Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive – Mass die-off, caused by anthropogenic assault on Earth and the effect of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

Posts Tagged ‘wildfire’

Major Wildfires Burn 2 Million Acres in 7 U.S. States

Posted by feww on August 30, 2015

70 Large fires or complexes char nearly 8,000 km² across 7 U.S. states

Currently, 70 large wildfires or complexes have burned nearly 2 million acres (~ 8,000 km²) across seven U.S. states, NIFC reported.

The fires are burning in Alaska (1), California (10), Idaho (17), Montana (16), Oregon (10), Texas (4) and Washington (12).

Two hundred soldiers based out of Fort Lewis, Washington have been deployed in Washington state to assist the civilian fie crews,

Dozens of crews and fire management personnel from Canada, Australia and elsewhere have also been deployed.

Preparedness: Level 5

[Geographic Areas are experiencing major incidents which have the potential to exhaust all agency fire resources. Eighty percent (80%) of Type 1 and Type 2 Incident Management Teams and crews are committed, as well as the majority of other National Resources.]

Acres from active fires: 1,954,138
Number of new large fires: 9
Number of active large fires: 70 (individual fires in complexes not included)

Year-to-date statistics 2015 (1/1/15 – 8/29/15)
Fires: 43,396 – Acres: 7,825,559 (an area nearly the size of state of Maryland)

Annual average prior 10 years (2005-2014)
Fires: 52,884 – Acres: 5,467,292

Warnings

Red Flag Warnings, Air Quality Alerts or Dense Smoke Advisories due to wildfires are currently in effect across vast swathes of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

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Wildfires Burning 2 Million Acres across 15 U.S. States

Posted by feww on August 25, 2015

Deadly wildfire complex in Washington breaks State’s record

The so-called Okanogan Complex wildfires have burned nearly 260,000 acres (105,000 hectares) breaking a state record set last year by Carlton Complex fire.

About 100 active fires are currently burning more than 2 million acres (81,000 km²) across 15 U.S. States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Year-to-date statistics [Source: NIFC]
2015 (1/1/15 – 8/24/15) Fires: 42,519 – Acres: 7,487,737
[Caution: The stats provided by NIFC have previously proved to be incomplete, erroneous and unreliable. See related blog entries since 2007.]

The Federal government has proclaimed an additional Fire Management Assistance Declaration as follows:

  • Washington Renner Fire (FM-5108)
    Incident period: August 21, 2015
    Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on August 21, 2015

Weather Forecast by National Weather Service (NWS)

High Fire Danger Continues in the West

Hot, dry and breezy conditions will continue early this week across much of the Northwest U.S. and northern Rockies. Numerous wildfires are burning in this region, and dense smoke is causing air quality issues in several states of the Northwest. Red Flag Warnings and Air Quality Alerts are in effect.

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Federal Emergency Declared in Washington

Posted by feww on August 22, 2015

Washington Emergency Declaration

Washington Wildfires (EM-3372) – Incident period: August 13, 2015 – Emergency Declaration declared on August 21, 2015

The White House has declared an emergency exists in the State of Washington in the areas affected by wildfires beginning on August 13, 2015, and continuing.

Areas that are worst affected by the deadly blazes are the counties of Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, and Yakima and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

Washington Gov. had requested a Federal Disaster Declaration for the State of Washington as dozens of lightning-sparked wildfires raged uncontrollably killing and injuring fire crews.

“Currently 11 counties and 4 tribes are affected or threatened by fires with 39 confirmed residences and 60 other structures destroyed [and] over 235,000 acres burned,” Gov. Inslee had said in his official request. “Over 3,600 homes remain threatened, and these numbers are increasing each day as the largest fires remain uncontained.”

“Washington State had a major disaster declaration on August 11, 2014 for Washington Wildfires (DR-4188) in Okanogan County from the Carlton Complex Fire. The impacts of this current event are likely to exacerbate the ongoing housing and economic recovery efforts from the declared disaster last year.”

New Evacuation Orders Issued in Washington

The State emergency officials issued additional evacuation orders for more communities and towns threatened by deadly wildfires in Washington, including the entire population of Tonasket, and several parts of Okanogan, as dozens of large wildfires continued to scorch the drought-parched region.

Up to a 100 major fires are currently burning about 1.75 million acres in western, northwestern and southern U.S., according to FIRE-EARTH estimates.

The states reporting major wildfires are Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington, according to NIFC.

At least 41,525 fires have burned 7,293,666 acres so far this season, said NIFC.

Fire Management Assistance Declarations

The Federal Officials have also declared the following Fire Management Assistance Declarations:

  • Oregon Grizzly Bear Fire Complex (FM-5107)
    Incident period: August 13, 2015 – Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on August 21, 2015
  • Washington Twisp River Fire (FM-5106)
    Incident period: August 19, 2015 – Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on August 19, 2015

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Deadly Wildfires Burning in Pacific Northwest

Posted by feww on August 20, 2015

Washington Gov. requests Major Disaster Declaration as wildfires kill 3 fire crews, injure 4

Gov. Inslee has requested a Federal Disaster Declaration for the State of Washington as 44 lightning-sparked wildfires that are raging uncontrollably kill 3 fire crews and injure at least 4 others.

“Currently 11 counties and 4 tribes are affected or threatened by fires with 39 confirmed residences and 60 other structures destroyed [and] over 235,000 acres burned,” said Inslee in his official request. “Over 3,600 homes remain threatened, and these numbers are increasing each day as the largest fires remain uncontained.”

“Washington State had a major disaster declaration on August 11, 2014 for Washington Wildfires (DR-4188) in Okanogan County from the Carlton Complex Fire. The impacts of this current event are likely to exacerbate the ongoing housing and economic recovery efforts from the declared disaster last year.”

On June 26, 2015, I issued a State of Emergency for the State of Washington for all 39 counties due to extraordinary heat and drought conditions across the state. These conditions have continue to worsen and exacerbated the threats posed by high fire danger weather conditions.

On August 13, 2015 a low pressure settled over central and eastern Washington that generated several hundred lightning strikes in a 6 hour period setting off numerous fires. This weather system remained in effect thru Saturday August 15, 2015. Gusty winds continue to effect these regions. Another similar system is moving into the region in the next 2 days with extreme high fire danger weather predicted.

