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Archive for June 14th, 2011

Wallow Mega Fire – June 14 Update

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

Wallow Fire: Now Officially Arizona’s Largest Wildfire

Wallow Fire Progression Map – June 14, 2011

Click image to enlarge. Click here for the Largest Size 

Notes about this Map:
1. Map was prepared on June 13, 2011 at 22:38 MST (UTC -7 hours)
2. It’s incomplete.
3. It doesn’t show the extent of fire in areas marked ‘Private.’

Fire Update – June 14, 2011 8:00 AM MST

  • Location: Apache, Navajo, Graham, and Greenlee Counties, San Carlos and Fort Apache Reservations, Arizona; Carton County, New Mexico
  • Injuries to Date: 7
  • Total Personnel: 4,734
  • Includes 24 hotshot crews; 77 hand crews
  • Date Started: 05/29/2011
  • Cause: Human – under investigation
  • Residences: 2,714 threatened; 32 destroyed; 5 damaged
  • Commercial Property: 473 threatened; 4 destroyed
  • Resources: 20 Helicopters, 5 Air Tankers available; 333 Engines; 73 Water Tenders; 20 Dozers
  • Outbuildings: 1,216 threatened; 36 destroyed; 1 damaged
  • Vehicles: 1 destroyed
  • Percent Contained: 18%
  • Size: 469,407 acres total
  • Source: InciWeb

[FIRE-EARTH size estimate for Wallow Fire: ~ 535,000 acres burned as of posting.]

Current Situation and Outlook

  • Current Weather: Wind Conditions 10-15 GUSTS OF 25 mph SW
  • Temperature: 75-87 degrees
  • Humidity: 6%
  • Growth Potential: High
  • Terrain Difficulty: High
  • Fire Behavior: Increased winds resulted in increased fire activity including interior crown runs with moderate-range spotting where winds and topography were aligned.
  • Significant Events: Active fire north of Alpine. Spotting picked up near Turner Peak and Big Lake Campground.

Wallow Fire, now also officially the largest wildfire in Arizona history, was burning across the border into New Mexico when MODIS on the Aqua satellite acquired this image on June 13 at 1:45 pm MST. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

Fire Update [Source: Inciweb]

Firefighters have achieved 18% containment of the 469,407-acre Wallow Fire. While the Wallow Fire is now the largest wildfire in Arizona’s history, significant progress has been made towards containment. A previously destroyed structure at Pool Corral, in the Greer area, was confirmed yesterday. Mop up of backing fire continues in the Alpine and Tal Wi Wi communities. Burnout operations continue from FR 220 south to US 180. Structure protection activities continue in Nutrioso and Alpine. Mop up and widening of containment lines continues in the Greer and South Fork areas. Electricity has been restored to Greer and South Fork.

There was poor humidity recovery overnight and humidity will remain low today. Firefighters continued with structure protection, line improvement and mop-up on the eastern flank. Roads, dozer lines and natural barriers are being improved for use as containment lines. Crews worked to strengthen these lines along FR 281. The fire remains active in unburned areas of the fire. Good progress has been made on the fire’s southeast flank, where crews are working to slow the spread of fire and continue to build and improve containment lines and mop-up. There was minimal movement last night. On the west flank, the fire is backing to the south and further southern spread is expected.

Pre-Evacuation Alert

A pre-evacuation alert continues in Apache County for Greens Peak, Hidden Meadows Lodge and surrounding areas.

  • A pre-evacuation alert by the Catron County Sheriff’s Office continues for Luna, New Mexico.
  • Residents in the communities affected by this fire are asked to remain prepared for evacuate.

