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, July 12, 2008


Current California fire stats:

There are 1005 State Responsibility Areas Fires, 815 are contained.
81% of fires in State Responsibility Area are contained.

There are 776 Federal Responsibility Area Fires, 644 are contained.
83% of fires Federal Responsibility Area are contained.

Per the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), 40 states have provided assets or personnel to assist California with fire fighting operations since the fires began on June 21, 2008.

There are currently 22 complexes that are actively threatening life and property.

There are a total of 801,726 acres burned, 20,443 personnel assigned, 117 total rotary aircraft, and 0 fixed wing aircraft. Other resources include: 141 Strike Teams/Task Forces, 1,516 engines, 294 dozers, 447 hand crews, 423 water tenders and 4,145 overhead. 278 firefighter injuries reported.

Property threatened or destroyed includes: 9,146 residences threatened, 10 residences damaged, and 99 residences destroyed. There are 140 commercial properties threatened, 0 (zero) commercial properties damaged, and 1 (one) commercial property destroyed. 2,507 outbuildings threatened, 5 (five) outbuilding damaged, and 127 outbuildings destroyed.

Military and Out-of-State Resources:
* National Guard, Active Military and Reserve resources tasked to support firefighting activity totals 36 air resources, including:

Rotary Wing Aircraft – 27 total (includes USMC and NSN helos listed below)

Type 1 helicopters: (19 total)
Type 1 helicopters have water dropping capability.
7 UH 60 – California National Guard (1 Firehawk)
2 HH 60 – California Air National Guard
2 UH 60 – Arizona National Guard
1 UH 60 – North Dakota National Guard
1 UH 60 – Nebraska National Guard
1 UH 60 – New Mexico National Guard
1 UH 60 – Utah National Guard
1 CH 47 – Oregon National Guard
1 CH 47 – Washington National Guard
1 CH 47 – California National Guard
1 CH 47 – Nebraska National Guard

Type 3 helicopters: (2 total)
Type 3 helicopters are smaller helicopters used for reconnaissance.
2 OH 58 – California National Guard

Fixed Wing Aircraft - 9 total

Imagery (infrared) and Reconnaissance: (1 total)
Imagery aircraft provide infrared/reconnaissance support.
1 RC 26 – California National Guard

MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) - 8 total
MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fighting Systems) is a pressurized 3,000 gallon tank installed on a C-130 aircraft used to drop fire retardant or water.
3 MAFFS – US Air Force Reserve (Colorado) - Federal
3 MAFFS – North Carolina Air Guard
2 MAFFS – Wyoming Air Guard

* The California National Guard has 1,086 Guardsmen on state status supporting the fires. In addition, there are Guard members from North Carolina in T10 federal status supporting MAFFS.

Federal Military Support - 8 rotary wing aircraft total
* United States Marine Corps: 4 CH-46 helicopters and 2 CH-53 helicopters
* United States Navy: 2 MH-60 helicopters
* United States Air Force Reserve: 3 MAFFS (Colorado) – included in Fixed Wing Aircraft Total above.


In the news today, an NPR segment underscores the tremendous cost of the wildfires so far, and a Press-Enterprise article details the loss of family time overworked firefighters are suffering. A worrisome article about destructive pine beetle populations that are expanding their life cycle, which means more beetles and more tree kills. Greece once again had some wildfires, this time on some offshore islands (another topic for the international wildfire conference in Athens this fall). An update on the San Diego supervisors' struggle to fund a regional firefighting force is provided. And the DC-10, Martin Mars and National Guard C-130s are in demand by fire managers up and down the state, while Big Sur's economy hangs in the balance.

On the positive side, however, help is on the way, lots of it. Firefighters are coming from Australia, Canada, Greece, Mexico and New Zealand to help out. National Guard units from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kansas are also being dispatched to help, as are four more Canadian air-tankers (bringing the total Canadian air-tanker contingent up to 18) and firefighters from Wisconsin and Minnesota are on the way as well. In addition, good news from Washington state fires may mean that some resources fighting wildfires in the eastern part of the state could soon be released for duty down south.

Wildfires In California Create Staggering Costs

Inland firefighters resigned to fire season's extended shifts

Little bug with a big bite

Wildfires in Skyros and Megara

Wildfire protection tax stalled by details

Jet, military planes help combat north state blazes

Wildfire turns Big Sur economy into a real cliffhanger

Crews Aid Firefight Thousands of Miles from Home

Overseas crews coming to battle Calif. wildfires

Arkansas National Guard Crew To Help Battle Wildfires

La. Sends Support To Combat Calif. Wildfires

Kansas Guardsmen to battle wildfires in California

California's Wildfire Fight Draws Help From Canada

Wisconsin sends firefighters, trucks to wildfires

Minnesota crews help battle California wildfires

Firefighters mopping up Spokane Valley fire

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