Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 18 Sep 2019
The World for People who Think

Wildfires

Attention

Chile battles 3 huge wildfires; 1 killed, tourists evacuated, losses in millions

Chile forest fire
© Associated Press
A helicopter works to dampen an area of the Torres del Paine national park in Torres del Paine, Chile
Firefighters in Chile battled three huge wildfires Monday that have burned about 90 square miles (23,000 hectares) of forest, destroyed more than 100 homes and have driven away thousands of tourists while causing millions of dollars in losses.

The fires also claimed their first victim: an elderly man who refused warnings to leave his home.

Chile's normally rainy southern regions are suffering from a nationwide heat wave, on top of a drought that makes fires increasingly likely. The country was battling 48 separate fires on Sunday alone, and red alerts were declared for the regions of Magallanes, Bio Bio and Maule.

"We have a situation of extreme vulnerability," said President Sebastian Pinera, who called for toughening sentences for arson.

Bizarro Earth

US: Major Wildfire Outside Reno, Nevada closes 90 schools

State and county officials in northern Nevada have declared a state of emergency as a wind-whipped wildfire in Reno has destroyed more than 20 homes and forced the evacuation of thousands.

"It's tough man, it's tough," Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Friday. "The winds are not helping us at all."


Phoenix

US: Minnesota Wildfire Now 19 Percent Contained

mn wildfire smoke
© WISN Milwaukee
Hundreds of firefighters continue to make progress in containing a huge wildfire in northeastern Minnesota that began a month ago.

A spokesman for the firefighters, Larry Helmerick, said Monday the 147-square-mile fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is 19 percent contained, an improvement from 11 percent on Sunday.

Helmerick says 598 firefighters are on the ground in the Boundary Waters, where helicopters, tankers and bulldozers are being used to battle the blaze that started with a lightning strike Aug. 18.

Smoke from the blaze traveled nearly 400 miles to Southeast Wisconsin early last week. Two days of smoke and ash prompted air quality alerts across southern Wisconsin.

Phoenix

US, Minnesota: Residents being asked to evacuate as wind gusts fuel wildfire in northeastern Minnesota

Pagami Creek Fire
© Greg Seitz
Canoeists paddle through the narrows between Lake Four and Lake Three, looking south at the fire and the smoke on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. "It really grew during the course of the day," said Greg Seitz, communications director for the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.
Residents and campers near the Boundary Waters fire are being asked to evacuate as a wildfire burning in northeastern Minnesota continues to grow.

Fueled by dry trees and winds gusting to near 40 miles per hour, the Pagami Creek Fire has at least doubled in size, and some estimates say it may have tripled since the weekend.

It is now spreading south outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

"We're expecting higher winds again tomorrow coming out of the northwest," said Becca Manlove, public information officer with the Pagami Creek Fire Information. "We would rather people have a little time to think and gather things and move rather than asking them on very short notice.

Bizarro Earth

US: Catastrophic Fires Burn Thousands of Acres, Force Evacuations Across Central Texas

Image
© Jay Janner/ Austin American-Statesman
Fires in Bastrop County, Spicewood, Steiner Ranch, Pflugerville, others driven by wind and dry conditions.

In a summer where brush fires have become a near-daily occurrence, firefighting officials said the multiple wildfires that raged across Central Texas on Sunday were the worst the region has seen all year.

Numerous wind-driven fires pushed fire departments to their limits and forced evacuations in Bastrop County, the Steiner Ranch subdivision, Pflugerville, Spicewood and other areas. Scores of residents were left wondering whether they had homes to return to as many of the fires continued to burn Sunday night.

The largest and most destructive fire was in Bastrop County, where a blaze burned 14,000 acres and grew to an estimated 16 miles long by the end of the day, said Mark Stanford, fire chief of the Texas Forest Service.

"It's catastrophic," Stanford said of the Bastrop County fire. "It's a major natural disaster."

Arrow Up

US: Rising Death Toll in Texas Wildfires

Blaze near Austin is still raging out of control and has burned 600 homes

Image
© Larry W. Smith/EPA
A wildfire burns out of control in Bastrop State Park near Bastrop on Sept. 5.
One of the most devastating wildfire outbreaks in Texas history left more than 1,000 homes in ruins Tuesday and stretched the state's firefighting ranks to the limit, confronting Gov. Rick Perry with a major disaster at home just as the GOP presidential contest heats up.

More than 180 fires have erupted in the past week across the rain-starved Lone Star State, and nearly 600 of the homes destroyed since then were lost in one catastrophic blaze in and around Bastrop, near Austin. That blaze raged out of control Tuesday for a third day.

Whipped into an inferno by Tropical Storm Lee's winds over the weekend, the blaze burned at least 40 square miles, forced the evacuation of thousands and killed at least two people, bringing the overall death toll from the outbreak to at least four.

