27 large wildfires are burning across the West
More than 8,400 firefighters across the West battled dozens of wildfires Thursday that forced thousands of local residents to pack up families, pets and personal treasures to flee the advancing blazes.
Twenty-seven large fires were burning nearly 180,000 acres, the National Interagency Fire Center reported, as the region continued to pay a steep price for a recent, record-smashing heat wave that combined with low humidity and wind to create a perfect storm for wildfires.
AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson warned that hot and dry weather through the weekend will only exacerbate wildfire danger.
“The only relief Mother Nature will offer will be at night when winds diminish and the relative humidity rises slightly,” he said.
More than 4,200 square miles have burned so far this year, almost the size of Connecticut. The number represents an alarming 30% more than 2016’s total year-to-date, and 2016 was an above-average year.
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National Interagency Fire center spokeswoman Robyn Broyles blamed the big burn numbers on a very active spring fire season in the Southern Plains followed by the heat, wind and lightning the Southwest has experienced.
In Arizona, the Goodwin Fire about 100 miles north of Phoenix was one of six large fires burning across the state. Dewey-Humboldt resident Terry Thompson squeezed five people, four dogs and two cats into a 2005 Jeep Liberty not long after his wife, Angie, picked up the phone to hear the recorded evacuation notice.
Like hundreds of others displaced or left on edge by the 21,000-acre wildfire, the Thompsons had to keep ahead of the blaze, which was listed as just 1% contained early Thursday.
“I’m still in shock,” Terry Thompson said. Angie Thompson grabbed some keepsakes on their way out the door: “photos, photo albums, our safe. Oh, and baby shoes. Bronze baby shoes.”
Authorities lifted the evacuation order Thursday for the 1,400 residents of Thayer, but thousands in other communities remained out of their homes. The Information Center for the Goodwin Fire warned that for the next couple days the fire had a “high spread potential … with southwest winds of 15-20 mph and gusts up to 30.”
Gov. Doug Ducey, who declared a state of emergency, visited the scene and met with responders Thursday.
The fire follows more than a week of record-setting high temperatures across much of the West. Phoenix set a string of daily records last week and reached 119 degrees one day. Temps have eased, but summer remains summer — this week’s daily highs have been a more seasonal 108 degrees.
The nation’s largest fire, the Brian Head Fire, has been burning for almost two weeks in southwestern Utah, 250 miles south of Salt Lake City. The fire had consumed more than 50,000 acres early Thursday and was 10% contained.
There was good news for some locals when the town manager in Brian Head announced that an evacuation order was scheduled to be lifted Friday — just in time for a holiday weekend celebration that won’t include fireworks.
Some area communities won’t be so lucky, but Brian Head Town Manager Bret Howser said power was restored and Internet and phone repairs were expected to be completed sometime Friday.
“We invite everybody to come share in our Independence Day celebrations, thank the brave firefighters, help our local businesses recover and see how beautiful Brian Head still is!” Howser said in a Facebook post.
The news was also brighter near Burbank, Calif., where scores of homes were ordered evacuated Wednesday ahead of a small but fierce wildfire. Firefighters quickly gained control of the blaze, and the evacuation order was lifted hours later.
Contributing: Scott Craven and Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic
Story by John Bacon,USA TODAY,June 29, 2017
Outdoor Report for March 9, 2017, By the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “Early Ice-out and Early Wildfire Season
While Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans in the state Legislature, the U.S. Congress, republican governors other U.S. states, plus the president himself, continue to not blame human activities fueled by fossil fuel burning as the cause of the currently accelerating rates of global temperature rises, the record high rates of sea level rise, the acidifying of the planet’s oceans, along with the famine refuge causing droughts in Africa and the Middle East, and the historic melting of ice and snow at the poles and the relentlessly melting of mountainous glaciers, caused mostly by:
excavating, processing and transporting coal, natural gas, auto, truck and ship motor fuels, jet fuel, especially fuels derived from processing and delivering Alberta, Canada, tar sands) and many other human activities that result in large scale emissions of greenhouse gas emissions: cement making, paving forests, meat production, poor waste disposal practices, sports competitions which require long distance travel by teams and fans and awards ceremonies, conventions and conferences that require people to travel long distances, and buying products from long distance markets (requiring distance travel (i.e., not buying local, … the continuing of what the global warming scientists determined to be the “business as usual” practices (above) is slowly but increasing getting worse and worse – with no end in site. Today’s children and those yet to be born will curse us all for this. Mark my words.
