In our first wildfire article today, North County Times reporter Dave Downey addresses the issue of SDG&E's proposed power shutoff in parts of San Diego County, California, during red flag days, comparing it to a similar incident back in 2003 which may have prevented wildfires ravaging Idyllwild, California. Ventura County firefighters are experimenting with Thermo-Gel in pre-treating vegetation, homes, and even people! With over 5,000 wildfires sparked so far this year, many of them by lightning strikes, fire agencies in California are bracing for a horrific fire season, as the state heads into its peak wildfire period; while a wildfire that started in some driftwood in Mendocino County was quickly dealt with by CAL FIRE. Firefighters in Northern California have nearly subdued all fires in that region; and a small wildfire in Northern California has drawn a sharp response from firefighters in the area. Three stories from Washington state today: a wildfire blazed through power lines, and burned some homes, forcing evacuations in the process; a quartet of wildfires are burning away from homes in the area; but with several thousand acres burned elsewhere, a wildfire has appeared near Hanford. As NTSB begins its investigation into the crash of an AT-802 air-tanker fighting a canyon fire north of Reno, Nevada, the pilot from Montana, who died following the crash, has been identified; even as the wildfire spreads past the 10,000-acre mark. Arizona and New Mexico are having much less rain this monsoon season than is normal, keeping the fire danger in those states high; such as the Taylor Fire, burning near Flagstaff, Arizona, which is nearly contained after having burned 3,500 acres. Several fires burning across Idaho are summarized in the next item; followed by an update on a Colorado rancher, accused of starting a wildfire in 2008 by letting a debris fire burned out of control, who has been acquitted. A small wildfire in British Columbia was ignited by a cabin fire. Greece is once again under a fire siege, as over 100 wind-driven wildfires raged across the country, including outside of Athens; and for a detailed look at the forces arrayed against those wildfires, the next article is provided (apologies to non-Greek speakers, the translated article can be found here). An Op-Ed is critical of government officials over changes in fighting bushfires in Victoria; and, despite assurances from fire authorities that they're ready, the next article asks whether Queensland truly is prepared for future bushfires? An article takes an in-depth look at the firefighting forces deployed by Australia in past bushfires, and research being done into aircraft which could be utilized in the future, with comments by the National Aerial Firefighting Centre's Richard Alder. And finally, we take a look at a bear that could be used to help firefighters in dangerous situations and will never be accused of rummaging through anyone's trash!
REGION: Mountain town is model for SDG&E shutoff plan
Firefighters test new firefighting gel
State braces for hellish fire season
Driftwood fire near Manchester threatens homes
Firefighters near victory over Northern California blazes
UPDATED: Wildfire reported near Hayfork
Fire burns homes, cuts power in Okanogan County
4 Grant Co. wildfires no longer threaten homes
Wildfires burn about 3,000 acres in SE Wash.
Missoula pilot identified in deadly plane crash
Churchill wildfire grows to 10,000 acres
Lackluster monsoon draws out wildfires
Officials: Northern Arizona wildfire 95% contained
Wildfires char thousands of acres
Western Colo. rancher acquitted of arson in 2008 wildfire
Breaking News: Cabin, forest fire contained quickly
Greek forest fire rages near Athens
Assistance of the armed forces to extinguish the fire
Smoke and mirrors
Is Queensland prepared for this season's extreme fire danger?
Australia mulls over new firefighting capabilities
BEAR robot roars to the rescue