"We lost everything," said Willie Clements, whose two-story colonial home in a neighborhood near Bastrop was reduced to a heap of metal roofing and ash. A picket fence was melted. Some goats and turkeys survived, but about 20 chickens and ducks were burned to death in a coop that went up in flames.

Ambulance

US: 2 Killed in Massive Texas Wildfire

Bastrop - More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed in at least 57 wildfires across rain-starved Texas, most of them in one devastating blaze near Austin that is being blamed for two deaths, officials said Tuesday.

Bastrop County Sheriff Terry Pickering said Tuesday he had no details about the deaths. On Sunday, a 20-year-old woman and her 18-month-old daughter were killed Sunday in an East Texas blaze.

Image
© Jay Janner / Austin American-Stateman
Massive plumes of smoke block the sky on Highway 71 east of Bastrop, Texas, on Monday Sept. 5, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry, who cut short a presidential campaign trip to South Carolina on Monday to return to help oversee firefighting efforts in Texas, told NBC's Today that the fires were "a long way" from being under control and described the effect on people who had lost their homes as "devastating."

Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Victoria Koenig said it is too early to say how much progress was made fighting the wildfire in Bastrop County overnight, but that there were no winds early Tuesday. The fire enveloped at least 25,000 acres Monday.

"It's encouraging we don't have winds right now, not like yesterday," Koenig said early Tuesday morning.

Phoenix

US: Wind-driven fires kill woman, child in East Texas

Image
© LM Otero / AP
A house burns in an area near Fort Worth, one of over several dozen sites where fires are burning in Texas.
A longtime Texas sheriff says it was the fastest-moving fire he has ever seen. Six homes were toppled within minutes, including one trailer where a woman and her 18-month-old daughter were killed because they couldn't escape in time.

Authorities said the fires, including the one that killed the two people Sunday near the East Texas community of Gladewater, were propelled partly by the high winds caused by Tropical Storm Lee. Neighborhoods across eastern and central parts of the state were reporting widespread damage covering thousands of acres.

"The houses that were in its path on this particular roadway were taken out," Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano said. "There were many other houses that the fire got right up to the porch."

The 20-year-old woman and her child were found dead near the bathroom of their trailer home just outside Gladewater, about 120 miles east of Dallas and 60 miles west of Shreveport, La. A male occupant of the home sustained minor burns but was able to escape, and he frantically searched for the others, Cerliano said.

Phoenix

US: Strong winds whip up wildfires in central Texas

The largest of the fires whipping through central Texas is in Bastrop County, shown here on Sunday
© CNN
The largest of the fires whipping through central Texas is in Bastrop County, shown here on Sunday
Strong winds whipped up several wildfires in central Texas Sunday, threatening homes and forcing some residents to evacuate.

The largest of the fires is in Bastrop County, southeast of Austin, said Lexi Maxwell, a spokeswoman with the Texas Forest Service. The blaze has so far scorched some 14,000 acres and is threatening about 1,000 homes, she said.

It forced parts of state highways 71 and 21 to shut and additional road closures are expected, Maxwell said.

Julian Ochoa, 23, was evacuated from a Bastrop subdivision Sunday afternoon. He said he grabbed his dog, a toothbrush, his birth certificate and a few pictures.

Bizarro Earth

Disasters in US: An Extreme and Exhausting Year

weather
© unknown
Nature is pummeling the United States this year with extremes.

Unprecedented triple-digit heat and devastating drought. Deadly tornadoes leveling towns. Massive rivers overflowing. A billion-dollar blizzard. And now, unusual hurricane-caused flooding in Vermont.

If what's falling from the sky isn't enough, the ground shook in places that normally seem stable: Colorado and the entire East Coast. On Friday, a strong quake triggered brief tsunami warnings in Alaska. Arizona and New Mexico have broken records for wildfires.

Total weather losses top $35 billion, and that's not counting Hurricane Irene, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. There have been more than 700 U.S. disaster and weather deaths, most from the tornado outbreaks this spring.

Last year, the world seemed to go wild with natural disasters in the deadliest year in a generation. But 2010 was bad globally, and the United States mostly was spared.

This year, while there have been devastating events elsewhere, such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Australia's flooding and a drought in Africa, it's our turn to get smacked. Repeatedly.

Comment: Notice the Global Warming - you have to get used to it - propaganda: "The idea is that these events keep happening, and with global warming they should occur more often, so society has to learn to adapt, said former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA's deputy chief."

What they don't mention is that global warming inevitably leads to global cooling, as in the Ice Age Cometh! An Ice Age means the deaths of millions if not billions of human beings because there simply will be no food with the disruption of growing cycles and destruction of agricultural land. Even without an Ice Age, the Earth has long since passed its carrying capacity. See Lierre Keith's The Vegetarian Myth for details.