Firebomber Publications Blog

Wildfire News Of The Day (the Firebomber Publications blog) provides comprehensive international wildfire news. Subscribers include over 10,000 personnel from fire agencies, contractors, and government entities on five continents. "BEST NEWSLETTER I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY 32 YEARS IN THE FIRE SERVICE" - San Diego Fire Department Chief Brian Fennessy.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


The DC-10 Supertanker is FINALLY fighting the Esperanza Fire. With many newspapers and wire services broadcasting stories and photos of the DC-10 performing retardant drops, firefighters are finally getting some visible support from this superb firefighting aircraft. The question now is "How long will it last?" On the Day Fire a few weeks ago, it was pulled off fairly quickly. Like the Day Fire, the Esperanza Fire is on National Forest land. Will the feds yank it off again as they did with the Day Fire, or will they finally overcome their fears of an imminent crash and leave it to do what it does better than any other currently-available firefighting aircraft? Only time will tell. The tragedy to all this is that the Esperanza Fire started around 1 AM on Thursday 10/26 and that five San Bernardino National Forest firefighters were caught in a burnover at 8 AM. The sun was up far enough by that time of the morning that this aircraft would have been allowed to fly (forestry aircraft are not allowed to fly until 30 minutes after sunrise). Had it been available, it could have stopped the fire dead in its tracks along the point of the line where the firefighters were located. Since it wasn't, these brave men were overwhelmed before they could even get their fire shelters deployed. Ask their families if this is an important asset to firefighters and I think I know what their answer will be. But the DC-10 is still working without a contract and the owners have stated flatly that if they don't have an annual contract for $5 million soon, they fold up shop and that's the end of the DC-10. This is unacceptable. For more info on this story, visit my website at Firebomber Publications. Let me know what you think at