Wildfires – Chile

Firefighters struggled to control the blaze on a hillside in Valparaíso on Christmas Eve which destroyed dozens of homes. The city’s mayor said the fire might have been set intentionally.

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Russia puts out all wildfires

Russia has extinguished all wildfires in the country, which hit a total area of 10.337 million hectares, the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service said Monday.

Wildfires – Amazon

Wildfires are still raging in the Amazon rainforest.

Twelve million hectares have burnt so far, three times more than last year. This means an area nearly the size of Greece.

Brazil paid the hardest price, but the flames are ravaging also some other of the nine countries the Amazon spans to. In Bolivia, 5,000 people are fighting the blaze, but it is still out of control.

It has been dubbed as the worst fires in living memory. Since January, 5 million hectares of forest and savanna were lost in Bolivia, two million just in the past two months. The flames are threatening 1,200 species. As a result, Amazon’s indigenous communities say this is an ‘environmental genocide’.


Wildfires – South Africa

A female firefighter died while battling a blaze on the slopes of Table Mountain on Sunday. She is suspected to have suffered a heart attack and was rushed to Christian Barnard Hospital but could not be saved. Firefighters remain on the scene to deal with persistent hotspots.

Wildfires – Oklahoma, USA

Firefighters say wildfires have scorched hundreds of acres in western Oklahoma, damaging fences and equipment but causing no injuries.

Firefighters battled two large wildfires Saturday afternoon, including one north of Clinton that scorched about 975 acres in Custer County. About 20 structures were threatened by flames but that none were damaged. Some agricultural equipment and supplies were damaged in the wildfire.

A second wildfire located two miles east of Clinton and south of Interstate 40 scorched about 600 acres. Officials managed to move livestock grazing in the area to safety.


California Forests Failing to Regrow After Intense Wildfires

There are warning signs that some forests in the western U.S. may have a hard time recovering from the large and intense wildfires that have become more common as the climate warms.

After studying 14 burned areas across 10 national forests in California, scientists from UC Davis and the U.S. Forest Service said recent fires have killed so many mature, seed-producing trees across such large areas that the forests can’t re-seed themselves. And because of increasingly warm temperatures, burned areas are quickly overgrown by shrubs, which can prevent trees from taking root.

Historically, severe fires were uncommon in the forests covered by the study, largely made up of yellow pines and mixed conifers, but extended drought and heatwaves have exacerbated fire conditions across the West. The changing climate is also seen as a factor in recent wildfires in the Southeast, which is also mired in drought.


Wildfires – Arizona, USA

The 2,400-acre Juniper Fire near Young is being managed to actually benefit the ecosystem. Other lightning-caused fires being monitored in the region include the 2,170-acre Cowboy Fire eight miles south of Flagstaff just off Interstate 17, the 1,200-acre Mormon Fire six miles east of Munds Park and the 1,000-acre Pivot Fire eight miles northeast of Strawberry.

Wildfires – Alberta Canada – Update

Fire conditions are high to extreme in northeastern Alberta.

The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 576,781 hectares in Alberta and about 3,200 hectares in Saskatchewan.

As of 7 a.m., there were 20 active wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control.

The fire in the Peace River area is now under control.

There are 2,309 firefighters, 104 helicopters, 261 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 air tankers currently battling the fires across Alberta.

Wildfire crews from across the world are currently supporting – or en route to support – the efforts in Alberta, including:

298 firefighters from South Africa

198 firefighters from the United States

111 firefighters from British Columbia

85 firefighters from Ontario

30 firefighters from Northwest Territories

28 firefighters from Parks Canada

Seven firefighters from New Brunswick

Eight firefighters from Saskatchewan

Two firefighters from Manitoba

Three firefighters from Newfoundland/Prince Edward Island

Three firefighters from Nova Scotia

With higher humidity in the forecast and the potential for showers, it is expected that firefighting conditions will improve through the weekend.

Global Warming

Human Rights – Wildfires – Global Warming

There has been tremendous concern over the ways climate change will affect human rights, but little attention to how human rights abuse affects our global climate.

Fifty years ago, Indonesia went through a genocide. The massacres may be relatively unknown, but in a terrible way the destruction continues, and threatens us all. In 1965, the Indonesian army organised paramilitary death squads and exterminated between 500,000 and 1 million people who had hastily been identified as enemies of General Suharto’s new military dictatorship. Today, the killers and their protégés are comfortable establishment figures whose impunity, political power and capacity for intimidation endure.

Over this past year the lawlessness that began with the genocide arrived in all our lives. Some 130,000 forest fires in Indonesia darkened the skies over much of south-east Asia last summer and autumn, destroying more than 8,100 square miles of virgin rainforest – an area larger than New Jersey or Wales. The fires released more than 1.75 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equal to the total annual emissions of Japan. While last year’s fires were the worst on record, fires on a similar scale have burned annually for nearly 20 years, making a mockery of our efforts to curb global warming.

The fires are started by Indonesian and international companies to burn rainforest and replace it with oil palm plantations. Palm oil is the world’s most commonly used plant-based oil, and the market for it has exploded along with the global middle class. Setting fires is the cheapest way to clear land for new oil palm plantations.


Wildfires – North Carolina, USA

Firefighters are working to contain wildfires that have burned nearly 12,000 acres across North Carolina. There were no reports of injuries or buildings damaged.

The biggest fire has burned about 9,600 acres in the Alligator River Wildlife National Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. It started Monday as about a 60-acre fire in Hyde County that closed a section of U.S. 264 and spread into Dare County.

Media outlets report about 1,400 acres of woods in Brunswick County near Wilmington have burned.

On the other side of the state, a fire near Hot Springs on the Tennessee border has burned about 800 acres, forcing the closing of a section of U.S. 25 where it runs with U.S. 70.