Umpqua North Complex (Wildfire)

NEWS RELEASE

Umpqua North Complex Morning Update September 19, 2017
Umpqua North Complex UpdateSeptember 19, 2017 – 9:00 a.m. Fire Information: 541-378-6944 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm) Inciweb address: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5505/#Start Date: August 11, 2017… more

INCIDENT UPDATED 46 MIN. AGO

Approximate Location

Incident Overview

A series of lightning storms in early August ignited several wildfires on the North Umpqua and Diamond Lake Ranger Districts located on the Umpqua National Forest east of Roseburg, Oregon. These fires were collectively named the Umpqua North Complex and as of September 19, 2017 have burned more than 43,000 acres.

Currently, there are ten active fires in the complex: The Fall Creek, Ragged Ridge, Happy Dog, Oak Nob, Copleland, Brokentooth, Rattlesnake, Devil, 320, 625 fires. Great Basin Incident Management Team 3 (A Type 2 IMT under the command Taiga Rohrer) assumed management responsibilities of the complex Friday, September 15.

The majority of the wildfires are located along the North Umpqua River corridor (Highway 138), a popular recreation area for campers, boaters, anglers, hikers and bikers. Access to many of these areas, including the some sections of river, remains closed for safety reasons.

Highway 138 is open and the Oregon Department of Transportation is guiding traffic with pilot cars. Large trees and rocks continue to roll onto the highway.

The fire area received 0.88″ to 1.5″ of rain as of Tuesday morning (9/19/17). This welcome precipitation has significantly decreased fire activity and provided substantial relief for firefighters working on fires on the Umpqua North Complex.

For the latest fire update, click on the “News” tab above.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Unknown
Date of Origin Friday August 11th, 2017 approx. 10:30 AM
Location 50 miles east of Roseburg,OR along Hwy 138 E.
Incident Commander Taiga Rohrer, Great Basin Type II Incident Management Team 3
Incident Description Complex Of Multiple Fires In The Umpqua National Forest

Current Situation

Total Personnel 602
Size 43,139 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 38%
Estimated Containment Date Saturday September 30th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber, Tall Grass, and Brush

Significant Events

The fire behavior is minimal, with some flanking, backing, and creeping.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Firefighters will use a combination of monitoring and direct suppression actions where possible and applicable. Burnout operations may continue to be a possibility in the future if the need arises.

Resources will continue with suppression repair throughout the entire complex.

Structure protection will remain in place along Highway 138 and will patrol the Boulder Creek area.

The U.S. Army Task Force Spearhead strike teams will be deployed across the incident.

Night shifts ended this morning, 9/18/17.

The complex will initial attack new fires in cooperation with and as requested by jurisdictional Fire Management Officers.

Projected Incident Activity

Intermittent rain showers during the afternoon and evening hours mitigated the gusty ridgetop winds. Fire behavior is expected to be minimal overnight due to cooler temperatures and continued rain showers.

Remarks

3 US Army Task Force Spearhead strike teams have been deployed across the incident.

The Complex remains prepared to respond to any further initial attack needs.

The following is a list of the known fires being managed in this complex:

Fall Creek Fire #380 is 4827 acres and 100% contained.

Happy Dog Fire #441 & Ragged Ridge Fire at 31,141 acres and 46% contained North of Hwy 138, 40% contained South of Hwy 138.

Oak Nob Fire #372 is 59 acres and 100% contained.

Brokentooth Fire #392 is 3,941 acres.

Devil Fire #305 is 874 acres and 28% contained.

Fire #320 is 115 acres and 99% contained.

Rattlesnake Fire #418 is 1,373 acres and 0% contained.

Copeland Fire #490 is 699 acres.

Fire #443 is 1 acre.

Fire #604 is .1 acre.

Fire #625 is 1.5 acres and 100% contained.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

A storm system will spread rain across the area tonight into early Tuesday. Then a strong storm will affect the fire area Tuesday night into Wednesday with strong winds and heavy rain at times. A flash flood watch is in effect for Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon.

DESIGN PUBLIC HEARING TO BE HELD ON PROPOSED PLANS FOR THIRD SEGMENT OF I-64 WIDENING PROJECT – Public invited to learn more about plans to provide congestion relief on I-64 in York County

DESIGN PUBLIC HEARING TO BE HELD ON PROPOSED PLANS FOR THIRD SEGMENT OF I-64 WIDENING PROJECT
Public invited to learn more about plans to provide congestion relief on I-64 in York County

SUFFOLK — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will hold a design public hearing on Thursday, May 18, to present the proposed plans for the third segment of widening improvements on Interstate 64 in York County.

Design Public Hearing
Thursday, May 18, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Bruton High School
185 E. Rochambeau Drive
Williamsburg, VA  23188

The purpose of the meeting is to give citizens an opportunity to review the project exhibits on display, meet with VDOT representatives and provide input. This will be an open-house format meeting with no formal presentation. Media are invited to attend.

Citizens may provide oral and written comments at the hearing or submit them by May 28, 2017, to Janet Hedrick, P.E., Virginia Department of Transportation, 1992 South Military Highway, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320 or via email to Janet.Hedrick@VDOT.Virginia.gov. Please reference “I-64 Segment III Capacity Improvements Comment” in the subject line.

For more information on this project, please visit: http://www.i64widening.org/learn_more/segment_3.asp

 (END)

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Speech by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on the occasion of the G20 Dialogue Forum for the Science and Research Community (S20) in Halle (Saale) on 22 March 2017

begin 2017.03.22

Professor Hacker – I am also including all of your colleagues from the G20 nations or their representatives,
Minister-President, my dear Reiner Haseloff,
Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank you for the work that you have done. Science depends on curiosity, a thirst for knowledge, and the joy of discovery. In science, one person builds on the insights of another. It is precisely this that makes it different from politics. In politics, one can feel comfortable saying the same thing two or three times because the audience is always different. In science, however, there is the expectation that you won’t repeat what a predecessor has already said. In politics, one is sometimes pleased when two people in a party say the same thing. Reiner Haseloff knows what I am talking about.

