In California this week, a cooking fire went wild, scorching 1.4 square miles (3.62 square km) and forcing the evacuation of 300 homes. We have no word of any injury or property damage at this point, but the surprising thing about this fire is just how early it came. Fire season does not typically arrive until June. However, California is in crisis due to their prolonged drought. State climatologist, Michael Anderson showed that conditions are similar to the Dust Bowl, as we argued last week. The drought so far has cost farmers $1.5 billion in economic losses. In the face of that, California’s fire season does not abate. Fires do not usually happen in the spring, because vegetation is covered in moisture, making poor fuel. Alberta, meanwhile, is off to an intense fire season start, with 15 currently burning in the province. The situation could get worse in the summer, due to a low snowpack. We will certainly be keeping an eye on that situation.
India recorded high temperatures this week, a scorching 43.7ºC (110.7ºF) the hottest so far. The Ahmedabad Municipal Council shut down all outdoor labour in response to the heat. The elderly are particularly vulnerable in the face of such high temperatures. When it is that hot, drinking plenty of water and staying in air conditioning or government cooling enters is imperative. Outdoor exercise should be avoided as heat stroke and heat exhaustion are real possibilities. Heat stroke, if not treated properly can be fatal.
A landslide in Bangladesh has claimed the lives of two people. The landslide was likely triggered by rain, as several districts in Bangladesh have received five times the expected rainfall for last week. Two additional landslides blocked traffic in two different US states, although no injuries were reported with regards to either event.
Unfortunately, the tragic events we reported on are in no way a full reflection of what has been going on in the world. If you would like to see all of our headlines from the past week, please click here.