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Wildfire triggers evacuation for Los Alamos WMD laboratory
June  26, 2011
    SANTA FE, New Mexico -  Voluntary evacuations have been issued for Los Alamos, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is threatened by a fast-moving wildfire that broke out in northern New Mexico on Sunday, authorities said.

The Las Conchas Fire flared early Sunday afternoon around 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos, charring about 3,500 acres and endangering the nation's
nuclear weapons laboratory and its surrounding communities, said Lawrence Lujan, a spokesman for the Santa Fe National Forest.

"We have homes and we have the labs, so it's a very, very big concern, not only locally but nationally and globally," Lujan said.
"This fire is very complex. We have a national type one team coming in because of the nature of the fire," he said.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has ordered the New Mexico National Guard to Los Alamos to provide support for the ongoing efforts to protect lives, property and critical infrastructure threatened by the fire.
"My administration will make every effort to provide support for local emergency response crews," said Governor Martinez.

"With evacuations in place and the fire burning quickly, it is important that residents in the surrounding communities remain attentive to the local emergency operations' alerts and orders," she added.
Martinez said she had requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issue a Fire Management Assistance Declaration for the Las Conchas Fire to provide further assistance.

The blaze continued to throw flames a half mile ahead of the fire pushed by high winds and hot dry conditions. It remained zero percent contained late Sunday.

Bandelier National Monument has been evacuated, as have the communities of Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas. Voluntary evacuations have been issued for Los Alamos and nearby community White Rock.
Jeff Berger, a spokesman for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the world's first atomic bomb was developed, said the fire was rapidly advancing but had not yet reached lab property.

"Lab emergency crews have been dispatched across the lab. Their job is to protect key facilities and materials," Berger said.
"Protected areas include all hazardous and radioactive facilities and our proton accelerator and supercomputing centers."
Berger said the laboratory would be closed on Monday for all activities and non-essential employees.

Fire crews are currently battling 41 large wildfires in the United States, which have torched more than 1.4 million acres, according to the Idaho-based National Fire Information Center.
Most of the active blazes are in the Southwest and Texas, where scant rainfall has created tinder-dry conditions.

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New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado wildfires merge
May 25,  2012   SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) - Two raging wildfires in southwest New Mexico merged to become the biggest blaze among fires that have torched forest and brush in parts of five Southwestern states.
Blazes in rugged, mountainous areas of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah have forced the evacuation of a few small towns and torched at least 170 square miles (440 square km) of forest, brush and grass since mid-month.

The Arizona fires were the first major blazes in the Grand Canyon state this year after a record 2011 fire season in which nearly 2,000 fires charred more than 1,500 square miles (3,900 square km), according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Winds bringing a blast of damp Pacific Ocean air cut firefighters a break on Thursday in several regions.

Southwest Winds Elevate Fire Risk
High winds will continue to blast the Southwest into the weekend, bringing the already high fire threat to extreme levels.
Winds of this magnitude threaten to rapidly spread the flames of wildfires already burning across the Southwest, particularly across fire-ravaged Arizona. Burning embers spread by winds can cause fires to jump.
Several wildfires continue to burn across Arizona, including the Gladiator Fire, which has charred more than 16,200 acres. The Sunflower Fire has burned more than 16,100 acres in Arizona.
Across western New Mexico, multiple fires are burning in the Gila National Forest.

Crews battle to contain raging Arizona wildfires
May 17, 2012  PHOENIX - Crews with hand tools battled to contain wind-whipped Arizona wildfires on Wednesday that have raced across more than 30 square miles of parched ponderosa forest, brush and grassland, consuming several buildings and threatening a small town.

The Sunflower Fire, the largest of at least four blazes in central and eastern Arizona, has burned nearly 20 square miles (52 square kilometers) in the Tonto National Forest, about 40 miles north of Phoenix, fire officials said.
Days after the weekend eruption of the blaze, fire crews had managed to carve containment lines around just 10 percent of its perimeter.
This week's conflagrations marked the first major wildfires of the year in Arizona, after a record 2011 fire season in which nearly 2,000 recorded blazes swallowed more than 1,500 square miles, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Colorado wildfire grows amid erratic wind gusts
May 18, 2013  Ft COLLINS -  Hundreds of firefighters worked Thursday to combat a growing blaze that was scorching terrain around a scenic canyon in northern Colorado.
Ground efforts were being supported by a heavy air tanker and helicopters that together are capable of dropping thousands of gallons of fire retardant and water on the spreading flames.

U.S. Forest Service officials said the blaze about 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins grew from about 1.5 square miles to more than 11 square miles Thursday amid erratic winds gusts of up to 50 mph. The fire was approaching the city of Greeley's Milton Seaman Reservoir on Thursday night, but city officials said Greeley's water supply hasn't been affected.

Authorities ordered mandatory evacuations of about 80 homes near Poudre Canyon earlier in the day, even going door to door to issue warnings.

Firefighters save some homes from New Mexico wildfire
Firefighters managed to protect the remaining homes in a southwestern New Mexico subdivision overnight, but some outlying buildings were engulfed by flames

Winds in NM fire force evacuation near ghost town
26 May 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents near a privately owned New Mexico ghost town were ordered Saturday to evacuate as a blaze in the Gila National Forest continued to burn erratically, as Colorado crews took to fighting a new fire along the Utah-Colorado border.

Fire officials in New Mexico said Saturday that the Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire has shrunk slightly to 82,000 acres but is still 0 percent contained because of weather conditions. The evacuation of Mogollon, a privately owned ghost town, was ordered due to extreme wind around the southwestern New Mexico fire. Four helicopters and more than 500 firefighters from around the state were on hand to fight the blaze but still had to contend with "extreme conditions."

Cities, as far away as Albuquerque, remained under a health alert until Sunday afternoon due to smoke from the fire, which has spread across the state. State officials were warning residents to limit outdoor activities, especially if smoke was visible.
The haze that blocked views of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque on Friday appeared to have decreased by early Saturday afternoon.

Wildfires hit six U.S. states, small towns evacuated
Santa Fe, New Mexico (Reuters) - A wildfire burned out of control for a fourth day in the steep mountains of southwestern New Mexico on Saturday, one of several blazes that have consumed more than 200 square miles (520 square km) of rugged land in six U.S. states.

Efforts to contain the blazes spreading in sparsely populated areas of Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah have been hurt by gusting winds and tinder-dry late-spring conditions.
Several small towns, including the historic Wild West mining town of Mogollon - now nearly a ghost town - were ordered to evacuate, as the spreading fire torched miles forest, brush and grass.

New Mexico's Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire, which was started by lightning 10 days ago, had raged across 82,252 acres as of Friday and officials said the area could now be much larger than that.
"Fire activity was so extreme yesterday we had to pull crews out," he said. "We're expecting another day like that today. With such high wind levels and low humidity there's going to be big potential for some major growth."

Wildfires continue to rage in six states across the US
May 27, 2012
 that have already ravaged more than 200 square miles of land Wildfires are continuing to burn in
sparsely-populated stretches of Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and California
In Arizona, nearly 1,000 firefighters are battling to contain the so called 'Gladiator Fire'.

In Michigan the 'Duck Lake Fire' has burned 21,000 acres along the Lake Superior Coastline
Fire danger remains high in the southern Colorado foothills and the South Park area
In Nevada, questions have been raised over fire crews' initial response to a fire which scorched 7,500 acres in the Topaz Ranch Estates

In Southern California, firefighters worked to control a wildfire that has burnt 3,100 acres of dry grass east of Julian.

Crews on NM fire prepare to send copters into air
GLENWOOD, N.M. (AP) — Crews fighting a wildfire in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico benefited from lighter winds Sunday, allowing them to focus on building protection lines on key flanks of the blaze and preparing to send water-dropping helicopters into the air for the first time in several days.

The Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire continued to grow, burning more than 122,000 acres, or 191 square miles, by mid-day Sunday and was about two miles away from the privately owned ghost town of Mogollon in southwestern New Mexico.
The town was evacuated Saturday due to extreme winds, but no homes there have been destroyed.

Denise Ottaviano, a spokeswoman for the crew fighting the blaze, said the fire remains active near Mogollon, but the blaze hasn't made a significant push toward the town. Crews were working to build a protection line between Mogollon and the fire's western edge.

New Mexico fire grows, forces evacuation
May 27, 2012  Crews fighting a wildfire in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico planned to take advantage of lighter winds Sunday by
building protection lines on key flanks of the blaze and preparing to send water-dropping helicopters into the air for the first time in several days.

The Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire continued to grow, burning more than 122,000 acres, or 191 square miles, by mid-day Sunday and was about two miles away from the privately owned ghost town of Mogollon in southwestern New Mexico.
The town was evacuated Saturday due to extreme winds, but no homes there have been destroyed.

Denise Ottaviano, a spokeswoman for the crew fighting the blaze, said the fire remains active near Mogollon, but the blaze hasn't made a significant push toward the town. Crews were working to build a protection line between Mogollon and the fire's western edge.

The blaze, however, destroyed a dozen homes and several outbuildings on Wednesday in the community of Willow Creek, which remains under evacuation.
Officials say crews were taking measures to protect homes in Willow Creek.

May 28  Lighter winds aided crews at a massive wildfire in southwestern New Mexico's Gila National Forest, but they still were unable to stop the blaze that has raged across more than 190 square miles of mountainous forest lands since last week.


Michigan Wildfire Destroys Nearly 100 Buildings
May 28/12  Officials say a wildfire burning across more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula has destroyed nearly 100 buildings but there have been no reports of injuries.

Officials say a wildfire burning across more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula has destroyed nearly 100 buildings but there have been no reports of injuries.

The fire that began last week has burned 95 structures, with a third of them being homes or cabins. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Monday that the Duck Lake Fire has burned more than 22,000 acres, or 34 square miles, in Luce County.
The fire is 51 percent contained and officials still are warning people to stay away from the nearby Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
Gov. Rick Snyder last week barred fireworks and outdoor burning in 49 Michigan counties due to extremely dry conditions. But officials say intermittent rain has helped the Duck Lake firefighting effort.

Wildfires burning
5/29/12  Wildfires burning in at least three states have thousands of firefighters scrambling to contain them.
In New Mexico, a pair of fires sparked by lightning merged and are close to becoming the largest wildfire in state history, fire officials told the Associated Press. More than 1,100 firefighters and nine helicopters are fighting the blaze, the AP said.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fire now covers 152,000 acres of New Mexico's Gila National Forest, which is 5,000 acres shy of the state record set last year. Since May 9, when the first of those two fires was spotted, a dozen cabins and several homes have been destroyed. Smoke from the Gila fire has spread across New Mexico and parts of Arizona, prompting health alerts. No fatalities have been reported.
In Colorado, hundreds of firefighters are battling an 8-square-mile blaze in the western part of the state, as well as a fire about half that size southwest of Denver.
As is the case in New Mexico, dry, hot conditions have hindered firefighting efforts in Colorado, according to fire officials.

In Michigan, a wildfire is covering more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, nearly 100 structures have been destroyed by the "Duck Lake Fire," which also began with a lightning strike. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.
High winds have stalled the firefighting efforts, but recent rain helped, the AP said. On Monday, the fire had burned more than 22,000 acres, or 34 square miles. Smaller fires in other parts of Michigan have been mostly contained.

Crews work to protect structures in Mich. wildfire
5/29/12  NEWBERRY, Mich. (AP) — Crews worked Tuesday to ensure that no more structures were damaged by a wildfire burning across more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula as high winds in the forecast threatened to test firefighting efforts, an official said.
The Department of Natural Resources said 97 structures have been destroyed, including 34 homes or cabins. The latest estimate Tuesday added two sheds or outbuildings to a total released a day earlier. No injuries have been reported.

Some progress was marked Tuesday by the reopening of part of a state park that's popular with tourists and campers that had to close because of smoke and ash problems. DNR spokesman Dean Wilson said Tahquamenon Falls State Park's Upper Falls and related facilities reopened Tuesday, and the Lower Falls campground was expected to reopen at noon Wednesday.
Some hiking trails that lead into the burn area remain closed, he said.

New Mexico fire sets largest record
A massive wildfire that has burned more than 265 square miles in the Gila National Forest has become the largest fire in New Mexico history, fire officials confirmed May 30.

30 May 2012  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two lightning-sparked blazes that merged in a mountainous southwestern New Mexico forest are close to becoming the largest wildfire in state history, fire officials said Tuesday.
The U.S. Forest Service said the erratic blaze in Gila National Forest had grown to about 152,000 acres by Tuesday — just 5,000 acres from breaking the state record. It is about 15 miles east of Glenwood, N.M., a small town with a few hundred residents.
More than 1,100 firefighters and nine helicopters from around the state were fighting the blaze. But officials said extremely low humidity will keep making efforts against the fire difficult.

The two lightning-sparked fires merged last week to form the giant blaze, which has destroyed 12 cabins and seven small outbuildings. One fire was first spotted May 9 and the second blaze was sparked May 16, but nearly all of the growth has come in recent days due to relentless winds. Officials also said a "record breaking dry air mass" and persistent drought in the region contributed to the fire's growth.

Record-setting NM fire expected to burn for weeks
June 1, 2012
 RESERVE, N.M. (AP) — A smoky haze hangs over the rugged canyons and tree-covered expanses of southwestern New Mexico as the largest wildfire in the state's recorded history marches across more of the Gila Wilderness.
The virtually unchecked wildfire is fueling experts' predictions that this is a preview of things to come as states across the West contend with a dangerous recipe of wind, low humidity and tinder-dry fuels.
The Whitewater-Baldy blaze has charred more than 190,000 acres, or nearly 300 square miles, in Gila National Forest and has become the largest wildfire burning in the country.

Gov. Susana Martinez viewed the fire from a New Mexico National Guard helicopter Thursday and saw the thick smoke shrouding some of the steep canyons that are inaccessible to firefighters. She described the terrain as "impossible," saying there was no way for firefighters to directly attack the flames in the rugged areas of wilderness.
"It's going to keep going up," she said of the acreage burned. "Be prepared for that."

Record-Setting NM Fire Grows to 339 Square Miles
June 2, 2012  A wildfire burning in what New Mexico's governor called "impossible" terrain in an isolated, mountainous area of the state continued its rapid growth Friday as forecasters called for thunderstorms and dry lightning that could spark even more fires.
The massive blaze in the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico is the biggest in state history and the largest currently burning in the country. It scorched an additional 39 square miles in the past day, growing to nearly 340 square miles, as more than 1,200 firefighters worked to halt its spread.

Firefighters conducted more burnout operations in an effort to corral the erratic blaze that has injured six people, the fire's incident management team said Friday. None of the injuries was serious.
The fire was about 10 percent contained. Fire information officer Gerry Perry said most of the resources were being focused on the northern and western ends of the fire.

1,200 firefighters battle record New Mexico blaze
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The more than 1,200 firefighters who are battling the nation's largest wildfire in rugged mountains and canyons of southwestern New Mexico are racing to build lines to corral the massive blaze.
The fire had charred more than 354 square miles by Saturday morning, and crews were bracing for more dry and windy conditions.

Fire information officer Lee Bentley says the focus is on the western edge of the Whitewater-Baldy fire.
The fire is expected to start backing down the mountains east of the community of Glenwood, and officials say residents should expect to see more smoke and flames as firefighters continue their backburn operations.
Bentley says gusts could reach close to 30 mph Saturday, resulting in active to extreme fire behavior.
The fire is about 15 percent contained. It has charred 227,000 acres of the Gila National Forest and a dozen cabins and several outbuildings have been destroyed.

Record NM blaze will test forest management
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A wall of smoke advances across a vast swath of rugged country in southwestern New Mexico where the nation's wilderness movement was born nearly a century ago.
From the air, the smoke stretches as far as the eye can see. On the ground, firefighters talk about the steep canyons that keep them from directly attacking what has become the largest wildfire in New Mexico's recorded history and the largest currently burning in the country.

Sure, things might look bad. But to land managers and scientists, the record-setting blaze represents a true test of decades of work aimed at returning fire to its natural role on the landscape — a test that comes as many Western states grapple with overgrown forests, worsening drought and a growing prospect for more megafires.

The Whitewater-Baldy fire has destroyed a dozen cabins while marching across more than 354 square miles of the Gila National Forest. A pair of lightning-sparked fires grew together to form the massive blaze.
Unlike last year's megafires in New Mexico and Arizona, this blaze is burning in territory that has been frequently blackened under the watchful eye of the Gila's fire managers.

Biggest wildfire in New Mexico's history burns with only 15% containment
June 2, 2012  CNN - The largest wildfire in New Mexico's history continued to burn almost uncontrollably Saturday in the remote Gila Wilderness, belching enough smoke to prompt officials to caution that children, adults with heart disease and other sensitive groups should not go outdoors.

Since lightning ignited the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex wildfire on May 9, flames have devoured 227,000 acres -- more than 354 square miles -- in the southwest portion of the state. Even though 1,257 personnel have been fighting the conflagration, only 15% of it was contained Saturday, U.S. Forest Service officials said.
For purposes of comparison, the burn area of 354 square miles is more than one and a half times bigger than the city of Chicago's 227 square miles.

Two separate strikes of lightning caused the mountainous fire: the Baldy Fire started May 9 in an inaccessible area of the rugged wilderness, and the Whitewater Fire was reported on May 16 several miles west of the Baldy Fire, Forest Service officials said.
The two fires in the Gila National Forest combined May 23, enhanced by drought and sustained winds of 40 mph to 50 mph, authorities said.

Wildfires out of Control in New Mexico

Western wildfires forcing evacuations
6/10/12  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters in Colorado and New Mexico are battling wind-fueled wildfires that are moving fast through parched forests, forcing scores of evacuations and destroying or damaging numerous structures.
A blaze in northern Colorado was first reported Saturday morning and had grown to about 8,000 acres by mid-evening, while a fire in southern New Mexico was small for a few days until it began growing Friday, reaching about 10,000 acres.

Both fires have damaged property and forced numerous evacuations, but officials haven't yet released specific figures on the numbers who fled.
The wildfire in the mountainous Paradise Park area, about 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins, prompted several dozen evacuation orders.

Hundreds evacuated as Colo., NM fires grow
June 10, 2012
 LAPORTE, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters fighting wildfires that have spread quickly in parched forests in Colorado and New Mexico, forcing hundreds of people from their homes and the evacuation of wolves from a sanctuary.
The Colorado fire, burning in a mountainous area about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, grew to 22 square miles within about a day of being reported and has destroyed or damaged 18 structures.

Strong winds, meanwhile, grounded aircraft fighting a 40-square-mile wildfire near the mountain community of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. Crews were still working to build a fire line around the fire, which started Friday and has damaged or destroyed 36 structures.
It wasn't immediately clear how many of the structures lost were homes.

In Colorado, the fire sent up heavy smoke, obscuring the sun and creating an eerie, orange dusk in the middle of the day. The smell of smoke drifted into the Denver area and smoke from the fires spread as far away as parts of central Nebraska, western Kansas and Texas.

The latest New Mexico fire is smaller than the Whitewater-Baldy fire — the largest in the state's history — but it's more concerning to authorities because it started closer to homes, said Dan Ware, a spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. He said the number of Ruidoso evacuees was in the hundreds, but he didn't have an exact figure.

Karen Takai, a spokeswoman for crews battling the Ruidoso fire, said smoke is heavily impacting the community of Capitan, about 5 miles northeast of the fire. She said in addition to the communities that have been evacuated, Capitan and others could face evacuation.
"Any communities around this fire have the potential of being evacuated," she said. "If I lived in Capitan, I definitely would be prepared. Don't wait until the sheriff's office comes knocking at your door and tells you to evacuate."

