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.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Firefighters in San Diego County, California, quickly snuffed a five-acre blaze by the San Vicente Reservoir (1); and they were assisted by air-tankers from nearby Ramona Air Attack Base (2); but two contractors who charged the City of San Diego more than $9 million to haul away debris after the 2007 wildfires in Rancho Bernardo will pay $900,000 to settle a lawsuit against them lodged by the city for overcharging (3). Although fire officials are expecting a mild wildfire season, residents of California's Central Coast were warned to prepare nonetheless (4); while an increase of 1° C in global temperatures could spell an increase in wildfire property damage of upwards of 600%, according to a University of Washington/USFS study cited in the next article (5). As the Horseshoe Two Fire near Portal, Arizona, approaches 50,000 acres burned, it's still only 40% contained (6); and two recreational areas will be closed outside of Yuma over Memorial Day weekend due to an 800-acre wildfire nearby (7); the following article profiling the nimble SEAT (Single Engine Air Tanker) and its contribution to fighting wildfires in Arizona (8). With more fire agencies adopting Night Vision Goggles (NVG) to battle wildfires worldwide, a Boise, Idaho, firm is making their services available to help train up the next generation of firefighting pilots in the fine art of night flying fires (9). Texas Forest Service firefighters continued to battle a 16,373-acre wildfire that forced evacuations in the Panhandle (10); where the governor tried one more time to get the Obama Administration to issue a disaster declaration to help pay for the $107 million in suppression costs spent battling wildfires in that state (11); even as 54 US Air Force firefighting airmen were awarded medals for helping fight wildfires outside of Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo (12). At a "technical listening session" on Thursday at the University of Montana, US Forest Service outlined three options for the future of fire retardant use: Eliminating its use completely; continuing with current policy, which carries the risk of further lawsuits; or imposing new mapping and use standards (13). Residents of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have suffered through hurricanes and floods, but now they're having to deal with a new challenge: wildfire smoke from Mexico! (14) Members of returning Pennsylvania strike teams recounted the wildfires they had been on in Texas and Florida (15); while Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Commission sponsored a demonstration by CL-415 firefighting aircraft from Québec at Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts (16). Air quality in parts of North Carolina were severely impacted by wildfire smoke from the blaze burning in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (17); but with twice as many wildfires this year compared to the average (2,664 wildfires have burned 128,675 acres since January 1st), the Director of the Florida Division of Forestry issued a wildfire warning across the state for this Memorial Day weekend (18). As temperatures rise and lightning strikes increase, a Canadian forest expert worries that boreal forest fires may begin to claim lives in addition to property in the future (19); while Kelowna, British Columbia, which suffered through a devastating wildfire in 2003, provided some useful lessons to help Slave Lake, Alberta, rebuild (20). Fire activity in Ontario province continued to be subdued, allowing 82 more firefighters to deploy to Alberta to help fight raging wildfires in that province (21); however, with an average of 1,300 wildfires per year in Ontario officials in Simcoe County are concerned that what happened in Slave Lake could happen there as well (22); while two small wildfires drew the attention of firefighters from Yukon Wildland Fire Management (23). A 35-ha blaze continued to burn in Allande, Spain, where the wildfire in Sant Joan de Labritja on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza scorched 708 ha (24); the cause of the larger blaze attributed to a local beekeeper (25). There is some debate as to whether a forest fire is to blame for a blaze that threatens a munitions depot near Urman in Bashkortostan, Russia (26); while the Azerbaijani Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry commented on the fire danger in that Central Asian nation, where 95% of the wildfires are caused by human negligence (27). Heading to Australia, as money from Victoria's Natural Disaster Fund dries up the end of this month, the Shire of Nillumbik is concerned that millions of dollars in erosion damage from the Black Saturday bushfires could be shifted onto ratepayers (28); and the former head of the Royal Bushfire Commission will remind residents of that state to be prepared for bushfires of the future at a Rotary Club speaking engagement on Sunday (29). Three small arson-bushfires were reported by Fire and Emergency Services Authority outside of Warwick, Western Australia (30). And finally, our last story today shows one of the best ways to protect homes from wildfires: wrap them up!

(1) Crews stop wildfire with quick response

(2) Ramona Air Tankers Help Extinguish Five-Acre Brush Fire Near San Vicente Reservoir

(3) Wildfire debris haulers settle suit for $900,000

(4) Firefighters urge area to prepare for fire season

(5) How Much Do Wildfires Cost in Terms of Property Damage?

(6) Horseshoe Two fire nearly 50,000 acres

(7) 2 Yuma recreation areas off limits this weekend due to wildfire

(8) Best Defense Against Wildfires: The 'Seat'

(9) Night Firefighting Training Available Soon

(10) Crews continue to battle flames for 3rd day

(11) Texas governor appeals fire disaster declaration

(12) Base firefighters awarded

(13) Researchers: New fire retardant rules should help protect endangered species

(14) DEQ: Smoke from wildfires in Mexico will increase ozone levels in New Orleans, Baton Rouge

(15) Local Volunteers Fight Wildfires Across the Country

(16) Canadian firefighting plane scoops Martha's Vineyard waters

(17) Wildfire prompts air quality alert for North Carolina on Friday

(18) Florida Wildfire Danger High Heading Into Memorial Day Weekend

(19) Adapt or burn: Experts credit forest fire management for saving lives

(20) What fire-ravaged Slave Lake can learn from Kelowna

(21) Latest east region forest fire update

(22) Burning Issues – ‘Fire is a really important thing’

(23) Fires reported in Carmacks, Haines Junction districts

(24) EFFIS - Current Situation

(25) Ibiza forest fire 'started by beekeeper' forces evacuation of British tourists

(26) Unknown cause for Russian arms depot fire

(27) Actions taken to prevent forest fires in Azerbaijan

(28) Blaze erosion could strip Nillumbik's coffers

(29) Bushfires Royal Commission boss warns to be fire ready

(30) Warwick fires under control

(31) Wrap used to defend historic Gila cabins from fire

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