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  • Alaska Wildfires Increasing

    When you mention wildfires, the first state to pop into mind is California... the one state that rarely comes to mind is Alaska. However Alaska does experience wildfires and it has been increasing in intensity. Fire season is coming earlier and lasting longer in the state then in years past. The cause of this warmer weather.

    Originally posted by ABC News
    Warm weather in early summer has a strong correlation with the number of square miles that eventually burn, climate expert Scott Rupp said. But it's too soon to blame global warming. "We don't have that understanding or the data that allows us to make those relationship connections," Rupp said.
    Wildfires Blister Alaska With Increased Frequency, Intensity
    dillinger10 likes this.
    Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
    Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

  • #2
    That article contained a lot of really interesting information. What really stood out to me is the inference that there is a strong correlation with warm weather early in the summer and the number of square miles that eventually burn. Given that the temperatures have already climbed more than 20 degrees above normal in Anchorage last week, this doesn't bode well for the rest of the summer. Lets hope things aren't as bad as the wildfires of 2004.

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    • #3
      Man if they get as bad as that, I am close enough to the wildfire areas to get smoked out here. There are already wildfires popping up in California as it is and Alaska on top of it... I know here we are looking at temperatures in the 100 degree range and it is very dry. So wildfire probability is high here as well. Just last year we had to saturate my friends yard because there was a wild fire burning less then a mile from his house. We were the ones that spotted it and called it in. It was frightening and amazing to watch at the same time. It cleared out over a 1000 acres before they got it under control. Luckily the winds were not bad that day.
      Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
      Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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      • #4
        Canada is also experiencing some serious wildfires near Saskatoon, in the province of Saskatchewan . People have been evacuated where the fires are closest to towns, and several homes and cabins have already burned.
        The smoke from these fires is so heavy that the skies are being smoke-darkened as far south as the state of Tennessee.

        http://youtu.be/KqexGOiXn_c

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        • #5
          The drought is starting to cause serious issues aside from the lack of water. I have been reading on the wild fires and most of them are started as a result of the dry heat and the biggest problem they have stopping them is the lack of available water to dowse the flames with. Of course I always thought there was a chemical type solution they used for firefighting but apparently they use regular water also.
          Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
          Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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          • #6
            Searing temperatures in Alaska continue. This is not good news in relation to the wildfires. Many forecasters believe that Alaska will likely set a new record for total acres burned this summer. To date, more than 3.1 million acres have burned. This has resulted in the air quality index in various parts of the state, including the Fairbanks North Star Borough, being raised to hazardous levels.

            According to this report, the smoke plume has now crossed into Minnesota with Air Quality Index (AQI) readings reaching an unhealthy 187.

            Smoke is proving to be a huge logistical issue, he said. Managers must be extra diligent not to put crews where they can't resupply or extract them, and surveys become impossible. "They're (managers) not gonna put people into an area with extreme fire danger if they can't support them," Casey said.

            Even on established runways smoke is an issue a plane with fire crews was rerouted from Fort Wainwright to Fairbanks International Airport on Tuesday because of smoke.
            More can be read here.
            Last edited by dillinger10; 07-07-2015, 11:37 PM.

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            • #7
              The air quality in Alaska is getting worse by the day. A climate scientist for the National Weather Service in Alaska told CNN that due to the number of acres that have burned so far, the state will likely be fighting poor air quality until the snow starts to fall in November.

              Unfortunately, it is not just the high temperatures that are causing these wildfires as 17 of 67 new fires that were reported last week were caused by humans.

              What I found most interesting, is that according to the National Park Service, as many as 90 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans.

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              • #8
                Alaska is a difficult place to fight fires, the terrain is so rugged. I do hope they can get a handle on this soon and better weather for slowing and preventing fire.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dillinger10 View Post
                  The air quality in Alaska is getting worse by the day. A climate scientist for the National Weather Service in Alaska told CNN that due to the number of acres that have burned so far, the state will likely be fighting poor air quality until the snow starts to fall in November.

                  Unfortunately, it is not just the high temperatures that are causing these wildfires as 17 of 67 new fires that were reported last week were caused by humans.

                  What I found most interesting, is that according to the National Park Service, as many as 90 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans.
                  Probably, most of those would be caused by campers, or even picnickers, who do not use proper precautions, and/or had been drinking and were not careful.

