First up in wildfire news today, the Mars is coming! Tony Morris of Wildfire Research Network passed along the following press release from Lake Elsinore:
Martin Mars Coming to Lake Elsinore
ETA is 5:00 p.m. Saturday, June 20, 2009
MARTIN MARS AIR TANKER UPDATE
LAKE ELSINORE --City officials learned last week that the Martin Mars air tanker could arrive at Lake Elsinore this Saturday, June 20th, at 5:00 p.m., pending airworthiness certification from NASA. As of June 17, certification results were not yet available.
The City’s Lake Elsinore Recreation Area and Campground (LERA) will serve as a temporary base of operation. LERA is located at 32040 Riverside Drive, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530. Recreational use of the lake will still be allowed, though a partial lake closure will temporarily be in effect during each takeoff and landing.
Last Thursday, the US Forest Service notified the City of a potential one week delay as a result of a required aircraft Continue Airworthiness Program (CAP) certification, which is being handled by NASA for the Forest Service.
Earlier this month, the City of Lake Elsinore and Forest Service signed an agreement on the use of Lake Elsinore as a temporary base for the Martin Mars air tanker through December 2009. The Forest Service has a separate agreement with Coulson Flying Tankers for use of the Martin Mars this season. The Martin Mars is based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
The Martin Mars was used to fight fire in San Diego County from a temporary base at Lake Elsinore in 2007 and returned in 2008 for a one week stay. No Martin Mars firefighting missions were flown from Lake Elsinore in 2008.
For interesting information about the Martin Mars' unique place in aviation history, download the Martin Mars fact sheet from the 2007 mission at Lake Elsinore.
City of Lake Elsinore
Office PH: (951) 674-3124 x 207
And speaking of the Martin Mars, it will be departing tomorrow for Lake Elsinore, California, but the supply trucks have already hit the road, as an article from Canada discloses. A new policy that requires volunteer firefighters in rural San Diego County, California, to pass a physical has stirred resentment among the firefighters who would probably be first on the scene of wildfires. An article from the Topanga Messenger in Topanga, California, points out the importance of homeowners doing their part to prepare for wildfires; while a barn fire in Central California that had spread to vegetation drew a massive response from firefighters, including a pair of CAL FIRE S-2T air-tankers. A small grass fire burned four acres in Central California this morning; and a Boeing Vertol 107 helicopter will be based out of Truckee in Northern California during the fire season. Fuel treatment on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe will be ongoing this summer. Having covered over 23,000 acres, an Arizona wildfire burning in rugged terrain is still only partially contained. A grass-roots organization, the Eastern Oklahoma County Disaster Resources group, has been established to help people still coping with losses from Oklahoma's wildfires earlier this year. The value of eyes in the sky was underscored by an off-duty fireman spotting a blaze on his way in to land at Traverse City, Michigan. After a flurry of protests from All-Terrain Vehicle groups, an ad cautioning against starting wildfires was pulled by forestry officials in Georgia. Providing a detailed study of fighting wildfires in Canada, the next article discussed the use of technology to enhance fire detection and mitigation. A summary of resources lent by Ontario to other provinces in Canada is up next. Firefighters and apparatus continue to stream into Alberta as the next article chronicles. The increasing incidence of wildfires in the UK (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Britain) have prompted a wildfire conference to address this issue. Turkish search-and-rescue teams were scouring a firefighting helicopter crash area to locate a pilot and forestry officer; and US funding will help build a new forest fire center in Northern Lebanon. The credibility of the individuals providing bushfire warnings is very important, according to one expert testifying at the Royal Bushfire Commission hearings in Melbourne, Australia. The need for accurate bushfire information was underscored by testimony from a man who wished he hadn't relied on reports from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during the Black Saturday bushfires. While fire agency personnel struggled with inadequate communications gear at an understaffed facility, the Kangaroo Ground Incident Control Centre, a state-of-the-art command-and-control center close to the fires, was left on standby. A US wildfire expert, testifying to the Royal Bushfire Commission via video link from Chicago, said that fire officials in the US had discarded Australia's 'stay or go' policy in the wake of the Black Saturday bushfires. Despite the fact that snow is falling in mountainous parts of Australia as winter nears, landowners in the northern parts of that country are being told to prepare for the next fire season. And finally, a half-dozen Arizona firefighters are lucky to be alive after their station, north of Tucson, went up in smoke!
Mars waterbombers ready to leave Saturday for California
County requires fit volunteers
Wildfire Protection Plans–Firefighters Can't Do It All, We Must Do Our Part
Firefighters corral blaze in Prunedale
Firefighters battling two-alarm grass fire near Crockett
Firefighting helicopter returns to Truckee
Tahoe fire district plans for 500 acres of fuels work this summer
Southern Arizona wildfire reaches 23,378 acres
Group offers help for those still rebuilding from wildfires
Largest Wildfire of the Season Breaks Out in Manistee County
Smokey Bear's ATV ad pulled
Fighting fire in the forest
Ontario Helps British Columbia And Alberta Fight Forest Fires
Wildfire help rushing to province
Summit over threat of wildfires
Two people missing in firefighting helicopter crash in Turkey
New Forest Fire Fighting and Community Center in Ehmej
Credibility key to bushfire warnings
Reliance on radio a bad idea: survivor
Fire control centre was left dormant
Bushfire 'stay or go' policy irresponsible: US chiefs
Northern Australians urged to prepare bushfire plans
6 Ariz. firefighters flee after early morning blaze destroy their fire station near Tucson