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Wildfires

Phoenix

Wildfires blaze in parched northwest Colorado

Fires blazed in northwest Colorado Friday night amid low humidity and gusty winds.

Dry thunderstorms and lightning sparked three fires on Bureau of Land Management land in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, according to a release issued by the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

The Wolf fire, located about 5 miles south of Elk Springs, is at an estimated 700 acres and "is burning actively in sagebrush and pinon and juniper trees," the release said.

Spokeswoman Lynn Barclay said the fire was reported at 12:16 p.m. Friday. Winds up to 35 mph drove the fire throughout the day.

Bizarro Earth

Severe heatwave: drought and wildfires destroy Russian harvest

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© Eugene Nikitenko / RIA Novosti
Russia is currently in the grips of an extremely strong heat wave. City and town residents are suffocating from the sweltering heat. For example, it is about 30 degrees in Moscow with prospects of the thermometer going up in the next few days. The heat wave situation is aggravated by wild fires producing clods of poisonous smoke. The wood rich Siberian taiga near Krasnoyarsk is fighting 83 fires on the territory of 12.130 hectares. As for rural Russia, that only last year was the world's third-biggest grain producer, it suffers colossal damages. It threats to destroy a significant part of the crops. If last year's harvest amounted to 94 million tons, this year it is a predicted at 80 to 85 million. Given the situation, earlier in July the Agriculture Ministry had to revise its harvest predictions.

Phoenix

15,000 hectares of forest on fire in Russia

Irkutsk - Firefighters in Russia's Siberia had extinguished 45 forest fires covering 522 hectares of forest in the past 24 hours, but 131 wildfires were still burning on the area of almost 15,000 hectares, the regional forestry department said Friday.

A total of 29 wildfires covering an area of more than 5,000 hectares were localized, and 14,948 hectares of forest continued to burn in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tomsk Region, Tuva, Khakassia and Irkutsk Region.

Some 3,000 people, 412 units of fire-fighting equipment and 24 aircrafts have been mobilized to fight the blazes, which are believed to be caused by hot and dry weather in the region where the temperature reaches 35 degrees.

Reports said the wildfires posed no threat to populated areas or industry.


Phoenix

179 forest fires raging across Russia

Image
© NASA
Thick smoke from forest fires burning in Siberia on July 5, 2012 (left) and July 9, 2012 (right.)
Almost 180 forest fires are raging across Russia, head of the North Western Federal District Forest Department Andrei Karpilovich told a Monday press conference in St. Petersburg. "A total of 100 forest fires were put out on 17,300 hectares in Russia over the past day," he said, referring to data from regional forest authorities.

"In all, Russia has had 15,710 forest fires this season. The rate is practically unchanged since last year. The fires passed through 1.283 million hectares or 138,000 hectares less than last year," Karpilovich said. Eleven constituents of the Russian Federation announced fire emergency situations, he noted. The biggest number of wildfires was reported from Komi and the Arkhangelsk region, while the Kaliningrad region did not have any, he said.

In turn, Leningrad Regional Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Alexei Eglit said that the total number of wildfires in the Leningrad region had been declining over the past decade. "The human factor is always the main cause of forest fires. In the past four to five years people's awareness has grown. We have much less fires now than a decade ago," he said.
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© ThemeGreen's Webcam
The view from West Vancouver, British Columbia on Wednesday 11 Julywas obscured by thick smoke from forest fires burning in Siberia.
Source: Interfax

Phoenix

Wildfire rages on Spanish-French border, kills three people

Image
© Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images
Firemen try to extinguish fire close to Figueres in northern Spain.
High winds fan flames and hamper firefighters' efforts in the Costa Brava tourist haven close to the French border

Three people have died after forest fires broke out in Girona province, north-east Spain.

The area in Catalonia is close to the French border and home to one of the most popular beach destinations in Spain, the Costa Brava.

Strong winds hindered firefighters' efforts on Sunday and have so far spread two fires over 13,000 hectares (22,000 acres).

A man and his 15-year-old daughter were killed after jumping off a cliff to escape the flames, while a third person died of a heart attack. El País newspaper said 19 people had been injured.

About 80km (50 miles) of roads have been cut off in the area, a big artery for holidaymakers making their way to and from southern France in the coastal province. Residents were being told to stay at home, while the winds were pushing the fires towards Figueres, a town of around 50,000 people.

Extinguisher

Wildfires Battled in Western Idaho Near US 95

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© article.wn.com
Some 20 large wildfires are burning in eight Western states
Crews battle western Idaho fire near U.S. Highway 95

Horseshoe Bend, Idaho - Authorities say U.S. Highway 95 has been reduced to one lane near Midvale as crews battle a 600-acre wildfire in western Idaho.

The Roadside Fire started early Friday and the cause has not yet been determined.

