About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

Time lapse video of prescribed fire near Hill City, SD

Benjamin Carstens sent us this excellent time lapse video of nighttime burning on the Whaley Gulch prescribed fire about four miles north of Hill City, South Dakota, recorded on October 28, 2014. It’s very cool seeing stars and the moon track across the sky while the fire burns.

 

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West Virginia: firefighter injured after falling 75 feet

WHAG is reporting that a firefighter was injured after “falling nearly 75 feet down a cliff” in or near Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia while fighting a vegetation fire. The firefighter was stabilized at the scene and transported to Winchester Medical Center for further treatment.

Bradley Fritts, the incident commander with the Bakerton Fire Company, said the injured firefighter will remain in the hospital until Friday. Mr. Fritts said the fire would be turned over to the National Park Service Wednesday morning.

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Why wildland firefighters keep coming back

The Infotel website in Kamloops, British Columbia has an interesting article about wildland firefighters, and why they keep returning to the job year after year.

Here how piece begins:

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – It can feel like warfare; heading into a fire, in the middle of nowhere for days on end at the mercy of Mother Nature. Yet something about being on the battle lines draws in wildland firefighters season after season.

For Jarvis Manuel, a 14-year veteran with B.C. Wildfire, it’s the people. For Thomas Martin, a four-year veteran, it’s the people. Jon Collavini, a 17-year veteran, you guessed it, it’s the people.

These three men all come from very different backgrounds yet the job is one they keep coming back to despite the uncertainty and danger. They take pride in what they do and will spend hours on end training. Some years they can spend as little as 10 per cent of their time on an actual wildfire, but not recently. This year, crews jumped from one fire to another throughout the summer…

The photos below are not fire pictures, but I took them in BC while on a motorcycle trip in 2012.

Columbia Lake

Columbia Lake in BC north of Fernie. (My bike is the Yamaha FJR1300 on the left.) Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park in BC, along Highway 93. Photo by Bill Gabbert. (click to enlarge)

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Helikite photographs prescribed fire

This video, shot from an Allsopp Helikite at an altitude of about 30 meters, demonstrates one of the potential uses of the Helikite (which I would have called a balloon). The Geography Department of Kings College in London has been experimenting with the device.

The website for the kite says it can be used for lifting radios, repeaters, antennas, cameras, and other sensors. At the Large Fire Conference in Missoula we saw something similar demonstrated.

Large Fire Conference

Missoula Large Fire Conference, May 21, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The Tweet below shows the device being used in the UK on October 23.

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