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Wed, 23 May 2018
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Fire

Largest active US wildfire burns 250,000 acres in Montana

Cattle are seen near the flames of the Lodgepole Complex fire in Garfield County, Montana
© Pete McFadden / Reuters
Cattle are seen near the flames of the Lodgepole Complex fire in Garfield County, Montana, U.S. July 21, 2017.
Over 600 firefighters from 34 states have gathered in eastern Montana's Garfield County to help stop the spread of what is now the largest active fire in the US.

On Tuesday, more than 600 firefighters began fighting the raging Lodgepole Complex fire that has destroyed 250,000 acres of range, brush and timber close to the Missouri River, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center, which gives logistical support for wildland firefighting. The fire has ravaged 22 structures, according to Reuters.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock (R) issued a state fire emergency executive order on Sunday for the wildfire that started last week after a lightning strike. Fortunately, the fire was growing Tuesday at slower rate than previously.

Fire

79 wildfires sparked by lightning in 24 hours hit Northern California

A lightning map from Blitzortung shows lightning strikes around the west from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon.

A lightning map from Blitzortung shows lightning strikes around the west from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon.
As hundreds of lightning bolts strike the region, CAL FIRE is staffing its lookout towers and sending planes into the air to scour the region for plumes of smoke signaling fires.

"We're out there scanning the area and any smokes that develop we have our resources that can address it," says Cal Fire spokesperson Scott McLean.

From Monday morning through Tuesday morning, 79 fires were counted in Lassen, Modoc and Siskyou counties by CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service, and lightning was likely the cause of most of them, says McLean.

While the conditions are extreme, it could be a lot worse. "This a combination of dry and wet lightning so we have some moisture follow through," McLean says. "In 2008, there were a lot more fires started by lightning."

In 2008, thousands of lightning strikes resulted in 191,294 acres burning.

Fire

Wildfires rage through the French Riviera, Corsica and Portugal; residents flee

water drop
© EPA
A firefighting helicopter drops water over a forest fire in Carros near Nice, southern France, as blazes broke across the French Riveria.
Actress Joan Collins is among the Saint-Tropez residents were have been forced to flee from their villas as huge fires ripped through the French Riviera and across southern Europe.

Large forest blazes in the French Riviera, Corsica and Portugal were sparked by heatwaves across the sun-kissed region, which is already teeming with British tourists ahead of the busy summer holiday period.

Homes and holiday resorts were under threat as fires sporadically broke out across the continent, with emergency services rushing to evacuate buildings amid fears that high winds could add to the chaos and spread of fire.

As tourists continued to sunbathe on the beaches, hundreds of firefighters tackled a blaze spanning 2,000 acres around the Var prefecture. Two villas were destroyed in La Croix Valmer, seven miles west of the glamorous holiday destination.

British actress Joan Collins, 84, told Twitter followers she was one of 11 who fled from the house last night and later claimed the massive blaze had been caused by someone's barbecue.

Fire

Massive forest fires force French Riviera residents to flee homes

Dramatic pictures show flames and massive clouds of smoke from an inferno ripping through woodland near the upmarket French resort of Saint-Tropez. This was the scene in the hills of Gigaro in La Croix-Valmer near the glamorous town

Dramatic pictures show flames and massive clouds of smoke from an inferno ripping through woodland near the upmarket French resort of Saint-Tropez. This was the scene in the hills of Gigaro in La Croix-Valmer near the glamorous town
A huge fire has hit the French Riviera with the blaze forcing residents to flee homes in the Saint Tropez region.

Photos shared on social media show large plumes of smoke above the hills above the posh beach resort region.

One resident, Paul Adieannsens, tweeted: "Big fire in La Croix Valmer.

"Just made it to escape from our house!"

The location of the fire has been described as southeast of the main St Tropez township near the town of Ramatuelle.


Fire

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."

Fire

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."


Fire

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.

Fire

'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.


Fire

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.


Fire

Firenado filmed swirling over wildfire near Amarillo, Texas

Firenado
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.