The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag warnings for Southern California as Santa Ana winds return to the region this weekend (1); while Helicopter Association International sent along a reminder about their upcoming Heli-Expo to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center Feb 24–27, 2014 (2); but CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson, a 30-year veteran who has been the wildfire PIO for the southern region, plans to retire (3); Wildfire NOTD subscriber Tom Lasser
, a retired Lt. Colonel in the California National Guard, sending along two items: a FEMA announcement in which President Obama (finally) will provide disaster funding for this summer's Rim Fire (4); and some info from FEMA on how this federal funding will benefit recipients (5); but a $2 million hazard mitigation tax that would have reduced the wildfire danger in Oakland has been defeated (6); and at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, increased wildfire activity in the Arctic was a hot topic (7). The final radio transmission from the Granite Mountain Hotshots as they battled Arizona's Yarnell Hill Fire has been released (8); even as more lawsuits were initiated against the state, Yavapai County and the city of Prescott (9); additional details from the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health report being provided by the next article (10). As part of Colorado's Black Forest Together program, wildfire survivors are being offered discount cards to be used in local businesses (11); Wisconsin's Governor unveiling a grant at the Governor’s Forestry Economic Summit intended to help the timber industry (12). The Delaware Forest Service has begun hiring seasonal wildland firefighters for the 2014 fire season (13); while Wildfire NOTD subscriber Wayne Coulson, CEO of Coulson Flying Tankers
, discusses the future of the mighty Martin Mars flying boats based in British Columbia, Canada (14). In an era of tightening defense budgets, two European aircraft companies are hoping to diversify into the air-tanker market (15); police in Riau, Indonesia, detaining a Malaysian accused of starting a forest fire (16). In New South Wales, Australia, the Rural Fire Service Commissioner dismissed recommendations for a fivefold increase in controlled burns as "too simplistic" (17); while the emotional impact bushfires continue to have on schoolchildren in the Blue Mountains is examined by the next article (18). Victoria's Emergency Services Minister announced that two bushfire refuges on the outskirts of Melbourne would be ready for summer (19); while a Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre taskforce team leader discusses what they found out after interviewing bushfire survivors from New South Wales in a radio segment (20). And finally, instead of answering bells, firefighters in Decatur, Illinois, were ringing a few of their own for a good cause!
(1) Santa Ana winds returning this weekend to Southern California, wildfire risk elevated
(2) HAI HELI-EXPO
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