There have been five Fire Management Assistance Grant declarations in the span of 36 hours with two additional approved Washington State Fire Mobilizations for Black Canyon/McFarland Creek Fires in Okanogan County and Renner Lake Fire in Stevens and Ferry Counties.

Thousands of people are under mandatory evacuation orders across the Pacific Northwest as more than 90 major wildfires rage across the region. At least a dozen wildfires are also burning across the South.

In Washington, several towns and communities have been evacuated including Omak, Riverside, Twisp, Winthrop and Conconully.

“It is really bad out there. The fires have just exploded,” a spokeswoman for the Okanogan County Department of Emergency Management, told the AP. “We’re just directing everybody to head south.”

In California, more than 2,500 people were forced to flee Christian camps near Fresno after Rough Fire crossed Highway 180, officials said.

Mandatory evacuations are also in effect in the states of Idaho and Oregon.

States currently reporting major wildfire include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Active fires are currently burning an estimated 1.5 million acres, and have consumed hundreds of homes and other structures so far this month.

Some 42,000 wildfires have consumed at least 7.2 million acres across the United States, so far this year.

Governors in California, Idaho, Montana and Oregon have declared States of Emergency due to the wildfires, so far this month.

The U.S. military is sending hundreds of personnel to the fire lines, as fire managers call in help from other countries.

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Ten U.S. States Reporting Major Wildfires

Posted by feww on August 18, 2015

Wildfires Plaguing Western and Southern United States

States of Emergency have been declared in Idaho and Montana due to the destructive wildfires.

At least 80 active large fires are currently burning more than 1.1 million acres across ten States: California (14), Colorado (1), Idaho (14), Louisiana (1), Montana (11), North Carolina (2), Nevada (1), Oregon (11), Texas (5) and Washington (20), reported NIFC.

“Residents in many western states have been evacuated from their homes as hot, dry, and windy conditions have caused several large fires to burn actively. Currently, more than 25,000 people are supporting wildfires, including 41 Incident Management Teams and 2 Area Command Teams.”

Year-to-date statistics [NIFC]

2015 (1/1/15 – 8/17/15) Fires: 40,509 – Acres: 6,969,074 [breaks 11-year record]

Annual average prior 10 years

(2005-2014) Fires: 49,400 – Acres: 4,809,886

[Caution: The stats provided by NIFC have previously proved to be incomplete, erroneous and unreliable. See related blog entries since 2007.]

The Federal government has proclaimed 8 additional Fire Management Assistance Declarations, as follows:

  • Idaho Municipal Fire (FM-5105)
  • Washington Okanogan County Fire Complex (FM-5104)
  • Washington Stevens County Fire Complex (FM-5103)
  • Oregon Canyon Creek Fire Complex (FM-5102)
  • Washington Stickpin Fire (FM-5101)
  • Washington Reach Fire Complex (FM-5100)
  • Idaho Clearwater Lawyer Branch Fire Complex (FM-5099)
  • Washington Nine Mile Fire (FM-5098)

Excessive Heat Warning

An excessive heat warning remains in effect throughout Wednesday for Southern Nevada, Southeastern California and Northwestern Arizona. Expected Temperatures: 109-112 in the Las Vegas Valley, 112-117 in the Colorado River Valley, and 120-125 in Death Valley, reported NWS.

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‘Montana is facing extreme fire conditions’

Posted by feww on August 17, 2015

State of Emergency Declared in Big Sky Country

“Firefighting resources in the state, geographic region, and across Western United States have reached critical shortage levels,” said Montana Governor.

Governor Bullock has issued an executive order declaring a fire emergency in the state of Montana, proclaiming that “Montana is facing extreme fire conditions.”

“Montana is facing extreme fire conditions. This declaration will provide additional resources to the brave men and women fighting these fires,” Bullock said. “As firefighters continue to battle blazes across the state, I encourage Montanans to be aware of fires in their area, obey any evacuation orders that may be issued, and ensure they’re not taking actions that might spark new fires.”

Wildfires are actively burning and extreme fire danger exists across the state of Montana, including the counties of Lincoln, Flathead, Lake, Sanders, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Granite, POwell, Butte-Silver Bow, Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, Park, Broadwater, Jefferson, Meagher, Lewis and Clark, Teton, Pondera, Glacier, Cascade, Choteau, Judith Basin, Fergus, Petroleum, Wheatland, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Sweet Grass, Stillwater, Carbon, Yellowstone, Big Horn, Treasure, Rosebud, Custer, Powder River, Carter, Fallon and Garfield (42 of the state’s 56 counties), according to the governor’s executive order.

The fires have led to evacuations and road and campground closures.

“Firefighting resources in the state, geographic region, and across Western United States have reached critical shortage levels,” said the governor, “these critical shortages have already necessitated the deployment of international firefighting resources to the State of Montana to assist in fire suppression.”

Bullock has also deployed the Montana National Guard to assists in the emergency.

The fires include the following+

The Moose Meadows Fire (southwest of Philipsburg): 900ha  (~ 2,200 acres)
The Firestone Flats Fire (ENE of Arlee)+ 700ha
Gold Pan Fire Complex (SW of Sula on the Montana-Idaho border): 5,600ha
The Red Shale Fire (Bob Marshall Wilderness): 3,200ha

More information is listed at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/27/0/

Meanwhile, residents of Greer, Idaho, are on standby to evacuate, said the sheriff’s office.

Hundreds of wildfires, mostly sparked by lightning storms, are currently burning hundreds of thousands of hectares (acres) across the Western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii.

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Fierce Wildfires Destroy Dozens of Idaho Homes

Posted by feww on August 16, 2015

Idaho blaze grows to 53,000 acres, puts town on evacuation notice

The so-called Clearwater Complex Wildfire in Idaho consisting of multiple lightning-caused fires—Lawyer 2 Fire, Lolo 2 Fire, Fisher Fire, Syringa Fires and Pilot Knob—has grown to about 53,000 acres destroying at least 125 homes and outbuildings, and putting entire communities on evacuation notice, said Inciweb.

Mandatory Evacuations remain in place on the west, north and east sides of Kamiah outside of the city limits. U.S. Highway 12 is still open but may periodically have a pilot car moving traffic through the fire area north of Kamiah.

