100,000 gallons and still growing

A wildfire burning in heavy timber 50 miles east of Boise continued to spread even after pilots dropped more than 100,000 gallons of retardant on it. Boise State Public Radio reported that the fire burned through retardant lines on Sunday — the Trinity Ridge Fire grew from 200 acres on Saturday to 1,300 acres Sunday; it is now at 1,800 acres.

Trinity Ridge Fire

Trinity Ridge Fire

The fire gained ground in spite of the 46 runs made by four C-130 MAFFS tankers operating out of Boise. Three SEATs also worked the fire over the weekend.

Dave Olson, incident information officer, said the fire took off Friday in sub-alpine fir and lodgepole, both prone to torching and throwing embers. He said the fire is suspected to be human-caused; firefighters found a burned utility terrain vehicle at the fire’s source. Investigators are seeking the owner of the vehicle.

Additional fire crews have arrived, and a Type 2 team has assumed command.

Yesterday, the fire burned aggressively in the mostly sub-alpine fir and lodgepole pine, with considerable torching and spotting. NWCN.com reported that fire managers say current conditions are much drier then they’d originally thought. “It’s actually drier this year than it was in 2006 and 2007,” said Olson.

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23 thoughts on “100,000 gallons and still growing

  1. Need heavy coverage MAFFS doesn’t quite cut it in that area.
    not to say they aren’t useful and whole lot better than nothing, but this is a job for P-3’s or DC-7’s, which of course aren’t available…

  2. 46 Runs….complete waste of $$. This is part of the reason WHY our government is broke!

  3. Maybe a DC-10 OR 2 would have made a difference dropping 11.6k gals in ‘one’ run from a gravity based tank system?

  4. Continuous fuels, long range spotting and light coverage indirrect retardant line not much to wonder about. Good call on 10s dirrect with FireIce, a fighting chance instead of a waste.

  5. Apparently the usfs is the only ones that realize that the Dc-10 is useless in terrain like this. The 10 can’t fly in or around mountainous terrain. I have been on drops watching the 10 and have seen them drop and by the time it hits the ground it’s a fine mist and does nothing. Unfortunately the p-3’s are still sitting on the deck in McClellan. The bank auctioned all the gse equipment off last thursday and Friday. Sad sad sad…

    • Mike B … Cite some examples? “Been on drops watching … ” means nothing.

      I’ve been on drops, and watched P3s drop, and by the time it hit the ground it was a fine mist that did nothing … and for the record, it’s actually supposed to be a fine mist when it hits the ground. Sometimes they do nothing. It’s not a problem with the airtanker.

    • think you might be getting the dc10 confused with the p3s in terms of useless etc etc etc

      • Forget the 10, how about that 130 tank 46 drops that lead to a crappy system, and those military crews get a reality check of how this business really works. No national news coverage with them showing up three days after it started. Maybe it will take another 46 drops before the FS realizes its IA capabilities are terrible except in a grass fire with no wind.

  6. Mike B.
    Apparently you didnt read the evals. from the lead aircraft pilots and the USFS personel on the ground. How the 10 was very good to excellant in mountainous steep terrain.

  7. Mike B. it sounds to me that you might be a photographer who has zero experience in the air tanker industry

  8. Did I ruffle some feathers? I was with aero union for the last 5 years. When the 10 came in everyone had to get out of the way. The 10 can’t get into a canyon, come on guys get over it. Most of the fires are in canyons or other inaccessible places. While the 10 is impressive and drops a lot there is a place for it and that is not canyons or mountains.

  9. As a matter of fact a couple of years ago for example when there was a bug fire in the Chico/ paradise area ( in the canyons) when the 10 made a drop there are quit a few trees in paradise that are a lot shorter thanks to the 10. Did you get a picture of that rebel…

    • What are you getting at, Mike? Are you suggesting that the was a second tree strike incident, that no one is aware of?

  10. Well enough bickering! The 10 does deserve a contract, it plays just a big of a roll of as the p-2’s left, there is a place for all of the tankers and if the usfs doesn’t realize it it is only going to get worse before it gets better. The p-3’s I hate to say it are not coming back. The next gen airplane is slowly emerging but we are going to lose a lot of the p-2’s next year due to there cap programs. The c-27’s, Ohh what a nightmare waiting to happen.

  11. There’s a reason they call the stuff retardant instead of extinguisher.

    Guest blogger?

  12. Mike B.,
    I find it in poor taste to make allusions to a 2nd non-existent tree strike incident for 10-tanker. If you have real evidence, provide it. The 10 is one tool – why does it have to be an either or proposition? All tankers have their uses…

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