Elsewhere Sunday, firefighters were battling a wildfire that blackened 6 square miles in Wyoming's Guernsey State Park and forced the evacuation of campers and visitors. Cooler weather was helping firefighters in their battle against two other wildfires in southern Utah.
In Colorado, authorities sent nearly 1,800 evacuation notices to phone numbers but it wasn't immediately clear how many residents had to leave. About 500 people had checked in at Red Cross shelters. Larimer County sheriff Justin Smith said. He said there was an unconfirmed report of a person unaccounted for, but he wouldn't elaborate.

Hundreds of homes in path of runaway Colorado wildfire
Fire crews also tackle blazes in Wyoming, Utah

June 11, 2012  Firefighters worked early Monday to try to get an upper hand on a runaway wildfire in northern Colorado that has chewed through more than 20,000 acres, forced hundreds to flee and destroyed homes.
At least 250 firefighters, along with air tankers and helicopters, worked to try to slow down the wildfire, dubbed the High Park fire, that authorities conceded there was little hope in stopping.

Crews have had some success safeguarding some homes and businesses, though Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said "hundreds of homes" need protecting, ceding some may not be able to be saved.
At least 18 structures, a mix of homes and outbuildings, have been destroyed or damaged since the fire began Saturday morning, according to county emergency management officials and InciWeb, the U.S. multiagency Incident Fire Response website.

"We know this number will increase once crews get their surveys done," officials said in a posting on the Larimer County Emergency Information website.
At least one person is missing in the High Park Fire burning in Larimer County, west of Fort Collins, "in a location we believe somebody could have been burned," Smith said. Authorities were also looking into a report that two hikers were missing near the fire, he said.
Heavy smoke forced dozens of families who fled the advancing wildfire to evacuate a shelter set up at a middle school in Laporte. The families were moved to the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland, the sheriff's office said.
The wildfire's erratic nature, fueled by strong winds, low humidity, high temperatures and dry brush, is complicating efforts: The fire is not just moving in one direction and, in some cases, is returning to scorch areas it has already burned, according to the sheriff.

Colorado wildfire not contained and moving fast


Wildfires in Colo., NM burn out of control
6/12/12  BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) — As darkness fell over a 64-square-mile wildfire that has left one person dead and damaged more than 100 structures in northern Colorado, flames that were largely obscured during the day by a grayish-brown haze of smoke stood out along a fire line that crept along the side of the charred foothills.

Unable to return home, evacuee Cy Johnson set up a stand in the back of a pickup truck to hand out water and sandwiches to fire crews. "You're doing something. At least you're doing something," he said.
Massive wildfires in drought-parched Colorado and New Mexico tested the resources of state and federal crews Monday.

Wyoming diverted personnel and aircraft from two fires there to help with the Colorado fire, and Canada lent two aerial bombers following the recent crash of a U.S. tanker in Utah. An elite federal firefighting crew also arrived to try to begin containing a fire that destroyed at least 118 structures.
All told, about 600 firefighters will be battling the fire some 15 miles west of Fort Collins by Tuesday, said incident commander Bill Hahnenberg.
"We are a very high priority nationally. We can get all the resources we want and need," he said.

High Park Fire, COLORADO
June 18, 2012   Wildfire Near Fort Collins, Colo. Rages, Jumps Highway 14 And Grows To More Than 52,000 Acres
The High Park Fire near Fort Collins, Colo. raged on Thursday night -- fire embers jumped Highway 14 and started a 60-100 acre fire on the north side of Poudre Canyon near Steven's Gulch. The wildfire has burned an estimated 52,000 acres, destroyed or damaged 118 structures and claimed the life of one Colorado woman.

Officials said that a late afternoon thunderstorm cell parked over the southwest corner of the fire and downdrafts from the storm caused an increase in fire behavior, launching embers into the wind and starting the spot fire, according to

*  October 2012 update -  Locals blame this on the Russians Obama invited to USA - not Muslims.

Wildfire destroys most homes in Colo. history
DENVER (AP) — Additional crews were arriving Saturday at a wildfire in northern Colorado that has scorched about 85 square miles and destroyed at least 181 homes, the most in state history.
The High Park Fire burning 15 miles west of Fort Collins surpasses the Fourmile Canyon wildfire, which destroyed 169 homes west of Boulder in September 2010.

Fire information officer Brett Haberstick said Saturday that more than 1,500 personnel are working on the Fort Collins-area fire. The lightning-caused blaze, which is believed to have killed a 62-year-old woman whose body was found in her cabin, was 20 percent contained. The fire's incident commander said full containment could be two to four weeks away.
Haberstick said hot and dry conditions were expected to continue, but crews have made progress in containing a 200-acre spot fire that erupted Thursday afternoon north of the Cache La Poudre River, a critical line of defense against northward growth.

Colorado High Park Fire: Potential Looters Pose New Threat
With so many homes and neighborhoods deserted because of mandatory evacuations during Colorado's week-old High Park Fire, the local sheriff has a new worry: potential looters.
Police arrested a 30-year-old Denver man on Saturday for allegedly using phony firefighter credentials to enter the fire's restricted area. His truck displayed stolen government license plates, police said.

Michael Stillman at first evaded authorities but was found later that night at a local bar. He was arrested for impersonating a firefighter, theft and attempting to influence a public servant. Police say they found stolen property and a firearm in Stillman's car, although they did not say if it came from a home evacuated because of the fire.
A Larimer County Sheriff's Department statement said there were no confirmed cases of looting.

Utah fire saw hundreds flee
June 23, 2012  Winds picked up on Saturday as crews tried to contain a wildfire that forced several thousand people to flee their homes.
Officials earlier said 9,000 people in 2,300 homes were evacuated when the so-called Dump fire exploded on Friday, but by Saturday lowered that number to just under 600 homes.
The fire started Thursday in the Kiowa Valley near a landfill for Saratoga Springs, a town of 18,000 people about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City.
The blaze initially scorched about 750 acres of cheat grass, sage and pinyon juniper, but grew to 4,000 acres by Friday evening, stoked by gale-force winds and rising air temperatures, Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Teresa Rigby said.
No homes were in imminent danger in Utah, but fire authorities said they were unable to predict when ground crews might be able to begin encircling the blaze.
"It's going to take a significant effort to get it contained," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday after meeting with fire officials.  video

Wood Hollow Fire burns 39,000 acres, 25-30 structures destroyed
June 24, 2012  MT. PLEASANT, Sanpete County — All Robin Coltharp can do is wait and watch.
"We don't even know if our property is still good or not, if it's burned," she said.
Coltharp's husband used a telescope to get a closer look at the property, which Sunday was about a mile away from area burned in the Wood Hollow Fire.

The wildfire continued to rage Sunday, covering more than 39,000 acres in Sanpete County, destroying between 25 and 30 structures and forcing evacuations of more than 200 homes. At last word, only the fire was only 4 percent contained.
Roughly 360 permanent structures and more than 200 trailers or sheds are threatened, the Summit County Sheriff's Office said.

Colorado wildfire worsens, forcing 7,000 more from homes
June 26, 2012  COLORADO SPRINGS (Reuters) - A monster Colorado wildfire raging near some of the most visited tourist areas in the state took a turn for the worse on Tuesday as hot winds pushed flames north, prompting the evacuation of 7,000 more people.
Colorado's so-called Waldo Canyon fire sent a mushroom cloud of smoke nearly 20,000 feet into the air over Colorado Springs near Pikes Peak, whose breathtaking vistas from the summit helped inspire the song "America the Beautiful".

Closer to the blaze, which has been fanned by winds blowing into the Southern Rockies from the prairies to the east, trees were visibly twisting from the heat of the flames.
The latest evacuations brought the total number of people forced from their homes to about 12,000 as the blaze posed a renewed threat to hundreds of dwellings and appeared to have roared to within about a mile of the U.S. Air Force Academy grounds in Colorado Springs.

Wildfires worsen in Colorado, 32,000 flee homes
June 27, 2012  Wednesday  - I saw these on TV, they are awful!  Terrifying!
A large and growing wildfire is burning out of control near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Colorado has had nearly a week of 100-plus degree days and low humidity.
29 large active wildfires across USA, thousands evacuated.
4 have died in Colorado wildfires so far this year, plus assorted animals.
This is the worst fire season in the history of Colorado.

Colorado Waldo Canyon Fire wildfire near Pikes Peak forced 32,000 from their homes, prompting
evacuations from the U.S. Air Force Academy and swallowing numerous houses at the edge of Colorado Springs in the Rocky Mountains.
I saw on TV some of these homes explode - burst suddenly into flames!
The entire Mountain Shadows community appeared to be enveloped in flames.

Authorities hurried to evacuate residents. "We are in a very critical situation now."
The sudden closure of service stations left fleeing motorists unable to fill up their cars, roads filled with traffic, bumper-to-bumper for miles along Interstate 25.
8 Air Force C-130 cargo planes equipped as air tankers are dropping flame-retardant chemicals over the blaze.

Some other fires are larger than Waldo.
A blaze in Utah killed one.
Wood Hollow Fire UTAH
about 100 miles south of Salt Lake City
closed Utah state Route 89 and prompted the evacuation of Fairview

High Park Fire near Fort Collins, Colorado, south of Denver ranks as 2nd largest blaze on record in Colorado.
It sparked by lightning 2 weeks ago during a 'dry thunderstorm' - no rain.

(video on some links)

This has been lasting for weeks now, right? It seems like it's been getting worse...


June 27, 2012  Wednesday
Yeah - its worsening - its outta control - no wait, its God's judgment so its under His control!

Boulder Colorado on Evacuation notice
The fire is burning near Bison Drive east of Walker Ranch.

Colorado wildfire doubles in size overnight,  2-mile wall of flame

Colorado blaze devours houses, chars land on Air Force Academy
June 28, 2012  Calmer winds may aid Colorado fire.
Colorado Springs fire crews fought to save the U.S. Air Force Academy after wildfire sent thousands of people fleeing.
More than 30,000 have been displaced by the fire, including thousands who frantically fled with fire in the foothills.
Shifting winds challenged Waldo Canyon firefighters.  Winds were calmer Wednesday night.
Obama will come Colorado Friday.

More flee as Colorado fire sends 2-mile wall of flame down ridge
32,000 people evacuated in Colorado Springs area earlier; fire continues to spread; Obama to visit Friday

Video of several fires.  That land is beautiful.
China buying up USA land, banks and businesses.  They own USA.
Would they light fires?

The Beast of 666 is rising fast!  
Revelation chapter 13


Exclamation   The harbingers, warnings
USA keeps sticking its finger in God's Eye - WORSE is coming!

USAF hostile toward religion

Wildfire burns USAF acadamy in Colorado.

Pentagon holds SIN pride event, Wildfires in USA

Storm Debby floods Florida

America On Fire: Why Is The Number Of Wildfires In The United States Increasing?
As America watches, large sections of Colorado literally burn to the ground, many are wondering why all of this is happening.  
There have always been wildfires, but what we are experiencing now seems very unusual.  
The number of wildfires in the United States is increasing.
2011 was a record setting year for wildfires - and this wildfire season is off to a very frightening start.  

Colorado Waldo Canyon Fire
It doubled in size overnight and it has consumed more than 300 homes so far.  It is threatening the city of Colorado Springs, and at this point
over 35,000 people have been forced to evacuate - including the U.S. Air Force Academy.  
On Twitter and Facebook residents are describing what they are seeing as "the apocalypse" and as "the end of the world".  
But this is just the beginning of the wildfire season.  We haven't even gotten to July and August yet.

The Waldo Canyon fire is rapidly becoming one of the most expensive and destructive wildfires in Colorado history.  
The historic Flying W Ranch has already been burned totally to the ground by this fire.  
Local authorities are struggling to find the words to describe how nightmarish this fire is.  

CNN - Richard Brown, the Colorado Springs fire chief, described it as a "firestorm of epic proportions."
Gov. John Hickenlooper surveyed the Waldo Canyon Fire, telling reporters it was a difficult sight to see.
"There were people's homes burned to the ground. It was surreal," he said late Tuesday night. "There's no question, it's serious. It's as serious as it gets."

But this is not the only wildfire that is raging in Colorado.  Right now there are 10 wildfires burning in the state.  
Overall, there are 33 large wildfires currently burning in 12 U.S. states.
New Mexico just experienced one of the worst wildfires that it has ever seen.  Conditions throughout most of the western United States are ideal for wildfires right now.
As USA Today reports, much of the western half of the country is under a "red flag warning" right now....
Throughout the interior West, firefighters have toiled for days in searing, record-setting heat against fires fueled by prolonged drought.
Most, if not all, of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana were under red flag warnings, meaning extreme fire danger.

2011 was one of the worst years ever for wildfires in America.

EarthSky - Thousands of wildfires raged across the United States last year, 2011, burning a record amount of land, especially in the southern U.S.
In fact, 2011 the third-most-active fire season since 1960 (when this record-keeping began) with respect to acres burned,
according to preliminary data released from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in late December 2011.
The NIFC will be releasing an official summary report detailing the 2011 wildfire season later in 2012,
but for now you can read some of the details in the State of the Climate Wildfires 2011 report from NOAA.

During 2011, a total of 73,484 wildfires burned an estimated 8,706,852 acres (35,235 square kilometers) of land across the United States.
Wildfire activity during 2011 was exceptionally high and was only exceeded in the historical record by wildfire activity during the years 2006 and 2007.
We have seen highly unusual wildfire activity throughout America in recent years.  In the article quoted above you can find a chart
which shows that wildfire activity in the United States has been far above normal during the past decade.
Wildfire records have only been kept since 1960.  The 6 worst years on record for wildfires in the U.S. have all happened since the year 2000.  
The following is from an Earth Island Journal article that I found.

In the United States, where some of the most accurate wildfire statistics are kept, the six worst fire seasons in the past 50 years have occurred since 2000. In Texas, nearly 4 million acres were burned in 2011, double the previous record. This included the Bastrop Fire last September that destroyed 1,600 homes and became the most destructive fire in Texas history. In Arizona more than one million acres were burned in 2011, a new record. The Wallow Fire, which destroyed nearly a half million acres, was the largest fire in Arizona history. The Pagami Creek Fire in northern Minnesota became the third largest fire in state history when it burned 100,000 acres in September 2011, most of this in an unprecedented 16-mile run on a single day.

Wildfires in the United States are increasing and wildfires are becoming more powerful and doing more damage.
We are seeing exceptionally dry conditions throughout the western half of the United States.
U.S. interior west is now the driest that it has been in 500 years.
The eastern half of the country also gets very hot during the summer, but they don't have as many wildfires because they get a lot more rain.

Many areas in the western half of the country have been experiencing drought conditions for quite a few years, and there seems to be no end in sight for the drought.
If you go check out the U.S. drought monitor, you will see that almost the entire southwest United States is experiencing some level of drought right now.

So what will July and August bring?
It is kind of frightening to think about that.
Earlier this year I wrote an article that postulated that we could actually see dust bowl conditions return to the middle of the United States.  
Many readers were skeptical of that article.  But as much of the western United States continues to experience bone dry conditions and
continues to be ravaged by wildfires, perhaps more people will understand how bad things are really getting in the interior west.

Just because we have made great technological advances as a society does not mean that we know how to tame nature.  
We can attempt to contain the massive wildfires that are popping up all over the place and we can attempt to deal with the drought,
but in the end we cannot stop what is happening.

It is GOD's judgment on the SIN of the nation!  The 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding!

Colorado Springs fire ranks as state's most destructive on record
29 Jun 2012  UPDATE   * Early damage reports say 346 homes lost in blaze
* Colorado's Waldo Canyon fire 10 percent contained
* Unspecified number of people listed as 'unaccounted for' (Police say some people unaccounted for; adds details, quotes)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 28 (Reuters) - A fierce Colorado wildfire that has forced the evacuation of some 35,000 people while raging for six days at the edge of the state's second-most populous city has destroyed 346 homes, Mayor Steve Bach said on Thursday, citing preliminary damage reports.
If those figures hold up, the tally of lost homes in and around Colorado Springs would make the so-called Waldo Canyon Fire the state's most destructive on record, surpassing the 257 homes consumed in recent weeks by a much larger blaze north of Denver near Fort Collins.

While no deaths or serious injuries have been reported from the blaze so far, Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey said authorities were seeking the whereabouts of some people he described as "unaccounted for," though he did not give a number.
A police spokeswoman, Carrie McCuffland, said there were no specific reports from citizens of missing people, and that the unaccounted-for list consists of individuals who apparently neglected to register with the city or the American Red Cross as evacuees.
Authorities earlier acknowledged the loss of hundreds of homes in Tuesday's firestorm, but the damage toll released by the mayor at an afternoon news conference on Thursday gave the first firm picture of the full extent of the devastation.

Colorado wildfire: 346 homes lost, 1 dead in Waldo Canyon fire
June 29, 2012  The roaring Waldo Canyon fire that exploded into west-side neighborhoods of Colorado Springs destroyed 346 homes — making it the most destructive wildfire in state history. It also has claimed at least one life.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey announced late Thursday that human remains had been found in a burned home in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood. A second person is missing, he said. He said the body was found in the rubble at 2910 Rossmere St. No further details were released.
Residents of three dozen streets in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood were summoned to a meeting Thursday night at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Firefighters search door-to-door for bodies in Colorado wildfire
June 30, 2012  Saturday   2 bodies found

Firefighters went from one smoldering pile to another Friday in search of bodies in the nearly 350 homes burned to the ground by the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history.
As crews on the front lines made slow but steady progress against the flames, Police Chief Pete Carey said fewer than 10 people altogether were unaccounted for. The remains of one person were found Thursday in what was left standing of one home, and a second person who lived there was missing.

The 26-square-mile blaze - one of several wildfires burning out of control across the tinder-dry West - was reported to be 15 percent contained, and authorities began lifting some of the evacuation orders for the more than 30,000 people who fled their homes a few days ago.
After growing explosively earlier in the week, the fire gained no ground overnight, authorities reported Friday. And the weather was clear and mostly calm, a welcome break from the lightning and high wind that drove the flames.

"The focus for today is to hold what we got," extend the fire lines to contain more of the blaze, and bring in more heavy equipment, said Rich Harvey, incident commander for the fire.
Exhausted firefighters fresh off the front lines described the devastation in some neighborhoods and the challenges of battling such a huge blaze.

"It looks like hell. I would imagine it felt like a nuclear bomb went off. There was fire everywhere. Everything had a square shape to it because it was foundations," said Rich Rexach, who had been working 12-hour days since Tuesday, when flames swept through neighborhoods in this city of more than 400,000 people 60 miles south of Denver.

Firefighters make gains in Colorado, evacuees return home
June 30, 2012  DENVER (Reuters) - Crews battling a deadly Colorado wildfire ranked the most destructive in state history have made enough headway to allow most evacuees home, but concerns remain about rogue bears and burglaries in vacant houses, officials said on Saturday.
The Waldo Canyon Fire, stoked earlier this week by strong, erratic winds, is now 45% contained, although the damage wrought by the blaze has devastated the communities around Colorado Springs, the state's second-largest city.
The wildfire has been blamed for two deaths and the destruction of 346 homes, while 35,000 residents were forced to evacuate to escape the threat of flames and heavy smoke.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey said all the people unaccounted for in the fire zones have now been located.

Military plane crashes while battling South Dakota wildfire
July 2, 2012   A military plane crashed while battling a wildfire in southwest South Dakota on Sunday night.  3 crew members were hospitaized.
The C-130 that went down is a military plane refashioned to fight fires.
A helicopter landed near the crash site and took the trio to Custer to be transported by ambulance to Rapid City Regional Hospital for treatment, The Rapid City Journal reported.
The United States Northern Command would not confirm the number of crew members aboard or comment on casualties.

