Poll: how many fire personnel will be mobilized this year?

Dixie Fire, July 20, 2021
Dixie Fire, July 20, 2021. AlertWildfire.

It’s not even August yet, and the National Interagency Coordination Center’s Incident Management Situation Report showed today that over 19,000 personnel are assigned to wildfires. On Sept. 19, 2020 there were 32,727, the highest number ever recorded.

Will the highest daily number this year be OVER or UNDER that record set last year?

Choose Over or Under in the poll below, then click on the hard to see VOTE button. The poll will close at the end of the day July 31, 2021.


Will the highest number of personnel mobilized at one time for fires this year be OVER or UNDER the record of 32,727 set in 2020?

  • Over (72%, 482 Votes)
  • Under (28%, 192 Votes)

Total Voters: 674

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UPDATED — Smokejumpers replace priests as mascot of Missoula school

Poll: help them choose a new “Smokejumpers” logo for their school

(Updated January 29, 2020)

The students at Desmet School in Missoula, MT have made their decision about which proposed logo will identify them as the Smokejumpers. Since 1890 the mascot of DeSmet Public School in Missoula, Montana had been Padres — Catholic priests. The school is not affiliated with a religion and not all genders could identify with priests who are all male, so they felt they needed a change, and selected smokejumpers as their new mascot.

There were four logos the students could choose from (see the images below), and on January 28 they made a split decision, using variations of two designs.

For informal use, such as on shirts, there will be two versions of number four. Principal Matt Driessen said Friday the design will be modified by the artist to make it “less cartoonish” and there will be one version with a male smokejumper and another showing a female smokejumper.

For more formal use, such as on stationary, signs, and on the floor or wall of the new gym, number two will be used.

As you can see in our poll below in which 844 participated, number two came in first with 35 percent, and number four was third with 21 percent. The ages of the students, grades K-8, may have led them to gravitate toward number 4.

(Originally published January 22, 2021)

DeSmet Smokejumpers Logo Options
DeSmet Smokejumpers Logo Options

Since 1890 the mascot of DeSmet Public School in Missoula, Montana has been Padres — Catholic priests. As the facility is undergoing a major $6 million renovation it seemed like a good time to reevaluate their mascot. DeSmet is not affiliated with any religion, and since all priests are male, some females at the school could not relate to it.

The Missoula Smokejumper Base is virtually across the street from the school. Principal Matt Driessen said their students can see their planes take off from the airport on training flights and watch the smokejumpers parachute from the aircraft and land on the ground. He said the jumpers then run back to the base as part of their training.

Smokejumpers made the list of 100 possible mascots that the administration submitted to the students. And, that’s what they selected. They are about to become the DeSmet Smokejumpers.

But they need a new logo, and that’s where our Wildfire Today readers come in. They have the four possibilities above.

Principal Driessen said number four is a pencil draft, and if it is selected by the students a graphic artist will make a polished version in the same quality as the other three.

Vote for the image you prefer in the poll below, clicking on one of the numbers that represents the image above that you prefer. The poll closes Wednesday night, January 27, 2020, since the students will make their choice the next day. Keep in mind it will be seen on uniforms, and probably on the floor of the new gym being built.

The poll has closed

Choose new logo for DeSmet School

  • 2 (35%, 297 Votes)
  • 1 (29%, 247 Votes)
  • 4 (21%, 180 Votes)
  • 3 (14%, 120 Votes)

Total Voters: 844

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The decision of which image to choose is up to the students, of course. But we can weigh in, using the poll. Principle Driessen is fine with us helping them make their decisions.

He also said a new mascot is going to require new uniforms.

“Once chosen, the school will need to purchase new uniforms for the teams,” said Principle Driessen. “We are a small K-8 elementary school with a population of about 110 students.  If you would like to donate to the cause, we are always pleased and thankful for donations.”

You can send donations to:
DeSmet Elementary
New Uniforms
6355 Padre Lane
Missoula, MT 59808

Below is an excerpt from an article at the Missoulian:

Driessen said the kids saw the smokejumpers as the best of the best — tough, fierce and skilled. They’re heroic, smart and the elite of the wildland firefighters. They are everything the kids want to aspire toward.

“When I got the call from the school it was really humbling and flattering that they chose us as a mascot,” said Dan Cottrell, the training foreman at the Missoula Smokejumper Base. “We were proud and we were excited and just really thrilled that they, you know, thought of us and gave us that opportunity.”

