Friday, March 6, 2009

Wildfire news, March 6

Australian fires update

We received another update from our friend in Australia, Wol Worrell, a Ranger / Fire Management with National Parks Victoria.

Finally had some rain down under - 30mm / 1.5" over the fire areas, which has eased the wildfire situation considerably, crews can actually get in and carry out direct attack on the fire edges & start blacking out / mopping up for 30 > 50 metres in from the fire edge.

Should have all five wildfires tidied up within the next five days.

Worked with the United States crew for three days, backburning - hand control lines - patrolling & mopping up.

We have had three wildfires within the Dandenong Rannges National Park itself, two deliberate lights & one (Nixon Road - 410 ha) started by a landowner slashing grass on a total fire ban day.

Nixon Road wildfire was stopped within one kilometre of our property which was a bit of a concern.

Currently having four days off to get re-acquainted with the family

Take care & stay safe.

Alabaugh Canyon fire staff ride

The materials for the staff ride for the Alabaugh fire have been posted on the FireLeadership.gov web site. You may remember that in 2007 two firefighters shared one fire shelter when they were entrapped on this fire near Hot Springs, South Dakota.

South Dakota receives funds for air attack bases

And speaking of South Dakota, the Associated Press is reporting that the state received $475,000 from the U. S. Forest Service to upgrade six single engine air tanker bases with new retardant mixing equipment, storage tanks and temporary housing for flight crews.

Some of the funds will also be used for training, equipment, and refurbishing crew vehicles used by the state's two 20-person hand crews.

We were not aware SD had six SEAT bases. Multiple requests to the Wildland Fire Suppression Division for more information have not produced any results after thee days.

New Mexico: Picacho fire, 8,500 16,000 acres

The Picacho fire in southeastern New Mexico is about 60% 50% contained and is being fought by 100 250 firefighters. Here is a video with more information from KRQE:

Wildfire-Structure crosswalk webcast available

On January 24, 2008, Wildfire Today had information about the crosswalk:
Today, the U.S. Fire Administration in cooperation with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, announced a new aid to help local and rural firefighters identify training equivalencies and needs for effectively fighting wildfires that threaten residential areas. The Skills Crosswalk identifies critical wildland firefighting skills that structural firefighters need to be safe and effective when making an initial attack on a wildland fire in their jurisdiction, or when working with state and federal wildland firefighter agencies.
Now the U.S. Fire Administration has a series of webcasts available that explain the requirements, availability, and distribution of these newly packaged Gap course materials.

Women sentenced for looting evacuated home

Residents evacuate from the Sayre fire

Two women were sentenced to serve prison time for burglarizing a home near the 10,000 acre Sayre fire which burned about 500 homes in the Oakridge mobile home park in Sylmar north of Los Angeles in November, 2008. A Los Angeles County judge on Thursday sentenced 32-year-old Sabrina Devens of Sherman Oaks to a 4-year term and 19-year-old Gina Samantha Rios of North Hollywood to a 2-year term.

A resident who was returning home after a mandatory evacuation discovered the two women in their house.

Montana: rural fire departments struggling to survive

KFBB has a video report and a news story about how fire departments in north-central Montana are having difficulty recruiting volunteers, due in part to the economy.

Thanks, Wol

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