Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive – mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin in 2016

Posts Tagged ‘wildfire’

FIRE-EARTH Alert: Deadly Wildfires Force Mass Evacuation in TN

Posted by feww on November 30, 2016

US Wildfires Consume Forest, Damage or Destroy Hundreds of Buildings, Force Mass Evacuation in Tennessee

  • Details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

 

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: Wildfires Force Mass Evacuations in Haifa, Israel

Posted by feww on November 24, 2016

Tens of Thousands of People Flee Raging Wildfires in Haifa

  • Some 50,000 of Haifa’s residents have abandoned their homes.
  • Fires are also threatening homes in the West Bank and near Jerusalem.
  • Fire has destroyed/damaged homes and vehicles in the city of Modi’in.
  • Evacuations are also underway in the occupied West Bank.

 

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: CLDT

Posted by feww on November 19, 2016

CJ Members

Drought Kills 102 Million Trees in California

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Friday that the U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California’s drought-stricken forests.

Drought has killed at least 62 million trees in 2016 alone, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years.

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Drought kills more than 102 million trees in California, including 62 million this year alone. US Forest Service.

“These dead and dying trees continue to elevate the risk of wildfire, complicate our efforts to respond safely and effectively to fires when they do occur, and pose a host of threats to life and property across California,” said Agriculture Secretary. “USDA has made restoration work and the removal of excess fuels a top priority, but until Congress passes a permanent fix to the fire budget, we can’t break this cycle of diverting funds away from restoration work  to fight the immediate threat of the large unpredictable fires caused by the fuel buildups themselves.”

This year, California had a record setting wildfire season, with the Blue Cut fire alone scorching over 30,000 acres and triggering the evacuation of 80,000 people. In the southeastern United States wildfires have burned more than 120,000 acres this fall. The southeast region of the Forest Service is operating at the highest preparedness level, PL 5, reflecting the high level of physical resources and funding devoted to the region.  Extreme drought conditions persist, and many areas have not seen rain for as many as 95 days.

  • Details of Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: SEO – NCWF

Posted by feww on November 13, 2016

CJ Members

FIRE-EARTH Alert: State of Emergency in NC amid Wildfires

  • A State of Emergency has been declared in N.C. due to more than two dozen wildfires in Western North Carolina.
  • The fires have been prompted by the lingering drought, unseasonably dry weather conditions, and abnormally warm temperatures.
    • Temperatures across the northern Rockies, High Plains, and upper Midwest are expected to be 15 to 25 degrees above normal, said NWS.
  • The State of Emergency is in effect for 25 counties including Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey.
  • “As eastern North Carolina was underwater due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew, the western part of the state has been suffering from a severe drought and now hundreds of acres are burning,” said NC governor.
  • Several dozen wildfires are burning in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Western South Carolina.
  • Full details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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“Most Devastating” Wildfire Destroys Scores of Homes in SoCal

Posted by feww on June 24, 2016

Ferocious wildfire in Squirrel Valley, Kern County destroys 100 homes, structures threatens 1,500 more

One of the most devastating wildfires I’ve ever seen —Kern County Fire Capt.

The explosive Erskine Fire has consumed about 5,400 acres since Thursday afternoon in Lake Isabella, Kern County, about 65km northeast of Bakersfield, destroying at least 80 homes, two dozen structures, and threatening 1,500 more.

The fire is “extremely dangerous, extremely volatile,” said Kern County Fire Capt. Tyler Townsend.

“I’ve never been in a wildland fire where I’ve seen so many homes burn. It’s one of the most devastating I’ve ever seen,” said Townsend.

Mass evacuations have been ordered in the areas threatened by the blaze including the rural communities of South Fork, Weldon, Onyx, Lakeland Estates, Yankee Canyon and Mountain Mesa, according to official reports.

 

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Trick or Treat: ‘Organized Crime’ Setting Sicily on Fire

Posted by feww on June 17, 2016

Palermo homes evacuated as fires spread

Authorities have evacuated multiple properties in Palermo as raging wildfires, believed to have started intentionally, and fanned by the powerful ‘Sirocco’ winds, continue to spread across several parts of Sicily.

