Wildfires continue in Chile

Above: Tanker 03, a BAe-146, in Chile. Neptune photo.

The number of active wildfires in Chile has varied from week to week depending on the weather, but the drought-driven situation that has plagued Chile since December is still of great concern to the residents of the country —  especially since more than 1,000 homes burned in Santa Olga on January 25.

The tweet below refers to a fire in the Maule Region.

The 747 Supertanker returned to Colorado Springs on February 13 after being in Chile for three weeks. The Russian IL-76 is still there but is expected to depart on February 25.

Neptune’s Tanker 03, a BAe-146, arrived in the country February 4. It has completed 20 missions dropping on fires, but a spokesperson for the company told us today it has not flown since February 14. It is committed to remain in Chile through the end of this month.

IL-76 747 Supertanker air tanker chile
The Russian IL-76 (in the foreground) taxis past the 747, January 30, ,2017. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
IL-76 air tanker chile Santiago
The Russian IL-76 at Santiago, Chile January 30 shortly after it arrived in the country. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Red Flag Warnings February 23, 2017

The National Weather Service has posted Red Flag Warnings that expire Thursday evening for areas in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

All of the areas are expected to have dry fuels, strong winds, and low humidities.

The map was current as of 8:28 a.m. MT on Thursday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts.

Research on firefighters that is not Open Access should be boycotted

For Throwback Thursday, here’s an article we originally published in 2011:

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Open Access logo
Open Access logo

We all hate paying for something and then not receiving what we paid for. That is what is happening now to taxpayers who pay for government-funded research and then have no access to the findings.

We have ranted about this before, and documented another example a few days ago when we discovered that it will cost us $41 to obtain a copy of the findings from research conducted by the University of Georgia. Associate Professor Luke Naeher and others found that  lung function decreases for firefighters who work on prescribed fires for multiple days and are exposed to smoke. Further, it showed that respiratory functions slowly declined over a 10-week season.

This is not the only research that has explored the effects of smoke on wildland firefighters, but it may significantly add to the limited body of knowledge we have on the topic. We won’t know, however, unless we pay a second time in order to see their conclusions.

Researchers at some organizations receive pay raises and promotions based partially on the “publish or perish” meme. A system that requires researchers to publish in journals that are not completely open to the public, is antiquated and has no place in 2011 when a paper can be published in seconds on the internet at little or no cost.

Some of the research that has been conducted on firefighters requires a great deal of cooperation from the firefighters, including for example, ingesting core temperature monitors, carrying a drinking water system that monitors every drink they take, and even lubricating and then inserting a rectal thermistor probe attached to wires.

The Boycott

There is no reason for firefighters to go to extreme lengths to help researchers advance the researcher’s career paths unless the firefighters can receive some benefits from the project. So, we are jumping on the idea proposed by Rileymon in a comment on the University of Georgia article:

Maybe it’s time to suggest that firefighter/research subjects boycott new research studies unless the findings are put into the Public Domain?

Here is what we are proposing:

  1. Firefighters, administrators, and land managers should not cooperate with researchers unless they can be assured that findings from the research will be available to the public at no charge immediately following the publication of the findings, or very shortly thereafter.
  2. Researchers should conform to the principles of Open Access.
  3. Scientists who assist in the peer review process for conferences or journals should pledge to only do so only if the accepted publications are made available to the public at no charge via the internet.

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UPDATE February 22, 2017: There is a sign that the new Trump administration will be even less transparent than his predecessor. A great deal of data is now unavailable on the White House open data portal. It is possible this is just an unannounced temporary change…. we’ll see.

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More information:

 

Red Flag Warnings, February 22, 2017

The National Weather Service has posted Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches for areas in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The Red Flag areas (in red) expire Thursday evening except for the ones in Colorado that expire Wednesday evening.

All areas are expected to have dry fuels, strong winds, and low humidities.

The map was current as of 8:55 a.m. MT on Wednesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts.

Dry, windy weather leads to five fires along Colorado’s Front Range

The largest burned 151 acres northwest of Longmont.

Rabbit Mountain Fire
Firefighters protect a house on the Rabbit Mountain Fire February 20, 2017. Screenshot from Denver7 video.

Firefighters along the front range of Colorado suppressed at least five wildfires on Monday.

The Rabbit Mountain fire blackened 151 acres north of Highway 66 near Rabbit Mountain Road. Three outbuildings and a barn were destroyed but firefighters were able to keep any homes from burning. Video showed the flames spreading to within a few feet of several residences. The fire was reported at about 5 p.m. and forced the evacuation of about 75 residences. By 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday Boulder County Sheriff’s office reported it was was 100 percent contained.

About two miles southwest of the Rabbit Mountain Fire another fire near Hygiene Road burned about 50 acres, as well as several outbuildings and vehicles.

A 30-acre fire near County Road 16 1/2 in Weld County southeast of Longmont destroyed a barn.

Two fires of suspicious origin burned seven acres in Green Mountain southwest of Denver, an area that experienced five other suspicious fires in November.

The Front Range and much of eastern Colorado are under a Red Flag Warning for Tuesday.

map wildfires Colorado's Front Range
Map showing the location of wildfires along Colorado’s Front Range February 20, 2017. Wildfire Today map.

Red Flag Warnings, February 21, 2017

The National Weather Service has posted Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches for areas in Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Most of the Red Flag areas (in red) expire Tuesday evening, while the Watches (in yellow) are in effect through Thursday.

While the areas identified in Nebraska should experience record high temperatures on Tuesday, all areas have dry fuels, strong winds, and low humidities in the forecast.

The map was current as of 8:08 a.m. MT on Tuesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts.