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Go’s Around, Come’s Around

August 2, 2010

The news of the huge number of forest fires in Russia took me by surprise.   Russia has been suffering through the worst drought since 1972, coupled with the hottest summer temperatures since records started to be kept 130 years ago.  Last week brought the mega-fires to the forests of western Russia.  

77 towns and villages destroyed or damaged; 28 people killed and thousands more evacuated.  But the Emergencies Ministry is optimistic about control.  About 320 new fires broke out yesterday, but 210 of them were extinguished, and now only about 316,000 acres are ablaze. 

Our fire summers in the Hills are not too far distant and it is not hard to remember the baking, low-humidity days, which finally were turned a hazy yellow from the smoke of fires in the forest.  We were at a soccer game on the afternoon that the Jasper Fire blew up and went ballistic in Hills.  Over 80,000 acres of forest disappeared in the course of an afternoon and firecrews literally did have to run for it.   The smoke cloud and heat that went up into the sky that afternoon was spectacular and made the weather for the rest of the Hills the remainder of the evening.  Thunderstorms with wet-ash rain came through Rapid.

Jasper gives me an appreciation of the scale of the fire events that must be going on in Russia.  Hearing about these fires in such an after-the-fact manner is also disturbing.  It underscores just how egocentric the human race is.  Somehow everyone seems to think that the weather in their own backyard is the weather that is going on in China, Australia, and France.  But when one bothers to check the current weather in other parts of the world and compare it against the climate standards in those regions,  it’s pretty easy to see that most places are seeing aberrant weather events more frequently.

The trend everywhere is for warmer temperatures and more extreme droughts, precipitation, and storm events.  Fire-wise, it’s Russia’s turn in the barrel — but, fire season will be back to us soon enough.  And unfortunately there are a lot a trophy homes at risk in the “urban-interface.” 

JM

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Gunnar Berg permalink
    August 2, 2010 10:39 am

    “urban-interface”? I’m not certain was that is, but it sounds like good cougar habitat.

  2. dex permalink
    August 20, 2010 8:51 am

    Why do you have apostrophes in the title?

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