Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Authorities declared a state of emergency across a broad swath of Australia’s east coast on Monday, urging residents in high-risk areas to evacuate ahead of looming “catastrophic” fire conditions.

Bushfires burning across New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland states have already killed three people and destroyed more than 150 homes. Officials expect adverse heat and wind conditions to peak at unprecedented levels on Tuesday. More than 100 schools will be closed on Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2019 11 11 at 2 11 50 PM

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Three people have died, four are missing and at least 150 homes have been destroyed as bushfires rage across eastern Australia, authorities said on Saturday. There were 81 fires burning across the state on Saturday afternoon, 36 of them uncontained, with an emergency warning on four of them.

Further north, in Queensland, thousands of residents near the resort town of Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast, spent the night in evacuation centres.

This is one of Australia’s worst bushfire seasons and it is occurring even before the start of the Southern Hemisphere summer, with parts of the country already crippled by severe drought.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Australian firefighters warned they were in “uncharted territory” as they struggled to contain dozens of out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country on Friday. Around a hundred blazes pockmarked the New South Wales and Queensland countryside, around 19 of them dangerous and uncontained.

The fact the blazes were spread along a roughly 1,000-kilometre (620-mile) stretch of the seaboard left emergency services struggling to cope, even with the help of around 70 aircraft. In New South Wales, authorities said fires had breached containment lines and forced the closure of the Pacific Highway linking Sydney and Brisbane in two places, although one area has since reopened.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

As of late Friday, about 10,800 people were under mandatory evacuation orders in Ventura County after a wildfire began late Thursday before quickly spreading overnight. The Maria Fire is the latest addition to California’s busy 2019 fire season. The fire started on Thursday at 6:14 p.m. local time affecting 750 acres within an hour. It spread overnight to encompass more than 9,000 acres. About 1,300 firefighters are on hand.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

A fresh spate of Southern California wildfires roared to life on Thursday, destroying homes and forcing evacuations, as the region faced a second day of explosively fierce Santa Ana winds that have fanned flames, displacing thousands of residents. The most destructive among several new wind-driven blazes in the region erupted hours before dawn on the rugged slopes of the San Bernardino National Forest above the city of San Bernardino, barreling downhill into the north end of town.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

The race to stop an inferno torching the Los Angeles area has gotten more dangerous as furious winds — some as strong as in a hurricane — stoke the flames. Gusts of up to 70 mph will fuel the Getty Fire through Thursday, threatening more than 7,000 homes, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. And that’s just one of at least 10 wildfires burning across California.

The newly formed Easy Fire quickly consumed 1,300 acres in Ventura County, officials said. It threatened 6,500 homes and forced school closures and evacuations.

About 26,000 people were forced from their homes by the Simi Valley fire. Power had been shut off in some areas, affecting almost a million people.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Hundreds of koalas are feared to have died in an out-of-control bushfire in northern New South Wales which has raged unchecked for days in the heartland of their prime habitat. The blaze, reportedly caused by a lightning strike near Port Macquarie, has burned more than 3,000 hectares, including an important koala breeding ground.

Screen Shot 2019 10 30 at 12 48 25 PM

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire has burned through 3,000 hectares of the internationally significant Macquarie Marshes, placing a question mark over the long-term viability of a key section of the wetland, according to a leading expert.

The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service has confirmed the fire hit the northern reed bed in the wetlands, which are listed under the Ramsar convention covering wetlands of international importance.

The marshes, in central north-west NSW, are considered one of Australia’s most important inland nesting sites for waterbirds. The reed bed is key habitat for the endangered Australasian bittern.

Screen Shot 2019 10 28 at 1 08 53 PM

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

Authorities ordered at least 50,000 people to evacuate towns near a massive Northern California wildfire Saturday, and the state’s largest utility announced power shut-offs for an estimated 2.35 million people due to forecasts of severe winds and extreme fire danger. The entire communities of Healdsburg and Windsor were ordered to evacuate ahead of strong winds that could lead to erratic fire behavior near the blaze burning in wine country.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

California firefighters battled through the night to contain a fast-moving wildfire driven by high winds that was threatening to engulf thousands of buildings. Around 40 000 people were told to flee the Tick Fire, which was raging across 1,600 hectares just north of Los Angeles. The blaze broke out early on Thursday afternoon, burning several homes and structures and forcing the closure of a major highway and a number of roads, as some 500 firefighters backed by air tankers and helicopters battled the flames. There were no immediate reports of injury.

Wildfires – Mexico

Mexican authorities say three people have died in wind-whipped wildfires in the northwestern state of Baja California. Mexico’s civil defense agency said Friday that fires near Tecate, near Tijuana and between the coastal towns of Rosarito and Ensenada had forced 1,645 people to evacuate their homes. One of the fires closed the coastal highway north of Ensenada for several hours. Another, near Tecate, burned more than 35,000 acres (about 14,200 hectares).

Wildfires – Australia

Three fires on the NSW north coast, at Tuncurry, Darawank and Mount George, were at emergency levels but have since been downgraded to Watch and Act. Approximately 70 other fires are burning uncontrolled through the state. At least two properties have been lost in the fires.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

In Northern California, the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, about 75 miles north of San Francisco, rapidly expanded in size early Thursday morning, torching 10,000 acres in just four hours. At least 2 000 people were ordered to evacuate. The fire was likely sparked by a faulty electricity pylon.

