Forest fire in Mongar District of Bhutan

-About 200 acres of Chirpine forest burnt in Bhutan forest fire. -Some 30 fire fighters are struggling to control the fire.


Australian Wildfires

Large, fast-moving bushfires continue to sweep across New South Wales and Victoria, Australia, this week. Over 122 fires are still burning in New South Wales, and 17 of them are uncontained.

Residents in the Victorian town of Heyfield are facing a renewed threat from the massive Gippsland blaze.

A large bushfire in Victoria’s high country is expected to hit Harrietville and Hotham Heights within the next 24 hours.

The Gippsland fire crisis has worsened, with strong northerly winds whipping up flames earlier than predicted. The CFA said there was “strong pressure” on its Gippsland containment lines with some busting this afternoon. In the high country fire authorities have warned residents who do not plan to stay and defend their homes that they should evacuate the area by 6pm. The out-of-control bushfire, which is travelling in a south-easterly direction, has burnt out 1700ha of Victoria’s alpine region since a lightning strike sparked the blaze on Monday. Meanwhile, emergency authorities have warned a wind change could mean the southern edge of the Aberfeldy-Donnellys fire will breach control lines tomorrow.


Victorian Town Of Wallan Under Emergency Warning

A bushfire emergency warning has been issued for the central Victorian town of Wallan as a fast-moving grassfire approaches the area.

Smoke From Australian Bushfires Turns Skies Over New Zealand Orange

It’s unusual to smell smoke blown across the Tasman but common to see it. Skies around New Zealand have been looking noticeably more hazy orange and bronze-coloured in the past few days as smoke from Australia’s scorching bushfires reaches down south.

Orange Haze


Floods, Fires hit Queensland, Australia On Same Day

In a summer of extremes, residents in Queensland’s Darling Downs are bracing for floods, as emergency crews battle to contain wildfires across the State.

Heavy rainfall over the township of Chinchilla caused fast stream rises and minor flooding at nearby Charleys Creek early on Sunday morning. But by the afternoon another Darling Downs settlement 100km to the south, Moonie, was preparing for floods.

Meanwhile, about 120km to the northeast, a large, low intensity grass fire was burning near the town of Nanango on Sunday.


Australian Bushfires

This morning the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said there were 142 bushfires burning across the state, 29 of them uncontained. Many of the blazes had been sparked overnight by a band of lightning, with more strikes expected.

Large bush fires also continue to burn out of control in Victoria.


Sydney Bakes In Hottest Day On Record As Bushfires Rage.

The Australian city of Sydney is experiencing its hottest day on record, with temperatures reaching nearly 46C. A temperature of 45.8C was recorded at Observatory Hill in the city at 14:55 local time (01:55 GMT). Some areas in the wider Sydney region were even hotter, with the town of Penrith, to the west, registering a temperature of 46.5C (116 F).

Firefighters are still battling dozens of wildfires sparked by the intense heat in New South Wales and Victoria. The small town of Licola in eastern Victoria is reported to have been cut off by a 44,500-hectare fire, as its sole access road is blocked. Officials said dozens of people had been evacuated but 10 locals were still there.

The heatwave across Australia in recent weeks has been so intense that the Bureau of Meteorology has had to add a new shade to its colour-coded temperature chart, so the scale now reaches above 50C (122 F). However, meteorologists have forecast a dramatic change in weather overnight in Sydney, with thunder storms expected to bring a rapid drop in temperatures.


Wildfires in Australia

On Tuesday afternoon around 800 fire firefighters were battling 100 bushfires across NSW, 25 of them uncontained, with more than 500,000 hectares of the state now burnt in 11 days.

The worst of the fires, at the Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran in the state’s northwest, has so far burnt through 40,000 hectares, destroyed at least 40 properties, and remains out of control, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) advises.

Around 155 firefighters from greater Sydney, the Hunter region and other parts of the north coast arrived on the scene on Tuesday so they could rotate crews to manage fatigue, with some firefighters working 36-hour shifts.


Wildfires in Australia

More than 170 fires continue to burn across New South Wales, at least 30 of them are uncontained.

A Victorian firefighter has died battling the bushfires in Tasmania.


Wildfires in Australia

Lightning strikes have sparked new bushfires in northern New South Wales as a cool change gave firefighters a reprieve in the south of the state. Temperatures forecast to top 40C also have the potential to fuel fires in northern NSW and southern Queensland.


Wildfires in New Zealand

Wildfires fuelled by intense heat and high winds in New Zealand have destroyed several homes in Canterbury area, forcing many residents to flee homes.


U.S. officials shift shipping lanes off California to reduce chance of collisions with slow-moving whales.







Express train kills herd of wild elephants in southeastern India. 



New Shark Refuge

Sharks now have new refuges totaling 2.5 million square miles in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands where they are safe from fishermen. Up to a third of all shark species face some threat of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

They are slaughtered around the world for their fins, which are prized in Chinese culture and used to make soup.

Sharks are often caught, their fins sawed off and then discarded still alive only to tumble uncontrollably in the water until they die.

The new refuges established this month are in addition to several others that have recently begun to provide protection for sharks.

Venezuela and the European Union have banned the practice of cutting off shark fins and discarding the body at sea in their territorial waters.


Environment – Wildlife

Finland study tracks global warming impacts on bird populations.

Researchers in Finland say they’ve documented bird populations trends that are at least partly linked with global warming. Comparing data from extensive bird counts conducted between 1981 to 1999, and 2000 to 2009, the biologists said that, in general, northern species have decreased and southern species increased.

Mean temperatures in Finland rose between the two periods, with April to June mean temperatures climbing by 0.7 degrees Celsius. According to the study, population densities of common forest habitat generalists remained the same between the two periods, while species preferring old-growth or mature forests increased, but those living on mires and wetlands, and species of Arctic mountains decreased.

The trends suggest that climate change impacts on species in natural boreal and Arctic habitats most probably are habitat-specific with large differences in response times and susceptibility. Open mires and mountain heaths change more rapidly in consequence of climate warming than old-growth forests, for which reason populations on mires and mountain heaths may also be more affected by climate change.


Hundreds of squid have intentionally stranded themselves on the shores of California and scientists only have guesses as to why. The Santa Cruz coastline is littered with squid carcasses.



Migrating Song Birds Late in Arriving in Europe

– The extensive 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa had significant consequences for European songbirds such as thrush, nightingale and red-backed shrike. These birds visit northern Europe every spring. Year-round tracking revealed that the cause of the delay was a prolongation of stopover time during spring migration at the Horn of Africa, which was affected by extreme drought.