Monday, June 26, 2017

Part 3 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: examples of improved imagery with GOES-16.

There is a growing amount of images from GOES-16 available on the internet. GOES-16 is undergoing testing as I write this; all of these images that you see on the internet are non-operational, preliminary data. 

The three primary sources that I go to are (1) NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service , and (2) a GOES-R mission page with a data and imagery page. Third, a few months ago, a couple of my Operational Meteorologist friends from the National Weather Service suggested that I take a look at the CIMSS out of University of Wisconsin at Madison, saying that they have good information on GOES-16 and other satellites. The CIMSS has a blog with images from GOES-16 and other satellites. I have spent hours on all three sites. 

Before I move to how GOES-16 can be used for wildfire detections, I want to show you a couple of examples of the differences between GOES-13 and GOES-16. On the theory that one picture (or short video) is worth a thousand words, I am steering you to two entries from the CIMSS Blog.

CIMSS Blog, April 4, 2017, Lake effect clouds, GOES-13 and GOES-15 images (left and right) will look similar. The resolution in the GOES-16 image in the center will be clearer. Note the cloud you are looking at is not very big. 

CIMSS Blog, April 4, 2017, fog/stratus dissipation Again, the fog and stratus in the GOES-16 image will be clearer.

List of articles in this eight part series on the Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection


June 26: Part 3 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: examples of improved imagery with GOES-16 (this article)

June 28: Part 4 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: wildfire detection improved with GOES-16

June 30: Part 5 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: February 18, 2016 wildfire danger in Norman in western OK and development of the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

July 3: PART 6 OF 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App in use Spring 2017

July 5: Part 7 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App making a difference

July 7: Part 8 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Reflections on using GOES-16 for wildfire detection and the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

Friday, June 23, 2017

Part 2 of 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: A little about the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager

I want to begin with a little background on our geostationary weather satellites. Most of you know that we have a new geostationary weather satellite was launched last fall. GOES-16 -then known as GOES-R), was launched on November 19, 2016. GOES-16 is the first in the GOES-R series of satellites, GOES R-T. GOES-S is undergoing pre-launch testing and will launch in 2018. As I write this, GOES-16 is still under going in-orbit operational testing. GOES-16 represents the sixth generation of NOAA’s Geostationary satellites. The fifth generation is GOES 13-15 (GOES N - P). GOES-13 is also known as GOES East, GOES-15 is also known as GOES West, and GOES-14 is an in-orbit spare. I wrote about GOES 13-15 on November 30, 2016. I wrote a little more about GOES-16 here .

One of the instruments on GOES-16 is the Advanced Baseline Imager (aka ABI), go here to read a brief description about improvements in the GOES-R series ABI. NOAA and NASA have a nice short fact sheet that introduces GOES-R (GOES-16) ABI, it may be found here. This is one of many fact sheets on the GOES-R series. Some of you may be interested in a listing of GOES-R ABI products on the GOES-R products page, a sub-page accessible from the GOES-R mission page. 

Finally, please take three minutes to watch this video, made in 2013, describing the ABI on the GOES-R series:




List of articles in this eight part series on the Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection


June 23: Part 2 of 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: A little about the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (this article)


June 28: Part 4 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: wildfire detection improved with GOES-16

June 30: Part 5 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: February 18, 2016 wildfire danger in Norman in western OK and development of the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

July 3: PART 6 OF 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App in use Spring 2017

July 5: Part 7 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App making a difference

July 7: Part 8 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Reflections on using GOES-16 for wildfire detection and the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Part 1 of 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Introduction

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have been following GOES-16 since it was launched, then known as GOES-R, on November 19, 2016. As I learned more about GOES-16 I wondered what improvements GOES-16 and her sister satellites (GOES R-T) would bring to the detection of wildfires.   One exciting use of GOES-16 for wildfire detection is the development of an Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification Application that was first developed and used by the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Norman Oklahoma. Learning about the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification Application lead to this eight-part series on an application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection. This introduction is part 1 of 8, the rest of the articles in the series are listed below. 

