South Africa: Drones Deployed to Assess Cape Fire Losses (AllAfrica)

AllAfrica: South Africa: Drones Deployed to Assess Cape Fire Losses. “INSURANCE companies are deploying drones to inspect and quantify fire damage at the University of Cape Town (UCT). They have sought the assistance of leading legal operator, UAV Industries, a UCT alumni owned and managed company, to inspect the total value of the loss. Commercial drone pilots are conducting a 3D survey of all damaged structures using HD and thermal photogrammetry, an application whereby drones capture a large number of high-resolution photos over a specific area.”

University of Cape Town: Recognising the loss of the Jagger Reading Room

University of Cape Town: Recognising the loss of the Jagger Reading Room. “The fire destroyed the Jagger Reading Room, gutting its roof and destroying the galleries, adjacent stores and offices. The team at UCT Libraries can confirm the archival and published print collections kept within the Reading Room were consumed by the flames. These include the vast majority of the African Studies Published Print Collection (approximately 70 000 items), the entire African Studies Film Collection on DVD (approximately 3 500), all the UCT university calendars, some of the heavily used Government Publications documents from South Africa and across the continent, and manuscripts and archives kept in the Reading Room for processing or digitisation or awaiting transfer after being digitised.”

Washington Post: South Africa wildfire that burned University of Cape Town, library of African antiquities is under control

Washington Post: South Africa wildfire that burned University of Cape Town, library of African antiquities is under control. “Ujala Satgoor, executive director of UCT Libraries, described how ‘some of us watched, from on-site, with horror and helplessness’ as the building burned…. The library houses printed and audiovisual materials on African studies; 1,300 sub-collections of unique manuscripts and personal papers; and more than 85,000 books and pamphlets on African studies, including up-to-date materials and works on Africa and South Africa printed before 1925, according to the UCT website.”

Watch | Cape Town fire: Dreadful scenes as UCT Library goes up in flames (The South African)

A million thanks to Mandy W. for bringing this to my attention. The South African: Watch | Cape Town fire: Dreadful scenes as UCT Library goes up in flames. “Well, this is just utterly devastating: Hundreds of years of history has gone up in smoke on Sunday, as the Cape Town fire ripped its way through campus – and set the UCT Library ablaze. Students were evacuated from their Halls of Residence earlier on Sunday, after the inferno made its way from Table Mountain, through Devil’s Peak, and into Newlands. …Precious archives, historic texts, and collections of African Studies are all in jeopardy this afternoon. The UCT Library is home to some classic publications, and has a long-standing history as an extraordinary hub for higher education.”

Business Insider: Russia claims a fire at a data center in France broke access to Google and YouTube. Google says that’s not true.

Business Insider: Russia claims a fire at a data center in France broke access to Google and YouTube. Google says that’s not true.. “A data center belonging to French cloud provider OVH caught on fire on Wednesday. At the same time, Russia was experiencing widespread outages meaning people couldn’t get onto Google and YouTube, which Google owns. The state media watchdog, Roskomnadzorm, claimed Wednesday the problems were caused by the fire in France. Google says that’s not true.”

The Art Newspaper: A year after fire, Museum of Chinese in America launches digital platform with Google to celebrate its historical treasures

The Art Newspaper: A year after fire, Museum of Chinese in America launches digital platform with Google to celebrate its historical treasures. “A year after a fire broke out in its New York archive, prompting a herculean effort to salvage its historical artefacts, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) today launched a digital platform with Google Arts & Culture to make hundreds of digitised images of its treasures available online. The chief attraction is a new virtual exhibition titled Trial by Fire: The Race to Save 200 Years of Chinese American History, which traces the recovery effort after the fire nearly destroyed the museum’s collection of more than 85,000 items on 23 January 2020.”

WWF: Google’s AI technology to identify animals impacted by bushfires

WWF: Google’s AI technology to identify animals impacted by bushfires. “Artificial intelligence and an army of new sensor cameras will be used to track the recovery of animals impacted by bushfires in one of the most extensive post-fire surveillanceprograms ever undertaken in Australia. WWF-Australia and Conservation International, supported with a USD 1 million grant from Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org, have launched An Eye on Recovery, a large-scale collaborative camera sensor project.”

COVID-19: 10 patients killed in fire on coronavirus intensive care ward in Romania (Sky News)

Sky News: COVID-19: 10 patients killed in fire on coronavirus intensive care ward in Romania. “Ten people have died after a fire broke out on an intensive care ward treating coronavirus patients in Romania. Seven others are critically injured following the fire at Piatra Neamt county hospital on Saturday. Apart from one person, all those killed or injured are COVID-19 patients, according to emergency services spokesperson Irina Popa.”

New York Times: Chinatown Museum Gets $3 Million After Fire Threatens Its Archives

New York Times: Chinatown Museum Gets $3 Million After Fire Threatens Its Archives. “In January, a fire ripped through the upper floors of the Chinatown building that held the museum’s archives, endangering roughly 85,000 artifacts. Then the coronavirus pandemic, which had prompted a surge in anti-Asian harassment, also shut the museum down for months. But in late September, Nancy Yao Maasbach, the museum’s president, got a call with some good news.”

NBC News: Federal firefighter units juggle COVID-19 infection on fire lines

NBC News: Federal firefighter units juggle COVID-19 infection on fire lines. “Wildland firefighters are sometimes considered the last defense, called in after local resources are stretched thin. Federal crews spend the fire season crisscrossing state borders as they are sent to fight the latest burning blaze. And that constant traveling, as well as the close working proximity, have offered a challenge to COVID-19 mitigation, especially as firefighting methods like holding the line can require elbow-to-elbow teamwork.”

CNN: Senators demand recalls after CNN report finds Amazon’s own products are being flagged as fire hazards

CNN: Senators demand recalls after CNN report finds Amazon’s own products are being flagged as fire hazards. “Three senators are demanding the recall of any hazardous products branded with Amazon’s name after a CNN investigation found that dozens of AmazonBasics electronics remained for sale despite customers reporting the products had melted, exploded or burst into flames.”

NASA Earth Observatory: A New Tool for Tracking Amazon Fires

NASA Earth Observatory: A New Tool for Tracking Amazon Fires. “NASA-funded researchers have developed new tools that will make it easier for governments and other stakeholders to understand what types of fires are burning, where they are burning, and how much risk those fires pose to the rainforest. The satellite-driven, web-based tool quickly classifies fires into one of four categories—deforestation, understory fires, small clearing and agricultural fires, and savanna/grassland fires. The tool was made available on the web on August 19, 2020.”