot winds whipped flames across tree tops and threw embers as far as three miles. The small mountain communities of Alpine and Nutrioso were evacuated, and hundreds of residents in other towns were told to prepare to leave. The fire destroyed several ranches, but no deaths or injuries were reported, fire officials said Monday.

Phoenix

US: Arizona Burns!

High winds are propelling a devastating Arizona forest fire that has already grown into the third-largest in the state's history.

Smoke from the 225-square-mile covered a mountain vacation town in a blinding yellow fog yesterday and residents are now preparing to evacuate as the fire edges closer.

Strong winds have also blown smoke from the burning pine forest well into the nearby states of New Mexico and Colorado.

Image
© Eastern Arizona IMT
Burning: The Wallow Fire rages through dry pines in Arizona, while firefighters battle to save homes
Image
© AP Photo - Aizona republic - Jack Kurtz
Terrifying: A farm in Luna, New Mexico, sits below the massive smoke column from the 144,000-acre Wallow Fire on Friday. Two of the biggest fires in Arizona history rage on

Bizarro Earth

US: Arizona - Wallow Wildfire at 144,000 Acres and Still Zero Percent Contained

More than 2,000 firefighters are combating the Wallow Fire that has consumed 144,000 acres in eastern Arizona, forced residents to flee a handful of communities and put others on the verge of evacuation.

In mid-afternoon Sunday, the Apache County Sheriff's Office said it has ordered the evacuation of the several subdivisions along Arizona 180 near the New Mexico state line and Arizona 191. It was not immediately clear how many residents or structures were involved in the evacuation of Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, Dog Patch, and the H-V Ranch.


As the community of Greer stands ready on a pre-evacuation alert, crews fighting the Wallow Fire continued to fret about warnings of high winds and dry lightning for Sunday afternoon. Fire officials re-calibrated the fire size at 144,000 acres after earlier reports of 184,000 acres proved premature; they said the erroneous numbers may have included areas that fire crews deliberately burned back toward the main fire to rob it of fuel.

Windy, lightning conditions would likely ground aircraft battling the week-old blaze, which is now thought to have been sparked by an abandoned campfire, said Eric Nietzel, a spokesman with the Show Low Fire Department.

Comment: This wildfire is a week old. Here is a report of a possible meteor sighting in Northern Arizona around the same time as the start of the wildfire. Of course, it could be a coincidence, but how often do you hear a spokesman with the Fire Department reference meteors starting wildfires?


Phoenix

US: Arizona wildfire jumps to 40,000+ acres

There's been a dramatic increase overnight in the burned acreage numbers on the Wallow fire 12 miles southwest of Alpine in eastern Arizona.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jonetta Trued tells The Associated Press the wildfire has increased to more than 40,500 acres with zero containment.


Trued says the wildfire is burning dead trees and branches lying on the forest floor. When an ember hits, there's 100 percent ignition which leads to spot fires and hazardous conditions for fire crews.

Phoenix

US: Wildfire in southeast Arizona burns nearly 50,000 acres

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© www.inciweb.org
An evacuation order has been lifted for residents of some communities near a southeast Arizona wildfire.

The Forest Service said Friday that fire crews will stay around Paradise and the Southwest Research Center to patrol the area for fires.

The U.S. Forest Service says west to southwest winds at 10 to 18 mph are expected with gusts of 25 to 30 mph.

Low humidity and slightly cooler temperatures are expected.

Meanwhile, the Horseshoe Two fire has risen to nearly 50,000 acres and is 40 percent contained.

Bizarro Earth

Busy 2011 Fire Season in Mexico

Mexico Fires
© Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC
May usually marks the end of the fire season in Mexico. Sometime during the month, the first wet-season rains begin to fall, followed by a soggy five months. Yet, on May 20, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite took this image, the fire season was still going strong. Fires, marked in red, were burning throughout the country, casting a smoky haze from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

The widespread fires shown here are evidence of the extreme fire season 2011 turned out to be in Mexico. By May 19, more than 530,000 hectares (1,300,000 acres or 2,000 square miles) of land had burned in the country since the beginning of the year, said the Mexican government. In terms of area burned, 2011 surpassed every year since (and including) 1998, making it one of the most challenging fire seasons in 30 years.

What made the 2011 fire season so extreme? In part, the answer lies in the 2010 rainy season, one of the wettest on record. Rains from Hurricane Alex flooded northern Mexico in July, and then torrential rains caused widespread flooding in southern Mexico in September. All of this excess water allowed thick grass to grow. During the dry season, which begins in October and lasts through May, the grass dried, providing ample fuel for fires.

Bizarro Earth

Fears of repeat disaster as fires rage in Russian east

Image
© Reuters
So far the fires are confined to eastern Russia
Russia has reported 421 wildfires burning in forests and peat bogs over the past 24 hours, covering an area of 116,098 hectares (450 sq miles).

The fires were mainly confined to remote parts of Siberia and the Urals, with no blazes reported near Moscow and other central Russian cities.

But the area on fire is twice the size of that for the same period last year.

Drought, fires and smog left dozens dead and ruined crops in 2010, and there are fears of a repeat disaster.

The emergencies ministry said in a report on its website that the biggest fires were in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), the Amur region and the Krasnoyarsk territory.

More than 6,000 personnel equipped with more than 1,140 units of fire-fighting equipment were deployed against the fires, backed by 42 aircraft.

Of the 421 fires reported on Monday, 241 were extinguished, the ministry said.

Western Russia, the centre of the country's grain production, remains largely unaffected by fire, but officials say the situation may deteriorate if dry weather persists.

Russia's official forecast for this year's wheat crop is 85-90m tonnes compared to some 61m in 2010, 97m in 2009 and 108m in 2008.

Meanwhile, drought conditions have been hitting grain crops in northern Europe, with some forecasters predicting above-average temperatures for the summer months.

Phoenix

Russian wildfires double in size

Wildfires raging in Siberia doubled in size from 1,400 to 3,700 acres over a 24 hour period, Russia's Emergencies Ministry reported Sunday.

"There are 106 hotbeds of wildfires on a total area of 1,492.6 hectares (3,688.2 acres) in Siberia," the ministry said.

Ministry officials said the forest fires are the result of local resident activity, RIA Novosti reported.

It was unclear exactly what kind of activity they were referring to.