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Fri, 28 Jan 2022
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Wildfires break out across Carolinas despite cool temperatures

© Gastonia Fire Department.
Crews in Gaston County battled a pair of wildfires Wednesday, including a blaze that scorched about 1 1/2 acres on Chespark Drive in north Gastonia.
Authorities say low humidity and gusty winds will create a high risk of wildfires Thursday across the Carolinas.

This comes one day after crews in Gaston County were called to battle a pair of wildfires. One house was destroyed in those blazes, which scorched more than 7 1/2 acres.

Jake Wimberley of the National Weather Service said the relative humidity will be only 15 to 20 percent Thursday across the region. He said westerly winds of 10 to 15 mph are expected, with gusts to 20 mph.

Westerly winds in the Carolinas typically accelerate drying conditions, meteorologists say.

"Fires can quickly get out of hand under these conditions," Wimberley said.


Federal government steps in to deal with record number of wildfires in Western U.S. this winter


Despite the chilly temperatures and average humidity levels, large wildfires have broken out across the western U.S.
President Barack Obama promised the governors of eight western U.S. states that they'll get the aid they need to deal with droughts and said he wants to change the way funds to battle wildfires are doled out.

Obama told governors of states including Arizona and Colorado during a White House meeting yesterday that the budget proposal he's scheduled to unveil next week will change how wildfire suppression is paid for to give states more certainty that they'll have the resources.

The president will ask Congress to pay the cost of battling such fires the same way the U.S. pays to mitigate other natural disasters, with funding coming outside budget caps, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

"Unfortunately, the current way that the government pays for fire suppression and preparedness costs is ill-suited to the increasing severity and cost of fires," Carney said yesterday at a briefing.


Multiple wildfires break out in chilly south-central Nebraska

© nebraska.tv
Firefighters were battling winds Tuesday as they worked to knock down a fire on the northern edge of Atlanta.

Crews responded from Holdrege, Loomis, Bertrand and Oxford to contain the blaze.

Officials say about 600 acres burned before the fire was extinguished.

The cause of the blaze is still unknown, but it is believed that it could have been the result of a previous permit burn.

"It's not real likely we know right now what the cause is, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife did have a permit burn out here a couple weeks ago and it may have been a result from that," said Pat Gerdes, director of Region 15 Emergency Management. "The embers and everything have now kicked up because of these high winds. We've had multiple fires across south-central Nebraska today because of it."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department was at the scene to check for hot spots.


New Mexico firefighters scratching their heads as massive wildfire razes 450 acres 5 months too early

© Greyson Rennels
Fires are also burning across the state line in Muleshoe, Texas
It appears that New Mexico may be in for a long and eventful fire season following a very early start.

Arlene Perea, the fire information officer with the Albuquerque Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team, says fire season doesn't usually start until late April or May.

But very dry conditions and strong winds are creating nearly ideal wildfire conditions.

"Probably the earliest I've ever been out is April," she adds. "We may have small fires, but we don't normally have anything that would cause a need to bring in a team to manage it."

Perea says a nearly 450 acre wildfire about 20 miles south of Albuquerque on the Isleta Pueblo began over the weekend, and as of Wednesday was at least 50 percent contained.


Boulder crews contain half-acre wildfire on Flagstaff Mountain, Colorado

© Paul Aiken / Daily Camera
Smoke can be seen rising from a fire on Flagstaff Mountain on Tuesday
Boulder crews were able to reach containment on a half-acre wildfire on Flagstaff Mountain near Fifth Street.

Dispatchers received reports of smoke and flames 2 to 3 feet high around 3:30 p.m. at the base of Flagstaff Road, but by about 4:20 p.m. officials on the scene said the fire had been contained and crews were in mop-up duty.

Officials said the fire started on private property, and the cause is unknown at this time.

Flagstaff Mountain Road has been re-opened.


Large grass fire threatens homes in Oklahoma City

With winds gusting to 40 miles and hour Tuesday, it didn't take much for a Oklahoma City wildfire to get big, fast.

Firefighters say the fire started along 192nd between May and Penn and moved fast toward a nearby neighborhood.

Tim Branch saw the fire over his fence and got to work, doing whatever he could to stop the flames.

"I just don't want my house to catch on fire," he said, using a shovel to dig, creating a fire line. "If it was your house, you'd do the same thing, right?"

Firefighters soon appeared over the same fence, delayed by people on the roads who wouldn't get out of the way.

"We did have a pretty tense situation in the beginning when we were trying to get in here," said OKCFD battalion chief Brian Stanaland. "We were trying to evacuate personnel out here and the people that live here, and they weren't incredibly cooperative, so kind of got in the way a little bit."

