Wildfire NOTD subscriber Tom Eversole, Executive Director of the American Helicopter Services & Aerial Firefighting Association, issued a press release warning that funding for forest protection will be severely reduced if Congress does not reach a deficit reduction agreement soon (1). Wildfire NOTD subscriber Rick Hatton, President and CEO of Southern California-based 10 Tanker LLC, is asking for help in petitioning US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to award their company with an exclusive use contract (2); but San Diego Gas & Electric may hear from the California Public Utilities Commission by Thursday on whether they will be responsible for $369 million in wildfire damage bills (3); while U.S. Forest Service fuels management crews are continuing controlled burns around Lake Tahoe (4). The trial of man who impersonated a firefighter during Colorado's High Park Fire is scheduled to begin in May of 2013 (5); meanwhile, the US Forest Service has awarded contracts to thin 20,000 acres of forests in Colorado and Wyoming to reduce the wildfire danger (6). Volunteers will begin planting some 550,000 seedlings in Texas' wildfire-ravaged Bastrop State Park this weekend (7); but a wildfire was reported in Ohio's Wayne National Forest Monday night (8). Kentucky Division of Forestry fire crews have finally contained a 5,000-acre wildfire in Letcher County (9); and a 50-acre blaze in Whitley County was deemed suspicious in nature (10). Wildfires continued to pummel East Tennessee (11); but the arrival of rainfall is helping firefighters gain the upper hand on numerous wildfires (12). Maryland Department of Natural Resources are wrapping up a 100-acre wildfire that blazed through Indian Springs Wildlife Management Area (13). Virginia Department of Forestry has had a busy time dealing with wildfires in the southwestern part of the state (14); and a wildfire in Caldwell County, North Carolina, breached containment lines overnight (15). In Alberta, Canada, Lesser Slave Lake Regional Recovery Community Stewardship Symposium is holding a meeting today to discuss wildfire recovery efforts (16); while the International Association of Wildland Fire, sent along an invitation to their workshop on Natural Disturbance Management, to take place in Neuschönau, Germany, between 29 April - 3 May 2013 (17). Forest fires in Russia's Sverdlovsk region were attacked aggressively over the past fire season, with 80% being snuffed within 24 hours of detection (18). In Victoria, Australia, a Black Saturday hero's halo fell off when he was jailed for a $150,000 crime spree (19); while 40,000 acres went up in smoke near Jericho, Queensland, due to an abundance of lightning strikes sparking bushfires (20). With 3,000 bushfires already reported statewide since July, New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner warned that the summer ahead could be challenging (21); volunteer firefighters providing tips to homeowners on how to prepare for Western Australia's bushfire season (22). And finally, firefighters in Florida had an unexpected obstacle in putting out an illegal debris fire: a shovel-wielding homeowner!
(1) Fiscal Impasse Could Reduce Readiness Of Aerial Firefighting Aircraft
(2) Tell The US Forest Service: We Need The DC-10s!
(3) SDG&E makes last push to bill users for wildfires
(4) Prescribed fires set for South and West Shores
(5) Trial set for accused High Park firefighter impersonator
(6) Firms win contracts to thin forests in Colo., Wyo.
(7) Volunteers to plant seedlings at burned Texas park
(8) Wildfire contained
(9) Forestry Officials Continue To Fight Letcher County Arson Fire
(10) Suspicious Wildfire Burns 50 Acres In Whitley County
(11) Forecast fuels flames for dozens of East TN wildfires
(12) Rain finally helps foresters battle wildfires in East Tennessee
(13) Indian Springs forest fire contained, but firefighters to remain Monday
(14) Forest fires break out in Southwest Virginia
(15) Wildfire continues to burn in Caldwell County
(16) Media Advisory - Lesser Slave Lake Regional Wildfire Recovery
(17) Upcoming Workshop on Natural Disturbance Management (including wildland fire) in Germany
(18) In the Sverdlovsk region in 10 times the distance covered forest fire area has decreased
(19) Black Saturday bushfires 'hero' in crime spree
(20) Jericho hit by bushfires
(21) NSW emergency services warn of wild summer
(22) Homeowners told to prepare as firefighters face high risk summer
(23) Firefighter hit in the head while extinguishing illegal burn