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April 13th, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP April 13, 2014 @ 10:56 am

Chile: Wildfires raging in Valparaiso has killed at least 11 people and destroyed 500 homes; thousands evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a prison.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/04/13/raging-fire-in-chile-claims-at-least-11-lives-destroys-hundreds-homes/



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April 13th, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 5:55 am

CNN: “Two people are killed by wildfire raging on the edge of Valparaiso, Chile….”

Fire / Wildfire / Fire Safety

Log on to: http://edition.cnn.com for the latest news



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April 13th, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 4:58 am

Valparaiso, Chile: — A large forest fire has killed at least four people and destroyed 500 homes

Fire / Wildfire / Fire Safety, Fire Service

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/13/forest-fire-chile-homes/7664531/

NASA: Valparaiso

Image credit: Servir/ISERV



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April 10th, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP April 10, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

U.S. Residential Building Electrical Fires (2009-2011)

Fire / Wildfire / Fire Safety, Fire Service

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/reports/electrical_and_appliances.shtm

Statistical Reports: Electrical and Appliance Fires

New: Residential Building Electrical Fires (2009-2011)

Residential Building Electrical Fires (2009-2011) » (PDF, 597 Kb)



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March 31st, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP March 31, 2014 @ 11:31 am

NASA: A large fire burning in India’s Sri Venkateshwara National Park

Fire / Wildfire / Fire Safety

Forest fires in India

A large fire was burning in India’s Sri Venkateshwara National Park on March 24, 2014, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image. The fires are outlined in red. The park consists of dry deciduous forest, and is home to a wide range of rare wildlife, including tigers and the golden gecko. According to local news reports, several forest fires have burned in national parks and wildlife reserves in the hills of Andhra Pradesh over the past week. The protected forested land is dark green in contrast to the surrounding tan landscape.

  1. References

  2. Andhra Pradesh Forest Department Sri Venkateshwara Sanctuary & National Park. Accessed March 24, 2014.
  3. Times of India (2014, March 22) Fresh fire singes Seshachalam; Nallamala blaze rages. Accessed March 24, 2014.

NASA image courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Instrument(s): 
Aqua – MODIS


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March 22nd, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP March 22, 2014 @ 12:08 am

Jersey Shore: Motel fire leaves 4 dead & 8 injured

Fire / Wildfire / Fire Safety

http://www.northjersey.com/news/jersey-shore-motel-fire-leaves-4-dead-8-others-injured-1.748042



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March 21st, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP March 21, 2014 @ 5:23 am

NASA: Fire and smoke dominate the landscape in Southeast Asia

Fire / Wildfire / Fire Safety

Fires in Southeast Asia

Fire and smoke dominate the landscape in this image of Southeast Asia taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)  on NASA’s Aqua satellite on March 18, 2014. Marked in red, the fires burn largely in the subtropical forests common in northern Indochina. Most fires in this region are deliberately set for a variety of reasons, including slash and burn agriculture. When a plot of land becomes exhausted, farmers shift cultivation to another plot where they cut the trees and brush at the beginning of the dry season in January and February. Once the dead plant material has dried, they set fire to it. Such fires peak in March and April.

From space, MODIS detects thermal anomalies, including fires, flares, and volcanoes. Each MODIS “fire pixel” or fire detection covers one square kilometer, which means that one or more fire is burning in the corresponding one-square kilometer area on the ground. In the wider large image, there are approximately 850 fire pixels, so there are at least 850 fires burning in this scene. MODIS tends to undercount fires because it can’t detect fires through smoke or clouds, nor does it see small cool fires—a fire type common to land use fires.

Satellite measurements of fire are valuable because they show the density of the fires and patterns in fire timing and frequency. Such patterns can help scientists assess the health of the burned forest. The forest in this region is a mosaic of deciduous and evergreen forest and can be prone to fire, particularly deciduous bamboo forest. While fire can stimulate new growth in the forest, if fires occur too frequently, the nature of the forest (and its ability to take in carbon) will change.

The image also shows where smoke is affecting air quality. The smoke contains soot and other particulates that pose a threat to human health and affect regional climate. Burning also releases greenhouse gases. Globally, fires release about 2 Petagrams of carbon into the atmosphere every year. Deforestation and other land use change accounted for about 8 percent of human carbon emissions between 2003 and 2012, though such emissions are decreasing.

  1. References

  2. Chien, S. et al. Space-based sensorweb monitoring of wildfires in Thailand. (pdf) Accessed March 18, 2014.
  3. Global Carbon Project (2013, November 19) Carbon Budget 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.
  4. Muller, D. et al. (2013, January 22) The value of satellite-based active fire data for monitoring, reporting, and verification of REDD+ in the Lao PDR. (pdf) Human Ecology. Accessed March 18, 2014.
  5. Van der Werf, et al. (2010) Global fire emissions and the contribution of deforestation, savanna, forest, agricultural, and peat fires (1997-2009). Accessed March 18, 2014. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Accessed March 18, 2014.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Instrument(s): 
Aqua – MODIS

 



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February 24th, 2014 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP February 24, 2014 @ 4:56 am

NASA: Fires in Florida

Fire / Wildfire / Fire Safety

 

In the United States, “fire” is synonymous with large wildfires burning in western forests, but more than half of all fires in the United States are in the Southeast. Several fires were burning on February 17, 2014, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image. The fires are outlined in red.

It’s impossible to tell from the image alone what is burning or how the fires started. The southeastern United States is a highly managed landscape, and fire is an important management tool. State and federal forest services and industrial foresters use fire to thin tree stands. Sugarcane producers burn fields to strip away unneeded leaves before harvest in the winter. Farmers raising row crops such as soy, cotton, or rice burn residual stubble after harvest and before replanting, typically in the summer and fall.

These fires may also be prescribed fires in farms, grasslands, swamps, or forests. Florida is prone to fire, and so the Florida Forest Service promotes the use of prescribed fire to cut down on wildfire risk.  At the end of January 2014, the agency had authorized more than 1,600 prescribed burn managers to burn 2.3 million acres of land annually—one of the most extensive prescribed burning programs in the nation. This means that it is likely that at least some of the fires seen in the image are prescribed burns.

The Florida Forest Service also reported a number of wildfires burning throughout the state. According to local news reports, a warm, wet summer spurred plant growth. The plants dried out as a result of freezing temperatures during the winter, leaving plenty of fuel for fires.

  1. References

  2. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (2014, January 27) Florida’s prescribed fire awareness week ignites interest, participation in prescribed fire programs. Accessed February 19, 2014.
  3. Florida Forest Service (2014, February 19) Fire incidents. Accessed February 19, 2014.
  4. McCarty, J.L., et al. (2006) Agricultural burning in the Southeastern United States as detected by MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment. Accessed February 19, 2014.
  5. StAugustine.com (2014, January 27) Controlled burns now means fewer wildfires later. Accessed February 19, 2014.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Instrument: 
Aqua – MODIS

 

 



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