After reading and viewing dramatic scenes of wildfires blazing in California last year, now the Northern Hemisphere endures records freezes as the Southern Hemisphere roasts in record heat (as the author downs a cold beer after a day working outdoors). While all is tranquil here in Christchurch, the Tasman region has endured several stressful days of intense blazes threatening homes and livelihoods, not to mention livestock in this highly rural region. And there’s no signs of it letting up:
- Pigeon Valley fire continued to “burn actively overnight” as it heads into its fifth day.
- The blaze covers 2100ha with a perimeter of 27km.
- About 100 personnel fought the fire overnight.
- About 1000 houses and 3500 people had been evacuated.
- With 22 helicopters battling the blazes, it is the largest aerial firefight on record.
- It is also the largest forest fire since a blaze in Canterbury in 1955.
With winds of 50km/h forecast in Nelson tomorrow, concerns are the conditions could fan the flames of the massive Pigeon Valley fire and prevent helicopters from flying.
The fire wreaking havoc near Nelson is burning into its fifth day, covering 2100ha with a perimeter of 27km…Read More at header link.
As if that weren’t enough, Wellington (already slated to be the next earthquake “target”) is now dealing with a growing hill fire:
Newstalk ZB’s Katrina Bennett is near the fire scene.
Bennett said police are manning a cordon around the blaze.
“You can see flames in the trees, still shooting up into the sky.
“There’s a lot of smoke, and a bit of a haze in the sky as well.”
Read More at header link.
It seems uncertain as yet, as to whether these fires can simply be ascribed to the dry conditions and nature, careless human activity, or willful arsonism. Inevitably, as with the situation in California, Directed Energy Weapons will be thrown into the mix as a possible factor. Similar claims were made about fires of a suspicious nature here in Christchurch a few years back (as a “practice run” for Cali.) At this stage, all possibilities should be considered, but no hasty or premature conclusions reached. Instead, let’s just hope and pray for the safety of those affected.