fire Tagged ‘fire’

Yosemite WIldfire Continues

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Yosemite Wildfire Update: Smoke Hampers Progress

September 1, 2013

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — For the first time since a wildfire broke out around Yosemite National Park, dense smoke has begun to obscure the region’s majestic mountain views, park officials say.

The smoke from the two-week-old fire that shrouded parts of Yosemite Valley Saturday also hampered firefighting efforts.

“I’m in Yosemite Valley right now, and I cannot see the cliffs around me,” spokeswoman Kari Cobb said. “The wind has shifted and smoke is impacting the entire park. We have been lucky until now.”

All the campgrounds in the Valley still were full as of Saturday morning, despite the thick blanket and burning smell that permeated the area and was expected to linger until at least Monday, she said.

As a health precaution, visitors were being asked to scale back their outdoor recreation plans and avoid strenuous activities or even stay indoors.

Meanwhile, firefighting aircraft were grounded most of the morning because of low visibility caused by the smoke, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mark Healey said. The blaze had scorched 348 square miles of brush, oaks and pines and 11 homes, as of Saturday, an area larger than the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose combined.

Of that total, 94 square miles of wilderness have burned in the northern section of Yosemite, up from 75 square miles a day earlier.

The fire was 40 percent contained.

Although containment efforts proceeded on a positive note overnight, officials became concerned Saturday about a 150-acre spot fire that crossed a road and prompted an evacuation order for homes near the west entrance of Yosemite, Healey said.

Once planes and water-dropping helicopters were cleared to take off again, the worry lifted some along with the evacuation order.

“Air operations are going full-blast to bring this fire under control,” Healey said late Saturday afternoon.

The cause of the fire, which started August 17 and has claimed the most acreage in the Stanislaus National Forest, is under investigation.

Healey said fresh firefighters were being brought in to replace tired crews, but that officials did not plan to reduce the nearly 5,000 people assigned to the blaze.

The wildfire is the largest now burning in the United States and is the fifth-largest in California history.

from:    http://www.wunderground.com/news/yosemite-wildfire-update-20130901

Human Use of Fire Earlier Than Thought

Monday, April 9th, 2012

 

Hot Find! Humans Used Fire 1 Million Years Ago

Charles Choi, LiveScience Contributor
Date: 02 April 2012 Time: 03:01 PM ET
Researchers found evidence of human fire use in South Africa's Wonderwerk Cave (shown here), a massive cavern located near the edge of the Kalahari Desert.
Researchers found evidence of human fire use in South Africa’s Wonderwerk Cave (shown here), a massive cavern located near the edge of the Kalahari Desert.
CREDIT: M. Chazan

Ash and charred bone, the earliest known evidence of controlled use of fire, reveal that human ancestors may have used fire a million years ago, a discovery that researchers say will shed light on this major turning point in human evolution.

Scientists analyzed material from Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa, a massive cavern located near the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Previous excavations there had uncovered an extensive record of human occupation.

Microscopic analysis revealed clear evidence of burning, such as plant ash and charred bone fragments. These materials were apparently burned in the cave, as opposed to being carried in there by wind or water, and were found alongside stone tools in a layer dating back about 1 million years. Surface fracturing of ironstone, the kind expected from fires, was also seen.

Micrograph of burned bone on a paleosurface at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.
Micrograph of burned bone on a paleosurface at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.
CREDIT: Image courtesy of P. Goldberg.

Although modern humans are the only human species alive today, originating about 200,000 years ago, other human species once roamed the Earth, such as Homo erectus, which arose about 1.9 million years ago.

“The analysis pushes the timing for the human use of fire back by 300,000 years, suggesting that human ancestors as early asHomo erectus may have begun using fire as part of their way of life,” said researcher Michael Chazan, a paleolithic archaeologist at the University of Toronto and director of the university’s archaeology center.

The research team’s analysis suggests that materials in the cave were not heated above about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 degrees Celsius). This is consistent with preliminary findings that grasses, brushes and leaves were burned for these fires — such fuel would not have been capable of hotter flames.

Fire would have helped early humans stay warm and keep nighttime predators at bay, and enabled cooking, which would have made food more digestible. In addition, “socializing around a campfire might actually be an essential aspect of what makes us human,” Chazan said. “The control of fire would have been a major turning point in human evolution.”

Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham has speculated that controlled fires and cooked meat even influenced human brain evolution. He suggests that humans were cooking their prey as far back as the first appearance of Homo erectus 1.9 million years ago, just when humans were experiencing major brain expansion, and proposes that cooking allowed our ancestors to evolve larger, more calorie-hungry brains and bodies, and smaller guts suited for more easily digested cooked food.

“It’s possible we may find evidence of fire use as early as Wrangham has suggested,” Chazan told LiveScience.

Future research will analyze both earlier and later materials from this site to see how fire use might have developed over time.

“We’re opening the question of how fire fit into the life of early humans and how that might have changed over time,” Chazan said.