Denise Cobb with the Payette National Forest says the fire is burning on a mix of private, state, and federal land within the forest's protection zone. Officials reported just before 2 p.m. that the blaze had crossed Sage Creek and was heading northwest.

To the south, firefighters said a brush fire that burned 100 acres near Highway 55 outside of Horseshoe Bend had been contained. The Summit Ridge Fire ignited Thursday afternoon and forced the evacuation of more than 10 homes.

Bizarro Earth

Canary Islands Wildfires Continue to Rage

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© tri-cityherald.com
Spanish authorities evacuated a town of 1,800 residents on the Canary Islands on Tuesday, after three days of firefighting efforts failed to prevent a raging wildfire from reaching it.

Residents were evacuating from the town of Vilaflor, south of the Teide national park that spans the centre of the Spanish island of Tenerife, as flames reached parts of the town.

Emergency services "are evacuating residents from Vilaflor due to the advance of the fire from the east," the regional government said in a statement Tuesday evening.

Extinguisher

Wildfire threatens dozens of homes in Northern California

A wildfire burning in a steep canyon between the towns of Colfax and Foresthill in Placer County, Calif., destroyed one home, threatened 170 more and injured nine firefighters, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing fire officials.

Cal[ifornia] Fire officials said Saturday that the Robbers Fire has burned 1,950 acres since igniting Wednesday afternoon, and was 20 percent contained. More than 1,900 firefighters are fighting the fire.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday called in more firefighters and the California National Guard to help battle the fire.

Officials said they fire had moved into a rural subdivision Saturday evening known as Brushy Canyon, and three strike teams were being deployed to protect homes in the area, NBC station KCRA reported.

The area is in Placer County, west of Lake Tahoe.

Ken Pimlott, the state fire director, said a two-year reprieve from wildfires in the region appears to be over.

"The exceptionally dry winter has set the stage for a more active fire season this year, and we're seeing fire activity now that we would typically not see until late August," he said in a statement.

This article includes reporting by NBC station KCRA of Sacramento and The Associated Press.

Cow

Ranchers ravaged by fires, drought and scarce alfalfa

'We're going to run out of grass. It's shaping up to be scary,' says expert
Image
© George Frey/Reuters
Ranchers herd cattle through Fairview, Utah, in order to get them away from a nearby wildfire on June 26.
It took less than an hour last month for a Montana wildfire to reduce Scott McRae's ranch to thousands of blackened acres devoid of the grasses that were to sustain hundreds of cattle.

"That is 500 mouths to feed with nothing to eat in sight," said McRae, 53, co-owner of a family ranch founded in the 1880s in southeastern Montana.

McRae is among scores of ranchers across the West whose grazing lands have been charred by blazes or ravaged by drought amid a regional shortfall of the alfalfa hay that could stave off starvation.

With drought affecting more than half the contiguous United States and less than a quarter of the nation's pasture and range rated good to excellent, cattle producers from Montana to Nevada are bracing for a rough season.

While some ranchers like McRae use private lands for grazing, many others pay modest fees to graze herds on acreage managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service under decades-old laws governing grazing on the West's vast federal lands.

Comment: Largest natural disaster area ever declared in U.S., over half the country in drought
Global food crisis looms as grain prices soar


Magnify

Source of deadly Colorado wildfire located, cause unknown

Image
© REUTERS/NASA/Handout.
A smoke plume is shown rising from the Fontenelle fire in Wyoming in this July 1, 2012 NASA handout photo obtained by Reuters July 5, 2012.
Denver (Reuters) - Investigators probing the cause of the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history have located the point of ignition but have not concluded how the blaze started, officials said on Thursday.

At its height, the 12-day-old blaze forced the evacuation of some 35,000 people in and around Colorado Springs, the state's second most populous city, and threatened the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy before fire crews gained an upper hand late last week. It destroyed more than 300 homes and killed two people.

Since it was first reported on June 23, the blaze has burned more than 14,000 acres of drought-parched timber and brush, mostly in the Pike National Forest about 50 miles south of the Denver metropolitan area. But as of Thursday, ground crews had managed to carve containment lines around 90 percent of the fire's perimeter, said incident commander Rich Harvey.

Harvey said he anticipates full containment by late in the week as crews work to extinguish flames in a few stubborn areas. "When there's been no smoke visible and no heat detected for 24 hours, we'll be comfortable there will be no further growth and we'll call it 100 percent contained," Harvey said.

Image
© REUTERS/NASA/Handout.
The burn scar from the Waldo Canyon Fire is pictured in this handout photo from an Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite by NASA, in Colorado Springs,Denver taken July 4, 2012

Comment: Perhaps they won't disclose what they claim to know because there's a lot more to these fires than meets the eye...

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