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, May 03, 2010


The important role that Southern California's Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base has played in protecting the region for 50 years is explored in our first wildfire article today (1); and no doubt it dispatched some of the air-tankers that battled a blaze near Beaumont yesterday (2). In a follow-up to a story a few days ago, the Wildfire Expo which just concluded at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds is recapped (3); followed by a story about the ambitious Sustainable Sierra Nevada Initiative program that aims to help 22 California counties (4). Volunteers helped plant nearly 2,000 Ponderosa pine trees in an area near Spokane, Washington, that burned a couple of years ago (5); and the impact of wildfires in Nevada, where the number of acres burned by fires has increased dramatically over the past few years, is being highlighted by Wildfire Awareness Week with a theme of 'Be Ember Prepared' (6). Some additional footage of the National Guard wildfire training exercise in Nebraska is provided by the next item (7); but a US Forest Service spokesman indicated that conditions in Minnesota could lead to a major wildfire season unlike any seen since the 70's (8). The Maine Forest Service provided some useful tips to homeowners on how to be safe during wildfire season (9); and the Penobscot Valley Hot Shots got a workout over the weekend preparing for the fire season (10). Firefighters in Alberta, Canada, got a breather as precipitation rolled in to lower the fire danger (11); but firefighters in Ontario threw everything they had at a wind-driven wildfire, including a trio of CL-415 air-tankers (12). Firefighters in Dorset, UK, had another heath fire to fight outside of Poole, their 11th for April (13); while the brother of the late CEO of Aero Union, a major air tanker contractor in Chico, California, plans to walk across England in honor of his late brother (14). Firefighters on the Pacific island of Saipan had a couple of bushfires to deal with over the weekend (15); and the fire danger continues to be extreme in India's Himachal Pradesh state (16). Eight provinces in Vietnam's Central Highlands are considered to be at extreme risk from wildfires, prompting the National Steering Committee for the Prevention of Forest Fires to urge local government officials to strictly enforce fire prevention measures (17). An article published by Australian National University researchers in Conservation Letters last week argued that controlled burns needed to be more focused in order to reduce the fire danger to homes in the bush (18); this at a time when the federal government has decided to establish an arsonist database (19). The Australian Building Codes Board has formally released building standards for bushfire shelters (20); while the Royal Bushfire Commission has heard that Country Fire Authority volunteers save taxpayers upwards of $840 million a year (21). Wildfire NOTD subscriber David Cant, Aviation Manager for South Australia, sent along an impressive video that will be a real treat for air-tanker enthusiasts: an inside look at a private contractor who provides Single-Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) to Country Fire Service (CFS) to help rope in bushfires (22); and right now, they can use that help, as over two dozen prescribed burns got away from landowners, overwhelming CFS with calls for help (23). Unlike the landowners in SA, firefighters had a difficult time getting a controlled burn to take off in New South Wales (24). And finally, our last article provides some little known facts on Smokey Bear, including the answer to the question everybody has asked: where did the misnomer 'Smokey the Bear' come from?

(1) Hemet airport has had historic role

(2) Fire near Beaumont contained at 2 1/2 acres

(3) Fire expo provides lessons in safety

(4) Sierra program aims to nurture forest

(5) Volunteers dig in at Dishman Hills

(6) Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week runs through May 8

(7) Fighting Fire From The Sky

(8) Fire risk high in N. Minnesota despite weekend rains

(9) Wildfire prevention starts at home

(10) Elite Hot Shots train in Old Town

(11) Fire bans lifted amid cooler weather

(12) Fire burns out of control near Chapleau

(13) Dorset firefighters tackle heath fire in Poole

(14) For Patrick Unsworth, trek will honor his brother

(15) Two bushfires, one trash fire break out

(16) Himachal hills turn into tinderbox

(17) Eight provinces at high risk of forest fires

(18) Fighting fire with fire goes up in smoke

(19) Australia to establish arsonist database

(20) New bushfire shelter standards released

(21) CFA volunteers save state millions

(22) SA startup leads fire fight

(23) 25 burn-offs go out of control across the state, CFS swamped with calls for help

(24) Burn off at Hill Top will protect shire from disaster

(25) Warm and fuzzy memories of Smokey bear

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