Wildfires – Australia

A large, out-of-control, bushfire is threatening homes and lives in the communities of Harvey, Waroona and Preston Beach, south of Perth.

The fire, which was sparked by lightning in Lane Poole Reserve and is burning on both sides of the South Western Highway, is moving fast in a south westerly direction. The fire has so far burnt more than 21,000 hectares.

Emergency warnings are in place for the area bounded by Willowdale Road, Johnston Road, Forrest Highway, Dorsett Road, Williamson Road, Mayfield Road and Nanga Brook Road, including the Waroona townsite, in the Shire of Waroona.

Residents in Prestons Beach and east of South Western Highway are advised it is too late to leave and that leaving now would be deadly.

People are advised to actively defend their homes or if in Prestons Beach, seek shelter at the beach if defending the home is not an option.

Wildfires USA – Record

For the first time in U.S. history, wildfires charred more than 10 million acres across the nation in 2015.

That bests the previous mark of 9.87 million acres set in 2006, and it’s the first time wildfire acreage burned has crossed the 10-million acre threshold.

Beyond local impacts like bad air quality and ecological issues, wildfires also emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, rather than those trees sucking carbon out of the air. This year’s intense wildfire season turned California’s forests into carbon polluters. In Alaska, scientists have raised concerns that wildfires could send vast reserves of carbon locked in the soil up in smoke.

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