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 16, 2011


First up today, a Wildfire NOTD subscriber who wished to remain anonymous sent along a report from the Department of Defense which touches on the debate over the joint use of military aircraft (principally C-130s) by civilian fire agencies, something which could have long-term consequences on the debate about replacing the aging heavy air-tanker fleet. Elsewhere in the news, Los Angeles County firefighters battled a small wildfire burning near Azusa in Southern California's Angeles National Forest (1); and a wildfire burned 80 to 100 acres in Kern County yesterday (2); while a 77-acre wildfire which CAL FIRE fought near Modesto may have been caused by a horseshoe striking a rock (3); a seven-acre wildfire burning near Willits has been completely contained by firefighters (4); and CAL FIRE managed to rope in a 508-acre wildfire burning near Lake Berryessa in Napa County yesterday (5). An article from Nevada discusses the premise that shooters start wildfires even if using standard ammunition (6); followed by an article sent along by Wildfire NOTD subscriber Pete Matthews, Editor-In-Chief of, about how fire agencies in Arizona hope to coordinate wildland fire management efforts on all levels of government to better handle the wildfires of the future (7). After a slow start to the Idaho fire season, the Boise Interagency Dispatch Center is busy with several major blazes (8); which included a 1,200-acre blaze outside of Boise (9); and a 40,000-acre blaze burning 20 miles south of Bruneau (10); while a home was destroyed in Bannock County by a 2,500-acre wildfire that forced evacuations (11). Smoke from Idaho's wildfires is dirtying up the air in nearby Utah (12). With more hot temperatures in the forecast, Oklahoma, which has already seen over 150,000 acres burn so far this year, is expecting more of the same as fall approaches (13); this at a time when a wildfire that destroyed a vacant home in Shawnee burned between 180 and 200 acres (14); and a second person has died because of the 15,000-acre wildfire that burned through Pawnee County over a week ago (15). Texas Forest Service provided a comprehensive picture of wildfires across the state (16); where firefighters responded to a 250-acre wildfire in Anderson County (17); and a 400-acre blaze in Harrison County (18); while another wildfire in Williamson County destroyed 10 homes (19); even as homeowners of 189 residences that were evacuated in Leander yesterday when a wildfire destroyed 15 homes have been allowed to return (20). Wildfire activity in Montana is having an impact on highway traffic (21); where US Forest Service will be presenting a program titled "Life Of A Forest Service Fire Lookout", to be held, appropriately enough, at the Strawberry Butte Lookout Tower (22). A 5,200-acre wildfire burning in southwest South Dakota is now 60% contained (23); and although rain has reduced wildfires in Arkansas to just a handful, firefighters warned that the wildfire threat is not completely gone (24). Congressional Fire Services Institute sent along a reminder that FEMA's Assistance to Firefighter Grants program is now accepting applications (25); followed by an announcement about RAND Corporation continuing research to assist the US Forest Service in determining the appropriate composition of fixed-wing air-tanker and helicopter/water scooper aviation assets for wildfire suppression (26). Engineers have begun assessing road damage caused by a 5,964-acre wildfire burning in Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp (27); while, in a counter-intuitive sort of way, firefighters in Georgia and Florida are looking forward to the Atlantic hurricane season, from the standpoint that the rainfall should extinguish wildfires in both states (28). A member of the Canadian media recounts what it was like to fly over wildfires in Manitoba province last week (29); but after 899 fires have scorched 613,572 hectares, Ontario is on track to have its second-worst wildfire season in 50 years (30); while the Newfoundland Forest Service, blessed with a quiet fire season, is exporting firefighters to help with wildfires in other provinces (31). In the Mediterranean Basin, numerous wildfires were reported in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, and in the northern African nations of Algeria and Tunisia (32). Israel's Carmel Forest is beginning to sprout new growth as the damage from a wildfire last year slowly heals (33); but Turkish authorities detained three people, one of them a reputed terrorist, for starting a wildfire in Izmir Province (34). Heading to Australia, a man accused of starting nine bushfires outside of Melbourne, Victoria, has pleaded guilty to the charges (35); while the Department of Sustainability and Environment has increased its controlled burn schedule from 6,000 ha to 14,000 ha per recommendations in the Royal Bushfire Commission report (36); and police in Warrnambool are devising fire evacuation plans, also a recommendation from the Royal Bushfire Commission (37); the Fire Services Commissioner delivering a report on the Tostaree bushfire to East Gippsland officials for review (38). A Queensland politician blamed government bureaucracy with hobbling the state in preparing for bushfires (39). And finally, if you live in the southwestern US, the Smokey Bear hot air balloon may be coming to your neighborhood soon!

(1) Crews battle brush fire in Angeles National Forest near Azusa [Updated]

(2) Brush fire burning in Crocker Springs area

(3) Was horseplay cause of fire near Knights Ferry?

(4) Update: 7-acre fire near Willits contained, fire crews to stay through night

(5) Berryessa Wildfire Update

(6) Fact Checker: Even with standard ammo, shooting has fire risk

(7) New wildfire management strategy in the works

(8) Fires prompt busiest response in Boise BLM district this season

(9) Wildfire burning near Kuna Monday evening

(10) 'Big Hill Fire' consumes 40,000 acres

(11) Wildfire burns one home, threatens others in eastern Idaho

(12) Air quality: Smoke from Idaho fire fills Utah skies

(13) Take precautions to ensure home's safety against wildfires

(14) Wildfire consumes vacant home, nearly 200 acres; fire crews protect nearby houses

(15) Second fatality confirmed in Pawnee County wildfires

(16) Texas Forest Service: Fire In Nolan County Remains Uncontained

(17) Fire scorches hundreds of acres

(18) Update: Harrison County fire now 400 acres

(19) Grass fire flares in Texas, burns 10 homes

(20) Leander fire victims allowed to return to area

(21) Swan Valley firefighting efforts slow traffic

(22) "Life Of A Forest Service Fire Lookout" presentation

(23) South Dakota Forest Fire 60 Percent Contained

(24) Arkansas Wildfire Threat Reduced but Not Gone Yet

(25) The 2011 Assistance To Firefighters Grant Program Application Period Is Now Open

(26) Notice of Intent to Award Sole source to RAND Corporation - Aerial Firefighting

(27) Dismal Swamp fire undermining roads

(28) Florida Wildfires are Contained; Okefenokee Swamp Fire Continues

(29) Forest fire dollars well spent

(30) One of Ontario's worst forest fire seasons in 50 years

(31) Local forest firefighters helping out in other provinces

(32) EFFIS - Current Situation

(33) The Carmel Forest – Renewal, Rediscovery and Rebirth

(34) Turkish police detain suspects over Aegean forest fire

(35) Guilty plea over fire-lighting spree

(36) Fears burn boost threatens ironbark forests

(37) Police prepare fire evacuation plans

(38) Tostaree bushfire review

(39) Malone attacks state over bushfire threat

(40) Balloon Festival Brings Wildfire Message to Texas

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