Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana are under red flag warnings, meaning extreme fire danger. 32,000 evacuate Colorado Springs. Welcome to Summer in the Anthropocene Era.

Fire season has a long way to go.

Members in the red flag area, stay alert! We don't want to lose you.

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The poor firefighter's efforts appear to be totally futile in this picture.

Yes. Obviously too little too late. A video of the Waldo canyon fire said it was a crown fire, with the flames leaping across tree tops far above the area firefighters could reach. So they are reduced to clearing areas ahead of flames or using the few aircraft. He might be trying to keep the next house out of sight to the right from catching fire by wetting the landscape between them.

Yes, last year I talked about the wildfires here in Texas. They seemed to go on forever too.

Many lost their homes.

I was reading about how residents would hear a blast and see a burst of orange flame, signalling that another house had been consumed. I guess that's when flammables such as gas or solvents go up.

Waldo Canyon Fire is now 90% contained and the perimeter isn't growing. Also, they expect rain.

A Google interactive map of US wildfires is available here.

Will look at the interactive wildfire map. Thanks Ruth! Great discussion. It's a good topic and I think it shows how climate destabilizing is affecting us.

Today the Waldo Canyon Fire is 98% contained according to the Google wildfire map. Many other fires rage, of course.

Did you know that many firefighters risking their health to fight wildfires in the US do so without health insurance?

The firefighters trying to save Colorado homes don't have health in...

...But many federal firefighters are temporary employees, who only work six months out of the year. [...] Under federal regulations, temporary employees of the Forest Service do not receive benefits. That means no health care...

Good news!

Michael Kodas from OnEarth magazine, puts the change in US wildfires in perspective

In the 1960s, an average of 460 fires each year in Colorado burned about 8,000 acres annually, according to state forest service records. In the past decade that average jumped to about 2,500 fires a year, burning nearly 100,000 acres. Those trends are reflected nationwide.

He's writing a book about the rise of megafires worldwide.

Climate Change Fuels the Perfect Firestorm

This map shows the major US wildfires from 2001 through July 9, 2012.

Dazzling Map Reveals Rising Menace of US Fires

Click on the map icon to enlarge it.

Thanks, Ruth!

The data, provided by two NASA satellites, were "about two mouse clicks away," said John Nelson, the map's maker [....]

Nelson said he's looking forward to hearing what people have to say about the map, which, he says, is simply a more aesthetically pleasing way of presenting data that are already out there.

"If something is appealing it will land in front of more eyeballs," he said. "And if you've got people looking at a pretty important topic, when maybe they wouldn't have been looking at it or thinking about it, then that's a good thing."

(emphasis mine)

It would also have been interesting to see the fires in adjoining regions of Canada and Mexico as well. National borders aren't magically impervious!


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