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.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Our first three wildfire stories today deal with the aftermath of the Station Fire: Los Angeles County has been socked with a bill of nearly $20 million to pay for infrastructure repairs due to the damage done by the Station Fire (1); however the tally is not yet complete, since debris flows are causing more damage in burn areas (2); but as a result of having their habitat burned out and the consequent debris flows due to the fall rains, wildlife is seeking food and shelter in residential areas in the San Fernando Valley (3). Two men who failed to obtain permits for clearing vegetation, inadvertently sparking the Jesusita Fire outside of Santa Barbara last May, have been charged with misdemeanors (4); and CAL FIRE has reduced firefighting resources in San Bernardino County, including cancellation of the DC-10 contract (5). Having concluded testing of various gel products during its final weeks in Southern California, the Martin Mars was welcomed back by residents of its British Columbia home base after a long absence, as the next two articles show (6)(7). The city of San Francisco has shelled out $7 million to pay for negligence in maintaining power line right-of-ways that contributed to wildfires that burned in the Stanislaus National Forest (8). An Op-Ed piece from Oregon argues for a more responsible wildfire policy in the Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest area (9); while the US Forest Service is declaring war on pine beetles that are devastating forests on Idaho's Sun Valley resort slopes (10). Firefighters in New Mexico conducted controlled burns on Saturday to help reduce the fire danger when fire season returns (11); and an Op-Ed article from Colorado discusses the perils of aerial firefighting as US Forest Service reconsiders its ban on night drops (12). The New York Times examines Montana's potential solution to the tricky issues of forest management in the face of wildfires, the environment, and logging interests (13); while a type of pine tree common to the southeastern United States could hold an important key to reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while also resisting the ravages of wildfires, as an article from North Carolina shows (14). South Carolina Forestry Commission is educating the public on the benefits of controlled burns in that state (15); but despite the fact it's December, parts of Georgia are having red flag days (16). Working in conjunction with Spanish instructors, Lebanese University has begun courses in forest fire management (let's hope they have at least one class in how to detect minefields, a common problem that has been disclosed in several articles in Wildfire News Of The Day) (17); and in India, explosions attributed to land mines along the border with Pakistan were caused by a forest fire (18). Australian delegates to the climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, are lobbying to exclude bushfire smoke from their carbon emission calculations (19). Victoria is bringing some heavy weight firepower to the party as the DC-10 arrived in Avalon to begin bushfire-fighting operations, along with two Erickson S-64's, as told by the next two articles (20)(21); and their arrival couldn't come at a better time, as towns in Victoria are preparing for the worst (22). Despite the government spending millions of dollars in advertising on Victoria's summer attractions, tourists are staying away due to bushfire fears, potentially costing the state billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs (23); but bushfires survivors will have another present under the Christmas tree this year - additional bushfire relief funds (24). The Rural Fire Service has indicated that bushfire conditions are improving in New South Wales after a busy time last week (25); one in which teamwork receives a lot of credit for firefighters' success (26). Queensland's first trial run with their emergency bushfire warning system hit a few snags (27); while bushfires were reported in Western Australia's Karijini National Forest yesterday (28); something which is helping to blanket Perth in bushfire smoke (29). And finally, a study from the UK shows that firefighters are more likely to be injured by tripping than by fighting fires!

(1) LA County tallies $19.8 million in wildfire damage

(2) Rainstorm wallops Southern California

(3) Wildfires get local critters crawling

(4) 2 men charged with improperly clearing brush where massive Santa Barbara wildfire erupted

(5) San Bernardino County Police and Fire Reports - 12/12/09

(6) Bringing home the Bomber

(7) LAKE ELSINORE: Firefighting air tanker returns to Canada

(8) San Francisco to pay $7 million for Stanislaus forest fires

(9) We need a more sensible forest fire policy

(10) Forest Service proposes spraying Baldy in war on beetles

(11) Lea County Firefighters Gear Up For Wintry Wildfires

(12) Consider night flights to fight fires

(13) Sen. Tester's Plan for Wilderness, Logging Roils Big Sky Country

(14) Longleaf pine has bright future

(15) 'Good fire' necessary in nature

(16) Forest fire danger

(17) Lebanese University launches courses in forest-fire management

(18) Explosions trigger forest fire at Balakote

(19) Push to exclude bushfires from carbon calculations

(20) Giant water bomber ready for fire season

(21) The 45,000-litre firefighter is here

(22) Towns brace for bushfires on 'rough and nasty day'

(23) Bushfire fears hit country tourism

(24) Cash cheer for bushfire victims

(25) Bushfire conditions easing in NSW: RFS

(26) Teamwork saves the day as bushfires contained

(27) Hung-up: computer for emergency calls says 'no'

(28) Bushfires in Karijini

(29) Harvey bushfire smothers Perth in smoke haze

(30) Firefighters more likely to be hurt tripping than in a blaze

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