The 2013 Verisk Wildfire Risk Analysis reveals that 4.5 million households across the US are at risk from wildfires (1). Having conducted 1,400 acres of controlled burns in California's Eldorado National Forest, US Forest Service plans additional burns as weather permits (2); but the Oregon State Forester reported to the Legislature's Ways and Means Natural Resources Subcommittee that during the 2013 fire season battled 1,140 wildfires that scorched 100,000 acres and cost $122 million to suppress (3). In Colorado, the Black Forest Fire Department Chief voiced his opinion that the Black Forest Fire, which destroyed 500 homes, racking up $85 million in damage, was intentionally set (4); the El Paso County Sheriff disputing that opinion (5); while the Cañon City Department of Public Works heard a proposal for a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (6). An abundance of forest litter around Lake Lenape, New Jersey, is elevating the wildfire danger as a dry fall persists in the state (7). A 1,507-acre wildfire burning in Wythe County, Virginia, is now 80% contained (8); but a 500-acre wildfire in the George Washington National Forest continues to grow (9). The 2,579-acre wildfire burning in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest is now 50% contained (10); where fire officials will brief residents of Burke County on the fire's status tonight (11). Army officials at Fort Benning, Georgia, advised surrounding communities that a wildfire sparked by training could make for smoky skies today (12). Researchers at Portugal's Centre for Studies on Forest Fires at the University of Coimbra have developed a new thermal shield which can be used not only for personnel shelters, but to protect vehicles from wildfires as well (13); and in its efforts to reduce the so-called transboundary haze caused by rampant wildfires on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Singapore to reduce the incidence of wildfires in the future (14); but an abandoned car which was set on fire sparked a bushfire outside of Canterbury, New Zealand (15). An Australian from New South Wales's Blue Mountains has started a charity drive to help those impacted by recent bushfires (16); and Samaritan College's primary school campuses have provided $2,500 of their own towards the effort (17); while a garage sale raised $2376.85 (18); the next article looking at the importance of bushfire preparedness (19); a resident of Engadine who has experience with bushfires discussing preparations homeowners need to make to be ready (20); but sometimes even a bushfire plan is not enough, as an article from Victoria shows (21). And finally, a library in Connecticut came up with a unique way to protect its property until the fire alarm system is repaired: post a firefighter!
(1) Verisk Analysis Determines More Than 4.5 Million Households at High or Extreme Risk from Wildfire
(2) More prescribed burns in store for Eldorado National Forest
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