Road Closures according to Arizona Department of Transportation:

  • SR 260 will open at noon today from the Hawley Lake turnoff to the South Fork junction (mileposts 369-390).
  • US 191 is closed between Alpine and north of Clifton (milepost 176-253).
  • SRs 261 (mileposts 395-413) and 273 (mileposts 378-394), the main access roads to Big Lake and Crescent Lake in the White Mountains, are closed.
  • SR 373 that connects the town of Greer with SR 260 west of Eagar is closed (mileposts 386-391).
  • US 180 is closed between SR 260 junction near Eagar and New Mexico state line (mileposts 403-433).
  • In southern Arizona, SR 366 is closed at milepost 118 leading up to Mount Graham (milepost 143) near Safford after the U.S. Forest Service determined the risk of wildfire is too extreme to allow access.
  • Partial area closures are in effect for the eastside of the Fort Apache Reservation.

Current Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Analysis – June 14

NESDIS Map of Analyzed Fires from Satellite Data

Click images to enlarge.

Ozone High Pollution Advisory issued for Wednesday, June 15
(Posted June 14, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.) The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has issued an Ozone High Pollution Advisory for areas within and bordering Maricopa County for the remainder of today.

ADEQ issues an Ozone Health Watch when the highest concentration of ozone levels may exceed the federal health standard.

People with respiratory or other health problems that make them more sensitive to air pollution are advised to limit their outdoor activity.

Horseshoe Two Fire

(Posted June 14, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.) The Horseshoe Two Fire is burning on the Coronado National Forest near Portal, Ariz. It is 171,333 acres and is 60 percent contained.

Horse Shoe 2 Fire Progression Map

Click image to enlarge.

Horseshoe Two Fire, Arizona – Satellite Image

Horseshoe Two Fire is burning about 15okm to the south of Wallow Fire. This image was taken by MODIS on the Aqua satellite on June 13, 2011. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge

Official Fire Summary:

  • Date started: May 8, 2011
  • Estimated Containment: June 22, 2011
  • Cause: Human
  • Number of Personnel: 1,400
  • Crews: 9 Type 1 and 30 Type 2
  • Engines: 76
  • Dozers: 3
  • Water Tenders: 41
  • Helicopters: 4 Type 1, 1 Type 2 and 3 Type 3
  • Total structures destroyed: 23
  • Cost to Date: $40,630,698
  • Size: 171,333  acres
  • Percent Contained: 60%
  • Source: Rocky Basin 2 Incident Management Team

Special Notices
The Coronado National Forest and Chiricahua National Monument are closed due to extreme fire danger.


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Puyehue Eruption – Recent Satellite Images

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

Ash Clouds from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Continue to Disrupt Flights in Southern Hemisphere

The ash clouds have severely affected airline operations in South America.
Among the hardest hit airlines are Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM and Gol, media reported.

“There are no signs that the situation is going to change or stabilize in the short term,” said director of Chile’s national service of geology and mining (SERNAGEOMIN).

“Fine ash, like we have seen from this latest eruption, could last (in the air) for months. If the ash column continues to measure up to 5.5 miles, it can spread easily. The higher the ash, the more it is blown elsewhere.”

Continuous eruption from Puyehue-Cordón Volcano Complex in Chile continues to eject large plumes of ash and volcanic gasses into the atmosphere, depositing thick layers of ash east of the volcano, as shown in this image captured by MODIS on the Terra satellite on June 13. The large mountain of ash could lead to deadly landslide and lahars, NASA reported SERNAGEOMIN as saying. Meantime, the ash is disrupting flights as far away as Australia and New Zealand. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (3 MB, JPEG)  

Related Links

FIRE-EARTH Volcano Watch

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NABRO Volcano Ash Charts

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

NABRO Eruption: Modeled Ash Concentration Charts

Surface to FL200 Chart [ground to about 6km altitude]

FL200-FL350 Chart [~ 6 to 11km altitude]

FL350-FL550 Chart [~ 11 to 17 km altitude]

Source: Meteo France – Toulouse VAAC. Click images to enlarge.

Volcanic Ash Advisory

See inset for Date/time details.

Copyright Eumetsat 2011


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Afar Triangle Volcano Erupts as Forecast

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

Correction: Nabro Volcano in Eritrea Erupts Ejecting a 15-km Plume of Ash into the Atmosphere

Following a swarm of Earthquakes that struck within the Afar Triangle Eritrea, Ethiopia, yesterday, FIRE-EARTH said:

… there’s a strong probability that the quakes may have primed one or more regional volcanoes for eruption.

