Wildland fire news, July 15, 2008: "Don’t Drop the Baby"

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Fire on former Senator’s ranch-

A fire 25 miles southwest of Cody, Wyoming destroyed three structures on land owned by retired Senator Al Simpson, R-Wyoming. The fire was believed to have started near a cabin and burned 54 acres of cottonwood trees on Simpson’s Bobcat Ranch. One cabin and two outbuildings were lost. Firefighters from Cody VFD, Powell VFD, the BLM, and the U.S. Forest Service fought the fire.

Update on Piute fire

The Piute fire, south of Lake Isabella, California, received between 1 and 3 inches of rain on Sunday. They are still doing evacuations, but now it is because of mud slides and floods instead of the fire. A mix of ash and mud slid into the town of Lake Isabella and covered one of the main streets.

The two areas still releasing large amounts of smoke are in the upper watershed of Erskine Creek and the upper Bob Rabbit Canyon. Bill Molumby’s Type 1 incident management team that had such success on the Indians fire assumed command of the fire on July 14. Kern County and CalFire incident commanders remain in place as part of the unified command.

Kern County FD helicopters have switched from dropping water to rescuing residents from flooded areas. Here is a link to a video of a helitack crew short-hauling a baby (using a firefighter suspended on a cable) and a family off the roof of a house. It’s about 9 minutes long. On the video you can hear someone on the helicopter telling the rescuer at the end of the cable, not once but twice, “Don’t drop the baby“–which is always good advice.

The fire is 37,026 acres and is 70% contained.

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