In science, interaction and cooperation are very important. Openness and interconnectedness are virtually taken for granted as part of life. This is also why science presents itself as a driver of globalisation on the one hand, and benefits from globalisation on the other. The fact that globalisation exists also makes scientific activity simpler and more normal.

Three hundred and sixty five years ago, four doctors laid the foundation for the Leopoldina in order to promote the exchange of ideas in the medical and natural sciences. Back in the era of stagecoaches, it was still somewhat more complex to communicate with each other than it is today in the digital age. But the urge for knowledge and understanding, the urge to learn from and with one another, already existed back then. The same rule that applied in those days still does today: Only those who demonstrate an openness to the world, and engage in cooperation beyond professional and physical boundaries, can fully benefit from it.

This is basically true for science, as it is for the economy. In both areas, we increasingly face the same challenges through the growing interconnectedness worldwide. Developments on one side of the globe have more and more impact on the other side of the globe. This applies in a positive sense, just as it does in a negative sense. One of the most concrete examples was surely the international financial and economic crisis at the end of the last decade.

Globalisation is taking place. Whoever tries to evade it, whoever focuses on isolation and protectionism, may perhaps expect to gain some advantages in the short term. However, it is clear to me that this will cause one’s own innovative capabilities and competitiveness to weaken in the medium and long term. After all, we find a great many examples of this in history.

In a closely networked world, we need – more than ever – answers that are consistent and don’t undermine each other in their effects. Therefore, global questions also require global answers. The G20 at the heads of state and government level – I wish to repeat this – was the result of the financial and economic crisis in the years 2007 and 2008. It was then that the heads of state and government met for the first time at G20 level. Previously, this was a forum for finance ministers. We saw back then that our joint action – concerning bank regulation as well as efforts to stimulate the world economy – actually made it more possible to deal with this global crisis.

At the beginning of July, the heads of state and government of the G20 member nations will meet for a summit in Hamburg. On this occasion, too, we will have guests in attendance. They are the representatives of regional organisations as well as representatives of international organisations, such as the United Nations, the IMF, the OECD, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Labour Organisation. For this reason, too, G20 summits are always global meetings, as it were. We have now included the scientific community, as well as other areas of civil society, in the summit process. Civil-society groups will be present from the very start this time – such as representatives of the business community as well as the trade unions. Also because of the good experiences from the G7 or G8 process, we had decided to expand the group of participants this year at the G20 level as well.

Therefore, this is a world premiere today, so to speak: the first meeting of science academies in the G20 format. I thank you for making the journey, which involved very long distances and travel times in some cases. I would also like to express my gratitude to Professor Hacker and his team, as well as all other participants, for deciding to convene here, for preparing the meeting, for thinking about the topics, for making a note of the conclusions, and all of this – I’ll come back to it later – in sensible language that we, as politicians, can understand.

Apart from business and trade-union representatives, the other groups we will meet with include non governmental organisations, think tanks, women and young people. As a result, this G20 process also has an impact on society.

In reference to science, it is clear that responsible policy depends on scientific recommendation. This is self evident for us in national politics. For this reason, we time and again seek the advice of scientists. This is enriching for policymakers, I would say.

Naturally, I am also pleased that Minister-President Reiner Haseloff is here and has said that his daily work routine is also enriched by this. I also thank the state of Saxony-Anhalt for being such a good host state for the German National Academy of Sciences. If the budget is already secured for the next two years, then that is much more than I can predict for our budgetary commitments. So, congratulations.

I mentioned earlier that you have developed a policy brief. It is important that the language of science is translated in such a way that it can also be comprehended by non scientists. In this sense, as presidents and representatives of your national academies, you are the builders of bridges into society. Because when it comes to the many problems that we have to solve, we can only benefit from scientific knowledge. This applies to the topic of health just as much as it does to other subjects, such as digitalisation, climate and environmental protection, poverty reduction, the empowerment of women, and the G20 partnership with Africa. All of this is crucial for the shaping of sustainable development.

We have adopted the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. A topic that plays a central role in the 2030 Agenda is health. The United Nations says in this sustainability charter that every person in the world is entitled to reasonable health care. Of course, serious illnesses are a bitter stroke of fate for those affected and their relatives, first of all. Many diseases also lead to life threatening situations or even to death. But as Professor Hacker already said: There aren’t just individual repercussions; illnesses can also devastate entire regions economically. They can cause social tensions and they can lead to violent conflicts. Therefore, it’s not for nothing that the 2030 Agenda gives a great deal of recognition to the topic of health.

As I have said, we have already had the scientific academies present in the G7 process and focused on health issues. We know – most notably from the Ebola crisis – that health issues can become a global topic very quickly and unexpectedly. People travel today, in times of globalisation, from one place to another – and the pathogens travel with them. The president of the World Bank, himself a physician, repeatedly points out the following: If we were to get another pandemic like the Spanish flu, as we had at the start of the 20th century, then the world – with the intense interconnectedness that we have today – would very quickly find itself in a very, very difficult state.

For this reason, a topic like health belongs on the G20 agenda. Perhaps the related organisational efforts sometimes can be quite burdensome. But I hope that you have also enjoyed getting to know each other. Of course, I also express my gratitude for the communiqué, in which you deal with the issues that particularly concern us.

Professor Hacker, I agree with you: It is essential to have strong health systems on the ground in order to prevent the outbreak of epidemics. Many epidemics could be confined locally if the health systems were sustainable and stable. This is a problem that affects many poorer countries, in particular. If you take one look at the African continent, you will know what a huge amount of work is ahead of us.

Therefore, German development cooperation has been drawing on exactly this point for years now. In Africa alone, we will make available about 600 million euros by 2020 in order to improve health systems. However, I would also add that good government leadership should always go with it – particularly in the cooperation with Africa – so that the funds don’t get stuck somewhere “unsustainably,” as it were, but rather that sustainable structures emerge out of this financial support.

With the World Health Organization, we have also started the “Healthy Systems – Healthy Lives” initiative, which serves to develop a common understanding of how we can strengthen health systems in a sustainable way. The goal is an action framework with specific agreements, with which we support countries in their efforts to provide better medical care. I promote this project among the G20 partners as well.

