Cuba brings oil depot fire under control after five-day blaze | Oil and Gas News

Firefighters and specialists from Mexico and Venezuela helped battle the blaze in Matanzas utilizing boats, planes and helicopters.

Firefighters have lastly overcome what officers described because the worst fire in Cuba’s historical past that blazed over 5 days and destroyed 40 % of the Caribbean island’s principal gasoline storage facility and precipitated monumental energy outages.

Matanzas is Cuba’s largest port for receiving crude oil and gasoline imports. Oil and diesel saved in 10 huge tanks at the port are primarily used to generate electrical energy on the island.

Rolando Vecino, the top of transport for the Cuban inside ministry, mentioned on state-run tv on Tuesday afternoon that firefighters had “managed to regulate the hearth” .

Al Jazeera’s correspondent Ed Augustin mentioned raging flames that had ravaged a four-tank phase of the Matanzas tremendous tanker port had died down and the towering plumes of thick black smoke streaming from the port had been now largely gray.

“The blaze lastly appears to be beneath management,” Augustin mentioned, talking from Matanzas port. “You possibly can see an enormous quantity of smoke billowing out however crucially, the color has modified.

“For the final three days, the color has been a deep soot black,” he mentioned. “Now it’s a light-weight shade of gray, proof that a lot of the hearth has been smothered.”

Extra helicopters joined the hassle to place out the hearth on Tuesday, together with two fireboats despatched by Mexico and heavy firefighting gear.

Later within the day, firefighters for the primary time had been capable of enter the world and spray foam and water on the nonetheless smouldering stays of the gasoline tanks.

Officers haven’t mentioned how a lot gasoline has been misplaced within the fireplace. Authorities mentioned that no oil had contaminated the close by Matanzas Bay. Nonetheless, they warned residents as far-off because the capital Havana – situated roughly 60 miles (130 kilometres) from the port – to put on face masks and keep away from attainable acid rain as a result of giant plume of smoke the hearth generated.

Lightning strike

The hearth broke out when lightning struck a gasoline storage tank on Friday night. The hearth unfold to a second tank by Sunday and engulfed the four-tank space on Monday regardless of efforts by native firefighters supported by greater than 100 Mexican and Venezuelan reinforcements.

One firefighter was killed and 14 reported lacking on Saturday when the second tank blew up, authorities mentioned, correcting an earlier determine of 16 lacking. 5 others stay in crucial situation. Greater than 100 folks had been reported injured, with 22 nonetheless in hospital.

The massive blaze was accompanied by big explosions. Every storage tank had the capability to carry some 50,000 cubic metres or 50 million litres of gasoline.

The Matanzas gasoline depot, constructed within the Nineteen Eighties and modernised a number of instances, provides Cuba’s Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant, the biggest energy technology plant within the communist nation.

Cuba, which remains to be beneath heavy US sanctions, is all however bankrupt.

Frequent energy blackouts and shortages of gasoline and different commodities had already created a tense state of affairs on the island with scattered native protests that continued after final summer season’s historic unrest in July.

“The issue with (electrical energy technology) has not been the shortage of gasoline, however the crops are very outdated and have upkeep issues,” mentioned Jorge Pinon, a Cuban skilled in vitality coverage on the College of Texas.

“Now they may also have an absence of gasoline,” Pinon mentioned.

“In the event that they lose Matanzas, they lose the flexibility to produce the ability crops,” he mentioned.

A man types on his cellphone near a huge plume of smoke rising from the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters work to quell the blaze which began during a thunderstorm in Matanzas, Cuba
A person sorts on his cellphone close to an enormous plume of smoke rising from the Matanzas Supertanker Base as firefighters work to quell the blaze which started throughout a thunderstorm in Matanzas, Cuba, Monday, August 8, 2022 [Ismael Francisco/AP Photo]

Photos: Two killed as California’s McKinney Fire spreads | In Pictures News

Firefighters in northern California have been battling Monday to achieve management over the state’s largest wildfire this yr, which claimed two lives after exploding in measurement over the weekend and forcing hundreds to evacuate their houses.

Whipped up by robust winds and lightning storms, the McKinney Hearth ripped via the state’s dry terrain Sunday to unfold over some 21,246 hectares (52,500 acres) of Klamath Nationwide Forest close to the city of Yreka – and was zero p.c contained as of Sunday night time, in keeping with the California Division of Forestry and Hearth Safety (Cal Hearth).

California and different components of the western United States have been ravaged by large and fast-moving wildfires in recent years, pushed by years of drought and exacerbated by a warming local weather.

The McKinney Hearth, which broke out Friday close to the border with Oregon, is California’s largest wildfire up to now this yr — although it stays a lot smaller than final yr’s Dixie Hearth, which burned practically a million acres.

In line with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Workplace, firefighters on Sunday discovered two individuals useless inside a burned-out automotive on the driveway of a house in the neighborhood of Klamath River – within the fireplace’s path.