Colorado Aftermath

Waldo Canyon Fire Evacuees Return To Find Property Burglarized, Vandalized
July 2, 2012  Some evacuees from the Waldo Canyon Fire are returning home to find they were burglarized.
One couple’s car was stolen right out of their garage. Thieves also took jewelry and computers.
“It’s almost as bad as a house burned down because you feel violated. There are people out there who prey upon victims and people that are already suffering, so I feel like I’ve been hit by a train,” said Waldo Canyon Fire evacuee Linda Burton.
So far 22 homes have been reported as being burglarized while evacuees were waiting out the fire.

Focus on the Family is not under any evacuation order
June 28, 2012  Focus on the Family Headquarters Threatened by Colorado Wildfires

When fire forces you from home, you are reminded of what is most important. Life can change in an instant.
If you had only a few minutes to gather up a few select treasures of your life before fleeing a raging inferno, what would you take and what would you leave behind?
Families in Colorado Springs were faced with this question.  In just a matter of minutes, a wildfire that had been contained in canyons swept in.  
The scene appeared apocalyptic.
Where we live in Colorado Springs is still out of the line of fire.

God’s Wrath and Natural Disasters: Whom Do We Blame?

July 3 fire updates for Colorado
Waldo Canyon 70% contained

Colorado Waldo Canyon fire fight near Colorado Springs
July 3
 Life slowly returns to normal in the Waldo Canyon area near Colorado Springs.
More residents were allowed home and utility crews restorating services to get the rest home soon.
Cooler, more humid weather moved in overnight, followed by cloud cover and showers during the day.
Many area roads and tourist attractions have reopened.

Lament for the Land
I wrote this for July 4, 2012  
It should be our Independence Day - FREEDOM celebration to wave our flag proudly!
But America has become a SHAME.

Harbinger means warning.
Before God judges a nation, He sends warning
February  1, 2012
 and earlier I saw and reported all the harbingers, WARNINGS
GOD sent warning to ancient Israel - and to the United States of America.
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn and Michael Boldea both warn, multiple pages

0bamacare curse on USA
June 2012  -  nail in the coffin

GOD responds to Barack Hussein Obama and the Supreme Court 0bamaCare decision!

Isaiah 9:10 Judgment
The Harbinger link keeps changing so you may need to enter in youtube for new link

Here are separate threads of the judgment of God on the USA for its SIN.
Its hard to know where to post, as to me it all seems related.

Some states have burn bans and bans against fireworks, due to heat, wind and drought.

Wildfires U.S.A.  *  Mainly Colorado but many states

Dericho storms USA, millions without power for days of record HEAT
June 29-30, 2012  Friday and Saturday
The Supreme Court decision Thursday was the road to Derecho, which hit DC hardest.
Dericho in Spanish means right, justice, law, equity, honest.

Heat wave USA

Amid misery of storm damage, D.C. firefighters fill private pool - firefighters work for the PUBLIC!
I find this outrageous!

Twilight’s Last Gleaming, the TRUTH about America founding fathers
Book by Robert Jeffress



July 4, 2012  Wednesday
Air Force tanker planes returned to the flight line after a weekend crash which killed 4.
C-130s are battling some of the worst wildfires in decades across the West.
One wildfire in Montana is 55% contained after burning 320 square miles.

Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado

In Wyoming a wildfire burns north of Laramie.
The Air Force had sidelined its firefighting C-130s to review safety procedures after one crashed in South Dakota.

$110M worth of homes lost in Colorado wildfire

July 7, 2012  I received this Email.  Sounds credible to me too.
I don't know how true this is and I usually don't pass along third hand information, but this sounds..... like it might actually be true.
 There is a military reservist that lives down the road. He has family in Colorado. He is claiming that people were being paid to start the fires and some areas are off limits in stopping it. He claims that a family member, who lives out by the base, was offered money to move about 18 months ago. The family member and others in the area said no. Now all their homes have been burned to the ground. He, of course, believes this was the elitists way of getting the people off their land. He even went so far as to point out how some homes went untouched in the same areas. I haven't read all the reports on this, so I don't know how true some of this is. It does seem a bit strange though looking at the Denver airport.....maybe not so much.

Whether it's a "natural disaster" or an "inside job", either way God's judgment is coming down on the land.

IDAHO wildfires across West
July 10, 2012  BOISE, IDAHO
Wind-fanned wildfires in southern Idaho are proving stubborn, but across the West as a whole, firefighters are gaining ground and keeping an eye on the weather.
A fast-moving blaze spread across nearly 300 square miles of sagebrush and dry grass in the Castleford area, west of Twin Falls.
Another fire near the Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Elsewhere across the West, firefighters made progress in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Washington state, Oregon and California

Dead cattle, devastation in wake of Western fires
July 26, 2012  VOLBORG, Mont. (AP) — Cecil and Delores Kolka thought they escaped the worst of the Ash Creek Fire when the 390-square-mile blaze spared their home and several pastures as it ripped through the couple's Montana cattle ranch.
But when the family went to round up their livestock they encountered carnage — the charred and bloated bodies of an estimated 400 cows and calves killed as the fire torched a series of narrow, thickly forested draws on the nearby Custer National Forest.

Some surviving animals were burned so badly that their hides were peeling. The worst off were shot in mercy killings. Others now limp by on burnt hooves, and less than half the family's herd remains.
"Before we found our cattle we said at least we've got our homes and are all safe," Delores Kolka said. "In truth, we would have rather lost everything here except our cattle."
Across the West, major wildfires are wreaking havoc this summer on the region's economically fragile livestock industry. In areas such as remote Powder River County, Mont., ranchers said they could be grappling with the devastation for years to come.

Meteor may have started latest blaze in Colorado
 BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) - More people evacuated by the most destructive fire in Colorado history are set to return home today.
It's the second wave of evacuees allowed back in two days as firefighters ramp up their attack on the wildfire that's burned over 100 square miles and destroyed at least 189 homes.
Fire managers say the blaze is 55 percent contained.
Meanwhile, firefighters are making progress against another blaze in central Colorado, which may have been caused by a meteor. The 2-square-mile wildfire near Lake George is 39 percent contained.
The county sheriff says his office received multiple reports, including one from a person who thought a meteorite might have landed in a wooded area north of Buena Vista. He says officials could not confirm that report.
The National Weather Service says the Colorado sightings correspond with a report of a possible meteor filed by the crews of two commercial aircraft over Kansas and another over New Mexico, near the Colorado State line.

Santa Rosa Plateau ‘Volcano’ fire grows to 200 acres
Aug 1, 2012  Now add California
Updated @ 1:36 p.m.: Riverside County Fire Department officials report that the fire has spread to 200 acres and is less than 5 percent contained.
Updated @ 1:19 p.m.: Tenaja residents Janet and Warren Franks report that they are experiencing black smoke and can see flames in the distance.
According to the Franks, no evacuation orders have yet been imposed but roads in the area have been blocked off.
The residents do not believe their home is in jeopardy at this time.
Video of Volcano fire in Santa Rosa Plateau courtesy of Daniel Lane:

Updated @ 12:56p.m.: Riverside County Fire Department officials have reported that the fire has scorched 100 acres in the city of La Cresta and is now being managed along with United States Forest Service (Cleveland).
Original: Cal Fire and Riverside County Fire Department first responders are on the scene of a vegetation fire burning at Tenaja Road and Via Volcano in De Luz, it was reported today.
As of noon, the blaze had consumed 15 acres at a moderate rate of spread, according to a Riverside County Fire Department report.
No injuries or evacuations have been reported at this time.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Wind-whipped Oklahoma wildfires destroy homes
Aug 3, 2012  Now add Oklahoma...   Sad
A wildfire whipped by gusty, southerly winds swept through rural woodlands south of the Oklahoma City area Friday, burning several homes as firefighters struggled to contain it in 113-degree heat.
Oklahoma's emergency management officials said 25 structures had burned east of Noble, including a handful of homes. The sheriff's office directed residents of 75 to 100 houses to leave the area as flames spread through treetops. The evacuation area, south of Lake Thunderbird, is about 30 square miles.

The state Highway Patrol closed part of the main highway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa because of a fire that may have been deliberately set. Local deputies were looking into reports about passengers in a pickup truck who were seen throwing out newspapers that had been set on fire.

"I loaded the kids up, grabbed my dogs, and it didn't even look like I had time to load the livestock, so I just got out of there," said Bo Ireland, who lives a few miles from where the Noble-area fire started. "It looked to me that, if the wind shifted even a little bit, I would be in the path of that fire. It was just too close."

Oklahoma governor tours town burned by wildfire
Aug 4, 2012   Firefighters in Oklahoma have under control a wildfire that's suspected to be the work of arsonists.
The fire near Luther burned dozens of homes and forced evacuations Friday. Gov. Mary Fallin toured the community Saturday morning, saying the fire and damage are "heartbreaking."
Officials estimate 56 homes and other buildings have been damaged by the blaze.
Oklahoma County Sheriff's spokesman Mark Myers says deputies are searching for the driver of a black Ford pickup that witnesses reported seeing tossing a lit newspaper out of the vehicle about 4 p.m. Friday.
Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker said the number of wildfires this year is shaping up to be among the worst in state history.

Oklahoma crews battle expanding wildfires in torrid conditions
Fire crews toiled in triple-digit heat around drought-stricken Oklahoma on Saturday to contain at least 15 blazes that have destroyed more than 120 structures and left a small town smouldering.
Authorities said they were investigating whether the fire that devastated the town of Luther was deliberately set.

Governor Mary Fallin on Saturday toured Luther, where 56 structures were destroyed, and described it as "total devastation." She said she had met with families who had little time to save anything but photos and pets.
"A lot of people were at work and didn't realize how quickly the fire was moving," Fallin told Reuters in a telephone interview. "It's emotional. For the children, it's very emotional to lose their possessions."

The Oklahoma County sheriff's department said it was investigating the cause of the blaze after receiving a 911 call from a man who reported seeing another man toss a lighted newspaper from a pickup truck window on Friday afternoon.
No deaths have been reported in the fires.
Three grass fires erupted on Saturday, including a large one near the airport in Stillwater, Oklahoma, said Kelly Cain, a state emergency management spokeswoman.

Oklahoma has joined several other states including Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Arkansas and Nebraska in being struck by wildfires during the widespread drought.
Nearly two-thirds of the contiguous United States was under some level of drought as of July 31, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly report compiled by U.S. climate experts. Nearly all of Oklahoma was under severe drought or worse

Below-normal rainfall, temperatures up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 Celsius) and wilted vegetation have made the potential for wildfires extremely high throughout Oklahoma.
On Saturday afternoon, the temperature was a blistering 107 degrees (41 Celsius) in Luther and forecast to reach 113 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

A cool front expected to arrive late Saturday should lower temperatures but could bring strong and gusty shifting winds that could worsen the wildfire danger, the weather service said.
"When the wind shifts it may re-ignite some fires," Fallin said. "It might drop down to 90 but it's still going to be very, very hot."

OKLAHOMA fires: dozens of homes burn, evacuations
Aug 5, 2012  LUTHER — Several wildfires raging around the parched Oklahoma landscape prompted more evacuations on Sunday as emergency workers sought to shelter those forced out by flames that destroyed dozens of homes and threatened others in the drought-stricken region.
One roaring fire near Luther, about 25 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, destroyed nearly five dozen homes and other buildings before firefighters gained a measure of control Saturday. Authorities said several state roads remained closed early Sunday because of drifting smoke or nearby fires.

Mike Donegan, a communications supervisor with the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol in the scorched region, said evacuations continued overnight. He had no immediate details on the numbers forced from their homes but said officers went door to door in some communities, getting people to leave.
He said he saw thick smoke from a distance of about 50 miles from one of the fires as he drove into work.
"When I came in today ... we got ash falling even where I live. I thought it was raining at first. The smoke was thick," Donegan told The Associated Press by phone.

Wildfire evacuation orders lifted in Oklahoma
Many Oklahomans forced to leave their homes because of raging wildfires were being allowed to return Sunday, despite some fires continuing to burn.
A "monster" fire had devoured almost 91 square miles and continued to burn between Mannford and Kellyville in northeastern Oklahoma's Creek County as light rain and cooler temperatures gave firefighters a brief respite Sunday, said Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker.
She described the blaze as hopscotching as it burns some areas and leaves others untouched.

"It's not like an inferno moving across the landscape," Finch-Walker said. "You can drive for miles down the highway and see nothing but black, but then you can see pockets of green, pockets unburned.
"Maybe there was a creek (that stopped the fire)," she said. "Maybe the wind blew it in a different direction."
Finch-Walker said residents of the town of Mannford, which was evacuated Saturday, had been allowed to return and that she was not aware of any other evacuation orders.

Wildfires threaten homes in several western states
Aug 13, 2012  California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah

Wildfires have destroyed dozens of homes and threatened hundreds more in several western U.S. states, including Idaho, where an on-duty firefighter was killed by a falling tree.
Anne Veseth, a 20-year-old who was in her second season as a firefighter, was killed Sunday as she worked a fire near Orofino, the U.S. Forest Service said. Her older brother also is a wild-land firefighter in Idaho, where 12 blazes are burning.
"The Forest Service is devastated by the loss of one of our own," Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell said.

Officials were investigating the death, which came on the same day that another firefighter narrowly escaped a wildfire in southeastern Oregon.
That firefighter was forced to deploy her emergency shelter in an area overrun by wind-whipped flames. She suffered minor burns to a leg and forearm and minor smoke inhalation.
Her 20-person federal crew made it to a safety zone and was pulled off the fire. The blaze scorched about 653 square miles in remote terrain straddling Oregon and Nevada, where five ranches in the Kings River Valley were evacuated.

A crew in central Washington state also barely outran flames Monday at a wind-driven fire in Kittitas County. The firefighters managed to drive to safety as they got ahead of the Taylor Bridge fire, said Richelle Risdon, a county fire spokeswoman.
That same fire destroyed 40 homes since it ignited Monday east of the town of Cle Elum, said state Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark Grassel. Within hours, it had grown to about 23 square miles, according to fire commanders.

Officials said more homes were burning or under threat near the small town about 60 miles west of Seattle, but no injuries were reported so far. Grassel said the fire crept within six miles of the nearby city of Ellensburg, though crews stopped its forward movement.
Some property at a chimpanzee sanctuary outside Cle Elum burned but the animals were uninjured, Diana Goodrich of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest told KING-TV.

In Utah, a lightning-sparked fire consumed about 34 square miles, threatened a herd of wild horses and shut down the historic Pony Express Road in the state's western desert.

Meanwhile, crews in Northern California made progress against an aggressive wildfire in Lake County that grew to more than 9 square miles and destroyed three buildings. Officials lifted evacuation orders for the residents of nearly 500 homes late Monday, said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
"The fire is still actively burning, but burning in a remote area," Berlant said. "It's burning in brush that's tinder dry and hasn't seen a fire in decades."

A separate wildfire to the north was threatening about 600 homes, prompting some evacuation orders in the Seneca and Rush Creek communities in Plumas National Forest. The fire burned about 55 square miles, officials said.
Fires across California have affected some national parks, including Lassen Volcanic National Park and Joshua Tree National Park.

In Lassen Volcanic National Park, which is in Northern California, a fire forced the closure of a highway and several trails. It burned 33 square miles of pine forests and thick brush, fire officials said.
At Joshua Tree, park officials said a fire burned up to 300 acres of rocky, tree-covered hillsides, closing the scenic Keys View Road.
A handful of other fires in hot and dry Southern California was sparked by lightning, including three burning out of control northeast of Julian. None were threatening any structures.

Aug 14, 2012  Whipped by high winds, a wildfire in central Washington state has scorched 26,500 acres and destroyed at least 60 homes, officials said Tuesday.
The fire raging near Cle Elum is one of several devastating Western states this week.

Colorado paid the price earlier this summer. Now, new wildfires are burning through sagebrush, grass and beetle-killed lodgepole pines in California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington and Idaho.
In all, 62 fires, including 16 new large fires, were burning as of Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service reported. They have destroyed dozens of homes and are threatening many more.

Wildfires blaze across West, burning homes
CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire in central Washington has burned at least 60 homes and forced hundreds of people to flee — one of several blazes scorching the West on Tuesday, threatening communities, sending up thick plumes of smoke and disrupting activity in national parks.

Fire commanders estimate the Washington blaze has burned at least 24,000 acres — about 38 square miles — since it started Monday afternoon east of the small town of Cle Elum.
No injuries have been reported, but more than 400 people have been evacuated, said Department of Natural Resources Fire Incident Commander Rex Reed. The fire crept within six miles of Ellensburg, about 75 miles east of Seattle.

The blaze, which began at a bridge construction site, is not contained. And authorities worried about wind and heat, saying the fire danger was extreme.
"We've had a long prolonged dry period — three weeks with no precipitation at all," Reed said.
Joe Seemiller, a captain in Kittitas County Fire and Rescue, said gusty winds were hampering Washington firefighters.
"Unless Mother Nature helps us out here, we're going to be fighting this awhile," Seemiller said.

Man's home was surrounded by flames - but still stands
August 14, 2012   Doug DeRooy watched as fire devoured the hillside around his home. His sister called him to offer her condolences.
"The worst I felt is when I was down on the highway watching the flames,” said DeRooy.
But later, he walked onto his property to find what was close to a miracle.
"I had to call her back this morning and say I'm calling from my house. And she said it's still there. And I said yeah. She was flabbergasted,” he said.
"I couldn't believe, from one end of the ridge to the other it was all fire and it was working its way down,” she said.

Down the road, Patty Holmes' vacation house is also still standing. The charred land nearby a stark reminder to how close they came to losing it.
"I couldn't believe, from one end of the ridge to the other it was all fire and it was working its way down,” she said.  "And I thought it's gone. but you know what? God gave it to us and we've enjoyed it so much, and what I was so concerned about was the neighbors that live here and their home.”

No such luck for their next door neighbors.  Their home one of at least 70 destroyed so far in the Taylor Bridge Fire.
Evacuated residents of the Sunlight Water Development anxiously watched as the fight to save their homes unfolds, but they have no idea what is happening.
Around the clock -- the firefighters keep working to save lives and save homes, and while dozens are lost, many more are saved.
"They worked on our behalf. They put their own lives second, that was very obvious,” said DeRooy.

I have seen these kind of stories for several years, how the LORD keeps His own amid calamity.

Northern Calif. fire forces thousands to evacuate
Aug. 19, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO (AP)
Thousands of people have been told to leave their homes as a wildfire burning Sunday in thick forest threatened rural communities in far Northern California.
The fire that sparked around 11:30 a.m. Saturday has destroyed four homes and consumed nearly 19 square miles near the towns of Manton, Shingletown and Viola, fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. About 3,500 homes spread out across a rural area along the border of Tehama and Shasta counties are threatened as the fire continues to expand, he said.

"A good majority are immediately threatened, and a good number are in the path of the fire," Berlant said Sunday. "We will be battling it hard today to protect as many of those homes as possible."

The fire's cause has not been determined, but officials said it started after a series of lightning strikes in the area.
No part of the blaze was contained Sunday afternoon, and fire activity had picked up, Berlant said.

John Cluff, 42, told the Redding Record Searchlight that he was forced to flee his home before the evacuations were issued. He went back for his dog about 3:30 p.m.
"The fire basically chased me out of the property," he said. "All I could see was black smoke and flames."

The Shasta County Sheriff's Department has declared a State of Emergency for the county, with evacuations expected to continue through Sunday. The agency also was closing some local roads.
The Red Cross set up an evacuation center in Redding, about 35 miles to the west of the blaze.
The fire, burning in a rugged area of thick forests about 170 miles north of Sacramento, is one of handful of new fires in Northern California.

