Evacuations were the order of the day as wildfires blazed across the western US from California to Colorado (1). As firefighters in Riverside County, California, contained a 2200-acre wildfire, officials fear this could be a portent of a bad fire season for the Inland Empire (2); and Red Flag warnings today are not helping calm nerves any (3); while a 907-acre wildfire burning in San Diego County continues to threaten 200 homes even though it's 75% contained (4); Wildfire NOTD subscriber Andrew Madsen, Public Affairs Officer for US Forest Service in Los Padres National Forest, reporting on a 330 acre wildfire that has been contained (5); followed by an article about California's Porterville Air Attack Base that touches on firefighting assets being committed to over 100 wildfires across the West: 4,000 personnel, 62 helicopters and 10 air-tankers (6). A lack of moisture in Eastern California and Western Nevada has prompted fire officials to provide some tips on how to avoid sparking wildfires this summer (7). A summary of wildfire activity in Arizona is provided by the next article (8); and a 125-acre wildfire burning near Bloomfield, New Mexico, is now 30% contained (9). Although firefighters have a 58,700-acre wildfire burning near Fort Collins, Colorado, 50% contained, hot, windy weather is not helping their fight (10); said fire having destroyed 189 homes so far (11); prompting the Larimer County Sheriff to notify an additional 100 households to prepare to evacuate soon (12); while elsewhere in the state, the 1,100-acre Springer Fire continues to burn (13); and more details on a fake firefighter who even posed with the governor of Colorado for a photo are provided by the next article (14). A fast-moving 150-acre wildfire destroyed six homes outside of Mountain Home, Idaho (15); and in Utah, the Bureau of Land Management is zeroing in on the fire hazard posed by exploding targets, which are believed to have sparked four wildfires (16). Air-tankers and firefighters on the ground continued to grapple with a 2,000-acre wildfire burning in Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest (17); followed by a report on wildfire activity in Nebraska in the next article (18). Firefighters who took part in battling the 90,000-acre wildfire that burned through Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in 2011 received praise in a report of the incident (19); but Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources warned citizens of 13 counties of the high wildfire danger they face (20). A political science professor at Indiana's Purdue University discusses how social networking helps people recover from natural disasters like wildfires (21). Firefighters have thrown a containment line around an out-of-control prescribed burn that has scorched 21,250 acres in North Carolina's Croatan National Forest (22); smoke from the blaze prompting air quality alerts in a number of counties (23). There was trouble in Paradise, where Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources closed Makawao State Forest Reserve and Kula Forest Reserve due to the fire danger (24); but a Toronto, Ontario, service club is set to receive a fire safety award from the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council for improving wildfire safety in local communities (25). In Victoria, Australia, the President of Warrandyte Community Association discussed the value of a new community survey in improving the chances of surviving a bushfire (26). And finally, for anyone who's fought fires in adverse weather conditions, consider an Illinois firefighter who served some time on Ross Island, Antarctica, where they can't even use water to battle blazes!
(1) Wildfires force evacuations from Calif. to Colo.
(2) Early blazes a dire look at what might come this wildfire season
(3) Beaumont wildfire contained; red-flag warnings issued for Southland
(4) Firefighters to work through night battling Old Fire
(5) Los Padres National Forest Fire Contained, Still Burning
(6) Forest Service adds more aircraft to fight fires
(7) Risk of wildfires increases during summer season
(8) Arizona wildfires: Fox, Poco blazes grow
(9) Crews slow Blanco Fire near Bloomfield
(10) More wind and heat could hamper Colorado wildfire fight
(11) Wildfires claim 189 homes in northern Colorado
(12) Colorado wildfire: More pre-evacuation notices sent for High Park Fire near Fort Collins
(13) Wind still low, temperature starting to rise
(14) Photos Show 'Phony Firefighter' Posing With Gov., In Chopper
(15) Wildfire near Mountain Home destroys 6 homes
(16) 'Exploding targets can easily start wildfires'
(17) More firefighting resources brought in to help battle 2,000-acre wildfire in Wyoming
(18) Northwest Nebraska wildfire partially contained
(19) Actions of Firefighters Praised in 2011 Minn. Wildfire
(20) Dry weather raises concerns about fires
(21) Rising From Wildfires' Ashes Starts with Social Networks
(22) Containment line now around Croatan forest fire
(23) N.C. forest fire causes air quality warnings in Hyde Co.
(24) Fire, strong winds close two Maui state forest reserves
(25) Mount Forest Kin Club to receive Fire Safety Award
(26) My Voice: Dick Davies
(27) Illinois firefighter serves stint in Antarctica