Within the G7, we spoke on several occasions – including when Germany held the presidency – about strong health systems. In 2015, when we hosted the summit, the G7 countries committed themselves to providing aid for at least 60 nations, in order to truly implement the international health regulations of the WHO. We have clear guidelines from the World Health Organization, but we haven’t introduced them everywhere. At the summit that followed last year in Japan, we broadened this goal. On the list, there are now 76 countries that we want to support in the development of an efficient health system. The G7 nations are doing this. Of course, we also need the governments concerned to have their own initiatives. Naturally, this process always involves evaluating the implementation of measures. I may say that we have completed such an evaluation in 30 countries. This is also planned for 30 more countries.

Strengthening national health systems is one aspect. The other one is to be prepared for emergencies at an international level as well, if diseases were to spread internationally in spite of preventive measures. In this case, the main issue is speed. A rapid response is critical. Medical staff, materials and mobile laboratories must be on the spot quickly in a crisis. Sufficient money must also be available.

I would like to add one more point because it is very sensitive. The World Health Organization is structured in such a way that it has regional offices. These regional offices have a relatively autonomous status. That means there is no chain of command from the head of the World Health Organization and no clear reporting obligation when something happens in a region. Instead, it is largely at the discretion of the regional offices to report on it.

Naturally, there is then something similar to shame: If I identify a looming pandemic in my region, should I report it and thereby trigger an alarm worldwide, so to speak, with all the consequences that this could involve – a collapse of tourism, economic repercussions? Should I have the courage to make myself heard in order to prevent major damage? There has been much discussion about this at the World Health Organization. The voluntary commitments – shall we say – were reinforced. I am relatively optimistic that it will work better in future. But this is, of course, a very important point. Because in order to trigger an alarm and to start a chain of action, I naturally need someone to tell me that something is going on somewhere – and, if possible, at a point in time when the spread of the disease isn’t that far advanced yet.

We must also ensure effective coordination. Therefore, the World Health Organization is of great importance in two respects. It must be the organisation from which we get the information and the assessment. It can employ the help of specialists for this purpose. There must also be the capability of triggering a chain of action for the international community.

The World Bank also plays an important role in this context. In particular, it has established the basis for poorer countries to be able to insure themselves against pandemic risks. This means it’s no longer necessary to just sit there alone with a huge burden in one’s hour of need because such insurance makes it possible to put to use the chain of action that we are still building up. For example, Japan and Germany are participating in this emergency programme. Naturally, there are huge debates, as there always are in science: Can one be insured against pandemics? Who wants to calculate and assess the risk? How long could it take for me to ever get into such a situation? It can take a very long time for the damaging event to occur. But it can then become very expensive once the damage has been done. These are all wonderful topics and they are all being dealt with.

A broad field of research opens up when it involves developing effective means to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. In relation to potential pandemics in regions that may not have received the full focus of our attention so far, there should also be diagnostic and treatment options. You know how long it took with the Ebola vaccination. If it had involved measles, then perhaps we would have had it a lot sooner. Therefore, it is also important to be fair and to create similar treatment options for the different risks in the world.

In Germany – which I want to mention at this point – we have made great efforts to attend to health research, particularly in the past few years. I recently opened a health-research centre for neurodegenerative illnesses in Bonn. We have created a framework programme for health research in order to be well equipped to deal with the most diverse illnesses and to be a good partner in international collaborative arrangements.

However, we see that the incentive to go into certain fields of research also has to be kindled. In this regard, a global view is of great importance to all of us in order to concentrate not just on the diseases that we deal with in industrialised countries, but also to take into consideration other illnesses. At this point, I would like to mention the so called neglected, often tropical, diseases that were already a topic of interest during our G7 presidency. The research commitment for this doesn’t seem to be paying off at all in some cases. But if you consider that up to 1 billion people could be affected by such illnesses, you realise that it is a huge issue.

Therefore, I also expressly welcome an initiative that was launched at the beginning of this year – it was given the go ahead in Davos – and is called the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, abbreviated as CEPI. This will promote the research and development of new vaccines. Various countries, foundations and companies are participating in the initiative. Germany is also joining this public private partnership with a contribution of 10 million euros.

Professor Hacker has already pointed out that the development of new antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are also huge issues. We risk falling behind again in some areas because antibiotics that we had once researched no longer have the desired effect due to antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, the topic is one of the pillars of our health commitment in the G20.

In the G7, we reached agreement that we should rely on the so called One Health approach. That means there is just one health that applies to humans and animals in equal measure. That is to say, we carefully examine the food products that we humans ingest, looking at how the food came about and what types of antibiotics were used on the animals that we consume.

The G20 agriculture ministers have already held a meeting and committed themselves to the goal of allowing the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine exclusively for therapeutic purposes and no longer for the purpose of promoting animal growth. But one must say that the definition of therapeutic purpose is an intriguing matter because the question of how much room hens and chicks have in their coops, for example, plays a part in deciding whether antibiotics must be used in order to prevent diseases, or whether one can forgo antibiotics because there is enough space for the poultry. We should give very good consideration to how high a price we are paying when there is resistance to an antibiotic and we aren’t finding new antibiotics so easily. Achieving success in antibiotic research in the pharmaceutical industry – I am no specialist, of course, but I’ve taken a look at it; indeed, all of you here are experts – is like getting five numbers right, or probably six, in Lotto. You can’t plan this easily. Success doesn’t grow on trees.

This year, not only you from the science academies have met, but we also have a conference of health ministers at the G20 level for the first time in order to once again make a good professional evaluation of what you tell us here. We have also asked the health ministers to carry out the simulation of a pandemic outbreak – a kind of dry run – for the first time and to describe action plans. At a national level, we conduct regular training exercises for anything and everything back in our home country in order to practice how we should act in the event of a catastrophe. But on a global level, we aren’t familiar with such exercises, which led to a situation in which the most efficient helpers in the fight against Ebola were military units because they were able to act with clear chains of command and clear capabilities, while the civilian structures were not prepared for it: Who will do the transporting? Who will procure the medicines? What does the chain of command look like? Who will boost hospital capacity? There were quite different approaches. In this respect, we want to be better prepared for crisis situations.

