Wildlife

Wildfires in Australia caused an explosion of sea life thousands of miles away

Two years ago, in the southern Pacific Ocean, an explosion of algae grew to more than 2,000 miles wide — about the width of Australia.

Giant algal blooms are often tied to land pollution such as runoff from farmland, which is full of nutrients like nitrogen that these plant-like organisms need to thrive. But there were no nearby farms or factories here in the middle of the ocean.

The sprawling bloom was fueled instead by something faraway and unexpected: wildfires thousands of miles to the west. Smoke rising from Australia’s historic 2019 wildfires drifted out to sea and fertilized vast communities of algae. The smoke, which contained the nutrient iron, gave rise to algal blooms that were together larger than Australia. The blooms lasted for about four months.

More research is needed to determine whether the algal blooms are good or bad for the ecosystem.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

A pair of lightning-sparked fires that took hold in rugged terrain in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks exploded over the weekend, while another blaze to the south burned into a grove of giant sequoia trees, sending smoke billowing above popular tourist destinations and forcing closures in the area.

All three fires ignited Thursday after a series of thunderstorms rolled in, sending more than 130 lighting strikes into the southern Sierra Nevada mountains and sparking the Paradise and Colony fires in the two parks. Collectively called the KNP Complex, the fires have since seared 1,037 acres with no containment, forcing the closure of the Sequoia National Park while the Kings Canyon side remained open.

A separate blaze, dubbed the Windy fire, had seared 974 acres in the adjoining Sequoia National Forest. It had burned into the Peyrone Sequoia grove, part of the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Spain

People have fled their homes in six more Andalucían towns and villages as Spain sent in a military unit to help tackle wildfires raging close to a Costa del Sol resort.

A blaze fanned by strong winds has driven out almost 2,000 people and killed one emergency worker since it began on Wednesday in the mountainous Sierra Bermeja above Estepona, a popular spot with British tourists and retirees, having grown to over 6 000 hectares.

Wildfires – California, USA

Firefighters were making progress on a wildfire that jumped across a Southern California freeway and spread across dry hillsides while a new blaze forced residents of a Northern California community to evacuate.

The fire broke out Saturday afternoon near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County. Pushed by 10-15mph (16-24 kph) winds, the blaze chewed through tinder-dry brush and jumped across the busy freeway, spread across more than a half of a square mile.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Spain

A major wildfire in southeast Spain prevailed over firefighting efforts by 38 water-dropping aircraft and tore through an area of hilly woodland for a second day, with one official describing it as “a hungry monster.”

The wildfire has destroyed more than 3,600 hectares (9,000 acres) of forest, prompting the evacuation of 1,000 people and leading to the death of a firefighter. People in some villages were told to stay indoors with their windows shut due to thick smoke that saturated the hills. Hundreds of firefighters worked overnight to clear out flammable material and open firebreaks in the forest on the hill range in Malaga province. Arson is suspected.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

More than 14,600 firefighters were on the lines of 13 active, large wildfires in California on Thursday.

The Dixie Fire in the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range grew to about 1,451 square miles (3,758 square kilometers) but was 59% contained.

Near Lake Tahoe, the Caldor Fire grew only slightly, to just over 341 square miles (884 square kilometers), and was 53% contained.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Minnesota, USA

Fire crews working to contain wildfires burning in northeast Minnesota were aided by cool temperatures and scattered rain showers over the weekend.

As of Sunday the Greenwood Fire burning west of Isabella remained at just over 26,000 acres and 37 percent contained.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

The Caldor Fire has scorched 277 square miles (717 square kilometers) since breaking out Aug. 14. After the weekend’s fierce burning, containment dropped from 19% to 14%. More than 600 structures have been destroyed, and at least 20,000 more were threatened. Thousands of people rushed to leave South Lake Tahoe as the entire resort city came under evacuation orders.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

The Chaparral Fire burning southwest of Murrieta began around midday Saturday and has burned more than 1,600 acres in Riverside and San Diego counties; it’s 10% contained as of Sunday. According to Cal Fire, the wildfire forced evacuations for people living “North of Tenaja Truck Trl, South of Calle Cielo, East of Calle Collado, and West of Calle Be Bietol” as well as prompting warnings for residents in an adjacent area bordering the Cleveland National Forest to “leave now.”

