"Crews have made significant progress attacking three major wildfires in Arizona, but fire danger across the Southwest will remain for weeks to come until seasonal rains arrive."
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
Rarely will you learn from national fire coverage the names of people whose homes the fire has destroyed or threatened. Or what flooding and wildlife loss may follow a fire. That is covered by local media or not at all. Be prepared with these resources to help you.
"The current drought, drier than any other October-through-May stretch in Texas history, has heightened the stakes in an already contentious long-term planning battle over water from these lakes, which feed the lower Colorado River as it runs southeast to the Gulf of Mexico. It has pitted fast-growing cities like Austin, which depend on the water for drinking and recreation, against rice farmers near the Gulf, who need vast amounts of water for irrigation."
Firefighters working dangerous night shifts were barely beginning to get a handle on some 6 wildfires in Arizona that were spreading to New Mexico, the largest of which, the Wallow fire, was barely more than 10 percent contained. Regional smoke continued to be a serious health threat. Authorities looked for a human cause to blame the fire on, even though the tinder-dry conditions had been causing the Wallow fire to spread at nearly 1,000 acres per hour. Evacuations began in New Mexico even as some Arizona evacuees were being allowed to return home.
Just in time for summer, 41 new segments of the US National Recreation Trails system in AL, AR, CT, FL, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NM, OK, PA, TN, and WV, covering about 650 land and water miles in 17 states, are open for business. These are part of a much larger system of about 1,100 trails spanning 13,000 miles.
"Flames from a mammoth forest fire licked the ridges surrounding the eastern Arizona town of Eagar on Tuesday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of about half the 4,000 residents as surrounding towns also prepared to empty."
Information sessions and webinars on possible health and environmental effects of aerial-applied chemicals used to fight wildfires will be held in various locations around the country during the 45-day public comment period that ends June 27, 2011.
"The Texas House gave a final OK [May 17] to the 'pork chopper' bill and sent it off to the governor's office. The bill would allow licensed hunters to hire helicopters and contract with landowners to shoot feral hogs and coyotes on their property from the sky."
"Radiation has contaminated the underground pipes, water tanks, and plumbing that provide drinking water for much of Central Texas and the famed Texas Hill Country, according to concerned city officials in the region who have tested the pipes with Geiger counters."