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.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


We lead off today with an article on the sixth international Aerial Firefighting conference, titled "The Future of U.S. Aerial Firefighting" which took place in Washington DC last month, as reported by Tony Morris, Communications Director for Wildfire Research Network (1); but in an ominous sign for the air-tanker business, US Forest Service has canceled a five-year contract with air-tanker giant Aero Union over safety concerns, as reported by Wildfire NOTD subscriber Bettina Boxall, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times reporter (the US Forest Service press release can be viewed here), prompting comments from Wildfire NOTD subscriber Dennis Hulbert, a former Regional Aviation Officer with US Forest Service, who was in charge of all federal firefighting aircraft in California (2); those safety concerns being disputed in a press release by Wildfire NOTD subscriber Britt Gourley, CEO of Aero Union (3); leaving only 11 P-2V heavy air-tankers available through Montana-based Neptune Aviation and Nevada-based Minden Air, Wildfire NOTD subscriber Dan Snyder, Senior Vice President of Neptune Aviation, commenting on their readiness (4). The next article examines Orange County, California's, efforts to be ready for wildfires of the future through the "OC Ready, Set, Go!" program (5); while the wildfire which has burned 22 square miles in San Diego County's Los Coyotes Indian Reservation and Anza Borrego Desert State Park has been completely contained at a suppression cost estimated to be in excess of $15 million (6). A 30-acre wildfire in Lake County, California, is expected to grow to 500 acres before containment is complete (7); and USFS announced that the wildfire which has burned 18,000 acres in Sequoia National Forest is now 35% contained (8); but the cause of the destruction of a historic Lookout Tower in Tulare County has been blamed on embers from its own fireplace! (9) Our next article profiles Oregon's Douglas Forest Protective Association, an organization which is using leading-edge technology to spot wildfires (10); followed by a story about a teenager who has confessed to setting several wildfires in Eastern Washington state (11). An update on wildfires across Nevada is provided by the next item (12). The impact of Arizona's wildfires on wildlife will be discussed at the 20th annual Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival in Sierra Vista (13); even as the fire danger eased in New Mexico, allowing officials to reopen Valles Caldera National Preserve (14); and the Bureau of Land Management reduced fire restrictions in several Colorado counties (15); while snuffing a 222-acre wildfire that was burning near Oakley, Idaho (16). An update on the 10,100-acre wildfire burning in Wyoming's Washakie Wilderness is provided by the next article (17); where pack mules are doing their part to keep firefighters supplied (18). Montana's Avalanche Butte Fire, which is burning in the Helena National Forest, has increased in size to 40 acres (19). Facing epic heat and drought, Oklahoma Forestry Services fear what wildfires the next month could bring (20); while Texas Forest Service reported that a wildfire near Alpine was 100 acres in size and continues to spread (21). A wildfire has burned between 80 and 100 acres in Marquette County, Michigan (22); and another burned between 500 and 1,000 acres on the grounds of Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, destroying one home (23). With 200 acres ablaze from five wildfires, Onslow County Forestry Services requested more help from North Carolina's fire agencies (24); while the 1,400-acre wildfire which was sparked by fireworks in Horry County, South Carolina, is now 100% contained (25). Despite the destruction wrought by recent wildfires in Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp, the next article looks at the benefits provided to the environment by those blazes (26). Although the fire season in Manitoba, Canada, ends in a couple of weeks, fire officials have advised homeowners to keep defensible space around their homes nonetheless (27). Two new wildfires were reported in Portugal, as several more continued to burn (28); while air-tankers assisted firefighters battling wildfires on the Greek islands of Crete and Corfu which forced evacuations of hundreds of tourists (29). And finally, firefighters in the UK helped rescue and reunite a ferret with her lost brother!

(1) Looking to the Future

(2) Forest Service drops contract for six firefighting planes

(3) Forest Service cancels air tanker contract

(4) Neptune last major firefighting aircraft supplier

(5) Residents urged to prepare for wildfire season

(6) San Diego County wildfire 100 percent contained

(7) Lake County wildfire contained to 30 acres

(8) Sequoia National Forest fire 35 percent contained

(9) Needles Lookout fire caused by burning ember

(10) High tech tool fights, even prevents, forest fires

(11) Mead student confesses to starting Colbert wildfires

(12) Update: Red Rock Fire up to 1,000-plus acres; other new fires reported

(13) Nature festival to include wildfire talks

(14) Valles Caldera National Preserve ease restrictions

(15) BLM Modifies Fire Restrictions In Some Counties

(16) Fire Crews Put Out Flames Near Oakley

(17) Norton Point fire moves north with modest growth

(18) Pack teams supply crews on Wyoming wilderness fire

(19) Avalanche Butte wildfire grows to 40 acres

(20) Wildfires could be fueled by August heat and drought

(21) Alpine Fire Update! 7/30/11

(22) Firefighters battling wildfire in Marquette County

(23) Wildfire Continues To Smolder

(24) Forestry, firefighters manning five fires in Onslow

(25) Horry County wildfire again 100 percent contained

(26) Okefenokee wildfire does more good than bad

(27) Cottagers tapped to prevent forest fires

(28) EFFIS - Current Situation

(29) Greek firefighters battle wildfire on holiday islands

(30) Croydon firefighters rescue ferret with her neck stuck in a fence

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