That delay allowed flames to get close to several homes.

One home's fence was still on fire about a hour after most of the flames were extinguished. It was no match for the flames---that burned right through it, and right up to the back of the house.

Comment: Interestingly, just prior to the outbreak of this fire, 20 earthquakes were recorded a little way north of the city, accompanied by mysterious booms. See also: Scientists mystified as 20 earthquakes hit Oklahoma in one day


Maintaining myth they can actually do something about extreme weather, California lawmakers drafting legislation to prevent wildfires

© Jae C. Hong, AP
Firefighter Jeff Newby sprays water as he battles the flare-ups from a damaging wildfire on Jan. 17 near Azusa, Calif.
With record droughts fueling fears of devastating wildfires in the West, members of Congress from the region are trying to boost chronically underfunded federal fire prevention efforts.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has teamed up with Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, to offer a bill that would stop the vicious cycle of federal agencies raiding fire prevention funds to pay for emergency firefighting efforts.

The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, which was also introduced in the House this month, would create a special disaster fund to fight huge "mega-fires", which make up about 1% of wildfires but use up 30% of fire suppression funds.

The funding change would free up as much as $412 million a year in the Forest Service and Interior Department budgets to prevent fires by thinning the overgrown tree stands and underbrush that fuel the blazes.


Despite cool temperatures and average humidity, numerous large wildfires break out in New Mexico and northern Texas

© Preston Fowler
The largest 'winter wildfire' appears to be in Hutchinson County, where at least 600 acres have been torched.
Crews are fighting multiple grass fires in Curry County.

They're fighting one in Roosevelt County, too.

No word on how big, just that there are many.

We also know of one fire burning northeast of Borger right now. That fire started around 1:50 p.m.

We'll have more as it becomes available.


Despite hurricane and record flooding, fire crews dealing with large bog fire near Aberystwyth, Wales


Large parts of Cors Fochno (Borth Bog) wetland nature reserve are on fire

We know it sounds strange with all this wet weather, but bog land near Aberystwyth is well alight this morning

Firefighters from Aberystwyth are tackling a major fire at bog land in Borth, near Aberystwyth.

The first call came at 5.20am, but fire crews were having difficulty accessing the land where the fire is raging because of the terrain.

A spokeswoman for Mid and West Fire Service said that around a hectare of land was alight, and that fire crews were assessing the situation as the fire is near to the railway line.

The area has been made famous in the recent Hinterland programme, with the final programme being set in and around the bogland.

Scottish Power has also sent representatives to the area because the fire is close to overhead cables.

Comment: Actually, it's the sogging wet grasses that are on fire, not the peat.

See also:

Flashback: 2 April 2013: Huge wildfires across Scottish Highlands

28 Jan 2014: Many Tibetan monasteries and famous sites destroyed this winter by mysterious 'wildfires'

29 Jan 2014: Third 'winter wildfire' breaks out in Norway - Second in two days - What is going ON?!

10 Feb 2014: As wildfires break out in Alaska and Oregon, Georgia declares state of emergency due to continuing snowfall


Signs of Change in January 2014


Dazzling green fireball filmed above Belgium, January 2014
Mysterious booms across the US, often occuring in and around earthquakes - A series of unusual earthquakes in Australia - More 'strange sky sounds' - More meteor fireballs raining down - Massive sinkholes swallowing houses, cars and people - Storm after storm battering the UK and Western Europe, bringing massive waves, widespread flooding and landslides - Mass whale stranding in New Zealand - Polar Vortex (twice!) freezing most of the US in ice age conditions and making it colder than Mars - Major flooding in Florida, while hurricane-force winds smash into Oregon and the Carolinas - Tonga flattened by most powerful cyclone to hit the region half a century - A strong earthquake hit Puerto Rico - 100,000 people affected by major flooding in the Philippines, while another 40,000 were displaced by heavy rainfall in Indonesia - Bats falling out of the sky as wildfires rage in Australia's record heatwave - 'Winter wildfires' raging across snow-covered US - An eerily quiet Sun that hasn't been seen since the 17th Century - Several volcanic eruptions in Indonesia causing multiple deaths and the evacuation of thousands - Another strong earthquake in New Zealand - More mass animal deaths, including a whole pod of pilot whales off the coast of Florida - Record-breaking snowfall across the US...

2014 has stated with a bang, literally, with a surge of loud booms being heard and felt throughout much of North America. But then again, didn't the last few years start this way? This video includes strange and extreme weather, geological and cosmic events, covering most of the month of January. Things aren't looking good for certain few heavily populated areas...