Wildfire in Spain’s Costa Brava forces hundreds from their homes
Firefighters used water-carrying planes on Saturday as they battled to control a wildfire in Spain’s Costa Brava region that has forced 350 people to be evacuated from their homes, the regional fire service said.
The blaze, which police think was caused by a discarded cigarette, tore through more than 400 hectares (about 1,000 acres) of forest and scrubland on the edge of the Cap de Creus natural park, a popular tourist area.
“We’re trying to bring the fire under control at the moment using six aircraft, which are pouring water onto the flames and 90 fire crews on the ground,” said Sergi Palacios from the Catalan regional government’s fire service.
Video images shot by firefighters showed them clambering across the rocky terrain as they worked in the darkness to tackle the fire, which started on Friday.
More than 231 people had to seek shelter overnight in temporary accommodation offered by the local council in El Port de la Selva district.
Police said anyone found responsible for causing the fire by throwing away a smouldering cigarette could face criminal charges.
“One negligent cigarette butt is 50 years of reforestation,” Jordi Puignero, vice president of the Catalan regional government, told reporters.
Courtesy of reuters.com
NE Oregon wildfire at nearly 11,000 acres; governor invokes Conflagration Act
The nearly 11,000-acre Elbow Creek Fire in northeast Oregon continues to be pushed by erratic winds and hot temperatures, challenging firefighters as the fire burns primarily to the east and west, with some growth to the north, officials said Saturday as Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Conflagration Act to bring in more outside resources..
The fire is located in the Grande Ronde River drainage near Mud Springs, about 30 miles southeast of Walla Walla, Wash.
Here’s the rest of Saturday morning’s update from the Oregon Department of Forestry:
Helicopters and air tankers worked to slow the spread of the fire to the north and south yesterday, while crews aided in structure protection. Firefighters also worked the northwest side of the fire to keep the fire from spreading into Elbow Creek and progressing further through the Grande Ronde River drainage. Support from heavy airtankers aided in limiting the fire spread on the south on private ownership and firefighters were able to hold the fire last night north of Sickfoot Road.
Based on infrared mapping, the fire is estimated to be 10,941 acres in size, and remains at 0% containment.
Today, suppression activities are focused on holding the fire in the Wildcat Creek area on the east side and protecting structures at risk. Additionally, firefighters are establishing anchor points and scouting opportunities to build containment lines to the west side of the fire near Elbow Creek. Where terrain and fuels allow for crews to safely engage, firefighters continue working to build line construction and limit the fire spread on private ownership to the south, utilizing aircraft to slow fire spread.
The Elbow Creek Fire was reported on Thursday and is burning on both sides of the Grande Ronde River and is on or threatening Umatilla National Forest lands, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest lands, Vale District Bureau of Land Management lands and Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Numerous resources are aiding in firefighting efforts, including landowners, private operators, and various federal and state resources (hand crews, dozers, multiple engines, and water tenders). The fire is currently being staffed by a Type 3 Northeast Oregon Interagency Management Team. The agencies will inbrief the Oregon Department of Forestry Team 3 Type 1 Incident Management Team led by Link Smith today at 5 p.m. at the Wallowa High School and the team is anticipated to take command of the fire tomorrow.
The conflagration request sent by Wallowa County Fire Defense Board Chief, Paul Karvoski, to the Governor’s Office has been approved and additional resources are en route to support structure protection work with suppression efforts. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office is surging resources to assist the local fire agencies.
Wallowa County has updated evacuation information. Additional information regarding evacuations is available through the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 426-3131 or by monitoring the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook.
Closures are also in place surrounding the fire. Due to fire activity on both sides of the Grande Ronde River corridor, the river is closed at Minam State Park. Any rafters that arrive into the fire area will be safely evacuated in coordination with Wallowa County Search and Rescue. Due to extreme wildfire activity and the concern for the safety of the public the entirety of the Umatilla National Forest has been temporarily closed.
Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist throughout the week. Fire officials want to remind everyone that the current fire danger rating remains at EXTREME.
Courtesy of ktvz.com
Algeria wildfire kills two
A wildfire has killed two people west of the Algerian capital, the emergency services said Saturday, one of a spate of seasonal blazes to hit the north African country.
Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes after the fire swept through forest near the coastal city of Tipaza trapping and killing two men in a chicken coop.
More than 50 additional firefighters were dispatched from Algiers to help tackle the blaze which broke out on Friday night.
Over the past 24 hours, fires have been reported in northern Algeria in 10 of the country’s 58 provinces.
Already in September, authorities in Tipaza announced their worst year for wildfires since 2010, with nearly 900 hectares (2,200 acres) of forest or crops destroyed.
Every year, Algeria loses up to one percent of its vegetation to seasonal wildfires, according to the forestry department.
Last year, it lost 21,048 hectares (more than 52,000 acres) between June 1 and October 31.
Courtesy of macaubusiness.com
60,000 to evacuate after wildfire grows in Southern California, USA
A fast-moving wildfire has forced evacuations for 60,000 people in Southern California as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. The smoky fire in Orange County broke out just before 7 a.m. Monday and quickly threatened neighborhoods in Irvine, a sprawling city of about 280,000 people. California is extremely dry and fire danger is high as the state experiences winds that are gusting above 60 mph (97mph) in places. Such winds can knock down power lines and send tree branches into wires, sparking fires. It’s not clear what started the Orange County fire.
