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Sabtu, 10 September 2011

TEXAS DROUGHT AND WILDFIRES


Astronauts aboard the International Space Station photographed east-central Texas on September 6, 2011, highlighting numerous smoke plumes caused by wildfires burning across the state. Smoke plumes are clearly visible to the east of Austin; to the north of Houston; to the northwest of Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend Reservoir; and to the west of Shreveport, Louisiana. Diffuse smoke is moving offshore into the Gulf of Mexico. Part of an ISS photovoltaic radiator panel is visible at image top center.

Wildfires have blazed across Texas for several days, but the drought conditions that fed the flames have been building for many months. The ten-month period through July was the driest in Texas state history. Entire lakes have dried up. Since last November, almost 1,500 homes have burned in nearly 21,000 fires across the state. Two deaths so far have been attributed to the fires, which have forced the evacuations of thousands of residents. The Texas drought and wildfires come on the heels of the Arizona wildfire, the largest in that state's history.


Ranch owner Myron Calley looks at a drying pond at his ranch near Snyder, Texas on August 12, 2011. Some Texas cities, including Waco and Tyler, have broken their record for 100-degree consecutive days.

An air tanker drops fire retardant on a fire in The Cliffs development on August 31, 2011 near Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas.

Sailboats are left high and dry at Benbrook Lake in Benbrook, Texas on August 16, 2011.

A rain gauge stays dry on the edge of a pasture on July 28, 2011 near Canadian, Texas.

Two firefighters break from battling a wildfire off Foster School Road near Needville, Texas on September 7, 2011.

Motorists drive through a dust storm along Highway 191 between Midland and Odessa, Texas on July 29, 2011. The dust cloud accompanied a line of storms that brought much needed precipitation to the drought stricken area.

Insulators on a power line are washed from a helicopter in Galveston, Texas on April 28, 2011. As the prolonged drought causes dust buildup on the lines, electricity distributors are using helicopters to clean equipment to prevent outages.

A cryogenic tank from the Space Shuttle Columbia was discovered in an evaporating lake bed on the shoreline of Lake Nacogdoches in east Texas, part of debris from the 2003 Columbia disaster, on August 3, 2011.

A portion of the Cypress Creek Arm of Lake Travis dry on July 20.

Spectators gather near the Congress Street bridge in downtown Austin, Texas July 27, 2011, to watch the bats make their nightly flight for food. The largest urban bat colony in the world lives below the bridge. The drought has killed off crops, and that in turn has killed off pests the Mexican free-tailed bats eat, so they begin their nightly hunt earlier, while it's still light outside.

Eddie Ray Roberts, superintendent of the waste and water department, walks on the bed of Lake E.V. Spence in Robert Lee, Texas on August 7, 2011. Roberts makes the trek toward the water line daily to check on the pump that is feeding Mt. Creek Reservoir nearly 1.3 million gallons of water daily. Every few days, Roberts or members of his small department must relocate the pump because of the receding water line

An underweight longhorn stands in a field near Stoneham, Texas in an area that was part of a 5,000-acre wildfire in June on July 14, 2011.

A white tail doe stands by a water tank on a ranch near San Angelo, Texas. Most of the wildlife in the region relies heavily on the watering holes maintained for livestock.

Charred appliances and a fireplace are all that remain of a home in Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas on August 31, 2011, the day after a wildfire swept through the area.

Dead fish sit mired in the mud of O.C. Fisher Lake on July 25, 2011 in San Angelo, Texas. The 5,440 acre lake which was established to provide flood control and serve as a secondary drinking water source for San Angelo and the surrounding communities is now dry.

A home burns in Steiner Ranch west of Austin, Texas on September 4, 2011

Flames engulf a road near Bastrop State Park as a wildfire burns out of control near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011.

Allen Hoffman runs towards the home of Patrick McAlister as smoke engulfs the house while a wildfire burns out of control near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011.

A burned ridge line smolders on September 7, 2011 east of Bastrop, Texas

A series of large wildfires approaches Bastrop, Texas on Highway 71on September 5, 2011.

The chimney of a house remains standing as the rest of the building burns to the ground near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011. Sixty separate wildfires, whipped by strong winds, were burning across Texas on Monday.

Bastrop, Texas smolders on September 6, 2011.

A melted basketball goal remains after a wildfire near Bastrop, Texas September 6, 2011. The Bastrop County Complex fire has destroyed up to 600 homes, the most of any single fire in Texas history.

Ryan Joseph Terranova packs up his belongings moments before evacuating his home in Bastrop, Texas, as a huge fire approaches on September 5, 2011. The fire destroyed nearly 500 homes during a rapid advance fanned in part by howling winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, which brought no rain.

A photograph sits amid the remains of a home in the Steiner Ranch on September 6, 2011 outside Austin, Texas

Eric Kemper looks at a letter written by his sister-in-law, who was killed in Iraq, that was stored in a fireproof cabinet after his home was destroyed by fire near Bastrop, Texas September 6, 2011.

Hillary Polly looks through belongings as Thomas Polly tries to pry open a fireproof gun safe with his father Louie Polly amongst the rubble of their burned house September 7, 2011 near Bastrop, Texas.


A statue stands charred in front of the remnants of a home on the east side of Lake Bastrop on September 6, 2011 in Bastrop, Texas.

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