Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wildfire news, September 25

"Pyro diversity"?

We have worked with 'ologists of all types while managing fire programs and writing Environmental Assessments, Fire Management Plans, and Prescribed fire plans. And we have been in discussions about plant diversity, uneven-aged stands, and burn mosaics. But the term "pyro diversity" is new to us.

From necn.com, in an article about some prescribed fires being planned by The Nature Conservancy in Maine:
Fire scientists have a saying: Pyro diversity is bio-diversity, which means they want different levels of fire to create different habitats for plants and animals.
The concept is familiar, but apparently "fire scientists" have coined a new term to be added to the lengthly list of wildland fire jargon.

Tenth Wildland Fire Safety Summit

The International Association of Wildland Fire is planning another in its series of Wildland Fire Safety Summits. The last one was in Pasadena in 2006 and this next one will be in Phoenix April 28-30, 2009. A major emphasis of the conference will be "10 Years after the TriData Study: What is Different?" Other topics include:
  • Aviation safety on wildfire operations
  • Issues in wildfire safety around the world
  • Safety in the Wildland-Urban Interface
  • Advances in wildland firefighter safety research, practices, training, and equipment
  • Case studies and lessons learned
  • Firefighter liability
  • Human factors in the fire organization
  • Firefighter health and fitness
  • New approaches to investigation and learning from close calls
  • Policy, practices, and procedures
More information, including a call for papers, can be found on the IAWF web site.

History of the Wildland Fire Safety Summit

2006 9th Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Pasadena, California, USA
2005 8th Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Missoula, Montana, USA

2003 7th Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2002 6th Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Luso, Portugal
2001 5th Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Missoula, Montana, USA
2000 4th Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
1999 3rd Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Sydney, Australia
1998 2nd Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Winthrop, Washington, USA
1997 1st Wildland Fire Safety Summit™
Rossland, British Columbia, Canada

More details about fire funding

The $910 million in federal fire funding approved by the House of Representatives that we reported on Wednesday would replenish the budgets of the U.S. Department of Interior agencies and the Forest Service for this fire season. It still must be approved by the Senate and signed by the President, but it would include:
  • $610 million for wildfire suppression;
  • $125 million for State and private lands fuels reduction;
  • $100 million for rehabilitation;
  • $50 million for Federal lands fuels reduction; and
  • $25 million for firefighter recruitment and retention in high-risk areas.
Some of the federal agencies exhausted their fire funds this summer and had to shut down non-fire projects, such as construction, fuels reduction, and recreation related activities.

On a related topic....

Senator Diane Feinstein of California issued a press release saying that she has called for:
  • The U.S. Forest Service to bring its California firefighting corps to full staffing. Before the fires began, the Forest Service had 380 vacancies out of a total force that should be 4,432 - a vacancy rate of 8.5 percent. Senator Feinstein is urging that all firefighter vacancies be filled, and that Forest Service firefighter pay and retention issues be resolved.
  • The permanent stationing of two military C-130H tankers at Point Mugu. Earlier this year, Senator Feinstein asked the President and Secretary of Defense to station these tankers at the California air base so they can attack new fires early.
Photos of Truckee Marsh fire

It was stopped at only 1.5 acres, but the fire in the Lake Tahoe area looks larger than that in the excellent photos captured by Dan Thrift of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Here is one, but check out the slide show at the bottom of the article.

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