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Wildfire In …

FireAustralia, of course. Mother Nature really has it in for the “Land Down Under” and doesn’t want to leave any state in peace. Apparently Tropical Cyclone Bianca’s fading to a low before landfall wasn’t enough for Western Australian, so the ABC reports that Strong winds hamper Perth fire fight

Strong winds are hampering efforts to fight a fierce fire burning in Perth’s north-eastern suburbs.

The blaze at Red Hill has burnt through 750 hectares since it started last night.

Gusts of up to 75 kilometres an hour are fuelling the flames, as 150 firefighters work to protect homes in Baskerville, Brigadoon, Millendon and Herne Hill.

About 20 properties are under immediate threat.

Les Hayter from the Fire and Emergency Services Authority says strong winds are fanning the blaze and making life difficult for firefighters.

“It’s probably the biggest factor in this fire and has been since the start,” he said.

The winds have also forced water bombing aircraft out of the sky, but helicopters are still dumping water on the blaze.

They are even having rain in the Outback of the Northern Territory near Alice Springs as a result of the remnant low from Yasi, but the flood threats in Victoria are easing up a bit.

February 5, 2011   2 Comments

Yukon Quest 2011 – Day 1

Yukon Quest trail

Sled DogThey’re off, heading up the Yukon River to Braeburn.

The weather for the previous week around Whitehorse has not been good, with temperatures above freezing. This increases the risk of thin ice and causes a choppy surface as the ice breaks up and re-freezes. Fortunately the temperatures have dropped back down to the more normal single digit range, so there is less of a threat of dogs overheating. The dogs prefer to work below 20° F [-7° C].

They will have about 6 hours of sun left today. as the days are at 8¼ hours, increasing at about 5 minutes per day. The moon won’t be much help as it is a waxing crescent.

It’s about 100 miles [160 kilometers] to Braeburn where there is a two hour mandatory stop. [Update: there has been a rule change and the stop is now four hours and an adjustment for the start time. It means that the last team to leave Whitehorse only has to wait 4 hours, but the first team must wait 5 hours and 12 minutes, the extra hour and 12 minutes being the initial time advantage. After Braeburn, with this change, the first team in the next checkpoint is definitely the race leader. Previously the adjustment was added at Dawson.]

If you have a favorite team, the best resource is the YQ Live Tracking link on my sidebar, as the teams are carrying GPS markers.

I will be updating the daily post, rather than issuing individual posts.

February 5, 2011   6 Comments