Another wildfire that started Saturday has consumed about 1.5 square miles east of the Mendocino County community of Covelo. That blaze, which was sparked by lightning, was burning in a remote area of thick timber and rugged terrain, making it difficult for fire crews to access. A third new fire has scorched about half a square mile in a remote area of Shasta County.

Meanwhile, a massive wildfire that has been burning in the Plumas National Forest since July 29 grew larger late Saturday and early Sunday as strong winds pushed the flames past fire lines on the fire's northeast edge.
"Winds picked up, and it got very dry in the afternoon," fire spokesman Brad Pitassi said. "It made a good push in that area"
The blaze, about 120 miles north of Sacramento, has consumed nearly 70 square miles and continued to threaten about 900 homes. The fire is 38 percent contained, with full containment expected Aug. 31.

Also in California, a wildfire in Lassen Volcanic National Park was 51 percent contained after consuming more than 43 square miles. Officials expected firefighters would have the blaze contained by Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the West, fires also continued to rage.

— In Idaho, about 1,100 firefighters worked to protect some 350 homes in the Featherville area under a mandatory evacuation as the Trinity Ridge Fire continued a slow approach toward the community.

"The fire will make it to Featherville," fire spokeswoman Mallory Eils said. "It's just a matter of when."

She said when that happens is hard to predict due to varying weather conditions. The area was under a Red Flag Warning on Sunday with the possibility of thunderstorms, and she said fire managers were preparing to light fires ahead of the main fire to protect the town but were waiting for the right conditions that would draw the backfire toward the main fire.

"They have a very specific plan lined up for how they are going to conduct the operation," she said, noting it included starting fires using helicopters.
She said many people had evacuated but some chose to stay in the area that along with Pine is a recreation getaway in the mountains 105 miles northeast of Boise. It's unclear how many residents remained.

— In Washington state, better weather over the weekend has helped firefighters gain ground on a fire that has scorched dozens of homes near Cle Elum, about 75 miles east of Seattle.

Jessica Payne, a spokeswoman for the Taylor Bridge fire, said Sunday that lightning strikes hadn't materialized as previously feared. Fire officials expect the wildfire to be contained on Monday if the weather remains favorable. The fire broke out last Monday at a bridge construction project and has burned across more than 23,000 acres of grass, sagebrush and timber in rural areas.

— In Utah, evacuation orders were lifted east of Park City as firefighters made progress on a wildfire near Jordanelle State Park. But crews were dispatched to another Wasatch County blaze Sunday afternoon where 60-foot flames were reported in Daniels Canyon.

County fire spokeswoman Janet Carson said the Whiskey Springs Fire was reported in the canyon near State Route 40 just before 1 p.m. She said an air attack might be the only effective way to fight the human-caused fire because of the steep terrain.
The Fox Bay Fire that started Saturday near Jordanelle Reservoir has burned at least 550 acres but was estimated at 40 percent contained Sunday. Residents returned to their homes in the Fox Bay, Stillwater and Shores areas, and state park visitors were allowed to retrieve their property.

Northern California fire forces evacuation of some 2,000 homes
A lightning-sparked wildfire roared unchecked on Sunday through tinder-dry grass, brush and timber in north-central California, where an estimated 3,000 people were forced from their homes in several small, rural communities, authorities said.
The blaze, which erupted on Saturday amid some 900 lightning strikes unleashed by thunderstorms that rolled through Northern California, has scorched at least 12,000 acres of private and public land along the border of Shasta and Tehama counties, officials said.
There were no reports of injuries, but the so-called Ponderosa blaze has destroyed at least seven homes and was threatening about 3,000 more, said Mary Anne Aldrich, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

She said about 2,000 homes in several communities, including the towns of Manton and Shingletown, about 125 miles north of Sacramento, the state capital, were ordered evacuated starting on Saturday night.
A rough estimate of 3,000 people were believed to have displaced by the evacuation, but precise numbers were hard to come by, Aldrich said.
So far, a force of nearly 1,000 firefighters, 20 water tenders and three helicopters had yet to curtail the fire's growth, officials said.

N. Calif. fire burns 7 homes, threatens thousands
Aug 20, 2012  MANTON, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters in Northern California on Monday struggled to gain control of a growing wildfire that has destroyed at least seven homes and forced thousands of rural residents to evacuate.
The blaze that started Saturday has consumed more than 23 square miles near the towns of Manton, Shingletown and Viola near the border of Tehama and Shasta counties. It was only about 5 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The Ponderosa fire threatens at least 3,000 homes and more than 300 other structures, said fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.
More than 1,200 firefighters are battling the wildfire burning in rugged, densely forested terrain about 170 miles north of Sacramento. It started after the area was hit by a series of lightning strikes.
The fire forced the closure of Highway 44 and some local roads and prompted the sheriff to declare a State of Emergency for Shasta County. The Red Cross set up an evacuation center in Redding.

John Cluff, 42, told the Redding Searchlight that he was forced to flee his home before the evacuations were issued. He went back for his dog about 3:30 p.m.
"The fire basically chased me out of the property," he said. "All I could see was black smoke and flames."

The Ponderosa fire is one of many wildfires burning across California and the West.
In Mendocino County, another wildfire that started Saturday has consumed about 8 square miles near Covelo. That blaze, which was sparked by lightning, was burning in a remote area of thick timber and rugged terrain, making it difficult for fire crews to access.

Meanwhile, a massive wildfire that has been burning in the Plumas National Forest since July 29 grew larger over the weekend as strong winds pushed the flames past fire lines on its northeast edge.
The blaze, about 120 miles north of Sacramento, has consumed more than 73 square miles and continued to threaten about 900 homes. The fire was 32 percent contained Monday.
Also in California, a wildfire in Lassen Volcanic National Park was 51 percent contained after consuming more than 43 square miles.

50 buildings destroyed in Northern Calif. fire
8/22/12  MANTON, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California fire burned dozens of buildings and threatens hundreds more as firefighters work to stop the blaze in a densely forested, remote section of the state.
Fire crews assessing the rural area determined Tuesday that 50 buildings had been destroyed, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The count included buildings burned since the fire began, but officials did not say when the structures were destroyed.

Officials didn't have an accurate count yet of how many of the structures were homes, but Berlant noted the buildings were spread across a vast rural area of mostly residential homes.
The blaze, which was sparked by lightning on Saturday has consumed more than 33 square miles and continues to threaten hundreds of homes.
Nearly 1,900 firefighters were battling the fire in rugged, densely forested terrain as it threatened 3,500 homes in the remote towns of Shingletown, Manton and Viola, about 170 miles north of Sacramento.

California, A state of emergency
Aug 22, 2012
Red Bluff, California (Reuters) California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in three Northern California counties on Wednesday after raging wildfires destroyed 50 buildings and threatened more than 200 others.
Some 3,000 people have been evacuated as the so-called Ponderosa fire burns through more than 24,000 acres (9,700 hectares) of steep, rugged terrain in the rural California counties of Tehama and Shasta, about 125 miles (200 km) north of state capital Sacramento.

The lightning-sparked blaze was 50 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon, fire officials said, but 200 homes, 10 commercial properties and 30 outbuildings were still at risk of being consumed by the fire.
Brown also declared a state of emergency in nearby Plumas County, where firefighters were battling a fire nearly double the size of the Ponderosa blaze. Declaring a state of emergency frees up funds to help combat the fires.

The Ponderosa fire is one of dozens burning across drought-parched states in the U.S. West, including a blaze that destroyed dozens of homes this week in Washington state and another that threatened a town in Southern California.

Firefighters were expected on Wednesday to start inspecting the damage from the Ponderosa blaze, which they had surveyed by air on Tuesday.
Efforts to prevent the fire from overrunning the rural towns of Manton and Shingletown have succeeded so far despite high winds and heat, fire officials said, and evacuation orders for Shingletown and the Lake McCumber area were lifted on Wednesday.

But an expanded evacuation warning was issued for areas along Highway 36, including the community of Mineral.
"Firefighters are working aggressively to build approximately 11 miles of line and strengthen existing containment lines," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on its website.
"As additional resources arrive, firefighters will continue to diligently defend structures, construct containment lines and build bulldozer perimeter lines," it said.

Costs of big wildfire season hurting some states
Aug 22, 2012  MANTON, Calif. (AP) — A huge wildfire in California is just the latest destructive blaze to stretch resources across the West during a fire season that has been one of the worst in years.
The fires have left some states with thin budgets to scramble to get people, planes, bulldozers and other tools on fire lines to beat back the flames.
And that's with about a third of the annual wildfire season remaining.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, the nation as of Wednesday had seen 42,927 wildfires this year, which burned just over 7 million acres.
While the number of fires is down from the 10-year average of 54,209 as of Aug. 22, the acreage was well above the average of 5.4 million acres, said Don Smurthwaite, a NIFC spokesman.
"The fires are bigger," Smurthwaite said.

Nebraska wildfires burn more than 285 square miles
. (AP) — Strong winds helped wildfires grow Sunday, burning more than 285 square miles in northwest Nebraska and southwest South Dakota.
Fire officials estimate the largest fire, which began north of Rushville, has burned 150 miles alone. Two other fires nearby burned more than 135 square miles of rugged ranch land.
Rushville Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Kearns says firefighters are working hard to contain the fires and protect property.
But Kearns says firefighters have to make difficult decisions about what can be saved. He says it's hard to watch a rancher's hay burn because of this summer's ongoing drought.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman says it will likely take several more days to fully contain the fires, but he says firefighters appear to have all the resources they need to do that.

Wildfire in Southern CA forest grows by 500 acres
September 3, 2012  GLENDORA, Calif. (AP) — A fast-spreading fire has erupted in Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County.
The Ventura County Fire Department says the blaze broke out about 11 a.m. Monday and quickly charred 25 acres of rugged, mountaintop terrain in the Lockwood Valley area. No structures were immediately threatened.
Ventura called out 18 firefighting units to the scene to try to contain the blaze.
Billowing smoke could be seen for miles in the distance.

Casper Mtn.(Wyoming) firefighters building line near homes
September 12, 2012  CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Firefighters are taking advantage of cooler, more humid weather to dig in around a wildfire burning on Casper Mountain.
Crews were focusing Wednesday on building containment lines around the northwest corner of the Sheep Herder Hill Fire, the portion closest to most of the 750 homes threatened by the blaze. The fire has destroyed seven homes on the mountain overlooking Casper since breaking out Sunday.
It hasn't spread much in the last 24 hours and is listed at nearly 25 square miles and 10 percent contained.
Investigators will also be in the fire zone looking into how the fire started. Fire spokeswoman Susan Ford said that's a standard procedure when there aren't any obvious signs of how a fire started, such as a lightning strike.

* Adding 2 posts off another thread from 2011

North Mexico wilts under worst drought in 70 years
December 2,  2011
 DURANGO, Mexico (AP) — The sun-baked northern states of Mexico are suffering under the worst drought since the government began recording rainfall 70 years ago. Crops of corn, beans and oats are withering in the fields. About 1.7 million cattle have died of starvation and thirst.
Hardest hit are five states in Mexico's north, a region that is being parched by the same drought that has dried out the southwest United States. The government is trucking water to 1,500 villages scattered across the nation's northern expanse, and sending food to poor farmers who have lost all their crops.

Life isn't likely to get better soon. The next rainy season isn't due until June, and there's no guarantee normal rains will come then.
Most years, Guillermo Marin harvests 10 tons of corn and beans from his fields in this harsh corner of Mexico. This year, he got just a single ton of beans. And most of the 82-year-old farmer's fellow growers in this part of Durango state weren't able to harvest anything at all.

Winter storm blasts New Mexico with snow, cold
December 6, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A severe winter blast has struck most of New Mexico, closing schools and shutting down major highways across the state.
Motorists sought emergency shelter overnight as state officials closed both directions of Interstate 40 from Albuquerque to Gallup — part of the historic Route 66 — after blowing snow caused near-zero visibility. It was open Tuesday morning but traffic was moving slowly because of ice on the road.

Fire on the Mountain

Albuquerque, NM  *  There is Fire on the Mountain
October 20, 2012  
I pulled this off a blog, original poster with several replies by others. Interesting.
Posted by New Mexico Lady on Oct. 19th
This is the Sandia Mountain range in Albuquerque, NM and I can see it right outside my front porch.
The mountain is approximately 10 miles away but I can see the fire now that it is dark.
I noticed this fire/smoke early this morning. Now that it is dark I can see the red flame glow.

They say that it is in a canyon up on the mountain which should not spread too far but one has to wonder, eh?
It looks like it might be contained into the canyon but who knows for sure.
Allegedly this is an area where people don't go but this HAD to be set by a human.
There is no rain out here, no clouds and no lightening.  Very curious.

Suppose the rumor of muslims starting fires as warfare were true?
There are some juicy targets in Albuquerque; Sandia Labs, Intel factory, GE aircraft engines.
But as in the Colorado fires it is being blamed on the Russians, NOT on muslims.

Alllegedly the helicpoters CANT GET TO THIS SPOT, YEAH RIGHT.
It HAS been burning/then smolderin/than burning again all day since way early this morning.

There was a tremendous smoke smog this morning unlike anything I had seen out here before.
The Rio Grande valley looked at first like it was filled with fog but upon further investigation it was explained as "smoke"
from a controlled burn in the Hamas Mt. drifting down this way.
At one point today that smoke/smog/fog engulfed not only ABQ but Rio Rancho.

Just got feedback from one of my friends in Albuquerque who tells me it is a controlled burn.
The HAMAS Mts is a controlled burn. The HAMAS mt is at least an hour north of ABQ. Most people are confusing the two.
This fire is on the west SIDE of the Sandia Mt in ABQ. If this is a controlled burn on the Sandia there is no info on it that I have hear.
The HAMAS and the SANDIA are two different mt ranges.

Everybody today everywhere here is talking about the smoke and it coming from the HAMAS Mt.
but nobody is saying anything about the burning on the west side of the Sandia.
What I find interesting about this fire is this:
it is almost like a gigantic camp fire that is being stoked.  I don't see it spreading, just NOT going out.
It looks like it is just staying put where it is but with unending fuel to keep it going.

This smells and like more than smoke.
They have named this fire the "Chimmey Canyon Fire".
They don't know what caused this fire.  It is not too far from the "tram/lift".
I said this has to be human caused, perhaps from a person "rock climbing".
This is curious because it is stationary all day....not expanding or spread per se but not extinguishing either.

Do you mean Jemez? NW of Bernilillo? Hamas is a group of Palastineans.

Crews fighting small, smoky fire at base of the Tram

Crews continue to tackle Sandias blaze
Crews continue to tackle a small fire in the Sandias as smoke from a separate controlled burn in the Jemez continues to permeate the metro Albuquerque area.
Fire crews are battling a small and very smoky fire 1.5 miles north of th eLa Luz trail.
The Chimney Fire is approximately a half-acre in size, located in steep terrain. The fire started sometime Friday morning.

A United States Forest Service spokesperson told KOB Eyewitness News 4 the fire has burned approximately 5 acres.
Crews have responded to the fire as have additional crews from the Zuni and Southern Pueblo Agency.
Helicoptors were being used to drop buckets of water on the Sandia foothills fire Friday afternoon
The La Luz and Piedra Lisa Trails have been closed.
A controlled burn in the Jemez Wilderness is also generating lots of smoke over Albuquerque.


Colorado wildfire whipped by 50 mph winds
24 Oct 2012 - Colorado authorities said they were hoping to determine Wednesday how many buildings had been burned by a fast-moving wildfire that sprang up Tuesday afternoon.
The blaze in south-central Custer County was quickly spread by 50 mph winds, The Denver Post reported.
The high winds prevented crews from fighting the fire from the air.
Officials said the wildfire was ignited by a house fire in a subdivision south of Wetmore and that it had burned into "broken terrain" of relatively uninhabited areas of Custer and Pueblo counties.
More than 300 homes have been evacuated, said Steve Segin of the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center.
A separate wildfire in Estes Park has consumed 979 acres and was only partially contained, the National Park Service reported.

Multiple wildfires burning in Colorado

Colorado wildfires: Royal Gorge, Falcon Fire, Big Meadows fires Live
Wildfires in Black Forest near Colorado Springs, Royal Gorge Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are all burning as temperatures verging on triple digits and high winds hit Colorado.

2 wildfires burn structures in Colorado;_ylt=AwrNUbEMxrdRLycAlhfQtDMD

Multiple fires force evacuation of hundreds in Colorado
11 Jun 2013
Wildfires fueled by gusty winds were burning hundreds of acres and forcing evacuations Tuesday in three different parts of Colorado, the southern half of which was under a red flag warning for extreme wildfire risk.
Fire agencies said their resources were being stretched critically thin as they tried to battle the fires simultaneously.
All businesses and residences from Parkdale to Soda Point, near Mesa Verde National Park, were being evacuated because of a 300-acre fire that jumped the Arkansas River near Cañon City, the U.S. Forest Service said.
The fire was reported shortly before 1 p.m. (3 p.m. ET) and spread rapidly, with smoke visible for miles within just an hour. Peggy Gair, human resources and public relations manager for Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, told the Colorado Springs Gazette that "several hundred people" had been evacuated.

Royal Gorge Fire continues to burn
Jun 12, 2013
  COLORADO SPRINGS - There is a 3,800-acre wildfire burning south of the Royal Gorge. There is zero percent containment.
The Bureau of Land Management says three structures have been lost in the fire south of the Royal Gorge Bridge and the Arkansas River. The general manager of the Royal Gorge Bridge say the bridge appeared to be OK, despite fire burning on either side of the bridge.

The Department of Corrections moved 881 prisoners from the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility to East Cañon City complex as a precaution due to the fire. Twenty-four offenders in the infirmary were also evacuated and taken to nearby prisons and other facilities including at least one in Denver.

Colorado wildfires 2013: Thousands evacuate as fast-moving fires rage

At least four major wildfires broke out along the front of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado today, burning a handful of houses and chasing people from thousands of homes.

All the Colorado wildfires were moving quickly, driven by hot, gusty winds and record-setting temperatures.

The conditions were making it difficult to build containment lines around the fire, as sparks jumped across them.

"Weather is not working with us right now, but our guys are giving it a heck of a shot," Maketa said.
3 wildfires burn out of control in Colorado

Wildfire burning out of control near Colorado Springs destroys 92 homes, evacuates thousands


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- A wildfire fueled by hot temperatures, gusty winds and thick, bone-dry forests has destroyed 92 homes, damaged five more and prompted more than 7,000 residents northeast of Colorado Springs to flee, sheriff's official said Wednesday.

A separate Colorado wildfire to the south has destroyed 20 structures, including some in Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, and prompted evacuations of about 250 residents and nearly 1,000 inmates at a medium-security prison. To the north, another fire burned in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Wildfires also were burning in New Mexico, Oregon and California, where a smokejumper was killed fighting one of dozens of lightning-sparked fires.

Crews were so busy battling blazes across the West that the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday it was mobilizing a pair of Defense Department cargo planes to help — a step taken only when all of the Forest Service's contracted tankers already are in use.

The fire near Colorado Springs, one of several that broke out Tuesday along Colorado's Front Range, has prompted evacuation orders and pre-evacuation notices to between 9,000 and 9,500 people and about 3,500 homes and businesses, sheriff's officials said.


Colorado wildfires destroy more than 350 homes, force evacuations

A monster wildfire in Colorado has reduced 360 homes to cinders, with fire officials facing continued challenges on Thursday as they sought to contain the blazes that forced thousands of people to flee.

The escalating damage from what officials dubbed the Black Forest fire makes it one of the most destructive in the state’s history.

