UPDATED 10-26-2010 (scroll down)
Prescribed fire in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge will be featured in the Tuesday, October 26 episode of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe traveled to the Everglades to battle invasive species using machetes, poisons, and prescribed fire.
The trailer for the episode on the Discovery Channel emphasizes girdling and poisoning invasive melaleuca trees, but we know that Mike Rowe also got involved in a prescribed fire. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service firefighters used a “Green Dragon” device for ignition, which fires a new generation of ignition spheres sold by SEI Industries called Dragon Eggs, smaller than earlier versions of the spheres. We wrote about this new device back in March.
We’ll have to wait and see how much of the prescribed fire footage ends up in the Dirty Jobs episode. Check your local listings for what time Tuesday night it will be shown.
More information about the filming is on the USF&WS site.
UPDATED 10-26-2010 @ 9:05 p.m. MT
Did anyone see the program? It looked like everyone had a good time filming the prescribed fire portion (there was lots of laughter throughout) UNTIL a person identified in the program as “Jim” “Gerry” accidentally discharged a FireQuick flare launcher within a crowd of people on an air boat. Here is a photo I took off a television at the moment of discharge; you can see the flame coming out of the launcher. Gerry is in the curiously red shirt.
It is not obvious in the photo, but “Gerry” and the 4-5 others were in an air boat at the time. It appears that the flare launcher was loaded with a large “Stubby” flare which looked like it landed in the boat. Talk about a NEAR MISS! As far as we know, there were no injuries, however the woman closest to the launcher said “Ow” as she held her left ear.
In September of 2009 Wildfire Today wrote about another incident with a flare launcher that resulted in an injury. That post also has photos of the flare launcher and the flares.
UPDATE November 1 @ 10:00 a.m.
A video of this 10-minute segment is HERE. According the description of the video on YouTube, “Gerry” is “Gerry Barnes of the National Interagency Fire Center”. The telephone directory for NIFC lists a “Gerald Barnes” who is a Fuels Program Analyst for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.