Throwback Thursday: revisiting skiing through a smoldering forest

For Throwback Thursday we’re taking another look at a fascinating video we first featured on February 12, 2013:


The video photography of the skiers in this video is incredible. I can’t imagine how they manage to stay upright going over cliffs and landing in very deep powder. But the other thing is… they appear to be skiing through a wildland fire, a timber fire, that is still smoldering. I am not totally convinced that everything that looks like a burning snag is actually a burning snag, but it is very interesting, none the less.

Here is the official description of the video:

Skiing through the remains of last summer’s forest fires: Every summer, forest fires burn wildly across the temperate mountain regions of the world. As destructive as they are, they have a purpose and beauty that often goes unappreciated. As winter arrives in the burned forest, so do the skiers. They have come to celebrate new lines opened up by the previous summer’s fires that have now burned themselves out – or have they?

Thanks go out to Mitch

Throwback Thursday

Fire on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, October 13, 2008.
Fire on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, October 13, 2008.

Between October 12 and 18, 2008, these were some of the topics we covered on Wildfire Today:

–A vegetation fire on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay burned 250 acres. About 400 firefighters were transported to the fire in ferries and boats.

–The Sesnon Fire, started by downed power lines, burned 14,000 acres in Los Angeles County.

–Two engine crews from Los Angeles City Fire Department were entrapped on the Sesnon fire, but survived. There were no reports of injuries.

–The U.S. Forest Service suspended its contract with Carson Helicopters after nine people were killed when one of the company’s helicopters crashed on a fire.

Evergreen International was expecting to get a Supplemental Type Certificate from the FAA for their 747, accomplishing one of the steps leading, they hoped, to a contract from the USFS for their 20,000-gallon “Supertanker”.

–The Granite Mountain Hot Shots obtained their Type 1 Crew status, becoming the first city to have a Type 1 Hotshot Crew.

Bob Mutch received the International Association of Wildland Fire’s, Wildland Fire Safety Award.

Throwback Thursday

Between October 5 and 11, 2008, these were some of the topics we covered on Wildfire Today:

–A few people were asking questions about the effects of 20,000 gallons of salt water that water scooping aircraft dropped on a wildfire at Camp Pendleton in southern California.

–A Santa Maria Judge said two local ranch-hands repairing a water pipe on a hot and windy day in the Santa Barbara County backcountry of southern California in 2007 did not recklessly cause the Zaca Fire. The Zaca Fire started on the Fourth of July and eventually burned more than 240,000 acres in and near the Los Padres National Forest.

–According to the National Fire and Aviation Executive Board Federal Agencies should have been transitioned to the New Generation Fire Shelter by January 1, 2009. All agencies, cooperators and contracted resources were to be transitioned by January 1, 2010.

–The Chevron Corporation announced that it had donated $500,000 to the State of California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to help support the cost of battling the state’s severe wildfires that year.

NASA began a study to examine the mission suitability of Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10 fire retardant delivery aircraft. The planes to be studied were a DC-10 belonging to 10 Tanker Air Carrier LLC and a 747 owned by Evergreen International Aviation, Inc. The DC-10 tanker had already been successfully employed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in past wildfire suppression missions.

Throwback Thursday

Between September 28 and October 4, 2008, these were some of the topics we covered on Wildfire Today:

–San Diego County released a map identifying areas that were most at risk from wildland fire.

–The AD Firefighter Association shut down.

–U.S. Forest Service officials began investigating why a prescribed fire outside of Camp Sherman in Oregon burned out of control, jumping from a 31-acre planned burn to what became the 1,150-acre Wizard Fire.

–One of five men accused of starting a wildfire near Malibu, California that became the Zaca fire destroying 53 homes, admitted that he and his friends accidentally touched off the blaze, and then agreed not to tell authorities.

–An Arizona corrections officer, Douglas Falconer, 46, apparently died of natural causes shortly after the crew began working to contain a fire near Lake Havasu City.

–The San Diego Gas and Electric Company, whose power lines are blamed for starting the 1970 Laguna fire and the 2007 Witch Creek fire, both over 100,000 acres, planned to de-energize some power lines during periods of extreme weather.

Throwback Thursday

Between August 31 and September 6, 2008, these were some of the topics we covered on Wildfire Today:

–Tanker 09, a P2V air tanker, crashed just after taking off from the Reno-Stead airport, killing Gene Wahlstrom, Greg Gonsioroksi, and Zachary Vender Griend, employees of Neptune Aviation.

–Bulgaria’s Ministry for Extraordinary Situations requested air tankers through the European Union and NATO to assist with a forest fire burning in Rila National Park.

–The City of San Diego introduced their new firefighting helicopter to the public. Copter 2, a Bell 412, was the city’s second helicopter.

–The Bureau of Land Management and the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security supplied satellite phones to some ranchers in very remote areas of southwest Idaho to make it possible for them to report wildfires.

–Eight Type 2 hand crews and 11 teams of various types were prepositioned in advance of Hurricane Gustav, expected to hit land west of New Orleans.

–At least 20 people were killed in wildfires in South Africa.

–The Dunn Mountain Fire 30 miles northeast of Billings, Montana was contained at 102,383 acres.

–Author John N. Maclean wrote an opinion piece about the effects of the firefighter being prosecuted following the deaths of four people on the Thirtymile Fire.

–A Newsweek article explored in depth the minds of arsonists, mostly wildland fire arsonists. It covered, among other examples, the Esperanza fire which killed five U.S. Forest Service firefighters in southern California.

Throwback Thursday

Between August 24 and 30, 2008, these were some of the topics we covered on Wildfire Today:

Redding fire
An air tanker drops on a fire in Redding, California near the Sacramento River

A vegetation fire in Redding, California burned 130 acres and caused evacuations near the Sacramento River.

–In advance of the approaching Hurricane Gustav, predicted to hit land near New Orleans, three National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) teams and one National Park Service All Hazard team were prepositioned in Dallas, Atlanta, and Jacksonville.

–The San Francisco Fire Department used jet skis to transport hose from their fire boat to Yerba Buena Island where a fire was burning in an area with difficult access. Yerba Buena Island is in San Francisco Bay near the Bay Bridge.

–A Single Engine Air Tanker crashed in northwest Colorado 20 miles northwest of Meeker. The pilot walked away with minor injuries.

–You might be in a redneck volunteer fire department if…

  • Your department has ever had two emergency vehicles pulled over for drag racing on the way to the scene.
  • You have naked lady mud flaps on your pumper.
  • Your firehouse has wheels.
  • You’ve ever gotten back and found out you locked yourselves out of the firehouse.
  • You’ve ever been toned out on an outhouse fire.
  • That outhouse fire was with entrapment.
  • You’ve ever let a person’s house burn down because they wouldn’t let you hunt on their land.
  • At least one vehicle in the firehouse still has decorations on it from the Halloween Parade and it’s January.
  • Your personal vehicle has more lights on it than your house has lights in it.
  • You don’t own a Dalmation, but you do have a coon dog named Sparky.
  • You’ve ever walked through a christmas display and came up with more than 3 new ideas for a light scheme for your truck.
  • Your rescue truck can smoke the tires.
  • Your department’s name is misspelled on the equipment.
  • Your engine had to be towed in the last Christmas Parade.
  • Dispatch can’t mention your name without laughing.
  • The local news crew won’t put your department on TV because you embarassed them last time.
  • You’ve ever referred to a light bar as sexy.
  • Your defib consists of a pair of jumper cables, a marine battery, and a fish finder.
  • You’ve ever taken a girl on a date in a pumper.
  • Your pumper has been on fire more times than it has been to a fire.
  • Your pumper smokes more than the house fire.
  • The only time the trucks leave the station is on bingo night.