Wildfire news, May 26, 2011

Backfire on Palo Duro Canyon fire

Updated at 3:47 p.m. MT, May 26

Backfire on Palo Duro Canyon fire
USFS Task Force 36 sets backfire Wednesday on the Palo Duro Canyon fire in Texas. (Does anyone see an interesting shape in the flames?) Photo: Joe Gamm

Jumpers from lower 48 dispatched to Alaska

The @BLMNIFC Twitter account sent this message Thursday afternoon:

Boise BLM jump base sent 16 smokejumpers to Alaska today due to the increased fire weather conditions. Alaska currently has 3 large fires.

Wildfire contractor voluntarily provides crew to assist with tornado recovery

A company that usually provides contract firefighting crews to government agencies to suppress wildfires, is voluntarily providing a crew to help assist with search and rescue following the devastating tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri. Chloeta Fire, headquartered in Oklahoma City, dispatched a crew on May 24.

Need identified to implement national wildfire strategy in Canada

Following the Slave Lake fire in northern Alberta, there has been a push to implement the national wildfire strategy that was developed but not funded in 2005. Here is an excerpt from an article in the Canadian Press:

While it may have been impossible to save Slave Lake, Stocks said more funding for the national strategy could lead to fireproofing of buildings being improved, firewalls being built around communities, and public education campaigns.

Money must also be found for new firefighting equipment and hiring and training new fire personnel to replace the hundreds who retire every year, said Stocks. Declining to name a figure, the amount should be decided by the country’s forestry ministers, he said.

But convincing governments to spend money on fighting forest fires when their priorities are focused on health care, education or regional issues may be a tough sell, he said.

A spokesman for Natural Resources Canada said the strategy was created as a framework to guide decision making and jurisdiction-specific investment decisions, noting the provinces and territories are responsible for wildfire management.

Residents of Slave Lake are told 374 lots burned in the wildfire

Some of the residents are being allowed back into the town after one-third of it burned on May 15. From the Canadian Press:

Residents of fire-ravaged northern Alberta communities in and near Slave Lake are finally learning if their homes were engulfed by flames.

The town has released a detailed photographic map which shows 374 lots were destroyed by the wildfires that swept through the area Sunday evening. Another 52 lots were damaged. There is also a map of homes in the nearby Municipal District of Lesser Slave River which shows 59 lots were destroyed and 32 were damaged.

Flames forced roughly 7,000 people to flee from their homes.

The mayor of Slave Lake, Karina Pillay-Kinnee answered questions about the recovery from the fire on Wednesday.

Pilot identified that was killed in helicopter crash

Slave Lake helicopter crash
A firefighting helicopter crashed in Lesser Slave Lake. Photo Credit: Supplied, Global News

Jean-Luc Deba, 54, has been named as the pilot that died in the helicopter crash last week while working on the Slave Lake fire in northern Alberta. Mr. Deba was an employee of Campbell Helicopters out of Abbotsford, B.C. The helicopter crashed into Lesser Slave Lake, but the cause has not been released.

In tree felling accident, a laceration was caused by a hard hat

A facilitated learning analysis has been released for a tree felling accident on the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan. A sawyer was struck on the head by a falling tree, but the only injury, a nasty laceration, was caused by the hard hat. Here is an excerpt from the  Lessons Learned section:

5. The injury was caused by the hard hat. While the team looked at the incident the recent Tech Tip “Alternate Head Protection Available” draft released in March 2011 by MTDC came to our attention. In the Tech Tip it states, “Although Bullard Hard Hats meet safety standards a limited number of users now find the hard hats to be uncomfortable. The redesigned suspension system provides less space between the hard hat and users head and may allow sharp corners to cause pressure points.” There was discussion among the team that we could not identify which part of the hardhat had actually caused the injury (there was no blood or hair found on the hard hat after the incident). However, we can easily see how one of the corners of the rear suspension system 8 bracket could have caused the injury upon impact of the tree to the hardhat.

Hard hat injury, tree felling accidetn
From the FLA, USFS

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.

3 thoughts on “Wildfire news, May 26, 2011”

  1. MI-HMF FLA photo is interesting.

    Is it me or is the tab that is loose inside the hardhat on the front of the hardhat?

    The scar on the sawyer’s head is on the back side.

    Was his hard hat on backwards or is the photo a ‘demonstration’ or am I missing something?

  2. “Does anyone see an interesting shape in the flames?”

    You mean the one standing between the second and third post, from the left, behind the fence line… that shape, Bill?

    I think I’ll go looks at some clouds now… lol

    BTW, I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating… you have an excellent site, keep up the good work!



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