Wildfire news, April 27, 2011

Strong winds and low RH  in west Texas result in fire growth on Tuesday

The strong winds and single-digit humidity that was predicted for west Texas on Tuesday materialized, and caused several fires to add significant acreage. The RAWS weather station in Fort Davis near the Rock House fire recorded a minimum humidity of 5%, with 20-25 mph winds gusting up to 40.

Residents near Balmorhea were forced to evacuate. The Texas Forest Service issued this update about the fire at 8:46 p.m. on Tuesday:

Weather conditions, dry fuel, and terrain have aligned to create extreme fire behavior on the Rock House Fire. On the northwest flank, the fire is moving down Gavina Ridge and pushing toward Hwy 118.

Crews are considering conducting burn out operations, if necessary and possible, in order to try to contain the fire north of the road. Resources including hoses, pumps, and sprinklers have been staged around the McDonald Observatory.

The Texas Forest Service expects more growth of the fire on the north and east sides on Wednesday as strong winds and low relative humidity are expected across the area again.

According to the National Situation Report the Rock House fire increased in size by almost 6,000 acres on Tuesday, bringing the total of blackened acres up to 230,904.

Temporary cell towers on fires in Texas

Verizon is touting their efforts to bring in temporary mobile cell towers to fires in Texas to help the firefighters and citizens keep in touch. They did this on the PK Complex and also on the Rock House fire. Here is an excerpt from a press release by the company on Tuesday:

DALLAS, TX — Verizon Wireless deployed a temporary cell site, or Cell on Wheels (COW) to the Fort Davis area to support the communication needs of those leading the firefighting relief efforts from the federal, state and local government. The COW improves the Verizon Wireless network coverage in the Davis Mountains State Park.

Furthermore, Verizon Wireless has been in regular contact with the Emergency Operation Commands at the Fort Davis and Possum Kingdom fires – and should additional assistance be requested, Verizon Wireless has personnel, aircards, and Push To Talk devices to aid with any other communication efforts needed by the first responders or local authorities.

“Wireless communication is crucial during emergency situations,” said region president Frank Antonacci. “It’s of utmost importance that first responders and emergency personnel have a strong network to support their communications needs where and when it’s most needed.”

Rare wildfire in Belgium

Fire Geezer has the story of a rare wildfire in Belgium. He has some very good photos and a video, from which the screen grab below was taken. Go to Fire Geezer to check it out.

Belgium wildfire

Incident Response Pocket Guide app available for Android phones

On April 17 Wildfire Today told you about the Incident Response Pocket Guide app that was available for iPhones. Now SpotFire Ent. has written one for Android phones. They call it a “trial version”, saying “this is not the full version of the IRPG”, and promise that a full version “is forthcomming”. It is free, so I wonder if the full version will NOT be. But even if the final version is not free, I have no problem paying software developers for their work.

Here are some screen grabs of the trial app:

IRPG for Android screen grab

UPDATE May 18, 2010:

A “full version” of the app for Android has been released. The cost is $1.87.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Wildfire news, April 27, 2011”

  1. cutaway,

    I’d pay $1.00 for the app, but I agree, copying a public domain (federal govt) doc and seeking monetary gain is pretty lame.

    There is actually a FREE Android app that allows NOVICE users to create additional apps such as the IRPG, etc..

    It’s pretty much as easy as download; organize; cut and paste; and then send to either the Droid Market or iPhone store.

  2. Well, when they are just copying a public domain document and building an app…it’s not software development. I’d keep my money in my pocket on this one, as the free iPRG came out last week for apple; and the remaining versions of the IRPG for other operating systems is due shortly.


Comments are closed.