Nabro Volcano erupted around midnight Sunday local time, ejecting  a 15-km plume of ash into the air, reports said.

The volcano, which is located about 375 km southeast of the Eritrean capital Asmara, sits within the Afar Triangle, a tectonic triple junction.

Nabro volcano, Eritrea, sits close to the border with Ethiopia.  Credit: ESA/NASA.  Click image to enlarge.

Nabro eruption is captured in this photo-like image by  MODIS on the Aqua satellite on June 13, 2011. “Initial reports from news agencies and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Toulouse, France, proclaimed the eruption to be occurring at Dubbi, a volcano further south. But later reports from volcanologists, field scientists, and the satellite image above appear to confirm the eruption at Nabro. There are no historical reports of eruptions at Nabro before today.” Image and caption: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (4 MB, JPG)

The fact that there was no historic record of eruption at Nabro volcano may explain why the French VAAC got it wrong initially, attributing the eruption to the Dubbi volcano – EDRO

Nabro Volcano
Country: Eritrea
Region: Northeastern Africa
Previous Known Eruption: NOT KNOWN
Summit Elevation: 2,218 m (7,277 ft)
Coordinates : 13.37°N, 41.70°E
Source: GVP

Nabro Volcano Space Shuttle image

The large caldera below and to the left of the center of this Space Shuttle photo of the Danakil Alps of Ethiopia is Nabro. The 2218-m-high Nabro stratovolcano is the highest volcano in the Danakil depression and is truncated by nested calderas 10 and 5 km in diameter. The larger caldera is widely breached to the SW. Nabro was constructed primarily of rhyolitic lava flows and pyroclastics. The 8-km-wide Mallahle caldera is at the lower left, and the dark-colored lava flows at the right are from Dubbi volcano. NASA Space Shuttle image S-61A-36, 1985. Caption: GVP

Nabro (top) and  Mallahle (bottom) volcanic calderas. This false-color topographical image of the two volcanoes was produced by NASA. Click image to enlarge.

Map of East Africa showing some of the historically active volcanoes (red triangles) and the Afar Triangle (shaded, center)— a so-called triple junction (or triple point), where three plates are pulling away from one another: the Arabian Plate, and the two parts of the African Plate (the Nubian and the Somalian) splitting along the East African Rift Zone. Source: USGS

A map showing the approximate location of Nabro and Dubbi Volcanoes. The yellow circles mark the epicenters of the recent quakes that struck the area. Red stars are the two largest shocks in the swarm measuring 5.7Mw. Click image to enlarge.

The huge ash cloud ejected by the volcano is said to be moving across the Horn of Africa, threatening air travel. The German airline Lufthansa said on Monday it had cancelled two flights, one a flight out of the Eritrean capital Asmara, and the other into Addis Ababa.

The ash plume also forced the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to curtail her visit to the region. Ironically, Obama was forced to abandon his visit to Ireland when Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano erupted last month.

News Links

Related Links

Updated on June 14, 2011 at 07:58UTC by EDRO
Updated on June 14, 2011 @ 12:01UTC by FEWW

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Red Flag Warnings, Missouri River flooding, Severe T-storms

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011


Numerous rivers, streams running near or above record levels

Numerous locations on the Missouri River and its northern tributaries have exceeded record levels set in 1952 and 1993 and major flooding is expected to continue for weeks into months, NOAA said.

Major to record flooding conditions stretch from Missouri River headwaters in Montana across parts of North Dakota and South Dakota. Floodwaters continue to work their way south to Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri: NWS

Click image to enter NWS portal.

Severe weather is expected from the north-central Plains to the Tennessee Valley; rain and thunderstorms for the northern Plains, eastern Washington and Oregon to southeastern Minnesota and western Kentucky and flash flooding in southern Iowa and northern Missouri, NWS said.

