Two technology stories lead off the wildfire news today, one a success, the other a failure: Phoenix fire software was used in mapping the progress of bushfires, as reported in the first article; but the much-publicized CO2 satellite launched from Vandenberg AFB crashed in the Indian Ocean due to the failure of the nosecone to separate after launch. In hopes of saving their own pine forests, officials in Aspen, Colorado, are reviewing encouraging data from a Canadian town that saved 70% of their pines by employing pheromones against the voracious bark beetles. Several articles on Florida wildfires today: firefighters had a swamp fire to deal with, using chemically-treated ping pong balls to set backfires from the air; Manatee firefighters had a tough fight with a fire in difficult terrain over the weekend; and a detailed map of Florida highlights the severe fire danger in that state. A couple of wildfires broke out in Wyoming, helped along by arson; while a small wildfire in Alabama was quickly extinguished by Alabama Forest Commission firefighters with local help. A 325-acre wildfire in South Carolina is expected to be extinguished by tomorrow. Heading overseas, the European Union is formulating plans to help cope with disasters (including wildfires) worldwide, having averaged $19 billion a year in disaster expenses just in Europe alone. Farmworkers in South Africa found some incendiary devices near the origin of wildfires that burned there recently; and as bushfires continue to break out in Australia, an informative article on the timeline is provided by the next article. The Australian government is providing $7.5 million to help nurse people traumatized by the bushfires back to health; and even as numbers of homes destroyed by the bushfires continue to climb, conditions are ripe for still more destruction across the region. In a tribute to the professional firefighter killed last week fighting bushfires, 400 uniformed personnel and a bagpipe honor guard turned out at the memorial service. And finally, check your local laws to make sure you're not breaking any, otherwise you may end up in the dilemma in which firefighters in New York State found themselves!
A new front in fighting fires
NASA Satellite Crashes Before Reaching Orbit
For the Forest battles beetles
Firefighters battle wildfire, rough terrain
Do early wildfires foretell rough season for Central Florida?
Arsonist sets fires in Sinks Canyon
Waverly brush fire contained
Firefighters brace for park fire to flare up
EU calls for better disaster planning
Arson feared in wildfires
From the ashes
Bushfire victims get counseling boost
Devastating Australian wildfires could flare again
Bushfire victim stands 10ft tall
Little-known, little-understood law has thousands of firefighters breaking the law