The state and government heads are supposed to be presented with a short version – so to speak – of the simulation exercise. I’m still not quite sure how theoretical or how clear the thing will be. I always look at my summit Sherpa quite eagerly when something is being presented to me. But it should be the case that we, as state and government heads, are also able to understand what is being presented to us. Because such presentations then lead to action recommendations, which we can prepare in our governments.

I really consider this topic to be extraordinarily important. For this reason, I would like to once again sincerely thank you for facing this joint undertaking. I hope that it was rewarding for you as well. It certainly is for us. Many thanks, Professor Hacker, and to your colleagues as well.

I have forgotten one other thing. We saw how poorly things worked when handling the Ebola crisis. We then considered what lessons were to be learned from Ebola. We thought that was something only the United Nations could carry forward – the World Health Organization indeed belongs to the United Nations system. Then three countries initially – Germany, Ghana and Norway – formulated an appeal to the UN Secretary-General to address the issue. The UN Secretary-General then commissioned three other countries to prepare recommendations for action. That was somewhat strange. I said: I haven’t heard anything more about it because three other countries are now dealing with it. The international community is large, but we were allowed to again bring in our experts in the second panel. The action recommendations were then delivered to the UN Secretary-General. After that, he named a special officer to oversee it further in cooperation with the WHO. It finally found a way, so to speak, into the mechanism of the United Nations. As a result, the issue was formalised and therefore has relevance at the United Nations as well. Now they should just make sure not to lose sight of it.

Ensuring prosperity for all

How can an economically prosperous, ecologically sustainable and socially integrative future be created for the world population? Academics, politicians and business representatives met at the Think20 Dialogue Forum to draw up recommendations for the G20 Summit in July which were then presented to Peter Altmaier.

Head of the Federal Chancellery Peter Altmaier at the Think20 Dialogue ForumPeter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery, accepted the Think20 recommendations on the Chancellor’s behalf Photo: PwC

The global economy is growing ever more connected and is shaped by rapid technical progress. Nevertheless, economic progress no longer seems to go hand in hand with social progress. One of the goals of the G20 should, ultimately, be to shape the global economy in such a way that people’s most pressing needs can be met. But that also means that the G20 should make efforts to promote not just economic growth but also robust, integrative and sustainable prosperity.

Academics, politicians and business representatives spent two days at the Think20 Dialogue Forum in Berlin discussing solutions to these global challenges. They then presented their recommendations to Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery.

Tackling global problems

Peter Altmaier said that innovation was driven by global problems which needed to be solved and by technical developments, not by politics. That was why it was necessary, he said, to create governmental structures so that problems could be discussed globally in a networked world. “We now understand that technical progress will only be possible and the risks associated with climate change, migration, poverty and terrorism can only be tackled in our closely networked world if we act together,” the Head of the Federal Chancellery said.

Migration and flight are huge challenges, Altmaier said. Events in the autumn of 2015 had showed that there was no fully functional international framework in place for dealing with such problems. Many countries in Europe, as well as in Africa, were helping to prevent a humanitarian disaster. The G20, Altmaier said, should focus on more than just economic and financial issues. The G20 countries needed to act together to address social and ecological risks. The problems faced in Africa, in particular, needed to be tackled collaboratively, said Altmaier.

Finding solutions to new challenges

It was of course important to increase military spending; foreign and security policy was on the agenda, but in a different way than in the past. It was not so much rockets and weapons which were important today, Altmaier said, but above all education, vocational training and integrating women into the world of work and the political debate. That could best be achieved in the context of democratic structures and global initiatives.

The experts recommended that the G20 countries develop a joint vision. That vision would need to enable the global population to shape an economically prosperous, ecologically sustainable and socially integrative future which was capable of withstanding any unforeseen shocks. The G20 countries as well as all the other nations of the world needed to each go their own way and at the same time find a common vision for tackling problems which affected them all, they explained.

Three simple ideas

Such a common vision should be based on three simple ideas: Firstly, the future of humanity is dependent on the stabilisation and cultivation of global public goods, including the global economy and the biosphere. These global public goods are the precondition for peace, security and human well-being going forward.

Secondly, cultivating these global public goods requires an overall culture of global cooperation as well as a system of global collective action. Thirdly, top-down global good governance will not work unless globalisation is focused on people.

As regards climate action, the Agenda 2030, which governments adopted in September 2015, already reflects the cornerstones of such an urgently required global vision. Consequently, the main emphasis of the G20 agenda, which is continually evolving, should be ensuring that people’s well-being across the globe is based on prosperity, their ability to actively participate and social integration.

Think20 (T20), a network of international think tanks from the G20 countries, supports the solving of these challenges by delivering recommendations and new perspectives to the G20 heads of state and government which can serve as guides when it comes to shaping policy.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Speech by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel at the “G20 Africa Partnership – investing in a common future” conference on 12 June 2017 in Berlin

begin 2017.06.12

Messrs Presidents,
Prime Minister Gentiloni, my friend Paolo,
Distinguished representatives of international organisations, G20 nations and partner countries,
My honoured fellow Cabinet members Wolfgang Schäuble and Gerd Müller,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Some of you have travelled a very long way to be here today. So let me wish you all a very warm welcome to this partnership conference entitled “investing in a common future”. We hope that this conference will help ensure that these are not just nice words on paper. We really want to work during this conference to put cooperation into practice.

Our economic relations form an ever closer-knit web around the globe. Thanks to the Internet, we now know more about each other than ever before. Distance has lost its import when it comes to making new contacts and maintaining them. Developments like these of course bring tremendous opportunities. However, they also mean that we have to work towards sustainable and inclusive economic development for the entire world. A single country acting alone cannot make much headway on such a project. Yet globalisation is not a destiny to which we must yield without demur. On the contrary, it is something we must forge in partnership with others.

The Agenda 2030 is a great achievement, because all the countries on our planet have agreed on a common pathway for development. In contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, which defined targets for the developing countries, this time all countries – developed and developing nations alike – are part of this Agenda 2030.

