Thieves hit Alaska fire crews’ base second time

For the second time in three years, thieves broke into the facility of crews working for the Alaska Division of Forestry near Wasilla. In 2009, the Pioneer Hot Shots and the Glacier Gannette crew returned from two-week fire assignments to discover that their base had been ransacked. Most of the 25 personal vehicles belonging to the firefighters had been broken into and damaged.

This time there was not as much damage, but state equipment was taken, as well as personal items belonging to the crews and two crew members’ Toyota pickup trucks.

More information is at the Anchorage Daily News.

Thanks go out to Cannon.

UAV used for Alaska wildfire

Here is a video of an unmanned aerial vehicle being used to gather intelligence about a fire in Alaska.



Earlier this month in Alaska, a 40-pound Insitu Scan Eagle saw duty fighting wildfires after dense haze grounded conventional aircraft. The UAV is operated by the University of Alaska, which according to university officials is the first entity other than NASA or the Department of Homeland Security allowed to fly an unmanned aircraft beyond the line of sight in civil airspace.

The Scan Eagle — which is Boeing’s best-selling aircraft right now — was able to fly low over the fires through the thick smoke. Infrared cameras allowed people on the ground tracking the fires to find hotspots and monitor the fire lines.