Periscope and a few other apps have been doing this for a year or more, but Facebook having this ability to send live video to hundreds of millions of users is a game-changer. I expect we will see more live reports from wildfires and prescribed fires around the world this summer.
This map was provided by Oklahoma Forestry Services, along with the information that the fire had burned an estimated 397,420 acres and was 0% contained Thursday morning.
(UPDATED at 6:12 p.m. CDT March 24, 2016)
The video below is a recording of the briefing by public officials of Barber County Kansas the morning of March 24, 2016 about the very large fire insouthern Kansas and northern Oklahoma. It was originally broadcast on Periscope by Amy Bickel, but since recordings there are automatically deleted after 24 hours, we preserved it here. It was recorded off a computer monitor, so we apologize for the low quality.
In the briefing referenced above, the County Attorney said “397,420 acres have burned over the last couple of days”. He did not indicate if that was the size of the very large fire in our maps, or if the acreage includes multiple fires. He also said two homes were destroyed.
The map below shows heat detected by a satellite at 2:25 p.m. on March 24. The light vegetation in the area may sometimes ignite, burn up completely, and then cool before the next satellite overpass, which can be about 12 hours apart. In this case the mapped data may under-report the true extent of the fire.
Here is an excerpt from an article at WIBW, dated March 24 at 2:10 p.m.
Strong winds have thwarted efforts to contain a wildfire that has burned 620 square miles of rural land in Oklahoma and Kansas, and it’s now approaching populated areas.
Oklahoma Forestry Services spokesman Mark Goeller said Thursday that strong winds shifted the direction of the fire late Wednesday and overwhelmed existing containment lines.
Officials are now monitoring a part of the blaze 5 miles away from Alva, Oklahoma, where about 5,000 people live. No mandatory evacuations have been issued in Oklahoma, though Goeller says officials are forming contingency evacuation plans as crews work to slow the fire’s spread.
Goeller says wind conditions and humidity are expected to improve throughout the day, making progress on containment more likely…
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore applied prescribed fire to about half a dozen units yesterday live-streaming from the scene two or three times on Facebook. The recordings are preserved and we posted a couple of them here.
The units the park worked on were in the West Beach area, a portion of the 600 acres they expect to burn this spring. The park is on the south shore of Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana.
Photos and videos by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
If you’re not familiar with the smart phone app Periscope, it makes it possible to broadcast to the internet a live video from your phone. The app is free to download and does not cost anything to stream the video. I tried it for the first time today from the Dudley Fire in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota.
The image above is a screen grab from the video as a faller from the U.S. Forest Service was cutting down a large cottonwood tree adjacent to a mobile home. You can view the video HERE, but I believe it goes away after 24 hours, so you’ll need to watch it before 10 a.m. MST on Saturday March 5, 2016.
It is interesting that a couple of seconds before the tree actually started to fall, the dozer, with the blade about 10 feet away, began moving toward the tree and raising the blade — as if he was going to catch it if it started to fall backwards toward the mobile home.
That was the second video I broadcast. I did the first one a few minutes before; it was a little rough, as I held my still camera in one hand and filmed with the phone in the other. Then at the end I had to figure out how to stop it, which took a while.
After you install Periscope on your phone you can follow us by searching for “wildfiretoday”. Optionally, you can be notified when someone you’re following is broadcasting live.
This app has a lot of potential for broadcasting live from a fire scene, a briefing, or a news conference.
(UPDATED at 1:20 p.m. MST March 4, 2016 with four more photos.)
Here are more photos from the Dudley Fire yesterday in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota taken by Bill Gabbert.
Two large cottonwood trees had fire established in the upper reaches of the branches and were threatening to fall.
This mobile home was seriously damaged and the asthmatic older woman who lived there may not be able to occupy it again. Rod Converse left this information in a comment on the original thread about the fire:
Please consider joining us in helping Millie Sanford get back on her feet after this fire. Milie is a caring and benevolent lady that has spent her life helping others in need. She did not have insurance, has no place to live and has little resources. If you feel led to help, her address is below.
PO Box 14, Buffalo Gap, SD 57722
The glass windows in the photo above softened and warped but remained in place. The cloudy areas on the panes are bowed out like a wave in the ocean.
Above: Steven Esser applies water on the Dudley Fire in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, March 3, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
A fire that started in Buffalo Gap burned very close to structures Thursday afternoon in the small town 24 miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota. A response by volunteer fire departments, South Dakota state engines, and personnel from the U.S. Forest Service stopped the fire at two acres. A large pile of old hay bales ignited and will require a significant effort by firefighters to completely suppress.
What started the fire is unknown. A cause and origin investigator was requested by the Incident Commander, but since he would not have arrived until after dark he will be on scene first thing Friday morning.
In addition to the photos you see here, we will post more of the fire on Friday and Saturday. All photos are by Bill Gabbert and are protected by copyright.