Firemen in the United States had been hard pressed coping with a spectacular fire in a chemical plant at Los Angeles' San Pedro docks area in California on Tuesday (8 August) ...
Firemen in the United States had been hard pressed coping with a spectacular fire in a chemical plant at Los Angeles' San Pedro docks area in California on Tuesday (8 August) ...and a major forest blaze in the Mount Brooks range, alaska, which was still burning.
The Californian blaze as started when a truck accidentally sheared a pipeline leading to the plant, which comprises tanks holding millions of gallons of acetone, alcohol and other inflammable chemicals.
Once the fire had taken hold, one tank after another exploded and the flames could be seen from miles around. At one point a tank was blasted 300 feet into the air like a rocket shooting off into space.
More than 50 firemen were injured in efforts to bring the blaze under control. Their successful work resulted in a relatively minor damage bill of less than half a million dollars.
And in Central Alaskan Mount Brooks range, firemen are still waging a desperate struggle against a staggering total of 45 separate forest blazes, set off by lightening back in July. Because of the shortage of manpower, only 24 of the fires were being fought on tuesday (8 August).
The firemen's task was made even more difficult by the nature of the blaze, which at various points throughout the range went underground to burn tree roots, then re-appeared on the surface at unexpected locations.
So far there was no serious threat to human life or property, as the nearest city to Mt. Brooks Range is 150 miles away.