I start off in part 2 with a short article on the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager, followed by two articles on improvements in wildfire detection by GOES-16. I then turn to the development and use of the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification Applications in parts 5 through 7, followed by my own brief reflections in part 8.

As I post each article in the series, I will update this article with links to each article in the series.



June 28: Part 4 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: wildfire detection improved with GOES-16

June 30: Part 5 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: February 18, 2016 wildfire danger in Norman in western OK and development of the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

July 3: PART 6 OF 8: Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App in use Spring 2017

July 5: Part 7 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App making a difference

July 7: Part 8 of 8 Application of GOES-16 for wildfire detection: Reflections on using GOES-16 for wildfire detection and the Experimental Wildfire Detection Notification App

Monday, June 19, 2017

Field Campaign to calibrate and test GOES-16 ABI and GLM

GOES-16 began an eleven week period of field testing to calibrate the GOES-16 instruments on March 22nd, see this March 22nd press release from NASA/NOAA for more information The March 22nd press release says in part:
During this three-month campaign, a team of instrument scientists, meteorologists, GOES-16 engineers, and specialized pilots will use a variety of high-altitude planes, ground-based sensors, unmanned aircraft systems (or drones), the International Space Station, and the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP polar-orbiting satellite to collect measurements across the United States . . . 
Although these data are collected on Earth, GOES-16’s operators will obtain similar measurements of the same locations using two of the satellite’s most revolutionary instruments—the Advanced Baseline Imager and the Geostationary Lightning Mapper. The data sets will be analyzed and compared to the data collected by the planes, drones, and sensors to validate and calibrate the instruments on the satellite.  (http://www.goes-r.gov/mission/fieldCampaignBegins.html)
 NOAA Satellites shared a very cool video on Youtube of a NASA ER-2 over the Sonoran Desert on a March 23rd flight to validate and calibrate the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI):


Direct link to video

The first phase of the GOES-16 field campaign was over on April 11th. In phase two, from April 12 to May 18, 2017, the ER-2 was based out of  Robins Air Force Base in Georgia for calibration and validation of the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). See this press release for more information on the first and second phases.

In the following Facebook posts from the NOAA Satellites and Information Services you will hear from some scientists about the field campaign. The videos are short. The text explanations from the folk at NOAA Satellites and Information Service that accompany each video are, I feel important. I am not sure if I was able to successfully embed the video and the text, so I have included a direct link to each post.

Frank Padula, GOES-16 Project Manager explains why they are using NASA’s ER2

Link to Facebook post with text

Meterologist talking about how they will use ER2 to calibrate GOES-16

Link to Facebook post with text

Field Campaign testing of the GOES-16 geostationary lightning mapper (GLM)

Link to Facebook post with text

Friday, June 16, 2017

Introduction to NASA's ER-2 "high altitude" aircraft

GOES-16 began an eleven week period of field testing to calibrate the GOES-16 instruments on March 22nd. I will be posting an article about the GOES-16 field testing campaign on June 19th. Portions of the field campaign will involve one of two NASA ER2 high altitude aircraft. So, today I will introduce NASA’s ER2 aircraft.

These aircraft are flying laboratories, each having four pressurized laboratory modules. Examples of experiments include research on ozone depletion, development of tropical cyclones, and assisting in the development and testing of satellite instruments. For more information on the ER-2, see this factsheet from NASA on the ER-2.
The ER-2 is a versatile aircraft well suited to perform multiple mission tasks. The ER-2 operates at altitudes from 20,000 feet to 70,000 feet, which is above 99 percent of the Earth's atmosphere. Depending on aircraft weight, the ER-2 reaches an initial cruise altitude of 65,000 feet within 20 minutes. Typical cruise speed is 410 knots. The range for a normal eight-hour mission is 3,000 nautical miles yielding seven hours of data collection at altitude. The aircraft is capable of longer missions in excess of 10 hours and ranges in excess of 6,000 nautical miles. The ER-2 can carry a maximum payload of 2,600 lb (1,179 kilograms) distributed in the equipment bay, nose area, and wing pods. (https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-046-DFRC.html)

Here are some videos about the ER-2.

