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Archive for June 8th, 2011

Wallow Fire Set to Become Largest in Arizona History

Posted by feww on June 8, 2011

RECORD-BREAKING WILDFIRE 

Wallow Fire could grow to about 470,000 acres by late Wednesday June 8 MST [FIRE-EARTH forecast]

By 1 PM Wednesday June 8, 2011 the fire had consumed at least 400,000 acres, mostly in the Apache National Forest.

The largest fire in Arizona history was the 2001 Rodeo-Chediski Fire which consumed 469,000 acres.

Wallow Fire Map (June 8, 2011)


Click image to enlarge. Source: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
Other Sizes:
Large (665 x 1024)   Original size (3203 x 4930)

Hazard Mapping System for Fire and Smoke [June 8-9, 2011]


Current HMS Analysis, Source: NOAA

Analyzed Fires from Satellites – June 9, 2011


Source: NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

A Burning Forest


Wallow Fire consuming Apache National Forest. All rights reserved by Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

Wallow Fire, Arizona Satellite Image 


This image was taken by MODIS on the Aqua satellite at 1:25 pm MST (UTC -7 hrs) on June 8, 2011. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

Smoke Hazard

Smoke from the Wallow Fire has been affecting the air quality through much of the U.S. and has become a major health issue over a vast region. Photo:  All rights reserved by Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Original Size (5184 x 3456)

Midwest Blanketed by Smoke from Wallow Fire  


A dense band of smoke extended from Texas to Nebraska when MODIS on the Terra satellite took this image at 11:05 am MST on June 7, 2011.  Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge

Air Quality Monitor


Springerville PM10 Concentration. The Department of Environmental Quality has placed Particulate Matter-2.5 air quality monitors in Springerville and St. Johns. The latest data and smoke health effects of hourly readings can accessed for Springerville at http://tinyurl.com/3znq24z and for St. Johns at http://tinyurl.com/3vzz59a.

Latest Bulletin Issued by Arizona State
(Posted June 8, 2011, at 12:08 pm MST) Last night, the lower winds, higher humidity, and cooler temperatures enabled firefighters to conduct burnout operations to reinforce fire line on the Wallow Fire.

To the north and east, crews constructed 10 miles of line using bulldozers and burnout operations outside of Eagar and Springerville.

Extreme fire behavior is predicted again today due to the forecast high winds and low humidity. Red Flag Warnings are still in effect for the area. Spot fires are occurring up to 3 miles ahead of the fire.

Today’s firefighter activities include: burnout operations, building fire line, perimeter control, structure protection, and patrolling for spot fires.

Current Evacuations

  • Effective Immediately: Further evacuations have been ordered by the Apache County Sheriff’s Office for all the areas south of Hwy 260 and east of Greer, including South Fork and portions of Eagar.  Hwy 260 will remain open for the evacuation and will be closed immediately after the evacuation.
  • Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso, and the following subdivisions along highways 180/191: Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, White Mtn. Acres, and the H-V Ranch. This area includes CR 4000, CR 4001, and CR 4225
  • The evacuation site is located at; Blue Ridge High School located at 1200 W. White Mtn. Blvd., Pinetop/Lakeside

Pre-Evacuation Alerts

  • Pre-evacuation alert issued by Apache County Sheriff’s Office for Springerville and portions of Eager.
  • Pre-evacuation alert issued by Catron County Sheriff’s Office for Luna, New Mexico.
  • Residents in the communities affected by this fire are asked to remain prepared in the event an order is needed.

Residents with livestock or animals that need care, please contact the Apache County Sheriff’s Office (928) 337-4321or the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office (928) 865-4149.

A community meeting is being held at the Round Valley High School Auditorium Wednesday at 6:00p.m.

Public Information Centers are located at:

Arizona

  • Springerville Post Office
  • Springerville Forest Ranger District Office
  • Springerville Primary School
  • Springerville Middle School
  • Wallow Fire Incident Command Post

New Mexico

  • Quemado
  • Luna

Due to extreme fire conditions, the Apache National Forest is closed to all public entry.  See website for closure order details.  Please see the Forest website for more information: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/

A Temporary Emergency Closure Order for the Apache National Forest was issued effective June 3 at 12:00 p.m. (noon).  For more information, please call the Arizona fire restrictions hotline 1-877-864-6985 or visit http://www.wildlandfire.az.gov/.

Wallow Fire summary:

  • Date Started: 5/29/2011
    Number of Personnel:
      Approximately 1,943, including 23 hotshot crews and 27 handcrews
  • Location: south and west of Alpine, Arizona
  • Cause: Human – under investigation
  • Equipment: 9 dozers, 119 engines, 26 watertenders
  • Size:  389,000 acres
  • Aircraft:  14 helicopters
  • Percent Contained: 0%
  • Injuries to Date: none
  • Structures:  588 threatened; 1 damaged; 11 lost 

(Source: Southwest Incident Type-1 Incident Management Team)
UPDATES hopefully Available at Emergency Bulletins 

Arizona Forests and Govt Websites

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Space Weather Alerts and Warnings

Posted by feww on June 8, 2011

EXTENDED WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 4 expected

Latest Alert: Jun 08 05:32UTC

Space Weather Message Code: WARK04
Serial Number: 1748
Issue Time: 2011 Jun 08 05:32 UTC