The fires have forced the closure of several motorways and highways across the affected areas. “The A20 motorway between Palermo and Messina was shut down to the wildfires that are also threatening several buildings and hotels in the area. The 113 state highway between Lascari and Cefalù was also closed.  Some 50 nursery-school children were overcome by fumes from a fire on Monte Caputo at Monreale near Palermo  and taken to hospital, while the school was evacuated,” ANSA reported.

Sicily’s President Rosario Crocetta told reporters that he believed the fires were started by organized crime.

“How do you explain a blazing fire in Cefalù [on Wednesday night,] when the temperature was [only] 24 degrees?

“Of course, the heat and wind then play their part. I do not have proof, but I suspect criminals were responsible because they always affect the most valuable areas around Palermo,”he said.

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Dangerous Heat to Continue across Desert Southwest, U.S. Midsection

Posted by feww on June 17, 2016

Large swathes of the US domed by oppressive and dangerous heat 

Dangerous heat expected to continue across the midsection of the U.S. in addition to the Desert Southwest.

Oppressive and dangerous heat persists across parts of Plains…Mississippi Valley and the Desert Southwest. Numerous excessive heat warnings in effect across the Desert Southwest and parts of the Plains. Widespread heat advisories are in effect from the Gulf Coast to central Plains. Severe thunderstorms will be possible across parts of the northern Plains on Saturday.  —NWS

“The persistent ridge anchored over the central U.S. will keep the oppressive and dangerous heat across the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley. The Desert Southwest is also facing extreme heat, with the scale tipping well over the century mark. Places around Phoenix can even see temperatures over 110 degrees this weekend. Numerous excessive heat warnings in effect across the Desert Southwest, Kansas and Oklahoma. Widespread heat advisories are in effect from the Gulf Coast to central Plains.” —NWS/WPC

Wildfire burning in Santa Barbara County explodes to 4,000 acres

The so-called Sherpa fire, burning in Santa Barbara County, is threatening homes and forcing closure of major highways.

“The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said mandatory evacuations for El Capitan, Refugio, Venadito and Las Flores canyons north of Santa Barbara remained in effect, while residents of neighboring communities such as Las Llagas, Gato, Las Varas, Dos Pueblos and Eagle canyons received evacuation warnings,” LA Times reported.

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State of Emergency Declared in New Mexico as Wildfire Spreads

Posted by feww on June 16, 2016

Fast moving Dog Head fire grows to over 5,000 acres, consumes structures

Dog Head fire broke out in the Manzano Mountains Tuesday afternoon and has since consumed more than 5,000 acres, with zero containment, prompting State of Emergency declaration and mass evacuations.

At least 200 homes have been evacuated, as Gov. Martinez declared a state of emergency, and placed the National Guard on standby.

The Dog Head Wildfire is affecting portions of Bernalillo and Torrance Counties, Martinez said in her Proclamation.

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Mass Evacuation Ordered as Wildfire Threatens Homes in SoCal

Posted by feww on June 5, 2016

“Old Fire” consumes 500 acres, threatens 1,200+ residences in Calabasas, LA County

The fast moving wildfire broke out Saturday afternoon and rapidly burned about 500 acres in and around Calabasas neighborhoods prompting the authorities to order at least 5,000 people to abandon their homes.

The fire was fulled by strong winds, low relative humidity and 100-degree (F) temperatures.

The fire was apparently sparked when a pickup truck struck a power pole on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas, according to Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

“Witnesses reported that the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed before colliding into a power pole, causing the pole to fall and a transformer to explode, thus igniting the Calabasas fire.”

 

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Massive Alberta Wildfire Enters Saskatchewan

Posted by feww on May 20, 2016

Fort McMurray wildfire is almost the size of Delaware

The massive forest fire that devastated Fort McMurray, Alta., has now crossed the border into Saskatchewan, said Canadian officials.

The ferocious fire had devoured 505,645 hectares of forest as of Thursday morning local time, and expanded east of the border, burning 771 hectares in Saskatchewan, according to fire officials.

The fire is said to be about 30km from the nearest village, La Loche.

The latest Canadian Wildland Fire Information System map indicates the Fort McMurray fire has entered Saskatchewan at two points. However, the Saskatchewan government insists the southern part is actually a brand new, 40-hectare fire, said a report.

