Wildfires

Wildfires – Western Australia

The threat of three bushfires in Western Australia has eased, with rainfall helping firefighting efforts at the regional blazes. The largest fire, at Jarrahwood, a small town between Busselton and Nannup, has burned more than 1 900 hectares. Smaller fires at Vasse Plantation, south-west of Busselton and Baldivis have been downgraded to a watch an act alert.

Wildfires – Canada

Wildfires in Alberta, Canada, have burned more than 700,000 acres of land and have forced 11,000 people to evacuate, according to the province’s government. The government of Alberta said that at least two out-of-control wildfires are burning in the area — the Chuckegg Creek Wildfire and the Jackpot Creek Wildfire.

The Chuckegg Creek Wildfire, burning in Mackenzie County just two miles south of the town of High Level, has burned nearly 692,000 acres, while the Jackpot Creek Wildfire, near Steen River, has burned more than 61,000 acres, government officials said.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6,6 earthquake hits offshore El Salvador.

5.3 earthquake hits the Northern Territory, Australia.

5.2 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

5.1 earthquake hits Halmahera, Indonesia.

5.0 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits Antofagasta, Chile.

5.0 earthquake hits the northern mid-Atlantic ridge.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire emergency has been declared in the Perth Hills, that’s damaged buildings and threatened Acacia Prison. The bushfire has since been brought under control and residents have been told they are no longer in immediate danger.

An emergency warning was issued for parts of The Lakes, Beechina, Copley, Woottating and Wooroloo in the Shires of Mundaring and Northam on Wednesday afternoon as the fast-moving blaze threatened homes.

Wildlife

Australia’s Wildlife in Crisis

A new report, which reveals that record numbers of threatened forest dwelling fauna and many species are heading towards imminent extinction.

Released by the Wilderness Society this week, the report identified 48 federally-listed threatened species of forest-dwelling vertebrate fauna living in areas subject to state-run logging operations.

Four of those species – the leadbeater’s possum, swift parrot, western ringtail possum and regent honeyeater – are among the 20 bird and 20 mammal species most likely to become extinct within 20 years.

It also found that in the last 20 years, since the government allowed logging, 11 forest vertebrate species had been raised to “endangered” or “critically endangered” categories, bringing the total to 24, and none had been lowered. Another 15 species were listed as threatened for the first time.

The report called for an end to exemptions for logging operations from federal environmental laws, an overhaul of those laws, and the establishment of new assessment and regulatory bodies.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A number of buildings have been damaged or destroyed by fire in central Victoria, with several grassfires burning west and south of Ballarat.

One fire had been threatening homes at Bunkers Hill, Cardigan, Haddon, Kopke, Lucas and Smythes Creek and a second larger fire earlier threatened properties at Mount Mercer, about 30 kilometres south of Ballarat.

Both fires have now been contained or brought under control and the crisis has eased.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 21s (Veronica), located approximately 203 nm northeast of Learmonth, Australia, is tracking west-northwestward at 04 knots.

Tropical cyclone 22s (Joaninha), located approximately 331 nm east-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking east-southeastward at 06 knots.

NewsBytes:

Iran – Massive floods in northern Iran over the weekend were so severe that the armed forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were deployed to deal with the crisis. Up to 400 villages in Golestan and 200 in Mazandaran were reported to be without power. Some of the villages received assistance in recent days, and 7,000 people were said to have received emergency accommodations.

Australia – Veronica was a category four on Saturday before making landfall on Sunday, bringing destructive winds that downed trees and damaged roofs, heavy rain that caused flooding and a storm surge that eroded beaches.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

The Bunyip State Park fire, which has burnt about 15,000 hectares in the past week, has now claimed 29 residential properties, damaged two others and burnt 67 other buildings, Emergency Management Victoria has confirmed.

The number of houses lost was confirmed on Friday after specialist crews assessed fire grounds and inspected 447 properties, but the toll could rise. About 2000 firefighters and 61 aircraft are tackling 17 active fires across the state.

Emergency Management said the bushfires had scorched more than 100,000 hectares of land across Victoria since last Thursday.

Global Warming

Climate change is reshaping Australia’s forests

Australia’s forests are being reshaped by climate change as droughts, heatwaves, rising temperatures and bushfires drive ecosystems towards collapse, ecologists have told Guardian Australia. Trees are dying, canopies are getting thinner and the rate that plants produce seeds is falling. Ecologists have long predicted that climate change would have major consequences for Australia’s forests. Now they believe those impacts are unfolding.

According to the 2018 State of the Climate Report, produced by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, large parts of the country are experiencing increases in weather patterns favourable to fires. The report found that rainfall has dropped in the south-east and south-west of the country, temperatures have warmed by an average of 1C, and a “shift to a warmer climate in Australia is accompanied by more extreme daily heat events”.