EXTENDED WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 4 expected
Extension to Serial Number: 17:47
Valid From: 2011 Jun 07 23:45 UTC
Now Valid Until: 2011 Jun 08 12:15 UTC
Warning Condition: Persistence

Space Weather Message Code: WARPX1
Serial Number: 311
Issue Time: 2011 Jun 07 14:58 UTC

EXTENDED WARNING: Proton 10MeV Integral Flux above 10pfu expected
Extension to Serial Number: 310
Valid From: 2011 Jun 07 07:44 UTC
Now Valid Until: 2011 Jun 09 00:00 UTC
Warning Condition: Persistence
Predicted NOAA Scale: S2 – Moderate


Latest GOES Solar X-ray Image. Source: Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)/NOAA


Space Weather Alerts and Warnings Timeline.  Source: SWPC/NOAA


This plot shows the current extent and position of the auroral oval in the northern hemisphere, extrapolated from measurements taken during the most recent polar pass of the NOAA POES satellite.


This plot shows the current extent and position of the auroral oval in the southern hemisphere, extrapolated from measurements taken during the most recent polar pass of the NOAA POES satellite.

The above plots show the current extent and position of the auroral oval at each pole, extrapolated from measurements taken during the most recent polar pass of the POES satellite. “Center time” is the calculated time halfway through the satellite’s pass over the pole.  Source: SWPC/NOAA

NASA Photo and Video 

Sun emitted an M-2 solar flare with a coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7. “The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface.”
Video Link

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Wallow Fire Now Arizona’s 2nd Largest, and Growing

Posted by feww on June 8, 2011

Arizona’s Wallow Fire became the state’s 2nd largest ever, as forecast

FIRE-EARTH yesterday forecast the mega blaze in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (eastern Arizona) would grow by about 40 percent to 326,000 acres.

By 3:00pm local time on June 7 Wallow Fire had grown to 311,322 acres and was still raging uncontrolled.

FIRE-EARTH forecast: Wallow Fire could become Arizona’s largest ever recorded wildfire with a probability of ≥0.6 [P= 62% estimated at the time of posting on June 8, 2011 UTC]


Wallow Fire Progression History May 31 – June 7, 2011. Data: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests – Format: FIRE-EARTH


Wallow Fire Map for June 7, 2011. Source: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. For other sizes and copyright info click on links below:

Fires and Smoke Satellite Analysis: North America


Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product: Current HMS Analysis. Click to enlarge.


Source: NOAA. Click images to enlarge.

Photo taken by Wayne Clement, Guadalupe Fire Department, off Hwy180/US191 near Nutrioso, AZ. Credit: US Forest Service, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

Temp Forecast Map


Source: NWS. Click image to enlarge.

Fire Details

  • About 5,800 residents in Eagar and other communities were forced to leave as flames got too close to the population centers. The remaining residents in Eagar and in neighboring Springerville are on standby to evacuate at short notice.
  • Some 7,500 people have been ordered to prepare for evacuation since last week.
  • Having consumed nearly 500 square miles of ponderosa pine forest since May 29, the Wallow Fire became the second-largest in Arizona history Tuesday afternoon.
  • The blaze has also consumed a dozen structures, with another 343 threatened.
  • As of 11:39UTC, June 8, the fire had grown to more than 400,000 acres according to an update received by FIRE-EARTH.
  • Wallow Fire is now threatening New Mexico territory.
  • The blaze is rapidly approaching a major power line located in Springerville, Arizona, which supplies electricity to large  parts of the borderland, the El Paso Electric company said.

Current Evacuations [IncidentWeb]

Effective Immediately: Further evacuations have been ordered by the Apache County Sheriff’s Office for all the areas south of Hwy 260 and east of Greer, including South Fork and portions of Eagar. Hwy 260 will remain open for the evacuation and will be closed immediately after the evacuation.

Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso, and the following subdivisions along highways 180/191: Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, White Mtn. Acres, and the H-V Ranch. This area includes CR 4000, CR 4001, and CR 4225

The evacuation site is located at; Blue Ridge High School located at 1200 W. White Mtn. Blvd., Pinetop/Lakeside

Pre-Evacuation Alert

  • Pre-evacuation alert issued by Apache County Sheriff’s Office for Springerville.
  • Pre-evacuation alert issued by Catron County Sheriff’s Office for Luna, New Mexico.
  • Residents in the communities affected by this fire are asked to remain prepared in the event an order is needed.

Residents with livestock or animals that need care, please contact the Apache County Sheriff’s Office (928) 337-4321or the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office (928) 865-4149.

Fire Update

Today, we continue to experience extreme fire behavior due to the forecast high winds and low humidity. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area. Firefighters are conducting burn out operations today as part of the strategy to build fire line for protection. Spot fires are occurring up to 3 miles ahead of the fire. Firefighter activities include: burnout operations, building fire line, perimeter control, structure protection, and patrolling for spot fires.

Closures:

Due to extreme fire conditions, the Apache National Forest is closed to all public entry. See website for closure order details. Please see the Forest website for more information: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Fire Restrictions: A Temporary Emergency Closure Order for the Apache National Forest was issued effective June 3 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). For more information, please call the Arizona fire restrictions hotline 1-877-864-6985 or visit http://www.wildlandfire.az.gov/.

Related Links

Update at 12:00UTC on June 8, 2011

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