Wildfire briefing, May 28, 2014

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Air tanker pilot dies in Spain

Fire Aviation has more details about an AT-802 pilot that died in a crash while fighting a wildfire in Spain.

Smokejumpers’ clandestine missions for the CIA

Now that they are no longer required to remain quiet about their ties with the CIA, smokejumpers are talking about how they worked for the agency in the 1950s and 1960s. According to an article in the Missoulian, about 82 smokejumpers were recruited by the CIA to rig paracargo and serve on C-130s dropping commandos and cargo over Tibet.

An excerpt:

…The story begins when [Ray] Beasley, who was 29 and a laid-off smokejumper in McCall, Idaho, got a phone call in 1959.

“Would you like a job that pays $850 a month?” the caller asked.

Soon, Beasley and a cowboy by the name of Tommy “Shep” Johnson, who would later become one of his close friends, were on their way to the nation’s capitol.

They had been “referred” by an insider to “The Company,” the term they used for the CIA. That’s the only way you got into this line of work, Beasley said. This wasn’t a job that was advertised. They came looking for you.

Videos from Aussie fire conference

About a dozen videos of presentations at the Australian Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Conference run by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service are available for your viewing pleasure.

Martin Greenwood told us:

This conference brought together practitioners from all over Australia and NZ to look at community engagement and awareness to bushfire.
To get a good taste from the 2 days worth of videos I recommend the ‘be ready Warrandyte’ and the ‘Out of the Ashes’ videos.


This is a brilliant free resource, particularly those involved in engaging the wider community in relation to wildfire. Hopefully the accent barrier isn’t too big of a problem.



Thanks and a hat tip go out to Martin and Steve.