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.

Monday, July 14, 2008


There was a fair amount of wildfire news today, but first some California fire stats:

Total State and Federal California Fires: 1,781
Total Contained: 1,493
84% of Fires in California Contained
Total Active Fires: 288

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 20 complexes that are actively threatening life and property.

There are a total of 839,343 acres burned, 21,255 personnel assigned, and 120 total rotary aircraft. Other resources include: 146 Strike Teams/Task Forces, 1,513 engines, 227 dozers, 482 hand crews, 391 water tenders and 4,128 overhead. 289 firefighter injuries reported.

Property threatened or destroyed includes: 8,180 residences threatened, 10 residences damaged, and 100 residences destroyed. There are 141 commercial properties threatened, 0 (zero) commercial properties damaged, and 1 (one) commercial property destroyed. 2,513 outbuildings threatened, 5 (five) outbuilding damaged, and 127 outbuildings destroyed.

Military and Out-of-State Resources:
* National Guard, Active Military and Reserve aircraft tasked to support firefighting activity totals 35 air resources, including:

Rotary Wing Aircraft – 26 total (includes USMC and NSN helos listed below)

Activated Type 1 helicopters: (16 total)
Type 1 helicopters have water dropping capability.
4 UH 60 – California National Guard
2 HH 60 – California Air National Guard
1 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
1 CH 47 - Nevada National Guard

Activated 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 1,104 Guardsmen on state status supporting the fires. In addition, there are Guard members from North Carolina in T10 federal status supporting MAFFS.

* OES has verified that National Guard Air Assets have been provided by 10 States: Arizona, North Dakota, Colorado, North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming.

Federal Military Support - 8 rotary wing aircraft total
* Per Title 10, USMC and USN helos are being released.
* 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.


The news leads off today with a conversation I had with Wayne Coulson, owner of Coulson Flying Tankers (the Martin Mars folks), via e-mail yesterday in regard to the fires the Mars is fighting up north:

Good Morning Michael,
I wanted to let you know that the Mars has been dispatched back to Lake Shasta as the USFS have some significant concerns in the area and we will be back in action up there this afternoon.
Cheers Wayne

Hi Wayne,
I imagine you wish you had all four Mars aircraft available to fight fires, right now. You could really make a splash in California. Pity there are only two left. Any chance you will be bringing the second one south?

Hi Mike... Not at this time for number 2 as we only have one trained crew... They are moving us around like a type one helicopter which has shown the customer total flexibility especially with the Martin Mars, 3 support semis, a gel base and a bird dog is working excellent. They have given us a great opportunity to showcase a mobile Gel base.
Cheers Wayne


Good news up north, where the Gap Fire is now 90% contained and firefighters are showing progress in Mendocino. The benefits and detriments on the fireline of the rains we had over the weekend were discussed. Firefighters were given a well-deserved party in Bonny Doon, while firefighters in Washington were having some problems. Internationally, British Columbia is having a bunch of small fires appear and a wildfire on a Greek island has brewed up again. On the technology front, a Bay area TV crew explores the Ikhana firefighting RPV and a soil sciences brief provides some insight on post-fire recovery. This fire season makes it into the record books for severity (and this is only July!), while Colorado also counts the cost for wildfires in their back yard.

Gap wildfire is now 90 percent contained

Big gains made against Mendocino fires

Big Sur wildfire slowly tamed

Rain, low winds, higher humidity aid firefighters across California

Heavy rains complicate Calif. firefighting efforts

Bonny Doon showers its firefighters with gratitude

Mount Adams blaze overpowers wildfire crews

3,600 acre wildfire erupts near Soap Lake

New fires burn in Eastern Wash.

Forest-fire numbers up, but blazes small

Forest fire rages on Greek holiday island

New Plane Helps On-Going Battle Against California Wildfires

Ecology, Economics and Soil Societies Brief Congress on Post-Wildfire Resource Management

Wildfires set state record for most acreage burned

Wildfire Costs Increase $200,000

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