The flames had chewed through wooded residential areas of Colorado Springs, and had covered about 15,000 acres by late Thursday morning.

The number of homes destroyed jumped rapidly from the about 100 that had been consumed late on Wednesday. Among those was the home of Jaenette Coyle, who watched flames devour her home on TV after bolting the area on Wednesday.

“I don’t know how to tell you in words what it felt like,” Coyne told the Associated Press. “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my whole life.”

The racing flames raised memories of last year’s Waldo Canyon fire, which swept through the Colorado Springs area and was the most destructive in the state’s history to that point, destroying 346 homes and forcing more than 35,000 to evacuate.

“The winds yesterday really stirred the fire and pushed it off in quite a few different directions,” El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said on Thursday. “Wind is probably our number one threat. It is what has been the game changer, it is what has changed the conditions. I don’t know any other word to describe it but very dynamic.”

The evacuation zone now covers 94,000 acres, Maketa said.

A separate blaze threatened a historic bridge as it spread about 100 miles southwest of Denver.

The Royal Gorge fire, burning about 15 miles from Canon City, had charred about 3,000 acres and was 20 percent contained Wednesday evening. The fire continued to burn among stands of juniper and pinon trees, and was expected to present a challenge to firefighters on Thursday, the Colorado Office of Emergency Management said.

Twenty structures have been destroyed by the fire, authorities said at a press conference on Wednesday night. The fire is burning on both sides of the Royal Gorge Bridge, which stretches more than 950 feet above the Arkansas River, and is surrounded by theme park attractions.

“We do know that many buildings on the property were a catastrophic loss, but an assessment of the actual damage is still unknown,” Peggy Gair, a spokeswoman for the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, told local paper the Canon City Daily Record on Wednesday. “We had an orderly evacuation yesterday afternoon around noon, so we are extremely happy to report that all employees are OK, and all guests are evacuated safely.”

The Royal Gorge fire forced the evacuation of 900 prisoners from the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility outside Canon City to other prisons on Tuesday.

“We are not 100 percent certain that any portion of that line will hold under extreme fire conditions,” Fire Information Officer Gregg Goodland said of the Royal Gorge fire on Thursday, according to the Canon City Daily Record. “We have knocked a good portion of this fire down with some great firefighting work overnight, and throughout the day yesterday, but we are not going to call any of it contained until firefighters feel more confident about that.”

Rumors these fires are being INTENTIONALLY set
Colorado Black Forest wildfire
Jun 14, 2013 -
2 found dead in area burned by Black Forest wildfire, 360 homes destroyed.
The bodies were discovered in the garage of a home that the blaze leveled. They were next to a car with its doors open, trunk packed full of belongings.
The wildfire has destroyed 360 houses northeast of Colorado Springs.
CNN has photos.
Killer Colorado wildfire feeding off wind, lightning as thousands flee

The fight against a massive, deadly wildfire in Colorado faces a new challenge Friday when isolated thunderstorms packing gusting winds and lightning – but little rain – churn into the region.

The fire, the worst in the state's history, has killed two people and made ashes of 379 homes. Thousands of Colorado Springs residents are poised for evacuation orders Friday, with about 13,000 residences affected, authorities said.

More than 38,000 people have already evacuated the area.

The Black Forest fire has raged mostly uncontrolled for days and remains only about 5 percent contained as the burn zone covered nearly 25 square miles. One of three major fires raging in Colorado, the Black Forest fire is now the most destructive on record in the state.

The two people killed by the fire appeared to have been planning to flee the area before the fire caught up with them, authorities said. Due to the fatalities, the cause of the wildfire will now be investigated as a possible homicide, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said.


Firefighters advance containment on Colo. wildfire
6/15/13 — A Colorado sheriff said firefighters "are getting the upper hand" on the most destructive wildfire in state history Saturday, an announcement that came as authorities gained a clearer picture of the grim landscape the blaze has left behind.
No additional homes were destroyed as fire crews expanded containment lines, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said. Also, there were no new reports of injury or death, he said.

The fire that exploded Tuesday outside of Colorado Springs, amid record-setting heat and tinder-dry conditions, has destroyed nearly 500 homes and killed two people, whose bodies were found inside their garage Thursday, their car doors open as though they had been about to flee.
On Saturday, worried residents waited for permission to return to their neighborhoods to see whether their homes were still standing.

Maketa said the fire's destruction has made it difficult for his deputies to assess damage.
Deputies have said "it looks like a nuclear bomb went off in some of those areas, and you can't even recognize whether it was a house or some other kind of structure," Maketa said. "That is the level of incineration and destruction that took place in some areas."

Containment is at 45 percent, an increase from 30 percent on Friday. It's unknown what sparked the blaze, but investigators believe it was human-caused. So far, it's cost more than $3.5 million to fight.
Most mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted, as the fire zone remained at 25 square miles.
Some residents have already gotten to see the damage for themselves.

Jack and Judy Roe were able to tour their neighborhood Friday, and saw to their relief that their house had been spared. Several other homes on their block, however, where destroyed.
"Our hearts were breaking for our neighbors," Judy Roe said.

Describing the scene, she said she saw charred piles of what remained of homes, with bricks the only distinguishable feature.
"But other than that, everything is black. The ground, everything is just black," she said.

Some residents were forced to evacuate so quickly they didn't have time to pack an extra change of clothes.
"This is my wardrobe," said Bob Metzger, signaling to his jeans and polo shirt. Metzger and her wife Barbara were among those who lost their house.

The site of the wildfire is only a few miles away from the state's second most destructive wildfire, the Waldo Canyon Fire, which burned last summer.

The lessons from that fire spurred a quicker response, officials said. When the latest wildfire began in Black Forest, a thickly wooded rural region north of Colorado Springs, authorities swiftly evacuated tens of thousands of people from an area larger than the Denver metropolitan area.

White House officials said Saturday that President Barack Obama called Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday to get an update on conditions and reinforce his commitment to help. The president also expressed his concern for the devastation and gave his condolences to families who have lost relatives.
Elsewhere in Colorado, fire crews worked to contain other smaller wildfires. In Canon City, 50 miles southwest of Black Forest, the Royal Gorge Fire burned 5 square miles and was 65 percent contained. A lightning-sparked fire in Rocky Mountain National Park had burned nearly 500 acres and was 30 percent contained.

Colorado Black Forest wildfire Most Destructive in Colorado History
June 16, 2013  
Fire 55% contained Sunday morming.
LIVE fires blog, Denver Post

Wildfire near Prescott continues to grow
19 Jun 2013
A nearly 11-square-mile wildfire in Arizona's Prescott National Forest is continuing to grow as more than 500 firefighters were dispatched to battle the blaze.
According to officials, 5,088 acres have burned, bringing Tuesday's estimate from 7,000 down.
The Doce Fire just west of Prescott sparked evacuations in the neighborhoods of Granite Basin Homes, Sundown Acres, Old Stage Acres, Mint Creek, and American Ranch.
Seven people evacuated spent Tuesday night at an American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter shelter at Yavapai College. So far, 460 homes have been evacuated.
Officials say air tankers and helicopters were expected to help fight the blaze Wednesday and it remained zero percent contained.
Investigators say the fire was human caused but the exact source is under investigation.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries or homes being burned.
More Homes Evacuated in Western Wildfires

Firefighters attacked dozens of blazes in Western states where hot and windy conditions persisted Thursday, including two blazes that forced hundreds of people out of their homes in Colorado.

Air and ground crews resumed work against a 500-acre fire in the Rocky Mountain foothills about 30 miles southwest of Denver that impacted more than 100 people. The Lime Gulch Fire, possibly triggered by lightning, threatened no structures in Pike National Forest.

In southern Colorado, a 300-acre fire in Huerfano County forced at least 175 people to stay at a Red Cross shelter at a high school.

In Arizona, firefighters braced for more hot, windy weather Thursday as they battled a wildfire in Prescott National Forest that scorched nearly 12 square miles. The blaze erupted Tuesday afternoon and led to the evacuation of 460 homes.

To the north, smoke from another fire that broke out Wednesday was visible from Grand Canyon National Park. No structures were immediately threatened.

A blaze in southern New Mexico's Gila National Forest has grown to 57 square miles just as firefighters finish setting up protections around a nearby historic mining town.

In Northern California, hundreds of residents returned home as crews aided by lower temperatures and higher humidity extended their lines around a wildfire near a main route into Yosemite National Park. Only about 50 homes on two mountain roads remained under evacuation orders, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. The fire, sparked Sunday by a campfire that wasn't fully put out, led to the evacuation of about 800 homes at its peak.

In Southern California, a nearly 6-square-mile fire in the San Bernardino National Forest was 83 percent contained.

The fire near Denver was burning in steep, heavily forested mountain terrain, south of where last year's Lower North Fork Fire damaged and destroyed 23 homes and killed three people. That fire was triggered by a prescribed burn that escaped containment lines.

Some residents said they were ready to leave in minutes, having practiced fire evacuations after the Lower North Fork Fire.

Karalyn Pytel was at home vacuuming when her husband called, saying he had received an alert on his cellphone telling the family to leave. She quickly grabbed her 6-year-old daughter's favorite blanket, a laptop computer, a jewelry box and some family heirlooms before fleeing.

"I grabbed a laundry basket and just threw stuff in it. I don't even know what clothes they are," Pytel said as she arrived at an evacuation center.

Firefighters were aided by two U.S. Air Force Reserve C-130s.

The planes also were used at a 22-square-mile wildfire near Colorado Springs that has destroyed 509 homes and killed two people since it started June 11.

In southwestern Colorado, two backcountry fires started by lightning last week and fueled by large swaths of beetle-killed trees swelled in Wednesday's heat and wind.

The largest, the West Fork Fire, nearly tripled in size to nearly 19 square miles, while the 700-acre Windy Pass Fire grew to within a quarter-mile of buildings on the south side of the Wolf Creek Ski Area. Firefighters have largely let the fires burn but were working to keep them away from the ski resort now that the area burning has fewer dead trees and some open spaces, fire spokeswoman Anne Jeffery said Thursday.

Some summer cabins are threatened by the fire, but no communities were in immediate danger.

In Colorado's northwest corner, an 850-acre wildfire in Rio Blanco County forced Encana Corp. to shut down oil and gas facilities, the Bureau of Land Management said. Firefighters protecting buildings at an Encana station spotted embers up to a half-mile away from the blaze.

Utah-Colorado-Arizona-New Mexico 4 corners wildfires
Double-barrel conditions of wind, dry air feed wildfires fury
June 20, 2013
What may already be the worst fire season for parts of the West is only going to get worse.
Thursday morning, The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for thousands of square miles in five states as windy, dry conditions persist to fuel fires in the area.

A red-flag warning is posted when a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures create extreme fire growth potential.
“The conditions are not friendly for fighting fires,” said Tom Moore, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. “It makes it easy for fires to happen because we’ve got that double-barrel problem of dry air and wind.”

Thursday is projected to be especially dangerous. As the day dawned, there were already 19 “large incident” fires burning throughout the four-corner state region of Utah-Colorado-Arizona-New Mexico, according to NBC Meteorologist Bill Karins. Winds are forecast to pick up to 40 mph later in the afternoon.
This fire season is especially bad for areas like New Mexico and Colorado as well as parts of California. Moore said drought-like conditions and a minimal chance of rain in the area make it just right for more dangerous fires.

“This problem is going to get a whole lot worse,” he said. “The conditions are so prone to having fires start and then
all you need is windy conditions to have them spread. I think we’re going to be dealing with this all summer long in this region.”

Blazes have already destroyed thousands of acres, forced hundreds of families to evacuate their homes and hospitalized some people for heat-related illnesses.
And that’s not the only bad news for the area. Moore said he thinks the fire season, which usually lasts the summer months of June to September, has gotten longer over the past few years.
“We’re fair game for these fires now from April to November,” he said.

Hundreds driven from homes as Colorado West Fork wildfire spreads
6/22/13  Hundreds of people were driven from their homes in the town of South Fork, Colo., as a cluster of roaring wildfires – collectively known as the West Fork Complex fire – scorched its way through the southern part of the state.
Together, the fires span over 53,000 acres, said Mike Blakeman, a spokesman for the Rio Grande National Forest.
They are the latest in a string of raging fires that have plagued the western United States this season.

The Black Forest fire, the most destructive in Colorado state history, was fully contained on Friday, but other fires continue to blaze. Arizona’s Doce Fire, which started on Tuesday and now spans almost 7,000 acres is only 15 percent contained.
As of Saturday, the West Fork Fire – the largest of the West Fork Complex – had grown to 42,500 acres, according to Blakeman.

Colorado wildfire grows as blazes continue to threaten West
6/23/13  The largest wildfire in Colorado grew over the weekend and officials on Sunday said the massive blaze now covers 110 square miles of the state's open forests.
Although the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history was mostly contained last week, the state and parts of the South West were still experiencing a rash of wildfires on Sunday.

Eleven active fires are currently burning through 139 square miles of Colorado, state emergency officials said. The largest burning fire started on June 5 and was combined into a complex fire on June 16.
The West Fork Complex Fire includes the West Fork, Windy Pass and Papoose wildfires and additional personnel were dispatched on Saturday to keep the fire from spreading to residential and tourist areas.

The town of South Fork, which usually only has 500 residents but swells with summer tourists and cabin-owners, has been evacuated, according to Steve Till, a spokesman for the National Incident Management Organization.
Officials said it was doubtful fire crews could establish any containment lines until there's a break in the weather, possibly Tuesday, because the fire is being fueled by dried timber and the terrain is steep and uneven.

And while the West Fork Complex fire was the largest burning through the region as of Sunday, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Utah are also struggling to squelch wildfires of their own. Some of the fires have been active for almost three weeks and 19 persist in the state of California.
The second largest fire by acreage burns in New Mexico and is only 20 percent contained according to officials on Sunday.

Low humidity, high wind speeds and little precipitation have caused many areas of the five threatened states to be under "red flag" warnings for wildfires. Although lightning reportedly caused a majority of the fires, human actions are being considered as possible causes for a portion of them.
Residents flee storied Colorado retreat as wildfire doubles in size

DEL NORTE, Colo. - Tourists and business owners forced to flee a popular summer retreat in the southwestern Colorado mountains resigned themselves to a long wait as fire officials declined to speculate when they might be able to reign in an unprecedented and erratic blaze raging through the Rio Grande National Forest.

The fire more than doubled in size over the weekend, growing to an estimated 114 miles by Sunday night, authorities said.  And heavy winds fanning drought-stricken, beetle-killed forest showed no signs of relenting before Tuesday, fire officials said. "They just said they had no idea how long it would be before we could back in South Fork," said Mike Duffy, who owns the South Fork Lodge.

Duffy said he and his wife, Mary, were able to get their personal possessions before fleeing fast-advancing flames that officials on Friday feared would overtake the town. But with the fire still within three miles of South Fork, they are worried about the long-term impact of a prolong evacuation and news reports about the massive blaze threatening the tourism-dependent town. Summer visitors include many retirees from Texas and Oklahoma who come to the mountains to flee the heat.

"Here we are the 23rd of June. We had to tell people not to come because we are not there," Duffy said. "I just don't how much more of an affect it will have. Everyone's bottom line is going to get tagged by this. ... You still have to pay your property taxes whether you make money or not."


ARIZONA wildfire kills 19 firefighters
July 1, 2013
May GOD have mercy on their souls and their families!
19 firefighters have died in the Yarnell Hill Fire NW of Phoenix, that has ripped through half of the town and sent residents to Prescott for safety.
They were found with 19 fire shelters deployed, some were inside.
Gusty, hot winds blew an Arizona blaze out of control Sunday, overtaking and killing 19 members of an elite hotshot fire crew.
The fire started by lightning destroyed 200 homes.
Two small towns were evacuated after the blaze, carried by high winds amid torrid temperatures.

ARIZONA wildfire kills 19 firefighters
July 1, 2013
May GOD have mercy on their souls and their families!
19 firefighters have died in the Yarnell Hill Fire NW of Phoenix, that has ripped through half of the town and sent residents to Prescott for safety.
They were found with 19 fire shelters deployed, some were inside.
Gusty, hot winds blew an Arizona blaze out of control Sunday, overtaking and killing 19 members of an elite hotshot fire crew.
The fire started by lightning destroyed 200 homes.
Two small towns were evacuated after the blaze, carried by high winds amid torrid temperatures.


19 firefighters dead in AZ, lotta pics

Wrath of GOD * Fires, heat
July 1, 2013
A heat wave punishing several Western states brought record temperatures to Death Valley and Las Vegas.
128 degrees Sunday in Death Valley National Park, 117 in Las Vegas,
A wildfire in Yarnell AZ north of Phoenix overtook and killed 19 firefighters.

Investigation begins
July 2, 2013
Authorities have launched an investigation into the wildfire that killed 19 Arizona firefighters.
The Yarnell Hill fire is burning out of control 80 miles (130km) north-west of Phoenix, having scorched 8,400 acres

Firemen had deployed shelters

Words can't describe the loss

20 were on that team. One survived because he was moving the truck.  Imagine how he feels.
My heart goes out to them all.

Candlelight vigil honors fallen Arizona firefighters.
550 firefighters battled a deadly blaze in nearby Yarnell, about 3,000 people gathered at the high school football field to honor the 19 firefighters who died on the fire line.  People held handmade signs reading, "We stand united," "We love our 19 heroes," or simply "19." Many wore purple ribbons and clothes in memory of the fallen.

Many of the firefighters who died were in their 20s. Some had young families.  "We will tell their children for years to come, 'Your daddy is a hero,'" Dickerson said. "Your loved ones laid down their lives. Tonight you are loved by their community.",0,4194891.story

Team's lookout ID'd as sole survivor in Arizona blaze that killed 19 hotshot firefighters.
The lone survivor from the elite 20-man Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew that suffered 19 deaths as members sought shelter from the fierce flames of wildfire near Yarnell, Ariz., was identified as the crew’s lookout and was away from the others at the time when winds changed the fire's direction.

Brendan McDonough, 21, was assigned to give a "heads-up on the hillside" Sunday for the team. He notified the crew of the changing conditions before leaving his post.

He did exactly what he was supposed to.

Ward said a lookout searches for trigger points and decides whether to move to a different location.  He said McDonough radioed the crew that he reached the trigger point and was headed to safety. He asked them to contact him if they needed anything, Ward said. The fire continued to spread and he was taken to a safety zone.

Ward said McDonough acted by the book. He even alerted the crew to the sudden change in wind direction, Ward said.

“I can tell you that Brendan has no desire to speak to anybody at this point,” Ward said. “He is trying to deal with the same things that we are all trying to deal with but you can understand that that is compounded by being on the scene I ask you please respect him and his privacy.”

Official standards say fire crews battling a wildfire should identify escape routes and safe zones and that crews should pay attention to weather forecasts and post lookouts. McDonough on Sunday was assigned to provide situational awareness to the crew throughout the day.

The blaze grew from 200 acres to about 2,000 in a matter of hours.
Weather reports from around the time of the firefighter deaths show how volatile the wind became. At 4 p.m., the wind was blowing out of the southwest, but one hour later, it had switched to the exact opposite direction and dramatically increased in speed. It was gusting at 22 mph at 4 p.m. but was at 41 mph by 5 p.m.  MORE on link

Arizona wildfire burning out
July 4, 2013
is slowly burning itself out, though hundreds of evacuated residents remain out of their homes and hot spots still exist, fire officials said on Thursday.
The fire is expected to continue to shrink over the July 4 holiday as more than 600 firefighters dig breaks to contain the 8,400-acre blaze.

