Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Protecting your home from wildfire: things you can do

Following up on the post that I made yesterday on structure protection strategies used by structure firefighters in the wildland-urban interface, I want to share a couple of videos with you on things you can do to protect your home from wildfires. Both of these videos focus on the work of Dr. Jack Cohen, a fire science researcher with the US Forest Service. I would encourage you to go the FirewiseUSA website where there are many resources that you can access to learn how to protect your home from wildfire. There are over 1500 FirewiseUSA sites (or communities), a listing of these sites may be found here or you may look at an interactive map where you my learn about each community, for example you can zoom in on your state and learn about firewise sites in your state.

The first video, just under 20 minutes long, seems to have been done many years ago. In this video you learn about research focusing on how wildfires lead to home ignitions, following up with some tips on what you can do to protect your home. I include this video for an historical perspective on Dr. Cohen's fire science research.

Direct link to video from Public Resource Org

The second video is just over 13 minutes and was done more recently. Dr. Cohen takes you through the danger posed by fire brands to homes and other buildings. He then takes you through an example of a home that has many ignition sources around the house and what the homeowner can do to create a defensible space around a home, finally there is an interview with a homeowner whose house survived a wildfire thanks to creating a defensible space.

Direct link to video from the National Fire Protection Association

Monday, May 21, 2018

Structure protection on the wildland-urban interface

Thanks to a wildland firefighter friend for making me aware of a good, 20 minute video, from the National Fire Protection Association on structure protection in the wildland-urban interface. The video is apparently aimed at structure firefighters. Included among the issues that this video looks at are various techniques to protect structures in the interface, developing plans, communications, and the importance of training with with wildland firefighters. While aimed at structure firefighters, as someone who is not a firefighter but is an interested observer (so to speak) I learned a lot. I hope that you take the time to watch this video,

Direct link to video

Friday, May 18, 2018

More on Prescribed Burns & Other Training in New Jersey

Continuing with two more videos highlighting the work the New Jersey Forest Fire Service does. In the first video you will see a video where you will more about prescribed burns in New Jersey along with a little history and fire ecology. This is a great video, just under ten minutes, I learned a lot and I think that you will as well.

Direct link to video

The second video is a short video highlight recent basic training (S130/S190) for wildland firefighters from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, volunteer fire fighters, Air National Guard, and the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.

Direct link to video

Thanks to my friends at the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page for sharing these videos on this weeks video of the week page.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2017 Wildfire Season: Del Rosa Hotshots

On a day when I will be tied up with some family business all day, I thought that you'd enjoy this video from the Del Rosa Hotshots summarizing their 2017 wildfire season.

Direct link to video

Monday, May 14, 2018

Prescribed burns in New Jersey

Prescribed burning season in New Jersey is over now, the next prescribed burning season in New Jersey, but as I understand it the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) conducts prescribed burns in February and early March of each year, prior to the spring wild fire season, see this NJFFS webpage for more information on prescribed burns in New Jersey.

I saw a nice video, under three minutes, from the North Jersey newspaper on their Facebook account the other day. In this video you will see how the New Jersey Forest Fire Service does prescribed burns. What happens in your State or Country may be a little different, but you will get the idea.

Friday, May 11, 2018

New Jersey 2018 Wildfire Season: Air Tanker Contracts End Soon

As I write this on May 11, 2018, the spring 2018 wildfire season in New Jersey is nearing its end. At least if you are looking at one the aviation contracts end, this spring wildfire season is nearing its conclusion. That is, I believe that Tanker 81, the AT-802 that is on contract in central New Jersey at Miller Air Park (aka Ocean County Airport) in Toms River is going off contract at the end of the day. Tanker 61, an AT-602, remains on contract in southern New Jersey out of Downstown Aero near Vineland NJ through May 15th. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

As I understand it, the NJFFS helicopters with buckets and observation aircraft will continue to be available, as needed, to work to suppport the wildland firefighters on the ground.

