First up in wildfire news, Los Angeles County firefighters made short work of a small blaze in La Brea Heights yesterday (1). At the direction of the governor, the Oregon Board of Forestry is looking to change policies on forest management after years of decline in the timber industry in that state (2); while the issue of jurisdictional 'no man's lands', the bane of wildfire coordinators and incident commanders alike, is examined in an article from Washington state (3). Residents of Prescott, Arizona, have seen a number of signs erected around town reminding people to use Firewise practices in protecting their homes from wildfires (4); and Arizona State University will have a seminar to discuss the impact of climate change on that state, including wildfires, on December 1st (5). US Senator Udall (D-Colorado) has put forth a bill which would provide substantial funding to battle the pine beetle infestation that threatens millions of trees in the United States, turning green forests into wildfire tinder (6); even as West Texas continues to experience ideal wildfire conditions, forcing authorities to impose a burn ban (7). Heading to Australia, the Royal Bushfire Commission hearings are now changing focus from the problems faced by firefighters once the Black Saturday bushfires began to the power companies whose equipment may have sparked some of them (8); and is also examining the issue of nearly 3 dozen bushfire bunker designs, some of which claim to follow Australian standards for such structures even though no such standards exist (9)! A partial test of the bushfire phone warning system will be conducted in Victoria (10); while the new emergency fire center in Gisborne has been made operational as the bushfire danger continues to escalate (11). A psychiatrist who had been involved in treating survivors of the Ash Wednesday bushfires has criticized the psychological treatment aspect of the Black Saturday bushfires recovery (12); and a town in Western Australia is being threatened by an encroaching bushfire (13). Cooler temperatures and a little rain have helped firefighters quell a bushfire burning in New South Wales (14). And finally, firefighters in Melbourne had to use firefighting equipment to save... firefighting equipment (15)!
(1) Wildfire Erupts in La Brea Heights
(2) A change in forest management
(3) Washington lawmakers review 'no man's land' fires
(4) New 'Firewise' signs go up in Prescott area
(5) ASU Seminar: 'Many Facets of Climate Change in Arizona'
(6) Sen. Udall sponsors bill to attack pine beetles
(7) Howard County Commissioners Re-Install County Burn Ban 11/23/09
(8) Lifting the shroud: powerlines and the Kilmore fire
(9) Doubts over bunkers
(10) Bushfire phone warning testing starts
(11) Gisborne new fire centre opens for high danger day
(12) World expert criticises response to bushfire trauma
(13) Bushfire threatening homes in Gidgegannup
(14) Milder conditions helped contain Pinnacle Swamp bushfire
(15) Firefighting equipment catches fire