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Thursday, Aug 17th

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Thousands of firefighters battling California wildfires

California firesMore than 6,000 firefighters were battling at least 15 large wildfires across California on Tuesday, prompting evacuations as high temperatures and dried out vegetation fueled dozens of blazes in the Western United States, fire officials said.

Hundreds of people have been ordered to evacuate the remote canyons affected by the largest blaze, the Alamo Fire, which has scorched nearly 29,000 acres (11,736 hectares) of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties since it started on Thursday.

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Calif. wildfires threaten homes after kids, campers forced to evacuate

California wildfiresThe quickly spreading flames of a California wildfire that trapped more than 100 children and counselors temporarily at a campground continued to threaten hundreds of homes Sunday, according to a fire official.

The fire that started Saturday afternoon was “completely out of control” and had burned at least 4.7 square miles near Cachuma Lake, Santa Barbara County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. About 90 children and 50 counselors were stuck at the Circle V Ranch before they were safely evacuated.

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Court blocks Trump administration's attempt to delay Obama anti-pollution rule

Court blocks Trup adminstration attempt to delay pollution rules

Donald Trump’s latest effort to block environmental regulations pushed forward by his predecessor has found a foe in the federal court systems.

A federal court has ruled that Mr Trump’s effort to delay an EPA rule to limit methane pollution from oil and natural gas drilling, which was signed by former President Barack Obama. The US District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that the argument laid forth by Scott Pruitt's EPA that the Obama administration had skipped over procedures for stakeholder comment didn’t stand up to scrutiny.

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Antarctic Ice Shelf ‘Days, Hours’ Away from Breaking Off

Larsen C about to break offThe Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica is about to calve, which will create one of the largest icebergs in the world, one the size of Delaware. This will be the climax of around one year of anticipation when a crack was first noticed in the ice shelf.

The "calving" event could occur at any time, according to researchers – although exactly when eludes them. As it was put by the UK-based Project MIDAS (Melt on Ice Shelf Dynamics and Stability) who have led the observation of Larsen C, the event that could occur in "days, hours or weeks."

Contrary to popular belief, an ice shelf breaking apart does not necessarily entail a rise in sea levels. Ice floats on top of water after all – and just like an ice cube in a glass of water, it causes the water to displace. However, the complete collapse of Larsen C might be a different story.

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Unregulated chemicals may be stunting ozone recovery, new study suggests

Unregulated chemicals stunt ozone recoveryAccording to new research in England, several unregulated chemicals may be delaying the recovery of the ozone.

The depletion of the ozone in the 1970s and 80s was caused by the proliferation of chlorofluorocarbons, chlorine derivatives used in aerosol cans, refrigerators and many other products and appliances. After the 1987 passage of the Montreal Protocol, the first treaty unanimously ratified by all members of the United Nations, CFCs were almost entirely phased out.

A number of recent studies have detailed the slow but steady recovery of the ozone layer over the last three decades, but the latest study suggests there is room for improvement.

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Overnight Energy: Trump moves to repeal Obama water rule

Trump to change Obama water protection actThe Trump administration took formal action Tuesday toward repealing the Obama administration’s controversial regulation that extended the reach of the federal government over small waterways.

Under the proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, federal officials would go back to enforcing a guidance document from 2008 when deciding whether a waterway is subject to federal oversight for pollution control purposes.

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Utah's Brian Head wildfire torches more homes as residents flee

Utah fires causes more to fleeA wildfire menacing the southern Utah ski town of Brian Head for nearly a week flared again, doubling in size for the second night in a row and torching more homes after residents fled the flames, officials said Friday.

The blaze was one of several burning in the U.S. West as extreme heat challenges firefighters.  The Utah fire that's charred 51.5 square miles near the town of Brian Head has destroyed a total of 13 homes, Forest Service spokeswoman Cigi Burton said.

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