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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

Why 2,500 liters of retardant was dropped in Australia’s capital city

Wednesday’s accidental drop of 2,500 liters (660 gallons) of fire retardant in downtown Canberra, Australia led to a hazardous material response from the Australian Capital Territory Fire & Rescue. Richard Alder, the General Manager of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre…

Saving a Very Large tree

Firefighters work to save a Messmate in Victoria, Australia. Photo by Forest Fire Management Victoria.Chris Hardman, Chief Fire Officer for Forest Fire Management Victoria, distributed these photos of firefighters working to save a very large tree in Australia. Here is…

Air tanker drops retardant in downtown Canberra, Australia

Retardant drop Feb. 4, 2020 in Canberra, ACT, Australia. Photo by ACT Emergency Services Agency. An air tanker dropped retardant in the city of Canberra, the capital of Australia on February 4. The aircraft was working on the Orroral Valley…

Rain stops some of the bushfires in Australia

Observed precipitation observed during the seven-day period ending February 7. The darkest green color indicates 100 mm (almost 4 inches) of precipitation.Many areas in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland have received multiple inches of rain over the last seven…

Have drone will travel

Lakeview Hotshots assisting with a burn operation in Alaska in 2019.On February 6, 2020 the Lakeview Interagency Hotshots posted on Instagram saying that they are “ready for RX [prescribed fire] support in the Southeast.” Currently they have prescribed fire modules…

Australian military establishes kitchen unit at bushfire

Screenshot from the ADF video belowThe Australian Defence Force (ADF) has established at least one mobile kitchen to feed personnel involved in providing assistance at bushfires.Here is the official description of the video, which is below:“The Australian Defence Force (ADF)…

Australia’s Prime Minister wants to establish bushfire Royal Commission

Photo of smoke from bushfires, by Merrin Macleod on a flight from Canberra to Melbourne, posted January 4, 2020.Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, wants to establish a Royal Commission to evaluate the country’s response to the unprecedented number…

Heat from helicopter’s landing light starts fire in Australia

File photo of a Royal Australian Navy NHI MRH-90 Helicopter. Photo by Duan Zhu. (This article first appeared on Wildfire Today) Several bushfires in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have kept firefighters busy in recent days. The Department of Defense…

Southern California could see elevated wildfire danger in April & May

The Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center has issued their Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for February through May. The data represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services…

Landing light on military helicopter ignited bushfire south of Canberra, Australia

Several bushfires in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have kept firefighters busy in recent days. The Department of Defense admitted that one of them two weeks ago was caused by heat from a landing light on an MRH-90 Helicopter. It…

In a 5-year period two helicopter crashes during aerial ignition operations resulted in three fatalities

(This article was first published on WildfireToday.com) After seeing the wildland firefighter accident and injury stats for 2019 I checked to see if the National Transportation Safety Board had any additional information about the helicopter crash on a prescribed fire…

NTSB preliminary report on helicopter crash during prescribed fire

After seeing the wildland firefighter accident and injury stats for 2019 I checked to see if the National Transportation Safety Board had any additional information about the helicopter crash on a prescribed fire in Texas March 27, 2019 that resulted…

Wildland firefighters, accidents and injuries in 2019

The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center has compiled stats on accidents and injuries that occurred in 2019. Their website has links to more information about the four incidents in the “Lessons and Quotes” section. Let’s Be Careful Out There (Hill…

Smokejumpers — behind the scenes

The video, below: behind the scenes with the Redding Smokejumpers. Go to Source to read moreAuthor: Bill GabbertThe post Smokejumpers — behind the scenes appeared first on Fire Aviation.

Orange County plans to upgrade helicopter fleet

When Desiree Horton was hired by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in 2013 she became, as far as we know, the only female firefighting helicopter pilot working for a government agency. Her first posting with CAL FIRE…

DOI makes it official — most of its drones are grounded

The Secretary of the Interior has signed an order that effectively grounds drones used by the department’s personnel except aircraft used for emergency incidents. The official action signed January 29 by Secretary David Bernhardt confirms the grounding first reported by…

Erickson is working on a “pilot optional nighttime firefighting solution”

Erickson, the manufacturer and operator of the S-64 Air Crane helicopter, has announced a new venture with Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company. They intend to develop a new “pilot optional nighttime firefighting solution”, integrating Sikorsky’s MATRIX™ Technology into a digitally…

BLM Announces New Assistant Director for Fire and Aviation

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that Grant Beebe, a veteran wildland firefighting professional, has been selected as the BLM’s new Assistant Director for Fire and Aviation based in Boise, Idaho. Mr. Beebe has been acting in the position…

Video released of the final drop of Tanker 134 in Australia

A video has emerged of the final retardant drop of Air Tanker 134, the Coulson Aviation EC-130Q that crashed just after the drop January 23, 2020. It appears from the video that as the drop was made the wind was…

Images of helicopters inside the Anaheim Convention center at HELI-EXPO

As the Helicopter Association International HELI-EXPO in Anaheim, California closes today, I have assembled a couple of dozen images from the event. There were over 60 helicopters inside the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California and about 700 exhibitors. Needless…

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