Live Bliksemontladingen

De teller in het icoon met het onweersbuitje geeft live het actuele aantal bliksemontladingen uit onze regio weer. De dekking ligt in een vierkant om Nederland en België, waardoor er ook data van rondom Parijs, op de Noordzee en uit een deel van Duitsland wordt weergegeven.

Ontladingen

De ontladingen kun je terugvinden op de Google Maps kaart onderaan de pagina. Deze worden nog niet live bijgewerkt, voor de meest actuele ontladingen ververs je de pagina. De iconen op de kaart lopen in kleur van Geel naar Rood, waarbij Geel een 'nieuwe' ontlading is en Rood een 'oude'.

Geluid

De teller maakt geluid als het aantal bliksemontladingen verhoogt. Dus, bij een update van 0 naar 1 hoor je geluid. Je kunt dit uitschakelen met het luidspreker icoontje in de balk hierboven.

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12 december 2017, 11:04 uur | Bericht #484059

Firefighters look to gain on California wildfire as winds remain relentless

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @latimes | Twitter

VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters hope gain further control on Tuesday of a wildfire, the fifth-largest in California’s history, as relentless wind gusts and bone-dry weather conditions are expected to persist.

People stand on a roof of a home illuminated with Christmas lights to watch wildfire on a hillside burn during the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara county near Carpinteria, California REUTERS/Patrick T Fallon

The blaze, known as the Thomas Fire, which has burned 231,700 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, grew but at a slower pace, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said. But strong wind gusts of up to 40 mph (65 kph) and extremely low humidity that are expected through Thursday will continue to pose a challenge to firefighting efforts, the National Weather Service said.

“That combination of winds and very low relative humidity leads to critical fire conditions and can allow for a potential of significant fire growth and fire behavior,” National Weather Service incident meteorologist Rich Thompson said at a community meeting on the fire on Monday evening.

About 7,000 firefighters were battling the blaze that has destroyed about 800 structures including more than 680 homes, Cal Fire said.Firefighters knock down flames as they advance on homes atop Shepherd Mesa Road in Carpinteria, California, U.S. December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department/Handout via REUTERS.Dry vegetation that has not burned in 50 years are acting as fuel for the fire in the mountains southeast of Santa Barbara and northwest of Ventura, spokesman Ian McDonald said.

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @latimes | Twitter

“Because the slopes are so steep and the terrain is so rocky, it is actually quite dangerous,” he said. “We are not going to put firefighters in harm’s way half way up a steep rocky slope. We are going to wait for the fire comes to us and extinguish it where it is safe.”Fire fighters attack the Thomas Fire’s north flank with backfires as they continue to fight a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles, near Ojai , California, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Gene BlevinsPublic schools in Santa Barbara and some school systems nearby have canceled classes this week and will not reconvene until the annual winter break is completed in January, said Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.

Some of the other fires burning over the past week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties have been largely controlled by the thousands of firefighters on the ground. The Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County were both at least 90 percent contained, officials said, while the Skirball Fire in the posh Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles was 85 percent contained. North of San Diego, the 4,100-acre (1,660 hectare) Lilac Fire was also 90 percent contained on Monday, after destroying 151 structures.

Bron: Reuters.com
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13 december 2017, 16:37 uur | Bericht #484107

After fires, Southern California faces risk of mudslides

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @capt81c | Twitter

CARPINTERIA, Calif./LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters in Southern California are slowly gaining control of one of the largest wildfires in state history, but residents may not enjoy much relief as experts said the flames are laying the groundwork for the next disaster - mudslides. The intense fire is burning away vegetation that holds the soil in place and baking a waxy layer into the earth that prevents the water from sinking more than a few inches into the ground, experts said.  With one heavy rain, the soil above this waterproof layer can become saturated, start to slide in hilly areas and transform into something catastrophic

“Pretty much anywhere there’s a fire on a steep slope, there’s cause for concern,” Jason Kean, research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said in a telephone interview.

And the Thomas Fire, which has burned 234,000 acres and destroyed nearly 700 homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, is definitely in landslide country.

“If we get hard rain, there are going to be terrible landslides in the burn areas,” Carla D‘Antonio, chairman of University of California, Santa Barbara’s environmental studies program, said in an email. “It doesn’t take a lot of rain to get the soil and rock moving, so to have burned soil on top of this and no significant plant cover creates huge potential for landslides,” she added.

