I have been talking about the wildfires in TX in my discussions here. There is a new fire just about everyday here in TX.
Another fire has erupted in Bastrop County!
"Wildfire frequency and danger are closely tied to weather. Although one might
assume that the greatest wildfire danger is associated with the most severe droughts,
wildfires are most dangerous when a few months of very wet weather produce heavy
vegetation growth and are followed by a few months of very dry weather that cause the fuel to dry out. When the fuel is in place, dangerous wildfires are most likely to occur on days with very strong wind and low humidity. Dust storms are favored under similar weather conditions but with longer-term dryness."
Wildfire Update – October 5, 2011
OLD POTATO ROAD, Bastrop County. 1,000 acres, 25 percent contained. 50 homes threatened and evacuations are in occurring with structure protection in progress. Multiple dozer task forces, heavy airtankers, helicopters, SEATs and an air attack are heavily engaged in suppression efforts. This fire is burning in heavy fuels approximately 7 miles northeast of Bastrop.
How is global warming affecting where you live?
We had a cold steady rain all day yesterday...very unusual for October in SoCal. A few days before that it was in the high 80s...too hot to breathe.
We had some terrible brush fires in the hills around here a few years ago. They were followed by unusualy wet winters, which caused mudslides where the ground cover had been burned away. The result of all that is that springs either dried up or were buried, small prey animals disappeared, so more mountain lions, coyotes, and bears (oh, my?) than usual have been coming down into suburbia looking for food and water.
Coyotes and mountain lions can climb or jump over 6' fences and walls, bears just plow right through them. So now people who live in developments, that should never have been built in the foothills in the first place, are screaming that all these wild animals should be shot on sight to protect their children and pets... I hope the Animal Control departments in the various cities decide to trank, capture, and relocate the animals instead. It's not their fault that they're hungry.
And it's pretty well known that the worst fire (called the "Station Fire," the one that threatened the observatories on Mt. Wilson) was caused by arson. Sick.
It's disturbing when somebody starts a fire during a particularly dangerous period. But I'm also dismayed by the way the media, and people, jump on arson claims when a devastating fire happens under extreme fire hazard conditions. Instead of facing up to the hard issue of underlying climate change, they scapegoat. When extreme conditions hold, even if nobody is careless or malicious, fires start from spontaneous combustion, a bit of glass focusing sunlight, or lightening. Fires ravage remote Siberian forests, for example. Here's a 2007 article.
Under one of the climate scenarios developed by the Hadley Centre of the Met Office, the current forest zone in western Siberia - the largest unbroken tract of trees on the planet - could be so dried out by 2090 that the trees would die off and be replaced with steppe.
What it doesn't mention is that a change from dried-out forest to steppe will include transition by fire.
I used to hike Bastrop State Park all the time. The park is 95% burned. Guess It'll be a while before anyone can hike there again.
Yes, it's been so hot here -- even for us!
We actually did get a little rain the other day. But we need so much more.
I feel for your sister!
Thanks so much Dorris! : )