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, January 29, 2013


Convicted arsonist Ricki Lee Fowler has been sentenced to death for starting the 2003 Old Fire in San Bernardino County, California, which destroyed over 1,000 homes and resulted in five deaths (1); families of the victims sharing their reactions to the verdict in the next article (2); but Santa Clara County prosecutors decided not to press reckless-burning charges against a contractor who sparked a 4,200-acre wildfire in 2008 that destroyed 63 homes and 69 outbuildings in the Santa Cruz Mountains (3). Wildfire NOTD subscriber Tom Eversole, Executive Director of the American Helicopter Services & Aerial Firefighting Association, discussed the challenges the US heavy air-tanker fleet faces in modernizing at that organization's annual meeting held in Boise, Idaho (4). Colorado's US Senator Udall is urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to speed up the process of upgrading the heavy air-tanker fleet (5); but that state's other US Senator is up in arms about the fact that the new Hurricane Sandy aid package excluded $125 million in wildfire relief funds for their state (6). Several counties in Texas will be under wildfire alert as a cold front brings gusty winds to the region (7); while the next article takes a closer look at how the Nebraska Forest Service's rules of engagement would change under the proposed "Wildfire Control Act of 2013" (8). New Jersey's General Assembly approved a bill which would allow for prescribed burns on private property to reduce the wildfire danger (9); and Florida Park Service Prescribed Fire Awareness Week is being used to educate the public on the value of prescribed burns in preventing wildfires there as well (10). In Africa, Ghana's Brong-Ahafo Regional Forestry Commission estimates that bushfires cost them approximately $2.15 million in losses (11); even as firefighters in South Africa's scenic wine region grappled with wildfires that have scorched 7,100 acres so far (12). A bushfire has been reported near Taupo, New Zealand (13). As Victoria, Australia's, Premier received reports on the 1,300-hectare bushfire burning near Violet Town, he reflected that it may take torrential rains to extinguish bushfires currently burning across the state (14); while a resident of Kinglake who saved her home from the Black Saturday bushfires and helped with the rebuilding of that town afterward has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia on the Australia Day Honours list (15). A Rotary club based in Tenterfield, New South Wales, is doing its part to help with bushfire relief (16); and two men from Dungog have started relief efforts to provide fodder to farmers who need to feed livestock on land that has been scorched by bushfires in Coonabarabran (17). Shack owners on Tasmania's Tasman peninsula are debating whether to rebuild after the devastating bushfires earlier this month (18); while some in the government call for school closures on fire emergency warning days (19). And finally, firefighters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, responded to a fire in a familiar place: their fire station!

(1) Ricki Lee Fowler sentenced to death for starting 2003 wildfire

(2) Families react to death penalty in forest fire arson case

(3) Most serious charge in wildfire case dropped

(4) Aerial Firefighters See Challenges To Fleet Modernization Continuing In 2013

(5) Sen. Mark Udall seeks to speed acquisition of firefighting equipment

(6) Colorado loses wildfire recovery money in revamped Sandy aid bill

(7) Gusty Winds, Rain, Severe Storms, Wildfires All Possible Tuesday

(8) Davis bill calls for state to do more to combat wildfire

(9) Assembly OKs Dancer's Bipartisan Bill To Prevent Wildfires, Help Environment with Prescribed Burns

(10) Controlled burns could limit Florida wildfires

(11) Bushfire damages cost Brong Ahafo GH¢4.1m in 2011/12

(12) Wildfires tear through South Africa's scenic wine region

(13) Large scrub fire near Taupo

(14) Victoria needs rain to stop bushfires

(15) Australia Day medal awarded to bushfire recovery leader

(16) Tenterfield Rotary helps out Bushfire Appeal

(17) Fodder drive to aid victims of devastating bushfires

(18) School closures urged for bushfire season

(19) Rebuilding after the Tasmanian bushfires

(20) Va. Beach Firefighters Put Out Blaze In Their Station

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