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Wildfire on La Palma

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Xilman's picture
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Last seen: 7 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 24/03/2018 - 15:17
Wildfire on La Palma

I don't know how much this has hit the UK sources but the fires on La Palma are big news here and in mainland Spain.

The outbreak covers a few square kilometres (though not all is on fire simultaneously because there are many patches of fire) and a few hundred people have been evacuated, including all the staff up on El Roque. Many roads are closed.

The authorities are seriously concerned because of the strong winds (up to 50km/hour), high temperatures and low humidity. At least 8 aircraft are in use, with more on the way, and over a hundred firefighters, again with more to arrive in the next day or few.

The smoke plume is very obvious here at Tacande, some 30km south of the fires.

nickjames's picture
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Wildfire

That's quite close to where I stay when I'm on LP. Hopefully they will get it under control. A local news report here.

Xilman's picture
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Fire

The fire is mostly under control, though there are still some hot spots that need attention.

A major problem has been the weather. About 20% humidity, winds up to 50km/hour and temperatures up to 35C.

Last night I opened up the observatory and took some images. The dome temperature never fell below 20C and the wind-induced seeing was about 6 to 7 arcseconds. No good for pretty pictures but photometry was possible, albeit at the cost of markedly increased exposure times.

Wind is really howling now ...

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Joined: 22/11/2018 - 23:57
Fire

Glad to hear the situation is mostly under control.  Disturbingly similar scenes to those at Lick just a few days earlier.  From what I have gathered Lick is OK, but the images from a few days ago were pretty worrying (e.g. see this Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/astrojennb/status/1296305599529902080).

Xilman's picture
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Status as of today, Monday 24th

https://tvlapalma.com/not/18598/incendio-palma-continua-estabilizado-vec... has a good report and an aerial view showing the burnt area and (apparent) lack of active fires.  It explains that evacuees can not return until the authorities are certain the fire will not start up again.

If you don't read Spanish, Google Translate will come to your aid.