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Wed, 21 Feb 2018
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Over 30 wildfires started in a day due to lightning strikes in Central Interior, British Columbia

Trees burnt by raging wildfires in the central interior.
© BC Wildfire Service
Trees burnt by raging wildfires in the central interior.
We're learning today the downpours over the Central Interior yesterday provided only a little bit of relief to crews because with the storm clouds came a lot of lightning which actually sparked new fires.

The forecast heading into the weekend isn't looking very good.

Navi Saini with the BC Wildfire Service says there had been some hope for rain this weekend in an area where it's so badly needed, but it's not looking too promising.

"Another low-pressure system is predicted to start building off the coast. This will bring showers to the coast mountains, unfortunately, hot, dry and windy conditions will continue for the Interior."


California sees 100 new wildfires in four days, and more are surely on the way

Firetruck parked along firebreak
© Reuters/Stephen Lam
A firetruck is seen parked along a firebreak beneath a burning ridge during the Detwiler fire in Mariposa, California
Firefighters and determined residents of Mariposa County continued their battle against the massive Detwiler Fire on Thursday as wildland blazes continued to burn around the state, generating smoke for hundreds of miles.

More than 350 square miles of land has burned so far this year, and the Detwiler Fire west of Mariposa continued to pose danger to historic small communities that have been emptied out by evacuations since the fire began Sunday.

In tiny Catheys Valley along Highway 140, the danger appeared to have passed for now, but a handful of residents who opted to stay and fight recounted how close the flames had come.

"The fire jumped the ridge, came over here; it was 30- to 40-foot flames right in front of our houses," said Frank Gomes, who has lived in the ramshackle collection of homes and trailers for five years along with about 30 neighbors. "Me and the owner of the property, we stayed to defend the property because this is actually low income, so we just didn't want to see everybody lose the little bit that they had."


Slopes of Mount Vesuvius ablaze in wildfire

vesuvius wildfires
© European Space Agency
Much of the woodlands in Vesuvia National Park, which contains the Mount Vesuvius volcano, have been destroyed by wildfires, shown here in this satellite image on July 12, 2017.
A thick plume of smoke is rising from Italy's Mount Vesuvius, but don't panic. Pompeii isn't about to happen all over again.

The smoke, visible in a new set of satellite images released by the European Space Agency (ESA), is coming from a series of wildfires on the mountain. According to the ESA, much of the woodlands in Vesuvia National Park, which contains the volcano and its surroundings, have been destroyed.


'Extreme and aggressive' California wildfires force thousands to evacuate

Mariposa wildfire
© Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Fire illuminates the remains of a burned-out property near Mariposa, Calif., on Tuesday.
A wildfire in the foothills near Yosemite National Park has consumed eight structures — and is threatening 1,500 more in tiny Mariposa, Calif.

The town's 2,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate because of the blaze known as the Detwiler Fire, and Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for Mariposa County.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, posted on its website that "firefighters experienced extreme and aggressive fire behavior" on Tuesday. "Firefighters on the ground as well as aircraft are actively working to contain and suppress the fire."

The Detwiler Fire has burned more than 45,000 acres and is just 7 percent contained, and it threatens "culturally and historically sensitive areas," the agency says.

"I haven't seen these conditions in a long time, it's a wind driven, slope-driven, fuel-driven fire," Cal Fire's Jerry Fernandez told Fresno's ABC affiliate.

Mariposa is about 150 miles east of San Jose, Calif.


Wildfires rage along the Adriatic coast in Croatia and Montenegro

Smoke rises from trees burned by wildfire on a mountain near Montenegro capital Podgorica, Monday
© Risto Bozovic, AP
Smoke rises from trees burned by wildfire on a mountain near Montenegro capital Podgorica, Monday
Firefighters in Croatia and Montenegro have been struggling to contain wild fires that have erupted along the Adriatic coast in the two countries at the height of the tourism season.

