The US Senate has added a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act that would effectively double the current heavy air-tanker fleet and add 22 military aircraft to the federal firefighting fleet (1); while ABC News touched on the havoc wreaked by wildfires in the US this year (2). To prepare for future wildfire evacuations in Southern California's Inland Empire, Riverside Emergency Animal Rescue System will be conducting training exercises in January (3); and in a followup to yesterday's article about a wildfire arsonist being apprehended, Wildfire NOTD subscriber Janet Upton, Deputy Director of Communications at CAL FIRE
, sent along an official press release on the arrest (4); the alleged arsonist pleading not guilty in Shasta County Superior Court (5); even as fire crews brought a 937-acre wildfire in Big Sur to 88% containment (6). Oregon Public Broadcasting unveils a new interactive map from EarthFix that shows a marked increase in wildfire activity in the West over the past two decades (7); Wildfire NOTD subscriber Debbie Miley, Executive Director of the National Wildfire Suppression Association
, commenting on how a tragic air crash which killed several firefighters from Oregon in 2008 may finally earn contract firefighters the federal death benefits they deserve (8). Over $220 million in additional lawsuits have been filed by families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed in a wildfire outside of Yarnell, Arizona, last summer (9). Although Colorado's Gov. Hickenlooper thinks that a Colorado Aerial Firefighting Corps would be too expensive for the state to shoulder alone, a regional air-tanker fleet financed by several states might make more sense (10); while the Black Forest History Committee has put together a documentary about this summer's destructive blaze (11). Wildfire mitigation efforts in Wyoming's Teton Canyon were a topic of discussion at the recent Teton Area Advisory Forum meeting (12); the Kansas Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross highlighting some of the natural disasters the organization responded to nationally in 2013, including 10 major wildfires in eight states (13). Following a pledge to cut smoke emissions by 26% by 2020, the Indonesian government has charged dozens of companies involved in illegal forest fires (14). A heat wave in Southeast Australia has prompted bushfire warnings across Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania (15). In Victoria, Country Fire Authority crews battled a bushfire which was being blown towards Wodonga (16); and lightning was blamed for a 2-ha bushfire outside of Eskdale (17); even as East Gippsland put a new first-attack D6 bulldozer to work constructing control lines (18). Air-tankers assisted fire crews on the ground battle a 1,000-hectare bushfire near Tintinara, South Australia (19); but prosecutors dropped arson charges against a young man accused of sparking a bushfire that forced the evacuation of Brown Hill Creek Caravan Park (20). Drawing lessons from the 2011 bushfires in Western Australia, residents of Kelmscott and Roleystone prepared for another bushfire season (21); but developers are complaining about delays on construction projects imposed by Tasmania's bushfire restrictions (22). And finally, firefighters in Rialto, California, showed their Christmas spirit by providing gifts to a family who lost their home in a fire!
(1) Senate passes provision nearly doubling air tanker fleet for fighting forest fires
(2) Mother Nature Wreaked Havoc This Year
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Labels: air-tankers, bushfires, firefighting, forest fires, wildfire news, wildfire news of the day, wildfires