Among the cities at risk is Santa Barbara, with 92,000 people, as well as the smaller communities of Carpinteria, Ojai and Summerland.

“It’s terrifying,” Jamey Geston, 19, of Carpinteria, said of possible mudslides. “I am just taking it one natural disaster at a time at this point and try to get through it.” 

Once the fire is out, more work will begin as officials will likely need to rush to build retention basins and other structures to prevent debris flows before the rainy season begins, said Professor Nicholas Pinter of University of California, Davis’ Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

“This is exactly the thing we worry about in the winter following an event like the Thomas Fire,” he said by telephone.

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @latimes | Twitter

Another large concern is the potential damage to water quality, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider said in a telephone interview. Heavy rainfall could bring lots of silt to waterways like Lake Cachuma, where barriers are already being erected, as well as unwanted matter, she said. In 2007, after the massive Zaca Fire, Santa Barbara spent more than $1 million on extra cleaning and filtration systems.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state could defray some costs with grants, but the best outcome would be “a nice, calm, intermittent rain,” Schneider said.

“We don’t see any rain in the immediate forecast, which is a curse and a blessing,” she said. “We could use the water to fight the fire, but we don’t want some kind of big downpour that would cause significant mudslides so soon after the area’s been burnt to nothing.”

Bron: Reuters. com
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13 december 2017, 16:48 uur | Bericht #484108

Fierce fight along Santa Barbara coast as fire threat eases in Ventura


Bron afbeelding: LA Times

Robin Willis sprayed her garden hose at the eaves of her backyard patio, soaking the wooden beams with water.Authorities had evacuated her Montecito neighborhood two days earlier as the Thomas fire neared, but the 68-year-old and her brother, who lives across the street, had since returned and now refused to leave.

“Our family has been here since the 1920s. This is family, our genealogy. This is our roots,” she said Tuesday. “You do what you can do. If things happen where it doesn’t survive, you’ve got a conscience that you’ve done your best.”

They were among a smattering of defiant holdouts who sought to protect their homes as fire crews entered their second week in the fierce fight against the Thomas fire. The blaze grew nearly 2,000 acres after dawn, scorching a total of 236,000 acres of land in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties since igniting Dec. 4.


Bron afbeelding: Ventura en Santa Barbara Counties, Cal Fire, Mapzen/ LA Times
 
 By Tuesday evening, authorities said they had “turned a corner” in fighting the blaze along its eastern flank in Ventura County. Winds were relatively calm and evacuations were lifted in the Lake Casitas area with the fire 25% contained, but officials warned that stronger winds may return Thursday or Friday.

A short drive uphill and east of Willis’ home, firefighters were stationed on dirt roads colored with flame retardant, trail heads and the stone driveways of mansions in the wealthy coastal enclave.

Heavy smoke prevented helicopter crews from conducting long water drops over Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito, but hand crews and bulldozers focused on digging fire lines ahead of the western front of the fire. Firefighters sped along the winding passes in ATVs while others trekked up the roads on foot to scout out where the fire was moving.

The night before, calm winds allowed firefighters to stage their own burn operation, intentionally setting fire to some brush near homes to get rid of fuel that could feed an uncontrolled blaze if winds pick up later this week. Dramatic flames subsequently engulfed the hills behind Carpinteria High School.

“Firefighters can burn that fuel on their own terms,” said Matthew Chambers, an engineer with the Sequoia National Forest and spokesman for the agencies working the Thomas fire.

Overnight crews also saved some mountainside homes from flames that tore through nearby Toro and Romero canyons. Since the fire started, more than 700 homes have been destroyed, along with two apartment buildings, two mixed-use buildings, a dozen businesses and more than 180 other small buildings, authorities said. 

As the fire fight continued, California fire officials offered a hint as to what may have ignited the Thomas and other destructive blazes that tore across Southern California last week. It will probably take months for fire officials to determine the cause of the fires, but state officials have notified Southern California Edison that the utility’s equipment is under investigation. Power lines downed by high winds have been the cause of major brush fires in the past.

“The investigations now include locations beyond those identified last week as the apparent origin of these fires,” the power company said in a statement. “SCE believes the investigations now include the possible role of its facilities.”

