“Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster proclamation for more than half the counties in Texas on Wednesday because of wildfires that have already destroyed at least two dozen buildings and could do more damage later this week.”
“To provide an effective response for fire suppression operations, several actions have been taken. The State Operations Center (SOC) has activated 8 aircraft from the Texas Military Forces. The Texas Forest Service (TFS) is deploying ground assets to threatened areas. The Texas Department of Transportation is providing fuel for fire fighting apparatus, a maintainer, a dozer, 21 other vehicles, 29 personnel, and 2 portable dynamic message signs.”
It’s interesting, that as this is written, the web sites for the Geographic Area Coordination Centers for the Southwest and Southern Areas are down. Update: the sites are working again.
Marc Mullenix passed away last night. Last year he was a Type 1 Incident Commander trainee on Kim Martin’s Incident Management Team in the Rocky Mountain Geographic Area. Some of his past jobs included Wildland Fire Division Chief for the Boulder Fire Department, Fire Management Officer for Mesa Verde National Park, and Fairmont Fire Protection District, all in Colorado.
Here is a link to a photo of Marc and short article that appeared on the US News and World Report web site.
If anyone has a good photo of Marc that we could place here, let me know… and include permission to use it.
Strong winds in Texas, at times over 50 mph, have contributed to the spread of many fires. The state has put half the counties, 152 of them, under a burn ban. They have Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters on standby.
Here is a flashlight that produces enough heat to start a fire, at least in paper and plastic. I wonder if it would be practical for burning out or backfiring in light fuels if you ran out of fusees or drip torch fuel? It costs about $300 and the battery only lasts 15 minutes, so maybe I just answered my own question. The website for the flashlight, WickedLasers, has received so many hits it is down, but it may be up later.
Some familiar names in wildland fire in the United States assisted the Kingdom of Bhutan January 25-27 by providing advice about the use of the Incident Command System in dealing with wildland fires, landslides, and floods. Professor Ronald Wakimoto from the University of Montana, Deanne Shulman, the first female smokejumper in the U.S., and Alissa Roeder, the Superintendent of the Pike Hot Shots, (all left to right in the photo) were part of the delegation that helped put on the workshop.
In case you are not familiar with the Kingdom of Bhutan (I had to look it up), it is a landlocked country sandwiched between India and China and is one of the most isolated and least developed nations in the world.