An estimated total of 50 primary structures and 75 outbuildings were lost due to wind driven fire activity. Early this morning, the Idaho County Sheriff and his deputies began working with firefighters within the fire area to identify and assess the condition of these structures prior to notifying affected property owners. Structure protection remained a high priority throughout the fire area.

Most of the Complex is adjacent to Kamiah, ID. Other fire locations are in the vicinity of Kooskia, Craigmont, Ruebens, Greer, Woodland, and Harrisburg. The fire was 15% contained, as of posting.

Meanwhile the federal government has issued two additional Fire Management Assistance Declarations:

  • Idaho Clearwater Lawyer Branch Fire Complex (FM-5099)
  • Washington Nine Mile Fire (FM-5098)

National Preparedness Level 5 (August 13, 2015 at 5:30am MDT) (On a scale from 1 to 5)

[Preparedness Level 5 – Description: Geographic Areas are experiencing major incidents which have the potential to exhaust all agency fire resources. Eighty percent (80%) of Type 1 and Type 2 Incident Management Teams and  crews are committed, as well as the majority of other National Resources.]

On August 14, the National Preparedness Level was increased to five. “A significant amount of initial and extended attack and large fire activity has occurred over the past several days as a result of lightning storms that have intensified local and geographic response,” said NIFC.

Number of active large fires: 51
Acres from active fires: 736,794
States currently reporting large fires:
Alaska (1), Arizona (1), California (14), Hawaii (2), Idaho (4), Montana (5), North Carolina (2), Oregon (12), Texas (3), Washington (6), Wyoming (1)

Year-to-date statistics
2015 (1/1/15 – 8/14/15) Fires: 39,830 Acres: 6,509,392

Annual average prior 10 years
(2005-2014)  Fires: 49,403 – Acres: 4,649,565

[Caution: The stats provided by NIFC have previously proved to be incomplete, erroneous and therefore unreliable. See related blog entries since 2007.]

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N. Calif. Fire Doubles in Size, Threatens 6,300 Structures, Forces Mass Evacuations

Posted by feww on August 3, 2015

Massive blaze destroys dozens of homes, threatens 6,301 buildings, forces tens of thousands of evacuations in northern Calif.

The 54,000-acre Rocky Fire wildfire, burning north of San Francisco, exploded to twice its size in less than 24 hours, destroying dozens of homes, threatening more than 6,300 structures, and forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes.

The 220-square-kilometer blaze is burning in Lake, Yolo and  Colusa counties  and was  less than 5 percent contained, as of posting. [Last Updated by CalFire on August 2, 2015 at 8:00pm PDT]

Tens of thousands of people are currently under mandatory evacuation orders.

The fire is burning near Morgan Valley Road and Rocky Creek Road, east of Lower Lake, across the three counties of Lake, Yolo and Colusa.

Rocky Fire Incident Information [provided by CalFire]
Acres Burned – Containment: 54,000 acres – 5% contained
Structures Threatened: 6,301
Structures Destroyed: 24 residences and 26 outbuildings destroyed; 3 structures damaged.

Evacuations: NEW – A Mandatory Evacuation order has been implemented for all residents on Ogulin Canyon Road. Law enforcement is currently in the area and informing residents of the mandatory evacuation. All of Ogulin Canyon road will be closed to traffic. A Mandatory Evacuation order is in effect for all of Spring Valley. Law enforcement is currently advising Spring Valley residents of the mandatory evacuation. The Highway 20 corridor will be closed from New Long Valley Road to Highway 53. The Mandatory Evacuation includes Paradise Canyon, New Long Valley Road, Old Long Valley Road, Salt Canyon, Indian Hill Road, Flaming Hills Lane, Benmore Canyon, Red Rock Road, Red Rock Court, Round Mountain Road, North West of Highway 22, Fern Way, Juniper Way, Holly Way, Golden Red Way, Shasta Road, Cougar Road, Jeep Trail, Smith Lane, Pueblo Trail, Quail Trail, Ogulin Canyon Road, Meadow Creek Road, Cache Creek Road, Wolf Creek Road, Spring Valley Road, Riverview Road, Rocky Ridge, Chalk Mountain Road, Lakeview Campground, Cache Creek Winery, Noggle Winery, Elm Way, Dogwood, Cedar, Blue Berry, Acacia Way, Acacia Street, Doe Trail, Madrone Way, Peach Way, Quince Way, Redwood Way, Sequoia Way, Tamarack Way, Weeping Willow Way, Yucca Way, Coyote Way, Elk Way and Fox Way. An Advisory Evacuation is in effect from Highway 53 west to Sulphur Bank Road along Highway 20.

Mandatory: Jerusalem Valley area east of Soda Creek, Bonham Road, Quarter Horse Lane, Mustang Court, Bronco Court, Sunset Court, Morgan Valley east of Bonham Road, Canyon Road, June Bug Road, Cambell Ranch Road, Sloan Ranch Road, Sky High Ranch Road, Rocky Creek Road, Dam Road from the gate to the dam, Grizzly Canyon, Long Branch Drive, Lance Road, Cougar Road, Red Rocks, Meridian Road, Antelope Road, Mule Skinner Road, Flint Look Place, Moccasin Road, Roundball Road, Watertrough Road, Grigsby Canyon, Lucky Canyon, Remington Canyon, Walker Ridge, Walker Ridge Road, No Guns Road, Meriann Drive, Bear Valley Road from Highway 20 to Wilbur Springs Road, Wilbur Springs Road and Morgan Valley Road X Butte Creek Road.

Advisory: All areas including east of Hwy 29 @ Raita Road east of Hwy 53 north to Hwy 20 including Ogulin Canyon Road, City of Clear Lake, Spruce Grove Road, Noble Ranch Road, Black Bass Pass, Jerusalem Valley area west of Soda Creek, Double Eagle Ranch, Homes along Hwy 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east of the county line, Spruce Grove Road to intersection of Jerusalem Grade, Lake Ridge.

Evacuation Centers: Middletown High School, Kelseyville High School

Road Closures: Highway 20 is closed from Highway 16 to Highway 53 for all through traffic in both directions due to increased fire activity. Highway 16 is closed from Highway 20 to the Yolo County Line in both directions due to increased fire activity. Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road.

