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Posts Tagged ‘Alaska wildfire’

Alaska Wildfires Setting New Record?

Posted by feww on July 15, 2015


Alaska’s fire season 2015 now 5th* largest on record

Alaska’s fire season could continue later into the year than is normally expected due to  elevated conditions that are currently in place, said Predictive Services National Interagency Fire Center.

Alaska’s fire season normally starts from April 1 through August 31.

10 Largest fire seasons on record in Alaska since 1939 [Source: AK Forestry; estimates by FIRE-EARTH]

1) 2004 – 6,590,140 acres – 701 fires
2) 1957 – 5,049,661 acres – 391 fires
3) 1939 – 5,000,000 acres – 200 fires
4) 2005 – 4,649,597 acres – 624 fires
5) 2015 – 4,500,100 acres –  675 fires [*Estimated by FIRE-EARTH]
[Official record for the year-to-date fires stands at 671 fires burning total of 4,447,182 acres as of July 12, 2015.]
6) 1940 – 4,500,000 acres – 130 fires
7) 1969 – 4,231,820 acres – 685 fires
8) 1941 – 3,654,774 acres – 138 fires
9) 1990 – 3,189,079 acres – 750 fires
10) 2009 – 2,934,608 acres – 516 fires

As of July 2, some 750 wildfires [obviously, the figure has  been revised since] had burned an estimated 2.4 million acres in Alaska, “which is at pace with the 2004 season when 6.59 million acres burned,” Kale Casey, a public information officer for the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. “In addition to the dry season we’re having, we’ve had a huge amount of lightning—about 6,000 to 10,000 bolts per day. There was three-day period in June where we had over 31,000 lightning strikes.”

U.S. Fire Stats

National Preparedness Level 3 – as of June 26, 2015 at 10 a.m. MDT (on a scale from 1 to 5)

July 14, 2015

Six new large fires were reported yesterday, four in Alaska and one in Florida and Montana. Large fires burned actively yesterday in Alaska. The Sea and Chahalie fires both burned more than 50,000 acres each yesterday.

  • Number of new large fires: 6
  • States currently reporting large fires:
    • Alaska (22)
    • California (1)
    • Florida (2)
    • Idaho (2)
    • Montana (2)
    • Oregon (2)
    • Washington (5)

Year-to-date statistics  2015 (1/1/15 – 7/14/15)

  • Fires: 31,974
  • Acres: 5,196,033
  • Acres from active fires: 1,637,893
  • Annual average prior 10 years (2005-2014)
  • Fires: 40,722
  • Acres: 2,987,569  More…

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Hundreds of Residents, Animals Evacuated as Wildfire Threatens Two Alaskan Communities

Posted by feww on July 8, 2013

Wildfire sparked by Army artillery exercise burning close to two communities of Two Rivers and Pleasant Valley

Evacuation Ordered for Two Rivers & Pleasant Valley From Mile Post 18 to 34 – Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

The Stuart Creek 2 fire, which started on June 19, flared up last week consuming nearly 65,000 acres NW of of Fairbanks.

The blaze was burning mostly on the Army’s Fort Wainwright land and was 5  percent contained as of Monday.

“By Sunday afternoon, 843 residents and 434 structures had been evacuated, along with scores of sled dogs and livestock, Weston said. The Tanana Valley Fairgrounds had taken in dog teams, a horse, chickens, turkeys and a ‘big pig’ as of Sunday night,” said a report.

“Some area residents had already evacuated just weeks ago, when two other wildfires burned in the Chena Hot Springs Road areas, said agency coordination center spokeswoman Weston.”

Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Situation Report [Sunday – 07/07/2013]

  • Preparedness Level 4
  • YTD Fires: 442
  • YTD Acres: 1,002,055.4
  • Some 95 active fires were burning in Alaska, as of posting.

Effective 1:00 pm July 7, the Stuart Creek 2 Incident Commander has issued an evacuation notice for residents of Two Rivers and Pleasant Valley. This notice is for all residents and businesses along Chena Hot Springs Road between Mile posts 18 and 34.  The evacuation route is west on Chena Hot
Springs Road. Once you leave, you may not be able to reenter the evacuation area until the fire danger has passed


Chariot Fire burns 2,500 acres, forcing evacuations in San Diego County

The Chariot Fire has consumed at least 2,500 acres east of San Diego and was 10% contained as of early Sunday. The Horse Heaven, El Prado, & Laguna Campgrounds on the Cleveland National Forest and the Al Bahr Shrine Campground have been evacuated. The Red Cross is setting up an evacuation center at Joan McQueen Middle School in Alpine, Inciweb reported.


Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

At least 51 people were killed, as of posting, in clashes between Egypt army and pro-Morsi protesters at the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo.

The clashes  has left at least 51 civilians dead and 435 others injured, said the ministry of health on Monday.

“In an official statement published by Al-Ahram Arabic news website, the army said an ‘armed terrorist group’ attempted to break into the Republican Guard headquarters in the early hours of Monday and ‘attacked security forces.’ said a report.

“The Muslim Brotherhood’s FJP, however, issued an official statement saying ‘peaceful protesters were performing the Fajjr (dawn) prayers’ when the army ‘fired tear gas and gunshots at them without any consideration for the sanctity of prayers or life.'”

“This is also a violation against people’s right to peaceful protest,” it added.


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Thousands Evacuated as New Wildfires Rage in U.S.

Posted by feww on June 20, 2013

Wildfires in Arizona, Alaska, California and Colorado Prompt Evacuations

An Arizona wildfire, dubbed Doce Fire, has burned at least 7,000 acres of chaparral and pine forest in just over 24 hours, prompting mandatory evacuation of more than 200 homes in five areas near the Granite Mountain Wilderness area, about 100 miles north of Phoenix.


Lime Gulch Fire: A new wildfire in Jefferson County, southwest of Denver, has forced the emergency evacuation of about 100 homes on Wednesday.

Sparked by lightning, the Lime Gulch Fire has been burning fiercely since Tuesday. The blaze is fueled by gusty winds of up to 40 mph and humidity levels as low as 5 percent.

Most of Colorado will be under Red Flag Warnings Wednesday and Thursday due to ongoing drought, hot and windy conditions, forecasters said.

Black Forest Fire: The fire, listed as the most destructive in Colorado’s history, which started on Tuesday, June 11, was about 85 percent contained on June 19, 2013 (1:00 p.m. DST).

According to El Paso Sheriff’s website, the property loss caused by the deadly fire are currently as follows:

  • Total Loss: 509 homes
  • Partial Damage: 28


Carstens Fire: The 1,600-acre wildfire, which has been burning since Sunday near a highway in N California, is currently 40 percent contained.

  • More than 500 homes remain under evacuation orders.

Carstens Fire in Mariposa County, Calif., Day 2 – June 17, 2013 


Red Flag Warnings remain in effect across Alaska amid baking temperatures, which top 90 degrees (32ºC ), low humidity and strong to gusty winds.

Alaska wildfires have consumed more than 172,158 acres (269 sq miles) of land, according to Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Situation Report dated Wednesday June, 19, 2013.

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TS DEBBY: Florida Declares State of Emergency

Posted by feww on June 25, 2012

More flooding and tornadoes could strike Florida, as DEBBY hovers off the Gulf Coast

Florida Governor declared statewide emergency stating that “the broad impact of Tropical Storm Debby” could affect “virtually every county in Florida.”

As of Monday, DEBBY had forced Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operators to shut down about half of oil and more than a third of natural gas production.

  • The storm is forecast to dump at least a foot of rain in the coastal parts of the state, with some areas receiving as much as 25 inches, the hurricane center said.
  • Debby is also forecast to drench southern areas of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
  • Tornadoes spawned by DEBBY have killed at least one person and injured two others, destroying or damaging two dozen homes in Highlands County, Fl.

TS DEBBY: Tropical Storm Force Wind Speed Probability.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Colorado.  The state of Colorado is becoming a raging inferno due to record heat which is causing the worst fire weather conditions in living memory.
    • Record heat is forecast for southern Plains this week, with heat advisories issued for Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
    • The temperature at Denver International airport reached a record 102 degrees (ºF) on Sunday, June 24, breaking  the old record of 100 degrees set in 2007,  NWS office in Boulder reported.
    • The tinder-dry conditions are contributing to at least in dozen wildfires burning in Colorado today including
      • Waldo Canyon Fire, west of Colorado Springs – 2,800 homes are in immediate danger; 11,000 residents have evacuated 4,000 homes; about 3,500 acres burned; ZERO containment.
      • High Park Fire west of Fort Collins – the second-largest and the most destructive blaze ever recorded in the state has destroyed at least 248 homes; burned 83,205 acres; up to 5,000 people remain evacuated; 45 percent contained.
      • Little Sand Fire near Pagosa Springs, Weber Fire in Montezuma County, State Line Fire  southeast of Durango, Treasure Fire near Leadville, Trout Creek Fire near Rainbow Falls in Douglas County, Woodland Heights Fire near Estes Park southwest of the High Park Fire, and Elbert Fire have so far consumed about 30,000 acres.
      • Wood Hollow fire. The blaze about 1 mile south of Fountain Green in Utah State Division of Forestry Fire & State Lands has exploded to about 40,000 acres destroying numerous structures and scores of farm animals, mostly sheep.
        • Evacuations: Up to 2,000 people have been evacuated. Indian Ridge, Elk Ridge, Big Hollow, and Oaker Hills communities are under mandatory evacuation.
        • Closures: Highway 89 closure is in effect.
        • Weather: “The big worry now is the weather. Everything that can be done is being done,” Gov Herbert said in a televised conference.

