We begin wildfire news today with a message from Wayne Coulson of Coulson Flying Tankers, who sent along some photos of their new 'bird dog' aircraft, Firewatch S-76. Here's what he had to say:
This aircraft will have a new V9 Axsys HD Thermal Imaging Camera attached to the nose of the 76 and will record every drop of the Mars as well as other aircraft working...we are calling this project "Real Time Technology" (RTT). We will also be exporting data from the aircraft via email to incident commanders, fire centres, fire mapping specialists and fire fighters if need be. We will get you down to Lake Elsinore when you are available for a full briefing. I believe this will be one of the biggest steps forward in moving information around to decision makers in real time. We are on track now for [arrival at Lake Elsinore on] Saturday 06 13.
An update on the Mars' arrival at Lake Elsinore next weekend is provided; and it's probably a good thing they'll be here soon, as a small wildfire in Riverside County required some air support to knock it down on Saturday. Vent covers and other valuable information to fireproof homes is available on the University of Nevada's 'Living With Fire' website. The wildfire in New Mexico's Gila National Forest was fanned by wind over the weekend, but is not threatening any structures at this time; followed by more details on a new study about housing developments and fuel reduction efforts, provided by researchers from Colorado and Montana. Scores of firefighters and forest rangers are getting refresher courses in wildland firefighting at a Maine academy. With dozens of homes lost and $19 million spent on the Horry County wildfire in South Carolina, residents are asking why warnings of the approaching flame front were so late, leaving just minutes to pack and leave. Alaska will be receiving over $1 million in grants for fuel treatment projects. Wind is causing wildfires in British Columbia, Canada, to spread - one of them doubled over the weekend and now covers several miles of timberland; and a pair of human-caused wildfires in the Yukon have caused Canadian officials to invoke a burn ban throughout the province. Better communications and computer networking have greatly decreased wildfires in one Indian state; and there are high hopes for a sophisticated $26.3 million cell phone emergency broadcast system that is being considered for Australia. A team of bulldozers worked to create firebreaks around a town in New South Wales; while authorities have been flooded with offers of free bushfire-resistant homes from architects anxious to help with the rebuilding effort in Victoria - designs will be posted at the Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority website. And finally, firefighters helped prevent a couple of cat-astrophes: a tabby presumed killed in the Black Saturday bushfires was found nearby and returned home, much to the delight of her young owner; followed by a story about some Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) work from firefighters in Massachusetts who found a 6-week-old kitten trapped in a PVC pipe and were able to free it with tools, talent, and a bit of cooking oil!
LAKE ELSINORE: Lake eyed as firefighting tanker's temporary home
HOMELAND: Wildfire held to two acres
Vents Vulnerable In Wildfires
Gila National Forest wildfires grow, fanned by weekend winds
UM researcher says fire-mitigation work may be misplaced
Firefighters Attend Maine Wildfire Training Academy
Residents ask why SC fire warnings took so long
Federal grant to reduce fuel in wildfires
Wind expected to spread wildfire near Lillooet, B.C.
Open fire ban in effect across Yukon as crews put out 2 small blazes
Forest fire alert messaging system effective
Mobile phones engaged as fire saviours
Wooloweyah bushfire threat trimmed back
Designers donate fire-proof homes
Bushfires cat came back
Firefighters Save Kitten Wedged In PVC Pipe