Major Flooding was observed on the Missouri River and tributaries this morning (June 13) at the following locations:

  • Montana
    • Jefferson River near Three Forks
    • Musselshell River near Roundup
    • Milk River near Tampico
  • North Dakota
    • Missouri River near Williston (crest expected Tuesday at record 30 feet)
    • Souris River near Westhope
    • Souris River near Bantry (at 14.5’ expected crest June 15 at record 14.8’
    • Souris River near Towner
    • Souris River near Foxholm (record 17.33 feet set June 11, old record was 17.2’)
  • South Dakota
    • James River near Stratford
    • James River near Ashton
    • Missouri River near Greenwood (set record at 37.98’ June 8, old crest 31.89’ in 1997

Related Links

Weather Hazards Map: a
Hydrometeorological Prediction Center weather threats map:

Outlooks from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center indicate much of the Missouri River from South Dakota to northern Missouri could be impacted by heavy rain from severe weather today. There is a Slight Risk of severe weather development today from eastern Wyoming across parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. See



River levels continue to rise on the Missouri River and some tributaries. As of this morning, automated data feeds showed 145 locations across the country at some level of flooding. Thirteen sites were at Major Flood, 35 at Moderate Flood and 97 at Minor Flood. Another 106 gauge sites were at Near Flood. See graphics at

Missouri River waters are still on the rise in areas from Nebraska to Missouri. Local reports on Missouri River flooding may be found on the following web pages:

Weather Forecast Office Bismarck, North Dakota (Under Top News of the Day at)

Weather Forecast Office Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Latest Missouri River Flooding Information)

Weather Forecast Office Omaha, Nebraska (Additional information on the Missouri River Flooding)

Weather Forecast Office Kansas City, Missouri (Flooding on the Missouri River 2011)

Weather Forecast Office St. Louis, Missouri (Latest Missouri River Flooding Information, Top News)

Nationwide rainfall forecasts for the coming five days are at

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Ash from Puyehue Cordón Caulle over Australia and NZ

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

Ash clouds from Puyehue Cordón Caulle continue to disrupt Australia, NZ flights

The ash plume from Puyehue Cordón Caulle covers southern Australia and the Tasman sea (above), as well as New Zealand and the South Pacific Ocean (below).

Both images were captured by MODIS on the Aqua satellite on June 13, 2011. Source: NASA-EO. Click images to enlarge.


Puyehue-Cordón Caulle in Chile exploded on June 4, 2011 sending an ash plume to a height of about 16km, towering above the local clouds. The top image is a false-color image captured by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The image is rotated clockwise by 90 degrees.  The vertical profile of the atmosphere, captured by CALIPSO, is shown in the colored graph below the MODIS image.  Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

Airline Flights

Australian airline Qantas said it was too dangerous to fly through the thick clouds of ash drifting over the Pacific Ocean from  continuous eruption at CORDON CAULLE volcano in the Puyehue Volcano Complex, Chile. Accordingly, it has cancelled all its flights to and from Melbourne. The decision follows earlier flight cancellations in and out of Tasmania and most of of New Zealand.

All other airlines, with the exception of Air New Zealand, have also grounded flights in the region.

The logic-defying Air New Zealand is risking the lives of its passengers by worming in out of the ash clouds, trying to dodge the worst of the plumes. The airline said it was adjusting flight paths to steer aircraft below the ash!!

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand said they felt comfortable with Air New Zealand flight continuing below 20,000feet (6 km) because most of the ash appeared to be above that altitude.

“[Air New Zealand general manager airline operations and safety Captain] Capt Morgan said the MetService had advised that the ash cloud was now much higher and the Civil Aviation Authority was comfortable for domestic and trans-Tasman services to continue to operate.” a report said.

Air Travelers Don’t Seem to Get the Message!

Watch out for multiple planes falling out of the sky in the coming months due to “unknown” or “mysterious” causes.

One of the planes grounded in an Argentine airport after volcanic ash from the Puyehue Volcano eruption in early June 2011 disrupted air travel throughout the region. Credit: Reuters.

Related Links

FIRE-EARTH Volcano Watch

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