We lead off today with the second installment of my Firehouse.com series on wildfire simulation technology, which takes a closer look at what federal fire agencies offer to wildfire managers to make more informed decisions when dealing with an incident (1); while residents of Palm Springs, California, received a reminder from CAL FIRE's director about proper vegetation clearance around homes as Wildfire Awareness Week kicks off (2). Officials in Arizona's Coronado National Forest provided an update on a wildfire that has burned 23,000 acres on both sides of the US-Mexican border (3); and Wildfire NOTD subscriber Bettina Boxall, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Los Angeles Times, reviews a book about life as a fire lookout in New Mexico (4); as firefighters in New Mexico cited progress in their battle against the 12,500-acre Abrams Fire (5). Firefighters battling a 550-acre blaze in Custer County, Colorado, were thankful for snowfall which helped them bring containment to 20% (6); although some people were questioning USFS firefighters' strategy (7); while another article takes a closer look at the dangerous fuel conditions along the Front Range (8); but a shift-change that caused a delay in allocating resources to battle Colorado's Fourmile Fire in its early hours contributed to the destruction done by one of the most devastating wildfires in that state's history (9); one of many lessons learned from battling that blaze (10). A press release from Boise, Idaho, provides detailed information on federal firefighting strength in the US (11). Texas Forest Service officials stated that cooler, wetter weather was helping with their battles against numerous wildfires across the state (12); where Hotshot crews continued to battle a 485 square-mile wildfire burning outside of Fort Davis that has destroyed more than two dozen homes and businesses in its path (13). The next article provides a look at the recent Northern Rockies/Great Basin Fire Education and Prevention Conference held in West Yellowstone, Montana (14); but after a passing train set upwards of 40 acres on fire over the weekend, residents of Iowa were warned about the high wildfire danger (15). Although 650 wildfires have burned 14,000 acres across Kentucky since January, Division of Forestry officials pronounced the spring fire season officially over (16). Florida's Wildfire Prevention and Management program has shelled out $4 million so far this year to battle blazes across the state (17); even as firefighters continued to grapple with a massive wildfire which has burned 4 mi.² outside of Naples (18); all of which prompted Florida Division of Forestry to reiterate the extreme fire danger for Central Florida as the drought index continues to rise (19). Wildfires were reported in the Irish counties of Donegal, Mayo and Galway (20); even as firefighters from the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service tackled a 40-acre wildfire (21); and another blaze was reported in Berkshire (22); while the National Trust of Scotland reported that two of its forests have been severely damaged by wildfires raging through the Northwest Highlands (23); all symptomatic of current fire conditions across the UK (24). The wildfire which has been burning along the Belgian/German border is nearing the 1,400 ha mark (25); while rain from the heavens (both natural and man-made) helped extinguish a wildfire burning in Vest-Agder County, Norway (26); followed by an update on wildfires burning in Russia's Far East that was provided by their Emergency Situations Ministry (27). Lightning-sparked wildfires in Northern China's Shanxi province that stretched for 10 km were being battled by 3,300 firefighters over the weekend (28); while firefighters in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have their hands full with wildfires set by smugglers (29). Homeowners in Victoria, Australia, could incur a $15 per quarter fee on their electric bill if the government moves forward with burying 7,500 km of powerlines across the state to reduce the bushfire danger (30). And finally, a Texas Forest Service air-tanker pilot was red-faced after accidently leaving his mark on an Abilene neighborhood!
(1) Wildfire Simulation Technology – Part 2
(2) Wildfire season is here; are you ready?
(3) Border fire now 23,000 acres
(4) Book review: 'Fire Season: Field Notes From a Wilderness Lookout'
(5) Firefighters gain ground against Abrams Fire
(6) Snow Helps Wildfire Fight In Custer County
(7) Wetmore residents question firefighting strategy
(8) Colorado foothills a volatile fire-danger mix of grass, forest
(9) Fourmile Fire report: Initial request for firefighting help delayed 3 hours
(10) Major wildfire in Colorado last fall provides hard lessons for this season
(11) Secretary Salazar, Director Abbey Join Congressman Simpson in Emphasizing Safety, Preparedness for 2011 Fire Season
(12) Firefighters welcome cooler weather
(13) Elite Federal Firefighting Hotshots Battle Texas Blaze
(14) Social aspects dominate wildland fire conference
(15) Weather conditions are ripe for wildfires
(16) Spring forest fire season over
(17) 2011 fire season busy, costly
(18) Efforts to contain huge Collier wildfire continue
(19) Wildfire danger is high
(20) Forest fires continue to sweep through Donegal, Mayo and Galway
(21) Firefighters tackle forest blaze near Bala, Gwynedd
(22) Sweltering weather sparks bush fire
(23) Highland wild fires 'devastate' forest regeneration
(24) Bush Fires Rage after Warmest April on Record
(25) EFFIS - Current Situation
(26) Major forest fire under control
(27) Russia Firefighters battle 10 wildfires in Russian Far East
(28) Lightning sparks forest fires in N China
(29) Forest fires in Tirumala again
(30) Govt urged to bury powerlines
(31) Abilene Neighborhood Doused With Retardant "By Accident"