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Continent on Fire: Map Shows 6 Months of Wildfires Burning North America

August 28, 2013 Comments off

wired.com

All the wildfires that have hit the bulk of North America over the last 6 months make for a strikingly full picture when put together. This new map from NOAA shows each fire detected by satellites so far this season.

It’s important to note what this map is showing before you draw any conclusions, however. Each spot on the map represents a fire signature caught by a thermal sensor on NOAA’s GOES satellites. Every time a fire is detected, a new spot is added — this means when two different satellites see the same fire, two tiny dots are added. When the same satellite sees the same fire again, another dot. So far this year, fires have Read more…

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Sunburned in Siberia: Heat Wave Leads to Wildfires

August 17, 2013 1 comment

kitsapsun.com

Russia_amo_2013206_lrgAn intense heat wave in Siberia has contributed to an unusual flare up of wildfires across the fragile and carbon-rich landscape. Smoke from the fires is lofting high into the atmosphere, and is drifting toward the Arctic, where soot can hasten the melting of snow and sea ice.

The Siberian city of Norilsk, the most northerly city in the world with a population greater than 100,000, recorded temperatures above 83F over eight consecutive days starting on July 18, according to blogger Chris Burt of Weather Underground. During that timespan, Burt reported, the mercury hit 90F, breaking the record for the hottest temperature recorded for the city. For comparison the average July high temperature in Norilsk is a comparatively chilly 61F.

Norilsk isn’t an isolated example, but rather sits amid a sea of abnormally hot temperatures and smoky conditions in north-central Siberia. According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, from July 20 through July 27, temperatures were about 30F above average across a large swath of this vast, sparsely populated region.

The warm weather has contributed to a spike in wildfires. As of July 29, wildfires continued to burn at least 22,200 acres in Siberia, according to news reports. Heavy smoke from them grounded commercial flights in Omsk, a city in Read more…

Categories: Fires, Russia Tags: , , ,

Austin-area wildfire burns a record 476 homes in Texas

September 6, 2011 Comments off

reuters

Ashes float through the air as a wildfire burns out of control near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Ashes float through the air as a wildfire burns out of control near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Stone

By Karen Brooks

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A massive wildfire east of the Texas state capital of Austin has destroyed 476 homes since Sunday and is still burning out of control, state officials said on Monday.

“I’m still seeing no containment,” said April Saginor, public information officer for the Texas Forest Service, who confirmed that the Bastrop County Complex Fire has scorched more than 25,000 acres and burned 476 residences so far.

“That’s a record in Texas for a single fire,” she said of the homes destroyed.

The Bastrop fire is one of more than sixty fires which have kindled across Texas since Sunday afternoon, fueled by the gusty winds generated as Tropical Storm Lee pushed by Read more…

Texas: From droughts to extreme heat to blazing fires

September 5, 2011 Comments off

Winds fuel flare-ups in Palo Pinto County, across state

Strong north winds fueled wildfire flare-ups around Possum Kingdom Lake on Sunday and firefighters managed to contain most of them, but the rest of Texas wasn’t as lucky as thousands of acres and hundreds of homes burned in another day of the worst wildfire season in the state’s history.

A wildfire estimated to be 16 miles long near the Austin suburb of Bastrop charred about 14,000 acres Sunday, destroying or damaging an estimated 300 homes.

“It’s catastrophic,” Mark Stanford, fire chief of the Texas Forest Service, said Sunday. “It’s a major natural disaster.”

More than 40 new wildfires were reported to the Texas Forest Service on Sunday as strong winds, low humidity and very dry vegetation left firefighters scrambling to extinguish blazes throughout the state.

“We’re very stretched right now,” Tom Berglund of the Texas Forest Service said Sunday.

As of Sunday afternoon, firefighters Read more…

Extreme 2010 Russian fires and Pakistan floods linked meteorologically

August 31, 2011 Comments off

nasa.gov

Floods covered at least 14,390 square miles (37,280 square km) of Pakistan between July 28 and September 16, 2010. For more information about this image, please visit this NASA Earth Observatory page Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory GREENBELT, Md. — Two of the most destructive natural disasters of 2010 were closely linked by a single meteorological event, even though they occurred 1,500 miles (2,414 km) apart and were of completely different natures, a new NASA study suggests.

The research finds that the same large-scale meteorological event — an abnormal Rossby wave — sparked extreme heat and persistent wildfires in Russia as well as unusual downstream wind patterns that shifted rainfall in the Indian monsoon region and fueled heavy flooding in Pakistan. Although the heat wave started before the floods, both events attained maximum strength at approximately the same time, the researchers found Read more…

About 100 evacuated as fire burns outside Yosemite

August 29, 2011 Comments off

blueridgenow

About 100 people have been ordered to leave their homes as a wildfire burns outside Yosemite National Park, fire officials said Sunday.

Residents of the community of Rancheria were told to evacuate Saturday, while residents of the nearby communities of Yosemite West, Old El Portal, Incline and Jerseydale have also been told they may have leave their homes.

The blaze, which is burning in a steep and rugged area of thick forests along Highway 140, has also forced the indefinite closure of the roadway. The highway, one of the main entrances into the park, is shut down for nearly a 15-mile stretch from just east of the town of Mariposa to about two miles outside of the park’s entrance.

Park officials are suggesting Read more…

Russia wildfires cover above 21,500 hectares

July 29, 2011 Comments off

presstv

Wilffire in Volgograd (former Stalingrad), situated on the western bank of the Volga River
The total land area ablaze in Russia has increased drastically over the past day as the government tries to fight the ongoing wildfires, according to the Russian emergencies ministry.

The emergencies ministry officials have said that some 3,000 hectares of land has been covered by wildfires since Wednesday, making the total area of burning land more than 21,500 hectares, AFP reported on Thursday.

According to environmental campaigners, with the large number of wildfires producing tons of smoke this year, Russians should expect the return of the noxious smog which enveloped Moscow last summer, making the environmental disaster even more horrifying, but no Read more…