Earlier, the utility had said that based on the apparent origin of the Thomas and Creek fires, “and the performance of SCE’s system, SCE has no indication that the company’s facilities were a source of these fires.” As a precaution last week, the utility shut off power temporarily to parts of Riverside County during high winds.


Bron afbeelding: LA Times

Though the cause of the devastating Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa is still under investigation, numerous residents who lost homes have sued Pacific Gas & Electric, alleging power lines downed by the winds sparked the blaze. PG&E has suggested the fire might have been caused by third-party power lines not owned by the utility.

In October, the state Public Utilities Commission ordered PG&E to preserve evidence, including failed poles and conductors that were replaced as power was restored after the fire. Terrie Prosper, a spokeswoman for the regulatory agency, would not say whether a similar directive was sent to Edison, but said utilities “are already required to preserve evidence under existing rules and regulations.” As of Tuesday, Edison said it was finishing restoring equipment damaged in the Liberty, Rye and Creek fires — replacing more than 300 poles with 200 more waiting.

Back in Montecito, Willis was showering the flower bed and grass in her garden when her neighbor came by to talk. His voice trembled with emotion as he and Willis compared notes on the fire history in the area and rumors of looters. Apparently, a caretaker at La Casa de Maria, an interfaith retreat center just up the road, chased off an intruder Monday, the neighbor said. He heard that firefighters were letting the Thomas fire reach the old burn scars of previous blazes in hopes it would slow the fire’s progress. The neighbor said his biggest fear was his towering oaks igniting from a wayward ember and setting ablaze his home, which is made of wood. Willis reassured him that she’d help wet his house and the one next door just in case.

“They're doing the best they can but you don't know,” she said. “You got to do what you can do."


Bron afbeelding: LA Times

Bron artikel: LA Times
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13 december 2017, 16:58 uur | Bericht #484110

Thomas Fire:

- 237,500 ha verbrand
- Voor 25% onder controle
- Meer dan 700 woningen verbrand
- Sterke wind keert donderdag of vrijdag waarschijnlijk terug

Alle andere branden zijn grotendeels onder controle

 

| Gewijzigd: 13 december 2017, 17:00 uur, door Lako
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13 december 2017, 19:47 uur | Bericht #484116

Renewed winds, dry conditions hamper fight to tame California wildfire

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @latimes | Twitter

CARPINTERIA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters trying to tame a blaze that has destroyed hundreds of homes in Southern California were facing bone-dry conditions and the return of powerful wind gusts on Wednesday. A lull in the winds a day earlier sapped the forward momentum of the Thomas Fire, which has charred more than 368 square miles (953 square km) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, an area larger than New York City.

But adverse weather will again promote significant fire growth and hamper efforts to control the inferno, which broke out on Dec. 4 and has grown to become the fifth largest wildfire in state history, authorities said. “Firefighters will remain engaged in structure defense operations and scout for opportunities to establish direct perimeter control,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in an advisory.

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @meepbasket | Twitter

The fire, which has destroyed more than 700 homes, displaced more than 94,000 people and is threatening some 18,000 structures, was 25 percent contained by Wednesday, Cal Fire said in the statement.

It continued to menace coastal communities including Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and Montecito, driven by Santa Ana winds and humidity of less than 10 percent that are forecast until Friday, Cal Fire and the National Weather Service said. Tuesday, some of the nearly 8,000 firefighters battling the blaze took advantage of the lighter winds to set controlled burns in a canyon near Carpinteria to deprive the flames of fuel, Cal Fire Captain Steve Concialdi told reporters.

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @CBSSF | Twitter

U.S. Representative Julia Brownley, whose 26th Congressional District includes Ventura, said on Tuesday the fire could take another week to contain. The efforts have so far cost more than $61 million, according to authorities. Many public schools in the Santa Barbara area canceled classes this week and will not reopen until the annual winter break is completed in January. Some of the other fires burning over the past week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties have been largely brought under control.

Investigators determined that the Skirball Fire, which destroyed six homes in Los Angeles’ wealthy Bel-Air neighborhood and scorched a building at a winery owned by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was started by a cooking fire at a homeless encampment, authorities said on Tuesday. The Lilac Fire, which burned more than 4,000 acres in northern San Diego County and destroyed 157 structures, was 95 percent contained by Wednesday, Cal Fire said.

