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, September 27, 2011


In our first article today, a wildland fire contractor trainer explains the ups and downs of the business (1); and the US Fire Administration released its annual report on firefighter fatalities in the US, which indicated that three wildland firefighters died in 2010 (2). Nearly 5 years after the event, a trial between San Diego Gas & Electric and numerous plaintiffs impacted by the Witch and Guejito fires is set to begin in Southern California September 2012 (3); while lightning sparked three new wildfires in Sequoia National Forest (4); and firefighters in Bridgeport have reached 50% containment of a wildfire which has burned 1,140 acres in rugged terrain (5). Oregon's La Grande Airtanker Base has been closed for repairs, which are estimated to be completed by June of 2012 (6). A wildfire that has burned 4,800 acres in Arizona's Tonto National Forest is now 10% contained (7); while US Forest Service firefighters plan to conduct controlled burns in the Prescott National Forest as part of a program which will treat 22,000 acres during the coming year (8). Texas Forest Service provides a summary of wildfire activity across the state in the next item (9); where the DC-10 assisted firefighters on the ground in wrapping up a 10-acre wildfire burning near homes in San Marcos (10); and residents of Kyle were given some useful tips on how to wildfire-proof their property (11). With fire officials indicating that tree limbs brushing its power lines sparked wildfires in Bastrop County, Texas, homeowners have begun a lawsuit against the Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative (12); where revised estimates indicate that wildfire damage claims may top $500 million (13); and the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management has asked residents of that county to provide any photos or videos they may have taken of the destructive wildfires that just burned through the area so that they can compile a historical record of the event (14). US Congressman Michael McCaul is touring areas hard-hit by the Texas wildfires to determine whether the federal response was fast enough for the House Homeland Security Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, which he chairs (15); but Pres. Obama received low marks from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research meteorologist after stating that the Texas wildfires were the result of climate change (the meteorologist pointed out that it was due to a La Nina effect) (16). Although fire officials rescinded the Stage 1 fire restrictions for Flathead County, Montana, new fires reminded residents that the fire season isn't over yet (17); so fire managers in the Lewis and Clark National Forest decided to set a 7,000-acre blaze of their own! (18). Firefighters in Wyoming are battling three blazes in the Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests (19); while firefighters brought containment on a massive wildfire burning in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area up to 60%, hoping to completely contain it by the weekend (20). Indiana's Department of Natural Resources is allocating Volunteer Fire Assistance grants to help equip fire departments to battle wildfires in that state (21). In Canada, Alberta Sustainable Resource Department officials have reopened Highway 63, which had been closed for a while due to a 581-hectare wildfire burning near Fort McMurray (22); but with the arrival of fall weather, wildfire activity is beginning to taper off in Ontario (23). In the Mediterranean Basin, wildfires were reported in France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Bosnia, Croatia, and Montenegro, as well as the North African nations of Algeria and Morocco (24); followed by a sampling of news articles that offers a comprehensive look at wildfires in Russia's Siberia over the past fire season (25). Officials from Ghana's Forest Service Division of the Forestry Commission reported that 283 ha of forest plantations have been destroyed by fires deliberately set by herdsmen and others in that African nation (26); while officials from Fiji's National Fire Authority reminded residents of that Pacific island nation to take extra care when burning debris due to the wildfire danger (27); and China raised their forest fire alert to its second-highest level in Guizhou, Chongqing Municipality and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (28). The government of Victoria, Australia, has issued Bushfire Attack Level maps which evaluate the bushfire risk for communities across the state (29); where residents of Wyndham have been advised by Country Fire Authority officials that their area faces a serious bushfire threat (30); but magistrates in Melbourne have filed charges against a man accused of ripping off the Victoria Bushfire Appeal Fund to the tune of $100,000 (31). Queensland Fire and Rescue Service issued bushfire alerts for several parts of that state as bushfires continued to burn (32); while winds made lightning-sparked bushfires in New South Wales' outback particularly dangerous for Rural Fire Service firefighters (33). The battle between an insurance agency and its client, who is attempting to collect on a claim for damages done by a bushfire which burned through Clifton Hills, Western Australia, eight months ago, is covered by the next article (34). And finally, the longest-serving active-duty firefighter in the US is hanging up his boots and hardhat after 56 years on the job!

(1) How to become a wildland fire contractor

(2) USFA Releases Annual Report on Firefighter Fatalities in the U.S.

(3) 2007 wildfire trial set for September 2012

(4) Lightning ignites fires in Sequoia forest

(5) Wildfire Near Nevada-California Line Half Contained

(6) Re-closure of La Grande Airtanker Base

(7) Wildfire in Northern Arizona Burns 4,800 Acres

(8) Prescribed burns could start Wednesday

(9) Tuesday's wildfire update from the Texas Forest Service

(10) Wildfire extinguished: Aircraft, firefighters team up

(11) Amid wildfire threat, city urges residents to clear brush

(12) First lawsuit filed in Bastrop wildfires

(13) Texas Wildfire Insured Loss Estimate Climbs; Could Hit $500M

(14) Bastrop County Crowdsourcing Wildfire Photos/Video for Historical Project

(15) McCaul touring areas hit by fires

(16) Obama Gets Burned with Crack about Texas Wildfires

(17) Wildfire danger persists in Flathead County

(18) 7,000 acres ignited in Rocky Mountain Front

(19) Fires in Wyoming have potential to grow this week

(20) Firefighters hope to contain wildfire by Saturday

(21) Local firefighters receive grants

(22) Wildfire contained, Highway 63 open

(23) New forest fires still being reported

(24) EFFIS - Current Situation

(25) Firefighters battle 1,000 ha of forest fires in Russia's Siberia

(26) Bushfires, herdsmen undermining government’s afforestation programme in UWR

(27) Bush fires a worry

(28) China issues forest fire alert in five regions

(29) Hills considered a bushfire risk

(30) CFA issues bushfire warning to residents

(31) Lower Templestowe man denies bushfire appeal ripoff

(32) Authorities on bushfire alert across Queensland

(33) Firies face tense 24 hours in outback NSW

(34) Fire insurance battle takes toll

(35) Longest-serving firefighter in nation retires after 56 years of Irving service

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