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Extent of the Sawmill Fire
Extent of the Sawmill Fire

The Sawmill Fire was a wildfire that burned almost 47,000 acres (19,000 ha) of the U.S. state of Arizona. It began on April 23, 2017, at a gender reveal party held in the Coronado National Forest with the detonation by gunshot of a target packed with blue powder and tannerite. Because of hot and arid conditions in the area, the fire spread rapidly and forced the closure of Arizona State Route 89 and Interstate 10 and the evacuation of 100 people. By April 30, the fire was fully contained and evacuation orders were lifted. No injuries or fatalities resulted from the fire, which cost $8,200,000 and required the deployment of over 800 first responders to contain and suppress. No buildings were destroyed by the fire, though the historic Empire Ranch was as little as 50 feet (15 m) from the flames at times. When the source of the fire became public knowledge, it resulted in widespread ridicule of gender reveal parties in concept and practice. (Full article...)

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Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption
Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption

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Protesters in Tehran, Iran
Protesters in Tehran, Iran

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September 24: Heritage Day in South Africa

Sir James Brooke
Sir James Brooke
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Today's featured picture

Brown-headed honeyeater

The brown-headed honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris) is a species of passerine bird in the family Meliphagidae, the honeyeaters. Endemic to Australia, its natural habitats are temperate forests and Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation. Insects form the bulk of its diet, and like its close relatives, the black-chinned and strong-billed honeyeaters, it forages by probing in the bark of tree trunks and branches. This brown-headed honeyeater was photographed perching on a branch in Patchewollock, Victoria.

Photograph credit: John Harrison

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