Courtesy of wdef.com
Wildfires and droughts devastate South American biodiversities
Under stress from a historic drought, large swathes of forest and wetlands in central South America known for their exceptional biodiversity have been ravaged by devastating fires.
Experts on Friday said wildfires in a region that spans Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, especially the region between the Paraguay, Parana and Uruguay rivers, have become critical in 2020.
“There has been a dramatic increase in fires. In Argentina there has been an increase of around 170 percent, it’s very serious,” said Elisabeth Mohle, an environmental politics researcher at Argentina’s San Martin National University (UNSM).
She says it’s part of a wider problem affecting multiple regions around the world this year, including in Brazil’s Amazonas state, Australia, California, and the Gran Chaco, South America’s second largest forest after the Amazon.
The Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands that span Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, is experiencing its worst drought in 47 years.
The Parana river, one of the most powerful on the planet that originates in Brazil and empties into the River Plate estuary, is at its lowest level since 1970.
In August it was down to 80-centimetres in Rosario, eastern Argentina, rather than the usual 3-4 meters for that time of year.
It’s the same thing with the Paraguay river that is at its lowest level “in half a century,” according to Paraguay’s national weather center in Asuncion.
The fires are being fanned by ideal conditions, including strong winds, temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius and the dry season in which farmers use slash-and-burn techniques to try to regenerate the soil.
In Paraguay, “the fires … at the end of September and first week of October, broke all records,” Eduardo Mingo, a top official at the national weather center, told AFP.
The number of fires were up 46 percent in 2020, according to authorities.
Paraguay’s capital Asuncion and several towns in northeastern Argentina and southern Brazil spent days and even weeks submerged under a thick fog due to the intense fires.
And without the usual rainfall that moistens the soil, the wetlands have been particularly badly affected.
Images from the Brazilian Pantanal of the charred carcases of birds, snakes, caimans and trees have shocked the world.
A quarter of the area was devastated between January and September, while the Paraguayan Pantanal had already been badly affected by fires in 2019.
The Parana Delta that is home to species such as the jaguar, Pampas cat and several rodents, has been hit by fires of an unprecedented intensity since January, leaving a “desert of ashes” over tens of thousands of hectares of wetlands.
“Reptiles, migratory birds, small mammals and tortoises have died,” Cesar Massi, a naturalist in Argentina’s Santa Fe province, told AFP.
“I remember that during the last drought in 2008, there were fires. But this year they’ve been stronger, more intense and lasted longer.”
Agriculture is a massive source of income for the countries in this region but the slash-and-burn techniques used aggravate the situation.
In the north of Argentina “despite Covid-19 restrictions, between March 15 and September 30… twice the area of Buenos Aires was deforested,” according to Greenpeace.
The Mighty Earth NGO says that Paraguay’s dry forests are “one of the main sites of deforestation in the world, mostly due to the expansion of pastureland and more recently soyabean plantations.”
Argentina’s government has accused cattle farmers of setting fires to “increase pastureland area” in the Parana Delta.
One problem is that NGOs don’t have the necessary funding from governments to enforce rules and instigate large restoration or protection projects.
“The provincial government has less and less of a budget for prevention, there are no surveillance posts, the environmental police have been disassembled,” Alfredo Leytes, a member of the Ambiente en Lucha environmental collective based in Cordoba, Argentina, told AFP.
In Brazil “there has been a 58 percent decrease in ‘Brigadistas’ contracts,” said Alica Thuault from the Centro de Vida institute, referring to the volunteers that mobilized to tackle fires. She attributes blame firmly at the feet of President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic.
Mohle wants different players, including farmers and ecologists, to work together “to regulate the use of land to ensure a more sustainable development than currently exists.”
Courtesy of trtworld.com
In Syria, the promising olive harvest, destroyed by fires
Souheil Dib was eagerly awaiting the harvest of olives from his farm in Tartus, in western Syria, but fires have destroyed entire areas of Syria in recent days, leaving the branches of his olive trees charred.
61-year-old Dib inspects each branch of these trees inherited from his father for the slightest sign of life, but they all snap in his hands.
“It had a hundred trees,” he says resigned. “I have never seen a fire like it in my life.”
Favored by high temperatures, some 150 fire outbreaks broke out at dawn on Friday in the coastal provinces of Tartus and Latakia (west) as well as Homs (center), destroying more than 9,000 hectares of agricultural land, forests, orchards and olive groves , according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).
Three people died in Latakia, according to the health ministry, and 25,000 people have been evacuated in the three provinces, according to Ocha.
Authorities announced Sunday that they had controlled the fire. On Monday, the layer of ash that covered the disaster area was still smoky and the surrounding mountains were huge charred surfaces.
With the economic crisis that the country is suffering after more than nine years of war, Souheil Dib had this year on the harvest to guarantee its needs for oil and olives.
“Our hopes were placed on this season to compensate for our successive losses (…) The olives were already ripe and fat and if it had not been for these fires we would be preparing today to harvest them”, laments this man who has spent his life taking care of these trees.
Courtesy of web24.news