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.

Monday, August 29, 2011


A 345-acre wildfire burning near the Southern California community of Palmdale is now 85% contained (1); but a 67-acre blaze near Redlands was giving firefighters fits as it continued to breach containment lines (2); while firefighters brought a 20-acre wildfire burning in southern San Diego County near the Mexican border up to 35% containment this morning (3); and a wildfire that burned 95 acres in San Diego County's Marron Valley has been completely contained (4); CAL FIRE firefighters containing another 715-acre blaze near Fairfield (5). Wildfire NOTD subscriber Rick Hatton, President and CEO of 10 Tanker LLC, sent in several items [(6)(7)(8)(9)] about the impact of the reduced federal air-tanker fleet on firefighting in the US (the second item also being submitted by Bill Derr, a former Special Agent in Charge of the Forest Service's Law Enforcement arm in California), the third and fourth items sent by Rick from Inciweb showing a photo of the DC-10 in action and the Inciweb report, accompanied by the following comments from Rick:

USFS ordered us CWN on Fri. at 5:30 pm (8/26).

Tanker 910 arrived MCC at 8am Sat. and dispatched at 10:30 am loaded for St. George, UT/AZ. Made two trips and 9 drops, reaching out 350 NM, showing the versatility, rapid response, and effectiveness of this unique tool.

Dispatched again today for the Yosemite NP fire, again from MCC, which will be a much quicker turn.

Cost effectiveness would be even greater if our 10s were on exclusive use. CWN is unsustainable for a large air tanker company, and this weapon risks being removed from service to reduce further losses until availability contracts can be secured. This is likely to coincide with the late arrival of major western fires and a diminished heavy tanker fleet. Does any knowledgeable fire professional disagree?

As mentioned above, the DC-10 saw some action over Yosemite's Motor Fire, which has expanded to nearly 5,000 acres (10); but firefighters battling that blaze also had to deal with blistering heat (11). Firefighters reached 50% containment of wildfires that had burned 33,000 acres by Sunday, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center (12); but lightning has sparked a few more (13). Firefighters in Garfield County, Washington, battled a 5,000-acre wildfire Sunday night (14); while the area around Yakima was pummeled with lightning strikes, sparking numerous fires (15). The next article provides more details on the DC-10's activity over Color County, Arizona, on Saturday (16); but the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit identified lightning as the likely cause of several wildfires in the region (17). Two new wildfires were reported in Jasper County, Texas, on Sunday (18); and firefighters fought a 70-acre wildfire in Rusk County, Texas, to 90% containment by Saturday night (19); wildfires in East Texas generally keeping firefighters busy over the weekend (20); while the next article profiles Oak Hill Wildfire Relief Committee, a Houston-based group which has put up $20,000 to help rebuild suburban homes destroyed in an April wildfire (21). Firefighters battling wildfires in eastern Wyoming reported that a change in the weather helped their situation a bit (22). There will be a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss wildfires burning in Montana's Bitterroot National Forest (23); but firefighters made progress on wildfires burning in that state over the weekend with a little help from friends (24). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources firefighters continued to battle a 100-acre wildfire burning in Marinette County (25). A 10-acre wildfire that burned in Rankin County, Mississippi, has been contained (26); while a wildfire threatened homes in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, on Sunday (27). Although the South Carolina Forestry Commission was one of the few agencies that actually received additional funds from the state last year, more is needed to prepare for wildfires (28); and the Georgia Forestry Commission appointed a new incident commander on the Honey Prairie Fire, which has burned 304,331 acres in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (29). Although 292,000 acres burned in Alaska this year, that was actually below the usual average of 1,000,000 acres in a typical fire season (30). Heading to Canada, a 1.5 ha wildfire burned in the vicinity of Ashnola, British Columbia, over the weekend (31); but the wildfire season has been quiet, in general, allowing BC firefighters to head south to help battle fires in the US (32). Firefighters were having difficulty extinguishing a 4 ha wildfire burning outside of Greater Sudbury, Ontario (33); followed by an article about New Brunswick's unusually tame wildfire season (70 instead of the average of 244 wildfires in a typical fire season) (34). Wildfires were reported over the weekend in Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, and the North African nations of Algeria and Tunisia (35); while several wildfires were reported in Southwest Bulgaria, as well (36). Hiroshima, Japan, has ordered an AW139 firefighting helicopter as part of its disaster preparations (37); while army personnel aided firefighters in extinguishing a 15-acre wildfire burning in Sri Lanka's Uva Paranagama Divisional Secretariat (38). In Australia, bushfire experts fear that an abundance of grass in New South Wales' interior could lead to an abundance of bushfires (39); prompting them to warn residents of that state that substantial fines could be levied for fires lit without a permit (40). Queensland Fire and Rescue Service urged homeowners to complete their bushfire preparations, as the bushfire danger ratchets up over the next two days (41); while two bushfires burning in Northern Territory's Eastern Macdonnell Ranges are being brought under control by firefighters (42). It turns out that the Western Australian police commissioner was not notified by FESA about the Roleystone bushfire until hours after it began (43). And finally, Facebook came to the rescue of a dog displaced by Texas wildfires!

(1) Wildfire east of Palmdale almost contained

(2) MENTONE: Fire scorches 67 acres

(3) Lightning Sparks Ridge Fire in Campo

(4) Cal Fire: Barrett Fire 100 percent contained, charring 95 acres

(5) Firefighters control 715-acre blaze

(6) CAL FIRE establishes policy of limiting air tanker response to federal fires

(7) Air tanker update

(8) Motor Fire Photographs

(9) Incident Overview

(10) California wildfire grows to 4,755 acres

(11) Firefighters battling Motor Fire face heat exhaustion

(12) Firefighters advance against wildfires

(13) Wildfires spreading in Ore. after more lightning

(14) State Called To Help Fight 5,000 Acre Wildfire

(15) Smoke, Fires Light Up Region

(16) Good Progress Made on Arizona Strip Wildfires

(17) Lightning suspected in several Northwest Colorado wildfires

(18) Investigators report 2 new wildfires in Jasper County

(19) Weekend wildfire burns 70 acres in Rusk County

(20) Weekend wildfires burn in East Texas

(21) In wake of April wildfire, Oak Hill residents band together to rebuild

(22) Weather aids in battling Wyoming wildfires

(23) Public meeting set to discuss Saddle Complex fires

(24) Weather, extra crews help beat Elk Park fire in Montana

(25) Peshtigo forest fire still burning

(26) Flowood wildfire contained

(27) Firefighters battle brush fire in Gillis

(28) S.C. agencies get creative in effort to cut costs, save money

(29) Ga. wildfire team gets new incident commander

(30) Alaska wildfire acreage far below average this summer

(31) Ashnola wildfire

(32) B.C. forest fire crews heading to Montana and Idaho

(33) Firefighters continue to battle burning swamp in Val Caron

(34) Forest fire numbers are down in N.B.

(35) EFFIS - Current Situation

(36) 200-Decare Wild Fire Rages in SW Bulgaria

(37) Hiroshima Prefecture Orders An AW139

(38) Forest fire destroys 15 acres

(39) Inland NSW a tinder box, say bushfire experts

(40) Get a fire permit or cop a fine

(41) Nth Qld warned of severe bushfire danger

(42) Red Centre bushfires tamed but smoke lingers

(43) WA top cop out of loop as fire raged

(44) Facebook spreads wildfire details

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