Wildfire news, August 8, 2008

More than 150 fire engines escorted the casket of Chief Dan Packer to his memorial service yesterday in Federal Way, Washington. The Chief of the East Pierce County Fire and Rescue Department was killed July 26 on a fire in northern California. A slide show of photos from the service is HERE. A similar service was held Monday for Andy Palmer who was struck by a falling tree July 25 on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California.

Judge Van Sickle has changed the time and date of Ellreese Daniels sentencing from Monday, the 18th, to Wednesday August 20 at 10 a.m. in Spokane. Daniels plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of making false statements to investigators for actions on the Thirtymile fire.

The Columbia River Road fire, a new fire in Washington state on the Colville Indian Reservation near Nespelem, has burned 5,000 acres and is threatening 40 structures. More lightning and a red flag warning are predicted for Friday in eastern Washington, with possible showers on Saturday.

Lightning yesterday in northeastern Oregon started approximately 50 fires. Most of them were put out at less than an acre. A few of them burned 35-100 acres before they were contained. More lightning is expected on Friday.

A spokesman for the Lolo National Forest in Montana told the Missoulian that they received only about 50 lightning strikes in the Missoula area, less than expected:

“And most of them were sheet lightning, which don’t reach the ground.” 

The spokesman should brush up on his lightning facts. “Sheet” or “heat” lightning is simply lightning at a distance from the person viewing it, and it is behind clouds which lights up the clouds, some say like a sheet. But lightning at a distance behind clouds can still strike the ground and start fires.

And speaking of lightning, HERE is a link to an impressive slow-motion video of a lightning strike.

CalFire will not press charges against the 28-year old target shooter who started the Telegraph fire near Chico, California. The fire burned 34,091 acres and destroyed 30 primary structures. It was contained on August 6 and cost over $37 million to suppress.

And, we request that the fire blogger who has been copying sections of our posts and pasting them verbatim into his blog at least give us a credit when doing so.