Wildfires in the West, Hurricanes in the East

“O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away” Hosea 6:4

California wildfires: more storms feared as huge blazes burn on

by Sam Levin in Los Angeles for the Guardian — Mon 24 Aug 2020

Firefighters in California prepared on Sunday for high winds and thunderstorms that threatened to spark new blazes and further spread existing fires, as officials warned capacity was stretched to levels “not seen in recent history.”

Progress was made against three massive and destructive wildfires during a calm stretch overnight on Saturday. However the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a “red flag” warning through Monday afternoon for the drought-stricken area, meaning extreme fire conditions including high temperatures, low humidity and wind gusts up to 65mph could result in “dangerous and unpredictable fire behaviour.”

Getty ImagesThe Californians with nowhere to go as wildfires rage. . .

Firefighters in California prepared on Sunday for high winds and thunderstorms that threatened to spark new blazes and further spread existing fires, as officials warned capacity was stretched to levels “not seen in recent history”.

Progress was made against three massive and destructive wildfires during a calm stretch overnight on Saturday. However the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a “red flag” warning through Monday afternoon for the drought-stricken area, meaning extreme fire conditions including high temperatures, low humidity and wind gusts up to 65mph could result in “dangerous and unpredictable fire behaviour.”

With the red flag warning in place, she urged residents to be prepared to evacuate at any moment, and advised them to consider evacuating if they are concerned, even if orders aren’t in place: “Be ready to leave in the dead of night if it comes to that. If your sixth sense just says I need to leave, then please do so. Do not wait to be told to leave.”

The “complexes”, or groups of fires, were burning on all sides of the San Francisco Bay Area, and have destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and structures and forced tens of thousands to evacuate. Ignited by nearly 12,000 lightning strikes across the state in the past week, the fires have claimed six lives so far and have burned significantly more acres than all of the fire damage in 2019. Officials are now seeking assistance from states across the US, as well as Canada and Australia.

Shana Jones, chief for Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa unit, said the state’s resources were “stretched to capacity that we have not seen in recent history”, and noted at a Sunday news conference that even with an influx of support, there were still huge challenges: “We are definitely far from getting these fires handled. We are not out of the woods by far.”

Since 15 August, state fire officials said, more than 500 fires of varying sizes have burned throughout California, scorching a million acres, or 1,562sq miles. Of those, about two dozen major fires are attracting much of the state’s resources.

Other casualties included ancient redwood trees at California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods, plus the park’s headquarters and campgrounds. Smoke from the fires made air quality dangerous, forcing millions to stay inside and creating significant new public health challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Donald Trump on Saturday issued a major disaster declaration to provide federal assistance. Governor Gavin Newsom said the declaration will help people with crisis counseling, housing and other social services.

Fire officials have struggled to get enough resources to fight the biggest fires. The wine country fire has only 1,700 firefighters on scene. By comparison, the state had 5,000 firefighters assigned to the Mendocino Complex Fire in 2018, the largest fire in state history.

Underscoring the danger for firefighters, the Sonoma county sheriff’s office released dramatic video of the helicopter rescue on Friday night of two firefighters trapped on a ridge line at Point Reyes National Seashore.

“Had it not been for that helicopter, those firefighters would certainly have perished,” said Sonoma county sheriff Mark Essick.

The Guardian HERE

(CNN) The Gulf Coast will get walloped by a tropical storm and a hurricane this week, bringing torrential rain, fierce winds and ferocious storm surges.

By Holly Yan, Dave Hennen and Dakin Andone, CNN — August 24, 2020

First up: Marco, which strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane Sunday but weakened overnight to sustained winds of 70 mph — just under the hurricane threshold. Marco is expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coast Monday.

Then there’s Tropical Storm Laura, which is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane before it makes landfall on the US mainland late Wednesday or early Thursday. Laura is also expected to make landfall on or near the Louisiana coast.

National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Schott said Laura could possibly be a Category 3 storm as it approaches the state, bringing up to 10 feet of storm surge to the southeastern coastline. If the storm holds its strength, water could be pushed back up the state’s rivers as far as 30 miles inland, he said.

Parts of Louisiana will start to see the effects of Tropical Storm Laura by Wednesday morning, after Marco leaves the state Tuesday evening, Schott said.

As Landfall Nears Hurricane Laura Continues to Strengthen“The unprecedented kind of thing here is that it’s the same state within 48 hours of each other,” Schott previously said.

“In modern meteorological history … there’s never been anything like this before where you could have possibly two hurricanes hitting within miles of each other over a 48 hour period.”

“Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke . . . ” Hosea 5:9

CNN HERE

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~ by Joel Huan on August 25, 2020.

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