After the students make their selection, we will update this article. Watch this space.

DeSmet Padres
DeSmet Public School. Google photo. August, 2019.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Dick.

Poll: Preparedness Level 5 this year?

When do YOU think we will move to PL 5 this year? And, will there be a “Moses Letter” this year?

The National MAC Group just moved the national fire Preparedness Level up to 4, “due to increased significant wildland fire activity from central TX to WA state, the commitment of IMTs, and the potential for new wildland fires across multiple GACCs”. The highest level is 5.

NIFC has more information about Preparedness Levels, but here is the criteria for PL 5:

National mobilization is heavily committed and measures need to be taken to support [Geographic Areas]. Active GA’s must take emergency measures to sustain incident operations.
– Full commitment of national resources is ongoing.
– Resource orders filled at NICC by specifically coordinating requests with GACCs as resources become available.
– Potential for emerging significant wildland fires is high and expected to remain high in multiple geographic areas.

Please take our poll. Answers must be clicked by the end of the day on Monday, July 23, 2018.

When this year will the national preparedness level be moved to PL 5? The week of...

  • August 5 (35%, 123 Votes)
  • August 12 (27%, 94 Votes)
  • July 29 (17%, 60 Votes)
  • August 19 (9%, 32 Votes)
  • It won't move to PL 5 (7%, 24 Votes)
  • July 22 (2%, 8 Votes)
  • September 2 or after (2%, 7 Votes)
  • August 26 (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 352

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Sometimes when we’re in PL 4 or 5 the honchos in Washington will distribute a “Moses Letter”, telling regional and local units to Let My People Go so they can go fight fire and save lives.

Exodus 8:1

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.”

Of course they don’t actually CALL IT a “Moses Letter” and probably won’t quote the Bible if they do send one, but we are in a new norm now, for many reasons.

For bonus points, let us know in the comments if you think the folks in the head shed will send a Moses Letter this year.

Wildfire crews create end-of-season video summaries

Above: Crow Peak Fire, south of Spearfish, SD, June 27 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert

We have found five videos created by Hotshot Crews that show some of the highlights of their 2016 season fighting wildfires.

After you view them, take the poll at the bottom — which do you like best?

The first is from the Geronimo Hotshots.

Next, the Baker River Hotshots:

And, the Midewin Hotshots:

The Mad River Hotshots:

Wyoming Hotshots:

Take the poll

Which video do you like best? Let us know by choosing an answer in the poll below — then click on the hard to see “vote” box below.

Which of these 2016 Hotshot Crew videos do you like best?

  • Baker River (31%, 160 Votes)
  • Geronimo (24%, 125 Votes)
  • Midewin (22%, 116 Votes)
  • Wyoming (14%, 74 Votes)
  • Mad River (8%, 42 Votes)

Total Voters: 517

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The last day to take the poll will be July 1, 2017.

Sell Art Online

Poll: which fire weather mapping product do you prefer?

Fire weather 3-14-2016

Today we have two very different fire weather mapping products. Both provide information about the predicted fire weather for today, March 14.

The map above is produced by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. It does not display Red Flag Warnings or Fire Weather Watches. Instead, it designates areas with “critical” and “elevated” fire weather forecasts. It also shows an area in South Dakota and Nebraska that has the possibility of “Iso DryT” — isolated dry thunderstorms. We checked the more detailed text fire weather forecasts for the Iso DryT areas and only found one that briefly mentioned that issue.

Below is the type of map that we have been using for years on Wildfire Today. It only provides information about Red Flag Warnings or Fire Weather Watches — which is good to know. Especially if you want to supply information to the public using just a few words that can convey an important message.

Both maps can be found HERE.

wildfire Red Flags 3-14-2016

Which map do you prefer us to use on Wildfire Today? Let us know by choosing an answer in the poll below — then click on the hard to see “vote” box below.

Which fire weather map do you prefer for Wildfire Today?

View Results

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Poll: the minimum number of firefighters dispatched to a fire

The issue of a firefighter suppressing a wildfire alone has recently come up on Wildfire Today. Here is your chance to weigh in on the issue.

As a routine practice during fire season, should an agency dispatch less than two firefighters to put out (not scout) a wildland fire if little is known about the fire other than the location?

View Results

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