Wildfire threatens urban area in Sweden

Above: a water scooping air tanker based in Italy drops water on a fire in Stockholm, Sweden June 15, 2018.

A wildfire in the Nacka area of Stockholm, Sweden burned close to an urban area on Friday. In addition to firefighters on the ground, scooping air tankers from Italy were seen working the fire.

Local authorities said Saturday morning that the fire’s spread had been stopped:

We are in place and work with the remaining fires. It no longer burns up in trees or bushes, but down in the vegetation, moss roots and the like. We have the fire surrounded and it is controlled, but there is a lot to do in the area, “says operative manager Per Tillander, at Södertörn’s Fire Defense Association.

The fire department will remain at least throughout the day and probably also on Sunday.

There is still smoke from the fire, which covers 90 hectares, but the smoke is much more diluted than yesterday, and it is more about smoke smell than smoke.

More moderate weather affects Trail Mountain Fire in Utah

Above:  The Redding Hotshots conduct a safety briefing before beginning their assignment on the Trail Mountain Fire. U.S. Forest Service photo.

Below is information about the Trail Mountain Fire in central Utah, provided by the Incident Management Team Saturday morning, June 16, 2018.


“[Friday], at approximately 12:00 p.m., Emery County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Highway Patrol closed Highway 31 through Huntington Canyon but it remained open up to Bear Creek Canyon. Increased fire activity had created thick smoke and poor visibility on the highway. Additionally, firefighters and equipment were working directly along the highway. Despite this increased fire activity, evacuations were lifted for the Trail Canyon community. Highway 31 will be constantly monitored today and reopened as soon as conditions allow.

“Firefighters contained a large portion of the fire perimeter Friday on the southern portion near Trail Mountain and Whetstone Creek. The overall percentage of containment does not reflect this containment yet due to fire growth of about 3,000 acres yesterday into Little Bear Canyon and up Mill Fork Canyon. The fire also reached the ridge just south of Crandall Canyon. Firefighters thinned vegetation and installed sprinkler systems around the Crandall Canyon Mine Memorial and adjacent areas.

“Saturday’s cloudy weather, cooler temperatures, and higher relative humidity should reduce fire activity but will have little effect on the dead and dry vegetation that has allowed the fire spread. Possible thunderstorms could bring gusty winds that would also help the fire spread.”

Part of new book “Daredevil Dads” is about a smokejumper who became an air tanker pilot

(This article first appeared on FireAviation.com)

A book published this month has a chapter featuring a frequent contributor to FireAviation.com.  Johnny “Coldwater” Yount has written many comments on the site where he relies on his aviation and firefighting experience to contribute meaningfully to the discussions.

The book “Daredevil Dads” tells Johnny’s story from his first solo flight when he was 14 years old to his experiences with crop dusters, smokejumping, helitack, and air tankers. From my interactions with Johnny, I have seen that he does not seek the limelight or continually remind everyone about his experiences and qualifications, but author Tam Rodwell was able to get him to discuss his extraordinary aviation and firefighting careers.

book Daredevil Dads smokejumper air tankerThe book covers several near misses, including the time the engine on his crop duster disintegrated while flying close to the ground leaving him in a small plane with heavy loads of fuel and fertilizer. The aircraft hit a muddy field  then cartwheeled and ejected him 50 yards away, still belted to his seat and suffering from a concussion. After being released from the hospital he discovered that he had temporarily acquired what we might loosely call today a super power. But I won’t spoil it for you.

The book also has chapters about 14 others with unique and dangerous occupations, including astronaut, ultimate fighter, bomb disposal, human cannonball, and a high-wire walker.

Reprinted below, with permission from the author, is an excerpt from Johnny’s chapter:

Johnny truly came into his own when piloting planes involved in aerial firefighting. As he became a little older the smoke jumping part of his life became less and less frequent and he used his encyclopedic knowledge of all aspects of fighting blazes to extinguish them by air.

While smoke jumping had its obvious dangers, aerial firefighting seems that little bit safer to the outsider, however, nothing could be further from the truth. First and foremost, he was dealing with planes that were extraordinarily heavy given the combination load of fuel and water that he was carrying. Planes react in different ways and are harder to correct when they are bloated with load so he explains that often you needed to have faster reaction times as well as planning your turns further ahead as a result of the slight slow motion effect one needed to deal with.

“Daredevil Dads”, published by Crux Publishing, is available at Amazon for $13.99.

Extreme weather expected on Trail Mountain Fire Thursday

It began as a prescribed fire that escaped on June 6 in central Utah

Above: A pyrocumulus cloud forms over the Trail Mountain Fire, as seen from Joes Valley Reservoir June 13, 2018. Inciweb photo.

At 9:31 a.m. on Thursday the relative humidity at the Mill Fork Canyon weather station near the Trail Mountain Fire in Utah had already dropped to 12 percent and will likely get even lower with the predicted Red Flag Warning conditions. During the night it never got above 30 percent. A mapping flight Wednesday evening showed that the fire had burned 9,554 acres.

The forecast for Thursday calls for sustained 23 mph winds out of the southwest and west with gusts up to 38 mph. The Haines Index will max out at 6, an indication of atmospheric instability which can be conducive to rapid fire growth.  On Friday the wind should increase with 22 to 29 mph southwest winds gusting above 40 mph under cloudy skies but there will be a 33 percent chance of showers.

In an update Thursday morning the incident management team said, “It is likely the fire will continue to spread north along Highway 31, where timber is denser.”

map Trail Mountain Fire
Map of the Trail Mountain Fire at 11:36 p.m. MDT June 13, 2018.

Highway 31 is closed as firefighters work to keep the fire from crossing the road. An evacuation order is in effect.

The origin of the Trail Mountain Fire was a prescribed fire that escaped control on the Manti-La Sal National Forest northwest of Huntington, Utah on June 6.

Trail Mountain Fire
Trail Mountain Fire. Photo by Bonneville Hotshots.

Brush fire destroys homes in Moab, Utah

The Pack Creek Fire burned approximately eight residences Tuesday

A fast moving vegetation fire spread from a wooded area into a Moab neighborhood at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Soon after it started west of the Cinema Court apartment complex law enforcement officers began evacuating residents in the path of the fire as firefighters began suppression efforts. Late Tuesday night the Police Department reported that a preliminary survey indicates that eight homes, one garage, and two parking canopies were destroyed.

Five firefighters and a small number of civilians were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation or heat exhaustion.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into the cause of the fire with assistance from other agencies.

Buffalo Mountain Fire causes evacuations near Silverthorne, Colo.

Above: The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite at the Buffalo Mountain Fire near Silverthorne, Colorado at 1:39 p.m. MDT June 12, 2018

(Originally published at 4:03 p.m. MDT June 12, 2018)

The Buffalo Mountain Fire started today, June 12, on the west side of Silverthorne, Colorado north of Frisco near Buffalo Mountain. At about 6:30 p.m. the Forest Service announced that it had burned about 90 acres.

The name was changed from “Buffalo Fire” to “Buffalo Mountain Fire” Tuesday afternoon.

Approximately 1,400 homes are under evacuation orders, which are likely to remain in effect through Tuesday night at least.

The local District Ranger said at a community meeting that the fuel reduction projects they had been working on for years are paying off, helping to protect structures.