Sunday, January 08, 2006

More Firestorms Hit Colorado and Arkansas During Hot Winter


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The astonishing multiple firestorms continue to rage across a broad swath of the Midwest from the Rockies to the Mississippi River basin. I believe this is very uncommon if not downright rare.

From Yahoo:
Wildfire outbreaks that have been menacing the dry southern plains across Texas and Oklahoma spread to Arkansas and Colorado on Sunday, where wind-whipped blazes destroyed at least nine homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate, authorities said.

The evacuations in southern Colorado were forced by two fires that had destroyed five homes and burned at least 6,000 acres in Huerfano and Las Animas counties, not far from the New Mexico line.

In Arkansas, a 3,000-acre wildfire destroyed four homes Sunday east of Hamburg. Four volunteer fire departments were battling the blaze, and Deputy State Forester Larry Nance said it likely would be Monday before they could gain control.
The fires continue to rage hither and yon on the Great Plains. According to the hydrolic maps at NOAA, the drought sections are all south of where the fires have been raging. This is interesting for several reasons.

Perhaps the severe drough areas have little to burn? Wouldn't surprize me. Animals will graze things down to dust if there is nothing to eat. Even when grazers are fairly fat, they will graze all day, every day, no matter what. It is impulsive for them to graze which is why turning them out to various pastures, you can fatten them up amazingly. So when things go dry, they keep eating until they can't find a single grass stem left.

But the parts that are burning are dry but not disasterously dry so they have fuel left over for fires. The winds are blowing very strongly around the stationary high. This wind comes roaring out of the Rockies. I have experienced this wind, in Arizona, it blows down to us during March and part of April, blowing from the northeast to the southwest. We lived in the Seven Falls notch and Mt. Lemmon and Rincons would accelerate the wind so much, we could practically fly in the wind. Anyone dropping a match could and did start forest fires. This was our fire season.

I have never heard of winter fire seasons like this year's! It is totally wierd, even when it is dry, it isn't fire season in winter yet, this is what is going on, actually, winter is staying away so maybe it isn't so wierd, after all.

East Africa is having a terrible drought, too. From the BBC:
The Kenyan government has said it will buy up all the country's available maize stocks to feed those in the drought-stricken north-east.
Describing the situation as "very severe", it said it would put aside $14m (£7.9m) to purchase the maize.

Kenya says its main priority is to feed the 2.5 million people at immediate risk, almost 10% of the population.

The United Nations food agency has warned that 11 million people across the Horn of Africa need food aid.
The situation all over Africa is increasingly critical as many forces work in concert to bring ecological destruction on that continent. This is while huge floods this week hammer Malaysia and Indonesia and massive amounts of snow hit Japan and Manchuria. All or none.

Also from the BBC:
The United Nations refugee agency is interviewing about 650 Sudanese migrants arrested by Egyptian police in a violent operation last week.
Egypt wants to deport them, as many have been refused refugee status.

But the UNHCR is speaking to them all individually to see whether any were refugees and so should not be deported.

Some 27 people died when police broke up a protest camp in Cairo last week. The Sudanese had been asking the UNHCR to send them to Western countries.
There will be over 10 million refugees. Like in Dafur which the media tried in vain to get people distracted from other matters like the wars raging in the Middle East, these refugees will put pressure on all other systems. They get herded from pillar to post and massacred at regular intervals.

Deteriorating planetary conditons force tribal and peasant populations to migrate or raise trouble. This is one of the many bad side effects of allowing things to get way out of kilter. Look at the people displaced from Katrina! This last week, some of them tried to stop the demolition of their homes in the 9th Ward which is slated to be pretty much eliminated.

As we go into an extended period of little rain here in America, we have to be wary of what happens next, namely, dust bowl conditions occuring. The quality of life in places like Oklahoma can deteriorate rapidly. I have been in dust and sand storms. They can be quite brutal. It isn't merely wind blowing. You are literally sandblasted and I have had car windshields rendered useless in sand storms in Death Valley, for example, many years ago during a drought.

One would imagine this would prompt Bush to start talking about the Kyoto Accords (heh, yeah, right).
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