Photo of bodies covred by US flags

HEAT WAVE USA * Temperature to soar Arizona, West

Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona wildfires

ARIZONA dust storms

ARIZONA wildfires 2011

Add Idaho to the list on the thread title...
Idaho wildfires spur hundreds of evacuations

Firefighters and residents are scrambling to protect property from two fast-moving blazes.


PINE, Idaho (AP) — Two fast-growing wildfires have burned more than 310 square miles of land in south-central Idaho and the smaller of the two forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes near Pine, a small mountain town besieged by fires for the second straight summer.

The lightning-caused fires started late last week and have led to the closure of more than 1,200-square-miles of Boise National Forest land. The blazes have also prompted evacuations from the small communities of Prairie and Mayfield.

One of those fires, the Elk Complex Fire, has so far charred more than 125-square-miles and is now the nation's top wildfire priority, according to federal wildfire officials. The second collection of fires, the Pony Complex, is less than 50 miles away and so far has scorched more than 187 square miles and has burned two cabins and an outbuilding.

Fire officials say dozens of livestock are missing and about 20 buildings had been damaged in the Elk Complex blaze, which fueled by winds moved quickly through the region's dry forests.

"It ran 6 miles yesterday," said Madonna Lengerich, a spokeswoman for the Elk Complex. "The plume was just unbelievably huge yesterday."

Last year, the massive Trinity Ridge Fire burned thousands of acres in the same region and forced hundreds of residents and recreationists to evacuate in and around the town of Featherville, just a few miles from Pine.

On Sunday, Elmore County sheriff's deputies went from house to house between Pine and Featherville, knocking on doors to alert residents to begin clearing out of the area.

Firefighters helped residents clear brush around their homes and filled large plastic "pumpkins," or pools, with thousands of gallons of water, then connected hoses from the pumpkins to the sprinkler systems in an effort to protect property. For residents, the fire activity this season seems more imposing than the flames that moved so close to town a year ago.

"This is horrible," said Danielle Stem, who sat with family and friends in the parking lot of the Pine Resort Cafe & Cocktails. "Last year's was slow-moving. This year, it's on us."
Hundreds evacuated as enormous Idaho Elk Fire spreads

Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate their homes after a raging wildfire that has already charred almost 100,000 acres began to nip at the edges of two Idaho mountain resort towns.

The lightning-sparked blaze dubbed the Elk Fire has already gobbled up around a dozen homes in the towns of Pine and Featherville, and authorities have intensified calls for more people to leave.

The fire that started last Thursday is a "top priority," according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

"This is a more serious situation. We might be hopeful about protecting Pine and Featherville again, but it's a different beast," fire spokesman David Eaker told Reuters.

It is the second time in two years that the towns, about 70 miles east of Boise, have been ordered emptied over fires burning in the Boise National Forest.

Officials said some residents may be staying because of a false sense of security fostered by the successful defense of the towns last year.

The count was hampered because many of the homes are owned by summer residents who do not live there year round.

Hundreds of firefighters have been assigned to tackle the blaze -- whose threats are compounded by steep, rugged terrain, low humidity, gusting winds and thick smoke, authorities said.

But they will not be aided by the weather, according to Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist at

"Overall the weather is not going to be very helpful," he said. "It's going to be very warm and quite dry, so the humidity is going to be very low. These two conditions help the fire to spread. Also there is no threat of rain over the next seven to 10 days."

"They are going to have temperatures well into the 90's, so dry and hot."  

The West has already suffered a series of destructive wildfires in 2013. Colorado experienced the most destructive wildfire in its history in June, which killed two and destroyed about 500 structures. As that fire burned, 11 other fires plagued the state and more threatened other parts of the Southwest.

The following month, 19 heavily trained Hotshot firefighters were killed in the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona.

44 wildfires rage across 11 states - and more could be on the way

Weather forecasters warned Thursday that more wildfires could break out as firefighters battled 44 large blazes from Alaska to Arizona.

The National Weather Service said early Thursday that wildfires could break out in parts of Utah and Idaho. “Any fires are expected to exhibit extreme fire behavior,” it said.

A warning for Hawaii issued Wednesday remained in effect with dangerous conditions expected Thursday afternoon.

The National Interagency Fire Center said in a notice posted Wednesday that five large new fires had been reported with two in Idaho and one each in Utah, Wyoming and Montana.

Overall Idaho was dealing with nine wildfires, followed by Alaska with eight and Oregon with six. California has five, Washington and Utah four, Montana three, Wyoming two, and Arizona, Colorado and Nevada each have one.

The fire center said 3,073,404 acres had been burned by fire from the start of the year to Wednesday, compared to 6,016,199 acres over the same period last year.

The Forest Service issued a map showing the location of the wildfires throughout the country Wednesday.

The massive Elk Complex wildfire in Idaho has now burned 111,977 acres, the Forest Service said in a notice Thursday, adding this was a 14 percent increase on Wednesday.

It was 25 percent contained, the notice said, adding it was not expected to be fully contained until Oct. 1

The blaze, which was started by lightning, has destroyed 71 structures, including at least a dozen homes, authorities told Reuters on Wednesday.

Much of the destruction wreaked by the fire was in a housing development near the town of Pine that is home to 53 of the structures lost, fire information officer David Eaker told Reuters Wednesday. Residents of the town of Featherville were urged to leave before it was too late.

"We are cautiously optimistic about what we can do to defend the towns but Mother Nature is in charge and she can deal some pretty rough cards," Eaker told the wire service.

The Rockport 5 wildfire near Park City, Utah, has destroyed 13 homes and is threatening hundreds of others, The Associated Press reported.

Shifting winds in Utah pushed the fire toward homes in the Lake Rockport Estates subdivision about 10 miles outside Park City.

The fire had grown to more than 2,000 acres by Wednesday evening. It was 25 percent contained, according to Summit Wildfire Information.

Idaho wildfire spreads to 92,000 acres as more than a thousand homes evacuated
8/17/13  Firefighters in Hailey, Idaho, were battling the raging Beaver Creek Fire on Saturday as the blaze entered its tenth day and forced more than 1,000 people from their homes.
The inferno was burning at 92,000 acres Saturday, up from 64,000 on Friday, officials said early in the day, but no homes have been lost so far in the blaze.

More than 600 state and federal firefighters are attempting to put out the fire with a combination of ground and air support, officials said, but the struggle to quench the blaze has been hampered as they also work to control nine other large wildfires that have sprung up in the area.

The fire was 6% contained Saturday.
Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter issued a disaster declaration Friday evening, and assigned the Idaho National Guard to provide support to contain the fire, NBC News affiliate KTVB reported.
Authorities in Blaine County told KTVB that most people have been cooperative as authorities worked to evacuate areas near the fire on Friday. More than 1,300 homes have been ordered to evacuate, Blaine County spokeswoman Bronwyn Nickel said, according to Reuters.

“We’re overwhelmed really with doing evacuations, so we’re basically doing it by phone, and then we’re following up going door to door,” Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey told KTVB. “People have been very receptive and a majority of people are leaving, of course there’s always a few who want to stay, and I hope they don’t endanger anybody by staying.”
The wildfire was ignited by lighting on Aug. 7, according to officials. Gusty winds and low humidity have made the fire unpredictable and caused it to expand rapidly, officials said.

“Conditions are changing rapidly, the fire is fast and furious,” Nickel said on Friday, according to Reuters.
The National Weather Service forecasts that such conditions will continue over the weekend. Officials in Hailey called for even more evacuations Saturday morning.

To the west of the Beaver Creek Fire, the Elk Complex Fire had burned more than 125,000 acres and reduced at least 38 homes to cinders by Friday. Mike and Cathy Weil, residents of Pine, Idaho, sat outside as the flames approached their house, then set their shed and a tree on their property aflame, according to KTVB.
“It was just me, the Lord and a garden house,” Mike Weil told the station. “That’s what I had right there. Not too terribly bad, but not much against what we had out here.”

Video: Wildfire threatens Idaho resort towns

10,000 homes threatened as Idaho wildfire spreads to 92,000 acres
8/18/13  A raging wildfire near the upscale Idaho ski town of Ketchum early Sunday was threatening over 10,000 homes at it burned nearly 93,000 acres on its 11th day.
The number of residences evacuated by the Beaver Creek Fire had risen to more than 2,300 by Saturday evening, even as crews made some progress on the wildfire's south end along the borders of darkened foothills west of the resort town of Hailey.

The fire is 6 percent contained.
On Saturday, five more “hotshot” crews arrived in the affluent region where celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis own homes. More are expected to over the course of the weekend to continue focusing on protecting homes in a sparsely populated county.

Evacuation zones were expanded to areas north of Ketchum, and in the evening, residents of West Ketchum were put on notice that they might ordered to flee. Some 7,700 homes were under pre-evacuation notice, NBC station KTVB of Boise reported. The Sun Valley ski resort is also at risk.

More than 800 state and federal firefighters were trying to put out the fire with air support, said officials who are also dealing with nine other large wildfires in the region. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter issued a disaster declaration Friday evening and assigned the Idaho National Guard to provide support, KTVB reported.

“We’re overwhelmed really with doing evacuations, so we’re basically doing it by phone, and then we’re following up going door to door,” Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey told KTVB. “People have been very receptive and a majority of people are leaving, of course there’s always a few who want to stay, and I hope they don’t endanger anybody by staying.”

The wildfire was ignited by lighting on Aug. 7, according to officials. Gusty winds and low humidity have made the fire unpredictable and caused it to expand rapidly, officials said. Temperatures were in the 90s on Saturday.
The National Weather Service forecasts that such conditions will continue over the weekend.

The Beaver Creek Fire has claimed one primary residence, one bunkhouse and six other buildings, federal fire information officer Sandy Miller told Reuters.
"A lot of people are just watching the fire and our customers are talking about nothing else," Alexis Sualez, barista at Zaney's River Street Coffee House in Hailey, told Reuters. "People are pretty worried."

To the west of the Beaver Creek Fire, the Elk Complex Fire had burned more than 125,000 acres and reduced at least 38 homes to cinders by Friday. Mike and Cathy Weil, residents of Pine, Idaho, sat outside as the flames approached their house, then set their shed and a tree on their property aflame, according to KTVB.
“It was just me, the Lord and a garden house,” Mike Weil told the station. “That’s what I had right there. Not too terribly bad, but not much against what we had out here.”

Idaho wildfire  
Aug 19, 2013
 Firefighters gain foothold against monster Idaho blaze
Beaver Creek Fire wildfire has scorched 160 square miles and forced the evacuation of 2,300 homes near Sun Valley in central Idaho.
The fire started Aug. 7 and is 9% contained.

Idaho fire spreads to 126,000 acres, threatens luxury resort homes
Aug 19, 2013
More than 10,000 homes are threatened by a furious Idaho wildfire, including getaways owned by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis, after an all-out "ground and air attack" failed to stop the blaze spreading to more than 126,000 acres, according to latest reports from the U.S. Forest Service.
"Take your essentials, belongs and pets and GO NOW," a news release on inciweb warned those in the path of the lightning-sparked Beaver Creek fire.

[b]Despite an army of more than 1,200 firefighters,  the blaze continues to spread across parched sagebrush, grasslands and pine forests in the Sun Valley area
"Every fire has a personality, and this fire has an angry personality," Beth Lund, and incident commander with the U.S. Forest Service team managing the blaze in central Idaho told Reuters.

More than 10,000 homes near the towns of Hailey and Ketchum remain threatened by the blaze, including luxury getaways owned by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis.
The fire that has been burning for more than 12 days, scorching an area larger than the city of Denver, has already forced 2,250 homes into a mandatory evacuation order.
Another 7,700 homes are under what is known as pre-evacuation, giving them time to pack up essential belongings and get ready to go at a moment's notice if the fire grows closer.

At the Sun Valley Resort, an all-season vacation getaway famed for its world-class skiing, workers turned on water cannons usually used to make snow to wet down a mountain whose southeastern face was the scene of a concentrated assault by firefighters.
"We've fired up the snow-making guns," resort spokesman Jack Sibbach, told The Associated Press.

Red-flag conditions, including higher temperatures and wind gusts up to 38 miles per hour did not help firefighters tackling the blaze. And Kevin Noth, lead meteorologist at, said that conditions Monday and Tuesday -- including temperatures pushing into the 90s -- would continue to “hinder” firefighters.
“There will be more hot and dry weather for the region,” he said.
“So highs will be well into the 80s and a few into the lower 90s. Humidity will also be down, so it will be dry, so that will allow the fire to grow more quickly and it nwill be harder for them to contain.”
“There’s better news coming,” he added. “It looks like more clouds and higher humidity for midweek. There might also be some thunderstorms, which could bring some rain -- but the possibility of lightning too.”  

Retardant was dropped Sunday on the flank of Bald Mountain — the Sun Valley Resort's primary ski hill — to reinforce a fire line, fire spokeswoman Shawna Hartman told KTVB.
That meant the famed ski mountain known as "Baldy" and often used in publicity photos would have a red line of retardant visible from Ketchum.

Hartman expressed cautious optimism about their prospects for curtailing the blaze in the next week.
"Today they're very optimistic that we will reinforce those lines in case the fire does flare up as we saw on Thursday and Friday,"  Hartman told the KTVB.
About 20 Idaho National Guardsmen arrived in Hailey on Sunday to assist sheriff's deputies with road blocks, the station reported.

The West has already suffered a series of destructive wildfires in 2013. Colorado experienced the most destructive wildfire in its history in June, which killed two and destroyed about 500 structures. As that fire burned, 11 other fires plagued the state and more threatened other parts of the Southwest.
The following month, 19 heavily trained Hotshot firefighters were killed in the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona.

According to DEBORAH TAVARES (of, these massive forest fires on the West Coast recently are due to dumping of heavy metals from geoengineering.

Floods may add to woes in wildfire-hit Idaho
8/20/13  Officials battling a massive Idaho wildfire warned that thunderstorms forecast for Tuesday could trigger floods in the area already devastated by the "beast" of a blaze.
“If a storm moves over the fire and dumps a lot of rain in a short amount of time then that could be a flood risk,” Blaine County officials tweeted.
A huge aerial assault and favorable weather helped firefighters “make hay” against the fire threatening thousands of homes in central Idaho, including luxury celebrity getaways owned by Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis, authorities said Monday.

The 1200 strong firefighting force, aided by the arrival of more crews from Louisiana, said they were making headway against the lightening sparked blaze, which has scorched more than 100,004 acres in 13 days.

It remains around 8 percent contained, according to inciweb.
“We made some hay today,” said John Kennedy, an operations branch chief on the fire around Hailey and south Ketchum, told the Idaho Statesman.
This allowed the Blaine County Sheriff to lift pre-evacuation status for portions of Ketchum and Sun Valley from 5:30 p.m. local time (7:30 p.m. ET).

About 1,850 homes remained under a mandatory evacuation from the fire which has cost $9.3 million to date, according to the Twin Falls Times-News.
At least 13 other large fires were burning Monday in Idaho, four of them in the same Sawtooth Wilderness area as the Beaver Creek Fire, the state Bureau of Homeland Security said.

The largest, dubbed Little Queens, had spread to about 7,000 acres northwest of the tiny town of Atlanta, where the Elmore County Sheriff's Office ordered a mandatory evacuation Monday.
"It's a little frightening, but you just take it in stride. It's been a dry, dry year," Evelyn Cramer one of several in the town’s 35 full-time residents who are evacuating, told KTVB.  

Elsewhere, the 131,000-acre Elk Complex Fire in Boise National Forest was being brought under control Monday, authorities said.
The West has already suffered a series of destructive wildfires in 2013. Colorado experienced the most destructive wildfire in its history in June, which killed two and destroyed about 500 structures. As that fire burned, 11 other fires plagued the state, and more threatened other parts of the Southwest.

The following month, 19 heavily trained Hotshot firefighters were killed in the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona.
Even amid the destruction, 2013 is shaping up to be below average in terms of the number wildfires and their size.
According to the National Fire Information Center and the National Interagency Fire Center, 31,683 fires had burned 3.3 million acres this season through Sunday. That compares to a 10-year, year-to-date average of 52,700 fires and 5.4 million acres.

According to DEBORAH TAVARES (of, these massive
forest fires on the West Coast recently are due to dumping of heavy metals from geoengineering.
Spending to fight raging wildfires tops $1 billion

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Wildfires burning in Oregon, Idaho and Montana are taxing national firefighting resources and helping to push spending past $1 billion for the year.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise upped the national wildfire preparedness level Tuesday to the highest level for the first time in five years.

The center lists two central Idaho wildfires as the country's top priorities, helping provide crews and resources for the Beaver Creek fire, which forced the evacuation of 1,250 homes in the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley and has cost nearly $12 million so far.

President Barack Obama was briefed Tuesday morning on the wildfires by his homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco. The White House said the administration's focus is on supporting state and local first responders and that Obama's team is in ongoing contact with federal and local partners.

More than 40 uncontained, active and large wildfires dot the U.S. map from Arizona to Washington state and Alaska, the White House said. About 17,800 people have been dispatched to the fires.

Steve Gage, assistant director of operations for the fire center, said they can't fill all the requests for crews and equipment from the 48 fires that remain uncontained around the country.

Gage said as fire season progresses, the center moves crews around to where the greatest assets like houses are threatened, and tries to have crews positioned to catch new fires when they are small.

In Oregon, winds that draw windsurfers to the Columbia Gorge have doubled the size of a wildfire to 10 square miles. The Government Flat fire burned two homes and threatens 150 more on the northern flanks of Mount Hood. Four days into the battle the cost has topped $1 million, said Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Dave Morman. About 50 homes have evacuated in the area of canyons 10 miles southwest of The Dalles.

"That's one of the challenges when the fire gets into these long canyons, it's very, very difficult for firefighters," he said.

The boost in priority for Idaho's Beaver Creek fire gave fire managers resources they needed to start attacking the fire more directly, said fire spokesman Rudy Evenson. Weather conditions were also improving. The fire was 9 percent contained after burning 160 square miles and had 1,750 personnel. The cost through Monday was $11.6 million.

Nationally, federal agencies have spent more than $1 billion so far this year, about half last year's total of $1.9 billion, according to the fire center. There have been 33,000 fires that have burned 3.4 million acres.

Whether costs top the 10-year average of $1.4 billion or the $1.9 billion spent in 2012 and 2006 will depend on the rest of the wildfire season, which traditionally gets very active in Southern California as late as October, said Gage.

Professor Norman Christensen of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, an expert in the environmental impacts of forest fires, said fires have been particularly intense in Colorado, California and Idaho this year.

"Certainly drought in some areas has contributed to the number and intensity of fire events," he said in an email. "But many of the fires have been in highly populated, wilderness-urban interface areas such as Colorado Springs, Sun Valley, Idaho, and the west slope of the Sierra Nevada. That adds greatly to costs since so many more resources are required to protect built structures."

Jason Sibold, assistant professor of biogeography at Colorado State University, said since the 1990s, the climate has been changing, producing hotter, drier and longer summers in the West. That combined with more people building vacation homes in the woods pushes up costs.

"The societal demand to try to control and fight these fires is escalating at the same pace as the climate's warming," he said.

Despite firefighting efforts, 963 homes and 30 commercial buildings have burned this year, according to the fire center. And 30 firefighters have died in the effort, including 19 hotshots at Yarnell, Ariz. The annual average is 17 dead over the past 10 years.

The high monetary costs come despite a 5 percent cut in firefighting budgets due to the federal spending cuts known as sequestration, which eliminated 500 firefighters and 50 wildland fire engines this year. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service has yet to activate a new generation of air tankers provided by private contractors, intended to deliver bigger payloads faster.

In Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency for 31 counties, allowing the use of National Guard resources.

