Wildfire news, July 9, 2009

Balloon bombs

During World War II the Japanese launched about 9,000 hydrogen balloon bombs. Intended to wreak havoc on american cities, forests, and farmland, they were 33 feet in diameter and made of paper. Some of them were armed with incendiary devices and others with explosives. The devices killed six people in Oregon and started some forest fires. About 300 were found or observed in North America. They landed primarily near the west coast from Alaska to Mexico, but at least one traveled as far east as 15 miles from Detroit.

Getty fire near Los Angeles

Wally Skalij, LA Times
Genaro Molina, LA Times

The fire yesterday near the Getty museum in Los Angeles was only 80 acres but it required some evacuations, tied up traffic on the freeways, and provided some great photo ops. The fire appeared to have been started accidentally during a weed-abatement program, a spokesman from the fire department said. At one point about 350 city and county firefighters were assigned to the fire.

Explorer fire academy

The Banning Record Gazette has an article about a residential probation camp for juvenile offenders in which the youngsters receive wildland fire training. Some of them, through demonstrated good behavior, may beocme eligible to have minor probationary offenses expunged from their court records, which would then emable them to apply for jobs as a firefighter with CalFire.

Thanks Dick