Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wildfire news, March 1

Helicopter video

Here is a video of a pilot for Columbia helicopters, on contract in Texas, explaining the capabilities of his Boeing 107 Vertol Type 1 helicopter.

Seven killed in Nepal wildfires

At least three large fires have ravaged parts of Nepal, killing five in the Myagdi district and two in the Panchhthar district yesterday. In another fire 200 houses were destroyed at Chinnamasta Village in the Saptari district.

10 homes burned in Texas

A fire started by a power line on Saturday burned at least 10 houses in central Texas about 30 miles southeast of Austin. Two businesses were also destroyed in the 400-acre wildfire.

UPDATE: 8:30 a.m. March 1

Austin News 8 is reporting that this fire between Bastrop and Smithville has burned 23 homes and 700 acres. It is about 50% contained and 150 homes are still threatened. Saturday evening 40-mph winds were pushing the fire, but by Sunday morning the winds decreased to 20-mph.

Here is a satellite photo showing smoke from the fire. Click on it to see a larger version.

Drought in Texas

South-central Texas is the driest region in the country and it is the driest they have been since 1918. According to the Drought Monitor, the south-central part of the state is the only area in the country experiencing "exceptional drought".

Texas averaged .32 inches of rain in January, the fourth driest in history, and about one-fifth the normal monthly total. While statewide rainfall numbers have not yet been compiled for February, local numbers show that none of the state's 25 largest cities got even half their normal precipitation amounts between December 1 and February 25..

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