Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Aerial admission" (?) on the LeHardy fire

It appears there has been a failure to communicate on the LeHardy fire in Yellowstone National Park. Chris Merrill, a reporter for the Jackson Hole Wyoming Star-Tribune, must have mis-heard park spokeswoman Sandra Hare when she was describing a helicopter burnout operation:
The helicopter crews have helped transport heavy equipment, they've made bucket drops of water, and Monday they performed what's called an "aerial admission," where they dropped little incendiary balls -- which look like ping pong balls -- that help steer the fire one direction or another, she said.

"The small incendiaries explode after they're dropped from the helicopters and they create heat, which attracts the fire and pulls it toward the 'drop' area," Hare said.
We are fairly sure that Ms. Hare tried to explain to the reporter that the helicopter was performing aerial ignition. I'm not certain what aerial admission is, unless it's the use of smokejumpers.

The fire, north of Yellowstone Lake and Fishing Bridge, has burned 8,500 acres and is 5% contained.

1 comment:

ForestRanger said...

The correct term is now PSD machine (plastic sphere dispenser), rather than ping pong balls, and they don't explode at all. Instead, they contain a reaction that melts the ball and then starts a small fire on the plastic, which can spread to nearby vegetation.

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