Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wildfire news, August 2

The Billings Gazette has an interesting article about state of the art of mapping wildland fires.

The San Diego Union has the latest news about the status of the California Condors affected by the Basin fire near Big Sur, California. Most of them came out OK, but two are missing.

Too-frequent fires in southern California are causing the vegetation in some areas to be converted from native shrubs to mustard, wild oats, and red brome.

A judge may consolidate the 29 lawsuits seeking to make San Diego Gas and Electric pay damages for their powerline starting the Witch Creek fire last year which burned nearly 200,000 acres and many homes. So far, 49 attorneys are involved and more filings are expected.

The county fire department near Camarillo, California is constructing firelines around a naturally occurring underground heat source, worried that it may start vegetation fires.

Wildfires have blackened 25,000 acres in Turkey's prime tourism region, leaving at least one person dead, authorities said Saturday.

Smokejumpers on the Cascade fire near Red Lodge, Montana are using fireline explosives to construct fireline.
The explosive is 1 1/8 to 1¼ inches around and looks like a 50-foot-long strand of sausage links, Jeff Gildehaus said.

The ropelike material is filled with a gel-like PETN-based explosive that blows at about 22,000 feet per second, he said. PETN is pentaerythritol tetranitrate, one of the most powerful high explosives known. Because the material comes in sections, it can be laid out as far as the crew wants to build fire line and ignited with one detonation cap.

"You can lay it out for miles," Gildehaus said.

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