An animal evacuation center is opened at the Lower Lake Social Services parking lot, 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake.
Cause: Under Investigation
Team
Total Fire Personnel: 2,737
Total Fire Engines: 254
Total Fire crews: 59
Total Airtankers: 4
Total Helicopters: 19
Total Dozers: 58
Total Water Tenders: 38
Long/Lat: -122.4762475/38.8863538
Conditions: The fire activity has grown dramatically and firefighters are aggressively working to stop the progression. The terrain is steep and rugged with limited access, fuels are at critical levels and there is little to no fire history in the area. In total, all evacuations impact over 12,190 citizens living in over 5,201 residences. Damage assessment teams have begun initial assessments based on access through fire affected areas. Resources continue to respond from around the state.

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California Burning: Massive Wildfires Threaten Thousands of Structures

Posted by feww on August 2, 2015

27,000-acre blaze destroys dozens of buildings, threatens 5,165 structures, forces mass evacuation

The so-called Rocky Fire wildfire burning north of San Francisco has exploded in size to more than 109 square kilometers, destroying 24 residences and 26 outbuildings, damaging 3 others and threatening 6,156  additional structures, according to Cal Fire.

Up to 15,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders or evacuation advisories.

There are at least 14 major fire currently burning tens of thousands of acres across the drought-plagued Golden State.

Additionally, hundreds of smaller fires,  sparked by thousands of lightning strikes, are scorching the bone-dry landscape, said Cal Fire.

Rocky Fire wildfire details

Last Updated: August 1, 2015 10:20 pm
Date/Time Started: July 29, 2015 3:29 pm

County: Lake, Yolo & Colusa Counties
Location: near Morgan Valley Road and Rocky Creek Road, east of Lower Lake
Acres Burned – Containment: 27,000 acres – 5% contained
Structures Threatened: 6,156
Structures Destroyed: 24 residences and 26 outbuildings destroyed; 3 structures damaged.

Evacuations: Mandatory: NEW – A Mandatory Evacuation order has been placed for Bear Valley Road from Highway 20 to Wilbur Springs Road. Wilbur Springs Road is also under a mandatory evacuation.

A Mandatory Evacuation order has been placed on the west side of Highway 16 from County Road 40/Rumsey Canyon Road, north to Highway 20. Highway 16 is closed both directions from Road 40/Rumsey Canyon Road, north of Highway 20.

Jerusalem Valley area east of Soda Creek, Bonham Road, Quarter Horse Lane, Mustang Court, Bronco Court, Sunset Court, Morgan Valley east of Bonham Road, Canyon Road, June Bug Road, Cambell Ranch Road, Sloan Ranch Road, Sky High Ranch Road, Rocky Creek Road, Dam Road from the gate to the dam, Grizzly Canyon, Long Branch Drive, Lance Road, Cougar Road, Red Rocks, Meridian Road, Antelope Road, Mule Skinner Road, Flint Look Place, Moccasin Road, Roundball Road, Watertrough Road, Grigsby Canyon, Lucky Canyon, Remington Canyon, Walker Ridge, Walker Ridge Road, No Guns Road, Meriann Drive.

Advisory: All areas including east of Hwy 29 @ Raita Road east of Hwy 53 north to Hwy 20 including Ogulin Canyon Road, Spruce Grove Road, Noble Ranch Road, Black Bass Pass, Jerusalem Valley area west of Soda Creek, homes along Hwy 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east of the county line, Spruce Grove Road to intersection of Jerusalem Grade and Lake Ridge.

Evacuation Centers: Middletown High School, Kelseyville High School

Road Closures: Highway 16 is closed from Highway 20 to the Yolo County Line is close in both directions due to increased fire activity. Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road. Highway 20 from Highway 53 east to New Long Valley Road is open to residents with identification only. Highway 20 is closed to all traffic from New Long Valley Road to Highway 16.

An animal evacuation center is opened at the Lower Lake Social Services parking lot, 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake.

Total Fire Personnel: 1,940
Total Fire Engines: 180
Total Fire crews: 37
Total Airtankers: 4
Total Helicopters: 19
Total Dozers: 56
Total Water Tenders: 37
Long/Lat: -122.4762475/38.8863538
Conditions: The fire is expected to have significant activity and growth. Current strategic constraints include lack of access to areas of the fire, very hot and dry weather, critical fuels and changing winds. And additional Mandatory Evacuations have been issued for the Double Eagle area. In total, all evacuations impact over 12,100 citizens living in over 5156 residences.

Other Major Fires

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State of Emergency Declared in California due to Raging Wildfires

Posted by feww on August 1, 2015

Wildfires from Hell: Gov. Brown Declares yet another State of Emergency in the Golden Brown State

Governor Brown has declared a state of emergency in California as 20 wildfires torch forests across the state killing a fire crew.

“California’s severe drought and extreme weather have turned much of the state into a tinderbox,” said Brown.

High winds, low relative humidity and triple-digit temperatures forced by a heatwave have plagued much of the drought-stricken region.

Rocky Fire
Location: near Morgan Valley Road and Rocky Creek Road, east of Lower Lake
Acres Burned – Containment: 18,000 acres – 5% contained
Structures Destroyed: 3 Structures destroyed, Multiple outbuildings destroyed/damaged.

Evacuations

Mandatory: Jerusalem Valley area east of Soda Creek, Bonham Road, Quarter Horse Lane, Mustang Court, Bronco Court, Sunset Court, Morgan Valley east of Bonham Road, Canyon Road, June Bug Road, Cambell Ranch Road, Sloan Ranch Road, Sky High Ranch Road, Rocky Creek Road, Dam Road from the gate to the dam.

Advisory: All areas including east of Hwy 29 @ Raita Road east of Hwy 53 north to Hwy 20 including Ogulin Canyon Road, Spruce Grove Road, Noble Ranch Road, Black Bass Pass, Jerusalem Valley area west of Soda Creek, Double Eagle Ranch, Homes along Hwy 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east of the county line, Spruce Grove Road to intersection of Jerusalem Grade, Lake Ridge

Evacuation Centers: Middletown High School, Kelseyville High School

Road Closures:
Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road.

An animal evacuation center is opened at the Lower Lake Social Services parking lot, 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake.