March 9, 2017 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Outdoor Report (partial) follows:
Early ice-out and early wildfire season:
Snow is now gone from most areas of the state, with the exception of the far north, where a few inches remain in wooded areas. Very strong winds this week have taken ice out of many lakes in the south, including Monona and Mendota, which tied its record for second earliest opening — nearly a month earlier than average.
The high winds and loss of snow cover have also led to an early spring wildfire season, with more than 30 acres burning this week, including one fire near Eau Claire that resulted in the evacuation of some homes, but was contained before it burned any structures….
Global Warming is a Local, State, National and International Emergency that Will Only Worsen in Time, Not Get Better
Unfortunately, as the volumes of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases that are being released to the atmosphere on a daily basis as a result of human activity (mainly from burning coal, natural gas, oil and jet fuel) continue to accumulate there; and Earth’s remaining green space (forests, prairies and other carbon dioxide (CO2) consuming (sequestering) vegetation) is reduced; and Earth’s oceans, seas, the Great Lakes and numerous other water bodies become evermore warmer and saturated with carbon dioxide (CO2), making them more acidic; the prospect of Earth being as hospitable as for life as it has been in the recent millennia in which humans have inhabited this planet is getting slimmer and slimmer.
Scientific studies have been showing for decades, and now with more and more clarity, that modern day living – particularly by residents in the developed countries of the world, who rely so heavily on burning fossil fuels in their daily living – for energy warmth in winter, and electricity generation and transmission, year-round, for shipping goods and trading, and, moreover, for personal or work related travel, the construction, pavement and land alterations that are done which not only allow for that activity, but promote it, that that kind of living by so many millions and even billions of people, will ultimately lead to grave consequences for our planet.
And with our human population continuing to grow geometrically, coupled with the outright refusal of much of the population, their political leaders, and even the recently elected president of our United States of America, Donald J. Trump, continuing to advocate for the highly resource consumptive “business as usual” lifestyle — many human and other lives have already been lost, and people all over the world have suffered, and many more people and animals living in the future will suffer, or be lost, and many trillions of dollars will be lost as well as a result of climate change related “natural” disasters, and rising sea level, a situation which now is not only unprecedented but becoming increasingly dire and predictable.
It’s not like you can just turn the water faucet off and global warming will stop. As stated in Gavin Schmidt and Joshua Wolfe’s comprehensive textbook: “Climate Change – Picture the Science” (2008), it could take centuries and even millennia to reverse it. “even if we act to keep atmospheric concentrations at the same level they are now [atmospheric CO2 concentrations 400 parts per million], the global mean temperature will continue to increase for a few decades as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions [GHGs] and the thermal inertia of the oceans [Water holds heat and releases it much slower than hard surfaces such as cement and asphalt.]”
All we can do now is to slow the pace of global warming by conserving energy obtained either directly or indirectly from burning fossil fuels. Moreover, changing to energy alternatives that don’t add to the rising concentrations of GHGs takes more time and money [but creates more long term jobs], and finding ways to adapt to the changes in the climate and the effects brought about by those changes will also cost money and will hurt the poor and the very young and the more elderly individuals [very young have less body mass to buffer individuals to higher heat; older persons are more susceptible to heat stroke].
