Some firefighters in Oklahoma are pushing to use unmanned aerial systems to increase situational awareness on wildfires.
Six years ago this week, these are some of the topics we wrote about on Wildfire Today in 2008:
–CAL FIRE was being taken to court, according to a suit, for partially demobing the Piru fire before it was 100% contained. The fire grew from 1,200 to 64,000 acres. Apparently the strategy and tactics that were used on the fire are being questioned in a court of law 4 years after the fact.
–Fire Captain Matt Moore with the Murrieta (California) Fire Department died, succumbing to complications from meningitis, fire department officials said. He had been in various hospitals since November battling an aggressive form of meningitis. It is believed Moore inhaled a parasite while fighting the region’s wildfires late last year. The parasite reportedly caused swelling in his brain.
The Red Flag Warning map today shows a rather unusual pattern. Warnings for elevated wildfire danger have been issued by the National Weather Service for areas in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas.
The Red Flag Warning map was current as of 10:01 a.m. MDT on Wednesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts. For the most current data, visit this NWS site.
Here are some random wildfire photos we ran across. Unfortunately, few details are available about them.
West Virginia man found dead at wildfire
A man that was found dead near the scene of a fire Tuesday in Kanawha County, West Virginia has been identified as Donald Chandler, 66. The cause of death has not been determined but relatives thought he probably suffered a heart attack while trying to put out the fire. Officials were not sure if the fire started in a storage building and spread into the vegetation, or if a brush fire ignited the structure.
Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Chandler.
Fire resistant vegetation leads to a success story
Usually when a wildfire makes the news there has been a failure, perhaps more than one. The first of course is the ignition, if it is human caused. Then if the initial attack does not succeed it can spread — into the headlines of the media. But we rarely hear about the fires that are aggressively attacked and kept small, like what happened today in the southern California community of Brea.
Not only did the ground and aerial firefighters succeed, but decisions made by the homeowners association also deserve a pat on the back. The fire in Tonner Canyon near Lambert Road and the 57 Freeway was kept to only two acres thanks to the firefighters AND the fire- and drought-resistant vegetation that had been planted by the association. Even though there were Red Flag Warnings in effect today and strong winds were pushing the fire up a hill, it was stopped by the suppression forces and the proactive mitigation measures in place.
The fire was reported at 12:40 p.m. and firefighters were mopping it up by 1:20 p.m. Soon thereafter, they were back at their stations and ready for another fire.
The video shows firefighters in Lancashire, UK engaged in wildfire training, using some equipment that you will not often see on the other side of the pond.
Here is how the video is described:
Firefighters along with partner agencies Bay Search and Rescue, Mountain Rescue teams (Bolton and Bowland), Pennine helicopters, United Utilities, the Moorlad Association and Lancashire County Council all joined together in an excercise on Bleasdle Fell, Lancashire to not only practice the skills required to tackle a wildfire but also raise awareness of the issues with the public through local media. This report was taken from Granada Television News, featuring Station Manager Shaun Walton, Jeremy Duckworth from the Moond Association and reported by Amy Welch.
And speaking of training, the photo below illustrates in a completely different environment annual firefighter refresher training in the National Park Service’s Midwest Regional Office in Omaha, Nebraska.