“One of the new fires, which covers 40 hectares, started close to the Fort McMurray fire on the Saskatchewan-Alberta border sometime during the evening on May 18.”

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Fort McMurray Wildfire Could Double in Size by Tonight: Govt

Posted by feww on May 7, 2016

The 101,000-hectare fire could double in size by tonight amid 27-dgree temp. and 40-kmph wind gusts

The massive blaze claiming Fort McMurray had grown to at least 101,000 hectares, as of posting, and was  moving northeast, away from the community, senior wildfire manager Chad Morrison told reporters.

Meanwhile, another wildfire in Manitoba province, one of the large blazes burning on the eastern border with Ontario, has prompted the provincial government to issue a Mandatory evacuation order.

The following update on wildfire situation, is mirrored from the Alberta

  • People who have been displaced will be provided with $1,250 peradult and $500 per dependant in emergency financial assistance. This will probably be provided in the form of pre-loaded debit cards. Details on when this assistance will be available and how to get access to it will be announced by May 11, 2016. Government of Alberta offices will not have additional information until that time. When details are available they will be posted on emergency.alberta.ca and available through 310-4455. In order to allow for immediate distribution to people most urgently in need of this assistance, we are asking evacuees who are not in dire need of these funds not to claim them immediately.
  • The Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) will allocate an initial $200 million for emergency costs. Disaster recovery programs provide financial assistance for municipalities and their citizens who incur uninsurable loss and damage as a result of a disastrous event. This amount was already included in Budget 2016 to cover emergency events.
  • The Wood Buffalo Ministerial Recovery Task Force has been established to:
    • ensure safety and security in the affected areas;
    • support the needs of the communities;
    • plan the timely re-entry of residents when it is safe to do so; and
    • support the resumption of municipal, economic and business activities.
  • Convoys of vehicles were temporarily halted at about 1 p.m. today due to wildfire smoke on Highway 63 south of Fort McMurray. They resumed about an hour later. Traffic is flowing south on Highway 63 from the Parsons Creek Interchange under RCMP control.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with 12 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 40 wildfires are burning, with five out of control, eight being held, 21 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties.
  • A provincewide ban on the use of off-highway vehicles, due to the risk these vehicles pose in the very dry conditions Alberta is experiencing, is in effect.
  • A provincial fire ban remains in effect across Alberta. All fire permits are suspended and no new permits will be issued. All open fires, including campfires and charcoal briquettes, are prohibited.
  • Temperatures in the high teens and winds gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour will make firefighting challenging.
  • More than 1,200 firefighters, approximately 110 helicopters, 295 pieces of heavy equipment and more than 27 air tankers are fighting the fires across the province.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.

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Fort McMurray Wildfire Expected to Keep Growing: Officials

Posted by feww on May 6, 2016

UPDATED: 09:30UTC Fri May 6, 2016

“Fire conditions remain extreme, with 18 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 49 wildfires are burning, with seven considered out of control, 12 being held, 23 under control, and seven turned over to the responsible parties,” said Alberta Government.

Damage to Fort McMurray “Extensive,” the City “Unsafe” for Residents: Alberta Premier 

The explosive blaze, which erupted on Sunday, had grown to about 90,000 hectares by Thursday.

  • State of Emergency continues across in the disaster area across Fort McMurray and surrounding communities.
  • Mandatory Mass Evacuations of about 88,000 residents are nearly completed.
  • The residents will not be able to return home anytime soon, officials have warned.
  • The fire has destroyed thousands of structures in the city.
  • “The damage to the community of Fort McMurray is extensive and the city is not safe for residents,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley Thursday evening.
  • The flames are spreading to the communities of Anzac and Gregoire Lake Estates and posing “extreme threat” to the areas south and southeast of Fort McMurray, as of Thursday evening (local time).

UPDATE:

Fort McMurray Wildfire creating its own weather, lightning

“The wildfire threatening to engulf the city has become so powerful it has created its own firestorm,” reported CBC.

The powerful firestorm has created its own weather system, funneling smoke and particulates high into the stratosphere, and generating powerful lightning strikes, sad the report.