Bron: Reuters.com
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15 december 2017, 09:27 uur | Bericht #484153

Thomas Fire burned 242 500 acres, destroyed 751 structures and is just 30% contained


The Thomas Fire in California is burning for 11 days and is 30% contained as of December 14, 2017. The fire has so far burned 242 500 acres, making it the fourth largest fire in California's history. Its cause is still under investigation.

The Thomas Fire broke out December 4th near Thomas Aquinas College in Ojai, Ventura County, California. It was fanned by strong Santa Ana winds overnight, and quickly spread into the city of Ventura.

As of December 14, the fire has burned 242 500 acres (98 136 ha) and is only 30% contained. A total of 729 single family residences were destroyed and 175 damaged. 2 multiple residences were destroyed, 2 mixed commercial/residential, and 18 commercial structures.

There are now 8 144 firefighters battling the blaze and trying to save 18 000 structures still threatened.

The majority of resources in Santa Barbara Country will focus on securing the western side of the fire, above the coastal communities in Santa Barbara County, authorities said. Firefighters will remain engaged in structure defense operations and establish direct fireline where possible working to tie in to the Tea fire and Jesusita fire footprints. Fire will continue to threaten the communities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito and surrounding areas.

In Ventura County, Crews continued to actively engage in suppressing active and small spot fires around the Southeastern portion of the perimeter. Areas currently evacuated are mitigating hazardous conditions. Utility companies continue to assess and mitigate infrastructure that was damaged from the fire so citizens can be safe when returning to these affected areas.

Warm and dry conditions will persist across Southern California through at least Friday which will prolong ongoing conditions favorable for wildfire growth, NWS said.

Strengthening winds today will allow for an increase to "critical" conditions per the latest forecast from the Storm Prediction Center, but there will be some diurnal swings expected in wind strength into the weekend.

Featured image: Thomas Fire, December 13, 2017. Credit: SBC Fire Info
Bron: https://watchers.news 
 
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15 december 2017, 09:30 uur | Bericht #484154

California fires: Firefighter killed in devastating blaze - critical warning issued

A FIREFIGHTER died today while tackling one of the fiercest California wildfires still devastating the state.
Fire officials have confirmed the death, which occurred while the firefighter was tackling the Thomas Fire - the largest of the major blazes near the coast. 

A statement from Chief Ken Pimlott of California’s fire department said: “I am very saddened to report that a firefighter fatality has occurred on the Thomas Incident. 

“The incident is still unfolding, but in this world of fast moving information, it is important to me that only factual information be shared. 

“To that end, I can confirm a fatality of a CAL FIRE Engineer from the San Diego Unit has occurred. 
“More details will be made available as they are confirmed. In the meantime, please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers and all the responders on the front lines in your thoughts as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions.”

He said the firefighter’s family’s had been informed. 

The fire department also issued a safety warning to the public as several wildfires continue to blaze north of San Diego.
It said: “The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions.

Please continue to adhere to road closures and evacuation orders. Please drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel in the area. 

“As you re-enter your property, be aware hazardous conditions may still exist.”

Earlier today the fire department warned "critical fire conditions" would remain for the foreseeable future. 
Bron: https://www.express.co.uk
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15 december 2017, 09:36 uur | Bericht #484155
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15 december 2017, 09:38 uur | Bericht #484156
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15 december 2017, 18:27 uur | Bericht #484169

Strong winds this weekend to pose challenges with battling the Thomas Fire, any new fires that spark


Bron afbeelding: @CNN | Twitter

Winds will again kick up and become strong, which will raise the risk of rapidly spreading wildfires in Northern and Southern California.This risk will increase as multiple fires continue to burn in the state. Hundreds of structures have already burned, and more are at risk in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito and other communities. During this weekend, north to northeasterly winds may become strong enough to break tree limbs and down power lines. Any sparks or burning embers from existing fires may initiate new blazes.


Bron afbeelding: AccuWeather

Northern California will first feel this effect begin Friday night and build into Saturday. At peak, gusts frequenting 40 to 60 mph are likely. Higher gusts may occur over some of the ridges and passes.In Southern California, the surge of northerly winds will begin around sunset on Saturday. On Sunday, winds are likely to gradually shift to the northeast. The deadly Thomas Fire is now the fourth largest in California's history and may climb the list further, according to Cal Fire.