Talking on ABC Information, Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue mentioned firefighters suspected the pair have been caught within the fast-moving fireplace as they tried to flee.

Flames from the McKinney Fire burn beyond firefighters in Klamath National Forest
The hearth just isn’t contained, and the Nationwide Climate Service has issued ‘purple flag’ warnings indicating the climate might spur excessive fireplace behaviour [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency, saying the fireplace threatens “crucial infrastructure”.

Greater than 2,000 residents of rural neighbourhoods within the space have been below evacuation orders, in keeping with the California Workplace of Emergency Companies, largely in Siskiyou County.

Yreka resident Larry Citadel informed the Sacramento Bee newspaper that he and his spouse had packed up a number of possessions and their three canine to go away for the night time, as different fires lately had taught them the scenario might flip “very, very severe”.

A spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Workplace, quoted by US media, mentioned the fireplace had destroyed greater than 100 buildings – together with houses, a grocery retailer and a group centre – within the space surrounding Yreka, although it had not encroached upon the city of about 7,800 individuals.

State Route 96 and McKinney Creed Street southwest of the Klamath River have been closed to the general public, Cal Hearth mentioned.

Practically 650 individuals have been working to douse the blaze as of Sunday, the Nationwide Wildfire Coordinating Group mentioned.

Search and rescue groups evacuated 60 individuals who had been mountaineering the realm’s fashionable Pacific Crest Path, in keeping with the sheriff’s division in Jackson County, Oregon.

Cal Hearth mentioned the reason for the McKinney fireplace was nonetheless below investigation.

The US Forest Service (USFS) mentioned thick smoke had helped to restrict the expansion of the fireplace on Sunday, but additionally meant that firefighters’ plane have been “largely grounded”.

Hearth crews have been working above Fort Jones and west of Yreka “to chop off the fireplace’s progress”, the USFS mentioned.

The fast-spreading blaze comes simply days after the Oak Fire close to Yosemite Nationwide Park destroyed dozens of buildings and compelled hundreds to evacuate.

Yosemite fire grows as crews try to protect iconic giant sequoias | News

A wildfire threatening the biggest grove of large sequoias in Yosemite Nationwide Park greater than doubled in dimension in a day.

A wildfire threatening the largest grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite Nationwide Park greater than doubled in dimension in a day, and firefighters are working in troublesome terrain to guard the long-lasting bushes and a small mountain city.

Campers and residents close to the blaze have been evacuated, however the remainder of the sprawling park in California remained open, although heavy smoke obscured scenic vistas and created unhealthy air high quality on Sunday.

“At this time it’s really the smokiest that we’ve seen,” Nancy Phillipe, a Yosemite hearth data spokesperson, stated on Sunday.

“Up till this morning, the park has not been in that unhealthy class, however that’s the place we are actually.”

Greater than 500 mature sequoias have been threatened within the famed Mariposa Grove however there have been no stories of extreme injury to any named bushes, together with the three,000-year-old Grizzly Large.

A sprinkler system arrange inside the grove saved the tree trunks moist and officers have been hopeful that the regular spray of water together with earlier prescribed burns could be sufficient to maintain flames at bay, Phillipe stated.

The reason for the Washburn Hearth was beneath investigation. It had grown to just about 6.5sq km (2.5sq miles) by Sunday morning, with no containment.

Past the bushes, the neighborhood of Wawona, which is surrounded by parkland, was beneath menace, with folks ordered to go away late on Friday. Along with residents, about 600 to 700 campers who have been staying on the Wawona campground in tents, cabins and a historic resort have been ordered to go away.

A firefighter protects a sequoia tree as the Washburn Fire burns in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park
A firefighter protects a sequoia tree because the Washburn Hearth burns in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite Nationwide Park, California, US [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

The enormous sequoias, native in solely about 70 groves unfold alongside the western slope of California’s Sierra Nevada vary, have been as soon as thought-about impervious to flames.

However they’ve turn into more and more weak as wildfires – fuelled by a buildup of undergrowth from a century of fireplace suppression and drought exacerbated by local weather change – have turn into extra intense and harmful.

Phillipe, the park spokesperson, beforehand stated a few of the huge trunks had been wrapped in fire-resistant foil for cover, however she corrected herself on Sunday and stated that was not the case for this fireplace. Nevertheless, crews have wrapped a historic cabin within the protecting foil, she stated.

Lightning-sparked wildfires prior to now two years have killed as much as a fifth of the estimated 75,000 large sequoias, that are the most important bushes by quantity and a significant draw for vacationers to the nationwide park.

Up to now in 2022, greater than 35,000 wildfires have burned almost 1.9 million hectares (4.7 million acres) in the US, in line with the Nationwide Interagency Hearth Heart, effectively above common for each wildfires and space burned.