“They tend to promote their own kind of conditions,” said a meteorologist for Environment Canada.

“That’s why you’ll see the winds near fires … that are significantly stronger that the surrounding atmosphere.”

FIRE-EARTH Disaster Models estimate the direct damage costs from the fire at $5 billion, based on the data available, as of posting.  [Total damage costs could easily exceed $10 billion.]

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Fort McMurray Wildfire has Destroyed 1,600 Buildings: Alberta Premier

Posted by feww on May 5, 2016

State of Emergency Declared in Alberta

Mandatory Mass Evacuations: 88,000 residents flee Fort McMurray, surrounding communities

The explosive wildfire that is raging around Fort McMurray, the Canadian oil city in the provice of Alberta, has consumed about 8,000 hectares so far,  destroying 1,600 structures in the city, said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

“There’s been fairly significant destruction of residences,” she told reporters in Edmonton on Wednesday.

“We’re looking at roughly 1,600 structures at this point, so we’ve begun conversations with our federal partners about work that will need to be done with respect to restoration and recovery once the fire is brought under control.”

“We successfully evacuated 88,000 people,” fire Chief Darby Allen said at a news conference.  “No one is hurt and no one has passed away.”

Fort McMurray effectively cut off from the rest of Alberta 

“Currently that fire, at Airport Road and Highway 63  … has jumped both sides of the road, and traffic is no longer moving north or south,” a city official said on Wednesday evening.


Morning dawns on the widespread devastation in Beacon Hill, where 80 per cent of homes were lost. (Sylvain Bascaron/CBC)

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Wildfire Forces Evacuation Order for 60,000+ in Fort McMurray, Canada

Posted by feww on May 4, 2016

Massive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., destroys entire neighborhoods

A massive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., The entire city of 60,000 plus were ordered to evacuate. “Residents by the thousands fled the fire, and for hours caused gridlock on Highway 63, and even overwhelmed oilsands work camps, where beds and meals were offered.”

Tens of thousands of evacuees are headed for Edmonton, about 430km away, said reports.

“This is the biggest evacuation we have seen in the history of the province,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at a news conference.

The entire neighborhood of Beacon Hill “appears to have been lost” and the fire has consumed many homes in other parts of the city, said the Fire chief Darby Allen.

“We have fire burning within the city. It is impacting communities. Homes are on fire as we speak,” he said.

By 6:30 p.m., the entire city was under a mandatory evacuation order, making it the largest wildfire evacuation in the province’s history, far surpassing the Slave Lake fire that made international headlines five years ago. http://www.cbc.ca/

The 3,000-hectare fire, which was discovered on Sunday, breached city limits on Tuesday.

In May 2015, wildfires forced the evacuation of hundreds of workers from Alberta’s oil sands region, resulting in a sizable loss in the oil production.

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Oklahoma Governor Declares State of Emergency in 10 New Counties

Posted by feww on April 7, 2016

Wildfires converge; consume 60k acres in Kansas, Oklahoma; hundreds evacuated

Multiple wildfires raging across Kansas and Oklahoma have destroyed tens of thousands of acres (hectares). Four major blazes converged to form massive fire on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents from a small town in Oklahoma.

Dubbed the 350 Complex Fire, the blaze has blackened about 60,000 acres (243 km²), as of posting.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declares state of emergency in 10 additional counties affected by wildfires.

The 10 counties covered by the executive order are Alfalfa, Blaine, Creek, Dewey, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Logan, Major and Woodward.

Fallin proclaimed a state of emergency in Woods County in March, which remains in effect in that county.

A large wildfire in northwestern Oklahoma was zero percent contained on Wednesday, but firefighters reportedly prevents the blaze from destroying the small town of Freedom, or engulfing an iodine-manufacturing plant.

In the neighboring state of Kansas, “rapid outbreak of wildfires” in the northeast prompted the governor to issue a state disaster declaration for Wabaunsee, Riley, and Pottawatomie Counties. The counties had separately declared local states of disaster emergency, earlier.

Brownback had earlier declared a State of Disaster Emergency for an area in south central Kansas threatened by major wildfires that spread into Kansas from Oklahoma.

