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…

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…

Red Flag Warning in six states, March 25

National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings due to low humidity and strong winds in areas of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Most of the warnings expire Wednesday evening. (Red Flag Warnings can be modified throughout…

Forest Service says none of their firefighters have confirmed cases of COVID-19

A spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service said the agency is not aware of any of their firefighters that have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Kaari  Carpenter, a Lead Public Affairs Specialist, said crews are still responding to wildfires “within appropriate…

PG&E to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter for fatalities in Camp Fire

In a rather startling development, Pacific Gas & Electricity is expected to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the 84 people that were killed during the Camp Fire that burned through Paradise, California November 8, 2018. The fire also burned…

Let’s preserve any lessons that are being learned by the fire agencies during the pandemic

The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center could be the focal point for recording and archiving what works and what doesn’t The actions the wildland fire agencies take this year to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic deserves to be…

Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region postpones all prescribed fires

The assessed risk of conducting prescribed fires based on COVID-19 pandemic conditions. By the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service.The U.S. Forest Rocky Mountain Region, Region 2, has postponed all planned prescribed fires due to the conditions that…

Fighting wildfires during a pandemic

A firefighter on the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County California, October 25, 2019. Kari Greer photo.Fighting wildland fires as we have known it is likely to go through a transformation during the next 6 to 18 months. As the COVID-19…

Three fires in Jefferson County Colorado cause evacuations

Three fires occurred March 17 along SW Platte River Road near Foxton in Jefferson County, Colorado. Jefferson County Sheriff photo.Three fires that started Tuesday afternoon caused evacuations on SW Platte River Road near Foxton in Jefferson County, Colorado about 20…

Federal wildfire agencies say they will be fully able to respond to wildfires during COVID-19 pandemic

CDCOn February 27 I asked the federal land management agencies that have significant wildland fire responsibilities how the outbreak of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, was expected to affect their firefighting capabilities and how they would deal with a shortage of resources…

Chesterton’s Fence: A lesson in second order thinking

Rick Gale called it, “Play the what if game” Many of us had the opportunity to learn from the late Rick Gale of the National Park Service, a legendary Type 1 Incident Commander and Area Commander. One thing he would…

15 days left to comment on fireworks at Mount Rushmore

Several months after the fireworks in 2007 while professional photographer Paul Horsted was working on a project at the Mount Rushmore sculpture he found and photographed garbage that was left by fireworks.The National Park Service will be accepting comments about…

Interagency Resource Ordering Capability replaces ROSS

A high-ranking officer in one of the southern California county fire departments told me recently that when a fast-spreading fire breaks out, they don’t use the Resource Ordering and Status System (ROSS) that has been around for decades to request…

Structures burn in Oklahoma wildfire

(UPDATED at 8:01 p.m. CDT March 8, 2020) After more accurate mapping the Oklahoma Forestry Services reported Sunday afternoon that the Beaver Fire in Beaver County has burned 29,120 acres and is 50 percent contained. Crews continue to improve fireline…

Researchers study factors that affect long-distance spotting of wildfires

The results could lead to more accurate models for spotting and fire behaviour Data collected in an Australian study could lead to the development of more accurate predictive models for wildfire behavior and spotting, especially for extreme wildfires. Burning embers…

Two Hollows Fire burns over 2,000 acres in south Mississippi

The Two Hollows Fire burned about 2,200 acres of industrial timber land in Pearl River County, Mississippi, approximately nine miles southeast of Poplarville. Jason Scott of the Mississippi Forestry Commission said 22 homes and 18 outbuildings were threatened but all…

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