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.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


We lead off Wildfire News Of The Day with comments from a subscriber and former member of USFS with knowledge of their night-flying history in regards to the whole debate over USFS banning aerial firefighting at night:

"I keep reading in news reports that the USFS discontinued their night helicopter flying after the mid-air collision accident with LA County FD in the 70's. Fact is, LA County stopped flying at night after the accident; the USFS continued to fly at night. I don't think the USFS night program was cancelled until after 1983. I remember because I worked many a fire with the USFS night flying helicopters." He also said that an article on the topic that appeared in Wildfire NOTD earlier this week was "... written by someone that is factually incorrect and the history continues to be mis-reported. The cause of the accident was due to both aircraft attempting to land at the same helispot simultaneously. This was resolved by a policy that provides each night flying helicopter its own helispot for refilling."

Elsewhere in the news, Lance Armstrong, and other Tour of California bicyclists, will be starting their trek from Palmdale instead of Pasadena this year due to the devastation wrought by the Station Fire on the Angeles Crest Highway (1); and CAL FIRE, along with the California Department of Corrections, sponsored a competition between inmate firefighting crews in the Inland Empire (2). After realizing that residents of San Diego County were becoming indifferent to frequent Red Flag warnings, the National Weather Service is unveiling a new policy which, they hope, will be more accurate (3); even as US Forest Service firefighters were busy clearing out vegetation along the borders of Sequoia National Park in Central California (4). Residents of Washington state nervously eyed the millions of beetle killed trees in neighboring British Columbia as they rush to institute 3 biomass projects to reduce the danger in their state (5); followed by a look at wildfires in southern Arizona (6). Two fishermen in Idaho may not agree with those bumper stickers that declare "the worst day fishing is better than the best day working" after being charged with accidentally starting a wildfire in the North Custer Fire District (7); while the next article provides a detailed look at firefighting aviation in Minnesota (8). One Michigan County has some much-needed air tanker support from an Erickson Air-Crane heli-tanker which will also be deploying to Minnesota soon (9); and a firefighting demonstration was put on at Manistee National Forest yesterday (10). A fast-moving wildfire in Missouri briefly threatened a nearby amusement park (11); and, in a bit of a reversal, a house fire in Kentucky caused a forest fire in the Daniel Boone National Forest! (12) A cessation in outdoor burning has caused a dramatic drop in wildfires throughout West Virginia (13). Firefighters in Cape Coral, Florida, reminded residents of the wildfire danger during Wildfire Awareness Week (14); but a wildfire burning in Clay County will be allowed to burn itself out (15). The fire danger in the Hawaiian Islands has increased due to north winds blowing across the region (16). Fire agencies in British Columbia, Canada, are bracing for another record fire season, even as their budget is cut by $10 million (17); where one community has put together a controlled burn plan which will be executed with the assistance of the Ministry of Forests (18). Due to a warmer, drier spring than usual, firefighters in the province of Manitoba are seeing an early start to the fire season (19); and where grass fires were the order of the day in Portage la Prairie (20). Wildfires on the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad are the topic of the next item (21). On the technology front, the image of a wildfire that burned in central Chile earlier this month was posted on NASA's MODIS satellite website today (22); while a student from the University of Nairobi in the African nation of Kenya has developed a heat detecting device that can notify fire authorities of wildfires as soon as they start (23). Bushfire survivors testifying in Canberra before the Australia Capital Territory Supreme Court recalled what it was like to live through the bushfires of 2003, including vivid recollections of a fire-whirl nearly 100 feet high! (24) Despite calls to dismiss the current head of bushfire reconstruction in Victoria due to certain irregularities when she was Police Commissioner as Black Saturday unfolded, the police minister has considered it to be too disruptive to carry out such a change right now (25); something which many residents in bushfire-hit towns agree with (26). Local Shire governments are asking state officials to extend the temporary housing permits in areas burned by the Black Saturday bushfires (27); but an internal report has revealed that communication woes, the bane of firefighters during Black Saturday, also afflicted firefighters in Western Australia during the Toodyay bushfires late last year (28). And finally, now that the bushfires are out, Queensland firefighters are battling to see which crews are the best at their jobs!

(1) Tour of California to start Stage 6 in Palmdale

(2) Prison inmates get trained to fight wildfires

(3) Officials hope new policy will save money, lives

(4) Wildland firefighters take on dense brush northeast of Springville

(5) Fighting forest fires in Washington state

(6) Second wildfire burning in SoAz

(7) Steelhead fishermen’s campfire causes wildfire

(8) Aviation valuable tool for DNA

(9) The US Forest Service in Wexford County Has Some New Temporary Air Support

(10) Forest Fire Training Held In Wexford County

(11) Wildfire Breaks Out Near Six Flags

(12) Fire destroys home, spreads to Daniel Boone Ntl. Forest

(13) Outdoor burning ban imposed last week in W.Va. reduces forest fires

(14) Residents urged to be prepared for wildfire season

(15) Wildfires at Camp Blanding Not a Concern

(16) Cool, dry breezes also contributing to leeward wildfire potential in Islands

(17) Forest service bracing for another record fire season

(18) City prepares 2010 forest fire burn plan

(19) Dry spring leads to grass fires

(20) Firefighters respond to more grass fires

(21) Burning up water with bush fires

(22) Wildfire in Central Chile

(23) Kenyan student invents device to fight forest fires

(24) Bushfire victims recall destructive 'fire tornado'

(25) Sacking Nixon would be too disruptive: Cameron

(26) Nixon loss would set back recovery: residents

(27) Call to extend bushfire rebuilding permits

(28) Contact woes hurt bushfire battle

(29) Region’s best firies fight it out

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