Red Flag Warnings are currently in effect across most or parts of at least six states.

April 7, 2016. [The following fire stats are based on NIFC data and local media reports.] At least 26 new large fires have been reported across the U.S. since March 25. In Oklahoma, six large fires have burned up to 425,000 acres. Other states with uncontained large fires include Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Wildfires destroying more acres than ever before

Wildfire Stats [NOAA]

  • In March, 6,324 fires (9th least since 2000) burned 649,511 acres (2nd most on record), which is 102.7 acres burned/fire (most on record).
  • For January – March, 9,218 fires (5th least since 2000) burned 776,132 acres (2nd most on record), which is 84.2 acres burned/fire (2nd most on record).

Data Source: The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

NOTE: See previous comments posted on this blog concerning quality of data provided by the above source.

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State of Disaster Declared in Kansas amid Wildfires

Posted by feww on March 24, 2016

Wildfires burn across 75,000 acres from Oklahoma to Kansas

Gov Brownback has declared a state of disaster emergency for parts of south-central Kansas as wildfires continue to threaten about 1,000 homes and businesses.

The so called Anderson Creek Fire has consumed about 75,00 acres since Tuesday night near the Kansas border in Woods County, Oklahoma. The blaze has since spread into Barber and Comanche counties in Kansas, NWS reported.

The fire is now threatening residents of Medicine Lodge in Barber County, according to the mayor, who has called for voluntary evacuations of the town’s 2,000 residents.

Meanwhile, the federal authorities have proclaimed a Management Assistance Declaration for the Anderson Creek Fire (FM-5120).

 

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Severe Weather Events Plague Australian Continent

Posted by feww on January 31, 2016

Australia battered by strong winds, heavy precipitation, deadly flooding, a cyclone, mini-tornado, wildfires… and  country-wide rainfall

Severe weather systems are pummeling multiple regions of Australia, with deadly  flash-flooding in Queensland, a destructive “mini-tornado” in New South Wales, ex-cyclone STAN in Western Australia, damaging heavy rain and flooding in eastern Tasmania, while up to 100 wildfires in western Tasmania consume about 75,000 hectares.

Cyclone STAN made landfall about 120 km northeast of Port Hedland, early Sunday morning, reported the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said a unique set of weather patterns were responsible for the nation-wide wet weather event, not expected to be repeated anytime soon. [ABC]

“It’s quite unusual to see this sort of pattern develop right across that broad section of states,” BoM meteorologist told the ABC.

“It is unlikely we would see the same extent again like what we have seen in the past few days.

“This was a unique weather set up.”

In southeast NSW, destructive winds during thunderstorms destroyed several homes at Forbes Creek, about an hour east of Canberra.

Storms lashed South Australia and Victoria on Saturday, cutting power to homes and businesses and causing flash flooding in multiple areas, while in the Northern Territory, a weak monsoon dumped up to 100mm of rain in some areas, causing numerous road closures in Darwin.

Storms also wreaked havoc on Sydney and other parts of New South Wales on Saturday, with major roads flooded and power out several regions.

Floodwaters in southern Queensland killed a man near Bundaberg.

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Wildfire Stats – U.S. 2015

Posted by feww on January 10, 2016

Wildfires consumed record 10,125,149 acres in 2015 —NCDC

December saw 6,027 fires (7th highest since 2000) burning 312,668 acres (3rd highest on record), which is 51.9 acres burned/fire (5th most on record).

For January – December, some 61,922 fires (2nd lowest since 2000) burned a record 10,125,149 acres, which is 163.5 acres burned/fire, also a record high (rank out of 16 years).

Average  Figures (2000 – 2010)

  • Acres burned: 6,612,363
  • Wildfire: 77,951
  • Acres Burned per Fire: 85.2

Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/fire/201512

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Ten Billion-Dollar Plus Weather, Climate Disasters Hit U.S. in 2015

Posted by feww on January 9, 2016

Record December elevated 2015 to 2nd warmest year for US 48  —NOAA

The 2015 annual average U.S. temperature was 54.4°F (12.4°C), 2.4°F above the 20th century average, the second warmest year on record.