It is on this basis that we have adopted the motto, “shaping an interconnected world”, for our G20 Presidency. The G20 Summit will take place in Hamburg. We have chosen a maritime image – a reef knot – as the symbol of our Presidency. The harder you pull on it, the better it holds. It symbolises the ties between our countries.

We know that pan-global development can only succeed if all continents share in such development. This also means, first and foremost, that the African continent has to make progress on its development pathway over the next few years. Even today, the economies of some African countries are remarkably dynamic. Some are even growing faster than the industrialised and newly industrialised economies of the G20. Success stories like those should inspire others. They reveal the potential that lies in African countries – for example in the field of renewable energy and digital development. There are many good examples of decentralised energy supply and much more besides. But much still remains to be done.

We in the industrialised countries have to consider whether we have always taken the right path in providing our traditional development aid. I don’t think we have. We have to focus more strongly on each specific country’s own economic development. That’s what gave rise to the idea – proposed first and foremost by our Finance Minister and our Development Minister – of saying we need an initiative through which we don’t speak about Africa, but speak with Africa. The result was the G20 Compact with Africa Initiative. The countries of Africa have also set their own targets in their Agenda 2063 and have clearly stated what they believe development should bring. That’s why it’s called the Compact with Africa, not the Compact for Africa. The idea is for each country to say what development steps it considers necessary and how it thinks we can help and how, together, we can make available suitable instruments, so that the relevant development projects do succeed. You will talk about this in more detail today and tomorrow.

We want to lend support for regional market integration, not least in order to enhance the transfer of technology and know-how. We also want to ensure that trade flows between Europe and African countries really benefit everyone. We still have a lot to do in this regard.

The next European Union-African Union summit will take place in November. Today’s meeting, which we are hosting as part of our G20 Presidency, will also serve to prepare the ground for that summit. We are aware that our achievements of the past years are not yet enough. In many countries, development lags behind what is needed given the speed of population growth. Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050.

We also know that development is only possible if security is given. However, in many parts of Africa security is not yet sufficiently guaranteed – be it due to fragile sovereignty, conflicts, terrorism or humanitarian crises. Numerous human tragedies are being played out as we speak. For this reason, boosting the economy does not top the agenda in some African countries. They need to deal with day-to-day survival first.

As a result, the G20 Africa Partnership is concerned on the one hand with economic development, but on the other with fostering peace, stability and security – i.e. in creating the basic conditions for economic activity. There, too, we have to learn to think anew. For many years development policy-makers did not pay sufficient attention to security issues. For many years, we felt virtuous when we were not dealing with military equipment. But some of you have said to me that you are expected to combat terrorism, but are not given any support to do so.

I thus think we have to be more honest and admit that only where security is given can development take root. I consider it very courageous of some countries to take responsibility upon themselves in the fight against terrorism in Mali and its neighbourhood. France now wants a Security Council mandate in this connection. I can only say that Germany will support this.

Special attention will have to be devoted to the youth of Africa – as highlighted in the Agenda 2063. More than half of all Africans are under 25 years old. As I keep saying in Germany, the average age here in Germany is 43 years. The average age in Niger, Mali and other countries is less than 15 years. This just goes to show the very different situations we have to deal with. If we don’t give young people prospects for the future, if we don’t invest in education and skills, if we don’t strengthen the position of girls and young women, the development agenda will not succeed.

In other words, as part of our work in the G20 we will do everything we can, through the compacts with African countries and through special initiatives for women’s education and female entrepreneurship, to improve the prerequisites that should enable Africa to develop and grow as we need it to.

If hopelessness is too widespread in Africa, young people are also more likely to seek a better life elsewhere in the world. Thus, by working together with you for your countries, we are also enhancing our own security and will be able to put a stop to the activities of criminals who are toying with refugees and migrants’ fates and extracting large sums of money from them. Many refugees have terrible tales to tell of human smuggling and trafficking in human beings. States thus have to work together. We have to create legal options for movement and must not permit people to make money from the suffering of others.

Ladies and gentlemen, this conference also serves to draw attention to the differences between your countries, to the diversity of challenges faced in Africa. For this reason, too, let me thank you for coming. Many people in Germany are not yet as well informed about either the good or the difficult aspects of life in your countries as we would wish. Getting to know each other better, learning more about each other, and assuming responsibility together are all also aspects of shaping an interconnected world. I hope that this conference will make a contribution to this end. And so let me ask all of you here today not to mince your words, to talk “tacheles”, as we say in Germany. Simply saying nice things doesn’t achieve anything. We have to learn from one another. And we need results. That’s what we’re here for.

A very warm welcome to you all.

Netanyahu, at General Assembly, denounces ‘absurdities,’ anti-Semitism in UN decisions

19 September 2017 – Citing “a great revolution in Israel’s standing” in the world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today denounced the “absurdities” and “global ant-Semitism” in United Nations decisions on Israel and warned Iran of the “mortal peril” it faced in threatening to annihilate his country.

“For too long, the epicentre of global anti-Semitism has been right here at the UN,” he told the General Assembly on the opening day of its 72nd annual general debate, while praising Secretary-General António Guterres’ statement “that denying Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism, pure and simple.”

Pointing to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) declaring the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site, he said: “That’s worse than fake news; that’s fake history,” noting that the tomb is revered as the grave of the three Jewish biblical patriarchs.

Turning to Iran, Mr. Netanyahu warned: “Today, I have a simple message to Ayatollah Khamenei, the dictator of Iran: The light of Israel will never be extinguished.” He cited daily Iranian vows to destroy Israel, and called for “fixing or nixing” the international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, because it is slated to end after 10 years.

“Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril,” he said, warning that Israel will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria and producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon. “As long as Iran’s regime seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran will face no fiercer enemy than Israel.”

He said Israel’s greater world stature is due the fact so many countries have finally woken up to what Israel can do for them in cutting-edge technology, agriculture, water, cybersecurity, medicine and autonomous vehicles. “After 70 years, the world is embracing Israel, and Israel is embracing the world,” he added.

