A USA Today article reports that since 2002 approximately $3 billion of US Forest Service funds have been diverted from the recreation and management budgets to pay for fire suppression (1); Wildfire NOTD subscriber Tony Morris, Communications Director at Wildfire Research Network
, sending along an article about how the US Forest Service large air-tanker fleet could be rebuilt (2). Wildfire NOTD subscriber Rich Brooks, a Reporter for the Riverside Press-Enterprise
, reports on a 6-acre wildfire in the Southern California community of Good Hope over the weekend (3); while a 5-acre wildfire outside of Pacifica which firefighters squelched in less than an hour is now under investigation (4); but the Sierra National Forest has partially lifted fire restrictions (5); survivors of the deadly Oakland Hills Fire asking voters to continue funding the Wildfire Protection District to prevent another such occurrence (6). As U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management workers returned to work in Idaho following the federal shutdown, they now face a footrace to perform Burn Area Emergency Recovery efforts ahead of snowfall (7); and one year after a fast-moving wildfire devastated tiny Bucyrus, North Dakota, residents reflected on the blaze (8). Firefighters on the Hawaiian island of Maui quickly doused a 1/4-acre wildfire in Lahaina (9); but although the fire season in Kenora, Ontario, Canada, is waning, the Ministry of Natural Resources warned homeowners that wildfires could still occur (10). A new wildfire was reported outside of Koyulhisar, Turkey, over the weekend (11). An update on 63 bushfires burning across New South Wales, Australia, is provided by the next article (12); a firefighter's GoPro camera showing a losing fight where firies were forced to fall back (13); another firefighter capturing a dramatic video of driving through towering flames to reach his home in the Blue Mountains (14); and forecasts of variable winds and thunderstorms are not helping the situation (15); even as fears grew that bushfires in the Blue Mountains could merge to form a mega-fire (16); health officials warning of the hazard posed by bushfire smoke (17); even as hundreds of Rural Fire Service volunteers streamed into the bushfire areas (18); and the military may be mobilized as well (19); the Prime Minister's firefighting efforts drawing cheers and jeers from the sidelines (20); over 11,000 Instagram photos showing acts of heroism and destruction across the state (21); some saying that this could force the Prime Minister to delay the repeal a carbon emissions tax (22); an Op-Ed piece from the UK arguing that climate change is to blame for the bushfires (23); but a retired researcher from Victoria's Monash University countered that the current bushfire siege was not related to climate change (24); an article from New Zealand offering some thoughts on the causes (25); while the plight of koala bears in bushfire-ravaged areas is the focus of the article which follows (26); the Salvation Army providing recommendations to people helping to assist bushfire appeals in New South Wales (27); this at a time when insurance companies are estimating that claims for damaged and destroyed homes will soon top $100 million (28); the federal government being called on to change the disaster relief payment system to accommodate more bushfire survivors in NSW (29); residents of Springwood and Winmalee struggling to cope in the aftermath of the fires (30). A firefighter helping a friend conduct a controlled burn in Berriwillock, Victoria, died of a heart attack (31); but in the wake of New South Wales' bushfires, Western Australia's Emergency Services Minister worries that after a wet winter, they could be next (32). And finally, a forest fire outside of Privetnoye in the Omsk region of Russia may have been started by an unusual source: a UFO!
(1) Western fires sap forestry budgets
(2) Rebuilding the USFS contract LAT (Large Airtanker) fleet
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Labels: air-tankers, bushfires, firefighting, forest fires, wildfire news, wildfire news of the day, wildfires