Friday, May 27, 2022

A look at Jeffco Airtanker Base (Broomfield Colorado)

I have a lot of respect for the work that is done at Airtanker bases of various sizes. From tanker base mangers to various crews filling retardant and/or water tanks to fueling aircraft to the contract maintenance servicing aircraft overnight so they are ready to go the next morning. I came across this video from 9News in Denver Colorado thanks to my friends at the NJFFS Section B10 website shared the video on their daily videos on their homepage (videos updated daily) on or about May 20th. Over the years that I have been writing this blog I have known that Jeffco is an important Airtanker base servicing the southwestern U.S. and adjacent locations. I thought that some of you might enjoy this short behind the scenes look at Jeffco Airtanker Base.

Direct link to video from News9 on YouTube

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

videos of airtankers and a chinook

I don't have to tell you that the 2022 wildfire season is well under way in many parts of the United States, e.g. New Mexico (see Bill Gabbert's May 20th article on Wildfire Today) and Texas (see Bill Gabbert's May 21st article on Wildfire Today). I am sure that many of you have seen various images of airtankers, helicopters and chinooks on social media and news outlets. As I am not in a position at the moment to share reliable information on tankers, helicopters and chinooks on contract, I wanted to do something to acknowledge the important work that they do to support wildland firefighters on the ground, so I am sharing three videos with you.

The first video is a five minute video showcasing Aeroflite's CL-415 Scoopers uploaded by Michael Redwine.

Here is a short clip of Aeroflite's tanker 160 (RJ85) working a wildfire from Randy Joanson

And finally a nice 5-minute video of Coulson's Chinooks working wildfires. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

2022 wildfire season: NWS Incident Meteorologist (IMET) deployments (May 17-23)

I will periodically through the 2022 wildfire season post deployments of NWS Incident Meteorologists. IMETs are usually deployed for a two week period, bringing their equipment with them. On larger fires there may be more than one IMET deployed to a fire. IMET trainees are also deployed to fires to work with an IMET.  For more information on the important work that IMETs do please see the links in my April 25th post.

Today I am sharing IMET deployments from May 17 through May 23rd. To the best of my knowledge there were no deployments on May 18th and 22nd. I had to redo half of the links, the links are to NWS IMET Operation's twitter account and as applicable Inciweb for fire information (at the time I wrote this blog entry). To the best of my knowledge access to the IMET Operations on Twitter does not require a Twitter account. I have checked the links prior to updating this post, any errors are my responsibility.

In addition to focusing on the important work that IMETs are doing to help save lives, the fires that IMETs are working on represent some of the then current wildfires burning in the United States. These fires are but a small percentage of all the wildfires burning in the United States at the time I am making this post.

May 17th deployments

May 19th deployment

May 20th deployments
May 21st deployment
May 23rd deployment

Friday, May 20, 2022

Friday Fun: New Jersey Pine Barrens

Time for some Friday Fun. Enjoy these two videos from NJ advance media of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. In the first video you will get a tour of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The second video shows scenes from Wharton State Forest located in the Pine Barrens

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

2022 wildfire season: Bemis Fire - White Mountains (Crawford Notch) NH

I spent summer vacations in northeastern Vermont for years and we would drive to the White Mountains in New Hampshire at least every other year, if not every year. While I am not intimately familiar with Crawford Notch, I have driven down Route 302 through Crawford Notch, a beautiful drive. I have not hiked in Crawford Notch but have taken a couple of hikes up half-way up Mt. Washington from Pinkham Notch. That was 25 to 30 years ago when I was younger and with healthier knees. 

When I first heard about the Bemis Fire in Crawford Notch late last weekend, I took notice. The Bemis Fire was first reported on Saturday, May 14. What was believed to be one fire is in fact three fires, It has burned approximately 106 acres. See this article from The Union Leader (May 17th).

Obtained on May 19, 2022 from

Here is an update, dated May 18th, from the White Mountain National Forest. No structures are threatened. The fire is at approximately 45 percent containment in a steep and rugged area. Winds are gusting to 38 mph today, rain is forecast for tomorrow.

Thank-you firefighters, stay safe.

Monday, May 16, 2022

NJ fire history: Warren Grove Fire (May 15, 2007)

 I did not begin to explore write\ing about wildfires on this blog until the fall of 2018, but did not begin to focus on writing about aerial wildland firefighting and related issues until early 2009. I write today's post in remembrance of the 2007 Warren Grove Fire on May 15, 2007 that burned over 17,000 acres (19 square miles) in the New Jersey Pinebarrens. I have to be honest and am somewhat embarrassed to say that the Warren Grove Fire may have escaped my attention at the time because I was getting ready for a trip to Africa. I am not exactly an international traveler, so getting ready for this trip was a pretty big deal for me. However, I have driven by some of the areas burned in the Warren Grove Fire in following years and am struck by the post-fire regeneration in the Pine Barrens. What I recall as the remnants of burned pygmy pines are now replaced by pygmy pines, other pines and scrub oak. See for example my April 2019 post on how the NJ Pine Barrens recovers from a wildfire and photos from an October 2014 trip to the Pine Barrens

Here is the link to a write-up of the Warren Grove Fire from the NJ DEP. This is the link referenced in the above Facebook post.

Friday, May 13, 2022

2022 wildfire season: Coastal Fire (Laguna Niguel, Orange County CA)

I am writing about the Coastal Fire which has burned at least 200 acres in Laguna Niguel (Orange County, California) because I heard that a friend of a friend lives in or near Laguna Niguel. My friend wanted to know where to get more information about the Coastal Fire, so I told them about the CAL FIRE incident page on the Coastal Fire (last updated on May 12th) and about Bill Gabbert's Wildfire Today where Bill has a nice article about the Coastal Fire. Bill does excellent reporting on wildfires including nice maps, I recommend you follow him if you are interested in wildfire news. I understand from Bill's article and other reporting that I have seen that there are evacuations in place and at least 20 residences have been destroyed and one firefighter was injured.

I am reminded that even a more moderate sized fire can affect people and destroy homes. I thank all the wildland firefighters on the ground and in the air who are working this fire. I am thinking of all those who are under evacuation orders, some will go back to find their homes destroyed. 

I am reminded that with the dry conditions in California and elsewhere in the western United States that wildfires such as the Coastal Fire will occur. At this time it may too early to know how large the Coastal Fire will be before it is contained. 

Here are two video reports from Los Angeles TV Stations dated May 13th.

direct link to video on Youtube from CBS Los Angeles

direct link to video on YouTube from KTLA

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

2022 wildfire season: wildfires in Connecticut

There are some wildfires burning in Middletown, Connecticut, about 300 acres have burned. 

Direct link to video 

Monday, May 09, 2022

2022 New Jersey wildfire season: Passaic County NJ wildfires under investigation

To the best of my ability, I try to follow wildfires in New Jersey and the activities of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. In my wonderings during the spring wildfire season in New Jersey, which is coming to a close soon, I was vaguely aware that there may have been some wildfires in Passaic County New Jersey but had no specific information. Last week I ran across a May 4th article on NJ Advance Media that these wildfires are under investigation by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, and other state and local agencies. No additional information has been released about this investigation or the location of these wildfires.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Friday Fun: Three lighthouses in Maine from the air

Having spent a few summer vacations as a child camping with my family on the Maine coast, I grew to love lighthouses. Most of the time, I heard them through the fog on foggy nights. For today's Friday fun, enjoy this short and beautiful video of three lighthouses in Maine shot from a drone. 

direct link to video from jeffmld9 on Youtube