Thursday, August 29, 2013

YOSEMITE WILDFIRE CONTINUES

From Mother Jones: 9 Scary Facts About the Yosemite Fire
(GG note: I don't care for MJ, but this is an interesting article about the wildfire.)

From Reuters:

With an overall footprint that exceeds the land mass of Chicago, the blaze ranks as the sixth-largest California wildfire on record.

Massive wildfire prompts new travel restrictions through Yosemite

From Fox News:

Lee Bentley, a 73-year-old firefighter told Fox40.com that crews in Tuolumne County have used two DC-10 jets to fight the fire for four days.

“It was like a bomb went off, exploded,” Bentley told the station. “When the inversion lifted, the fog coming from the smoke, when it lifted, this fire exploded and it’s been running away ever since."

The fire has swept through steep Sierra Nevada river canyons and stands of thick oak and pine, closing in on Tuolumne City and other mountain communities. It has confounded ground crews with its 300-foot walls of flame and the way it has jumped from treetop to treetop.

Massive Yosemite wildfire destroys 111 buildings, threatens thousands

From the Weather Channel:

The Rim Fire started Aug. 17 and quickly exploded in size, becoming one of the 10 largest California wildfires on record. Its progression slowed earlier this week when it moved from parts of the forest with thick underbrush that had not burned in nearly a century to areas that had seen fire in the past two decades.

But it will burn for months, possibly until California's dry season ends this fall.

"My prediction is it will burn until we see rain," said Hugh Safford, a regional ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service.

Yosemite Wildfire Update: National Guard Launches Unmanned Drone to Monitor the Fire

From Mail Online:

. . . the Rim Fire is killing everything in its path. The understory ignites trees, and wind is sweeping the fire from treetop-to-treetop in 300-foot walls of flame.

Scientists also expect the impact on wildlife to be severe. The fire has encompassed nearly the entire migratory range of deer in the region, and the burning treetops likely displaced many of the remaining 300 members of a subset of Great Gray Owl along the Yosemite border, said Daniel Applebee of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

‘Because their population is so small, any loss is significant,’ Applebee said.

The fire also cut through habitat of the Pacific fisher, a weasel-like animal that is listed for state and federal protections. The fire has fragmented its range, likely leaving it nowhere to expand, Applebee said.

Dramatic new NASA photographs reveal Yosemite fire as seen at night from space as firefighters continue to battle raging inferno