Bron afbeelding: AccuWeather

In addition to the threat from rapidly spreading wildfires will be areas of smoke, blowing dust and difficulty for high-profile vehicles when encountering strong crosswinds.Downtown Los Angeles will be somewhat sheltered from the strong winds, as is usually the case. An area of high pressure is forecast to build southeastward across the interior West this weekend. As this occurs, barometric pressure will rise. The rush of air produced by the high will be forced over the mountains, through the passes and canyons and into some of the valley areas along the coast. Winds will begin to ease from north to south later this weekend into early next week.


Bron afbeelding: @KEYTNC3JohnP | Twitter

Bron artikel: AccuWeather.com
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17 december 2017, 15:38 uur | Bericht #484199

California winds fuel state's third-largest wildfire

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @PattersonNBC | Twitter

Strong winds that have powered the third-largest wildfire in California’s history were expected on Sunday to further fuel a blaze that has burned 267,500 acres. Nearly 8,500 firefighters are battling the so-called Thomas Fire in Southern California, which began Dec. 4 and has destroyed more than 1,000 structures and threatened 18,000 more, including homes in the wealthy town of Montecito just outside the coastal city of Santa Barbara.

While the winds were expected to ease on Sunday near Santa Barbara, northeast wind gusts up to 55 mph were forecast through Sunday for parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, National Weather Service forecasters said. The blaze, centered less than 100 miles (160 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, has forced evacuations that turned neighborhoods into ghost towns and filled the air with smoke. The fire is now 40 percent contained despite hot Santa Ana winds that have powered its expansion, at times sending embers far ahead of its main flank.

Firefighters were employing more than 970 fire engines and 34 helicopters to battle the blaze. “It is a beast,” Santa Barbara County Fire Department Division Chief Martin Johnson told a news conference on Saturday. “But we will kill it.”

Five of 20 most destructive fires in recorded history ravaged the state in 2017, according to Cal Fire.Slideshow (2 Images)The Thomas fire, the seventh-most destructive in state history, forced many schools to close for days, shut roads and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes. It was also responsible for poor air quality throughout Southern California.

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @CAL_FIRE | Twitter

On Saturday, evacuation orders were issued for parts of Santa Barbara County as high winds whipped the fire through bone-dry terrain. In Montecito on Saturday, smoke billowing from nearby canyons and pushed by the high winds choked the air, hindering aircraft from dropping flame retardant, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said. An evacuation order for the city of Ventura was lifted on Saturday morning.

Cal Fire engineer Cory Iverson, 32, died on Thursday while battling the flames near the Ventura County community of Fillmore. The blaze’s first fatality, he died of smoke inhalation and burns, the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s office said.

Bron: Reuters.com
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18 december 2017, 17:45 uur | Bericht #484211

Weakening winds aid battle against colossal California wildfire

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Bron afbeelding: @CBCNews | Twitter

California firefighters were helped overnight by weakening winds in their battle against a two-week-old deadly wildfire that has cost nearly $131 million and blackened a widening area about one-third the size of Rhode Island, officials said on Monday.Firefighters Even as the Thomas fire, one of the state’s largest and most destructive on record, charred more of Ventura County’s hills and mountains over the weekend, firefighters expected a boost this week from improving weather conditions.

The blaze and other area wildfires have been whipped up by strong and steady Santa Ana winds sweeping in from eastern California deserts. But the National Weather Service expects them to ease over the next two days.

“With the forecasted winds, temperatures are expected to be cooler and relative humidity higher allowing for favorable firefighting efforts,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in a statement.

By early Monday, about 8,500 firefighters had contained 45 percent of the blaze that broke out on Dec. 4 and scorched 270,500 acres (109,000 hectares) along the scenic Pacific Coast northwest of Los Angeles. Its size is approaching that of the 2003 Cedar blaze in San Diego County, the largest wildfire in the state’s history, which consumed 273,246 acres and caused 15 deaths.

“We’re just hoping to make it home for Christmas,” Bakersfield Fire Department Captain Tim Ortiz said Sunday at a Santa Barbara recreation center that is serving as a base camp for more than 3,000 firefighters.