The scientists detailed their findings online April 2 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/19425-earliest-human-fire.html

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The smoke from the Los Alamos fire rolled in this afternoon.  From a bright blue sky to this in twenty minutes:

The sun through the smoke:

Another smoke shot:

Los Alamos Fire Threatens Nuclear Plant

Monday, June 27th, 2011
U.S. Nuclear Facilities Threatened by Flood and Fire

U.S. Nuclear Facilities Threatened by Flood and Fire

by Erik Hayden

This morning, two separate United States nuclear facilities are threatened by fire and flood. In New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (i.e. the “nation’s nuclear weapons laboratory” according to Reuters), has been evacuated due to a “fast-moving” wildfire. In Nebraska, rising floodwaters have breached a protective berm surrounding the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant and the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is headed to the facility.

to read more, go to:    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/06/fire-and-flood-waters-threaten-us-nuclear-facilities/39281/


Satellites Help in Arizona WIldfire

Saturday, June 18th, 2011
Article:

Satellites Help in Battle to Contain Arizona Wildfires

OurAmazingPlanet Staff

Date: 17 June 2011 Time: 12:18 PM ET
This Landsat 5 satellite image of the Wallow North Fire in east central Arizona was taken on June 15, 2011 at 19:54:23 Zulu (3:54 p.m. EDT). This false-colored image uses a 7, 4, 2 band combination and shows the burn scar in red the fire ongoing in really
This Landsat 5 satellite image of the Wallow North Fire in east central Arizona was taken on June 15, 2011 at 19:54:23 Zulu (3:54 p.m. EDT). This false-colored image uses a 7, 4, 2 band combination and shows the burn scar in red the fire ongoing in really bright red, vegetation is green, smoke is blue and bare ground is tan.
CREDIT: NASA/USGS, Mike Taylor

The raging Wallow Fire that has burned nearly 500,000 acres of Arizona is slowly being contained by firefighters with some helpfrom eyes in the sky.

About 33 percent of the fire is contained, but high winds that can cause wildfires to spread could tax those containment efforts. Emergency managers and responders are using satellite data from a variety of instruments to plan their firefighting containment strategies and mitigation efforts once the fires are out.

to read more, go to:    http://www.space.com/12000-arizona-wildfires-satellite-firefighting.html

 

Solar Prominences

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

fr/spaceweather.com

SOLAR ACTIVITY: The chance of strong solar flares today is low, but the chance of giant prominences is 100%. Mike Borman photographed this one from his backyard observatory in Evansville, Indiana:

“A number of giant prominences are dancing around the limb of the sun,” he reports. “They have beautifully intricate shapes.”

Prominences are tendrils of hot plasma held aloft by solar magnetic fields. Today’s are big enough to see with ease using no more than backyard solar telescopes. Where should you point your optics? Targets of interest may be found in a full-disk photo taken by Borman.

 

Wallow Fire Spreads to New Mexico

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Wallow Fire: Firefighters Brace for Winds as Fire Crosses Into New Mexico

PHOTO: Huge AZ Wildfire Spreads, Health Conditions Worsen

Arizona Wildfire 2011
AUTO START: ON | OFF

 

June 11, 2011

 

Firefighters are bracing for high winds today as they continue to battle anArizona wildfire that has spread over more than 600 square miles as it crossed the border into New Mexico, authorities said.

The Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona is still keeping nearly 10,000 people out of their homes. The blaze started late last month and is 6 percent contained.

to read more, go to:    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wallow-fire-firefighters-brace-winds-fire-crosses-mexico/story?id=13819115

And the Heat Goes on

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

In Arizona::

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/09/137078844/arizona-blaze-threatens-multi-state-electrical-grid

In the Great Plains, the Midwest, and the Big Apple

How Hot Is It?

High temperatures hit a broad section of the U.S. on Thursday.

National Weather Service 

 

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/09/137084209/sizzling-heat-turns-much-of-u-s-into-a-frying-pan

Fires in & Impacting New Mexico

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Here in the Valley, the smoke can get very heavy from the fires in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.  It is frightening to consider the number of fires, the extent of the fires, and the unprecedented lack of moisture.

To see a listing of current fires here in New Mexico, as well as some that are impacting the State, go to:  http://nmfireinfo.wordpress.com/

I think we are discovering more and more that natural disasters are everyone’s business.  The Earth keeps reacting on all levels and in all areas.  All elements are affected.  There is no  longer time to be blind to this.  It is everyone’s business.  A little thing as a thought of gratitude or love or compassion to the Earth can make a huge difference.  Gaia does not need our money.  She needs our love and respect.

Arizona Wildfires

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Top Story

Top StoryWildfire Becomes 2nd Largest In Arizona HistoryHaving now burned 311,000 acres, the Wallow Fire has torched an area larger than Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler combined.

Having now burned 311,000 acres, the Wallow Fire has torched an area larger than Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler combined.

to read more go to:  Top StoryWildfire Becomes 2nd Largest In Arizona HistoryHaving now burned 311,000 acres, the Wallow Fire has torched an area larger than Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler combined.