Wildfire briefing, July 12, 2013

Congressional hearing about Wildfire and Forest Management

On Thursday the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing about wildland fire and forest management. You can watch a 2 hour and 15 minute video of it at C-SPAN. (Are there any volunteers who would like to watch it and give us a summary?)

Here is how it is described at C-SPAN:

“Wildfire and Forest Service officials testified on ways to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The hearing also focused on the increasing number and intensity of wildfires in the West and Southwest.

Representatives Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) testified in the first panel.

Panel Two:

  • Jim Hubbard, Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • James Douglas, Acting Director, office of Wildland Fire, Senior Adviser, Public Safety, Resource Protection and Emergency Services, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Phil Rigdon, Deputy Director, Yakama Indian Nation Department of Natural Resources
  • Joe Duda, Deputy State Forester, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University
  • Christopher Topik, Director, Restoring America’s Forestsm, North America Region
  • Chuck Roady, Vice President & General Manager, F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company”

NIFC lowers Preparedness Level

The National Interagency Fire Center has lowered the national Preparedness Level from 3 to 2.

MAFFS sent home

By the end of the day the U.S. Forest Service will release the four Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) C-130 air tankers being operated by the military. The last four remaining are from California and North Carolina.

Map of Chariot Fire

CAL FIRE, the agency responsible for suppressing the devastating wildfire that spread from the desert to the mountain community of Mt. Laguna east of San Diego, still has not released a current map of the fire showing that it burned significant acreage in the Cleveland National Forest and wiped out much of the Al Bahr Shrine Camp. Their last map is dated July 8. Approximately 149 structures were destroyed and 9 were damaged.

Smoke Map

Wildfire smoke map
Wildfire smoke map at 4:30 p.m. MDT July 12, 2013

The map below shows the distribution of smoke from fires in the United States and Canada as of 4:40 p.m. MDT, July 12, 2013.

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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 briefing, July 12, 2013”

  1. Rigdon: Our leadership gave direction to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to tackle the problem. We met with USFS, US Fish and Wildlife Service. We made it a priority. We were centered. We also respected the values we have. Gosar; You said magic words, emergency declaration. You’re missing a piece, litigation. Environmental groups don’t have same standing on tribal land, that’s correct. Gosar; You are aware of what White Mountain Apache Tribe. has done. Why did fire stop when it came onto tribal land? A: You had fuel loads reduced, You see that all across Indian country. Gosar: It’s a model that works. Imagine that, a model that works. If we took Equal Access to Justice Funding and instead put it to mitigation to our forests. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we put it to use, rather than constant litigation, it would put skin in the game.

  2. See 01:50:20 thru 01:51:00 ….. is there confusion?? Legacy contracts vs. Next Generation airtanker contracts??

    Not rocket science.

    See 01:11:48 thru 01:16:23….. somewhat looks like a Saturday Night Live parody sketch…. but the frustration is obviously genuine, and quite frankly, the request is something I agree with. Having two people (one from DOI and one from USFS) say that they are unfamiliar with the “Reading Fire” and not address other issues is just wrong.

    …. “it is time for those responsible for it to go.”

  3. I watched the Congressional Hearing.

    Bad news…. Looked and sounded like every Congressional Hearing from the last decade. Probably could just change the dates from previous years’ testimonies.

    Good news…. I will sleep well after watching it.


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