Firebomber Publications Blog

Wildfire News Of The Day (the Archer Copywriting 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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

WILDFIRE NEWS OF THE DAY - 021910

First up in wildfire news today, here we go again: authorities advised residents of Station Fire burn areas along Southern California foothills to be prepared to evacuate as rainstorms approach (1); but an Op-Ed piece from the San Bernardino Press-Enterprise cries foul over a proposed fire fee (2). California state senator Kehoe will try once again to introduce a bill that would take wildfire danger into account when planning new housing developments in the state, similar to one that the governor vetoed last year (3). A US Forest Service ranger station in Central California suffered the loss of $47,000 worth of firefighting equipment (4); while a wildfire protection plan for communities along California's Central Coast has been posted online for review (5). Even controlled burns can be hazardous to firefighters' health, as one Plumas National Forest employee found out in Northern California (6); and a Bureau of Land Management ecologist will get public input on vegetation removal in Eastern Nevada in March (7). Agency officials requested GIS information from 16 counties in Idaho to aid in firefighting there (8); while Ravalli County, Montana, officials were lambasted by residents at a public hearing of their wildfire protection plan, in which poor city planning had allowed construction of homes that were not well suited for the wildfire-prone area (9). Details of US Forest Service controlled burn plans for parts of Missouri are outlined in the following article (10); and the new manager of the National Fire Protection Agency's Wildland Fire Protection Division, overseeing the FireWise program that helps homeowners prepare for wildfires, has been announced (11). British Columbia will be spending over $3 million to improve the air-tanker facilities at Castlegar, a base that was important in battling hundreds of blazes in the southern part of the province last year (12). Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, a new study from China's Peking University indicates that wildfire activity in Asia has been decreasing over the past decade (13). Four people collecting firewood in northeastern India were overwhelmed by a forest fire (14); while firefighters in Malaysia were aided by a pair of MI-17 air-tankers in battling several peat fires (15). The head of the Australia Workers' Union railed against the practice of relying on volunteer firefighters, arguing that more professional, full-time firefighters need to be hired (16). The thorny issue of what to do about residential developments in Victoria (some of which were founded in the 19th century) endangered by increasingly severe bushfires is proving a problem for the Royal Bushfire Commission (17). Business Victoria provides some useful tips to business owners on how to prepare for a bushfire (18); which could prove timely, as Victoria's State Control Centre is forecasting severe bushfire danger for the Western and Wimmera districts this weekend (19). Although officials expect 70% of the 2,100 homes destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires to be rebuilt, only 100 have been completed one year on (20). In a followup to a story earlier this week, residents of a Western Australia community hit by a bushfire are being advised by legal counsel to pursue the matter in the courts (21); while a hearing in Canberra to address a class-action lawsuit regarding devastating bushfires in the 2003 Australian Capital Territory will commence next month (22). And finally, the BBC provides a story about how a dwindling population of endangered frogs whose habitat was impacted by the Station Fire has found temporary quarters at the San Diego Zoo!

(1) Residents prepare to evacuate SoCal burn areas

(2) Fire-fee smoke

(3) Kehoe introduces Del Mar Greenway bill

(4) Lake County man arrested in ranger station theft

(5) Draft of wildfire plan available

(6) Forest employee burned in planned fire

(7) BLM seeks public input on thinning in east Nevada

(8) BLM, State want county GIS data to aid firefighting

(9) Critics give Ravalli County officials earful on wildfire response plan

(10) Spring Burns Planned on Forest Service Lands near Poplar Bluff

(11) Dave Nuss to Manage NFPA's Fire Protection Division

(12) BC Forests Minister in Castlegar

(13) Asia sees fewer wildfires

(14) Four charred to death in fire in Nagaland

(15) 156ha of peat fires still burning

(16) AWU leader warns of more bushfire tragedy ahead

(17) Out of the fire zone and into a minefield

(18) Is your business prepared for bushfire?

(19) Victoria still facing bushfire threat

(20) 100 homes rebuilt after Black Saturday

(21) Legal options considered over bushfire

(22) Bushfire compo hearing to start soon

(23) Endangered frogs find a new home at San Diego Zoo

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