Total Fire Personnel: 1,300
Total Fire Engines: 131
Total Fire crews: 21
Total Airtankers: 4
Total Helicopters: 19
Total Dozers: 40
Total Water Tenders: 35
Long/Lat: -122.4762475/38.8863538
Conditions: Fire has progressed and is currently moving southwest towards Lower Lake and the eastside of Clearlake. A chance of thunderstorms, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity is expected for Saturday. The terrain is steep and rugged with limited ground access, fuels are at critical levels, and the area has limited fire history. Firefighters will continue to construct fire line, provide structure protection and assist in the restoration of services to facilitate re-population efforts. [CalFire]

Other Fires

Major Wildfires

Large wildfires are currently burning across the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

National Preparedness Level 3
Due to an increase in large fire activity in California and southern Oregon, the National Multi-Agency Coordination Group has increased the National Preparedness Level to PL3 as of 12 p.m. MDT on July 31, 2015.

 

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Wildfires Threaten Thousands of Structures in U.S. West

Posted by feww on July 29, 2015

Lowell Fire threatens 1,800 structures in California: CalFire

States currently reporting large fires: Alaska (4), California (5), Montana (4), Oregon (2), Washington (2), Wyoming (1)
July 28, 2015: Four new large fires were reported yesterday.
[National Fire Information Center]

Alaska Fires: 4 ( Acres: 680,422;  New: 1;  Contained: 0)
California Fires: 5  (Acres: 10,179 New: 0 Contained: 0)
Oregon Fires: 2  (Acres: 1,693 New: 0 Contained: 0)
Washington Fires: 2 (Acres: 6,179 New: 0 Contained: 0)
Wyoming Fires: 1  (Acres: 2,366 New: 1 Contained: 0)

Lowell Fire burning in Nevada & Placer Counties, California
Evacuations: Evacuation warning areas are in effect for Red Dog Rd East of Greenhorn Creek, You Bet Road East of Greenhorn Creek, Chalk Bluff from Brady Road to Buckeye Road, Buckeye Road to Lower Greenhorn Road, Lower Greenhorn Road from Buckeye Road to Banner Quaker Hill Road, Cascade Shores Community, Lower Hill Road from Preston Road to Negro Hill. The public is asked to stay vigilant to any changes of evacuation areas.
Total Fire Personnel: 2,449
Injuries: 4

Willow Fire
Evacuations: The Central Camp area was evacuated due to the fire.
Closures: Gagges, Whiskers, and Whiskey Falls campgrounds are closed. All roads from 227 to these campgrounds are closed.
Size: 1,739 Acres
Total Personnel: 1,487
Weather Concerns; Beginning today, the high pressure ridge will bring much warmer temperatures to the fire area. Localized down canyon winds in the Willow Creek Drainage may push the fire at night.

Wragg Fire

Acres Burned – Containment: 6,991 acres – 80% contained
Structures Threatened: 136
Structures Destroyed: 2 outbuildings destroyed – 3 outbuildings and 1 residence damaged

Evacuations: Mandatory Evacuations have been ordered for Mix Canyon, Sky Ranch Road, Wild Horse Canyon Rd., and Blue Ridge Road. (Approximately 136 homes /200 residents)

An evacuation advisory has been issued for Gates Canyon Road and the area west of Pleasants Valley Road.

Total Fire Personnel: 1,158
Conditions: The fire intensity increased on the south side of the Wragg Fire increasing the acres burned by approximately 400 acres.

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Deadly Heatwaves Plague Europe

Posted by feww on July 19, 2015

Extreme heat continues to scorch much of Europe, killing hundreds and igniting forest fires in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain…

Health authorities in Italy have issued a level-3 “red alert” for at least 22 cities, while the fire authorities in Liguria placed the entire region under a forest fire alert as the elevated temperatures brought by the latest heatwave dubbed “Caronte,” and dry conditions posed significant risks.

Record temperatures in northwestern Italy have killed at least 140 senior citizens during the first ten days of July, according to data from the environmental agency, Arpa Piedmont, said a report.

“July 2015 has everything it takes to be among the hottest ever,” says a meteorologist with 3bmeteo. “[We are experiencing]  the most intense heat wave in 70 years.”

The extreme heat has caused a fall in production across Italian farms. Milk production in Italy fell by more than 50 million in the first two weeks of July due to the heat stressing the dairy cows, said a report.

Temperatures in many parts of Europe have been persistently above average by as much as 6ºC for more than three weeks.

Some 60,000 residents of Troyes, a town in the Champagne region of France, woke up in a sweat as the temperature climbed from 24ºC to 33°C, an increase of 9ºC (or 16.2 degrees F), in just one hour (between midnight and 1.00 am), in a phenomena called a heat burst, said a report.

An earlier heatwave that hit France between June 29 and July 5 left 700 dead and thousands more hospitalized, said a report quoting the country’s Ministry of Health.

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Wildfire Races across I-15, Ignites Vehicles

Posted by feww on July 18, 2015

UPDATED

“Hellfire” in Cajon Pass, Calif.

A fast-moving wildfire swept 15 Freeway in  San Bernardino County, igniting cars, trucks and even a boat, and destroying homes, according to local reports.

The fierce blaze destroyed or damaged dozens of cars and burned several homes near the 15 Freeway, the main route between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, which was packed with weekend travelers, said reports.

The fire had consumed about 3,600 acres and was spreading rapidly through the chaparral and grass on Friday, said a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

USFS researchers surveyed 4.2 million acres of trees in the Angeles, Cleveland, San Bernardino and Los Padres national forests recently and found more than 2 million trees had died due to the drought and bark beetle infestation.

The North Fire

The North Fire started at about 2:33 pm on Friday July 17 near Interstate 15 north of Highway 138. It is approximately 3,500 acres in size and now 5% contained. Multiple vehicles on Interstate 15 caught on fire when the North Fire crossed southbound lanes. 20 vehicles including two semi’s were destroyed, 10 vehicles were damaged; however no injuries were reported.

4 structures were reported as destroyed.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for the Baldy Mesa areas:
East of Sheep Creek Road
North of Hwy 138
West of I-15/Hwy 395
South of Phelan Road

Resources responding include 1,000 firepersons, said InciWeb.

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Alaska Wildfires Setting New Record?

Posted by feww on July 15, 2015

UPDATED

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…

Related Links

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June 2015 Second Warmest in Contiguous U.S.

