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California Fire Refugee Crisis Explodes. Massive Areas Condemned to Seemingly Eternal Hell

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California Fire Refugee Crisis Explodes. Massive Areas Condemned to Seemingly Eternal Hell

Post by Harry on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:48 am

By Deborah Dupre (Reporter)


California Fire Refugee Crisis Explodes. Massive Areas Condemned to Seemingly Eternal Hell

Sunday, August 14, 2016 18:12

(Before It's News)

By Deborah Dupré

California fires increased in number and size overnight, sending hundreds more families fleeing fiery terror predicted to only worsen in coming days. The wildfire surge that began late spring has destroyed over 100 homes, scorched over 100,000 acres with no containment of some, closed major highways and created hazardous air quality throughout the state. Two new massive fires began Saturday.

(Dozer tender on Pilot Fire 7 2016. Credit: Jeff Zimmerman, California Wildfire Today)

August 14, 2016 California wildfires map. Credit: California Government CalFire)

Fueled by a 5-year drought, today’s California’s hell is as apocalyptic as today’s historic deadly flooding in Louisiana with Hurricane Katrina-type scenes of over 5000 people crowded into shelters, hundreds others stranded in homes and cars for over 30 hours awaiting search and rescue workers, while others frantically await word on loved ones’ safety.

[READ: Apocalyptic Louisiana Flooding Updates: Hurricane Katrina-Type Stranded Desperation Sets In]

Evacuations were ordered Satuday night due to a new fire, the Clayton Fire that began late Saturday afternoon in Lake County. It is burning off Highway 29 and Clayton Creek south of Lower Lake, grew to 400 acres by 8:25 p.m Saturday and by Sunday, it had consumed 200o acres, according to Cal Fire that reports only 20% containment.

In Monterey County, the Soberanes Fire has grown to 71,860 acres, still only 60 percent contained.

Another new fire, the Chimney Fire in San Luis Obisbo County, that also began Saturday afternoon, has grown to 750 acres and is threatening 100 structures. Cal Fire has not reported any containment on this fire.

Cal fire working to secure the fire in the Big Sur area says this might lead to closures of portions of Highway 1.

The Mineral Fire in Fresno County has consumes 7, 050 acres and is 60 percent contained.

The Cold Fire in Yolo County that began August 2, now fully contained, burned 5,731 acres and destroyed two structures.

The Pilot Fire In the San Bernardino Mountains northeast of Los Angeles scorched 8,151 acres and is now 96% contained.

Raw footage by Loudlabs News of one of California’s raging wildfires in Los Angeles County doubled in size to 11,000 in one day, threatened some 1,500 homes east of Santa Clarita, and prompted expanded evacuations. It spread smoke and ash across much of Southern California and northern Mexico. By the following morning, it had grown to an estimated 5,500 acres, but containment was still at 0 percent. Scientists warn the public to expect more fires like this one:

“Climate change has exacerbated naturally occurring droughts, and therefore fuel conditions,” said Robert Field, a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The worse the drought, the more of a tinderbox forests become.

The wildfire forecast follows a major heat wave in California, where temperatures soared above 120°F (48.9°C) in some parts. The region is amid a significant warming trend. Each decade since 1970, average summer temperatures have warmed approximately 0.45°F (0.25°C).

The California fires are part of a dire global warming-fueled trend toward larger, more frequent and intense wildfires, according to scientists. (Scientific America)

The 20,000 acre Sand Fire that caused 10,000 evacuations in Los Angeles, erupted in the mountainous shrubland known as chaparral. It surprised wildfire scientists due to the speed it scorched slopes north of Los Angeles. It’s an example of how climate change affects the way wildfires burn, scientists say.

“Chaparral always burns at high intensity, but the mean size of chaparral fires has been growing,” said Hugh Safford, a U.S. Forest Service ecologist based in Vallejo, Calif. “We haven’t seen much change in the severity of these fires, but they are getting bigger on average, which may be due to drought-driven shrub mortality.”

Dead and dry trees do a lot to help fires spread, he said.

“This last factor results in fire embers that are cast far ahead of the flaming front and leads to faster fire growth and more difficult control,” Safford said.

“Higher temperatures exacerbate the drought by increasing evaporation and transpiration,” said LeRoy Westerling, a professor studying climate and wildfire at University of California-Merced. “Drier conditions mean highly flammable (wildfire) fuels. Drier conditions and high temperatures drive more extreme fire behavior.”

The number of blazes on public lands across the West has increased 500 percent since the late 1970s.

Worst To Come

The worst of the fire season in Southern California is probably yet to come.

“The most dangerous fire conditions occur from the end of September to December, when Santa Ana winds from the desert interact with the driest fuels of the season after five to six months of drying,” said Hugh Safford, a U.S. Forest Service ecologist based in Vallejo, Calif. “I would expect an active fire season, and critical conditions in the fall.”

(Firefighters at Soberanes Fire. Credit: CalFire)

Blazes have reportedly risen 500 percent on public lands since the late 1970s, reports Scientific America in its article, “Climate Change Fingerprints Are All over California Wildfires.” http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-fingerprints-are-all-over-california-wildfires/

California’s drought has thus far killed 26 million trees, now perfect dry timber to fuel this summer’s fires that continue erupting throughout the state. Droughts like this will only grow more severe. Research conducted last year found that climate change made California’s drought 15 to 20 percent worse.


Harry
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