Posts Tagged ‘wildfires’

Flames travel along the floor of the forest near the town of Voronezh: AP/Mikhail Metzel

Reuters Africa online, 1 August 2010:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill asked Russians to pray for rain on Sunday as wildfires raged across the European parts of the vast country, sweltering since June in an unprecedented heatwave.

The hottest weather since records began 130 years ago has withered crops and pushed thousands of farmers to the verge of bankruptcy.

“Grief has come to our nation, human lives have been lost, hundreds have lost shelter and thousands have been left without sustenance, including many children,” national media quoted Patriarch Kirill as saying in a prayer during a visit to the Nizhny Novgorod region, one of the worst hit by fires.

“I call upon everyone to unite in a prayer for rain to descend on our earth.”

At least 28 people have died in wildfires in European Russia in the last few days, the Emergencies Ministry said, adding that by Sunday morning a total of 774 fires had been registered, including 369 ones that occurred since Saturday.

More than 5,200 people have been evacuated from disaster-stricken regions, it said.

“The threat of new fires has increased sharply due to unfavourable weather in a number of regions in the Central and Volga federal districts, with temperatures soaring to up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and winds of up to 20 metres per second,” the Emergencies Ministry said.

The drought in Russia, one of the world’s biggest wheat exporters, has sent global prices soaring to year highs. U.S. wheat futures rose more than 5 percent on Friday and posted the biggest monthly percentage gain since at least 1959.(emphasis added)

Around 240,000 people were battling the flames, the Emergencies Ministry said. Army units, including elite paratroops, were taking part in the fight. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered his government to allocate 5 billion roubles (105.2 million pounds) to help fire victims.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE66T0SW20100801?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

Global warming? I don’t blame human beings for all the “heat” and “oceans rising” but I read about our planet’s environment from multiple sources and pray. After all, we have only one planet accessible right now.

Forest fires are burning thousands of acres across the globe this week and due to hot, dry conditions, many more are predicted this summer. Here are a few instances:

Siberia / Russia: Voice of Russia online

Siberia struck by forest fires
Jul 18, 2010 16:31 Moscow Time

Drought and heat of 30-35C caused taiga forest fires in Yakutia (Siberia). 28 fires have been recently registered, 21 of them in Yakutia, the local Forest Service reports. In the Chukotka Autonomous region fires hit at least 8,000 ha of forest, destroying rain deer pasture. Some 60,000 ha of Taiga have been destroyed by fire since early summer.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/07/18/12681344.html

Russia: Earth Observatory

Numerous large forest fires were burning in Russia’s Far East on July 19, 2010, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite passed overhead and captured this photo-like image. Actively burning areas that MODIS detected are outlined in red, while thick smoke shrouds the forested landscape below. The body of water at lower left is a bay at the northeastern end of the Sea of Okhotsk.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=44683

Canada: Winnipeg Sun online

Hot weather fuels spate of forest fires up north
Last Updated: July 24, 2010 10:49pm

Lightning storms, combined with dry conditions, are causing a rash of forest fires in northern Manitoba. As of Friday, firefighters were dealing with 26 new forest fires in the northeast part of the province, and all were started by lightning, said Duane Feely of Manitoba Conservation.

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipeg/2010/07/24/14817916.html

Alaska: http://newsdesk.org

Alaska on fire while Lower 48 girds for summer wildfires

Fairbanks is smoky. Anchorage is smoky. To be in Alaska this early June is to see skies of haze, mixed with the scent of burning forests. Because of an unusually dry winter and spring, 293 wildfires already have burned some 463,000 acres  according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center in Fairbanks. Alaska experienced unprecedented fire activity during May that was more characteristic of extreme July conditions, the center noted. Most of the wildfires are lightning-caused, and are located southeast and west of Fairbanks. Persistent heat and a lack of rain have been rampant in interior Alaska over the past two weeks.

http://newsdesk.org/2010/06/alaska-on-fire-while-lower-48-girds-for-summer-wildfires/

China: People Forum online

Thousands battling forest fires in N China

Greater Hinggan Mountains of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, July 2, 2010. More than 21,000 firemen, 10 helicopters and hundreds of bulldozers and fire engines have been putting out the lighting-triggered forest fires in northeast China.

http://www.peopleforum.cn/viewthread.php?tid=25924

Europe: The Telegraph online
By Henry Samuel in Paris and Edward Owen in Madrid
Published: 7:32PM BST 24 Jul 2009

Fires engulf southern Europe as temperatures expected to rise

Fierce wildfires swept across Europe on Friday trapping hundreds of holidaymakers as firemen struggled to contain the flames that have killed at least seven people so far. The fires were spreading rapidly on Friday night across Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey in tinderbox conditions as Celsius temperatures hit the mid-forties in some Mediterranean areas and were expected to rise over the coming days, threatening further devastation.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/…/Fires-engulf-southern-Europe-as-temperatures-expected-to-rise.html

United States: National Interagency Fire Center
July 23, 2010

Light wildland fire activity continues throughout the country. Three new large fires were reported: one each in Alaska, Arizona and Idaho. Firefighters contained three large fires yesterday. Fifty-five large fires are being managed to achieve multiple objectives throughout the states. Uncontained large fires include only fires being managed under a full suppression strategy.

http://www.nifc.gov/fire_info/nfn.htm