Deze foto is niet meer beschikbaar
Bron afbeelding: @KPBSnews | Twitter

The Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures and threatened 18,000 others. Centered less than 100 miles (160 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, it has forced more than 104,000 people to evacuate or seek shelter. On Sunday firefighters paid their respects during a funeral procession for firefighter Cory Iverson, 32, who died of smoke inhalation and burns on Thursday while battling flames near Fillmore in Ventura County.Firefighters lined the procession route from Ventura County to his home near San Diego.

So far it has cost $130.9 million to battle the Thomas Fire, which has forced many schools and roads to close and created poor air quality throughout southern California. Evacuation orders were lifted on Sunday in several parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Five of the 20 most destructive fires on record have ravaged the state in 2017, according to Cal Fire. The cause of the Thomas fire remained under investigation.

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Bron afbeelding: @yamphoto | Twitter

Bron artikel: Reuters.com
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19 december 2017, 17:59 uur | Bericht #484234

Firefighters brace for return of dangerous winds that have fueled growth of Thomas fire


Bron afbeelding: @VCFD_PIO | Twitter

Firefighters got a temporary reprieve from the winds that have turned the Thomas fire into the third largest in state history. But the blustery, dangerous conditions are set to return. The National Weather Service said that sundowner winds with critical fire danger are possible Wednesday afternoon into the following morning, and a fire weather watch for southern Santa Barbara County is expected to be issued. Those winds could shift into Santa Ana winds from the northeast over Los Angeles and Ventura counties Thursday and Friday.

A red flag record
The Thomas fire has been fueled by the longest sustained period of fire weather warnings on record for this region. “It started on the 4th [of December], and we had 12 consecutive days of being under a red flag warning,” said specialist Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service office overseeing Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. After red flag warnings ended briefly Friday, they resumed again over the weekend

Blame high pressure
There’s been a gigantic mass of high pressure in the Pacific Ocean so large it spread to over Nevada and the Great Basin area. The mass sent storms to the north, and sent gusty winds as high as 60 mph barreling into Southern California from the north and northeast. The 12 days of red flag warnings were a record for the National Weather Service office in Oxnard, Seto said. Red flag warnings were instituted by the weather service in 2004 and are intended to alert fire agencies to hot, dry and windy conditions that foster wildfires.The winds and extremely low humidity — and the lack of rain — were a recipe for a historic fire.


Bron afbeelding: @frinjcoffee | Twitter

Santa Anas vs. sundowners
Extreme winds that come straight out of the north and northwest can be a big problem for the canyons of Santa Barbara County, which are oriented in a north-south direction and can fuel dangerous fire conditions from the northern mountains to the populated coast.

They’re often called sundowners because they tend to occur during evening hours. Similarly, Santa Ana winds that come from the northeast can cause extremely fast fire growth in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, such as in the Santa Clara Valley that connects Santa Clarita to Ventura. December and January are the high season for Santa Anas in Southern California, Seto said. “Usually, they only last a couple of days — maybe three days.”

A big problem has been the lack of rain in Southern California. “December is usually one of the big rain months,” Seto said. “Usually, that’s why we don’t have the big fire danger that we do right now.” But the combination of too little rain and all the grasses from last winter’s heavy rains that have since dried out, plus the very low humidity, fueled the rapid spread of fire, Seto said.


Bron afbeelding: @EARTH3R | Twitter

Bron artikel: LATimes.com
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20 december 2017, 16:51 uur | Bericht #484250

Another day of reckoning: Return of powerful winds make Thomas fire dangerous again

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Brin afbeelding: @newnewspage | Twitter & Reuters,com

For three days, firefighters have purposely set hillsides on fire to reduce available fuel. They’ve quenched smoldering heaps of chaparral and cut down burned trees so they don’t fall onto people passing by.Many have worked for 14 hours straight, milking the lull in winds. Some sang songs to pass the time. Now, their day of reckoning has arrived. Powerful winds that have driven the ferocious Thomas fire for more than two weeks are expected to return Wednesday afternoon.

Forecasters predict a new blast of Santa Barbara’s notorious sundowner winds, which blow down the canyons to the coast, late Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. Northerly gusts will probably exceed 40 mph, while isolated gusts of up to 60 mph are possible, according to the National Weather Service. They’ll whip through the Santa Barbara County side of the fire first, creating crucial fire conditions for the western face of the blaze, before the Santa Anas pick up in Ventura County on Thursday morning.

“Firefighters have been working hard for the last 3½ days to prep for tomorrow,” said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority. “We are confident.”