Wind gusts pushed two lightning-caused fires to a combined 5,000 acres, or nearly 8 square miles near Lolo in southwestern Montana. The fires burned several structures and caused residents to flee.

The rapidly spreading fires west of Lolo are a game changer that promises to stretch resources thin, Bullock told the Missoulian newspaper.

Problem, Reaction, Solution...
Drones can change the fight against wildfires

In their losing battle against wildfires, drones could be a firefighter's ace in the hole.

Wildfires have grown in number and size, but fighting them has remained an old-school game that sometimes relies on paper maps and gut feelings.

Accessing new technology in rural areas where forest fires rage has been a challenge, but the use of new unmanned drones could drastically change the nature of the fight.

"We can get more information for less cost, and it doesn't put anyone in harm's way," said Sher Schranz, a project manager at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who researches fire weather modeling.

Fighting wildfires is a tricky game, since the direction and intensity of the massive blazes can change in seconds. Drones can help in two ways: They can safely gather more information about fire conditions than is currently available, and they can send that information to firefighters on the ground quickly.

Today, firefighters are often sent out with tablets and smartphones so they can be updated about conditions, but those devices don't help if Internet service is weak or non-existent -- which is likely, as wildfires typically rage in rural areas where rough terrain keeps firefighters out of signal range.

Drones can hover over dead zones, providing an Internet signal. That's something researchers are making a priority, said Tim Sexton, the program manager at the Wildland Fire Management Research Development and Applications Program.

Where Internet connections are available, great information about fires can be disseminated to firefighters. Internet-based tools can help calculate the risk of a fire reaching homes or other structures, and they can determine how fires may move, depending on the weather. Currently, firefighters hike up to a ridge where they can get an Internet connection, or they'll work with the local telecom company to set up portable cell towers.

But when those Web-based modeling systems aren't available, firefighters rely on "gut feelings" from those who knew the area well, Sexton said. Without an Internet connection, they have to rely on data they received that morning, which was likely gathered late the night before

Information available to firefighters is often so out-of-date, because manned airplanes and helicopter flights that take pictures and infrared images to map the fire perimeter are costly and risky, so they only fly over a fire once or twice a day.

Drones, on the other hand, are comparatively cheaper, and more than one can be launched at once. Schranz estimates that a drone can cost as little as $2,000 for an eight-hour flight -- the same price for just one hour of a manned flight.

"Drones can sit up there all day long, or for days," said Sexton.

Drones aren't quite ready to assist in fire suppression, since the fire community is still in the early stages of making sure the technology is applied effectively and safely, said Erin Darboven from the Department of Interior. Unmanned aerial systems are strictly regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Fifty years ago, photos taken from a plane above would have to be dropped in a tube to firefighters below, said Sexton. The process is a lot more advanced today, but drones could be a tool that gives firefighters an edge up in the battle against wildfires.

Fires burn in Yellowstone and near Yosemite
21 Aug 2013
- Four wildfires were burning in Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday, the 25th anniversary of a devastating day in 1988 when massive wildfires in the park suddenly grew by tens of thousands of acres.
The fires now burning in Yellowstone, all of them in Wyoming's corner of the park, are minimal compared with those of 1988, which ended up affecting almost 800,000 acres -- or 36 percent -- of park territory.

The largest wildfire Tuesday was the 4,500-acre Alum Fire, burning near the center of the park near Mud Volcano. The lighting-caused fire was discovered last Wednesday and grew quickly over the weekend, but it had limited activity Tuesday, according to InciWeb, a federal website that collects information from agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
The Alum Fire forced a temporary road closure from Canyon Village south to Fishing Bridge, but all other roads leading into and through the park, along with all campgrounds and services, were open, the park said. There were no imminent evacuations for any part of the park.

Incredible footage shows ‘firenado’ spawning from intense Alaskan wildfire
21 Aug 2013
Tornadoes are dangerous enough on their own that you don't really need to add things like sharks or fire to them to make them scary, but whereas a 'sharknado' isn't possible (at least not with living, biting sharks), a fire tornado is!
Fire spotters flying the perimeter of the Tetlin Junction Ridge Fire, currently consuming over 20,000 acres of forest in southeastern Alaska, captured footage of what they reported as a 'tornado-strength fire whirl':

According to the description below the YouTube clip, Tim Whitesell, the Air Tactical Supervisor with the Alaska Division of Forestry who recorded the footage, wrote: "a picture probably is worth a thousand words, but there are indeed times when a picture just doesn't do it [the trees being uprooted and blown around] justice. I've never seen anything like it until now."

This 'firenado' was reported to be around 1.2 km wide, and it lasted for about an hour, uprooting trees and tossing them around. You can see this debris being blown about at roughly 1:17 and then again closer to the end of the video.

Firenadoes (more generally called fire whirls) are fairly common, but they're not often captured on film or in video. They form due to the intense heat of the fire setting up extremely strong circulations of rising air. No wind speeds were estimated for this particular firenado, but some of the strongest ones have reached up to F3 tornado strength, with wind speeds of between 254–332 km/h!

Feds running out of money to fight wildfires
Running out of money to fight wildfires at the peak of the season, the U.S. Forest Service is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap.
The nation's top wildfire-fighting agency was down to $50 million after spending $967 million so far this year, Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers said Wednesday in an email.
Chambers says the $50 million the Forest Service has left is typically enough to pay for just a few days of fighting fires when the nation is at its top wildfire preparedness level, which went into effect Tuesday.
There are 51 large uncontained fires burning across the nation, making it tough to meet demands for fire crews and equipment.
'State of emergency' declared over Yosemite fire

With the Rim Fire burning near Yosemite National Park at near lightning speeds, the number of evacuations grew on Thursday, as did the number of acres of forest - the size of the fire nearly tripled in a day's time, sparking an urgent "state of emergency" plea.

Thursday afternoon, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation for the Rim Fire in Tuolumne County.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday,  the fire's acreage in the Stanislaus National Forest stood at nearly 54,000 acres, or 84 square miles, up  from 16,000 acres, or 25 square miles, on Wednesday. In other words, the fire is now nearly twice the size of San Francisco.

Also, the containment dropped to 2 percent from 5 percent the day before, and the cost to date to fight it is $2.8 million.

Jessica Cannon of Oakland, who was supposed to have headed up to Camp Tawonga, five miles away from the fire,  worried for the camp property. The family camp she has attended for years canceled its program this weekend.

"It's definitely in my mind," Cannon said, referring to the camp she has attended for years. "It's a beautiful place, I hope everything's OK."

Many who live closer to Tuolomne and Mariposa counties, where people have been asked to leave if they live too close to the fire, were praying firefighters would soon get a handle on the flames. The latest voluntary evacuations came Wednesday for the 2,800-person community of Pine Mountain Lake.

“I’m hoping it will stop,” said Robin Temple, who lives nearby. “My grandson is helping fight it.”

Others were trying to put the blaze - and living in the wilderness - in perspective.

"There are things that aren't replacable, but that's the way it is,"  John Ziomek of Groveland, Calif.,  told NBC Bay Area. "As long as you get out with your health."

The city of San Francisco officially declared a State of Emergency due to the fire. City officials said the fire damaged power and communications assets owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) as part of the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System.

The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park provides water to 2.6 million Bay Area residents and businesses, as well as hydroelectric power for City services

“This measure ensures we do everything we can to support those fighting this fire and protect city property," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said.

City officials said so far there are no impacts to water quality, water delivery, and water supply for the Bay Area.

It is seeking additional power supplies to replace any hydropower plants that have been knocked off line because of the fire.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors held an emergency meeting  saying in a resolution that the fire "is now directly threatening various communities and businesses within the County and is beyond our capabilities," according to the Modesto Bee.

In addition, 2,500 structures remain threatened because of the hot flames ripping through the tinder-like brush and oak and pine trees. Temperatures have been in the high 80s and low 90s, and the humidity has been about 50 to 60 percent.

Earlier this week, officials closed a four-mile stretch of  Highway 120 into Yosemite National Park, though the park itself remained opened.  Visitors could take a detour into the park using state Routes 140 and 4. Those closures were still in effect on Thursday.

On Tuesday, camps frequented by Bay Area residents such as Camp Tawonga, San Jose Family Camp, Berkeley Tuolumne Camp and San Francisco’s Mather Camp were also asked to evacuate and shut down their programs.

Why and how the fire started is still under investigation.

According to an incident command page,  the fire is a bear to fight. The terrain is “inaccessible” and steep, and the smoke within the deep drainage of the Clavey River is a cause of concern for firefighters. The fire is spreading up the Tuolumne River canyon.

More than 1,350 personnel - up from 900 on Wednesday - were braving the fire. Those include several units from the Bay Area, including firefighters from Berkeley, Redwood City, San Francisco, as well as crews from Alameda, Santa Clara, Marin and Contra Costa counties. Teams from the California National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing from Moffett Field in Mountain View have also been dispatched to help.

The fire was among the nation's top firefighting priorities, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

Fifty-one major uncontained wildfires are burning throughout the West, according to the center, including in California, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. More than 19,000 firefighters were fighting the fires.

But the U.S. Forest Service, the nation's top wildfire-fighting agency, said Wednesday that it is running out of money to fight wildfires and is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap. The agency said it had spent $967 million so far this year and was down to $50 million - typically enough to pay for just a few days of fighting fires when the nation is at its top wildfire preparedness level, which went into effect Tuesday.

There have been more than 32,000 fires this year that have burned more than 5,300 square miles.

On Wednesday, the National Interagency Fire Center listed two fires in Montana as the nation's number one priority.

At least 19 other notable fires were burning across the state, leading Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to declare a state of emergency, which allows the use of National Guard resources ranging from personnel to helicopters.

In Oregon, a fire in the Columbia Gorge about 10 miles southwest of The Dalles grew to 13 square miles, forcing evacuations and burning a third home. The fire was 15 percent contained. Strong winds continued to fan the blaze, pushing it into the Mount Hood National Forest.

Firefighters in southwestern Oregon braced for a return of lightning storms that started a series of fires last month that continue to burn in rugged timberlands.

In Idaho, progress was reported in the fight against the nearly 169-square-mile Beaver Creek fire, which forced the evacuation of 1,250 homes in the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley. That fire was 47 percent contained, authorities said.  

In Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, officials reopened a 7-mile section of road closed briefly by a wildfire. As of Wednesday, the Alum Fire had burned about 12 square miles and was spreading slowly, leading park officials to make preliminary evacuation plans for a community on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.

    Yosemite fire growing FAST!     Shocked  

Aug 24, 2013
 A Northern California wildfire raging out of control on Friday spread inside the border of Yosemite National Park.
The flames have forced the evacuations of hundreds from homes.
The uncontained blaze has grown to 165 square miles and is pushing east into Yosemite, yet the park remains open.

San Francisco wildfire threatens power grid
Aug 24, 2013
 California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Francisco, 150 miles away from the blaze, because the fire threatened the power grid.
2 of the 3 hydroelectric plants had to be shut down.  Adding to 50 wildfires burning across USA, a massive blaze has ignited in Yosemite National Park.


From the CBS News article above...;jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13773769266436

With its mountain backdrop, Sun Valley is normally a playground for the rich, the famous, for super-fit pursuers of outdoor sports or the Big Wood River's feisty brook trout. To many, it's heaven. But "the Beast" has caused disruptions in the sun-basking, fun-loving lifestyle, and the economy.


Yosemite California Rim Fire
Aug 25, 2013  Yosemite National Park
Yosemite fire creating its own weather pattern

The fire is burning toward the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, where San Francisco gets most of its water and power.
Rim Fire may cloud SF's water, but not put it in danger.  Famous last words.
San Francisco water supply may become cloudier over the weekend due to ash from the rimfire burning near Yosemite
in an area that houses some of the hydroelectric power system.

California firefighters try to cope with wind as officials try to protect giant sequoia trees.
8 fixed-wing aircraft and 10 helicopters were aiding the effort to fight this fire.

Bone-dry brush fed flames as 2,600 crew members struggled to corral a growing wildfire in the Sierra foothills.
The lack of access to the fire has been hampering firefighters.
It is so difficult to get into those canyons.
The blaze is 7% contained and spreading primarily to the east.

Strong wind gusts to 40 mph could push the fire further into the northwest edge of the park, threatening thousands of homes.
The fire has grown so large that it has created its own weather pattern, making it difficult to predict in which direction it will move.

The park is trying to protect two groves of giant sequoia trees.
These trees grow naturally only on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and are among the largest and oldest living things on earth.

News sources


BornAgain2 &ocid=msnhp&pos=1
Giant wildfire near Yosemite National Park 15 percent contained, but continues to rage

A California wildfire that has scorched an area roughly the size of Chicago near Yosemite National Park was 15 percent contained Monday morning — a jump from 7 percent the previous night, officials said.

But the so-called Rim Fire, stretching 234 square miles, still threatens some 4,500 structures as well as the power and water utilities in San Francisco, roughly 200 miles to the west.

The raging flames also loomed over towering sequoias that are among the largest and oldest living things on the planet. The iconic trees can withstand fire, but brutal conditions — including harsh winds and thick brush — have prompted park employees to take extra precautions in the Tuolumne and Merced groves, according to the AP.

“All of the plants and trees in Yosemite are important, but the giant sequoias are incredibly important both for what they are and as symbols of the National Park System,” park spokesman Scott Gediman told the AP.

Fireirefighters were hoping to advance on the flames Monday but strong winds were threatening push the blaze closer to Tuolumne City and nearby communities, according to the wire service.

"This fire has continued to pose every challenge that there can be on a fire," said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Almost 3,000 firefighters have been drafted in to tackle the fire that continues to threaten thousands of rural homes surrounding the popular tourist destination.

More than 12 helicopters and a half-dozen fixed wing tankers were dropping water and retardant from the air Sunday.

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a state of emergency for San Francisco, saying the fire had damaged the electrical infrastructure serving the city and forced the Public Utilities Commission to shut down power lines.

On Sunday, the fire had moved to within 2 miles of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which serves 85 percent of San Francisco with water, according to San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue.

NBC Los Angeles noted that the incident was closing in on the record-breaking 145,000-acre wildfire that burned over a three-week period in 1987. At close to 225 square miles, the blaze is more than four times the size of San Francisco.

The fire was sparked last week in a remote canyon of the Stanislaus National Forest, with arid conditions feeding the flames.

Statewide, more than 8,300 firefighters are battling nearly 400 square miles of fires.
Raging California wildfire threatens more of Yosemite

A California wildfire that has scorched an area bigger than the size of Chicago near Yosemite National Park was 20 percent contained Tuesday, officials said. But the raging blaze was expected to move farther into the park and threaten a reservoir that provides most of San Francisco's water.

The so-called Rim Fire, stretching about 280 square miles, has charred 179,480 acres, making it California's seventh largest fire in state history, according to the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It threatens 4,500 structures as well as the power and water utilities for San Francisco, roughly 200 miles to the west.

The flames also loomed over towering sequoias that are among the largest and oldest living things on the planet. The iconic trees can withstand fire, but brutal conditions — including harsh winds and thick brush — have prompted park employees to take extra precautions in the Tuolumne and Merced groves, according to the Associated Press.

"All of the plants and trees in Yosemite are important, but the giant sequoias are incredibly important both for what they are and as symbols of the National Park System," park spokesman Scott Gediman told the AP.

Though the fire remains in a remote wilderness area of Yosemite National Park, it has burned 22,000 acres inside the protected area. Wildlife has been seen on the move, including a mother bear and her cub.

On Sunday, the fire had moved to within 2 miles of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on the Tuolumne River, which serves 85 percent of San Francisco with water, according to San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue.

Ash fell on the surface of the reservoir on Monday, but water samples were still testing clean by late afternoon, Reuters reported.

Tuesday's weather was predicted to remain hot, with temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s and winds of 10 to 15 mph, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Trevor Augustino told Reuters.

Firefighters had hoped to advance on the flames Monday, but strong winds threatened to push the blaze closer to Tuolumne City and nearby communities. Mandatory evacuations were ordered south of state Highway 120 and north of Old Yosemite Road.

A group of elite firefighters, Strike Team 2276-Alpha from San Mateo County, was tucked into the trees Monday to protect the town of Tuolumne in case the blaze came over the hill.

"It is dangerous," said strike team commander Ron Levezzo. "We had 19 firefighters, hotshots killed in Arizona. Fire is unpredictable when it gets up into the treetops."

San Francisco reservoir, power station threatened by Yosemite wildfire
Aug 28, 2013
 20% containment on Rim Fire Near Yosemite National Park.
A fire sparked along a freeway spread to a grassy hillside, jumped into trees and then burned several homes in Fairfield, northeast of San Francisco.
Because of the approaching flames, officials shut down the generators, and the city is getting power from elsewhere.
There will be no interruption in electric service to San Francisco.
And the Titanic cant sink.
As flames from The Rim Fire lapped at the edge of the main reservoir that supplies San Francisco, fears that the inferno could disrupt water or power to the city diminished.

Let it burn?
Yosemite park officials won't say that, but it's policy

Unless a naturally occurring fire threatens lives or structures, Yosemite and other national parks are likely to let nature run its course.
The blaze has crossed into the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, which has a more restrained approach to managing wildfires
than other federal, state and local fire agencies battling the 300-square-mile blaze.
Officials estimate that it will be fully contained in 2 or 3 weeks, but it is expected to keep smoldering for weeks longer and won't be truly out for months.,0,5188654.story


Fire east of San Francisco doubles in size again as winds pick up
9/9/13 - A wildfire sweeping over a mountainside park east of San Francisco doubled in size for second straight day on Monday, and officials said they were concerned about increasing winds and the steep terrain hampering their ability to fight the flames.
The blaze, burning in dense, dry scrub, grass and timber in and around Mount Diablo State Park, had scorched some 3,700 acres by Monday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of about 100 homes at the edge of the town of Clayton.

A force of 500 firefighters, backed by about a dozen bulldozers, helicopters dropping water and tanker planes dumping chemical flame retardant, had carved containment lines around 20 percent of the blaze by mid-afternoon on Monday.
Authorities went door-to-door Sunday afternoon ordering residents of about 75 homes on the outskirts of Clayton to flee, and later another 25 dwellings were ordered evacuated.
Fire officials said there were no immediate plans for further evacuations, but they could revisit that decision based on the behavior of the flames.

Winds began to pick up late on Monday afternoon, Contra Costa County Fire Department spokesman Robert Marshall said, triggering concerns that the fire could again spread rapidly toward inhabited areas.
"We expect the fire to grow some more today, but I don't know how much," Marshall said.

Fire officials said the blaze also was threatening three communications towers and a historic stone building that serves as a visitors' center on the summit of Mount Diablo, which rises 3,800 feet above sea level.
The state park, about 20 miles inland from the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay, has been closed to the public due to the fire.
Flames burned beneath some electrical transmission lines on mountain overnight, fire spokesman Dennis Rein said.

But the utility company Pacific Gas and Electric said those lines were undamaged. However, about 30 customers on the mountain briefly lost power, possibly due to damage to smaller distribution lines, a PG&E spokeswoman said.
The blaze pales in comparison with the huge Rim fire still burning in and around Yosemite National Park, roughly 200 miles to the east.

That fire, believed to have been sparked by a hunter's campfire that grew out of control, has blackened more than 253,000 acres, or 395 square miles, of timber and dry brush since it erupted on August 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest west of Yosemite.
It ranks as the third-largest California wildfire on record and the biggest of dozens of blazes that have raged across several states in the drought-parched west this year

Morgan burns parts of northern California
Wildfire destroys hundreds of acres of land in northern California. Julie Noce reports.
Far Northern Calif. fire destroys 30 structures

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A wind-whipped, fast-moving wildfire in Northern California's Shasta County damaged 30 buildings, many of them homes, and threatened another 350 structures, fire officials said Tuesday.