Posted by feww on July 14, 2015

June 2015 2nd warmest in contiguous U.S., West saw record warmth, drought worsened in Northwest: NOAA

The June average temperature for the Lower 48 was 22°C (71.4°F), or 1.6°C (2.9°F) above the 20th century average, second only to June 1933 (71.6°F) in the 121-year period of record, reported The National Climatic Data Center .

Above-average temperatures recorded across the West and along the Southeast coast, where 16 states were much warmer than average.

  • California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington recorded their warmest June.
  • Multiple western cities set new June temperature records during an intense heatwave the second half of the month.
  • Boise, Idaho saw the temperature soaring to 43.3C (110°F).

The Alaska statewide average temperature for June was the sixth warmest in 91-years of record keeping at 52.4°F, 3.1°F above average. Homer, Alaska had its warmest June on record. Prolonged warmth and dryness and lack of June snow created ideal wildfire conditions with dozens of large wildfires impacting central and southern areas of the state during June.

“The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the year-to-date was 45 percent above average and the 13th highest value on record. On the national-scale, extremes in warm maximum and minimum temperatures and days with precipitation were much above average,” said NCDC.

  • More than 400 wildfires consumed 1.8 million acres (728,000 hectares), breaking the previous June record of 1.1 million acres (445,000 hectares) charred by 216 fires, said the report.
  • Texas had its wettest year-to-date on record with 61.1mm (24.04 inches), 27.2mm (10.70 inches) above average.
    • Previous record wet January-June record in 1941: 55.2mm (21.72 inches)
    • January-June precipitation total for 2011: Just 14.5mm (5.71 inches), the lowest amount on 121-year record.
  • California: Drought conditions remain dire across California, with 46.7 percent of the state experiencing the worst category of drought (D4, exceptional).

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Overview for June 2015, published online July 2015, retrieved on July 13, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201506.

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Wildfires Force Evacuations in Central Washington

Posted by feww on July 13, 2015

Lightning-sparked wildfires rage across Washington state

Five wildfires, sparked by lightning on Friday night, have grown together combining into two major blazes, threatening about 300 structures and consuming  about 22,500 acres (91 square km) in Douglas County [pop: 40,000,] central Washington.

One of the two fires in the Douglas County Complex is burning approximately 17 miles northeast of Waterville near Jamieson Lake. The other fire is burning approximately 10 miles southeast of Waterville, reported InciWeb.

About 60 homes and other structure are in immediate threat, and 300 other dewellings have been evacuated, said officials.

“A level 3 evacuation order remains in place for approximately 30 residents on North Palisades Road. All other previous evacuations orders are level 1 including Rock Island Grade which was added this afternoon [July 12.]”

About a dozen major blazes are currently burning in Washington state.

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Large Wildfires Devour Homes, Force Evacuations across U.S., W. Canada

Posted by feww on July 7, 2015

Wildfires burning millions of acres across United States, W. Canada

Wildfire are burning more than 3.1 million acres across Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington.

Alaska
As of July 2, some 750 wildfires have burned an estimated 2.4 million acres in Alaska so far this summer, “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, told ABC News today. “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.”

Meanwhile, NOAA has issued the following statement:

Fires are raging in Alaska, and there’s no end in sight.

More than 600 fires have burned in excess of 1.8 million acres in the state, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, making this year the worst wildfire season so far in Alaska’s history. Fires have caused evacuations, highway closures, and rail and flight disruptions. More than 350 structures have been damaged, including about 70 homes.

Approximately 100,000 wildland fires occur each year in the United States, capable of severe destruction and loss of life. Above-average temperatures and a longstanding drought in the western U.S. are contributing to wildfires occurring in parts of Washington, Oregon and California.

“It’s only July 6 and this fire season ranks No. 9 on the list of the largest fire seasons on record in Alaska,” said AK Forestry.

alaska forestry
A graph from the National Interagency Fire Center that shows how Alaska’s fire season compares to the Lower 48 so far, this year.

Idaho
A large blaze in Idaho has destroyed at least six multimillion-dollar homes forcing more than 200 people to evacuate from Bayview, a resort town on Lake Pend Oreille.

The Cape Horn fire, which was possibly sparked by lightning, and is now being fanned by strong winds and fueled by record temperatures, has consumed about 1,000 hectares, since Sunday.

“There have been multiple wildfires in eastern and central Idaho during the past week with the biggest being the Dietrich Butte fire, which started Friday afternoon. It’s scorched about 2,500 acres north of Dietrich, a town near Shoshone,” said a report.

California
A 400-acre wildfire threatens homes in Vacaville (between San Francisco and Sacramento), Northern California, forcing more than 100 people to evacuate.

Washington
The Sleepy Hollow fire destroyed dozens of homes and consumed about 80 square kilometers before being mostly contained.

In May, Gov. Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington after snowpack reached historic lows, and rivers began dwindling and irrigation districts were forced to cut off water to farmers.

Oregon
Wildfires have consumed about 160 square kilometers in Oregon, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

In June, Gov. Brown declared drought emergencies in Coos, Douglas, Gilliam and Jefferson counties, bringing the total to 19 counties officially in a state of drought.

The counties covered by the declarations:

Baker, Coos, Crook, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Jospehine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Wasco and Wheeler.

Saskatchewan, Canada

Saskatchewan First Nations Evacuate 13,000, Declare Wildfire State of Emergency

“Wildfires have forced more than 13,000 Lac La Ronge band members and others from their homes in aboriginal communities in the largest evacuation Saskatchewan has ever seen.”

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51 Communities Evacuated amid Raging Wildfires in W. Canada

Posted by feww on July 6, 2015

15,000 Residents ordered to evacuate their homes in Saskatchewan

At least 112 wildfires are burning through the northern region of Saskatchewan, forcing about 17,000 residents in 51 communities to evacuate.

“Saskatchewan’s Buffalo Narrows and La Ronge regions are the hottest wildfire spots at the moment, but there are also 10 uncontained blazes tearing through the province’s Prince Albert region, further to the south” said a report.