Mr. Netanyahu made only a passing reference to the Middle East conflict, saying Israel is committed to achieving peace with all its Arab neighbours, including the Palestinians.

At UN, Central European leaders spotlight development, countering terrorism and securing peace

19 September 2017 – Sustainable development, ensuring peace and security and protecting human rights are the basic goals of the international community and the foundations of the United Nations system, Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, told the General Assembly today.

Mr. Duda pointed out that Poland has adopted and is fully committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, saying: “We believe that only by means of an effective implementation, will we be able to ensure relevant socio-economic conditions for everyone.

For a number of years, the country has fulfilled its obligations to protect the environment and fight climate change. He noted that Poland surpassed its Kyoto Protocol reduction target, made ambitious contributions to the Paris Agreement and will, for the third time, host the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. “We will continue the leadership in climate negotiations in the spirit of the Paris Agreement, ensuring the participation of all States and the transparency of discussions,” he stressed.

He went on to note that human rights are withheld in too many parts of the world, with persecution of persons belonging to religious minorities, including Christians, “a particularly visible problem,” which Poland strongly condemns, along with all instances of persecution and discrimination based on religion.

“‘Solidarity-Responsibility-Engagement’ are the values that we unceasingly seek to promote in the international arena […] to produce sustainable development, security and peace not only for now, but also for future generations to come,” concluded Mr. Duda.

For his part, Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, told the Assembly that a terror-based anti-civilization had emerged over the last few decades, stressing that “we all express solidarity with the victims and organize protests, but, unfortunately, we still hesitate to fight terrorist organizations with full power.”

He welcomed the Secretary-General’s new Office for Counter-Terrorism as a reasonable and practical solution along with the appointment of its Under-Secretary-General to solve problems in the fight against Islamic terrorism.

The President recalled that, one year ago, he had criticized the UN for not being able to define the word terrorism, noting that there were currently 38 anti-terrorist organizations and institutions under the UN umbrella and pointing out that as that number increased, more terrorist organizations flourished. He also called for the use of military force against terrorism – in accord with Article 47 of the UN Charter.

On the other side of the same coin he pointed to the issue of migration, which, citing Syria and Iraq, he said was often provoked by terrorist actions. Mr. Zeman also underscored the concern that terrorists often hid within migrant populations. Citing Africa, he flagged the issue of “brain drain” – or the weakening of potential in those countries – with large migration flows. The Czech President explained that by welcoming migrants in Europe, countries are fuelling the brain drain phenomenon, and in turn, reversing progress in countries of origin.

Mr. Zeman concluded by saying the war on terrorism should be based on “historical optimism.” He gave the example of Barcelona, in which the Spanish people said they were not afraid, and recalled United States President Franklin Roosevelt’s proclamation of ‘freedom from fear.’ Mr. Zemen echoed what he called the most beautiful expression of historical optimism by quoting theologian Martin Luther: “If I knew that it would be doomsday tomorrow, I shall go today and plant an apple tree.”

Also address the Assembly, the President of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska, opened his speech highlighting the need to build safe, healthy, prosperous and just societies for all people to live a dignified life, telling the Assembly that it is not a mere ambition, “It’s our duty. It’s the reason why our people trust us with the power to act on their behalf.”

While Mr. Kiska called “the respect for the principles of peace and security” essential, he observed that “far too many are dying in senseless conflicts or suffering in displacement” – pointing out that armed conflicts and the resulting refugee crisis “depletes the much-needed resources for social and economic development.”

The President censured short-sighted interests that are built on spreading instability and undermining collective efforts towards peace and security for crippling “the very core of the UN Charter for securing peaceful coexistence among nations.”

While naming Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova as sovereign nations being undermined by an aggressive neighbour, Mr. Kiska cited the Democratic Republic of Korea as “one of the worst threats to international peace and security in recent history.”

“I strongly call on the North Korean regime to terminate its development of weapons of mass destruction and to return on the path of dialogue and building peace in the Korean Peninsula,” he underscored.

Running Roaches, Flapping Moths Create a New Physics of Organisms

Science and Technology

Running Roaches, Flapping Moths Create a New Physics of Organisms

[embedded content]

Using infrared cameras and robotic flowers, scientists have learned how the hawk moth juggles complex sensing and control challenges to hover in mid-air and track flowers while adjusting to changing light conditions. The work shows that the creatures can slow their brains to improve vision under low-light conditions – while continuing to perform demanding tasks.

Sand-swimming lizards, slithering robotic snakes, dusk-flying moths and running roaches all have one thing in common: They’re increasingly being studied by physicists interested in understanding the shared strategies these creatures have developed to overcome the challenges of moving though their environments.

By analyzing the rules governing the locomotion of these creatures, “physics of living systems” researchers are learning how animals successfully negotiate unstable surfaces like wet sand, maintain rapid motion on flat surfaces using the advantageous mechanics of their bodies, and fly in ways that would never work for modern aircraft. The knowledge these researchers develop could be useful to the designers of robots and flying vehicles of all kinds.

“Locomotion is a very natural access point for understanding how biological systems interact with the world,” said Simon Sponberg, an assistant professor in the School of Physics and School of Biological Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “When they move, animals change the environment around them so they can push off from it and move through it in different ways. This capability is a defining feature of animals.”

Sponberg has spent his career bridging the gap between physics and organismal biology – the study of complex creatures. His work includes studying how hawk moths slow their nervous systems to maintain vision during low-light conditions, and how muscle is a versatile material able to change function from a brake to a motor or spring.

He recently published a feature article, the cover story for the September issue of the American Institute of Physics magazine Physics Today, on the role of physics in animal locomotion. The article was not intended as a review of the entire field, but rather to show how organismal physics – integrating complex physiological systems, the mechanics and the surrounding environment into a whole animal – has inspired his career.

“The intersection of physics and organismal biology is a very exciting one right now,” Sponberg said. “The assembly and interaction of multiple natural components manifests new behaviors and dynamics. The collection of these natural components manifests different patterns than the individual parts, and that’s fascinating.”