Volcanos

Emerging Island

An underwater volcano in the South Pacific nation of Tonga with a history of creating short-lived islands is growing again toward the ocean surface. Metis Shoal has throughout recorded history created lava domes, pumice rafts and small islands that are eventually eroded by waves. It spawned a huge pumice raft in August that made headlines when sailors encountered it. The volcano has since been observed causing plumes of steam to rise above the Pacific.

Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 16 October – 22 October 2019

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 15-21 October. There were 14 explosions and seven non-explosive eruptive events detected by the seismic network. Eruption plumes rose as high as 3 km above the crater rim and large blocks were ejected as far as 1.3 km away. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high, at 2,800 tons/day, on 15 October. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on satellite and wind model data, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-22 October ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.3 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 11-18 October that sent ash plumes up to 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted NE, causing ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 15 October. A weak thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images on 12 October. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Etna | Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that during 14-20 October diffuse ash plumes from Etna’s Northeast Crater (NEC) varied from quickly-dispersing puffs to emissions lasting several hours. Ash drifted S, producing ashfall in areas downwind including Pedara, Mascalucia, Nicolosi, San Giovanni La Punta, and Catania. Ash plumes also rose from Voragine Crater (VOR).

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that at 0829 on 20 October an ash plume from Ibu rose at least 400 m above the summit and drifted W. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater, and 3.5 km away on the N side.

Karangetang | Siau Island (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that during 14-20 October lava continued to effuse from Karangetang’s Main Crater (S), traveling as far as 1.8 km down the Nanitu, Pangi, and Sense drainages on the SW and W flanks. Incandescence from both summit craters was visible at night. Sometimes dense white plumes rose to 600 m above the summit. According to the Darwin VAAC minor ash plumes were visible in satellite images rising to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. (600 m above the summit) and drifting W and NW. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Krakatau | Indonesia : PVMBG reported that during 14-20 October Anak Krakatau’s seismic network recorded 24 eruptive events. Diffuse white plumes rose as high as 150 m above the vent. A webcam on the volcano recorded several eruptions that ejected dense, blackish-gray ash plumes 150-300 m above the crater floor. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km-radius hazard zone from the crater.

Merapi | Central Java (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that an eruption at Merapi at 1631 on 14 October generated an ash plume that rose 3 km above the summit and caused ashfall in areas as far as 25 km SW. A pyroclastic flow traveled 2 km down the Gendol drainage on the SW flank. The event changed the shape of the dome by removing a NE-SW trending section that was 100 m long, 30 m wide, and 20 m deep. Lava continued to extrude during 14-20 October, generating at least two block-and-ash flows that traveled 1 km down the Gendol drainage. Foggy conditions sometimes prevented visual observations. White emissions rose as high as 500 m above the summit. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to stay outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) : The Darwin VAAC reported that on 18 October an ash plume from Semeru rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W based on satellite images and weather models. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 11-18 October. Explosions during 11-13 and 15 October produced ash plumes that rose 6.5-7 km (21,300-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 620 km E and SE. Resuspended ash drifted 125 km E during 16-17 October. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Shishaldin | Fox Islands (USA) : On 17 October AVO raised the Aviation colour Code for Shishaldin to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch noting that new lava effusion in the summit crater had begun on 13 October. Weather clouds had mostly prevented views of the crater during 12-18 October; elevated surface temperatures were detected during 13 and 17-20 October. A steam plume was visible in webcam images on 19 October.

Tangkubanparahu | Western Java (Indonesia) : Diffuse white water-vapor plumes rose 40 m above the vent on Tangkubanparahu’s Ratu Crater floor during 14-21 October. PVMBG lowered the Alert Level to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 21 October, noting that phreatic events had not been recorded for the past month, deformation data indicated no rising magma, and other data all suggested decreased activity. Tourists were advised to avoid going into the crater.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California, USA

Flames raged along a ridge-line at the edge of an affluent beach-front neighborhood located between Santa Monica and Malibu about 18 miles (30 km) west of downtown Los Angeles. A mandatory evacuation was ordered for about 200 homes in the Pacific Palisades community, as ground teams and helicopters worked on putting out hot spots and carving a containment line around the fire zone’s perimeter.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bush fire east of Narrabri is expected to burn for a number of weeks due to steep terrain, so North West residents may see smoke. The Kaputar fire continues to spread in all directions under variable winds, and approximately 7800 hectares are already burnt in the Kaputar National Park. No properties are currently under threat.

Wildfires – Colorado, USA

The Middle Mamm fire continues to burn, it is about 10 miles east of Rifle. It has burned about 1,235 acres and containment is around thirty-four percent.

The Cow Creek fire is about nine miles east of ridgeway. The Forest Service says it has now grown to 785 acres.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A new bushfire is threatening homes in NSW’s scorched north. The blaze ignited at Tubbamurra, north of Armidale, on Saturday and has quickly moved east towards about homes at nearby Backwater. The region has hosted the worst of all blazes in NSW so far this bushfire season. Two people have died, dozens of homes have been destroyed and 3100 square kilometres – equivalent to a quarter of the area of Greater Sydney – has been scorched since July in bushfires in the state’s far north coast and New England regions.