In one large shrub species – the south-western native Hooker’s banksia – researchers found seed production has halved in the last 30 years. They say the idea that Australia’s forests are well adapted to the country’s variable climate and can withstand fire and drought, is incorrect. “A big misapprehension is that these things are climatologically flexible, but they’re just not”, explaining that Australia’s dominant eucalypts have “fine-tuned their life history around assumptions of fire frequency”, but “climate change is just blowing that up”.Screen Shot 2019 03 07 at 2 17 44 PM

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More than a dozen wildfires continued to burn across the Australian state of Victoria early this week as more residents were warned that they were in the path of the blazes. At least 11 buildings have been destroyed by the fires including homes and a winery.

New emergency warnings were issued for Dargo and areas near Licola on Tuesday as more than 2,000 firefighters continued to battle the blazes across eastern Victoria.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Firefighters in Victoria are rushing to build containment lines around fires burning east of Melbourne before “gusty and erratic” winds reach the area on Wednesday.

At least nine buildings, including homes, were destroyed in two out of control bushfires at Bunyip and Yinnar South in West Gippsland on Sunday, and an emergency warning was issued for a third near Dargo in the high country in east Gippsland.

There were 19 fires burning out of control in eastern Victoria on Monday, scattered through the east Gippsland and highland areas, and 23 schools have been closed due to fire risk.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Hundreds of firefighters will work through the night battling blazes across Victoria’s east as raging bushfires continue to threaten homes and properties. Dozens of communities are at risk with at least four fires burning out-of-control on Saturday with many residents in nearby towns told to take shelter or to leave before it was too late.

A massive 3400 hectare blaze is tearing through the Bunyip State Park, near Tonumbik about 65km east of Melbourne, after four smaller fires merged on Saturday. Water bombers will be used throughout the night to tackle the blaze along with about 300 firefighters on the ground

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

A bushfire that damaged one home and destroyed four sheds, four vehicles and a harvester in Western Australia’s South West region has been contained but the threat remains. About 3300 hectares have been burnt since the fire started on Tuesday, and 80 firefighters are working to strengthen containment lines and mop up.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Fire crews have taken advantage of favourable conditions overnight to gain the upper hand on three blazes burning in northern NSW. The mostly mild weather conditions over the weekend have provided much needed relief for the NSW Rural Fire Service, after 22 homes were destroyed and 15 houses damaged when fires raged through the towns late last week. A further 74 outbuildings have been razed and 24 outbuildings damaged.

The Bruxner Highway fire at Tabulam has burnt more than 5800 hectares of land and is still considered to be out of control.

Nearby, just over the NSW and Queensland border in Wallangarra, north of Tenterfield, a bushfire has burnt through more than 32,700 hectares of land and is being controlled by firefighters.

A blaze at Tingha, near Inverell, which has been burning since last Tuesday remains at Advice warning level as crews work to control the blaze. It has burnt more than 21,300 hectares of land with firefighters extinguishing hotspots along the edge of the fire overnight.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Five homes have reportedly been lost in northern NSW as a result of out-of-control bushfires in the area, with more than 40 fires still burning across the state. Firefighters are still working to contain two large bushfires that destroyed the properties, amid concerns they could flare up due to hot, dry and windy conditions.

The out-of-control blaze at Tabulam, west of Casino, has already burnt through nearly 4000 hectares, while almost 6000 hectares of bush has been lost in Tingha, south of Inverell, and around the community of Old Mill.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

Gl sst mm

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone 13s (Gelena), located approximately 961 nm east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, is tracking east-southeastward at 10 knots.

Tropical cyclone (tc) 15p (Fifteen), located approximately 310 nm northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking northeastward at 05 knots.

NewsBytes:

Malawi – Although Tropical Cyclone Desmond did not reach Malawi its effects resulted in continuous rainfall in the southern part of the country since 22nd January through to 26th January 2019. A total of 15,974 people were affected, 3,154 houses damaged or destroyed, and 5,078 people were reported to be displaced across at least seven camps set up by communities and government.

Australia – An estimated 500,000 are feared dead after historic floods inundated Queensland, Australia, according to the state’s cattle industry. Days of “unprecedented” rainfall earlier this month led to widespread flooding across the state, causing power outages, damaging roads and buildings and prompting evacuations. Some areas received three years’ worth of rain in about a week. Tragically, farmers in northwest Queensland initially welcomed the rains, as the region had suffered years of back-to-back drought. The loss of hundreds of thousands of cattle after five, six, seven years of drought, is a debilitating blow not just to individual farmers, many of whom have lost literally everything, but to rural communities as well.

Malaysia – Bintulu district was hit by floods early Tuesday (Feb 12) – with waters rising as high as one metre and inundating several locations in northern Sarawak.