Supported by new initiatives at such organizations as the Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation – which are embracing these frontiers – Georgia Tech scientists are learning the equations that dictate how snakes move, understanding how the hair spacing on the bodies of bees help them stay clean, and using X-ray equipment to see how an unusual African lizard “swims” through dry sand.

“It’s a really exciting time to be working at the intersection of evolutionary organismal biology that is realized in these living systems that have come about through the process of evolution, composed of seemingly very complex systems,” he said. “Biological systems are inescapably complex, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t simple patterns of behavior that we can understand. We now have the modern tools, approaches and theory that we need to be able to extract physical patterns from biological systems.”

In his article, Sponberg makes predictions about the research that will be needed for the physics of living systems to advance as a field:

  • How feedback transforms physiological dynamics,
  • How aggregations of living components, from humans to ants to molecular motors, arise at multiple scales, and
  • How robo-physical models of these complex systems can lead to new discoveries and advance engineering.

Engineered systems use feedback about the effects of their actions to adjust their future activities, and animals do the same to control their movement. Scientists can manipulate this feedback to understand how complex systems are put together and use the feedback to design experiments rather than just analyzing what is there. 

“We use feedback all the time to move through our environment, and feedback is a really special thing that fundamentally affects how dynamics occur,” said Sponberg. “But using feedback to design experiments is really sort of new.”

For example, in the study of how hawk moths track flowers during low-light conditions, he and his colleagues used feedback dynamics to isolate how the moth’s brain adjusts its processing in dim light. The moths can still accurately track flower movements that occur less than two times per second – which matches the frequency at which the flowers sway in the wind.

Animals are composed of many systems operating at multiple time scales simultaneously – brain neurons, nerves and the individual fibers of muscles with molecular motors. These muscle fibers are arranged in an active crystalline lattice such that X-rays fired through them create a regular diffraction pattern. Understanding these multiscale living assemblages provides new insights into how animals manage complex actions.

Finally, Sponberg notes in his article that robots are playing a larger and larger role in the physics laboratory as functional models that can examine principles of movement by interacting with the real world. In the laboratory of Georgia Tech Associate Professor Dan Goldman – one of Sponberg’s colleagues – robotic snakes, turtles, crabs and other creatures help scientists understand what they’re observing in the natural world.

“Moving physical models – robots – can be very powerful tools for understanding these complex systems,” Sponberg said. “They can allow us to do experiments on robots that we couldn’t do on animals to see how they interact with complex environments. We can see what physics in these systems is essential to their behaviors.”

Sponberg was inspired to study the interaction of organismal biology and physics by the remarkable diversity of animal movement and by nonlinear dynamics, a field made popular when he was a young student by the 1987 best-selling book Chaos: Making a New Science, authored by former New York Times reporter James Gleick. Sponberg hopes today’s students – readers of Physics Today – will also be inspired.

“I voted on this with my career choice, so I think this is a very exciting areas of science,” he added.

Research News
Georgia Institute of Technology
177 North Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia  30332-0181  USA

Media Relations Contacts: John Toon (404-894-6986) (jtoon@gatech.edu) or Ben Brumfield (404-660-1408) (ben.brumfield@comm.gatech.edu).

Writer: John Toon

Annual Report 2016

2016 by the numbers:

9,792,200 outpatient consultations; 671,700 patients admitted; 92,600 major surgical interventions

Open 2016 US Annual Report (PDF)

Over the past year, as nativist arguments for walls and other barriers to keep people out gained strength in the United States and around the world, the core mission of Doctors Without Borders was challenged as never before. With your strong support, we are fighting on all fronts to defend out ability to provide humanitarian assistance for people in need, regardless of race, religion, or political conviction.

Every day, our medical teams treat people displaced by conflict and extreme violence. Throughout 2016, people seeking safety found themselves trapped in crisis, as countries closed their borders and sought to push refugees elsewhere—anywhere but here. We witnessed the terrible results first-hand during field visits to Lebanon and Mexico.

More than half our projects were dedicated to caring for people in situations of armed conflict or internal instability, with some of our biggest operations in countries that have experienced massive displacement. At the end of 2016, there were more than 65.6 million people displaced worldwide, according to the

United Nations Refugee Agency. That unfathomable number provokes fear and xenophobia in some quarters, but we hope the stories of our patients might inspire greater compassion. We are also grateful for the contributions of the many MSF staff members who were once refugees themselves.

Together, we are working to ensure that our patients receive assistance and safety. In 2016, we launched a three-year advocacy campaign to expose the conditions facing those who have been “Forced From Home.” The campaign centers around a traveling, interactive exhibition led by MSF field workers who take visitors behind the headlines about the global refugee crisis. The exhibition toured the eastern US in 2016, and will travel to the mountain region and west coast this fall. In 2018, the exhibition will go to the southwestern US. For those of you living in or near the cities on the tour, we hope you will join us. (Learn more at forcedfromhome.com.)

Meanwhile, teams in the field and at headquarters are working to ensure that we have the necessary access and protection to care for those suffering the brunt of conflict. We played a leading role in pushing the United Nations Security Council to unanimously adopt Resolution 2286, which pledged to protect medical workers and patients in conflict situations. The UN Secretary-General borrowed our message, publicly affirming that “Even war has rules.”

And yet, airstrikes and shelling against health facilities have continued, with attacks often carried out by military coalitions involving Security Council member states, including France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 2016, 34 health structures managed or supported by MSF were attacked

in Syria and Yemen. We will continue to demand that all warring parties adhere to their obligations under international law. While our work pushing for greater access and innovation garners less visibility, it is instrumental to providing high-quality health care to the people who need it most. Through our Access Campaign, we are not only working to bring down the cost of vaccines and essential medicines, we are also supporting research and development to find new ways to treat the neglected diseases that affect many of our patients. Thanks to nearly half a million supporters who joined our campaign for A Fair Shot, Pfizer and GSK agreed to significantly lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine for children caught in humanitarian emergencies. Pneumonia is the leading killer of children under five.

