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.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


First up in wildfire news today, an Op-Ed from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune asks a question many of us in Southern California, including Tony Morris and Bob Cavage of Wildfire Research Network, have asked for some years: why don't we have a CL-415 of our own? Fires in Southern California continue to burn: the Station Fire in the Angeles National Forest has topped 122,000 acres burned and it shows no signs of slowing its advance (the revised containment date has slipped a week to 9/13 and will probably slip again); dozens of buildings have been destroyed as it continues to burn out of control; fire whirls have been spotted by some of the 3,600 firefighters manning a 50-mile-long fire front; more details about the deaths of two LA County firefighters who died trying to find an escape route for their inmate firefighting crew are up next; a writer from Monterey County reflects on the dangers of firefighting after the death of those firefighters; several people who refused to evacuate when ordered found themselves cut off from help as the fires closed in; but an Op-Ed from the Los Angeles Times argues that the massive fire might actually be beneficial in the long term; and another from the Sacramento Bee argues that it's time for rural homeowners to bear the cost of firefighting to protect their homes. A look at wildfires in Oak Glen, as well as elsewhere in Southern California, is provided by the next article; but firefighters are hopeful that a weather front moving into the area will help them get a handle on the wildfires. Some tips for pet owners in evacuations are provided in the next article. Among the many out-of-state fire crews being dispatched to help fight fires in Southern California, Arizona firefighters are on the way. We take a closer look at some of the bigger tools of the trade: the 747 Supertanker is fighting fires in Southern California, along with the DC-10 and Martin Mars (which just flew over my condo on the way to Angeles National Forest: I tracked it on the internet till they got overhead, then watched it fly over, led by the FireWatch helo - fun!); in addition, Erickson Air-Cranes have been deployed to fires in several parts of the world, including Southern California wildfires (I happened to see one fly over today headed for the Station Fire this afternoon as well). Firefighters backed by air-tankers pounced on a wildfire burning in Kern County yesterday; while wildfires in Central California burned several acres over the weekend and injured at least two firefighters. Despite the fact that an out-of-control prescribed burn has now consumed over 5,000 acres in Yosemite National Park, fire agencies defend the practice and plan to use it in the future. Having been called 'the largest campfire seen in the park for some time', a firefighter base camp has been set up at a park in Oregon. After a scathing rebuke by Utah's governor and other critics, US Forest Service and an environmentalist are hitting back; even as firefighters in Utah gained an advantage over a wildfire fighting due to a change in the weather. Trouble in paradise, as a huge wildfire that has topped 8,000 acres on Molokai, Hawaii, is threatening rare flora and fauna. British Columbia, Canada, faced with an unprecedented number of wildfires that burned up five times the amount of money they had budgeted for the year, is now fighting crew fatigue amongst its firefighters, as well as over 400 wildfires. In an odd turnabout, Canadian aircraft designed to map wildfires have been grounded during the wildfires in British Columbia, and American aircraft (funded by American taxpayers) have been flying the missions instead! A National Public Radio segment discusses the hot water the Greek government finds itself in after another dismal performance fighting wildfires. The Italians have dispatched a pair of CL-415s to help battle blazes in Portugal; but the wildfire burning on Indonesia's island of Java continues to spread. A commentary on the proceedings of the Royal Bushfire Commission in Melbourne, Australia, and the subsequent report, complains that there is too much political doublespeak to understand the information presented. A survivor of the Black Saturday bushfires credits his fire bunker with his survival; something residents in bushfire country in New South Wales might consider, as they are having to make preparations a month early this year. And finally, another interesting exercise for firefighters is how to evacuate a pig that weighs half a ton, as related by our last two wildfire articles today!

Our View: Our very own Super Scooper

Fire grows to more than 122,000 acres; officials hope for improved conditions [Updated]

L.A. County fire has destroyed more than 50 buildings, remains out of control [Updated]

California Fire Tornadoes Spread Flames, Firefighters Fight With 'Controlled Burns'

LA firefighters killed trying to save inmate crew

Dangers of Firefighting

Wildfire traps 5 people at Los Angeles-area ranch

Learning to live with wildfires

Dan Walters: Let rural Californians share the cost of firefighting

Governor declares emergency as two wildfires burn near Yucaipa

Amid weather change, firefighters express some optimism about Station fire fight [Updated]

L.A. residents urged to evacuate from wildfires with pets

Valley firefighters battle Calif. blaze

Fahrenheit 747: World’s Biggest Fire Extinguisher Douses L.A. County

Erickson Air-Crane Helitankers Dampen Wildfires from Southern California and Canada, to Europe and Down Under

UPDATE: Massive response halts Kern fire

Firefighters, buildings burned in Oroville fires

Yosemite fire situation improves; prescribed burn program defended

600 Firefighters Battling Canal Creek Fire

Forest Service, environmentalist defend handling fire

Wind cuts firefighters a break in Scofield blaze that threatened cabins

Fire threatens preserve, forest lands

Fire crews continue battle against more than 400 B.C. wildfires

Canada Fighting Fires with help from US Taxpayers

Greek Government Criticized For Handling Of Fires

Fires in Portugal: Italian Civil Defense sent two Canadairs

Mt. Guntur fire affects a 30-hectare area

Euphemisms, spin and the Bushfires Royal Commission

Bunker saved resident in Black Saturday bushfires

Bushfire alert for 30 areas of state

Animal preserves act fast as flames close in

Try evacuating a 1,000-pound pig during a wildfire

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