Some residents were given just minutes to evacuate as the fire jumped roads and engulfed residences, the Record Searchlight of Redding reported ( ).

The Clover Fire near the rural community of Happy Valley began Monday and quickly spread through grass and oak, growing to more than 11 square miles, state fire spokeswoman Teresa Rea said. Happy Valley is about 150 miles north of Sacramento.

Meanwhile, a fire burning in a San Francisco Bay Area wilderness park appeared to be under control Tuesday. Crews made considerable progress overnight against the fire in Mount Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County, more than doubling containment and reducing the number of threatened homes to 75.

At the Clover Fire, strong winds and dry conditions fueled the flames.

"It was the perfect storm," Rea said.

Ty Romero, who lost his home, told the Record Searchlight the fire moved fast.

"It wasn't even 10 minutes," he said. "I know a lot of the houses in the area burned."

Romero loaded a truck with whatever he and his uncle, William, could gather before quickly fleeing with two of his uncle's dogs. A third remained unaccounted for, the Record Searchlight reported.

Multiple outbuildings and vehicles also were damaged. Mandatory evacuations were in place for some homes, though Rea didn't know how many.

Fire crews did, however, make good progress against the blaze overnight, raising containment from 5 percent to 40 percent, she said.

More than 1,100 firefighters were battling the blaze. The cause was under investigation.

The fire in Mount Diablo State Park was 45 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, up from 20 percent the previous night, officials said. It has burned a little over 5 square miles.

That number was lowered from the previous day because of better mapping.

State fire spokesman Steve Kaufmann said 75 homes are now threatened, down from 100 homes.

He said the fire isn't showing much active behavior.

Colo. fires force evacuations; 2 homes destroyed
18 Mar 2012
— Authorities say at least two homes have been destroyed and three firefighters injured in a large wildfire that is forcing evacuations in northeastern Colorado's rural Yuma County.
Mike McCaleb, emergency manager in neighboring Washington County, says the blaze started at about 1:15 p.m. Sunday south of Yuma, and firefighters are battling low visibility and gusty winds. He says the fire is estimated to be about 10 miles long and about a mile and a half wide.

Meanwhile, Yuma County Sheriff Chad Day tells KUSA-TV ( authorities used an automated phone system to notify area residents in an area 14 miles wide and 16 miles long. It's unclear exactly how many people were asked or ordered to evacuate.
Day says three firefighters suffered minor injuries and are being treated at a nearby hospital.

Oregon fires prompt evacuations
30 Jul 2013
— Erin Rightbower was not surprised to see the sheriff’s deputy pull up to the driveway with an evacuation notice. She was expecting him.
The family had started gathering their belongings — including three birds and a dog — when they saw the skies fill with smoke from the nearby Douglas Complex wildfires. The paperwork only affirmed the need to leave.
Rightbower thought to pack the clothes and her teenage kids thought to save the electronics. Her husband called his brother to come get his four-wheeler, if he wanted to keep it. Within 45 minutes of receiving Saturday’s evacuation notice, the family was out the door to stay with friends.

The flames later came to within 80 feet of their driveway. Firefighters protected the house, but the trees — firs and madrones — were not so lucky.
“It’s pretty darn charred,” Rightbower said Monday. “The only plus about this fire is that we have hardly any poison oak left on our property. It burnt everything.”
Late July and August is wildfire season in Oregon, and crews are battling six major fires.
Lightning late last week touched off dozens of fires in southwest Oregon near Glendale. Most of the small ones were contained, and some merged into larger fires that make up the Douglas Complex.

Those fires have burned 21,000 acres, or nearly 33 square miles, and were just 2 percent contained as of Monday afternoon. More than 100 houses have been evacuated and others are on evacuation alert.
Cheyne Rossbach, a fire spokesman, said a total of 400 homes are threatened, but none has burned. More than 1,000 firefighters and support staff have been assigned to fires that have scorched one outbuilding and two railroad trestles.

The weather helped firefighters Monday, with temperatures below 90 degrees and a decent amount of humidity.
Rightbower said evacuated residents were told at a community meeting Sunday that they might not be able to return home for a week. That’s rough, she acknowledged, but at least the house is still there. The family put sprinklers on their roof, to dampen the land, but figured firefighters would not arrive quick enough to hold back the flames.

“We were really afraid we didn’t have a house to come back to; that’s how fast that fire was moving,” said Rightbower, who cried when expressing her thanks for the firefighting effort.
Another fire being watched closely in southwest Oregon is the 870-acre Labrador Fire, burning near the Illinois River, about 12 miles northwest of Selma.

The fire, which has spread into the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, is in the same area as 2002’s Biscuit Fire. Spokeswoman Virginia Gibbons said the fire is in steep terrain, and there’s potential for explosive growth.
By the time it was contained, the Biscuit Fire scorched about 500,000 forest acres — 780 square miles — making it Oregon’s largest wildfire since the 1800s. Last year, the Long Draw Fire in southeast Oregon surpassed that mark.

Oregon fires trigger Bay Area health advisory
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a health advisory for residents in the region because of increased pollution caused by wildfires in southern Oregon.
Elevated particulate levels are expected through much of the Bay Area as the smoke moves along the California coast and is drawn into the region by onshore winds, according to the advisory issued by the air district Monday afternoon.

The particulate levels are expected to remain elevated on Tuesday but will not reach the unhealthy levels of Monday, district officials said.
Bay Area residents are advised to reduce their exposure to the smoky air by limiting their outdoor activities and setting their air conditioning units and car vent systems to recirculate.
A Spare the Air alert was not issued as a result of the smoke and no ban on burns in the Bay Area is in place, according to the air district.

* Sept 2013  ADDING from several other threads - other years

Wildfires rage in Texas
Sept. 6, 2011   Hundreds of people were forced out of their homes Tuesday as wildfires still burned in central Texas.
Two fires in Bastrop County southeast of Austin remained totally uncontained, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Melissa Yunis, a spokeswoman for the state Forest Service, said the Bastrop County fire had grown to close to 29,000 acres, while the smaller Union Chapel fire had charred 750 acres.

She said the main fire was about 2 miles from the Bastrop city limits on Tuesday morning.
"Numerous subdivisions, a local hospital, residents, outbuildings such as barns and sheds, ranch land, infrastructure such as power lines and 25 historical cabins at Bastrop State Park are threatened," she said.

Another fire killed a mother and her 18-month-old child who were unable to escape their mobile home near Gladewater, east of Dallas. KETK-TV said the fire, which spread to 1,300 acres, had burned six homes and 15 other buildings.

Texas has been having one of its worst wildfire seasons ever. Since December 2010, 20,900 fires have been reported and more than 1,000 homes burned, 700 of them in the past week, the American-Statesman reported.

Gov. Rick Perry, who temporarily gave up his presidential campaign because of the fires, said at a news conference Monday that firefighters still had "a long way to go to contain this thing," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

"It was a surreal experience," Perry said after touring the fire area. "I have seen a number of big fires in my life. This one is as mean-looking as I ever seen because it is so close to the city."

Firefighters from out of state have come to Texas to help in the effort.
Several other fires in the Texas Hill Country were at least partly contained Tuesday, the American-Statesman said.

Texas rain like manna from heaven
September 16, 2011
Texas Panhandle, got rain, slowly and miraculously falling, about 3/4 of an inch, the most significant rain this part of Texas, east of New Mexico and west of Oklahoma. has seen in months.

Reno Nevada HUGE Caughlin wildfire under control
Nov, 18, 2011
A wind-driven wildfire raged across 2,000 acres of sagebrush at the edge of northern Nevada's biggest city on Friday, damaging or destroying two dozen buildings, forcing thousands from their homes and leaving at least 17 people injured.
The blaze, which prompted Nevada's governor to declare a state of emergency, was blamed for one death,
a 74-year-old man who authorities said died after he suffered a heart attack and lost control of his car while fleeing with his wife.
Governor Jerry Brown from the neighboring state of California ordered the deployment of three firefighting "strike teams" to help battle the blaze.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, acknowledged the fire on the Senate floor in Washington on Friday, saying his son, Leif, could see the fire from his home.
The fire was the latest in a string of northern Nevada disasters in recent months. A deadly Amtrak collision 70 miles east of Reno killed six people in June.
Later, a gunman opened fire in a Carson City pancake house in September, killing four people before committing suicide.
Then, in the same month, a vintage plane nose-dived near the grand stands at a Reno air race, killing 11 people.

Reno Nevada HUGE wildfire, state of emergency
November  19,  2011  Saturday
I didnt get this posted here last nite. Saw it on FOX TV and it looked awful.

wildfire rages
As of Friday night, authorities said the Caughlin Ranch Fire was "0%"

Authorities expect dwindling winds Saturday to help in their fight against a wildfire that tore through northern Nevada, killing at least one person and damaging up to 25 homes.contained. It was unclear how many structures have been destroyed.
The fast-moving wildfire was spurred Friday by ferocious gusts of up to 85 mph. Winds on Saturday are expected to reach about 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
The city of Reno, the rest of Washoe County and Nevada all declared states of emergency Friday.

Officials say 32 homes destroyed in Reno fire

35 Southern California fires in Hollywood area
December  31,  2011  German man arrested in rash of Los Angeles fires.
Police arrested a Hollywood man believed to be a German citizen on Monday in connection with a wave of 53 arson fires across Los Angeles that terrorized neighborhoods over the holiday weekend.
Harry Burkhart, 24, was taken into custody early on Monday morning after a reserve sheriff's deputy spotted him driving a van similar to one being sought in connection with the string of fires set in Los Angeles, Hollywood and surrounding communities.
Authorities booked Burkhart, a Hollywood resident who they believe to be a German national, on suspicion of arson and said he was being held at Los Angeles County jail.

Nevada brushfire forces evacuation of more than 4,000
January 19, 2012
 Winds gusting up to 82 mph pushed a fast-moving brush fire through a valley south of Reno on Thursday, burning several homes

Nevada Wildfire: 10,000 Residents Evacuated
Raging fires blown by hurricane force winds tear through Reno

USA western wildfires
7 pages from  May 2012

WILDFIRES in Yellowstone Park Wyoming, Yosemite California 2013

California Dangerous wildfire season Apr 2013

Arizona wildfires

New Mexico * Los Alamos wildfire near nuclear lab

* Sept 2013  ADDING from several other threads - other years
Video: Acres of hay burn in California

Fire tears through acres of hay in California, causing millions of dollars in damage as firefighters work to control its burn. Katharine Jackson reports.

Radio blackout cited in deaths of 19 firefighters

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Shortly before 19 elite firefighters perished in a raging Arizona wildfire, commanders thought the crew was in a safe place. No one had heard from the Granite Mountain Hotshots for 33 minutes. The crew didn't contact commanders, and commanders didn't radio them.

Then it was too late.

A three-month investigation into the June 30 deaths released Saturday did not determine if the tragedy was avoidable, while outlining a series of missteps by the crew and commanders and revealing the more than half-hour of radio silence that occurred just before the firefighters were overwhelmed by flames.

It's not certain why the crew left what was believed to be a safe spot on a ridge that the fire had previously burned and, apparently seeking another safe location, unknowingly walked to their deaths in a basin thick with dry brush. At the time they died, an airtanker was circling overhead, confused about their location.

"There is much that cannot be known about the crew's decisions and actions" because of the gap in communications, the report concluded.

The 120-page report by a team of local, state and federal fire experts pointed to repeated problems with radios and contact with the crew. At one point, a pilot wanted to check on the firefighters after hearing radio traffic that they might be on the move, but commanders believed at that time the crew was positioned safely.


ARIZONA wildfire kills 19 firefighters
July 1, 2013  -  human sacrifice?

More crews headed to northern Arizona wildfire

OAK CREEK CANYON, Ariz. (AP) — Hundreds of firefighters poured into Arizona on Wednesday to battle a wind-whipped wildfire in a canyon near Sedona that sent up choking plumes of smoke and scuttled Memorial Day weekend plans in the popular hiking and camping area.

Authorities warned about 3,200 residents between Sedona and Flagstaff that they need to be ready to evacuate if the fire makes another advance. The blaze earlier Wednesday doubled in size to 1 1/3 square miles and could grow by nightfall to 2,000 acres, or about 3 square miles.

Arizona authorities are fearful that the fire could be a prelude for what could become a devastating wildfire season amid a drought that has left tinder-dry conditions across the state.

The fire broke out at the start of the tourist season and closed the main road between Sedona and Flagstaff — two cities that attract many visitors in summer months. The fire is burning near Slide Rock State Park, a popular recreation area because of its natural rock water slides.

Sophie Lwin, of Peoria, said she had relatives from the Los Angeles area coming in for a weekend at the Butterfly Garden Inn, which had to evacuate because of the fire. She said the area is her favorite destination, and she and her husband visit the Sedona area at least five times a year.

"It's Memorial Day weekend. It's going to be so hard and so expensive to get anything anywhere else," she said.

About 200 firefighters and other personnel are already assigned to the fire, including five Hotshot crews, Coconino National Forest officials said Wednesday. An additional 15 Hotshot crews are on order, as well as 10 other firefighting crews and dozens of fire engines, officials said. A top-level fire management team was taking over command of the fire.

There were no reports so far of injuries or structures burned. The exact cause of the fire wasn't known, but authorities believe it was human-caused.

The fire forced the evacuations of 100 threatened businesses and homes in a 2-mile stretch north of the state park, and 15 people stayed at a shelter in Flagstaff. About 3,200 people in the communities of Kachina Village and Forest Highlands were told that they need to be ready to evacuate.

"As you can see, we are dealing with some pretty extraordinary circumstances with this fire. I want to reiterate that you basically have received your pre-evacuation notice. This is your time to get ready," said Robert Rowley, emergency manager for Coconino County.

The fire comes less than a year after a blaze in nearby Prescott killed 19 firefighters who were part of a Hotshot crew.

As the fire moved up the canyon's steep walls, it sent up large amounts of smoke and ash and created hazy conditions in Flagstaff, about 10 miles from the blaze.

The blaze presented several challenges for firefighters, including steep terrain, thick pine forest, gusting winds and the drought conditions, said Bill Morse, a Flagstaff Fire Department captain and a spokesman for firefighting managers. He also said the terrain makes it difficult for firefighters to stay in contact with each other on their radios.

But Morse said calming fire conditions in Southern California have freed up extra crews to fight the Arizona fire.

"Fortunately the fires in San Diego have calmed down enough for the resources to be released here," Morse said.

The evacuees included Nathan and Mickella Westerfield, young honeymooners from Phoenix who arrived at a campground in the canyon Tuesday afternoon. They were headed into Sedona for dinner when they passed the fire, which was burning shrubs and trees in a small valley visible from the highway.

As other passers-by stopped to take pictures of the fire, a firefighter told the couple they couldn't return to their campground to retrieve their newly purchased camping gear and other belongings, Nathan Westerfield said.

"He told us, 'no, we're evacuating,'" he said. "We literally have the clothes on our backs."

Red Cross spokeswoman Trudy Thompson Rice said most of the 15 people who stayed Tuesday night at the shelter at a Flagstaff school were campers. The Westerfields were among those who spent the night at the shelter.

A separate wildfire burned 200 acres and closed Interstate 17 near Cordes Junction in both directions for more than four hours late Tuesday. The interstate, which is the main route between the Phoenix area and northern Arizona, reopened Tuesday evening.

Arizona wildfire
May 22, 2014   KSAZ-TV -  Slide fire, Oak Creek Canyon

A fire burning near Slide Rock State Park has grown to between 400 and 450 acres and is threatening 100 structures in the Oak Creek Canyon, including homes and vacation resort cabins.
Growing Arizona wildfire threatens homes, businesses near Sedona
Arizona wind-whipped wildfire in a canyon near Sedona more than quadrupled in size, threatening homes and businesses, while the gusty conditions kept air resources on the ground.
Authorities believe the fire was human-caused.

The blaze presented several challenges for firefighters, including steep terrain, thick pine forest, gusting winds and the drought conditions, said Bill Morse, a Flagstaff Fire Department captain and a spokesman for firefighting managers. The winds helped the fire race 2,000 feet up the canyon and to a plateau area.

The fire broke out at the start of the tourist season and closed the main road between Sedona and Flagstaff.
The fire is burning near Slide Rock State Park, a popular recreation area because of its natural rock water slides.  VIDEO

ARIZONA Slide Fire grows to 7,500 acres, crews contain 5%
May 24, 2014
Hundreds of firefighters are working to protect communities from a wildfire chewing up a scenic Arizona canyon, but some business owners worry that the blaze will keep customers away from the premier tourist area over the important holiday weekend.

The human-caused Slide Fire started Tuesday and by Thursday had burned about 7,500 acres with 5 percent containment in and around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation zone along a highway between Sedona and Flagstaff that normally would be teeming with tourists as Memorial Day approaches.

Firefighters established containment lines around 5 percent of the fire by late Thursday and were making good progress in keeping the fire from getting closer to communities south of Flagstaff, incident commander Tony Sciacca said Friday.

"Everything is holding this morning," Sciacca told reporters during a briefing.
Weather conditions for the next several days look favorable, with increased humidity and a chance of rain, though rain also could lead to rock falls off steep canyon slopes denuded of vegetation, he said.

Arizona wildfire grows
May 25, 2014
 A wildfire burning in a northern Arizona canyon grew significantly because of fires intentionally set by crews to rob the blaze of its natural forest fuels.
The fire had reached 16 square miles Saturday.

Wind sends Arizona wildfire past containment lines

VERNON, Ariz. (AP) — Fire crews are hoping that lighter winds on Saturday will spur progress against a wildfire that has charred more than 8 square miles in eastern Arizona's White Mountains and prompted some evacuations.

On Friday, windy conditions pushed the so-called San Juan fire past key containment lines.

"The winds picked up and we did have a lot of movement on the fire," said Pamela Baltimore, a spokeswoman for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. "The fire crossed containment lines to the east and west."

The north end of the fire was holding and planes were dropping slurry on active sections of the blaze in an attempt to re-establish the fire lines on the east and west flanks, officials said.

Communities mostly populated with summer homes remained under mandatory evacuation orders because of the fire that first was reported around noon Thursday. Its cause remains under investigation.

A total of 37 summer homes in the Red Cabin Ranch and Whiting homestead areas remained evacuated as a precaution and authorities said up to 90 structures in three communities could be threatened by the fire. Those structures include homes, barns and sheds.

More than 200 residents and tourists left the areas by the time evacuations were ordered Thursday night, Apache County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Richard Guinn said.

There have been no reported injuries. The fire is about 135 miles east of Phoenix, near the New Mexico line.

In addition, Kevin Bailey, a spokesman for the incident fire command, told The Arizona Republic that pre-evacuation notices were issued for two other areas — Green's Peak Hideaway and Hidden Meadows.

A Type II incident management team, the second-highest level available, took charge of the fire Friday because of the continuous sources of fuel ahead of the blaze.

However, authorities said winds in the area were expected to subside Friday night and be light Saturday, which would aid in the fire fight.

The fire southeast of Vernon was moving northeast between parcels of land that burned during wildfires in 2002 and 2011, authorities said.

Should it continue on that path, it would hit land with dry underbrush where it could make a run up trees and produce spot fires as winds gust around 20 mph over the weekend.

"We'll have to be very mindful of that," said Marta Call, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service. "It's moving into untreated areas where there's a lot of dry underbrush, steep terrain, winds are gusting and temperatures rising."

Nine Hotshot crews, 12 engines, five heavy air tankers and a helicopter were fighting the fire on part of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation and in the national forest. Forum Index -> EARTH, Quakes, Weather Page 1, 2  Next
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