“In short, there are no shortcuts to addressing a challenge that is global, pervasive, profound, and long term. Global citizens must grasp the challenge, master its intricacies, and take responsibility, for our own generation, and those to come”.[Jeffrey D. Sachs, New York, 6/16/2008]
The following is from Lee Bergquist of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 22, 2017:
In a shift from the practice of two other state agencies, Wisconsin emergency management officials have released new information on climate change and its implications for the state.
In a report that it posted online last week, the state Division of Emergency Management devoted extensive attention to climate change and how a warming planet could spur natural disasters such as floods, drought and forest fires.
The report contrasts with the Department of Natural Resources and the state Public Service Commission, which scrubbed mentions of climate change and human-generated greenhouse gases from their websites.
As recently as December, DNR officials removed language from a web page devoted to the Great Lakes that had earlier acknowledged the role humans play in global warming. Officials inserted new wording saying climate change is a matter of scientific debate [Not – true! Truthful scientists will tell you the scientific debate ended years ago. MTN]
The PSC, which regulates electric utilities, eliminated its web page on climate change at some point before May 1, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found recently. The scrubbed information included a link to former Gov. Jim Doyle’s task force report on global warming. The Democratic governor’s report in 2008 recommended that Wisconsin reduce the use of fossil fuels and rely more on renewable sources of power. The measures were never enacted.
In the cases of the DNR and the PSC, the information can still be found on the Wayback Machine, an online archive.
In a new five-year disaster preparedness plan, the Division of Emergency Management cites research such as from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. It shows global warming is likely to produce more extreme weather. Examples: more days of 90-degree-plus temperatures and more intense rain events.
Bursts of rainfall, the report said, could lead to natural calamities such as flooding, collapse of dams, sinkholes and lake bluff failures.
While other agencies have removed references to the role of human activities in global warming, officials at the Division of Emergency Management included such a statement.
“Although it is widely accepted by the scientific community that the observed changes in global temperatures are the result of human actions, there is considerable uncertainty about the impacts these changes will ultimately have,” the agency wrote.
The document also acknowledges “some debate about the cause of climate change,” but added that statewide temperatures have increased 1.1 degrees in the past 50 years and that more extreme weather events are likely.
The new planning document was approved in December by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Lori Getter, spokeswoman for the state Division of Emergency Management.
Wisconsin was one of the first states to complete a new plan. As part of the process, FEMA required states to consider potential climate effects, she said.
Big Time Media Blew It Big Time – They Failed to Fact Check Donald Trump’s Denial of Human-caused Global Warming
President-elect Donald Trump’s pre and post U. S. Presidential Election statements describing his unscientific “belief” that global warming is not human-caused is flat wrong and the media should have corrected him. It is a scientifically accepted truism that human activity – especially coal and natural gas (methane) burning to generate electricity, petroleum product burning including automobile gasoline, diesel and jet fuel burning, the latter for use by the U. S.’s military aircraft, commercial airplanes and private jets, and humans having either paved over or replaced billions of acres of land formerly in tropical rain forests, prairies, wilderness, or in other lands containing carbon dioxide sequestering vegetation with greenhouse gas producing uses by humans.industries resulting changes in the climates on all of the Earth’s continents, the rising sea levels, worldwide, due to the measured acceleration of the melting of all the Earth’s glaciers, most notably Greenland’s, massive GreenlandIce Sheet are very wrong and very threatening to our planet. Global warming, which is known to be an inevitable consequence of increased trapping of radiated heat energy at the earth’s surface which originates from the sun, due to the known increase in the volume of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and other human engineered trace gases), primarily caused from excessive burning of fossil fuels over time, and by the paving over of the planet’s land surface, is factually undeniable.
The U. S. mass media (TV, radio, newspapers, social media, other) are most responsible for Trump’s deception filled presidential election victory, which will exacerbate global warming heaviest toll on the children of today, future generations of people and other living things having no choice but to struggle to live on a much more inhospitable planet which is destined to become more and more unlivable as time goes on – because of our uncaring actions of excessive fossil fuel burning today.
