Firefighters battling some of the most destructive wildfires to ever strike the state were focusing on a major blaze near the town of Lithgow, which is burning on a 190-mile front.
Posts tagged drought.
Two weeks after word leaked to the American-Statesman about LCRA’s proposal to lower Lake Austin to help fight drought, lakeside residents are organizing to fight it. More.
Change is hard.
The Bureau of Reclamation today announced it will reduce for the first time ever Colorado River water deliveries from the Lake Powell reservoir downstream to Lake Mead, which provides nearly all of Las Vegas’ water.Worst drought on record impacting cities in the southwest, including millions in Las Vegas. Demand continues to rise. The Colorado River water wars have begun. Via
Thousands evacuated as Idaho wildfire grows
AP: More than 2,300 houses were evacuated in Idaho this week as strong winds stoked the nearby Beaver Creek Fire. The wildfire, reportedly ignited by lightning Aug. 7, is estimated to have grown to 144 square miles and is 6 percent contained.
More than 700 firefighters are battling the blaze near the Idaho ski town Ketchum.
An additional 7,500 homes are on evacuation alert as the fire continues to grow.
Photo: Helicopters battle the 64,000 acre Beaver Creek Fire on Friday, Aug., 16, 2013 north of Hailey, Idaho. A number of residential neighborhoods have been evacuated because of the blaze.(AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)
Wildfires are projected to burn more land as temps continue to rise. Via Union of Concerned Scientists.
Video (couldn’t embed). Economist says impacts will cost $60 Trillion USD.
David McNew, A firefighter watches from a rooftop as the Powerhouse fire closes in around the Canyon Creek Complex sports camp, June 1, 2013
Powerhouse Fire in rural Los Angeles was put out last month. Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency a few days ago for federal assistance.
JOE PETERS, assistant principal at Prescott High School in Arizona; 14 of the 19 wilderness firefighters killed in the Yarnell blaze on Sunday were in their twenties and based in nearby Prescott.
Superior profile from NatGeo.
Who are the elite hotshots, which lost 19 firefighters in a Arizona blaze on Sunday?
The 19 firefighters who lost their lives battling a raging wildfire in centralArizona on Sunday were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite crew of U.S. wildfire firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona.
Hotshot crews—there are roughly 107 in the U.S.—consist of 20 firefighters who have been specifically trained to respond to fires in remote regions with little or no logistical support.
"In the world of wildland firefighting today, the hotshot crews are similar to the Special Forces in the military," said Dick Smith, a retired firefighter who spent 38 years fighting wildfires with the U.S. Fire Service. "They’re highly trained and can meet the highest physical requirements."
Candidates for the Granite Mountain Hotshots had to show that they could pass the arduous Pack Test and complete a series of physical activities, ranging from 40 sit-ups in 60 seconds to 7 pull-ups to a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) run in just under 11 minutes.
"We believe in rigorous physical and mental training, which allows us to perform at the optimum level in any location and under any circumstances," said the Hotshots’ website.
"We are routinely exposed to extreme environmental conditions, long work hours, long travel hours and the most demanding of fire line tasks."
Becoming a Hotshot
The 2,000 or so firefighters who make up the nation’s elite hotshot crews work in groups of 20, in crews scattered across the United States. During peak wildfire season, the crews are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
1/5th of department lost. “Hotshots" are our nation’s most elite fire fighter. They work in teams of 20, and hike miles while carrying 40-50 pounds of equipment each into extreme terrains. They are very physically strong, train for many months, and are pridefully dedicated to protecting America’s lands. According to an official quoted in this article, Hotshots work long hours and will often sleep near the wildfires to help teams develop fire lines (a technique used to stop fires from spreading). I hate to say that more brave firefighters will be hurt and possibly die due to increasing droughts and extreme temperatures over the decades to come.
Nineteen firefighters were killed Sunday battling a blaze in Arizona, the state forestry division said.
They were part of an elite squad confronting wildfires on the front line, setting up barriers to stop the spreading destruction. But in their unpredictable world, it doesn’t take much to turn a situation deadly.
In this case, a wind shift and other factors caused a central Arizona fire, which now spans almost 9,000 acres, to become erratic, said Mike Reichling, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman.
The inferno proved too much, even for the shelters the 19 firefighters carried as a last-ditch survival tool.
"The fuels were very dry, the relative humidity was low, the wind was coming out of the south. It turned around on us because of monsoon action," Reichling told CNN affiliate KNXV. "That’s what caused the deaths.
The firefighters from Prescott were killed Sunday while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, northwest of Phoenix.
Another goofy article covering Obama’s to-be-announced climate change. In addition to regulating emissions, he’ll push a few adaptation (e.g., disaster preparedness) plans. One is called “Climate Adaptation Hubs,” which will serve to help the agriculture industry during drought and floods.
To me, the Climate Adaptation Hubs sound like mini-FEMAs for special interest groups looking for easy access to disaster money. Will there be Hubs for communities damaged by floods, storms, and sea-level rise, too??
The pine bark beetle has killed “hundreds of millions of trees.” There are upsides in using the wood, I suppose.
In his 1992 book “Earth in the Balance,” Gore compared talk of adapting to climate change to laziness that would distract from necessary efforts.
But in his 2013 book “The Future,” Gore writes bluntly: “I was wrong.” He talks about how coping with rising seas and temperatures is just as important as trying to prevent global warming by cutting emissions.
Like Gore, governmental officials across the globe aren’t saying everyone should just give up on efforts to reduce pollution. They’re saying that as they work on curbing carbon, they also have to deal with a reality that’s already here.“Climate talks shift from CO2 to adaptation” - NYTimes.