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Archive for September 14th, 2015

State of Emergency Declared for California Counties 2ND in Two days

Posted by feww on September 14, 2015

California Wildfires Destroy ‘Hundreds of Homes and Many Hundreds of Other Structures’

Valley Fire wildfire grows to 246 sqkm destroying  homes, communities, businesses, roads, public infrastructure…

Gov Brown declared State of Emergency on Sunday for Lake and Napa counties due to the effects of the Valley Fire, having issued an earlier Emergency Proclamation for Amador and Calaveras counties due to the devastation caused by Butte Fire wildfire.

“… this fire has destroyed multiple structures, including homes, and continues to threaten hundreds of homes, necessitating the evacuation of residents; [it] has damaged and continues to threaten critical infrastructure, and has forced the closure of major highways and local roads; … on January 17, 2014, I declared a State of Emergency based on the extreme drought that has caused millions of trees to die, and increased the severity and spread of the fires throughout the State; … as a result of the Valley Fire, combined with the drought conditions and other wildfires burning in the State, California’s air quality has significantly deteriorated and impacted public health; … the circumstances of this fire by reason of its magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat …,” declared the Governor in his Emergency Proclamation.

Valley Fire wildfire continues to grow amid hot, windy conditions, said CalFire, reporting a civilian fatality in the fire area.

The raging blaze has destroyed at least 400 homes and about a thousand other structures, according to local reports.

“This is the worst tragedy Lake County has ever seen,” said Sheriff Brian Martin.

Additional mandatory evacuations were issued on Sunday.  There have been an unconfirmed number of structures destroyed. 5000+ are without power, said CalFire.

The fire started in Lake County on September 12. At least 1,234 fire personnel were trying to contain the fire, as of posting.

On Friday, Gov. Brown declared a State of Emergency for Amador and Calaveras counties, after Butte Fire wildfire destroyed more than a hundred home, dozens of structures, and threatened thousands more, prompting authorities to order tens of thousands of residents to abandon their homes.

Butte Fire Wildfire Grows to 71,063 acres

Butte Fire started on September 9, 2015 east of Jackson, burning 71,063 acres (30% contained) in Amador & Calaveras Counties, said CalFire.

  • Structures Threatened: 6,400
  • Structures Destroyed: 135 residences, 79 outbuildings, 4 structures damaged

Evacuations: Mandatory Evacuation Orders:

San Andreas at Pope, West Murray Creek, Lewis, Miller, San Andreas Elementary, Goldstrike, Mountain Ranch East to Windmill, Wimbledon Drive, Forest Hill, and Turner Court. Please leave the area immediately.

[Additional Evacuation Details posted at  ]

Total Fire Personnel: 4,409

Rough Fire – Currently the Largest Active Fire in California

In addition to the Valley Fire and Butte Fire, dozens of wildfires were burning actively in the Golden State. The largest fire, Rough Fire, has scorched 138,053 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada since July 31, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

New mandatory evacuations and warnings for the Rough Fire were issued on September 12, 2015. There are 3,229 personnel currently assigned to the Rough Fire. Containment remains 40%.

The Rough fire is one of about 250 fires ignited by lightning in late July according to the Forest Service.

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Refugee, Migrant Arrivals by Sea Surpass a Record 430,000: IOM

Posted by feww on September 14, 2015


More than 432,000 refugees, migrants arrive in Europe by sea since January, with 2,748 recorded fatalities

An estimated 432,761 asylum-seeking refugees and migrants have reached Europe by sea in 2015 so far this year (as of September 10, 2015), reported the International Organization for Migration (IOM). “This figure is double the amount of arrivals in the Mediterranean for the entire 2014, emphasizing the scale of the current migration emergency.”

About 70% of the arrivals were registered in Greece (309,356 people), and 28% in Italy (121,139 people). At least 2,748 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea (year to September 10), while 2,223  migrant deaths were recorded in 2014, according to Missing Migrants*.

Greece, the largest arrival portal, registered about 246,000 people: over 70% came from Syria alone (175,375), while the other main countries of origin were Afghanistan (50,177), Pakistan (11,289), and Iraq (9,059) between January 1 and August 31. (Additionally, more than 50,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Greece since the beginning of September, IOM estimates).

Italy recorded 116,149 arrivals during the same period—a 3% increase compared with last year—with the bulk of refugees and migrants coming from Eritrea (30,708), Nigeria (15,113), Somalia (8,790), Sudan (7,126), Syria (6,710), and Gambia (5,514), said the report.

At various border crossings between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) IOM staff recorded that more than 3,000 migrants were in the area passing the borders in groups of 50 every 20 minutes in recent days. Fewer than 50% of the migrants and refugees were nationals from Iraq and Syria, most of them families with little children. The rest were mainly nationals from Afghanistan and Pakistan along with some from Sub-Saharan Africa. Many were also speaking Greek, confirming the fact that along with recent arrivals, there were also those who have lived for years in Greece, wanting now to head to Northern and Western Europe.

More than 450,000 migrants have entered Germany so far this year, with a total of at least 800,000  expected for all of 2015.

*[Some 39 migrants, including 4 infants and 11 older children, drowned on their way to Greece in two separate incidents last weekend, reported AP. ]

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