  • Warmest year for U.S. was  2012  with an average temperature of 55.3°F.
  • 2015 was the 19th consecutive year the annual average temperature exceeded the 20th century average.

The average contiguous U.S. precipitation was 34.47 inches (87.55cm), 4.53 inches above average, and ranked as the third wettest year in the 121-year period of record.

  • Only 1973 and 1983 were wetter.
  • The national drought footprint shrank about 10 percent last year.

Ten weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each occurred  across the United States in 2015. These events included

  • Drought (1 event)
  • Flooding (2)
  • Severe storms (5)
  • Wildfire (1)
  • Winter Storm (1)

The 1980–2015 annual average is 5.2 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2011–2015) is 10.8 events (CPI-adjusted), said NCDC/NOAA.


Additionally, the U.S. experienced five distinct disaster event types in 2015. It is more common to observe three or four disaster event types in a given year. Five or more disaster event types exceeding $1 billion in the same year occurs less frequently (i.e., 2015, 2011, 2008, 1998, 1994 and 1989).

U.S. climate highlights: 2015

  • Florida, Montana, Oregon and Washington were record warm.
  • Alaska, California, and Idaho had their second warmest year.
  • Twenty-one other states were much warmer than average.
  • 14 States were much wetter than average.
  • Oklahoma and Texas were record wet for the year, and became drought free for the first time since 2010.
  • The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for 2015 was 70 percent above average, ranking as the fourth highest annual USCEI in the 106-year record and highest since 2012.

U.S. climate highlights: December 2015

  • December 2015 was record warm for the contiguous U.S., with a temperature of 38.6°F, 6.0°F above the 20th century average.
    • Previous record of 37.7°F was set in 1939.
    • 29 Eastern states had the warmest December on record.
    • No state was record cold.
  • The December precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 3.93 inches, 1.58 inches above the 20th century average, ranking as the wettest December on record.
    • Previous record of 3.76 inches was set in 1982.
    • Above-average precipitation occurred across the country
    • 23 States were much wetter than average.
    • Iowa and Wisconsin had a record wet December.

Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Overview for December 2015, published online January 2016, retrieved on January 9, 2016 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201512.

 

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Disaster Diary – December 26, 2015

Posted by feww on December 26, 2015

Severe weather threatens tens of millions of people across the U.S.

State of Emergency Declared in Alabama amid a “unique, significant rainfall event.”

Alabama Gov. Bentley has declared a state of emergency as floodwaters continue to bury homes, businesses and public infrastructure across the state in what a senior meteorologist called a “unique, significant rainfall event.”

“This isn’t the typical end of December weather,” said a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Alabama. “This is a unique, significant rainfall event for this time of year. We get some severe weather this time of year, but to get this much rainfall this time of year is not typical.”

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) received three unconfirmed reports of tornadoes striking JEFFERSON and TUSCALOOSA  counties.

Meanwhile, NWS forecast a strong storm system would be moving from Rockies to Plains this weekend.

A storm system will strengthen this holiday weekend as it moves from the Rockies eastward through the Plains. A dangerous winter storm is forecast across portions of N.M., Tex. and Okla. where blizzard conditions are possible. Severe storms and heavy rain are possible in parts of the Gulf Coast region through the southern Plains to Ohio Valley on Saturday and Sunday where flooding is possible.

Further east, severe weather and flooding can be expected from east Texas to portions of the Mississippi Valley. Travel conditions will be hazardous in many locations through Sunday.

Dozens of Warnings, Advisories and Watches for severe weather are in effect across the U.S., as of posting.

 

Major wildfire burning uncontrollably, forcing mass evacuations, highway closures in SoCal

The massive blaze is devouring brush along PCH north of Ventura, threatening dozens of homes.

  • Mandatory evacuations have been imposed for the Solimar Beach community.
  • Campers were forced to evacuate at Emma Wood State Park.
  • Faria Beach Park campground was under voluntary evacuation.
  • Multiple section of Highway 101 and PCH were forced to close.
  • The fire grew to about 1,000 acres, as of posting.


Contributed photo/Johnny Corona/via VCS. A Ventura County Fire helicopter drops water on the Solimar Fire early Saturday morning.