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Bron afbeelding: Cal Fire, Santa Barbara, Ventura counties en LATimes

It’s part of the vicious cycle that has kept the Thomas fire raging since it took root in the foothills above Thomas Aquinas College on Dec. 4. By Tuesday, it had charred 272,000 acres of land across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, making it the second-largest wildfire in modern California history. Despite hard-fought gains that allowed firefighters to increase containment to 55% late Tuesday, the wildfire that has destroyed 765 single-family homes is expected to keep growing. Fuel in the area remains critically dry, posing an especially acute danger when the winds pick up.

But fire departments from agencies across California are starting to travel home. “It’s drastically ramping down right now,” said Rudy Evenson, a spokesman for the multi-agency firefighting effort. “It’s nowhere near the scale that it’s been the past two weeks.”

With more containment lines in place, thousands of displaced residents near burn zones in Carpinteria, Montecito and the Santa Barbara foothills got some good news Tuesday: Finally, they could go home. “What a relief,” said Bob Boghosian, who evacuated his Toro Canyon area home a week ago, along with his wife, Beth.

They moved to their home from Anaheim Hills two years ago, after falling in love with the seclusion and ocean views. The couple knew they faced fire danger, but “up until now all this discussion about fire risk was theoretical,” Boghosian, 72, said. “I guess it comes with the territory,” he said. “We didn’t think it was quite like this.”

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Bron afbeelding: @KPCC | Twitter

Boghosian’s home was unscathed, but he is a bit worried for the future, and his East Coast friends are urging the couple to move. “Everything smells like you had a fire in the fireplace,” he said. Along Coast Village Road in Montecito, businesspeople were working to reopen shops and restaurants that had been closed for several days due to a mandatory evacuation order. The order was lifted at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Some merchants worried that closures during the peak holiday season could seriously hurt their profits for the year.

“It’s awful,” said Jason Herrick, co-owner of the Liquor and Wine Grotto. The prolonged fires have resulted in his worst month for sales since December 2009, he said. “You didn’t even see blue skies for 10 days,” he said. Herrick has owned the wine shop for nearly nine years and has been through wildfires before, but never one that lasted this long. “I don’t think everyone can sustain,” Herrick said of other business owners.

At Lucky’s, a steakhouse on the same street, employees wearing masks were working to clear ash from the patio. Larry Nobles, the restaurant’s wine director, said he could see the fire from the restaurant’s host stand a few days ago. “It looked like Armageddon coming at you,” he said. “Everybody had something packed.” Nobles was cautious about reopening the restaurant only to potentially have to close it again because of the expected return of the winds Wednesday. “Sounds like they’ve got it contained,” he said. “But you never know.”

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Bron afbeelding: @yamphoto | Twitter

Bron artikel: LATimes.com | Gewijzigd: 20 december 2017, 16:52 uur, door Lako
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2 juni, 12:47 uur | Bericht #487444

Bosbranden nu officieel geblust

De grootste natuurbrand die ooit in de Amerikaanse staat Californië heeft gewoed, is officieel geblust. Dit hebben de autoriteiten bekendgemaakt. Thomas, zoals de natuurbrand is genoemd, heeft voor grote schade gezorgd.  Volgens de beheerders van het natuurgebied Los Padres is bijna 1.200 vierkante kilometer in de as gelegd. Meer dan de helft hiervan bestaat uit natuurgebied. "Het werk gaat door. We moeten nu wegen en hekken gaan repareren", aldus de beheerders. 
De brand brak in december 2017 uit in de plaats Santa Paula. Meer dan duizend gebouwen zijn verwoest en twee mensen zijn om het leven gekomen
door het vuur. Onder de slachtoffers bevindt zich een 32-jarige brandweerman die omkwam bij de bluswerkzaamheden.

Droogte
In januari kregen de duizenden ingezette brandweermannen Thomas al onder controle. In mei werden al enkele veiligheidsmaatregelen opgeheven. Omdat er in de afgelopen twee maanden geen tekenen van de brand zijn gevonden, is het vuur nu officieel geblust. 
Californië heeft vaker te maken gekregen met grote branden als gevolg van hoge temperaturen en droogte. In oktober vorig jaar kwamen veertig mensen om het leven bij een serie natuurbranden. 

Bron: Nu.nl
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