Texas is burning.
Despite it being only April, due to severe drought conditions, over 1.8 million acres have already burned throughout the state
, which could soon surpass the two million acre record set in 2006. Here are the 10 largest current wildfires as seen from orbit
. [more inside]
A short drive through hell
. NSFW swearing (in Russian).
Warming Climate Fuels Mega-Fires
(11-minute video) 60-Minutes
reports. "Recently there has been an enormous change in Western fires. In truth, we've never seen anything like them in recorded history. It appears we're living in a new age of mega-fires -- forest infernos ten times bigger than the fires we're used to seeing."
The San Diego area is in grave danger right now from two major fires being fanned by Santa Ana winds. The SD Union Tribune is maintaining a special Google Map
in real time showing what's burned, and what's in danger, who's supposed to evacuate, and where they're supposed to go.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
is burning (again).
Over the past few days, more than 22,000 acres have burned, and a mandatory evacuation
has been ordered for the north end of the Gunflint Trail.
Fire containment remains at only 5%, and the fire's growth potential remains high due to strong winds, lack of rainfall, and the dense concentration of blown-down trees caused by a major windstorm in 1999.
Officials are now attempting to fight fire with fire.
Fire danger is high to extreme across northern Minnesota and fire restrictions
are in effect indefinitely. The BWCAW previously.
First it was announced
that an Oregon State University
graduate student was publishing a story in the journal Science
. titled, "Post-Wildfire Logging Hinders Regeneration and Increases Fire Risk
," which undercut Bush administration-backed arguments for post-wildfire logging. A week later it was made public
that nine professors in the College of Forestry
(which gets 10% of its funding from a logging tax) lobbied the journal not to publish the article. Among them was John Sessions
, lead author of a report that pressed the U.S. Forest Service to expand salvage logging. After attention was brought to the professors' attempts to keep the article from being published, many worried about the university's reputation regarding academic freedom
, if not the state of academic freedom throughout the academic world. However if it wasn't difficult enough to just worry about your own professors standing in the way of getting your data published, you also have to worry about the government pulling your funding
if your data doesn't match the data they want to see.
"The Bureau of Land Management
acknowledged Monday that it asked OSU if the three-year study led by graduate student Daniel Donato and published last month in the journal Science violated provisions of a $300,000 federal fire research grant that prohibits using any of the funds to lobby Congress and requires that a BLM scientist be consulted before the research is published."
"It's totally without precedent as far as I can recollect
," said Jerry Franklin, a professor at the University of Washington who has studied Northwest forests for decades. "It says, 'If we don't like what you're saying, we'll cut off your money.' "
Burning letter started Colorado fire.
Isn't there a better way to destroy a letter from somebody you hate? Say, shredding? What would you
recommend to such dummies, to prevent them from creating statewide destruction?
(much recommended) is threatened by the fire. They posted a picture
of what it looked like from their house.