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.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


A wildfire burned about 1 acre in the Eaton Canyon portion of Southern California's Angeles National Forest (1); while another burned over 100 acres near Banning yesterday (2). San Diego State University has completed a wildfire study in which they showed that having four firefighters assigned to every fire engine could save California $41 million a year (3). A small wildfire in Napa County, California, was quickly wrapped up by firefighters (4); but despite an abundance of lightning strikes, Washington state's wildfire season has been below average in activity (5). More lightning-sparked wildfires have been reported in Idaho's Boise National Forest (6); and two others were reported in Pocatello (7). With 57 million acres of forests held by private owners nationwide, the US Forest Service is looking for ways to make private ownership more profitable so that the owners will be less inclined to sell property to developers, thereby reducing the number of homes needing protection from wildfires (8). In light of the threat wildfires in Russia have posed to their nuclear reactors, an article questions whether the same threat exists for reactors in the US (9). The next article provides a look at how wildfires across the earth are being tracked by satellites (10). Despite the fact that British Columbia is already $4 million over budget on wildfire spending, there are still lots of fires left to fight (11); followed by an article that tallies up the hundreds of volunteers streaming into British Columbia from the US and Canada to help (12). That province has unveiled the BlueSky Western Canada Smoke Forecasting System, designed to provide air quality reports to help people with respiratory problems avoid areas choked with wildfire smoke in the province (13); while an Op-Ed piece that questions the wisdom of campers lighting fires in tinder-dry woods (14). Alberta province could be heading towards a record wildfire season, a total of 1,650 being reported so far this year (15); but in the confusion of evacuating his dog team in Labrador in the middle of the night as a wildfire approached, a man said one of his dogs was missing (16). Portugal continues to burn, 16 new wildfires having been reported yesterday (17); where the fires have claimed a second firefighter victim, as a female volunteer was killed when flames encircled her position (18); and taken a toll on the national parks (19). A New York Times article offers a look at the newly-unveiled European Union firefighting force (20); even as seven European Union members assembled troops to send to help fight fires in Russia (21); and Greece extended an offer to Russia for aid as well (22). Unlike their next-door neighbor (Russia), Ukraine has reported no fire-related deaths due to forest fires so far this year (23); and their wildfire preparedness has allowed Ukraine to support Russia during its fire siege, something for which the Russian president thanked his Ukrainian opposite number (24). Hundreds of foreign firefighters continue to flock to Russia, including a Polish firefighting brigade which has seen some action in Ryazan District (25); where the situation is grim, as evidenced by a map sent along by Wildfire NOTD subscriber Ty Bonnar, Vice President of Global Operations for Flexible Alternatives (26). A summary of the Russian districts impacted by wildfires, where the death toll has reached 53, is provided by the next article (27); but as wildfires burn in areas contaminated with radioactive material from the Chernobyl meltdown, Greenpeace warns that radioactive smoke could be in Russia's future (28). BE-200 and IL-76 air-tankers pounded wildfires outside of Moscow as the smoke cleared yesterday (29); and more help may be on the way, as the military makes plans to retrofit a number of IL-76 military aircraft to fight fires (30). An article from the Boston Globe takes a closer look at volunteer firefighters in Russia who are battling not only hundreds of wildfires, but a severe lack of equipment (31); however, in addition to changing the natural landscape in Russia, the many wildfires burning there could alter the political landscape as well! (32) A dissection of Australia's Royal Bushfire Commission report provides some valuable lessons in holding leadership accountable (33); even as Victoria's premier lamented the slow rebuilding rate in areas hit by the Black Saturday bushfires, but reiterated his commitment to seeing those areas reconstituted (34). For an investment of $3.6 million, one government official feels that safety in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges could be greatly improved (35). One of the Royal Bushfire Commission's recommendations, keeping an eye on invalids, is giving one Victoria council something to ponder (36); while an artist will be displaying a cardboard sculpture in honor of firefighters who battled the Black Saturday bushfires (37). Queensland is deploying dozens of bushfire danger rating signs across the state ahead of the bushfire season (38). A bushfire burning in Western Australia forced authorities to close the highway due to smoke limiting visibility (39); while officials in Bombala, New South Wales, are inviting suggestions and comments on a draft of the bushfire protection plan for the community (40). And finally, wildfire-weary Russians are considering moving to Bulgaria, where homes can be snapped up for a paltry €50,000!

(1) Brush fire burns one acre

(2) Wildfire burns 110 acres northeast of Banning

(3) SDSU Wildfire Study Says 4 Firefighters Are Needed Per Engine

(4) Firefighters put out brush fire

(5) State says wildfire numbers are down

(6) 14 new fires this morning in Boise National Forest

(7) Crews respond to two Pocatello area fires

(8) Report: Housing poses threat to private forests

(9) Could Wildfires Threaten US Nuclear Reactors?

(10) Tracking Fire Trends from Space

(11) Forest fire costs $4 million over budget, end not in sight

(12) Additional firefighters welcomed

(13) BlueSky system tracks forest fire smoke

(14) S’mores and morons

(15) Wildfires could hit record numbers in Alberta

(16) Owner loses sled dog in evacuation

(17) EFFIS - Current Situation

(18) Firefighter dies in Portugal forest fires

(19) Portugal fires flare up in national parks

(20) A Modest E.U. Plan to Fight Forest Fires

(21) EU, neighbours assemble firefighting brigade for Russia

(22) Greece is ready to extend visas for Russian tourists and to assist in extinguishing fires

(23) No cases of injury or death caused by forest fires reported in Ukraine in 2010

(24) Yanukovych, Medvedev moot firefighting efforts

(25) Polish firemen help fight fires in Russia

(26) Russian Fires Approach Nuclear Plants

(27) Russia’s forest fire death toll rises to 53

(28) Radioactive smoke? Russia wildfires rage near Chernobyl

(29) Russian Firefighters Take Advantage of Break in Moscow Smog

(30) Russia to install firefighting gear on Il-76 military planes

(31) Uphill battle for volunteer firefighters in Russia

(32) Will Russia's Wildfires Stoke Political Change?

(33) Leadership Lessons from Bushfires Royal Commission

(34) Brumby rues slow Black Saturday rebuild

(35) Pledge for early bushfire warning system for the Dandenong Ranges

(36) Keeping tabs on Nillumbik's 'vulnerable'

(37) A year of reckoning

(38) New signs point to Fire Danger Ratings

(39) Bushfire alert forces closure of Albany Highway near Jarrahdale

(40) Draft bush fire plan

(41) Wildfires Cause More Russians to Eye Bulgarian Properties

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