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.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


We lead off wildfire news today with a case of fiscal foolishness, as the state of California decides to cancel the on-call contract with the DC-10 air-tanker and put it on a more expensive call-when-needed contract, as told by Los Angeles Times reporters Julie Cart and Bettina Boxall, who wrote a Pulitzer-Prize-winning series about wildfire fighting. A new study shows that Yosemite National Park is losing many of its larger, more fire-resistant trees, only to have them replaced with more fire-prone vegetation; but the US Forest Service has declared an emergency in a couple of fire restoration areas in California in order to harvest over $6 million in fire-salvaged timber before it rots. Lightning has caused several new wildfires in Northern California; a major wildfire burning in Central Washington laid down overnight, allowing firefighters to get a handle on it; but Washington state firefighters saw plenty of action yesterday in the Cascades. A wildfire in Colorado is nearing some gas and oil pipelines; however, with echoes of Lake Tahoe a few years ago, a Colorado town's residents have blocked an ordinance that would require them to clear defensible space around their property (let's hope their shortsightedness doesn't end up costing them the same as the residents of Lake Tahoe in the Angora Fire). More wildfires have been started by lightning in Utah. Texas firefighters had their hands full with wildfires across the state, as the next three articles show; but Louisiana is sending two firefighting crews and several bulldozers to assist. The Kootenai Creek Fire, Montana's biggest to date, has been reduced to a smoldering mass; while the 747 Supertanker is going to see its first action on Alaska's 300,000 acre Railbelt Complex Fire. It's so hot in British Columbia right now that even the helicopter air-tankers fighting a wildfire are having trouble getting enough lift in the thin, hot air! Jamaican firefighters battled a 250-acre wildfire that threatened homes. With eleven dead in Spanish wildfires so far this year, another 200 have been evacuated; and Spanish researchers are revealing the dynamics of wildfires on vegetation in the Mediterranean region of Europe and Africa. The next article provides a look at the wildfires in Indonesia, the foreign help they're getting, and the history of why so many fires have occurred in the islands that make up that Asian nation. In a follow-on to yesterday's article about Firewatch being promoted by a Member of the Australian Parliament, this next article discusses the limitations of such a system; followed by an article discussing the use of geo-informatics in warning people about bushfires in a timely manner. More details on the curious caravan situation for bushfire survivors in Victoria follow. A livestock and farm journal article discusses the danger from overgrown vegetation that still remains in Victoria; but, citing what happened to Victoria on Black Saturday, Queensland has already burned off almost 500,000 acres of vegetation and there's more to come. Australian courts have found an interesting way for people facing criminal fines to pay back society: donate to bushfire charities. And finally, the Utah National Guard is employing goats to cut firebreaks, a strategy that has been so successful that they've thought about awarding them a medal (bad idea - they'd probably want to eat it!)

Saving money on air tanker may cost millions

Yosemite Losing Its Big Trees

U.S. Forest Service declares emergency for Moonlight, Wheeler fires restoration

Lightning strikes spark four forest fires

Firefighters gaining control of Chelan wildfire

Wildfires burning in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Wildfire near Rangely threatening pipelines

Colorado town backpedals on tree-clearing order

Lightning sparks fires

Walker County Fire Contained with Forest Service Help

Highway 19 fire ravages 27 acres

Fort Hood wildfire still burning

LDAF firefighting crews sent to assist in Texas

Area wildfire crews making progress

Firefighting 747 to get test flight in Alaska

Record-breaking heat, fires foul B.C. air quality

Hundreds of acres razed in St. Bess bush fire

Wildfires still ravaging Spain - 200 evacuated

Model predicts evolution of Mediterranean landscape following fires

RI gets foreign assistance to deal with forest fires

Fire detection camera system calls miss point: Bushfire CRC

The internet can save lives in a bushfire

Caravan donors get Victoria Bushfire cash they don't want

Undergrowth fuels concern for new fire crisis

Qld begins biggest ever burn-offs

Crime pays bushfire victims

Camp Williams using goats to fight wildfires

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