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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another snow, another fire season and wildfire news

As we in Virginia prepare for yet another possible snow storm (this wed/thur) and the begining of our SPRING FIRE SEASON (Feb 15 - April 30) Wildfires are making news elsewhere.

Houses lost in Australian forest fires
Feb 6, 2011, 7:41 GMT
Sydney - A forest fire burning out of control near Perth on Australia's west coast has destroyed several houses, a Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokeswoman said Sunday. She would not say how many houses had been lost. Six helicopter water-bombers and 150 firefighters have worked for 24 hours to keep the fire away from farms, vineyards and houses in the Swan Valley. Police suspect the fires are the work of arsonists taking advantage of tinder-dry conditions and gusty winds. The loss of homes in Perth coincides with the second anniversary of forest fires north of Melbourne that claimed 173 lives, destroyed 2,000 properties and blackened 450,000 hectares
PERTH, Australia (AP) — Authorities say a wildfire on the edge of a major Australian city has burned 35 homes. There are no reports of injuries. The Western Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authority says the fire raging Sunday on the eastern outskirts of the state capital Perth has destroyed 35 houses and other homes are under threat. The authority says residents of several communities should evacuate as firefighters battle the blaze.

Fireworks Blamed for E China Forest Fire
Fireworks are suspected as the cause of Saturday's forest fire that left six dead and three injured in east China's Zhejiang Province, a local official said Sunday. The blaze was likely started around noon Saturday when people set off fireworks at the graves of relatives in Fulin Village, Chun'an County, said Hong Shanfu, deputy head of the county publicity department, citing an initial investigation. About 300 people, including fire-fighters and villagers, had managed to put out the fire at about 10:20 p.m. Six villagers, including a college student who had returned home for the Lunar New Year holiday, died fighting the blaze, Hong said.The provincial government Saturday urged lower level authorities to stay vigilant against forest fires as many people were setting off fireworks and burning paper money in tribute to their ancestors.

FLORIDA; Wildfire Along County Road 640 Chars About 500 Acres in Mosaic Peace River Park Firefighters battle blaze near Mosaic Peace River Park for six hours.
February 4, 2011
BARTOW;  A wildfire burned about 500 acres on County Road 640 Friday afternoon in a fast-moving blaze that took six hours to control. Crews first arrived at 2:30 p.m., when the fire was less than a quarter-acre in size just east of U.S. 17 in Bartow. The land is part of Mosaic Peace River Park, said Lt. Mark Olinger of the Bartow Fire Department. The flames spread to an area of pine trees and cogon grass, a type of invasive weed known to easily catch fire, and quickly spread, Olinger said. Pine trees about 12 to 20 feet tall were flaming from their top branches. "Just like matchsticks," Olinger said. "I knew we were going to be there for a while."
He estimated about 300 acres were initially burned by wildfire. Another 200 were purposely burned by firefighters in a method to contain the flames called "back burn," in which areas of land around the fire's outer edges are burned to cut off its supply of brush. "It burns itself out," Olinger said. Fort Meade, Mulberry and state Division of Forestry fire crews assisted in battling the blaze. It did not threaten homes or other buildings. The cause of the fire is unknown. The fire is expected to smolder overnight so there could still be some smoke in the area this morning.

Tip of the blog....

Smokey Bear has a big job to do in lots of places and needs a lot of help from all of us. His famous saying might me ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES but it takes ALL OF US not just YOU!

More on Virginia's Spring Wildfire Season in upcomming blogs.


  1. Smokey,

    Please help all our fellow wildland firefighters save the Australian vineyards and of course the homes. Love those Aussie Wines!!!

  2. Who can we notify regarding picture use -Bartow Fire? Please respond to