Fire Stats
Communities under full or partial evacuation orders: 51
Total number of residents evacuated or under evacuation orders: 17,000
Number of active wildfires (July 6, 2015) : 112
Number of active wildfires greater than 100 hectares: 56  (July 5, 2015)
Wildfires to date: 574 (compared with total of 184 to date in 2014, and seasonal total of 193 blazes)

Western Canada Disaster Watch

  • Wildfires are also raging  in the rest of Western Canada, with B.C. and Alberta experiencing similar hot and dry conditions, said CTV News.
  • Port Hardy, B.C. declared a state of emergency on Saturday as a wildfire forced the evacuation of 100 homes. The fire is one of 64 that are active across the province.
  • There were also more than 120 wildfires burning across Alberta, with hundreds of northern residents put on evacuation alert.
  • About 1,000 military personnel have been sent to help contain wildfires in Saskatchewan and assist evacuees relocation.

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Wildfire Destroys Dozens of Buildings, Forces Mass Evacuations in Washington

Posted by feww on June 29, 2015

Red Flag Warnings in effect across much of Washington State, as wildfire forces 1,000 people to flee

A fast-moving wildfire fueled by high temperatures and strong winds has destroyed dozens of building, including homes, in Wenatchee in central Washington, about 200km east of Seattle.

The so-called Sleepy Hollow fire ignited in grass just outside Wenatchee on Sunday afternoon forcing residents of about 450 homes to flee.

The blaze had consumed more than 3,000 acres, as of posting.

State of Emergency

Gov. Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington in May due to the snowpack being at historic lows, dwindling rivers and irrigation districts being forced to cut off water to farmers.

Statement from Gov. Inslee about the Sleepy Hollow fire in Wenatchee

“Yet again, our state is experiencing a catastrophic wildfire that has displaced families and shut down businesses …”

Read statement here!

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Wildfires Threaten Thousands of California Homes

Posted by feww on June 26, 2015

Up to 30,000 people evacuated from California towns threatened by Wildfires

Raging wildfires have prompted mandatory evacuations for residents of multiple towns and communities in California including Burns Canyon, Rimrock, Barton Flats, Seven Oaks, Ranbow Lane and Heart Bar, while a voluntary evacuation remained in place in Pioneertown, said fire officials.

Meanwhile, residents in several other communities including Lake Williams, Erwin Lake, and Baldwin Lake have been warned of possible evacuation orders.

About 400 campers were also ordered to leave the Lake Williams area on Wednesday, as authorities closed Roadways and campgrounds throughout the areas threatened by wildfires, or affected by the smoke.

More than 1,000 residents in Santa Clarita, LA County, were also ordered to flee their homes late on Wednesday, fire officials said.

Alaska Wildfires

More than 300 wildfires are burning across the state of Alaska. Two major fires, the Sockeye fire and The Card Street fire, have destroyed or damaged more than 100 structures.

Meanwhile, the community of Aniak in Southwest Alaska began evacuating some of its residents Thursday as smoke from a 2,500-acre North Aniak Fire wildfire burning nearby blanketed the village, said a report.

State Disaster

Gov. Walker declared a state disaster on June 19 in response to damages caused by multiple wild land fires on the Kenai Peninsula, including the Card Street Fire near Sterling.

Walker also declared a state disaster in response to widespread damages caused by the Sockeye Fire in Willow and the surrounding region on June 16.

State of Oregon

In Oregon, Gov. Brown has  declared drought emergencies for 20 out of Oregon’s 36 counties so far, said spokesman for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Large forest fire are burning in Siskiyou National Forest and Whitman National Forest.

State of Washington

Gov. Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington in May due to the snowpack being at historic lows, dwindling rivers and irrigation districts being forced to cut off water to farmers.

Wildfires burning in 10 states

Wildfires are burning in 10 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

Warnings, Advisories and Watches

Red Flag Warnings, Excessive Heat Warnings,Heat Advisories, Excessive Heat Watches, Fire Weather Watches Air Quality Alerts, and/or Dense Smoke Advisories are currently in effect across most of the West, and parts of multiple other states.

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Wildfires Force Hundreds to Flee Homes in Alaska

Posted by feww on June 24, 2015

Residents evacuated from Yukon River community

A lightning-sparked fire grew to more than 700 acres burning close to the Yukon River village of Nulato, prompting evacuations from the Athabascan community of 250 late Monday, said a report.

State Disaster

Gov. Walker declared a state disaster on June 19 in response to damages caused by multiple wild land fires on the Kenai Peninsula, including the Card Street Fire near Sterling.

“As of Friday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough evacuated hundreds of homes and established emergency shelters for residents displaced by the Card Street Fire. While winds have now shifted away from populated areas, the Card Street Fire has claimed more than 7,500 acres and is now burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.”

Walker also declared a state disaster in response to widespread damages caused by the Sockeye Fire in Willow and the surrounding region on June 16.

Fire Ban

Extremely dry conditions in the Kenai Peninsula, Municipality of Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough have prompted Alaska Division of Forestry and the State Forester to prohibit the use of all open fires and activities, said Alaska DONR in a statement.

Alaska Fire Stats

  • Total no. of fires so far this year: >500
  • No. of fires in June: 310 [57 new fires ignited Monday]
  • Currently burning: 239 fires, burning on 320,000 acres
  • No. of Major fires currently active: 10
  • Total no. of structures destroyed or damaged: >100
    • The Sockeye wildfire in Willow has destroyed at least 55 homes (45 other properties have sustained major damage to outbuildings.)
    • The fire has displaced more than 800 people.
  • Largest fire: 34,000-acre Chisana River 2 fire in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve and the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.

Wildfires burning in 10 states

Wildfires also continue to burn in the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, in addition to Alaska.

State of California

Some 1,922 fire crews are trying to control a 17,500-acre Lake Fire in n the Barton Flats area and in the northern portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness (San Bernardino National Forest) east of Los Angeles.

Two other fires, near San Luis Obispo, and the other outside Fresno, have destroyed more than two dozen structures.

State of Oregon

In Oregon, Gov. Brown has  declared drought emergencies for 20 out of Oregon’s 36 counties so far, said spokesman for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Large forest fire are burning in Siskiyou National Forest and Whitman National Forest.

State of Washington

Gov. Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington in May due to the snowpack being at historic lows, dwindling rivers and irrigation districts being forced to cut off water to farmers.

 

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Disaster Declared for Sockeye Fire Area, Alaska

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

Walker declares a state disaster in response to Sockeye Fire

Alaska Gov. Walker has declared a state disaster in response to widespread damages caused by the Sockeye Fire wildfire in Willow and the surrounding region.

Early Tuesday, the Alaska Division of Forestry estimated the Sockeye Fire had grown to 7,585 acres.

