Wildfires – South Africa
A wildfire on the slopes of South Africa’s Table Mountain forced University of Cape Town students to evacuate on Sunday, as runaway flames set several campus buildings ablaze and firefighters used helicopters to water-bomb the area.
One firefighter sustained burn wounds and was hospitalized for treatment, officials said. The fire started early on Sunday near a memorial to politician Cecil Rhodes, located on Devils Peak, another part of Cape Town’s mountainous backdrop, before spreading rapidly up the slopes. Heavy smoke could be seen for miles away, some roads were closed and fire alerts were sent to mountain hikers.
Wildfires – Uttarakhand, India
According to the Forest Department of Uttarakhand, from January to the first week of April 2021, there have been about 1800 incidents of forest fires in the state affecting more than 2500 hectares of forest area.
In the first five days of April, wildfires increased so fast that an area of 567 hectare was affected. Out of this area 380 hectare was forest reserve and the remaining 187 hectare was normal forest area.
Wildfires – Arizona, USA
A small community in south-central Arizona remained under an evacuation notice Friday after crews and air tankers stopped the growth of a wildfire that burned at least 12 homes, officials said.
The fire burned through thick vegetation at the bottom of the Gila River in Dudleyville, a census-designated place with a population of about 1,000 located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Tucson. Officials said the fire continued on Thursday to an estimated 500 acres (2 square kilometers) with containment around 20% of its perimeter as of Friday.
Australian Bushfires Warmed Planet
Smoke pollution from Australian bushfires in 2019 and 2020 warmed the stratosphere over the southern hemisphere by at least 1°C for six months, according to a new analysis. The devastating 2019 to 2020 bushfire season in Australia injected huge amounts of smoke into the stratosphere and led to record aerosol pollution.
Wildfires – Utah, USA
Three wildfires burning in Utah this week have been human-caused. Fire officials said the wildfire season doesn’t officially start until June 1. The Choke Cherry fire in Southwestern Utah has burned 700 acres and is 25% contained. In the northeastern part of the state, Utah Fire Info shows the East Myton wildfire has covered a little more than 2,700 acres. It’s 75% contained. It took three days to get the 1,300 acre Little Pass wildfire under control in an area west of the Great Salt Lake.
Wildfires – Nepal
Around 1,200 hectares of forest has been destroyed by wildfires that broke out in 47 community forests of six local levels in Myagdi district with the start of the dry season this year.The bushfires consumed thousands of big and small trees, valuable medicinal herbs, wildlife and other forest products. Wildfires are reported almost daily in Beni, the district headquarters, and various other places of the district. The area destroyed by fire ranges from 10 hectares to 150 hectares of community forests.
Wildfires – Nepal
Hundreds of wildfires are burning across Nepal, sending smoke and ash across its cities during one of the worst fire seasons in recent years.
Nepal’s dry season, which runs from late fall to early summer, typically peaks with the most severe fires in March and April. Since November, 73 of Nepal’s 77 districts have reported forest fires — the highest level on record in the past five fire seasons.
The country has recorded up to 2,087 forest fires nationwide since November 15, 2020. And as of March 25, there were still at least 524 active fires burning across the country, spreading a combination of dust, smoke and ash into the air.
Wildfires – Utah, USA
Two wildfires burning in eastern Utah have merged, and multiple structures are threatened. The two fires began Monday near the town of Myton, in eastern Duchesne County. Fire officials said the combined fire — later dubbed the “East Myton Complex Fire” — had burned 2,200 acres as of Monday night and was 10 percent contained.
Wildfires – South Dakota, USA
Wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota have forced evacuations of more than 400 homes northwest of Rapid City and shut down Mount Rushmore, authorities said Monday. A fire that started near Schroeder Road in the Nemo area, about 15 miles northwest of Rapid City, had burned as much as 800 acres and was “still moving” on Monday afternoon, according to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Several outbuildings and possibly two homes have been destroyed, officials said.
The “6” Fire was reported in Jones County, five miles north of Okaton and nine miles northwest of Murdo. The fire is estimated at 5,000 acres but size is unconfirmed.
Wildfires – Alberta, Canada
Wildfires that forced approximately 275 residents to leave their village in southern Alberta on Sunday have now been contained. More than 5,000 hectares were damaged as a result of the fire. RCMP also said they responded to three semi-truck rollovers and two other collisions as a result of the winds. 1 person was transported to hospital in critical condition as a result of fire.
Wildfires – India
A thick layer of smoke has covered Nawalpur due to bushfires in various community forests in the district. Bushfires have spread to around 2,000 hectares of forests in the district. It is believed the fires were lit deliberately.
US wildfires cause mass bird die off
After an abnormally large number of migratory birds turned up dead in people’s backyards in Colorado and other parts of western and central U.S. states.
Around the same period as the birds’ deaths, more than 3 million hectares (7.8 million acres) of land burned, which resulted in habitat loss and the emission of toxic compounds that threaten the health of both avian species and humans. In addition, snowstorms struck parts of the Northwest in early September while these birds were in the midst of their annual migration. Some areas experienced temperature drops of as much as 40°C (72°F) in just a few hours.
Researchers found that the wildfires and also the toxic air were the two factors that influenced the birds’ mortality. There was a strong correlation between the observations of dead birds and wildfires and the toxic gases they produced, but there was not enough information to conclude that the avian mortality was connected to the early winter storms.
Wildfires – New Jersey, USA
A massive wildfire in Lakewood, NJ, has engulfed at least two commercial buildings, Sunday afternoon. Smoke can be seen over the Garden State Parkway, and the entire highway – in both directions – has been closed in the area of Exit 89.
Wildfires – India
Wildfires in Odisha, which had been raging on over the past two weeks, have now been fully contained, and we have nature to thank for it!
Similipal National Park in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha was the main hotspot, where vast tracts of forest were charred by the fires. Some forest regions surrounding the national park also fell into the grip of this massive wildfire, which persistently proved to be too difficult to control.
But finally, relief from this ecological disaster was brought by widespread rains and hail that poured over the burning forest starting Thursday, which effectively reduced the intensity of the fires.
Wildfires – Argentina
Wildfires in Argentina’s Chubut and Rio Negro provinces have left at least eight people dead and dozens of people injured, while hundreds evacuated, and homes were destroyed. Officials said the fire may have started on Tuesday in a Las Golondrinas sector and then advanced towards Lago Puelo’s town.
The wind spread the flames rapidly, devastating forests and some 250 houses. About 350 people have been evacuated. The fires have already destroyed some 2,000 hectares.
Some 20 Argentine provinces have been affected by recurring fires since 2020, caused largely by drought. But many were started deliberately, authorities believe.
The province of Cordoba, in the center of the country, has been the most affected, with 331,000 hectares burned, while more than one million hectares have been destroyed nationwide. The lack of rain in 2020 made it the driest year in Argentina for a quarter of a century.
Wildfires – Alabama, USA
Wildfires have burned more than 2,300 acres of land across Alabama in recent days, forestry officials said Monday as firefighters battled two dozen blazes statewide. Fire charred 560 acres in St. Clair County, and two 400-acre fires burned in Cullman and Cherokee counties, according to a statement by the Alabama Forestry Commission. Another fire burned 200 acres in Escambia County.