People in the U.S. and elsewhere could do so much more than they’re currently doing to stop projects such as the Dakota Pipeline project, and other environmentally disastrous energy, transportation, and natural resource consuming unsustainable projects with countless unintended negative consequences that will unquestionably hurt the living conditions for people and all other life on Earth by simply making more thoughtful decisions in how and where they choose to live, recreate, work, travel, etc.
In particular, it is essential for all to MINIMIZE the burning of oil (fossil fuels) in recreational and other needless travel, especially long distance travel, by jet airplane and daily solo motor vehicle commuter travel. In that way, we all reduce the economic need oil and other fossil fuel extraction and pipeline projects, reducing the eventual burning of the fossil fuels and adding to the already catastrophic volumes of atmospheric greenhouse gases, scientifically established to be warming our planet, melting the earth’s polar ice caps, and virtually all the world’s glaciers, thus causing sea levels to rise, the oceans and the earth’s other water bodies to warm and acidify, killing off an untold number of earth’s species, including significant degradation of earth’s many wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef to say nothing about the countless loss of life and human suffering caused by the increase in extreme weather events including droughts, flooding and severe storms such as have already been transpiring across the globe including the heavy costs borne by our own United States over the past year and right now. The losses already occurring to the world and its people and other life on the planet are beyond measure yet our political representative are doing virtually nothing to stop this terrible tragedy to our planet and its future and those who will have no choice but to call it their home.
Please sign my petition for the U.S. Congress to establish and sufficiently fund federal and state programs that would offer the American public monetary incentives to reduce their unsustainable travel levels. Tell your elected representative to legislative act now before it’s too late! http://www.allthingsenvironmental.com.
Please do not patronize TV networks. Their so called “news” programs, sports coverage, and many other programs are financed heavily from automobile industry commercials, while Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television are funded by the travel industry, heavily promoting airline and long distance travel motorized travel, which contributes huge volumes of greenhouse gas emissions, from jets,automobiles and other fossil fuel powered vehicles, mostly for recreational purposes, leaving a permanent, indelible mark for succeeding generations live with. National Public Radio is funded by the Koch Brothers. They all say they are “neutral” on political issues. But Climate Change is Science. It is continuing and in fact accelerating, regardless if the president-elect believes in it or not. To say otherwise does not comport with the facts.
Either we act now or life as we know it on this planet may soon be history.
“The Sun will never disappear, but the Earth may not have many years…. Remember, Today… Well well well, oh, well”
– John Lennon (9 October 1940 -8 December 1980), musician, peace activist, artist, band leader of rock band “The Beatles” and founder of “The Plastic Ono Band”, humanist, dreamer … murder victim.
Reducing the Current Suicidal Rate of Global Warming and Planning for Adapting to Changing Climates Demands Review of Goals, Principles and Actions by World’s Past Leaders and the Movements and Demonstrations by the People Who Expressed their Demands for Change
Today’s Populations, Businesses and Governments Responsible for Ensuring and Prolonging Earth’s Beauty, Economic Potential, Safety, and Humane Conditions for All It’s People and Animals Ought Not Ignore Leadership, Inspirations, Dreams and Concerted Actions of Millions of People and Leaders Who Lived Before Us, or Are Still Amoung Us, for Help in Music Guidance, Leader
To be continued….
(CBS News) KETCHUM, Idaho – First came the drought, then the summer heat — the perfect formula for wildfires. And as of Monday night [Aug.22,2016], there are [were] 49 large fires burning in 11 western states.
In the mountains of Utah, smoke still billowed nearly a week after a fire was set off by lightning. The smoke nearly almost blocked the sunrise in Idaho. Thousands have been evacuated and the flames have crept near a prime tourist area… The flames have now burned across more than 100,000 acres in a part of Idaho famous for its scenery and known as a playground for the rich and famous.
Other major California fires this early in the season are too numerous to mention.