Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘Juniper Road Fire’

State of Emergency Declared in 29 North Carolina Counties

Posted by feww on June 26, 2011

N.C. Gov. declares a state of emergency in 29 counties due to drought conditions, wildfires

Several major fires are raging in Pender, Dare, Brunswick, New Hanover, Columbus, Onslow and Bladen counties.

The fires, covering about 80,000 acres, were started by lightning and have been burning for more than a week.

North Carolina Map of below normal 7-day average streamflow. Source: USGS. Click images to enlarge

State of Emergency Declaration

Gov. Beverly Perdue signed the declaration “due to the extreme fire hazard created by dry conditions and the current wildfires/forest fires in several of these counties.”

Perdue said in a statement:

“I want to assure residents of North Carolina that the state Division of Forest Resources and its partnering agencies are working hard to contain the fires in Eastern North Carolina. They will continue to focus on the top priorities of protecting lives and property nearest the fires.”

Details of property damage and evacuation orders were not known as of posting. However, many communities across the region have been alerted for possible evacuation.

Up to 15 counties are currently under an air quality alert due to particulate matter (PM-2.5) traveling in the wind.

Code Purple Alert

The N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources has issued a Code Purple alert (“very unhealthy”)  for coastal communities due to the smoke from the blazes this weekend.

“Some of the highest particle pollution levels that [the state Division of Air Quality] has ever measured were in smoke plumes from wildfires … Fine particles can penetrate deeply into the lungs and be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing or aggravating heart and lung diseases.” The agency said in a statement.

NOTE: EPA seems to have two Code Purple Alerts!!

The First Code Purple refers to “very unhealthy” air quality, or AQI of 201 to 300.

The Second Code Purple seems to refer to “hazardous” air quality, or AQI of 301 to 500.

AQI color chart – air pollution hazard by EPA. Click to enlarge.

AQI Ratings

  • An AQI of 100 for ozone corresponds to an ozone level of 0.075 parts per million (averaged over 8 hours) [EPA data.]
  • An AQI of 100 for carbon monoxide corresponds to a level of 9 parts per million (averaged over 8 hours) [EPA data.]
  • An AQI of 100 for sulfur dioxide corresponds to a level of 0.14 parts per million (averaged over 24 hours) [EPA data.]
  • An AQI of 300 for PM-2.5 corresponds to a level of 250 micrograms of the particulate per cubic meter (averaged over 24 hours) [FIRE-EARTH calc.]

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Massive Pender Fire Killing Many Animals

Posted by feww on June 24, 2011

Devastating Wildfire in Holly Shelter Game Land, NC, Grows to about 19,000

Pender Fire was started by lightning on Sunday afternoon and has since consumed about 19,000 acres with unknown containment.

The fast-moving wildfire is burning Holly Shelter Game Land has killed  many types of animals, according to reports.

Also known as the Juniper Road Fire,  the blaze is reportedly moving  toward NC 53 and NC 50 in the Maple Hill area. The raging blaze  continues to threaten about 2,000 homes in Pender and Onslow counties.

Pender Fire is one of three major wildfires currently burning in North Carolina.

Fire Summary

  • Cause: Lightning
  • Date of Origin Sunday June 19th, 2011 approx. 03:33 PM
  • Location: Holly Shelter Game Land, Juniper Road and County Line Road, 8 miles North of Topsail
  • Total Personnel: 101
  • Size: ~ 19,000 acres (Local reports)
  • Fire Behavior: Sustained burning along uncontained fireline, short range spotting, torching along the flanks and intense smoldering of organic soils within the fire interior.
  • Growth Potential: High
  • Terrain Difficulty: High

“There’s no doubt the wildfire is sending out massive amounts of smoke and that’s impacting a lot of areas near and far from the fire location.” Said a report.

“It’s a real thick smoke. You can see the fire from everywhere. It’s through North Carolina, so a lot of the tourists have been complaining,” said a Surf City resident.

Analyzed Fires and Smoke from Satellite on NESDIS ArcIMS server. Map enhanced by FIRE-EARTH. Click images to enlarge.

An image from Pains Bay Fire, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Dare County Range(Dept. of Defense, ASAF) in Dare County, NC.

The Pains Bay Fire was reported on the afternoon of Thursday, May 5, 2011 and was caused by lightning. It is burning on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Dare County Range (Dept. of Defense, ASAF) in Dare County, NC. Fuels are chaparral pocosin growing on organic peat soil up to 8 feet deep. Early, fast spread of the fire was caused by low relative humidity and high winds. For several days, the perimeter of the fire has been stationary. Ground fire burning in deep peat continues to hamper containment efforts. Source: Inciweb. Click image to enlarge.

A possible threat still exists to the Stumpy Point community. Conditions are being monitored and the need for evacuation is being assessed on a continuous basis. US 264, between Stumpy Point and Engelhard, has been closed intermittently since the fire began due to smoke and firefighter activity. Heavy smoke from smoldering peat continues to effect surrounding communities and areas as far as Raleigh, NC and Norfolk, VA.

Pains Bay Fire Announcement

Convergent Smoke Plumes Drift& heavily impact Northeastern NC.

Image of the Day

States Currently Reporting Large Fires

  • Alaska (1 fire, ~ 23,000 acres)
  • Arkansas (1)
  • Arizona (5 fires >800,000 acres)
  • Colorado (1)
  • Florida (11 fires, ~50,000)
  • Georgia (3 fires, ~ 320,000 acres)
  • Mississippi (1)
  • New Mexico (2 fires, ~35,000 acres)
  • North Carolina (3, ~ 70,000 acres)
  • Oklahoma (3 fires )
  • Texas (17 fires, ~ 200,000 acres)
  • Acres currently burning in active fires: ~1,500,000
  • Largest fire burning in the country: Wallow Fire (Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona); 529,825 acres burned [official stats] at 61 percent contained.

Preparedness Levels

  • National Preparedness Level 3
  • Southern Area Preparedness Level: 5
  • Texas Fire Service Preparedness Level: 5

Year-to-date statistics

  • 2011 (1/1/11 – 6/23/11) Fires: 34,673 Acres: 4,585,583 [Official stats]
  • Total acres burned: 8+ million acres [FIRE-EARTH estimate]
  • Worst hit State: Texas with 10,825 fires burning 3,189,457  acres [TFS stats,] and about 1,800 building destroyed [FIRE-EARTH estimate]

Red Flag Warnings

Red Flag Warnings are currently issued in parts of six states: Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Click map below to enter NWS interactive portal for details of Red Flag Warnings.)

U.S. Hazards Map. Click map to enter NWS interactive portal.

The “Mexican” Drought

According to the Drought Monitor report 70 percent of Texas experienced “exceptional drought,” the worst level of drought, over the last week.

Also 91 percent of the sate is stricken by either exceptional or “extreme” drought, the second-worst category.

Arizona is experiencing exceptional or extreme drought in 70 percent of its land up by 3 percent from the previous period.

Louisiana saw exceptional drought rising to 65 percent of the state, a near three-fold increase, and Oklahoma 35 percent, up from about 8 percent previously.

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