Above: Screen capture from the video by Jon Krause.
Twitter user @JonLKrause posted videos of a large, long-lasting dust devil/fire whirl that persisted over a prescribed fire at Kramper Lake near Hubbard, Nebraska for about five minutes on Tuesday April 11.
Sometimes these are called “firenadoes” but this one did not have much fire in it. Dust devils and fire whirls can occur on days when the atmosphere is unstable. The heat from what remained of the fire and the solar heating of the blackened ground probably contributed to the phenomenon. It is interesting that after moving to the edge of the lake it still persisted for a while before dying out.
Above: photo of prescribed fire along the Rio Grande River supplied by the National Park Service.
Big Bend National Park in southern Texas conducted a prescribed burn along the Rio Grande River earlier this month in cooperation with Mexico. The objective was to burn out invasive river cane and promote a healthier river ecosystem.
In case you missed it, here is the interview we conducted with veteran lead plane pilot Jamie Tackman in January after he had been working with the 19,200-gallon 747 Supertanker in Chile.
After 17 years as a ground based wildland firefighter in the United States, with much as it as a smokejumper, Jamie transitioned to the air, becoming a lead plane pilot. He has worked off and on with the 747 air tankers since Evergreen converted the first one. Now retired from the U.S. Forest Service, he traveled to Chile to provide lead plane services for the huge aircraft operated by Global SuperTankers. This time he had a different role, or at least a different platform, flying ahead of the air tanker as usual but in an aircraft flown by military pilots.
Bill Gabbert interviewed Jamie, who began by describing the situation. Chile has no infrastructure for supervising, using, or refilling large or very large air tankers and they were unfamiliar with the concept of lead planes. In spite of these challenges the personnel working with the 747 and the other aircraft developed procedures to fight the fires from the air, while the local firefighters improvised a system on the ground for refilling the 747 and the IL-76 with water.
A fire on the roof of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas created quite a show for people who came to watch the fancy water fountain display Thursday night. The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote that styrofoam facades burned, but it appears that real or fake vegetation on the roof may have also been involved.
Firefighters were able to knock down the wind-driven fire about 25 minutes after it was first reported.
Were you inside at the Bellagio last night and took photos or videos of the fire? Send them to email@example.com and they could be on TV! pic.twitter.com/oQOwnAre29
Residents in the Northern and Central Plains have been experiencing vegetation fire smoke today. Much of it has come from agricultural or prescribed burning in Missouri and the Flint Hills of Kansas. The map above, an experimental product from NOAA’s Earth Central Research Laboratory, shows the estimate of where the smoke would be at 8 p.m. MDT on April 13.
The map below shows the locations of fires, wild or prescribed, and AirNow’s estimate of a smoke plume.