 Deadly floods Displace 150,000 in Latin America

States of Emergency declared in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. 

Deadly flooding have forced about 150,000 people from their homes in Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, prompting the authorities to declare states of emergency in multiple regions across the three countries.

At least 10,000 people were evacuated in Entre Rios province, and twice as many may need to be evacuated,  as floods threatened Concordia [pop: 170,000] located on the banks of the Uruguay River, the worst affected area, said the mayor, calling the deluge “the worst flooding in 50 years.”

“In November and December, the Rio de la Plata river basin in Argentina’s northeast received between 150 and 300 millimeters more rain than is typical for the period, the farm industry ministry said in a statement.,” AFP reported.

Death toll from flood related incidents in the affected areas stood at about a dozen, as of posting.

 

Great Ocean Road fire: Christmas Day blaze destroys 116 homes in Victoria

The massive bushfire in Victoria, Australia has destroyed at lease 116 homes, said a report.

“The fire, which has so far burned more than 2,200 hectares, is not yet under control.”

UK flood warnings: Homes evacuated amid record rain

At least 15 severe flood warnings are in effect and scores of homes have been evacuated, as record – heavy rain lashes parts of the UK, with Lancashire and Yorkshire counties bearing the brunt of flooding, said a report.

The UK Met Office has also issued two severe weather warnings, meaning danger to life, for rain in the two counties.

The UK Environment Agency has warned as much as a month’s rainfall would likely fall in one day in some areas.

Every river in Lancashire has exceeded record levels, the Agency said. The flood sirens have been activated in several towns/villages.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service warned: “A severe flood warning means danger to life. It doesn’t mean ‘come and have a look’! Please don’t come to visit Whalley or Ribchester now.”

“The village is under siege really,” a Ribchester resident told the BBC, describing the situation as “pretty grim,” with many homes at risk of flooding.

“The routes to the south are cut off and the route to the north, to Longridge, is under threat.”

A resident in Whalley said the situation was “a million times worse” than a fortnight ago when floods also hit.

“There are no more sandbags anywhere. People are panicking. That’s my business and my home, it’s a double whammy.”

  • The River Calder burst its banks in Mytholmroyd in the Calder Valley.
  • Hebden Bridge town centre was one of the areas hit by floods on Boxing Day.
  • Flood sirens sounded in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire.

Capel Curig in north-west Wales received the most rainfall in the 24-hour period to 09:00UTC Boxing Day, with a total of 168mm, the report said.

Up to 120mm of rain could fall over the most exposed sites in northern England on Boxing Day – with the average rainfall for the whole of December in the North West being 145mm, said Met Office forecasters.

Floods Minister Rory Stewart told BBC Radio: “As the rain falls, the rivers respond very quickly. Certainly what we’ve seen is rainfall levels that nobody’s ever seen before.”

 

M5.4 Earthquake Strikes DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE

Magnitude:  5.4mb [http://www.emsc-csem.org/]
Region: DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE
Date/time: 2015-12-26 11:00:53.2 UTC
Location: 35.46 N, 27.42 E
Depth: 45km
Distances:

  • 329 km S of İzmir, Turkey [pop: 2,500,603]
  • 207 km E of Irákleion, Greece [pop: 137,154]
  • 131 km SW of Ródos, Greece [pop: 56,128]
  • 19 km E of Kárpathos, Greece [pop: 2,243]

Testimony: Witness location : Rhodes (Greece) (130 km NE from epicenter)

Today’s earthquake was very noticeable! Our Light fixtures in the living room, which are made of hanging crystals, like a Church Bell, they were moving horizontal ways creating really strong sound that is hard to miss, even being inside another room of the house. The Christmas Tree was also “dancing” in some ways but, Thank God, nothing fall from any wall, and no damage was occurred because of this earthquake.

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Bushfires Plague Australia

Posted by feww on December 21, 2015

Wildfires consume thousand of acres, 15 homes in Victoria, Australia

About 900 firefighters responded to dozens of grass and bushfires across the state of Victoria on Sunday amid hot, dry and windy conditions from South Australia that pushed into New South Wales.

Extreme heat caused some of Victoria state’s worst fires burning out of control over the the weekend.

