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Bill Gabbert
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Bill Gabbert is the Editor at Wildfire Today and Fire Aviation. www.wildfiretoday.com - www.fireaviation.com

Lion Fire burns more than 200 acres near Meeker, Colorado

Lion Fire. Photo by Rio Blanco Co. Sheriff’s Office April 7, 2020.The Lion Fire burned 229 acres near Lions Canyon Road 1.5 miles west of Meeker, Colorado on Tuesday. After being reported at about 1:30 p.m., it was attacked by…

Elevated radiation levels detected near wildfires in Chernobyl exclusion zone

Wildfire burning in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Photo by Yaroslav Yemelianenko.Elevated radiation levels have been detected near Ukraine wildfires burning in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant that exploded in 1986. People are not allowed to live…

NWCG: Best practices for fire aviation during COVID-19 pandemic

A MAFFS C-130 from the Wyoming National Guard refills its tank during training at Boise April 21, 2017. Photo by Bill Gabbert. The Interagency Aviation Preparedness Task Team (IAPTT) has developed recommendations for managing fire aviation during the COVID-19 pandemic.…

Dozers built fireline through 3,500 burning rental cars

Behind the firefighter is a pile of cars made as heavy equipment built a fireline to stop the spreading fire. More than 3,500 rental cars burn at Southwest Florida International Airport at Fort Myers, Florida April 3, 2020. Fort Myers…

An employee in Colorado’s EOC tests positive for COVID-19

One person in Colorado’s State Emergency Operations Center has tested positive for COVID-19. The information was revealed April 4 in a press release by Public Information Officer Micki Trost.Daily medical screenings as used at the Center can only detect someone…

Two wildfires in the Pisgah National Forest in NC burn 80 acres

Map showing the flight path of a Cessna 185 operated by the State of North Carolina orbiting the area of the Cals Creek Fire east of Otto, NC.About 65 firefighters are working to suppress two wildfires in North Carolina that…

Explosive target at gender reveal party turns into 10-acre wildfire

File photo of the Sawmill Fire in Arizona, early in the morning on April 24, 2017. It was caused by an exploding target. Photo by Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.From CNN, April 4, 2020:A gender reveal party in…

Coulson acquires contract in Australia

Air tanker 137, a 737-300, at the grid test near Lancaster, California, September 3, 2018. Coulson photo. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has awarded Coulson Aviation PTY a contract for the operation and maintenance of the…

Elsie and Delilah are on the way to Greece

Two S-64 Air Crane helicopters ready for an ocean voyage to Greece. Erickson photo. Two S-64 Air Crane helicopters have completed their assignments in Australia and are loaded on a ship. They will soon be en route to Greece to…

During the pandemic, Forest Service Chief emphasizes “rapid containment” of wildfires

Price Valley Prescribed Fire in Idaho, 2019. Photo by Kari Greer.The Chief of the U.S. Forest Service has laid out some very broad guidelines about how the agency will approach fire management during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to…

Senate Committee Chair: Put out wildfires fast and early

Tanker 912, a DC-10, dropping retardant on the Horse Butte Fire in Idaho, July, 2019. Photo by Mike Krupski. (This article first appeared on Wildfire Today) U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Republican Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee,…

Walt Sniegowski succumbs to coronavirus

Walt Sneigowski attended the 2009 reunion of the Little Tujunga Hotshots on the Angeles National Forest in southern California. Photo by Robert Garcia.Walt Sniegowski passed away Tuesday morning, March 31, a victim of the coronavirus.Walt was a charter member of…

Researchers quantify the trend toward increasing autumn wildfire danger in California

Researchers have quantified some of the factors that have led to an increase in southern California large wildfires during the autumn months in recent decades. Here are examples of late season fires that occurred in southern California in 2017 and…

Seven National Park Service employees tested positive for coronavirus

One of them works at Great Smoky Mountains National Park which is in Tennessee & North Carolina At least seven employees of the National Park Service have tested positive for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. During the week of March 22…

Opinion: how to best utilize the aerial firefighting fleet

The following opinion article was sent to us by U.S. Forest Service retiree Bill Derr. He said it was written by him in consultation with personnel involved in aerial firefighting, retirees, aerial firefighting industry people, and some Forest Service employees…

How 20 smokejumpers were rescued by a 2-passenger helicopter

Twelve years after 13 smokejumpers were killed on the Mann Gulch Fire 13 miles north-northwest of Helena, Montana, 20 jumpers were entrapped on a fire in northern Idaho 83 miles southwest of Missoula, Montana. It happened August 4, 1961 on…

1961 Higgins Ridge Fire — 20 smokejumpers were rescued by a tiny helicopter

Bell 47 helicopter. Forest Service photo.(This article was first published at FireAviation.com)Twelve years after 13 smokejumpers were killed on the Mann Gulch Fire 13 miles north-northwest of Helena, Montana, 20 jumpers were entrapped on a fire in northern Idaho 83…

Incident Management Teams are receiving COVID-19 assignments

Area Command, Type 1, Type 2, and NIMO teams At least eight interagency Incident Management Teams have been deployed to work on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the teams that usually are assigned on wildfires, hurricanes, and…

Appropriations in coronavirus bill would affect firefighters

The coronavirus legislation, which passed late Wednesday night in the Senate 96 to zero, would send checks to more than 100 million Americans, establish loan programs for businesses, supplement unemployment insurance programs, and boost spending for hospitals. The House is…

Forest Service awards contracts for five exclusive use air tankers

Next-Generation 3.0 contract Today the U.S. Forest Service announced contract awards for five large exclusive (EU) use air tankers. Three companies received contracts — Erickson Aero Tanker for two tankers, Aero Flite for two, and Coulson for one. The tankers…

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