Thu, Aug 20, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Wildfires strain resources

Wildfires are putting such a strain on the nation’s firefighting resources that authorities have activated the military and sought international help to beat back scores of blazes burning uncontrolled throughout the West. The situation is so urgent that the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Washington, this week called in 200 active-duty military troops to help contain about 95 wildfires. It is the first time since 2006 that the agency has mobilized soldiers for fire-suppression. “Nationally, the system is pretty tapped,” said Rob Allen, the deputy incident commander for the fires around the Cascade Mountain resort town of Chelan, Washington. “Everything is being used right now, so competition for resources is fierce.” The troops are to be sent to a fire north of Republic, a town in Washington about 48km south of the Canadian border.

UNITED STATES

Man fights for ‘pet’ ferrets

Pat Wright loves his three ferrets — even though they do sometimes bite and he has had to replace the baseboards in part of his house after they urinated for years along the walls — and wants them to become legalized as pets in California. Wright has begun preparing what he admits may be a quixotic campaign to legitimize Tiger, Bailey and Jethro after a decision on Friday last week by state officials in Sacramento to allow him to gather signatures to place a referendum on the ballot making it legal to own and import ferrets.

UNITED STATES

Cops freed cub stuck in tub

Police in Colorado rescued a bear cub whose head was stuck in a large plastic tub of protein powder, giving the cub a ride in the back of a cruiser before tranquilizing her so she could be freed. The Colorado Springs Police Department said three officers responded to a call about the trapped animal before dawn on Tuesday, but were unable to remove the tub. “The quick-witted officers were able to get the cub into the back seat of a patrol car and brought her to nearby fire station 3, where a Department of Wildlife Ranger sedated the bear,” the police department said in a statement, adding that the cub “was tagged and released ... in hopes that she will be reunited with mama bear.”

UNITED STATES

Snake hunt expanded

Snake-hunters take note: Authorities are expanding Florida’s next public hunt for invasive Burmese pythons into Everglades National Park. The “Python Challenge” will run from Jan. 16 through Feb. 14. The national park was excluded from the 2013 contest, which drew 1,600 participants, but netted only 68 pythons. Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos said in a statement on Tuesday that authorities hope the expanded access prompts more people to participate in programs that would allow them to remove pythons year-round from the park and state lands.

AUSTRALIA

Inmate makes daring escape

Authorities yesterday vowed to review security after a prisoner used bed sheets and a pillow to scale a wall topped with razor wire and escape from a maximum security jail in Goulburn, about 200km from Sydney. Convicted armed robber Stephen Jamieson made his daring break for freedom on Tuesday and was on the run in a stolen car for 10 hours before police using helicopters and dogs caught up with him about 100km from the prison. “This is a very serious incident that should not have happened,” Corrective Services New South Wales Commissioner Peter Severin said.

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