On Sunday, “more than 6,000 people in the Indigo Valley were texted emergency alerts when they were told it was too late to leave, and to instead take shelter.”

“[The fire] closed the Hume Freeway for hours, saw hundreds of cars backed up on the Hume Freeway, in 40 degree temperatures, not a nice place to be,” said Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner.

“[We had] multiple fires across the state but our fire crews did a fantastic job to pull up, we had the potential to have this morning many, many fires.”

A fire in Scotsburn killed more than a thousand sheep, five horses, 12 homes, 30 sheds and much of the fencing in the area, he said.

On Monday, dozens of warnings and alerts were in effect across the country including multiple fire warnings in New South Wales & ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

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South Australia on Fire

Posted by feww on November 25, 2015

Catastrophic bushfire burning in South Australia kills three, thousands of animals

Thousands of animals burned alive by monster fire that has also killed up to three people, said a report.

Locals on social media estimate that as many as 9,000 pigs may have been burned alive in the Wasleys Piggery, one of the state’s largest pig farms.

  • The massive fire has a 40km front and is burning uncontrollably.
  • It’s burning north of Adelaide, and has a 211km perimeter, said the local fire chief, adding that there was a continuous fire line from Adelaide to Port Pirie.
  • “We also know that there are many homes, sheds, crops and livestock losses due to the active fire front, I can’t give you exact figures at this point,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.
  • Properties in Tarlee, Freeling and Kapunda have been affected by the blaze, which had burned more than 85,700 hectares on Wednesday.
  • About 1,000 people are working to fight the blaze including 70 appliances on the ground along with 340 volunteer firefighters.
  • The blaze has destroyed homes and buildings and was headed toward the wine-growing region of the Barossa Valley, said a report.

A Tsunami of Fire


The front of a massive bushfire nears a house at Mallala, north of Adelaide, November 25 2015. Credit: ABS News (Aus)


Hay bales catch alight during the catastrophic Mallala fire in South Australia. Image credit: ABC News/Tony Hill


A big fire burns in crops in the Mallala area, north of Adelaide, November 25 2015. Image credit: Supplied by Walco Seed Cleaning/ via ABC News (Aus)

More images posted at Bushfire burns north of Adelaide

More information at www.cfs.sa.gov.au

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2ND Major Disaster Declaration for Washington

Posted by feww on October 22, 2015

Federal Disaster Declared in Washington State

Washington Wildfires and Mudslides (DR-4243)
Incident period: August 09, 2015 to September 10, 2015
Major Disaster Declaration declared on October 20, 2015

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Washington  in the areas affected by the wildfires and mudslides including Chelan, Ferry, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Whatcom, and Yakima counties and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, said the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Federal Disasters 2015

The federal government has proclaimed 39 Major Disaster Declaration [DR 4205-4243] for a U.S. state/tribal area/territory so far this year. Additionally, the government has issued two Emergency Declarations, EM-3372 and EM-3373, and 33 Fire Management Assistance Declarations, [FM-5084 to FM-5116] for the year to date.

Major Disaster Declarations Since August 2015

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State of Disaster Declared for Central Texas Wildfires

Posted by feww on October 16, 2015

Gov. of Texas Declares Disaster In Bastrop County

Texas Governor Abbott has declared a Disaster in Bastrop County, near Austin, after a wildfire consumed nearly 20 square kilometers, destroying dozens of homes and other structures, and forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes.

The Hidden Pines Fire wildfire in Smithville threatens more than 150 homes, as well as dozens of other structures, and was reportedly 25 percent contained as of posting.

Related Links

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Raging Texas Wildfire Destroys Homes, Forces Hundreds of Evacuations

Posted by feww on October 15, 2015

Wildfire consumes thousands of acres, destroys a dozen homes, threatens hundreds more

The Hidden Pines Fire wildfire in Smithville, Bastrop County, about 45 miles east of Austin, Texas has consumed about 4,500 acres, destroying a dozen homes, and threatening hundreds more, according to local reports.

“Buescher State Park and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center campus in Smithville remained closed after being evacuated Tuesday,” said a report.

In 2011, the worst fire in the state history consumed more than 30,000 acres, destroying more than 1,200 homes.

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