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Forest Fires

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NEWS
September 13, 1988
The restorative powers of nature are awesome. Even as fires burn on in Yellowstone National Park, seedlings are beginning to peek through the ashes, and wildlife is grazing beneath still-smoldering pines. Nearly half of the 2.2 million-acre park - the nation's oldest - has been burned since forest fires began raging in July. Yet, contrary to some descriptions, Yellowstone has not been "destroyed. " It has merely entered into a new - natural - phase. Asked what Yellowstone will be like next year as a result of the fires, ranger Bruce Blair explained: "It will be different, that's all. There is no better or worse in this park; there is just change.
NEWS
April 5, 1986 | By Eric Harrison, Inquirer Staff Writer (Inquirer wire services contributed to this article.)
Maneuvering his car slowly down a narrow dirt road, Ron Couch hesitated beside a fire-blackened clump of trees, part of a 43-acre swath of smoldering forest land. "That's where this one started," said Couch, a U.S. Forest Service official, motioning toward a charred pile of trash. The fire - like so many of the more than 1,000 that have destroyed more than 23,000 acres of national and private woodlands in eastern Kentucky so far this year - was believed to have been deliberately set. But after a month-long battle with thousands of forest fires across the central and southeastern United States, firefighters appeared to be gaining the upper hand this week.
NEWS
March 19, 1989 | Inquirer wire services contributed to this article
Firefighters contained a windswept blaze yesterday that burned 3,200 acres of forest in the Pinelands area of Burlington County and controlled an 800- acre fire in Ocean County. Ray Holmes, a division fire warden with the state Fire Service in New Lisbon, said that the Burlington County fire, in an unpopulated section of Bass River Township, was declared under control at noon yesterday. Holmes said temperatures in the mid-70s and winds topping 45 m.p.h. had hampered firefighters, who sought yesterday afternoon to burn a strip in the fire's path in order to prevent it from spreading.
NEWS
May 12, 1986 | By Daniel LeDuc, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was a Monday evening about 5:15, and the two fire trucks from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service were doing what they were not accustomed to doing: crashing through the back fences of homes in the elegant King's Grant development in Evesham Township, racing to save homes instead of forest land. They would manage to save most by drenching them with water, but five houses would be badly damaged, one wood-frame home on Kirkwood Court would be destroyed and acres of forest would continue to burn.
NEWS
November 8, 1987 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Smoke from forest fires was blamed for a collision between a chartered and a stalled pickup on the West Virginia Turnpike early yesterday in which one person was killed, state police said. "It happened so fast. There was a truck in the road with no lights and the driver tried to swerve to keep from hitting him," said bus passenger Otha Robinson, 49, of Columbus, Ohio. "We went off the embankment and the next thing I know we were just going down the hill crashing into trees and things," Robinson said.
NEWS
March 5, 2004 | By Joseph A. Gambardello INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the forests and woods of South Jersey, these are the waning days of the season of fighting fire with fire. From Cape May through the Pinelands, state Forest Fire Service crews, as well as private land owners, have been setting controlled blazes to burn leaves and undergrowth that could let a wildfire spread, possibly consuming thousands of acres of woods or homes in its path. It is a defensive measure that one seasoned firefighter said marked "springtime in New Jersey in the pines.
NEWS
August 13, 2000 | By Robert H. Nelson
This year's forest-fire season in the West may be the worst in 30 years. By now, an area larger than Connecticut - 4 million acres - has burned, and more is likely to come before the fire season peaks in the weeks ahead. These fires are not random acts of nature. They are the result of government policy decisions that have backfired. Washington decision makers lost a gamble that the weather would remain wet enough and the winds low enough to avoid looming catastrophic fire. The current wave of devastating fires has resulted from an unnatural buildup of dry, highly flammable excess wood.
NEWS
November 9, 1987 | By GLORIA CAMPISI, Daily News Staff Writer (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
A glance heavenward over the weekend may have brought to mind that old favorite, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. " Smoke from forest fires ravaging hundreds of thousands of acres in Southern states has been carried northeast as far as New England by the winds, but a Philadelphia city health official said it has created little more than a pall of haze and some discomfort locally. "I would say people with severe respiratory problems may experience a little bit more difficulty than normal, but I don't imagine it to be a major health impact," Len Mangiaracina, deputy health commissioner and the city's environmental protection chief, said last night.
NEWS
July 7, 2002 | By Cynthia J. McGroarty INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A massive white smoke cloud that moved through the Philadelphia area yesterday, prompting residents to call local fire departments, was indeed coming from a fire - in Canada. The 800-mile-long plume of acrid, chalk-colored haze originated from a large area of forest fires in central Quebec, Dean Iovino, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said. "It's actually a series of clouds that has spread south," Iovino said. The cloud arrived in the area about midday, he said.
NEWS
April 4, 1994 | By Claire Furia, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The shaggy brown bear roaming the grounds of Valley Forge National Historical Park on Saturday did little to frighten unsuspecting visitors. On the contrary, children ran up to hug the friendly costumed character and wish him a happy 50th birthday. Smokey Bear has served as the U.S. Forest Service's symbol of fire prevention for five decades. According to a federal survey, only Santa Claus is a more popular children's icon. "I wanted to watch him," said Lars Lee, 6, of King of Prussia.
