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Posts Tagged ‘Texas wildfire stats’

Texas drought kills 500 million trees

Posted by feww on December 21, 2011

Up to 500 million trees across Texas have died due to 2011 drought: Report

The new estimates by Texas Forest Service does NOT include trees killed in wildfires that have consumed about 4 million acres of the Lone Star state since the 2011 fires began.

Disaster Calendar 2011 – December 21

[December 21, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,547 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Texas, USA. As many as 500 million trees “with a diameter of 5 inches or larger” across the state of Texas have died as a result of unrelenting drought and record-setting temperatures that plagued the Lone Star state, Texas Forest Service reported.
    • The 12-month period between November 1, 2010 and October 31, 2011 was the driest in Texas history, said the State Climatologist.
    • Also, the months of June, July and August in Texas were the hottest three-month period ever recorded anywhere in America.
    • “In 2011, Texas experienced an exceptional drought, prolonged high winds and record-setting temperatures. Together, those conditions took a severe toll on trees across the state,” said Burl Carraway, Sustainable Forestry department head. “Large numbers of trees in both urban communities and rural forests have died or are struggling to survive. The impacts are numerous and widespread.”
    • The estimate represents about 10 percent of all the trees in the state, Carraway added.
    • “The preliminary estimates indicate three multi-county areas appear to be the hardest hit. The area including Sutton, Crockett, western Kimble and eastern Pecos counties saw extensive mortality among Ashe junipers.” TFS said.
    • “The area including Harris, Montgomery, Grimes, Madison and Leon counties saw extensive mortality among loblolly pines. Western Bastrop and eastern Caldwell counties, as well as surrounding areas, saw extensive mortality among cedars and post oaks.”
    • Trees need about 30 years to mature.

YTD Texas wildfire stats by TFS as of October 7, 2011. [The acreage  burnt includes about 3.1 million acres of pasture land.]

  • Texas. The state’s worst ever drought has also led to the largest-ever one-year decline in its cow herd, reports said.
    • The number of cows in Texas has declined by at least 600,000, a 12 percent drop from the 5 million cows in the state at the beginning of the year, said David Anderson of  the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
    • Large number of cows were moved out of the state “somewhere there’s grass,” but many were slaughtered. For example, about 200,000 more cattle were slaughtered in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas,  this year, a 20 percent increase over last year, he said.

Other Disasters

  • The Carolinas, USA. A total of 19 counties in the Carolinas have been declared as agricultural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that began June 1, 2011, and continues, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported.
    • South Carolina disaster designations cover 6 primary areas including Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union counties, and 8 contiguous areas: Abbeville, Anderson, Chester, Fairfield, Greenwood, Newberry, Oconee and York counties
    • Five North Carolina counties also included in the declaration because they’re contiguous disaster areas: Cleveland, Henderson, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania.
  • Hong Kong. The government is culling 17,000 chickens after three birds died from the H5N1 bird flu strain last week.
    • Two wild birds including an Oriental magpie and a black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) were found dead  with the virus.
    • An outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease SARS killed 300 people in the territory and 500 more worldwide in 2003.
    • Meantime, a government advisory board in the US has asked scientific journals not to publish details of “certain biomedical experiments, for fear that the information could be used by terrorists to create deadly viruses and touch off epidemics,” a report said.
  • USA. About 41% of young adults and adolescents in the U.S. have been arrested at least once before age 23, not including minor traffic violations. Up to 27% reported being arrested before age 18, according to a study published by the Journal of Pediatrics.
  • USA.  Blizzard conditions across five states have killed at least a dozen people since Monday including
    • Four people traveling in east-central New Mexico were killed in a head-on collision
    • A driver in New Mexico was killed after his SUV overturned
    • A prisoner and a corrections officer in Colorado were killed after their vehicle went out of control.
    • Five people were killed when their plane crashed in Central Texas on Monday. “Weather may have been a contributing factor,” Texas Department of Public Safety said. “There was some rain in this area and some lightning.”
    • A tornado spawned by thunderstorms damaged a hospital in DeQuincy, Louisiana, National Weather Service reported.
    • Emergency services across the Great Plains have received hundreds of rescue calls since Monday, when the blizzard shut down highways.
    • The storm has brought snow from Oklahoma into Kansas, and forced Los Alamos National Laboratory to shut down.

Continuing southern Plains blizzard snarls pre-holiday travel with heavy snow, high winds

Storm forces massive school closures impacts numerous highways in four states

Kansas City, Mo. – Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 – The winter storm that began developing Monday in New Mexico made its presence known by wreaking havoc on pre-holiday travel. Blizzard conditions closed numerous roads, schools and businesses today; stranded motorists and kept transportation and emergency management agencies busy trying to keep roads clear. National Guard troops were assigned to rescue people from stranded vehicles in several locations.

Blizzard Warnings remained in effect until around noon today in central, southwestern and west-central Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and the northern and western Texas Panhandle.

A Winter Storm Warning was in effect for the same period in central and North-central Kansas. Winter Weather Advisories were in effect for southeastern Colorado; northern, central and south-central Kansas; northeast Missouri, northwest Oklahoma and the southern Texas Panhandle.

As of early this morning, the heaviest snowfall reported from the storm was 15 inches that fell on Springfield and La Junta in southeast Colorado. High winds have created drifts up to 10 feet deep in that area. Other overnight snow reports from Colorado included 12 inches at Beulah in Pueblo County, 10 inches at Las Animas and 8-12 inches in Huerfano County.

Winds around 25-35 mph with gusts to 50 mph are also producing considerable blowing snow and white out conditions throughout the blizzard area. Observers have reported 3-5-foot drifts across roads in much of southwest Kansas with-5-9 inches of snow on the ground overnight. Drifts are reaching 8 feet deep in parts of Hamilton County, Kan. The heaviest snow observed in Kansas so far was 12 inches at Scott City. – Source: NWS-CRH

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