Wildfire news, August 2, 2009

Oregon: Williams Creek fire

We’re mentioning the 3,250-acre Williams Creek fire in Oregon, which is on private land and the Umpqua National Forest, because we found this photo that they posted on InciWeb to be interesting. It is described there this way: “Backing down fire to defensive line”.

Lightning in northern California, Washington, and Oregon

As of 11:30 a.m. there were 216 new fires reported in northern California as a result of about 2,000 lightning strikes on Saturday. Precipitation with the storm was light to non-existant, from a few drops to 0.01 inches in the northernmost part of the state. Most of the fires are single trees, but that’s how they all start out.

A slow moving thunderstorm moved through Oregon’s Rogue Valley with hail and lightning Saturday, causing a number of fires.

Saturday’s lightning ignited 30 fires in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington.

Wildfire threatens Circle, Alaska

The Steese highway, Bluff Creek fire; Photo: Alaska Fire Service

The Bluff Creek fire, part of the 323,330-acre Crazy Mountain Complex, exhibited extreme fire behavior and jumped Birch Creek Saturday evening. It is less than 2 miles from Circle, a community of about 95 people (map). Crews are constructing fire breaks around the city and are establishing structure protection around residences and cabins.

The Bluff Creek fire is not the largest fire burning right now in Alaska. It’s big brother is the Railbelt Complex, with 438,447 blackened acres. So far this year 2,097,000 acres have burned in the state this year.

On Saturday the 747 Supertanker dropped 20,000 gallons of retardant on the Railbelt Complex in two drops. Photos and more details are HERE.

Terrace Mountain fire, British Columbia, Canada

Terrace Mountain Fire; B. C. Forest Service photo

The Terrace Mountain fire 20 kilometers north of Kelowna grew in the last 24 hours from 11,000 acres to 17,000 acres. Fire conditions forced firefighters to make a strategic withdrawal and develop new plans. Helicopters and air tankers were grounded by the strong winds.  Saturday morning 1,200 Fintry-area residents were asked to evacuate their homes for the second time in a week.

4,000 evacuate from fire in Canary Islands

A CL-215 drops on the fire in the Canary Islands. AP photo.

A fire on La Palma in the Canary Islands has forced 4,000 to evacuate from a fire that has burned between 3,700 and 5,000 acres. ABC newspaper said the fire may have been started from fireworks during a local fiesta.

A government official was quoted as saying that firefighters had been pulled back due to a “real risk of danger to human life”.

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