In Croatia, the blazes have spread over several locations along the coast and on the islands, engulfing pine forests and low shrubbery in extremely dry and windy weather.

Near the coastal town of Sibenik, a fire almost reached houses, but firefighting planes managed to stop the flames from spreading any further. Thick smoke has closed down the main road in the area.


Firenado filmed swirling over wildfire near Amarillo, Texas

A firenado was caught on camera swirling flames high up into the sky at the edge of a raging wildfire in Texas.

The firenado - aka a fire tornado or fire whirl - was recorded Thursday at the edge of a wildlife in Amarillo, Texas.

Experts said the phenomenon is caused when strong winds pass through large fires. A pair of YouTubers showed how firenados are formed by using a circle of fans to create an artificial fire whirl and filming it in slow motion.

Thursday's wildlife took place in a grassy farmland area with a low population and few structures in danger from the flames. The fire, located near Rick Husband Airport, was brought under control Thursday with no injuries or lost structures reported.


Catastrophic British Columbia wildfires captured by drone (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

© BC Wildfire Service / Reuters
Wildfires are seen near 100 Mile House in British Columbia, July 7, 2017.
Destruction wreaked by wildfires in British Columbia, Canada, which forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, is captured in harrowing drone footage.

Destruction wreaked by wildfires in British Columbia, Canada, which forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, is captured in harrowing drone footage.

Comment: See also: Wildfires close in on Williams Lake, BC; thousands ordered to evacuate


Wildfires close in on Williams Lake, BC; thousands ordered to evacuate

Canada wildfire
© taramcconnery / Instagram
An entire city and surrounding areas in British Columbia were forced to evacuate as raging wildfires intensified by strong winds spread across the region.

An evacuation alert was issued for Williams Lake and surrounding areas in Cariboo Regional District on Saturday.

"All individuals in the City [Williams Lake] and the above areas must evacuate immediately," the order stated.

Around 12,000 people live in the city, and the same number of people in the surrounding areas were also ordered to evacuate, CBC Canada reported.


2017 Fire Season in Nevada is one of the worst in 15 years

Farad fire burning near Nevada-California state line

Farad fire burning near Nevada-California state line
The peak of fire season traditionally runs between mid-July and September, but wildfires have already burned nearly 250,000 acres more than the 15-year annual average. Since January, fires have burned 586,800 acres in Nevada. Since 2002, the average is 340,207 acres per year.

"Right now, it's hot, dry, and has been since the middle of June," John Christopherson, Natural Resource Program Manager for the Nevada Division of Forestry said. "So things are ready to ignite."

This year's total acreage is the fifth-most in the last 15 years, with a lot of time left. Christopherson says if this trend keeps up, fires could burn 1 million acres in Nevada this year. The last time that happened was in 2006, when more than 1.3 million acres burned. Fuel loads are double, and even triple what they normally are this year, thanks to an abundance of cheatgrass.

"It's not just the load, itself, or the volume of the fuel but it's also the continuity," Christopherson said. "They're pretty much continuous and so when something ignites, it goes big."


Tourists evacuated from Sicily as hundreds of wildfires rage across Italy

Sicily wildfire
© Italian Firefighters Vigili del Fuoco via AP
Woodland fires burn near a tourist resort where, according to firefighter reports, some several hundred tourists have been evacuated by land and sea, in the Sicilian town of San Vito lo Capo, southern Italy, on 12 July 2017.
At least 700 tourists in Sicily were the latest to be displaced by the hundreds of wildfires raging across Italy.

A threatening wildfire forced many of the tourists to flee the seaside resort of Calampiso, located on the northwestern tip of Sicily, by boat on Wednesday.

BBC News reports that around 700 tourists were evacuated, while The Local claims the figure is closer to 1,000.

Approximately 10 people sought medical care at the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Two people have been killed as a result of the fires, The Local reported. One man died while trying to extinguish a fire near his property in the Cosenza province. Another man was found dead in the Vibo Valentia province.