U.S.San Bernardino County hotshot firefighter killed while battling Montana wildfire Los Angeles Times 5 hours agoA 29-year-old San Bernardino National Forest firefighter who was a member of an elite hotshot crew was killed this week while battling a wildfire in Montana, authorities said.Brent Witham, of Mentone, died Wednesday in a “tree-felling” accident while battling the lightning-caused Lolo Peak fire in western Montana, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.itham was struck by a falling snag, or dead tree, the Missoulian newspaper reported.Witham had been a member of the San Bernardino National Forest’s Vista Grande hotshot crew, based in Idyllwild, since 2015, the Forest Service said in a statement.He began his firefighting career with the Forest Service in 2011, working with a wildfire hand crew, officials said.“Brent was a hardworking professional, who was eager to learn and be the best that he could be,” San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron said in a statement. “He will be missed by all he touched.”The high-elevation Lolo Peak fire started July 15 and has burned 6,875 acres in remote backcountry, authorities said. About 353 firefighters were battling the blaze as of Friday.Witham is the second firefighter within the last two weeks to be killed in Montana by a falling snag, according to the Missoulian.On July 19, Trenton Johnson, 19, who worked for a private firefighting company in Oregon, was killed by a burning snag that fell while he worked a fire near Seeley Lake, about 50 miles northeast of Missoula, the Missoulian reported.Johnson was a standout high school lacrosse player in Missoula and was attending Montana State University.He was working on his second fire with the company Grayback Forestry, which was under contract with the U.S. Forest Service, according to the Missoulian.The last time a wildland firefighter died in Montana was 2001, the newspaper firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @haileybranson
World Mount Sinabung Spews Volcanic Ash Over 2 Miles High in Latest Eruption
Storyful Thu, Aug 3 10:18 AM PDT 0:231:522:09
World Louisiana Coast ‘Dead Zone’ Is Largest Ever Recorded, Size Of New Jersey
Denisse Moreno,International Business Times Thu, Aug 3 10:50 AM PDTA “dead zone,” which is an area of low oxygen that kills fish and marine life, appears every year in the Gulf of Mexico and is measured by scientists. This year, researchers recorded the largest dead zone, measuring the size of New Jersey, NOAA announcedWednesday.The dead zone, located off the coast of Louisiana, measures about 8,185 square miles. The size of the area is the biggest since scientists began mapping the location in 1985.Read: Anxiety And Social Media: Brain’s Addiction To Checking AccountsThe deadzone has been fueled by agriculture and wastewater. Nutrient pollution from agriculture, due to the use of fertilizers in the Midwest, and developed land runoff in the Mississippi River, has negatively impacted the Gulf of Mexico.Scientists from Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium collected data to find out the size of the dead zone aboard the R/V Pelican from July 24 to July 31.“We expected one of the largest zones ever recorded because the Mississippi River discharge levels, and the May data indicated a high delivery of nutrients during this critical month which stimulates the mid-summer dead zone,” Nancy Rabalais, a research professor at LSU, said in a statement.The LSU and LUMC emphasized that the entire area was not mapped because of insufficient days on the ship, meaning the dead zone is larger. Researchers said there was more hypoxia to the west, but ran out of time to map it.Negative Impacts Of The Dead Zone The nutrients that pour from the river lead to a massive growth of algae which then die and decompose. That process uses up the oxygen needed to support fish and marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. The low oxygen, also called hypoxia, can lead to the loss of fish habitat, force fish to migrate to other areas to stay alive and can also decrease reproductive capabilities in fish species.Read: Survey: ISIS And Climate Change Seen As Biggest National Security ThreatsThe low oxygen levels can lower the amount of shrimp caught, which is bad news for fishermen. Hypoxia can also slow shrimp growth, which can lead to a decline of large shrimp. There has already been evidence of dead zones impacting the shrimp industry. A NOAA-funded study by Duke University published this year found the price of small shrimp decreased while the cost of large shrimp jumped. The study shows dead zones are directly impacting consumers, fishermen and seafood markets.Dead Zone Size In The Past The biggest dead zone in the Gulf previously recorded was in 2002, which measured 8,497 square miles. The average size of the dead zone in the gulf over the past five years has been 5,806 square miles, which is three time bigger than the target of 1,900 square miles.Overall, the number of dead zones around the world have been increasing in the last few decades. There are currently more than 500 dead zones worldwide. The dead zone in the Gulf is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the global ocean.Agriculture Industry Impacting The Gulf The May nitrogen discharge in the Mississippi River was above average compared to the long term average that has been recorded since 1935. The amount of nutrient loading from the Mississippi river spiked in the 1960s because of more intense agricultural activity in the watershed, scientists say.There have been initiatives to curb the size of the dead zone, like the Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast, which helps farmers use fertilizers at certain times to decrease the amount of nutrient that makes its way to the Gulf.However, there’s still work to be done. To reduce the size of the dead zone, there must be changes in land use practices, scientists say.“Having a long-term record of the size of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone is vital in forecasting its size, trends and effects each year,” Steven Thur, acting director of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, said in a statement. “These measurements ultimately inform the best strategies for managers to reduce both its size and its impacts on the sustainability and productivity of our coastal living resources and economy.”
U.S. Solar eclipse by zip code: Find out if you live in the path USA Today 7 hours agoThe total solar eclipse will begin in Oregon on the morning of Aug. 21 and move across the nation before ending in South Carolina by mid-afternoon.Portions of 14 states are in the path of totality of the eclipse, when the sun is completely covered by the moon. Totality begins in Oregon at 10:16 a.m. PDT. Over the next hour and a half, it will cross through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. The total eclipse will end near Charleston at 2:48 p.m. EDT. Everyone else in North America will be able to view a partial eclipse, when only part of the sun is covered by the moon.To find out whether you’ll need to drive to the eclipse or just step outside your house, use this interactive map that shows whether you are in the path.