Fire Dept: 40-hectare forest in Kuantan on fire

Fire Dept: 40-hectare forest in Kuantan on fire

 21 April 2019

KUANTAN, April 21 — Nearly 40 hectares of a forest near the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy here have reportedly been on fire since Thursday.

Gebeng Fire and Rescue Station head Syed A. Jamaludin Syed Mohamed said they only found out about the fire at 4 pm on Thursday when a patrol team spotted it.

So far, he said, only four hectares of the area on fire had been extinguished.

“We believe the fire started deep in the forest, but we cannot determine the cause yet as we are having difficulty getting there.

“For now, we are fighting the blaze from a coconut plantation next to the forest,” he said when contacted today, adding that it took them almost 40 minutes to pass through the plantation to reach the border of the burning forest.

Apart from not having direct access, he said they also faced other problems, like limited water supply and changing wind directions.

He said Department of Environment staff and 10 coconut plantation workers were also helping them fight the blaze, which he expected to be fully extinguished in one week. — Bernama

 

German forest fire risk spikes amid high temperatures, drought

German forest fire risk spikes amid high temperatures, drought

Date 21.04.2019 | Author Jeanette Cwienk

Sun and warmth might seem like the perfect weather for Easter. But experts warn that Germany is far too dry, almost everywhere in the country.

Sun and warmth might seem like the perfect weather for Easter. But experts warn that Germany is far too dry, almost everywhere in the country.

Normally, the lucrative cash crop known as rapeseed, or canola, blooms throughout the German state of Thuringia at the end of May. But this year, you would look in vain for the yellow blossoms that are usually turned into one of the western world’s main sources of cooking oil.

According to Andre Rathgeber of the Farmers’ Association of Thuringia, the prognosis for rapeseed is so bad, most farmers have decided to clear the land for other crops.

This is because the land is far too dry, especially in the key area about 60 cm (23 inches) below the surface, said German Weather Service (DWD) meteorologist Corina Schube.

Forest fire alert level raised across Germany

German winters are supposed to be rainy — 210 liters per square meter (51.5 gallons per square foot) — but the average in recent years has dropped to only 180. And that amount is far from evenly distributed. This winter, the Black Forest was doused in 300 liters per square meter, while much of Thuringia saw only 25.

This amount of water is usual for a subtropical region, but certainly not for Germany. The drought is particularly dangerous for Germany’s forests, where even in the relatively cooler northeast, increasing temperatures have brought the forest fire danger level to either “high” or “very high.”

The risk is especially dire for the country’s many pine forests, where extremely thirsty trees drain the soil much more quickly than other types of timber. Unusually massive storms in recent years have added to the problem, as now dead wood and leave litter the forest floor in much greater amounts — making perfect kindling.

These storms also greatly weaken trees, making it harder for them to withstand the periods of drought. The drought, in turn, means trees such as pines produce less resin, making it harder for them to defend against invasive insects.

500 million trees died in summer 2018

Another way unusual weather problems are exacerbating Germany’s risk of forest fires and poor crop yields is a drought in some areas and far too heavy rainfall in others. The latter can wash away freshly planted seeds, ruining a harvest.

German agriculturalists have tried to combat climate change by planting more deciduous and fewer coniferous trees. However, the shorter roots of new trees mean they cannot reap the benefits of moisture buried deep underground, and they tend to wither much more quickly.

Sebastian Schreiber of Germany’s Agriculture Council said that 500 million young trees died in the summer heat wave of 2018.

Forestry experts are now promoting the creation of specialized, diverse forests, with plants specially chosen to protect each other from drought, storms, and parasites.

Link: https://www.dw.com/en/german-forest-fire-risk-spikes-amid-high-temperatures-drought/a-48422025

Forest fires continue to plague Mae Hong Son

Forest fires continue to plague Mae Hong Son

Breaking News April 21, 2019 12:26

By Tosapol Boonpat
The Nation

Illegal outdoor fires continue to occur in Mae Hong Son province despite the ban and the raging smog crisis.

In recent months, Mae Hong Son has been struggling with haze most of the time. Exposure to serious air pollution has become a threat to the health of locals.

Authorities have blamed outdoor fires as the key cause of smog.

However, illegal outdoor fires continue to be detected.

Satellite images confirmed that there were at least 23 hotspots in Mae Hong Son on Saturday. Of them, 13 were in Sop Moei district.

Kampanart Prachongpim, who heads Mae Hong Son’s forest-fire control division, said on Sunday that teams from several provinces had come to Mae Hong Son to help extinguish forest fires that were often caused by people.

At least, two bushfires extinguished on Saturday were caused by people going into the forest to collect forest produce.

According to him, by the time these forest fires were put out, about nine rai of forest reserves had been destroyed.

Link: https://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30368051

Rain brings relief from forest fires in Coimbatore

Rain brings relief from forest fires in Coimbatore

By: Wilson Thomas

21 April 2019

Dampens the rising danger of wildfires after weeks of dry conditions