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.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


First up today, since California has several wildfires burning, people have been asking where the Martin Mars was fighting fires. Wayne Coulson provided a link that will allow anyone to log in and see the Mars location at any given time, including recent transit tracks so you can see both the Mars and its attendant S-76 Firewatch helicopter as they transit from place to place. Simply go to Latitude Technologies' website and enter a login of Coulson with a password of Mars. Click on 'Google Map' and this will bring up a window with the aircraft locations identified (N7689S is the S-76 and C-FLYL is the Martin Mars - C-FCLM is an S-61 helicopter). If an aircraft is airborne, the arrowhead icon will be green. If it has landed, the arrowhead icon turns gray. If you click on a green arrowhead, a pop-up will tell you the GPS location, speed, heading and altitude of the aircraft. One other feature of the software is that you can see where an aircraft has been over the past few days/weeks/months. Click on the 'sundial' icon to the left of the 'binoculars' icon, then click on one of the date fields on the new screen, then select a date on the calendar from the pop-up window. For instance, if you enter a start date of 8/18/09, the resultant track map will show that the Mars and S-76 have frequented the San Bernardino and Riverside County area over this period of time. Click on the 'Trip Display' button. Click on 'OK' when the 'Trip position may be limited to 250 positions due to browser performance' message comes up. The next screen that appears will show all the tracks for that aircraft for the selected period. When you're done looking at this display, click on 'Return to Skynode list' to go back to the real-time map where you started. There are a lot of different ways to display the data, so have fun exploring!

And speaking of the Martin Mars, our first wildfire article today chronicles its use on the Cottonwood Fire near Hemet, California; but utility companies are probably going to be running for cover again as fire officials focus in on a power pole as the ignition point for that fire; but so far Edison's powerlines heading into LA have been untouched by local wildfires. A summary of wildfires burning in Riverside County yesterday is up next; followed by an update on the fires around La Canada; then by a photo gallery of the fires. Wildfire NOTD reader Ruben Flores reported seeing New Mexico's Navajo Hot Shots heading up to the Station Fire as it topped 20,000 acres, with residents of several hillside communities being evacuated while firefighters struggled to gain control, assisted by massive drops by the DC-10; and LAFD has had a new fire chief appointed. A wildfire is burning near Henry Coe State Park in Central California again; and blazes in several parts of California are detailed in the next article. The difficulties firefighters faced in battling blazes in rough terrain and hot conditions is examined; but despite having substantial resources tied up with wildfires in Southern California, CAL FIRE was still able to stomp out a couple of wildfires along the central coast. The DC-10 saw some action near Salinas on Thursday and Friday, as told by the next article. The Big Meadow Fire, which has been burning in Yosemite National Park, has topped 2,600 acres and is now 30% contained; while firefighters in central California made quick work of a 30 acre wildfire yesterday. A roundtable discussion of the negative impact of too hasty a rehabilitation effort on recently burned forests comes to us from Oregon; even as firefighters begin to get a handle on the Microwave Fire in Oregon's Columbia Gorge, and evacuees hope it may be time soon to return home; while a wildfire burning elsewhere in that state, which temporarily closed an interstate there, has residents waiting pensively to find out if they will need to evacuate or not. A section of the Pacific Coast Trail that runs through northern Washington state was closed to protect hikers from a wildfire in the area; meanwhile, in southern Utah, a 1,500 acre fire that has been burning for over a month is drawing renewed attention from firefighters and helicopters. A small wildfire near South Dakota's Black Hills was quickly contained by firefighters; and a small wildfire in British Columbia, Canada, was knocked down by air-tanker in preparation for ground crews moving into quell it; but a number of wildfires continue to burn in that province. An in-depth report on wildfires in Indonesia, where Russian-made BE-200 aircraft are currently battling blazes, is up next. Heading to Australia, political wrangling in Victoria has apparently paid dividends, as the government there has endorsed all of the recommendations of the Royal Bushfire Commission. Unprecedented high temperatures in New South Wales have forced fire officials to begin imposing burn restrictions early; while a summary of wildfires in that state is provided. With winds scheduled to arrive any moment, a bushfire emergency has been declared in New South Wales as wildfires burn near Sydney; all this coming after firefighters spent a long night trying to keep bushfires away from homes. A small bushfire in Queensland has doubled in size, as hotter temperatures are forecast for that state as well; but arsonists in Australia's Northern Territory face stiffer punishments if they are convicted of setting bushfires.

Official says Valle Vista, San Jacinto residents not out of the woods yet

Fire official: Wildfire between Hemet and Idyllwild possibly caused by power pole

Powerlines mainly OK during California wildfires

Riverside County firefighters busy today

La Cañada fire spreads in three directions, forcing more evacuations [Updated]

In Pictures: 'Altadena, California Wildfire'

Evacuations in Glendale, Altadena and Big Tujunga Canyon; two people treated for burns

Villaraigosa picks new Los Angeles fire chief

Fire Burning 250 Acres Near Pacheco Pass

Calif. firefighters wage fierce wildfire battles

Soledad fire battle tough on firefighters

Santa Cruz Mountains Wildfires Contained

Air Support Vital in Fighting Gloria Fire

Yosemite Big Meadow Fire Now at 2,600 acres and 30% contained

Crews contain 30-acre fire

Report: Critical Forest Streams Don’t Need Help Post-Fire

Columbia Gorge town deserted but wildfire in check

Many decide to wait out windblown wildfire

Fire closes portion of Pacific Crest trail

Mill Flat wildfire grows in southern Utah

Forest Fire Near Sheridan Lake Contained

Air tankers called to Robson Ridge fire

Summer days not lazy for BC forest fire crews, and that haze is smoke

Special Report: Forest fires: Increasing and potentially disastrous

Brumby embraces fire reforms

NSW enters bushfire danger zone

Wind pushes bushfire towards homes

Emergency declared over NSW bushfires

Light rain assists Shoalhaven bushfire fight

Mareeba bushfire worsens

NT firebugs face tough new fines

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