Wildfire news, June 13, 2009

Blown tire injures firefighter in Atlanta

FireGeezer has the story and a video report about a firefighter who was working on a vegetation fire in Atlanta when a tire on a passing truck blew. He was seriously injured when he was struck by flying pieces of rubber.


Lake Elsinore holds out for more money for Martin Mars basing

As you read on Wildfire Today on June 10, the Lake Elsinore, California city council refused to sign the draft agreement with the U. S. Forest Service for basing the Martin Mars air tanker at the lake. The draft agreement provided for payments to the city of $200 for the first 150 landings and $100 per landing after that. After further negotiations, the city council on Wednesday agreed to accept $400 for the first 15 landings per month on the lake, with the fee dropping to $100 per landing after that.

The aircraft is expected to arrive on June 20.

The USFS will build two concrete pads at the lake which will be used for the “Bird Dog” helicopter and for storing equipment.

The contract between the USFS and the Coulson company that owns and operates the Martin Mars, allows the aircraft to scoop water from the following sites in California: Diamond Valley Lake, Lake Elsinore, Lake Isabella, Lake Shasta and ocean “scooping lanes” near Malibu, Santa Barbara and San Francisco.


B. C. residents near fire asked for dental records

The British Columbia Royal Canadian Mounted Police have asked seven residents in the path of a wildfire for their dental records after they refused to evacuate.

From the Calgary Herald:

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dan Moskaluk insisted Friday the move was not a scare tactic.

“It’s just the fact of the matter. We use dental records to identify charred remains,” he said. “This is done all the time.”

But Tyaughton Lake, B. C., resident Reg Dubeck said he hasn’t seen smoke or fire in five days and the way he and his neighbours are being treated is unbelievable.

“Right now we’re under house arrest. They’ll let us out but they won’t let us back in,” he said. “They won’t let us get supplies, food or gas.”

The RCMP won’t arrest anyone if they decide not to leave but, once an evacuation order is issued, officers go door-to-door urging residents to get out.

If a resident says they won’t leave their home, then the RCMP ask for “tombstone information” which includes, date of birth, next of kin to be notified in case of death and the name of their dentist.

“We really want to drive home the issue that they’re certainly in danger, and they could be in imminent danger,” said Moskaluk. “Forestry services have it pretty down pat, and they’re pretty good at predicting what might happen in these situations so, when they put out the evacuation order, people should listen.”

“They’re worried about some hot-spot 20 miles away,” said Dubeck, “but we’ve been watching it go away for the last week.”

RCMP issued the first evacuation orders for Tyaughton Lake on May 30, one day after the fire started.

More than 300 firefighters were continuing to work Friday on containing the 8,000-hectare wildfire which RCMP believe was human-caused. Crews from Alberta and Ontario, which add about 70 people to the fight, arrived this week at both the Tyaughton Lake fire and the 20,500-hectare Smith River fire on the Alaska Highway.

Both fires have grown steadily due to high winds, dry conditions and soaring temperatures.


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