- SOE professors named co-directors of association
- BFA student works featured in one-week show at UAB Visual Arts Gallery
- Grant enables UAB Hospital staff to feed underprivileged moms of newborns
- Military man coming to UAB for first time, graduates Saturday
- UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences to honor distinguished alumni and friends
- ‘Tis the season of giving — UAB launches holiday blood drive
- How a cybersecurity expert protects his smartphone
- ASC presents Take 6, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Dec. 15
- Leeth named UAB School of Medicine assistant dean for strategic planning
- Coping with holiday grief
- New water plan saves big money
- Campus police offer holiday safety tips
- Alys Stephen Center Screens Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
- Hospital feeds underprivileged new moms
- UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Yo-Yo Ma Dec. 6
Dry Seasons around the country may hinder travel plans
Firefighters are still trying to subdue the Rim Fire that has been burning in and around Yosemite National Park since August 17, and some officials claim that it will not be fully contained until September 20.
As of August 31, the wildfire has burned 213,414 acres, an area larger than Chicago or San Francisco, already making it the 5th largest in California state history, according to the LATimes.
Although the initial cause of the fire is unknown at this time, fire chief Todd McNeal has gone on record in a San Jose Mercury News article saying that it is “highly suspect that there might have been some sort of illicit grove, a marijuana-grow-type thing.
“We know it’s human caused. There was no lightning in the area,” McNeal says.
Regardless of what caused the wildfire, others have pointed out that this past year’s weather conditions have made the entire Yosemite National Park area a kindling ground for an enormous fire such as the one that is currently taking place.
“Usually Yosemite Falls is roaring in July, but when we were there, it was just a trickle,” says Bill Pierce, Assistant Director of Adventure Recreation at UAB, who led a UAB Outdoor Pursuits trip to Yosemite National Park this past July. “You could tell that it was a dry summer, but it was also a weak winter – not a lot of snow.”
The Rim Fire has burned a running total of 111 structures, but one of the more concerning ramifications is its effects on the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a 1,200 acre dam that accounts for approximately 80% of San Francisco’s drinking water.
To put this in perspective, the city of Birmingham uses the 990-acre Lake Purdy as merely a secondary water source (the Cahaba River being the city’s primary water source).
Because of San Francisco’s dependence on the condition of Hetch Hetchy, five groups of firefighters have been temporarily stationed in the area, and their goal is to keep the Rim Fire from heading its way and possibly polluting the dam water.
“We, as a nation, have recently decided to ignore small wildfires because they are part of nature’s natural cycle,” says Pierce. “We’ve interrupted wildfires in the past, and therefore, a lot of fuel has collected. Now there is a price to pay for that. It was a perfect storm of condition for a very destructive fire.”
Officials claim that it will continue to blaze through everything in its path until the first rain or until snow, according to the LATimes.
“Our national lands are precious, rare, and fragile,” says Pierce. “Go see them before they change.”