The impact of sequestration cuts on the Department of Homeland Security 2014 budget could influence air-tanker availability (1); while an article from Redding, California, shows the importance of Weaver Bally fire lookout tower in spotting wildfires early (2). Overdevelopment in Arizona's wildlands, where 230,000 new homes and structures have been built since 1990, is putting firefighters in harms way (3); the use of controlled burns to eliminate ladder fuels being examined by the next article (4). Dozens of objections have been filed against Idaho's plans for the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests (5). Romanian Air Force C-27J Spartan aircraft recently conducted tests of the Caylym Guardian aerial firefighting system over a Romanian mountain range (6); and as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change wraps up its meeting in Warsaw, Poland, the contribution of wildfire smoke to global carbon dioxide levels is in the spotlight (7); while Erickson Air-Crane announced its first contract to fight wildfires in Turkey (8). A bushfire on the outskirts of Dunedin, New Zealand, over the weekend appears to have been arson (9); the Chief Councillor of Australia's Climate Council commenting on the impact climate change is having on bushfires Down Under (10). As an inquiry continues into a 50,000-hectare bushfire sparked by Army personnel outside of Lithgow, New South Wales, testimony indicated that recommendations by Rural Fire Service to conduct controlled burns to reduce fuel were ignored (11); and that Army personnel were ill-equipped to deal with the resulting blaze from an explosives training exercise (12); exploding ordnance adding its own special hazard to that fire (13); but as cleanup efforts continue, Environmental Protection Authority noise restrictions may be hampering the use of construction equipment in the Blue Mountains (14); the state Opposition leader recommending that free transport to areas hard-hit by bushfires be provided to encourage tourism over the holidays (15); the Dyldam Parramatta Eels doing their part for the NSW Bushfire Appeal (16); while the Maitland City Council revealed that 79 ha have gone up in smoke over the past year (17). In a hearing at Victoria's Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court, an investigator dismissed rumors that firefighting helicopters started a blaze that destroyed 22 homes in Aberfeldy (18); a 15-hectare bushfire which may have begun as a private controlled burn outside of Dwellingup, Western Australia, being brought to 100% containment (19). And finally, firefighters from Washington state's Spokane Valley Fire Department who were attempting to rescue a deer which had fallen through the ice on Liberty Lake needed rescuing themselves!
(1) US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Budget Assessment 2014
(2) Among hungry critters, curious tourists and fires, fire lookouts keep busy
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Labels: air-tankers, bushfires, firefighting, forest fires, wildfire news, wildfire news of the day, wildfires