Major fires burning in Alaska include:

  • Chisana River 2 Fire Wildfire Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve (Active) 8,550 acres
  • Sockeye Fire Wildfire Mat – Su Area Forestry (Active)  7,512 acres
  • Bogus Creek Fire Wildfire Southwest Area Forestry (Active) 25,260 acres
  • Whitefish Lake 1 Fire Wildfire Southwest Area Forestry (Active) 14,827 acres

Related Links

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Explosive Wildfire Destroys Homes Forces Hundreds of Evacuations in AK

Posted by feww on June 16, 2015

Alaska wildfire grows 7 folds in as many hours

The 700-acre wildfire called Card Street Fire, has destroyed dozens of homes on the Kenai Peninsula, threatening hundreds of additional structures and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

Meantime, Alaska Governor Walker issued a disaster declaration for the affected areas.


Image credit: Stefan Hinman/Mat-Su Borough spokesperson. More images…

Sockeye Fire near Willow

Another fast-moving fire near Willow, the Sockeye Fire, has destroyed at least 25 primary homes and as many as 20 secondary homes, according to Alaska Forestry Division spokesman Sam Harrel.

Alaska Division of Forestry’s latest update on the Sockeye Fire near Willow:

The fire is still estimated at 6,500 acres [the fire is now up to 8,500 acres]  and fire managers flew the fire this morning to get a gauge on fire activity and how far the fire has spread since last night. Heavy smoke over the southern perimeter of the fire south of Willow Creek has made size up difficult and fire managers are working to produce an updated map of the fire. As of late last night, the head of the fire was burning just south of Willow Creek and did not show much movement overnight. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has set up a call center for people seeking information about the fire. The number at the call center is (907) 861-8326. For a recorded update, call (907) 761-3700. Fire activity died down last night due to cooler temperatures and higher relative humidities but activity is expected to increase today as a result of a Red Flag Warning for strong winds, hot temperatures and low relative humidity. Winds are expected to be out of the north again today, which will likely push the fire south. Fire managers plan to utilize roads and natural barriers to help control the fire. They are focusing on holding the fire at the railroad tracks on the east side of the Parks Highway and the Susitna River serves as a natural barrier on the west side. Evacuation advisories remain in effect from Miles 63 to 78 and extend two miles to the east of the highway and to the Susitna River on the west. Anyone still in that evacuation zone should seriously consider leaving the area for the safety of themselves and firefighters. As of late last night, there were approximately 25 primary structures and 10-20 secondary structures destroyed by the fire north of Kashwitna Lake on the north end of the fire. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has a team that is assessing structure damage today to get a clearer indication of how many homes and structures were lost. Eight smokejumpers were deployed to remote cabin sights for structure protection and more resources have been ordered from the Lower 48 and Canada and are enroute to the fire. That includes five Type 1 hotshot crews, five Type 2 crews, two air tankers, and multiple helicopters, including three Blackhawk helicopters from the Alaska Air National Guard.

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Wildfires Force Mass Evacuation of Alberta Oil Sands Staff

Posted by feww on May 27, 2015

Wildfires force suspension of tenth of Alberta’s oil sands output

Statoil Canada, MEG Energy  and Cenovus Energy have evacuated hundreds of oil sands staff from three projects—Christina Lake, Narrows Lake and  Leismer—in NE Alberta, as raging wildfires threaten the major oil-producing region.

“At least 233,000 barrels per day of oil sands production, nine per cent of Alberta’s total oil sands output, has been suspended in Alberta’s northeast because of the fire risk, said a report.

ALBERTA WILDFIRE Update – May 26, 2015 @ 10:00hrs

  • At least 19 out-of-control wildfires and 50 other forest fires are raging across the province, as of update, A total of 55 wildfires were sparked on Monday, most by lightning.
  • States of Emergency have been declared for several towns due to the fires.
  • A 200-hectare wildfire forced evacuation of approximately 5,000 residents of Wabasca.
  • The fiercest fires include
    1. 10km  from the hamlet of Wabasca.
    2. 22km east of Slave Lake (see also Slave Lake Hit by Back-to-Back Disasters).
    3. 40km  NW of Cold Lake (see also Another Dark Day for Global Climate, Environment).
  • Alberta has experienced 687 wildfires that have burned 18,435.22 hectares between April 1 and May 26, 2015, according to the latest government update.
  • Officials have evacuated several towns threatened by fires throughout the province.
  • Alberta has deployed more than 1,300 wildland fire crews and about 100 aircraft to control the fires.
  • Alberta has declared a province-wide fire ban.

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“Above Normal” Wildfire for U.S. West, North central

Posted by feww on May 6, 2015

Forest Service: “Above Normal” Wildland Fire Potential in the West, “Active Fire” Year for  North Central U.S.

U.S. Forest Service has forecast an “above normal” wildland fire Potential in the West, and an “active fire” year for North Central U.S. in the upcoming 2015 fire season in testimony today before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“Forest Service researchers expect 2015 to continue the trend of above average fire activity,” said Forest Service Chief in his testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Teusday.

“Above normal wildland fire potential exists across the north central United States and above normal wildland fire potential will threaten many parts of the West this summer,” said USFS Chief Tidwell. “We anticipate another active fire year, underscoring the need to reform our wildfire funding.”

The forecast indicates there is a 90 percent chance that this year’s Forest Service fire suppression costs will be between $794 million and $1.657 billion, with a median estimate of $1.225 billion, potentially forcing the diversion of funding from other vital programs to support suppression operations. Any costs above the median is greater than the “10 year average” and would force the Forest Service to leverage funding from other land management programs. Diverting funds to cover the cost of wildfire suppression affects other critical Forest Service programs and services, said Tidwell, including efforts to reduce wildfire risk through mechanical thinning, prescribed fires, and other means.”

Wildfire suppression costs have increased as fire seasons have grown longer and the frequency, size, and severity of wildfires has increased due to changing climatic conditions, drought, hazardous fuel buildups, insect and disease infestations, nonnative invasive species, and other factors. Funding has not kept pace with the cost of fighting fire. Over the last 10 years, adjusting for inflation, the Forest Service has spent an average of almost $1.13 billion on suppression operations annually.

However, the fire season has already started in parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and has seen several ferocious fires since March.

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