The Los Angeles County Public Works Department labored furiously to clear debris basins as Southern California homeowners in areas burned by the Station Fire were once again given evacuation orders with the approach of another rainstorm (1); and a master gardener from Central California reminded homeowners of their responsibility in clearing defensible space around their homes (2). Due to the extremely dry grass, officials in Colorado's Pawnee National Grasslands are warning visitors about the wildfire danger (3); while the US Forest Service will be conducting controlled burns in Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest to abate the wildfire threat (4). Virginia Department of Forestry is clamping down on outdoor burning next week (5); and the fire chief of one Florida community that had to lay off dozens of firefighters is asking for the public's help to clear vegetation around their homes (6). Fresh firefighting resources are being committed to fight a series of veld fires still burning in South Africa (7). China's Yunnan Province has been experiencing an increase in wildfires due to an ongoing drought (8); even as a wildfire in Guizhou Province destroyed about 1/4 of Yushe National Forest Park (9). Indonesia's government is still being hounded by skeptics who feel their plan to plant a billion trees in areas deforested by deliberately-set wildfires is simply a scam to cover up what many feel is the government turning a blind eye to plantation owners setting these huge forest fires to clear land (10). The Australian insurance industry weighed in on the debate about homeowners living too far into the bush at the Royal Bushfire Commission hearings (11); and one bushfire survivor told the commission that conservation laws were so strict before Black Saturday that preventative clearance of vegetation near residences was impossible (12). The debate over whether the government paid attention to a study that proved eerily prescient on Black Saturday continues (13); but the gradual regrowth of businesses hit by the Black Saturday bushfires is the topic of the next article (14). Firefighters from CFA and DSE battled a number of lightning-sparked blazes in Victoria's Wombat State Forest (15); followed by a Flight Global article that provides a detailed look at the air-tanker situation in Australia, including the ongoing trials of the DC-10, with comments by Rick Hatton, owner of Ten Tanker LLC (16). In a followup to yesterday's article about the competitive trial of three bushfire camera vendors, the next item takes a closer look at the experiment taking place across parts of Victoria and New South Wales (17). The importance of educating the young on bushfire preparedness is emphasized by an article from South Australia (18). And finally, Erickson Air-Crane's fleet of heavy-lift helicopters have saved many structures and lives during wildfires, but now they have an even more daunting task: saving the Winter Olympics!
(1) Evacuations Under Way For Mud-Ravaged Foothills
(2) Learn to take action now to prevent summer wildfires
(3) Visitors are warned of wildfire threat
(4) Forest Service OKs fuels reduction plan in Benchmark
(5) Outdoor fires unlawful before 4 p.m.
(6) Fire chief asks residents to clear out dead brush
(7) Reinforcements called in to fight seven wildfires
(8) Drought inflicts a heavy toll
(9) National forest park on fire in SW China province
(10) One billion trees program ‘verifiable’: Govt
(11) Too many 'living too close to bush'
(12) Bushfire victim calls for change in laws
(13) Academics predicted Black Saturday bushfires
(14) Victorian businesses rise from the bushfire ashes
(15) Lightning starts small fires
(16) Australia puts firefighting tankers to the test
(17) Victoria to tip in $3M to spy on bushfires
(18) Call for bushfire lessons in our schools
(19) Lack of snow, warm weather is hot topic in Vancouver