                  However, fires can also be caused by humans in other unexpected ways.
                  When I was living in North Idaho, we had a fire that started right down the road from us a few miles. It started in a pasture, and since the grass was dry, it rapidly burned through the pasture, and then into the surrounding timber.
                  By the time it was reported and fire crews got there, it had spread almost out to the highway, and was heading right towards our little house.
                  The kids and I caught the horses, saddled up, and started riding down the back way into town, since we could put the horses at the corrals at the fairgrounds.
                  We were watching over our shoulders the whole trip through the woods into town, and could smell the smoke from the fire behind us.
                  Many other people were also bringing their livestock to the fairgrounds, but about the time we thought we were safe, the wind changed, and blew the fire across the highway, and it now headed right towards town.

                  We were all praying for the fire to be stopped before it got to our town, and my mom called and told me that she had seen angels holding the fire back so it would not reach the town.
                  Amazingly, when the fire got to the spot she had described to us, the wind changed again, and turned the fire back on itself, and with no more fuel; it went out.

                  The cause of the fire ? The dry grass in the pasture had sparked against the electric fence and started the grass burning.
                  dillinger10 likes this.

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                  • #10
                    People can be careless. A lot of wildfires are caused by people just simply not thinking. Many areas are starting to put a ban on camp fires and such and many are thinking of upping the consequences for being responsible for a fire, but they still have to catch them first.

                    I had not heard of that fire Tumbleweed. I always said that those electric fences were a stupid idea, that just proves me right.
                    Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                    Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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                    • #11
                      I remember there is a wild fire that incident that is caused by a single butt of a cigarette. Campers should learn to be responsible. With the higher risk if wildfires nowadays, many campers should not forget to snuff and fire on camp before they leave the place. They don't own that land, they were only visitors so they should respect the place where camp. Those trees provide oxygen for us and habitat for animals and its sad to lose all of those trees for the neglect of some campers.

                      I know there are wildfires though that were caused by nature it self but we will have less wild fires if campers will avoid to cause man made ones.

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                      • #12
                        Here is a few tips that help with fire safety to help prevent yourself from causing a wildfire.

                        When creating a camp fire, I usually dig a hole and put the camp fire in the hole. The dirt I pull out is put around the rim to create a ledge and I put a grate over the top to use like a stove or something. When I am done with the fire, I pour water on it to put it out then push the dirt over it to cover it. This helps because it contains the ashes and embers from flying everywhere from wind or anything.... those embers and ashes could cause a fire. The covering of the fire with dirt ensures the same thing and helps to smother the fire out.... water does not always put it out.

                        Matches, cigarettes... anything that can cause a fire when used are either put into a container with water in it or thrown into the fire pit to prevent it from igniting dry brush.

                        When setting up your camp, try to remove all dry dead brush out of the area, especially around where the fire is going to be.

                        Can anyone else tell us what they do to prevent forest fires when they go camping.
                        Tumbleweed likes this.
                        Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                        Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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                        • #13
                          A recent study by a team of ecologists and fire scientists revealed this week that the average duration of annual wildfire seasons has lengthened by almost 20 percent between 1979 and 2013. Over this same period, the amount of land vulnerable to burning has almost doubled.

                          The study shows that the increase is a global problem and not just limited to the Western U.S. Wildfires are now burning for a longer period of time on every continent with the exception of Australia and Antarctica. The report claims that the fire season in South American tropical forests is more than a month longer than in 1979.

                          The report theorizes that the length of the wildfire season correlates closely with changes in temperature, rainfall and humidity. The report is rather lengthy but well worth a read through.

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                          • #14
                            Global warming. It is getting hotter and drier everywhere. That would cause the change in wildfire seasons easily. Our rate of consumption of water lessens the amount of water that gets into the atmosphere to turn into rain. That in turn drys the air and the vegetation. So natural there is more fuel for the fire and less water to combat it.
                            Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                            Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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                            • #15
                              From what I have read, it is more than just global warming, and some scientists are saying that the whole solar system is heating up.
                              However, by the year 2030, they predict the sun will "go to sleep", and then we will suddenly start to become a lot colder.

                              There are definitely a lot of wildfires this year, and many that started well before what we consider as wildfire season.
                              It used to be that most wildfires did not happen until miid-summer when the land was driest, and the heat was the greatest.
                              Due to the increased heat, and droughts, the land is dryer, plus the lack of snowfall in the mountains, which usually helps to keep everything greener for longer.
                              Here is the map that shows the area where the current forest fires are at in the United States.
                              As you can see, we are looking better in the western states; but Alaska is still fighting a lot of fires.

                              http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us
                              dillinger10 likes this.

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