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Showing posts from June, 2014

Wildfire Season in California Starts Early

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B. McPherson

A wildfire outside of Bakersfield California has forced a mandatory evacuation of 500 homes. The fire, dubbed the Shirley Fire, is currently out of control and spreading fast. It currently has consumed 2200 acres on the Alta Sierra Mountains.  Gusty winds on the weekend helped spread the fire.
Currently, over 1000 firefighters are on the job there, helped with planes and helicopters. With only 10% of the fire contained, workers are employing  overlapping duty/shift changes in order to maintain the fight. The firefighting may get more difficult later this week as the weather is expected to trend to hotter and drier. The rugged terrain is hampering the use of heavy ground equipment.
The cost of fighting this fire so far has been pegged at over $4 million. California is facing increasing costs in fighting wild fires. One of the reasons for the increase is the huge efforts to save people’s homes in areas of interface between the wild land and the urban. Where scrub land and …

Rising Seas Expose WWII Skeletons

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Their South Pacific paradise is disappearing under the waves. B. McPherson
As Europe is recognizing the 70th year since D-Day, the successful establishment of a beachhead on France’s beaches by Allied Forces, a macabre scene is playing out in the Pacific Ocean. Rising sea levels in the South Pacific have washed away soil covering graves of 26 soldiers believed to be Japanese. The Marshall Islands were the scene of fierce fighting in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. Experts will attempt to confirm and return the remains to their country of origin.
Sea level increases have been more pronounced in the tropical areas, and the S. Pacific islands have been hard hit in some areas. An island in the Marshalls, is now underwater. Some of the S. Pacific islands are based on coral atolls and have very little elevation. Others, more fortunate, are the peaks of volcanoes and have higher ground. The Marshalls have an average elevation of only 2 metres(7ft).
Sea levels are creeping up generally arou…