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Sun, 19 Aug 2018
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La Tuna fire prompts hundreds of mandatory evacuations in Burbank, California

© lacofireairops / Instagram
A ferocious bushfire near Los Angeles has spread across thousands of acres, prompting the mandatory evacuations of hundreds of homes in Burbank, California.

Burbank police announced mandatory evacuations of residents in the Brace Canyon Park area after the surrounding Verdugo Mountains caught fire at about 1:30pm on Friday afternoon.


Massive US wildfire crosses into Canada and growing rapidly

Diamond Creek Fire

The Diamond Creek Fire crossed the US border sometime overnight Aug. 30. This photo was taken Aug. 30 at around 2 p.m. from near the 60-kilometre mark on the Ashnola Road, near Keremeos.
Canadian portion of Diamond Creek Fire grows to 1,700 hectares, forced closure of Cathedral Park.

The Diamond Creek Fire that started in the US and crossed into Canada sometime over the last 24 hours is growing at a rapid rate.

The Canadian portion of the fire has grown to more than 1,700 hectares in size since nightfall Tuesday.

The fire is burning about 17 kilometres northeast of East Gate in Manning Park and 50 kilometres southwest of Keremeos.

"BC Wildfire Service is currently assessing what values are threatened and are currently assessing how to tackle this," said Justine Hunse, fire officer for BC Wildfire Service.

As a precautionary measure the province has ordered the closure and evacuation of Cathedral Provincial Park near Keremeos.

The Diamond Creek Fire started July 23 and has consumed more than 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of Pasayten Wilderness in Washington State. The fire has been deemed to be human caused.

Glenda Patterson, owner of the Cathedral Lakes Lodge located in the provincial park said she was told about the closure and evacuation order around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Her staff has been working to evacuate the park since.

Comment: 2017 is British Columbia's worst wildfire season on record


Dozens of wildfires break out along the Adriatic coast of Croatia

A fire rages in Trogir, Croatia, as firefighters battle several large blazes along the Adriatic coast
A fire rages in Trogir, Croatia, as firefighters battle several large blazes along the Adriatic coast
Croatian firefighters and armed forces were fighting dozens of wildfires on Monday (Aug 21) along the Adriatic coastline and on the popular tourist islands of Hvar and Brac, officials said.

The situation was most severe in the mountains around the mainland city of Zadar, where 32 fires have broken out since late Sunday, according to Slavko Tucakovic, chief commander of Croatia's firefighters.

The authorities closed part of the highway linking the capital Zagreb with the second largest Croatian city of Split. Local media reported that some drivers, fearing the fire, turned their cars around and drove in the opposite direction.

A dozen jets and helicopters were trying to bring the fires under control, with some 100 soldiers along with firefighters from other regions sent to help. Strong winds were making the job more difficult, Tucakovic said.


Wildfires in British Columbia combine to create province's largest blaze; 130 kilometres wide

There are currently 137 wildfires burning across B.C.
© Parks Canada-M.Kinley
There are currently 137 wildfires burning across B.C.
A handful of small fires in B.C.'s west Cariboo region have merged to create what is now the largest fire in the province.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the Plateau wildfire, northwest of Williams Lake, is estimated to be about 438,000 hectares and 130 kilometres from one end to the other.

Fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said the fire hasn't grown significantly in size, but several wildfires burning since about July 7 have now joined together.

"It is a challenge just logistically and operationally when it's covering such a huge area," Skrepnek said.

"We've got two separate teams now managing it because it's such a large incident."


Scientists perplexed as unusually large wildfire has burned for weeks in icy Greenland

Greenland wildfire
© Getty Images / AFP
This NOAA handout satellite photo taken on August 3, 2017 shows a cloud of smoke from wildfires burning in western Greenland, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Sisimiut.
There's something curious happening in icy Greenland: a wildfire that has been burning for weeks.

The wildfire appears to be historic in both its size and its duration, but no one can say for sure - because Greenland doesn't have longstanding records of fires. Officials haven't had much of a need for them, seeing as nearly 80 percent of the Arctic island is covered in an ice sheet.

"There are wildfires, but it's not a typical wildfire environment, and it's a remote area," said Stef Lhermitte, a remote sensing scientist at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

At about two square miles, this wildfire is relatively small compared to others around the world. But it's the biggest in Greenland since satellite record-keeping began in 2000.

This one was first spotted on satellite on July 31 in western Greenland, about 90 miles northeast of the city of Sisimiut - and it's still burning.

Past wildfires in Greenland have only lasted one to three days, said Dr. Jessica McCarty, an assistant professor of geography at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an expert in satellite data analysis. This one is about 40 miles west of the ice sheet.

