June 2, 2013

    Photo: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

Veteran Storm Chaser Killed

Was following a twister in Oklahoma

Veteran storm chaser Tim Samaras along with his 23-year-old son Paul and longtime chase partner and  friend Carl Young were caught and killed by a large tornado that tore through El Reno, Oklahoma, Friday.

Jim Samaras, Tim's brother, announced the death of the storm chaser on Facebook Sunday, saying all three died "doing what they loved."

Samaras was one of the country's premier storm chasers, who engineered probes to capture information at the base of tornadoes. In order to collect data, Samaras and his team chased storms, placing probes directly in the twister's path. He also founded TWISTEX (Tactical Weather Instrumental Sampling in Tornadoes EXperiment) to advance the warning available to the public.

“This has really shaken up everyone in the storm chasing community, we knew this day would happen someday, but nobody would imagine that it would happen to Tim," severe storms photojournalist Doug Kiesling told CNN. "Tim was one of the safest people to go out there.”

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    Photo: Walt Morgan/Flickr

California Wildfire Explodes in Size

Fires break out all over the west

A fire threatening foothill communities of Los Angeles, California, exploded in size overnight, fanning out to nearly 41 square miles and triggering the evacuation of nearly 1,000 homes. Five structures have been destroyed by the blaze.

The fire broke out Thursday near a hydroelectric plant and quickly burned through thick, dry brush. Crews have been battling triple-digit temperatures and strong, erratic winds that have pushed the fire up and down steep slopes. The blaze is 20 percent contained.

A blaze near Santa Fe, New Mexico, has spread to nearly 10 square miles since it was sparked by a downed power line on Friday, enveloping the city in a thick haze. Residents of about 140 homes have been evacuated as a crew of more than 400 battles to keep it at bay. The fire was zero percent contained as of Sunday morning.

Check out this eerily beautiful time-lapse of the fire that's rapidly spreading in New Mexico.

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