Wildfires

Wildfires – Minnesota, USA

The Greenwood fire continues to burn 26K acres in Superior National Forest. Hundreds of fire personnel worked Friday to defeat the largest of numerous wildfires in northeastern Minnesota, where smoke from tens of thousands of burning acres prompted a warning to residents to remain indoors. There are also blazes just across the border in the Canadian Quetico Provincial Park that continue to burn with no containment.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Paraguay

Vast areas of Paraguay have been affected, with blazes concentrated in the northeastern administrative departments of Concepcion and Amambay. Thick smoke has reached the capital Asuncion, leaving the sky yellow and severely reducing air quality. Fires have been seen in at least five protected forested areas with 70 percent of the Cerro Cora National Park, a 5,836-hectare (14,420-acre) area of immense ecological and historical importance, consumed by flames.

Wildfires – Mediterranean

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Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

More than 13,500 firefighters were working Monday to contain a dozen large California wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands of people to flee to safety.

Containment increased to 40% at the Dixie Fire, which has burned more than 1,130 square miles (2,926 square kilometers) in the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades. Ongoing assessments showed 1,259 buildings destroyed, including 678 single-family homes, Cal Fire said. Nearly 13,000 structures remained threatened.

Tallies of losses also increased at the Caldor Fire, which has incinerated more than 166 square miles (430 square kilometers) of El Dorado National Forest on Sierra slopes southwest of Lake Tahoe. Continuing assessments showed 447 buildings destroyed. More than 17,000 structures were still under threat.

Wildfires

Wildfires – British Columbia, Canada

As of Tuesday (Aug. 17) afternoon, 262 wildfires are burning in the province with 86 evacuation orders and 125 evacuation alerts affecting a combined total of 30,991 properties. Over the weekend, multiple B.C. municipalities experienced new wildfires or struggled to accommodate evacuees from other regions. Wildfire activity caused a 40-hour closure of the Coquihalla Highway, which has since reopened to essential travel.

Wildfires

Wildfires – France

Thousands of people fled homes, campgrounds and hotels near the French Riviera on Tuesday as firefighters battled a blaze that raced through nearby forests, sending smoke pouring down wooded slopes toward vineyards in the picturesque area.

The wildfire started Monday evening, in the height of France’s summer vacation season, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) inland from the coastal resort of Saint-Tropez. Fueled by powerful seasonal winds coming off the Mediterranean Sea, the fire had spread across 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of forest by Tuesday morning.

Wildfires – California – Update

– Antelope Fire – 56,753 acres, 27% contained, started Aug. 1.

– Dixie Fire – 604,511 acres, 31% contained, started July 13.

– River Complex – 44,117 acres, 10% contained, started July 30.

– McFarland Fire – 97,407 acres, 68% contained, started July 29.

– Monument Fire – 119,280 acres, 10% contained, started July 30.

– Caldor Fire – 6,500 acres, 0% contained, started Aug. 14.

Wildfires – Washington, USA

The Schneider Springs Fire grew has burned more than 44 square miles (114 square kilometers) since the lightning-ignited blaze started.

The Corkscrew Fire has damaged or destroyed 20 buildings — including eight homes — and has burned through more than 20 square miles (52 square kilometers).

Wildfires

Wildfires – Minnesota, USA

A rapidly growing wildfire in northeastern Minnesota has expanded to at least 1,500 acres (600 hectares) and prompted some evacuations, the U.S. Forest Service said Monday.

Wildfires – Greece

Fanned by strong winds, two new big wildfires erupted Monday in hard-hit Greece, triggering evacuation alerts for villages southeast and northwest of Athens — only days after blazes consumed large tracts of forest north of the Greek capital.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Northern Territory firefighters have managed to contain a bushfire that has been burning since yesterday afternoon at Lake Bennett — with the watch and act alert now downgraded to advice.