We are breaking new ground through a series of clinical trials to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). A clinical trial initiated by MSF in Niger in 2014 showed that a new, heat-stable vaccine against rotavirus could help prevent large numbers of children from dying of severe diarrhea. Our research indicated that a new cholera control strategy using a single-dose oral vaccine could be effective in combating the disease. Last April, MSF vaccinated 423,000 people in Lusaka, Zambia, in the largest oral cholera vaccination campaign to be undertaken during an outbreak.

We hope that you will take some time to read the full report and reflect on the impact of our global activities made possible with your support. Consider the individual lives behind the big numbers: 9,792,200 outpatient consultations; 2,536,400 cases of malaria treated; 250,300 births assisted; 80,100 severely malnourished children treated at our inpatient feeding programs.

On behalf of all our patients and staff, we thank you.

Sincerely,

John Lawrence, President, MSF-USA Board of Directors

Jason Cone, Executive Director, MSF-USA

Chetco Bar Fire (Wildfire)

NEWS RELEASE

Chetco West Zone Daily Update, Curry County, September 19, 2017
New West Side Information Line: 541-412-8531New Hours: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.As of 6:00 p.m. on September 18th, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office lifted all evacuation orders for the fire area. We can… more

INCIDENT UPDATED 1 MIN. AGO

Approximate Location

Incident Overview

Incident Summary: In the past week firefighters have made good progress in containing and strengthening lines around the Chetco Bar Fire. Firefighters, including crews with Oregon Army National Guard Task Force 5, continue to monitor and patrol the fireline, adding waterbars and recovering equipment where where containment objectives have been achieved. The current weather pattern is more favorable for firefighters and the area forecast includes more than an inch of rain in addition to cooler temperatures and higher humidity over the next few days.

Evacuations and Closures: All Evacuation Advisories in Curry County were lifted at 12 p.m. on September 18, 2017. For more information on this please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5385/41405/

Due to firefighter and public safety concerns, trail, road and area closures remain in effect. For more information regarding the closures, please visit the Forests’ websites at http://tinyurl.com/ClosureOrder and https://www.fs.usda.gov/srnf.

Drones: While there has been no drone activity over the Chetco Bar Fire, please remember that drones interfere with firefighting efforts. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the Chetco Bar Fire. Any private aircraft or drone that violates the TFR could face serious criminal charges. Even without a TFR, anyone who hampers firefighting efforts could face criminal charges as well. For more information on drone use, visit the FAA’s website www.KnowBeforeYouFly.org. Remember, “If you fly, we can’t!”

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Wednesday July 12th, 2017 approx. 01:45 PM
Location Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Chetco River corridor, Illinois River Valley
Incident Commander Unified Command
Incident Description Wildfire

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,572
Size 190,237 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 68%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday October 15th, 2017 approx. 06:00 PM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory) Medium Logging Slash Chaparral (6 feet)

Narrative:

Fuel types in the fire area include Douglas fir stands of various age classes, tan oak, canyon oak, and dense brush fields of manzanita and ceanothus in the older fire scars. Fire scars also contain numerous snags and heavy dead/down fuels. The oak leaf litter will readily support active surface fire spread when dry. Low live fuel moistures in the brush fuels will allow them to actively burn. Some areas within the harvested cut blocks have heavy slash fuel loads and large slash piles.

Significant Events

Minimal Smoldering Backing Creeping

Narrative:

Backing, creeping and smoldering fire in the upper Pistol River, upper Winchuck River, and the Illinois River south of Deadman Bar.

Outlook

Planned Actions

WEST ZONE:

Branch I: Crews will continue mop up and secure lines. Resources will continue to backhaul suppression supplies and continue suppression damage repair tasks.

Branch II: Collect perimeter data for suppression damage repair, patrol for spot fires and continue to mop up existing control lines. The Oregon National Guard will continue to support the backhaul of equipment and other suppression related materials. Suppression repair group will continue to coordinate with resource advisors in support of suppression repair operations.

Branch III:

Continue to identify and collect data for suppression repair. Remove down and hazard trees and debris, allowing for safe travel along the 3318 road. Continue to monitor and patrol the black edge of the fire and suppress spot fires. Continue to support the backhaul of equipment and other suppression related materials.

Branch V: Unstaffed Branch VI: Unstaffed

EAST ZONE (Branch IV):

Branch IV: Complete improvement of containment lines and backhaul structure protection equipment within the Josephine Valley. Finish chipping operations, while monitoring and assessing containment efforts in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

Continue to support suppression operations on the Indigo fire.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Precipitation and decreasing temperatures will limit fire activity. Smoldering and creeping.

24 hours: Continuing precipitation and cooler temperatures will decrease fire activity. Smoldering and creeping.

48 hours: Rain showers with cool temperatures will continue to impact the fire area. Smoldering and creeping.

72 hours: Continued clouds with occasional showers. Smoldering and creeping.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Warming and drying weather will start to move over the fire area. Smoldering and creeping fire behavior will continue.

Remarks

Increase in acreage from the use of Collector to gather precise perimeter data.

East Zone of the Checto Bar Fire is delegated to Northwest Team 13. The Zone break is the Oregon/California Border just west of Hwy 199 and the Josephine/Curry County line north to Bear Camp Overlook.

The West Zone of fire is being managed under Unified Command structure and a second delegation from Six Rivers National Forest, Region 5.

Branch I, II,III, V, and VI are West Zone.

Branch IV is East Zone.

East Zone is managing the Indigo Fire. Crews and logistical support are being provided to the Indigo fire through lend / lease.

Ownership:

BLM 6,755 State 223 Private 15,261 USFS 167,998

Precipitation occurred over the fire area.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Scattered showers moved across the fire area today. Precipitation amounts were spotty and generally less than a tenth of an inch. Cool temperatures and high humidities prevailed as well. Excellent humidity recoveries will occur once again tonight with the areal coverage of showers increasing over the area. Occasional showers are expected on Tuesday followed by widespread rain Tuesday night through Wednesday night. Rain could be heavy at times. Cool temperatures and high humidities will continue through the period. Gusty southwest winds will develop over the fire are Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday night. Some lingering showers will persist on Thursday with temperatures not as cool as the past few days and humidities not as high either. Drier weather returns Friday and continues into the weekend.