Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Helicopter flight over Pioneer Fire

One of the Facebook pages that I check out periodically during wildfire season is by US National Weather Service (NWS) IMET. IMET's are National Weather Service Meteorologists who have received special training to provide onsite meteorological services for wildland fires (see the about tab on the USNWS IMET facebook page for more information, I wrote about IMETs on August 10th and August 11th (2016). IMETs save lives!

The US National Weather Service IMET (Facebook) has some useful information including when and where IMETs are deployed during wildfire season. But there is also other good information posted on that page, which is how I found about the video that I am embedding below. 

I was interested to read September 2, 2016 post on the US National Weather Service IMET Facebook Page. An IMET from the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Jackson, Mississippi was assigned to the Pioneer Fire at the end of August. On August 29th, he had a chance to go on a helicopter flight over the Pioneer Fire when it was making run. It seems that the Pioneer Fire grew by 30,000 acres that day. According to the commentary by Dan Byrd that accompanies the video (direct link to Aug 29th Helicopter Flight over the Pioneer Fire: "The fire put up a 40k foot plume today and consumed 30 thousand acres just north of Boise ID."

I don't know the nature of the helicopter flight, probably reconnaissance. In any event, the video is over nine minutes long with some great footage of an active and growing fire. Impressive! According to an August 30th news release about the Pioneer Fire, the fire had burnt about 140,780 acres on August 30th, up from 111,604 acres on August 29th. As I write this, the Pioneer Fire (page updated periodically, what you see may be different) has burned 188,404 acres in Boise National Forest near Boise Idaho and is at 64 percent containment. 

I shared a video on September 12th showing the Umatilla Initial Attack Crew working the Pioneer Fire on or about August 4th.

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