Wood Hollow Fire. Photo credit: Utah State Division of Forestry Fire & State Lands

US Weather Hazards Map, June 26, 2012.

  • Meantime, Colorado legislators have asked USDA to open up additional land for emergency livestock grazing as farmers, ranchers battle the severe drought affecting the state, a report said.
    • The entire state of Colorado is currently experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions.

Colorado Drought Map – June 2012 – US Drought Monitor

  • Vermont.  Crops in the state of Vermont are under attack by armyworms, a report said.
    • “They are definitely eating, that is what it looks like,” said Heather Darby an agronomist with the University of Vermont Extension.
    • “We get that first call from a farmer who says I don’t know where my corn went. Can you come out and look? And we come out and look around and you can see the worms essentially so bad the ground’s moving.”
  • New York.   Armyworms have invaded farm fields throughout Jefferson County, NY,  with a major outbreak of the worms threatening widespread damage to crops, reports said.
    • “This year, it just seems like the moths got a head start on ’em and that’s what’s happened. So we’re starting to get a buildup of these parasitic flies and these fungal diseases now, but it’s a little, you know, too little, too late right now to control what we’ve got going on now,” said an expert with with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
  • Alaska.  The Bear Creek fire which was ignited by lightning about 14 miles south of Clear Airforce Base, AK, on June 23, had grown to about 1,500 acres by Sunday local time. On Monday, the blaze exploded by more than 12 folds, consuming more than 20,000 acres.
    • The fire is aided by strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity, burning in black spruce and hardwoods.
    • At least three other fires are burning within close proximity, fire authorities said.
  • British Columbia, Canada.  Weekend storms forced at least 700 people to flee their homes, while 1,200 others were placed on evacuation alert.
    • “Weeks of rapid snowmelt and wet weather caused river levels to rise in the B.C. Interior, the Kootenay region and the Fraser Valley, and a weekend of heavy rain and violent thunderstorms pushed many rivers and creeks in those areas to the brink,” said a report.
    • Flooding has left at least one man dead, causing widespread devastation in the region with many homes, businesses and public infrastructure destroyed.
    • The municipality of Sicamous declared a local state of emergency on Saturday, a report said.
  • Montana.  Pony Fire in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, ignited on June 24th, has grown to more than 2,500 acres threatening numerous structures.
    • The town of Mammoth and South Boulder north to the Indiana University Geology Field Station are under mandatory evacuation, Inciweb reported.
    • At least 2 other wildfires, Antelope Lane fire and Corral fire, are burning nearby.

State of the Climate – Global Analysis for May 2012

  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature for May 2012 was the all-time warmest May on record, at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above average
  • The Northern Hemisphere land and ocean average surface temperature for May 2012 was the all-time warmest May on record, at 0.85°C (1.53°F) above average.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for May 2012 was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F). This is the second warmest May since records began in 1880, behind only 2010.

Temperature Anomalies Maps for May 2012 [Source: NCDC/NOAA]

See also: Hottest U.S. Spring on Record

Today’s Record Temperatures

NOAA/NCDC reported 58 high temperature records broken Monday across nine states: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kentucky. The temperature records included

  • Colorado: 31 records broken, 7 tied; highest temp 110 degrees at La Junta Airport; old record 107 in 1990
  • Kansas: 10 broken, 4 tied; highest temp 114 degrees  northeast of Hill City, old record 108 in 1971
  • Kentucky: tied record 94 degrees at London, KY; old record set in 1988
  • Missouri:  1 tie, 95 degrees at Kirksville, old record set in 1971
  • Nebraska:  4 broken, 1 tied; 105 degrees near Harrisburg in Banner County; old record 98 in 2001
  • Wyoming:  6 broken, 8 tied; highest temp 107 at Gillette; old record 99 in 1988
  • Texas:  3 broken, 2 tied, highest 102 degrees at Victoria tied 102 in 2009
  • Oklahoma: 1 broken, 101 degrees at Ralston in Pawnee County, old record 100 in 1988
  • Arkansas:  3 broken, two tied, highest 101 at Little Rock Forecast office and Little Rock airport; old record 99 and 100 in 1988

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in environment, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global economy, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global ghg emissions, global health catastrophe, global heating, global Temperature Anomalies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »