Saturday, August 24, 2013

The California wildfire has reached a famous US national park (Yosemite)

How to use this blog: First, please review the vocabulary list and understand the meanings of the words.  Then, please read the article provided.  Refer back to the vocabulary list if you do not remember the meanings of some words.

By reviewing the vocabulary words over and over, they will begin to 'stick' in your memory and you will be able to use them when you speak.
 



President Teddy Roosevelt (in the early 1900s) helped to establish a national park system in the USA.  These are huge areas where nature is preserved (saved and maintained).  You can see beautiful mountains and wildlife (among other things) in these parks.  

TR was, actually, one of the best US presidents.  Believe it or not, at one point the Republican Party was considered the 'good' party in the USA.  TR was the last 'good' Republican president.  After TR the Republican Party became the party of corporations and the very rich in the USA.


Unfortunately a huge fire is spreading across California and it has now stretched into Yosemite.

The article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23806626

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a blaze - a large fire

a wildfire - a fire that is out of control; this type of fire is usually in a forest or wooded area and such fires are relatively common (the article states there are about 50 wildfires in the western part of the USA right now). In fact, some environmentalists say that wildfires are necessary for forest areas every once in awhile.  This wildfire, however, is becoming too large and causing too much damage apparently.

scores of tourists - a score usually means 12.  So if you want to say 'a bunch' you might say 'scores of.'

to flee - to escape, to run away

the peak season - the most popular season

threatening homes - many homes might be burned down; if you are threatened you are afraid of being hurt

tackling the flames - struggling with, fighting against; to tackle is an American football term - when you tackle someone, you grab him and force him to the ground, so to tackle something means to struggle or fight with something in order to try to control it.

difficult terrain - a difficult environment, difficult surroundings

2% contained - 98% of the fire (blaze) is uncontrolled

a reservoir - an area where water is stored for use if it is needed.

not any way near to closing - they are not close to coming a decision to close the park; they do not anticipate closing the park

a handful - a few

evacuation - to evacuate means to leave an area because it is dangerous

an advisory - advice from the government to do something

issued - given

teeming with tourists - filled with tourists; teeming, however, implies activity, so if a place is teeming with tourists it is filled with tourists who are very active and doing a lot of things.

every which direction - all over the place, everywhere

steep -

rugged - not smooth, rough

hectares - an area of measurement

to scorch - to burn

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