Wildfire news, February 1, 2009

Controversy over eucalyptus removal

The University of California at Berkeley has been trying for years to obtain a $5 million grant from FEMA to remove 12,000 eucalyptus and other non-native trees in order to reduce the threat from wildland fires. They have the backing of the City of Oakland, CalFire, and others, but some groups, including FEMA, do not agree. The San Francisco Chronicle has the story.

 

Aussies fight fire in record heat

 

Firefighters suppressing a fire near Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

A once-in-a-century heat wave is contributing to the workload of firefighters in Victoria, Australia where temperatures reached 109 F for the third consecutive day on Friday when 20 homes were destroyed in a 16,000 acre fire. Other fires are burning near Melbourne.

 

 

A rescued koala

A slightly singed koala was found and rescued on one of the fires.

 

Fires in Montana and Oklahoma

A fire near Selman, OK burned about 12,000 acres. It was one of five fires in Woodward and Harper counties.

Not to be outdone, Montana had a 20,000 acre fire south of Square Butte on Saturday, suppressed by 60 firefighters from 12 agencies. It was reported at 2:10 a.m. and was contained at 10:30 a.m.