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.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


A new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was tested at Edwards Air Force Base in California, one which can loiter at high altitude for 5-7 days without landing, something that would be very valuable over wildfires (1); while the next article takes a look at a Tehachapi-based aircraft company which will be outfitting NASA aircraft so that they can transmit real-time images of fires to crews on the ground via satellite (2). Union Pacific Railroad has been ordered to pay $17 million in damages for a 2008 wildfire in the Plumas National Forest (3). Firefighters in Oregon managed to contain a small wildfire near Sisters (4); but numerous wildfires have been reported across Washington state since a heat wave began (5). A small wildfire in Washington's Spokane Valley was quickly snuffed by firefighters this morning (6); while a wildfire in Clark County is now 46% contained after racking up $228,000 in suppression costs (7); and a fire that began inside a historic warehouse in Chelan County also ignited several acres of surrounding forest (8). Washington state's Department of Environment is worried about the air-quality impact of wildfire smoke (9); and officials in Gifford-Pinchot National Forest have elevated the fire danger to extreme (10). A small wildfire was quickly corralled in southwestern Salt Lake County, Utah (11); while a 50-acre wildfire was also reported in Box Elder County (12). Lighting was blamed for a pair of wildfires on Lake Mountain, Utah (13); and another in Parleys Canyon should be contained by nightfall (14). As commemorations of Idaho's "Big Burn" get underway, a legendary firefighter's heroism in saving the lives of dozens of firefighters is recounted (15). Wyoming's Casper/Natrona County International Airport has established a SEAT base to support the Bureau of Land Management in its firefighting efforts (16); but the Maine Forest Service and US Geological Survey are concerned about drought conditions influencing wildfires in the Pine Tree State (17). FEMA's SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant program, which provides much-needed funding for fire departments across the US, began accepting grant proposals this morning (18). US-based climate scientists disagree with their Russian colleagues on the premise that climate change is responsible for the terrible wildfires in Russia (19). With 275 wildfires currently burning in the province, fire danger across much of British Columbia, Canada, remains high (20); where a fishing lodge had to be evacuated as a wildfire closed in (21); as did workers at a mine (22); while another continued to blaze at Devil's Bath (23); and homeowners in Langley recalled the terror of an oncoming firestorm last Saturday (24). Manitoba Conservation's Fire Program is dispatching several dozen firefighters to help with wildfires in British Columbia (25). The Brazilian village of Marcelandia has been wiped out as wildfires continue to burn in Brazil, where an estimated 100 homes, 25 sawmills, and acres of cropland have been destroyed (26). Dozens of new wildfires have been reported in Portugal, Spain, and Italy (27); but Portuguese firefighters were getting a handle on a national park blaze with some help from French and Spanish air-tankers (28); and Spanish firefighters are reporting some success as well (29). A summary of wildfires burning across Russia is provided by the next item (30); where firefighters have managed to rope in a wildfire that was threatening Sarov Nuclear Research Center (31); but the fire danger remains high in Western Siberia (32); while air-tanker pilots from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Italy, France and Turkey were given watches by Russian Prime Minister Putin as thanks for their assistance battling the many wildfires in that country (33); even as the European Union sends €80,000 to Russia to help wildfire survivors (34); and Estonia is sending €200,000 more (35); but the Russian government is in hot water again, this time from doctors who stated that the danger from heat and smoke has been glossed over by authorities (36). Heading to Australia, the former Country Fire Authority Chief Officer apologized for the devastation wrought during the Black Saturday bushfires, something for which he's been criticized (37). Bushfire meetings in Victoria are yielding mixed results (38); while a list of 10 bushfire safer places has been unveiled in the Peninsula region (39); but there is a fear that shire councils could be inundated with too much information during bushfires in that state (40). A bushfire prevention committee in South Australia has been disbanded due to a lack of participation by Country Fire Service (41). Although a bushfire that closed a highway near Brisbane, Queensland, on Monday is out, firefighters are continuing to monitor the site for any reignition (42); while Queensland Fire Rescue Service stated that the new national mantra for bushfires, which used to be "Prepare to Stay and Defend or Go Early", is now "Prepare, Act, Survive" (43). And finally, Vladimir Putin's plan to watch reconstruction of homes destroyed in recent wildfires has been thwarted by people who simply pointed the cameras away from the construction sites!

(1) AeroVironment's Stratospheric Global Observer Unmanned Aircraft System Makes First Flight

(2) Tehachapi aircraft modification company fills NASA contract pronto

(3) Wildfire Costs Railroad $17M in Damages

(4) Pop Up Fire Easily Contained

(5) Heat ignites blazes

(6) Firefighters knock out small brush fire near Dishman Mica

(7) Forest fire in Cascades foothills now 46 percent contained

(8) Fire destroys historic Forest Service warehouse

(9) State: Wildfires could lower air quality across Washington

(10) Gifford-Pinchot National Forest Boosts Fire Danger Rating

(11) Wildfire under control in Herriman

(12) Lightning sparks 50-acre fire

(13) Lightning causes two fires on Lake Mountain

(14) Crews expect to contain Parleys Canyon fire by nightfall

(15) Pulaski’s heroism resurfaced with discovery of tunnel

(16) Airport ready to support firefighters

(17) Dry Conditions Spark Forest Fire Concerns

(18) Arcuri Announces Application Period for Federal Fire Grants

(19) Russia Wildfires Not Due to Climate Change, Scientists Say

(20) 70 per cent of B.C. under extreme or high forest fire danger

(21) Wildfire sparks B.C. fishing lodge evacuations

(22) Imperial Reports Huckleberry Mine Operations Temporarily Suspended as Access Road is Threatened by Wildfires

(23) Forest fire at Devil's Bath

(24) Residents grateful for firefighting help

(25) Manitoba sends forest firefighters to British Columbia

(26) Wildfires Continue To Rage In Brazil

(27) EFFIS - Current Situation

(28) Portuguese firefighters curb national park blaze

(29) Spanish fires under control

(30) Russian Wildfires Subside Considerably

(31) Wildfire threat to Sarov federal nuclear center is gone

(32) Forest fire damages in Altai territory estimated at RUR 40 mln

(33) Putin presents gifts to foreign firefighters

(34) EU sends 80,000 euros worth of aid to Russian wildfire victims

(35) Estonia will help Russian families left homeless by fires

(36) Experts: Russia heat, smog trigger health problems

(37) Former CFA head apologises over Black Saturday

(38) 'Clear direction' at community bushfire meeting

(39) Full List: Sites added to Peninsula's bushfire safety register

(40) Have Your Say: Councils Set to Be Bombarded by Vulnerable Lists during Bushfires

(41) Bushfires committee scrapped

(42) Firefighters monitor bushfire site

(43) Fire slogan changes

(44) Vladimir Putin's tangled web cams

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