I want to thank each Tanker pilot and their ground crews for the work you have down this season to support the wildland firefighters on the ground. Each of you have flown a few wildfires this season, thank-you for your service. Your work won't be forgotten. We are better off with you than without you. I hope that both of you will be back next season.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the New Jersey Forest Fire Service wildland firefighters and your mutual aid partners for the work that you have done and will continue in fighting wildfires. You do so to keep us in New Jersey safe. Thank-you for your ongoing service. As each Airtanker goes off contract, your work continues. Thank-you for that. My wish is for you to stay safe.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

A little about how SEATs work wildfires in support of ground crews

Thanks to Mike Archer of the Wildfire News of the Day who shared a nice video report and article from News12 New Jersey. The report and article may be found here, where you can read about the SEAT, an Air Tractor 802 that is on contract in Central New Jersey at Miller Air Field through May 11th. This SEAT will be on other contracts after she leaves New Jersey so what you learn here is applicable to other locations and to SEATs in general. A longer video report with a longer interview with the SEAT pilot and a representative from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service may be found on this News12 New Jersey webpage. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the provided embed code to work.You should be aware that News 12 New Jersey has a pay wall, where you get a limited number of free views (3 to 5) without having a paid account. You should be able to read the report and watch the videos for free.

Even with these problems, I am taking a chance that most of you will be able to watch these two videos and have included links to the article with short video and a link to the longer video report.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Southern Great Plains (OK) Elevated Fire Weather: week of May 7th

Sorry folks, I meant to post this yesterday.

I haven't forgotten about my friends in Oklahoma. I understand that they are expected to see elevated fire weather conditions for this week, the week of May 7th. See the below Facebook post from earlier today, May 7th, from the NWS Norman Oklahoma

I took a screen shot for you from the Oklahoma Forest Fire Service Daily Situation for May 7th (go here for a better copy of the report (PDF file). I will try to stay aware of wildfires that might crop in Oklahoma and environs this week.

Friday, May 04, 2018

New Jersey 2018 Wildfire Season: May 4th update

In regards to fire weather in New Jersey and environs, while it is still windy in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern and central New Jersey, eastern Maryland, and Delaware, higher relative humidities mean that there are not enhanced fire weather conditions. Here is a discussion of fire weather from the May 4th 12:40 PM  Forecast Discussion issued by the National Weather Service Mt. Holly New Jersey
Southwest winds are forecast to increase to 15-20 mph with gusts
of 25-35 mph this afternoon. Minimum relative humidity values are
expected to be in the mid to upper 30s this afternoon across
southeastern Pennsylvania, southern and central New Jersey,
eastern Maryland and Delaware this afternoon. So despite windy
conditions this afternoon, an enhanced threat for fire spread is
not anticipated at this time.
The passage of a cold front tonight will bring a chance of
showers and thunderstorms as well as cooler temperatures,
helping to further decrease the fire weather threat. Additional
shower activity is expected over the weekend.
Yesterday, May 3rd) there were smaller wildfires across the state. Tankers 61 (New Jersey Forest Fire Service Division C in southern NJ and 81 (NJFFS Division B, central NJ) each responded to a small fire in their respective Divisions. Tanker 81 responded to a small wildfire in Barnegat (Ocean County) New Jersey, see this article from the Asbury Park Press for more information. Tanker 61 responded to a small, 1 acre brush fire in Salem County making two drops. There were a few wildfires in northern New Jersey that the Huey helicopter (with bucket) from NJFFS Division A responded to. Thanks my friends for providing this information.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Red Flag Warning (May 3rd) Central & Southern NJ

Red Flag Warnings are in place until 8 PM for Central and Southern NJ until 8 PM on May 3rd. A Special Weather Statement for Enhanced Fire Weather is in place for Northeast NJ and New York City, as well as Delaware, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Weather Forecast Map for May 3rd from NWS Mt Holly (Red Flag in Red)
Enhanced Fire Weather conditions are expected in Central and Southern New Jersey for Friday, May 4th.

My friends in Central and Southern New Jersey tell me that with the exception of a couple of small wildfires things were quiet yesterday, May 2nd. The only other wildfire activity that I know about in northern New Jersey yesterday was association with a small plane crash near Greenwood Lake Airport in norther Passaic County, NJ. Helicopter drops were made. For more information, see this report from NBC4 in New York City, video embedded below.

Here is a nice report with video from Southern New Jersey Today published on May 2nd about the fire danger in Southern New Jersey. Sorry, I can not get the embed to work, please take a couple of minutes to go to the link and watch the video.

As for wildfires today, the only one I know about is a small wildfire in Barnagat Township, Ocean County,  NJ that required evacuations of 21 homes for a short time, that fire is now contained. An aircraft worked the fire in support of the wildland firefighters on the ground. See this article from Patch (Barnegat NJ) and this article from the Asbury Park Press for more information.