Saturday, November 17, 2018

SEAT footage from the cockpit (2015(

Enjoy this footage from the cockpit of a Single Engine Airtanker (SEAT) shot from the cockpit while working the 2015 Windy Ridge Fire on August 12, 2015. This footage was uploaded to Youtube by the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon (BLMOregon).


Direct link to video from BLMOregon on Youtube

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2018 wildfire season: California wildfires (Nov 13th update)

Here is a CBS news report uploaded to Youtube on November. So, I assume that the information in the video is current as of November 13th. A CBS Meteorologist discusses how the weather is affecting the current wildfires burning in California, ending with a discussion on climate change. The video is about seven minutes long.

My thoughts and meditations are with all those affected by the wildfires. Condolences for the loved ones of those who have died. Thanks to all the wildland firefighters on the ground and in the air who are working hard in awful conditions to fight these wildfires.

Latest information from CAL FIRE
Camp Fire
Woolsey Fire
Hill Fire


Direct link to video on Youtube

Saturday, November 10, 2018

2018 wildfire season: Camp Fire (Paradise CA)

The Camp Fire, one of three large wildfires burning in California. was first reported on Thursday, November 9th. Over 6,400 homes destroyed. At least 9 people are dead, 35 are missing. It has burned about 90,000 acres and is at 5 percent containmentSome of the deaths were people in their cars trying to evacuate this very fast moving fire. In however you reflect on these tragedies, please pause for a few minutes to remember the dead. And to remember the wildland firefighters on the ground working to fight this fire, that they be safe.

RIP, may you always fly in favorable tail winds.



Direct link to video from KPIX SF Bay Area

The Washington Post has some stunning photos from the Camp Fire and other fires burning in California

This just in, according to the Washington Post, the death toll in the wildfires burning in California is now 11.

Those of you who are interested in knowing more about the three wildfires burning in California, Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today is covering the fire, his latest article on the Camp Fire may be found here, and he also reported on the Woolsey Fire and an earlier article on the Hill and Woolsey Fires


Friday, November 09, 2018

2018 fire season: Midewin Hotshots

Enjoy this video by the Midewin Hotshots highlighting thier 2018 fire season.


Direct link to video by Midewin Hotshots

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Reflections on learning about aerial firefighting almost 10 years ago


After  i wrote about P-2 Neptune tankers the other day, I spent some time reflecting on first learning about the business of aerial firefighting nine and ten years ago. I am eternally grateful to some now good friends who helped me learn about the business. I spent a lot of time watching live stream coverage of some of the larger wildfires that were burning in southern California in mid to late 2009. A couple of times, I was watching the live stream as I was exchanging e-mails with one of my former tanker pilot friends. He would share a little about what was going on. I enjoyed seeing the tankers and helos in action, working to help the wildland firefighters on the ground. As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words. The video that I am sharing below is from Alan Simmons of Firestorm HD Production. He uploaded the video to Youtube in April 2010. I believe that at least some of the fire footage is from 2009, perhaps there is footage of some of the wildfires that I was following in 2009. Alan’s footage is a highlight video from a longer DVD that he put out, go here for more information on the video that is available for purchase only. 


I love watching videos like Alan’s of tankers working a wildfire. Elegance in action. What they do is very dangerous. Please remember that if it is very windy or the smoke is very bad tankers and helicopters may not be flying the fire because it is not safe to do so.

The video from Alan Simmons that I have embedded below has about eight minutes of highlights from his 80 minute video. In the first half, you will see footage of the S-2T, P-2 Neptunes, P-3 Orion, Canadair 215/415, and the DC-10. The final three or four minutes includes footage from 1999 of now historic tankers including some footage of T-123 which crashed in 2002.


Monday, November 05, 2018

Remembering P-2 Neptune Tankers, retired but not forgotten

The last of Neptune Aviation's Lockheed P-2 Neptune tankers were retired in the fall of 2017. When I began this blog on aerial wildland firefighting in late 2008, I learned about what tankers can do through seeing videos, photographs and some livestream of you and your cousin, Aero Unions Lockheed P-3 Orions fly fires.

You and your crew worked hard over the years, you saved a lot of lives. We lost some of you and your crew -- T-11 T-42, T-9, T-4, T-8 -- your service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

We lost Minden Air T-99. Minden Air T-55 and T-48 were both damaged in an incident, the crew survived. All were Lockheed P-2 Neptunes

These three videos by scorched sky productions honor the service of Neptune Aviation's Lockheed P-2 Neptune tankers.

It is my loss that I never had the privilege of seeing any of you in person while you were in service flying fires. Some of you are at air museums, perhaps I'll see you there.


Direct link to video by Scroched Sky Production


Direct link to video by Scroched Sky Production



Direct link to video by Scroched Sky Production




Friday, November 02, 2018

2018 fire season: Redmond Hotshots

Yesterday I shared a 2016 video about the Redmond (OR) Air Center. The Redmond Interagency Hotshots are based at the Redmond Air Center. I hope you enjoy their 2018 crew video summarizing their 2018 fire season.


direct link to video on Youtube

Thursday, November 01, 2018

About Redmond (OR) Air Center

Enjoy this 2016 video by the US Forest Service about the Air Center in Redmond Oregon. In this four minute video you will get a brief overview of the various wildfire services based at Redmond: hotshots, smoke jumpers, air tankers, cache, and a training center


direct link to Youtube video by the US Forest Service

Monday, October 29, 2018

aerial firefighting: MAFFs, SEATs, and Helicopters

Enjoy these three videos of air tankers and helicopters.

The first video is shot from the cockpit of a C-130 MAFFS working the2018 Carr Fire in Redding California.


Direct link to video on Youtube


You will see DC-10 tanker 911, Neptune (baE) tanker 16,  SEAT 854 taking off from Pocatello, Idaho in August 2018. The video ends with DC-10 tanker 911 landing at Pocatello.


Direct link to video on Youtube


In the final video, you will see US Navy MH-60 Seahawk Helicopters working 2017 wildfires near San Diego, California.


Direct link to video on Youtube