Comment: Last year a rare winter wildfire ignited in Alaska, despite a foot of snow on the ground and forest fires broke out in Switzerland (in the dead of winter!)

Last month mysterious plumes of steam were recorded rising from a Greenland glacier which may be another sign of powerful geothermal activity from below. See also:

SOTT Exclusive: The growing threat of underground fires and explosions


Yosemite fire near famous tree grove forces evacuation of Wawona

© inciweb.nwcg.gov via AP
This photo provided by inciweb.nwcg.gov shows a fire burning near the town of Wawona, Calif., within Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada.
With a growing forest fire and more forecasted thunderstorms, fire officials have ordered the evacuation of this small town just inside the south entrance of Yosemite National Park.

The South Fork Fire, near the South Fork of the Merced River, has burned more than 2,900 acres since Aug. 13 and is only 10 percent contained, a fire official said Saturday. The fire intensified Friday night as a result of thunderstorm downdraft winds and several spot fires from that weather, according to Yosemite officials.


Public calamity decreed in Portugal as wildfires continue to rage out of control

Portugal wildfire
© AP Photo/Armando Franca
A man runs with a water hose as villagers join firefighters battling a forest fire coming close to houses in the village of Chao de Codes, near Macao, central Portugal, Wednesday, Aug. 16 2017.
The government of Portugal has issued a state of public calamity as wildfires continue to burn across the country ahead of a weekend heat wave.

More than 10,000 separate fires have been recorded across Portugal this year according to The Portugal News.

While most of them have been associated with human negligence, rounds of intense heat and prolonged drought conditions have made the situation more serious than recent years.

The fires over the past week have injured 86 people, seven seriously, according to the Associated Press. The combination of high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds will create a scenario for dangerous wildfire conditions from Saturday into Monday.

The worst conditions are expected on Sunday as temperatures approach 40 C (104 F) across parts of the interior.

Northern and central interior areas will be at highest risk for new wildfires into early next week.

Temperatures will remain well above normal on Monday before falling back to near normal by Wednesday and Thursday lowering the wildfire threat.

Wildfires have burned roughly 141,000 hectares (350,000) acres this year, nearly 500 percent above the average over the past 10 years, according to the Institute for Forests and Nature Conservation.

Comment: A record number of 220 wildfires were recorded in one day last week in Portugal.


2017 is British Columbia's worst wildfire season on record

fire bc
© Darryl Dyck
The 2017 wildfire season is officially the worst on record in British Columbia.

The B.C. Wildfire Service said Wednesday that a total of 1,026 wildfires have razed nearly 8,950 square kilometres, surpassing the old record of 8,560 square kilometres set in 1958.

The majority of the activity has occurred in the province's Cariboo region where fires have destroyed more than 6,700 square kilometres.

B.C. Wildfire Service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek says there are still 142 fires currently burning in the province.

"Most of those are the major fires that started on July 7, we have done a good job at getting on new fires quickly and keeping them small," he said.


Firefighters battle wildfires across Greece

Greece wildfires
© Getty Images
Members of the fire department battled to try and extinguish a forest fire in the Kalamos region of Athens, Greece, on Monday
Firefighters battled more than 90 forest fires across Greece on Monday, an outbreak fed by dry winds and hot weather that saw blazes burning near Athens, in the Peloponnese, and on the Ionian islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia.

The fire near Athens was burning unchecked for a second day, damaging dozens of homes. It had started in Kalamos, a coastal holiday spot some 45 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital, and spread overnight to three more towns. A state of emergency was declared in the area.

On Zakynthos, an island popular with foreign tourists, several fires continued to burn for a fourth day and authorities declared a state of emergency. One minister said those fires had been set deliberately.

"It's arson according to an organized plan," Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis, who is the MP for Zakythnos, told state TV when asked to comment on the dozen fires burning on the island. "There is no doubt about it."

It is not clear what caused the fires, and no investigation has begun into possible arson. Late July and August often see a outbreaks of forest and brush fires in Greece, where high temperatures help create tinder-box conditions.

Comment: Record number of 220 wildfires recorded in one day for Portugal


Record number of 220 wildfires recorded in one day for Portugal

Portugal is fighting to put out a spate of wildfires after the southern European country hit a year high of outbreaks for a single day on Friday, authorities say.

Portugal's Civil Protection Agency, which coordinates its firefighting efforts, said Saturday that it recorded a record for this year of 220 separate wildfires on Friday.

Over 2,500 firefighters supported by over 800 vehicles and 15 air units were still mobilized on Saturday morning to combat the flames.

Portugal has been hard hit by wildfires, including one that killed 64 people in June, during a summer marked by high temperatures and a lack of rain.

Wildfires in Portugal this year have accounted for more than one-third of the burnt forest in the entire 28-country European Union.

Source: Associated Press.