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.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


As wildfires continue to scourge the West, the financial impact on states is tabulated by our first article today (1); while the next one takes a look at how Congress's draining of money set aside by 2009's FLAME Act has hobbled US Forest Service's ability to fight fires (2). Wildfire NOTD subscriber Tom Lasser, a retired Colonel with the California National Guard, sent along a link to CAL EMA's map identifying wildfires currently burning in the state (3). As Los Angeles County Fire Department awaits the arrival of the Super Scoopers, brush inspections are under way (4); but a 500-acre wildfire in Riverside County was apparently started by someone performing gopher pest control (5); while Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins filled residents of the mountain community of Idyllwild in on wildfire activity nationwide (6); and Ventura County Fire Department officials expressed concern that, with two of its four helicopters down for maintenance, they have inadequate air support when the Santa Ana winds of fall arrive (7). Out-of-control wildfires in Northern California have prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in three counties (8); where the Ponderosa Fire is now 57% contained after destroying 84 homes and scorching 44 mi.² (9); while a 12,500-acre wildfire in Mendocino National Forest is now 12% contained (10). As firefighters brought the 142-acre wildfire burning in Oregon's Deschutes and Umpqua National Forests to 85% containment, one firefighter was injured (11). Despite windy conditions, firefighters battling a 23,000-acre wildfire near Cle Elum, Washington, have brought the fire to 90% containment (12); while a 331-acre wildfire burning in difficult terrain has forced officials to close portions of Ahtanum State Forest (13). Two cousins convicted of starting a 538,000-acre wildfire in Arizona's Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest will have to spend 48 hours in jail and perform 200 hours of community service as penance for their crime (14); and a National Public Radio segment explores the "Smokey Bear Effect" which shows a dramatic reduction of wildfires in the early 1900s which some believe have led to the catastrophic wildfires of today (15). Testimony from Colorado First Responders that they lack a good system for getting a large number of fire resources to a fast-moving wildfire was a rude awakening for lawmakers (16). As Idaho City's Trinity Ridge Fire grew overnight to 97,000 acres in size, an army of firefighters and apparatus flowed into the town to bolster defenses (17); firefighters turning to burnouts to protect the nearby town of Featherville (18). As fire crews declared full containment on Utah's 244-acre Whiskey Fire, the only remaining major blaze in the state is the 1,860-acre Red Ledges Fire (19); and the heroics of First Responders during Oklahoma's wildfires are recounted by the next article (20). A portion of Montana's Holter Lake was closed to boaters as Super Scoopers dipped in while fighting a wildfire in the Beartooth Wildlife Management Area (21); bringing containment of that 1,450-acre blaze to 15% (22). Heading to Canada, a 420-hectare wildfire burning near Clinton, British Columbia, is now 20% contained (23); but a smoking fuel truck adjacent to an air-tanker caused some concern amongst personnel at Kamloops Airport yesterday (24); even as three dozen Ontario firefighters helped battle wildfires across BC (25). As southern Europe continues to bake, wildfires have been reported in France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, and the North African nation of Algeria (26); but after wildfires this summer have destroyed 200,000 ha in Russia's Siberia, the last six fires are finally out (27). Wildfire NOTD subscriber Walt Darran, Safety Committee Chairman for the Associated Aerial Firefighters, sent along an article from Aviation Today which provides a sneak peek at what Australia's National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) has planned in regards to fighting bushfires in the foreseeable future, with comments by Wildfire NOTD subscriber Richard Alder, the NAFC's General Manager (28); while residents of Ballarat, Victoria, may be facing a $5,000 charge on property improvements to deal with bushfires (29); and Country Fire Authority is using a film entitled "Lessons learned from the past" in its bushfire awareness campaign (30). New South Wales' Rural Fire Service was on alert as inclement weather was forecast for parts of the North Coast beset with bushfires (31); this at a time when a bad bushfire season is being forecast for that state (32); while in Queensland, Samsonvale Rural Fire Brigade is giving homeowners some pointers on how to prepare for bushfire season (33). And finally, an infestation of bats forced firefighters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, out of their station!

(1) Costs of big wildfire season hurting some states

(2) Debt standoff makes Forest Agency fight all fires

(3) Current Wildland Fires

(4) LA County Fire Department Inspects Brush, Deploys Resources

(5) UPDATE: Gopher Gasser caused Vista Fire

(6) ‘A dangerous time’ for fires, Hawkins says

(7) VCFD wants to bolster air support

(8) California declares emergency as wildfire advances on town

(9) Ponderosa fire destroys 84 homes as West sees bigger wildfires this year

(10) North Pass Fires grow to 12,500 acres, evacuations continue

(11) Firefighter injured while battling Butte wildfire

(12) Firefighters maintain lines despite wind

(13) Crews battling wildfire close part of Ahtanum Forest

(14) Cousins receive 48 hours jail for Ariz. wildfire

(15) How The Smokey Bear Effect Led To Raging Wildfires

(16) Fire Chief: CO emergency wildfire response system needs overhaul

(17) Firefighting resources flow into Idaho City

(18) Firefighters want clear skies so 'burn out' can continue

(19) Utah wildfires: One down, one more to go

(20) Heroes recognized for bravery in wildfires

(21) Section of Holter Lake closes for ‘super scoopers’

(22) Wildfire near Holter Lake grows to 1,450 acres

(23) B.C.'s Big Bar forest fire 20% contained

(24) Fire near vital air tanker quickly suppressed at airport

(25) 36 Ontario workers battle British Columbia forest fires

(26) EFFIS - Current Situation

(27) All Forest Fires Put Out in Russia’s Siberia

(28) Australia Plans Aerial Firefighting Future

(29) Bushfire mapping overlay to affect nearly 2000 homes

(30) Indigenous aged care, bright young thing and lessons learned

(31) Bad weather forecast for north coast bushfires

(32) Serious concerns ahead of bushfire season

(33) Bushfires a hot topic

(34) Bats Run New Mexico Firefighters Out of Station

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