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    Affects of Wildfire Smoke on Dogs and Animals

    How Wildfire Smoke Affects Dogs and Other Animals

    Over one billion animals are estimated to have died in the Australian bushfires so far. This loss of life is devastating. Horses, dogs and other domestic animals are also being affected by the smoke generated by the wildfires.

    Catastrophic fires across the globe are increasing in both frequency and magnitude. The bushfires in Australia, fueled by heatwaves and drought, have burned more than 10.7 million hectares, an area larger than Iceland. As veterinarians who have cared for...

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    American Medical Veterinary Association (AMVA) - Wildfire Smoke and Animals

    American Medical Veterinary Association (AMVA) - Wildfire Smoke and Animals

    Thanks to the American Medical Veterinary Association (AMVA) for the guidance on how to protect animals from smoke caused by wildfires. 

    As irritating as smoke can be to people, it can cause health problems for animals as well. Smoke from wildfires and other large blazes affects pets, horses, livestock and wildlife. If you can see or feel the effects of smoke yourself, you also should take precautions to keep your animals – both pets and livestock...

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    Dust Detection System Now Operational in Phoenix, Arizona

    Dust Detection System Now Operational in Phoenix, Arizona

    With the start of monsoon season just days away (June 15th), meteorologists and officials in Arizona will have a new tool at their disposal this year to help improve in the detection and warning process for dust storms. These storms can reduce visibility to less than a few hundred feet in a matter of minutes, posing a serious threat to safety, especially...

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    Australian Firefighters Struggle to Contain Brushfire Blaze

    Australian Firefighters Struggle to Contain Brushfire Blaze

    High heat and catastrophic conditions in Western Australia and lightning strikes in Queensland could intensify fires over the weekend as Australia enters its second week of sustained bushfires.

    Australia’s bushfire are a common and deadly threat but the early outbreak this year in the southern spring has already claimed several lives and destroyed more than 300 homes over the past week.

    Severe fire danger conditions are expected to continue in NSW on Sunday where about 60 bush and grass fires are still burning, according to NSW Rural Fire Service.

    On Saturday, conditions in New South Wales had eased slightly but firefighters said the more than 100,000 hectare Gospers Mountain blaze in the Hawkesbury was unlikely to be contained before weather conditions worsen.

    Firefighters had backburned through Friday night to try and get a handle on the huge fire near Sydney’s northwestern outskirts.

    NSW Rural Fire Service inspector Ben Shepherd said the fire, which has been downgraded to a “watch and act” alert, “has now burnt out more than 100,000 hectares and it has destroyed six homes”.

    “We’ve had reports that one further home may have been lost yesterday.”

    The bushfire crisis is now set to intensify on both Australian coasts, with forecasters warning “there is not much end in sight” to a horrific fire season that has not even hit summer.

    Firefighters strengthened containment lines by back burning around the Gospers Mountain fire, which is blazing across more than 112,000 acres (175 square miles) near Sydney’s northwest outskirts, but the fire is yet to be contained. Back burns are fires deliberately lit to clear dry undergrowth.

    Australia Wildfires

    Catastrophic conditions are forecast on Sunday in four regions of WA: east Pilbara coast, west Pilbara coast, east Pilbara inland and Ashburton Inland.

    The catastrophic rating was introduced in 2009 and is the equivalent of the conditions for Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires. On Tuesday last week, Sydney experienced catastrophic conditions for the first time.

    In Queensland on Saturday, the Pechey/Ravensbourne fire in the Darling Downs region flared to an emergency level, driven by hot and dry wind gusts.

    The fast-moving fire reached Ravensbourne by 2.30pm AEST, and burned over a large area between Purtill Road and north of Mount Jockey Road.

    People were being told to immediately flee that blaze from Saturday morning onwards. Fire crews, assisted by heavy machinery, are also beefing up containment lines elsewhere in the state.

    People are being told to be prepared to leave from the paths of other major fires at Barney View and Palen Creek, where a bushfire with multiple fronts is burning in an inaccessible area of Mount Barney National Park near the Queensland and NSW border.

    Pets and Dogs Wildfire Smoke Pollution Mask

    An unpredictable fire is burning at Tarome, in the Scenic Rim region, moving from the Cunningham Highway towards Ryan Road, Hinrichsen Road, Simmonds Road and Tarome Road. That blaze is likely to impact Ryan Road, Hinrichsen Road and Simmonds Road, in the vicinity of the Bluff.

    Further north, fire crews will continue to work on containment lines at the Kinkuna Waters and Woodgate/Walkers Point Road fire south of Bundaberg, with the help of waterbombing aircraft and heavy machinery. People are being told to be ready to leave that area because the fire could get worse quickly.

    Conditions are expected to worsen on Sunday, when the Darling Downs and Granite Belt region will rise to an extreme fire danger.

    Severe isolated thunderstorms are expected to develop, which, instead of bringing respite, could create dry lightning strikes that start more fires.

    “With those winds, particularly as they increase on Sunday, we are likely to see an increase in the fire dangers,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s Jess Gardner.

    Bushfires have destroyed 16 homes in Queensland over the past week.