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NEWS
April 26, 2014 | By Michael Boren and Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writers
BERKELEY TWP., N.J. - A combination of low humidity and high winds whipped up a pair of forest fires and prompted evacuations Thursday in Ocean County. An initial fire was contained but a 300-acre blaze that started before 1 p.m. in Berkeley Township prompted officials to order the evacuation of more than 600 homes for fear that the flames would reach them. That fire was still burning late Thursday, and officials reported that only 15 percent of it had been contained. But that was enough for officials to announce that the evacuated residents would be allowed to return overnight.
NEWS
March 5, 2013 | By Edward Colimore, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The clouds of white smoke rising over the oak and pine forests of Maurice River Township, Cumberland County on Monday alarmed some area residents and passersby. A few reported it to the local authorities and news media. But this Pinelands fire was never out of control. It was purposely set - and carefully monitored - by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service as part of a plan to reduce heavy brush that might act as fuel for more destructive blazes in the wildfire season that begins this month.
NEWS
August 6, 2012 | By Harold Heckle, Associated Press
MADRID - Wildfires fanned by fierce winds and high temperatures raged across a western Spanish region and on the Canary Islands on Sunday, threatening to cut off phone contact with one island, killing an emergency worker and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people, officials said. A 35-year-old man from an army emergency services unit died in a vehicle accident while battling the wildfires in the Extremadura region, and three others were injured. A fourth firefighter had to be treated after inhaling smoke.
NEWS
July 7, 2012 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
The devastation from the forest fires was unlike any in New Jersey since record-keeping began in 1906. Miles of woodland were blackened - 183,000 acres in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Ocean, Atlantic, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Middlesex Counties. Nearly 400 homes and buildings were reduced to ashes and seven people were killed in wind-driven fires over three days in April 1963. The blaze was never forgotten by New Jersey officials, who have been reminded of it again by deadly wildfires in Colorado and are working to improve management of nearly two million acres of state-owned or -supervised forests to avoid a similar disaster.
NEWS
May 13, 2012 | By Scott Sonner, Associated Press
RENO, Nev. - Smokey Bear has done such a good job stamping out forest fires the last half-century that a woodpecker that has survived for millions of years by eating beetle larvae in burned trees is in danger of going extinct in parts of the West, according to conservationists seeking U.S. protection for the bird. Four conservation groups filed a petition with the U.S. Interior Department this month to list the black-backed woodpecker under the Endangered Species Act in the Sierra Nevada, Oregon's Eastern Cascades, and the Black Hills of eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.
NEWS
April 10, 2012 | By Darran Simon and James Osborne, Inquirer Staff Writers
Three days after crews battled two suspicious fires that scorched 400 acres in the Pinelands before being controlled, firefighters fought a new wind-whipped blaze on Monday that burned more than twice as many acres and threatened several homes in Burlington County. Michael Drake, acting fire warden for the state Forest Fire Service, said officials had evidence that Monday's blaze was set, as were Friday's blazes in the Winslow Wildlife Management Area in Camden County. He would not elaborate.
NEWS
August 1, 2011 | By James Osborne, Inquirer Staff Writer
A thick scar runs across the trunk where a lightning bolt struck, sending a charge through the tree and into the debris covering the ground. The result: a spark, slow smoldering, and then a one-acre fire that might have spread across the Pine Barrens had it not been spotted from a nearby airfield early last week. "These are easy," said Steve Holmes, a division warden with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. "But we don't get a lot of lightning strikes. Almost all the fires we're investigating are started by people.
TRAVEL
July 17, 2011 | By Anne Z. Cooke, DALLAS MORNING NEWS
GREENOUGH, Mont. - From where I sat, on a log in front of a crackling campfire near Bull Creek, deep in the heart of Montana's Lolo National Forest, all the world seemed wilderness. Above us, the night sky was alight with stars. Beneath our feet, the piney scent of freshly scuffed earth summoned a long-forgotten memory, an echo from ancient days when primitive people gathered together after dark, not in front of a television but around a communal campfire. Under any other circumstances, you'd have thought the nine of us, a group of sometime-adventurers from California, New Jersey, and Texas, were roughing it. But this was the Encampment at Bull Creek, the luxury tent camp run by the Resort at Paws Up, a guest ranch and resort 30 miles east of Missoula.
NEWS
August 10, 2010 | By Amy Worden and David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writers
EPHRATA, Pa. - Members of the Mennonite church first came together 90 years ago to ship tractors and plows to fellow Mennonite farmers in Russia and the Ukraine, starving because of war. Later, in war-torn Vietnam, or when a tsunami ravaged Indonesia or, most recently, when an earthquake wreaked havoc in Haiti, they were there to help the general population. The Mennonite Central Committee has evolved into a global disaster response relief and community-building enterprise.
NEWS
July 1, 2010 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
The pleasant weather Wednesday and Thursday comes with warnings. Wildfires are a worry throughout the entire region - Eastern Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware and all of New Jersey - following a hot June with little recent rain, according to the National Weather Service. Last week, several forest fires burned about 1,300 acres in the New Jersey Pinelands. With no rain expected through next Wednesday, the threat could even worsen, with peak fireworks season kicking in as the heat returns.
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