In this file:


·         BBC: US heatwave: Could US and Canada see the worst wildfires yet?

·         CBC: Another Manitoba municipality declares state of agricultural disaster due to drought and heat

·         NYT: Heat Wave Updates: Temperatures Ease, but Fires Grow Across the West



US heatwave: Could US and Canada see the worst wildfires yet?

Parts of the west coast saw record-breaking wildfires in 2020, and there are early signs this season could be severe


BBC News (UK)

Jul 13, 2021


After record temperatures, western parts of the US and Canada are bracing themselves for the annual wildfire season.


There are warnings that this season could be another highly destructive one, so we've looked at why that might be.

Potential for wildfires 'sky-high'


Experts told us the potential for a record-breaking wildfire season is significant.


Dr Mike Flannigan, professor of wildland fires at the University of Alberta, said that fires need three ingredients:


·         vegetation or fuel

·         ignition (caused by humans or lightning)

·         hot, dry and windy weather


Dr Flannigan added: "It really depends on the day-to-day weather, but the potential is sky-high for parts of Canada and the American west as they are in a multi-year drought. "


The US drought monitor - a partnership between the Department of Agriculture and other expert organisations - says half the nation is under some form of drought, with the most severe in western states.


In June this year, parts of western Canada recorded their highest-ever temperatures...


What do the fires look like so far? ...


Is climate change leading to more fires? ...


more, including links, U.S. drought map, US-Canada charts



Another Manitoba municipality declares state of agricultural disaster due to drought and heat

Rural Municipality of Armstrong is 2nd community to declare state of disaster


CBC News (Canada)

Jul 12, 2021


Another rural municipality in Manitoba has declared a state of agricultural disaster — the second municipality in less than a week following a season of relentless heat, record-breaking temperatures and drought.


On Friday, the rural municipality of Armstrong in the Interlake region north of Winnipeg declared a disaster after a week of hot temperatures and just before a weekend heat wave where temperatures reached the mid-30s C.


The move came less than a week after the neighbouring rural municipality of St. Laurent declared a state of disaster of its own.


The rural municipality of Armstrong is requesting immediate assistance from the federal and provincial governments to provide support to farmers for tax deferrals, feed shortages, freight assistance and compensation for additional wells being drilled, according to minutes from a special council meeting on Friday.


For part of the day on Monday, Manitoba saw a little bit of rain, but for many farmers it wasn't enough to reverse a season marred by relentless heat, record-breaking temperatures and drought...


Drought brings grasshopper surge ...


Province considering aid ...


more, including links



Heat Wave Updates: Temperatures Ease, but Fires Grow Across the West

After shattering heat records, some parts of the region cooled off this week, even as wildfires continued to spark and spread across 12 states.


By Giulia Heyward, The New York Times (NYT)

July 14, 2021


The scorching temperatures that fueled quick-spreading wildfires and fears of power outages across the Western United States began to ease some this week. But warnings of dangerous conditions continued in many places, with more on the horizon.


At least 67 weather stations from Washington State through New Mexico have recorded their hottest temperatures ever this summer, the National Weather Service said. Those records stretched back at least 75 years. Some of the West’s largest cities, including Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, broke or tied their records in recent days.


The punishing heat has forced restaurants and outdoor vaccine clinics to close across California, Nevada, Utah and other Western states, and people flocked to cooling centers as temperatures reached 118 degrees in some cities over the past week. More than 30 million people endured excessive heat warnings and advisories over the weekend.


California’s Death Valley stole the show with a 130-degree high, matching a reading from last year that may be the highest reliably recorded temperature on earth.


The heat, compounding already dry conditions from a drought deepened by climate change, fueled a megafire that has forced evacuations in southern Oregon and threatened the electrical power grid for neighboring California. Fire officials called the blaze’s intensity “unprecedented” this early in the state’s fire season...


See where wildfires are burning across the West ...


Smoke is choking Western skies, causing health problems ...


Health warnings continued amid dangerously high temperatures ...


What can we expect the rest of the week? ...


Climate change is playing a role in the heat, drought and fires ...


How hot was it? Records fell across the West ...


Residents in California were urged to conserve power ...


more, including links