A number of California state legislators have lined up behind LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich's request for a Congressional inquiry into USFS conduct of the Station Fire, in our first wildfire story today (1); while an Op-Ed piece from Colorado argues that beetle-killed trees may not be a bad thing after all (2). A Red Flag warning has been issued for Central Alabama, despite the record cold temperatures the South has been experiencing (3); and a wildfire burning in the panhandle has been reported by Florida Highway Patrol (4). The Army mobilized firefighters from one of their fire stations to assist with a wildfire burning in rugged terrain in Hawaii (5); while in South America, Colombia, which has been suffering through hot, dry weather, has reported thousands of acres burned in nearly three dozen districts (6). A study from Hungary shows that, under certain conditions, sunlight magnified through water droplets can actually ignite fires! (7) Farmers and ranchers in the West African nation of Gambia are counting the cost to their herds from recent wildfires (8); but a wildfire that nearly destroyed a sanctuary in eastern India is finally under control (9). The star-crossed Country Fire Authority bushfire website crashed again, this time due to a computer hardware failure (10); while the vigilance of a bushwalker in Dandenong Ranges National Park was credited with apprehending an arsonist in Victoria (11). An Op-Ed piece counsels that Victorians understand the dangers from bushfires and take appropriate steps (12); advice many are heeding, as some residents and visitors to that state have departed bushfire danger areas for the safe havens, as the next two stories show (13)(14). As temperatures continue to rise in Victoria, an Erickson S-64 is prepped and ready to fly outside of Melbourne (15); but an Op-Ed piece touches on the problems of conveying the right level of urgency to residents of Victoria with the bushfire alert system (16); and a former New South Wales fire commissioner objects to the terms used in Australia's bushfire warning system (17). South Australia has dodged the bushfire bullet for another day, as hazard conditions came and went without a major bushfire, but authorities wonder how long their luck can last? (18) Civilians who clog roads trying to see bushfires may get hit in their wallet if South Australian lawmakers pass pending legislation (19); while bushfire warnings have been issued in parts of Tasmania where fire crews and air-tankers are on high alert as temperatures climb (20). And finally, it was déjà vu all over again as firefighters were called to the same Texas home three times within 12 hours!
(1) State Legislators Back Antonovich In Firefighting Proposal
(2) George Wuerthner: Are beetles and wildfire fears misplaced?
(3) Fire Weather, Red Flag warnings issued
(4) Brush fire reported off State 79
(5) Kealakekua brushfire update from Civil Defense
(6) 3,100 hectares of Colombian forest torched by wildfires
(7) Can a drop of water cause sunburn or fire?
(8) Cattle owners count losses in CRR inferno
(9) Dzukou forest fire put under control
(10) CFA website crashes as bushfire threat escalates
(11) Forest fire charges
(12) Your life is in your hands
(13) Families leave bushfire danger zones
(14) Tourists and locals heed Halls Gap fire warning
(15) Elvis ready to rock
(16) Code red's twin challenges: fire and complacency
(17) Koperberg critical of fire warnings
(18) Another lucky bushfire day in SA
(19) Fines urged for bushfire 'gawkers'
(20) Temperatures up as bushfire risk rises
(21) Same home catches fire three times in one day