    In WA, a cauldron of hot air developed on Saturday and is expected to sit over the state for days.

    On Saturday, Marble Bar was expected to reach 45C, Port Hedland 43C, Meekatharra 42C, Kalgoorlie 41C, Perth 38C and Broome 36C.

    On Sunday, conditions will worsen for many regions, with Kalgoorlie forecast to rise to 44C – which would break the city hottest temperature record, set in 1923.

    Marble Bar is forecast to rise to 46C, Port Hedland and Meekatharra steady at 43C and 42C, Broome will rise to 38C and Perth will drop to 29C.

    The hot air will then sweep through the rest of the country, worsening fire conditions in NSW and Queensland by mid-week.

    “Unfortunately, we are in for the long haul and there is not much end in sight,” Gardner told AAP.

    In WA, extreme fire danger was forecast on Saturday for the east Pilbara inland, Gascoyne inland and south interior.

    In Queensland, severe fire danger was forecast on Saturday for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt, rising to extreme on Sunday.

    And in NSW, Tuesday and Wednesday will be fire weather days, with “the weather conditions again deteriorating”, according to the bureau.

    Police alleged that “the man lit the fire as an attempt to back burn for the protection of a cannabis crop and perceived benefit from recovery work after the fire and made no attempt to control the blaze,” they said in a statement.A man suspected of starting a blaze which reached emergency level, at Guyra Road in Ebor, east of Armidale, was arrested on Friday.

    Windy Conditions Fear of Fires Cause Power Cut

    California Cuts Power as Wildfire Risks Increase

    High winds pose a greater threat of wildfires in California resulting in one of the largest preemptive power blackouts in the state's history as dry conditions are expected to raise the risk for millions of people in the coming days.

    The outages could start early Wednesday morning, Pacific Gas & Electric said in a press release Tuesday. The utility said the shutoffs were being considered based on a fire weather watch from the National Weather Service. 

    PG&E, which has 5 million customers in California, said the shutoffs could impact nearly 800,000 customers in 34 northern, central and coastal counties. 

    PG&E spokesman Jason King told weather.com Monday that any outages would affect "portions of those counties." He could not speculate on the probability of all of PG&E's customers in the affected areas being without power at the same time. 

    California Cutting Power in Fear of Wildfires

    Portions of the West Coast and the Southeast are under threat for wildfires, according to the National Weather Service. California utility Pacific Gas & Electric says its customers in 34 counties could face preemptive power outages later this week. 

    "What we're working on right now is determining if and where we'll need to turn off power in the interest of public safety," King said. "Our meteorology and our operations teams are monitoring conditions in real time. (A) determination hasn't (been) made yet what portions of each of the counties will be turned off." 

    A power shutoff over the weekend affected 10,300 PG&E customers in Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Those three counties are also included in the new alert. 

    In addition to the 800,000 or so PG&E customers who could be impacted by blackouts, more than 100,000 Southern California Edison customers in eight counties could also see preventive outages in southern portions of the state, according to the Associated Press. 

    Windy conditions can cause power lines to spark fires when they are blown down or to come into contact with trees or other vegetation. PG&E power lines have been blamed for several high profile fires in recent years, including the blaze that killed 86 people last year in Paradise, California.

    California Wildfires and Wind

    Hundreds of thousands of California homes and businesses started to lose electric power early Wednesday as part of an unprecedented effort by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to prevent wildfires, the utility said. Nearly 800,000 northern and central California homes and businesses can expect to lose electricity for up to several days, starting on Wednesday, PG&E said. State investigators determined in May that PG&E transmission lines had caused last year's Camp Fire. That fire killed 85 people, making it the deadliest in California's history.

    The company had already filed for bankruptcy protection by then, citing potential liabilities of more than $30 billion from the Camp Fire and the 2017 North Bay Fires. Conditions before the fires were about the same then as they are now in the region. Gale-force winds are expected to last through midday Thursday, with gusts up to 70 miles per hour, PG&E said. Humidity is low, leaving the air extremely dry.

    The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said "red-flag" warnings were posted across the entire state for what was shaping up to be the strongest wind so far this season. Consequently, PG&E said on Tuesday it was extending a previously announced "public safety power shutoff" to 34 counties, more than half of all the counties in California. It's the largest such precautionary outage the utility has undertaken to date. Once power is turned off, it cannot be restored until the winds subside, allowing the utility to inspect equipment for damage and make any repairs, PG&E said.

    The first phase of the outages, affecting about 513,000 customers in northern California, began after midnight, PG&E said in an early morning release. Depending on the weather, additional outages will continue at noon, the company said. "We're telling customers to be prepared for an outage that could last several days," PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian told Reuters.

    Some consumer advocates have objected to the precautionary disruptions, saying they can harm people who need electricity for medical equipment. But PG&E promised to open community centers in 30 locations across the planned outage zone to furnish restrooms, bottled water, battery charging and air-conditioned seating during daytime hours. Sarkissian said PG&E had placed 45 helicopter crews and 700 extra ground personnel on standby for inspections and repairs once the wind dies down. Some equipment locations will require workers to hike into remote or mountainous areas, she said.

     

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