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 24, 2010


As Wildfire News Of The Day returns, the conduct by US Forest Service in the initial phases of last year's Station Fire has been called into question by several former Angeles National Forest officials (1); and the long-awaited Senate hearing of the affair will take place on 5/26 (it can be seen live as a streaming video, which is also where it will be archived later that day) (2). Wildfire NOTD subscriber Brian Fennessy, Assistant Chief of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, sent along an Op-Ed piece by Mike Rogers, former Supervisor of Angeles National Forest, exploring the events that led to the cessation of night-flying activities by US Forest Service (3); followed by an Op-Ed piece from San Diego County that takes a closer look at San Diego's Regional Fire Authority (4). An Op-Ed piece examines the seemingly-confused fire agency structure in the Kern River Valley (5); while fire agencies will be conducting a wildfire simulation in North Lake Tahoe beginning today to help prepare for the fire season ahead (6). Windy conditions in Northern Arizona prompted warnings to campers in the area about outdoor fires (7); followed by an article on the threat posed by invasive grass in that state (8). Firefighters are battling an 8,100 acre blaze in New Mexico's world-famous Carlsbad Caverns National Park (9); and a wind-driven wildfire in Colorado covered 3,000 acres over the weekend (10). With nearly 1/4 of Colorado Springs' residents living in the WUI, their fire department has been going through some pretty intense drills to prepare for wildfire season (11); but firefighters in Montana who were completing their wildfire training had to deal with two unexpected hazards: rain and cold! (12) The 747 Supertanker was given a passing grade in exercises done in Waco, Texas, to prove its capability in fighting the BP oil slick spreading through the Gulf of Mexico (13). Fears that a tractor-plow could be withdrawn from a Wisconsin community, thereby reducing firefighters' ability to control wildfires, has some residents up in arms (14). A wildfire in Northern Michigan's Huron-Manistee National Forest that burned 8,500 acres, damaging scores of buildings, is nearly contained (15); and an article from Detroit examines the three biggest causes of wildfires in that state - men, women, and children! (16) First Responders battled their way through a wildfire drill in New Hampshire (17). A trio of blazes forced some lane closures on the Florida Turnpike yesterday (18); with another pair reported in the Apalachicola National Forest (19). The Bureau of Land Management was reportedly finishing off a 400-acre wildfire near Alaska's Fort Yukon over the weekend (20); but another blaze grew to 28,000 acres on Sunday (21). After spending $400 million to battle the wildfire threat from beetle-killed trees across British Columbia, Canada, some are complaining that not enough additional funds have been spent to help aboriginal communities also threatened by wildfires (22); but even though the fire threat in that province remains extreme, BC is dispatching nearly 100 firefighters to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to help with what is expected to be an explosive fire season (23). A spate of wildfires in Alberta was dealt with by provincial firefighters (24); while a wildfire near an Indian Reservation in Manitoba doubled its size over the weekend, although dozens of residents were allowed to return home (25). A wildfire in New Brunswick was dealt with quickly by firefighters on Sunday (26); and a pair was dealt with in Nova Scotia as well (27). Tear gas canisters used to break up a clash between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank sparked a wildfire (28). A dozen villagers who were assisting firefighters in battling a blaze in China's Yunnan Province lost their lives in a burnover (29); while residents of Wairarapa, New Zealand, are concerned about power lines sparking a forest fire (30). An Australian teenager who started a bushfire while playing with a lighter in Victoria has received probation for his sentence (31). The Royal Bushfire Commission lambasted the Victoria state government (32); and the result is that there appear to be some changes in the command structure which it is hoped will lead to better coordination of firefighting efforts in future bushfires, with the Commission advocating establishment of a new Victorian Fire Services Board that would oversee operations on non-bushfire days (33); even as it was revealed that Police Commissioner Christine Nixon lied to the Commission (34); and that the Victoria Emergency Services Minister was unaware of the fact that a critical pager system was inadequate for the load put on the system by a major emergency, like Black Saturday (35). Now that the Royal Bushfire Commission's lawyers have lambasted officials about their conduct during the Black Saturday bushfires, a leak shows that it's the turn of the government of Victoria to hear about what the lawyers perceive as their slow pace to implement changes for future bushfires (36); with Opposition politicians sensing blood ahead of elections (37); but even as the finger-pointing continues, Country Fire Authority volunteers feel under-equipped for the next natural disaster (38). And finally, meet some firefighters who carry some unusual equipment to their fires: automatic weapons!

(1) Former Forest Service officials want a wider probe of the Station fire

(2) Senate panel to hold hearing on fire response

(3) The US Forest Service and Night-Flying Helicopters

(4) The County's Firefighting Identity Crisis

(5) LOIS HENRY: Agencies need to work together on fire safety

(6) Wildfire exercise begins Monday

(7) Windy conditions not ideal for campfires

(8) Arizona fire danger raised by invasive buffelgrass

(9) Crews battle 8,000 acre wildfire in southern NM

(10) Wildfire burns 3,000 acres near Montrose

(11) Conditions west of I-25 keep Springs firefighters on constant alert

(12) Firefighters gear up for wildfires

(13) Plane that may help bust up oil spill had test runs in Waco

(14) Wildfire-fighting equipment could leave Merrill

(15) Northern Michigan wildfire burning now 90 percent contained

(16) People are often the cause of forest fires

(17) Firefighters Rescue Victims, Control Wildfires In Drill

(18) Wildfires Cause Delays on Turnpike

(19) Apalachicola National Forest Firefighters Respond To Wildfire

(20) Firefighters mopping up wildfire near Fort Yukon

(21) Toklat Fire continues to grow

(22) Cash woes stall wildfire protection at B.C. native reserves

(23) B.C. to help fight Ontario forest fires

(24) Fire crews on top of Alberta wildfires

(25) Forest fire near Berens River FN more than doubles in size

(26) Forest fire contained at Pointe aux Carr

(27) Forest fire comes close to cottages

(28) Bushfires ravage Iraq Burin amidst weekly demonstration

(29) Twelve killed in China forest fire

(30) Forest Fire Fears

(31) Probation for 13-year-old who lit 31 hectare blaze

(32) Bushfire commission lashes government 'failures'

(33) Commission calls for CFA chief to lead on fire danger days

(34) Former Victorian commissioner Christine Nixon misled commission: draft paper

(35) Police Minister Bob Cameron not told CFA pager system couldn't cope

(36) Leak presents scathing review of bushfire policy

(37) Election heat on fire policies

(38) Pagers, first-aid training out of reach for CFA volunteers

(39) Armed Firefighters?

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