Airshow video

Direct link to video

Cockpit

Direct link to video


Take-off (no sound)

Direct link to video

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pre-operational images from GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper

On June 12th, 2017 I posted an article where I shared some videos and other information from NOAA about the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on GOES-16. If you are arriving here first, I hope that you go back and read the article.

Before I share some pre-operational images from the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper, I want to share a little more information about the Geostationary Lightning Mapper.  After I posted the article on June 12th, I had a chance to have an e-mail exchange with Al Cope, theScience and Operations Officer of the National Weather Service at Mt. Holly, NJ. I asked Al to share one thing that he would like you to know about the Geostationary Lightning Mapper on GOES-16. This is his response:
I would say that the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, together with ground-based lightning detection systems, will enable us to more closely monitor rapid changes in lightning activity within a thunderstorm. Rapid increases in lightning are often precursors of damaging thunderstorm winds and large hail.
NOAA Satellites released the first imagery from the GOES-16 GLM on March 6th. There is a nice press release with some information and a video that you may find here.

The information that I am sharing below are from NOAA Satellites and Information Service's Facebook Page. I believe that both of these videos of pre-operational imagery from the GOES-16 GLM may be found on NOAA Satellite's You Tube Pre-Operational GOES-16 Channel. However, I found their Facebook posts to be very illuminating, so I am embedding two of their posts below.







Monday, June 12, 2017

Intro to GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper

Those of you who are following news relating to GOES-16 may know that she is carrying a Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). I'd like to introduce you to the GLM. I am embedding below two very short videos that will introduce you to the GLM, both are from NASA Goddard Media.



Some of you may be familiar with COMET/MetEd which offers various online courses in meteorology and related issues. Registration is free, but you need to registered to take their courses. I have taken some of the MetEd Courses over the last couple of years and have learned a lot. COMET/MetEd did a nice video on the GOES-R/16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper that I am sharing below. It takes a little under five minutest to watch the video.


More information on the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) from NOAA's GOES-R Mission Page:
Stay tuned, on June 14th, I'll share some images from the GOES-16 GLM.  Note that NOAA's GOES-16 satellite has not been declared operational and its data are preliminary and undergoing testing.


Friday, June 09, 2017

About Rhabdomyolysis and Wildland Firefighters

I hope that I never stop learning about wildfires and the risks that wildland firefighters take to protect us from wildfires. Several days ago, thanks to my friends at the B10 NJ Wildfire Page who shared a video from the Wildland Fire LLC, I learned about a medical condition known as Rhabdomyolysis and how Rhabdo (as it commonly called) affects wildland firefighters. Rhabdo can affect kidney function and sometimes leads to death. Before I share the video, Wildland Fire Lesson Learned has some materials on Rhabdomyolysis on their website that those of you who want to learn more may want to read. Wildland crew supervisors are encouraged to carry this one-pager that describes symptoms of Rhabdo that they and their crew should watch for, see the image below. Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today has written about Rhabdomyolysis (tagged posts), I point you to the article that he posted on May 17, 2016 about an analysis by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center of May 2, 2016 Rhabdo injury.
obtained on June 2, 2017 from the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

Direct link to video by Wildland Fire LLC (about 21 minutes)

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

DC-10 and USFS C-130 arriving at Santa Maria Tanker Base

Thanks to Mike Archer at WNOTD for steering me to a nice story from KSBY with a video about the arrival of T-116, a USFS C-130 at Santa Maria Tanker Base. The C-130s were based out of Sacramento, but with the closure of that tanker base, the USFS C-130 will be based out of Santa Maria. She arrived last Saturday, joining one the 10 Tanker Carriers DC-10s which has been based out of Santa Maria for the last couple of years. Because of the wet winter, the fire season in California is expected to start later and last longer. T-116 and the DC-10 tanker (T-911?) will provide important aerial support to wildland firefighters on the ground fighting wildfires this season. Go here for the story and accompanying video. I am sorry that I could not get the embed code to work, which may be for the best as I am never sure how long videos from local media will be live.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Florida 2017 wildfire season - tribute to wildland firefighters

Many of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I have a special place in my heart for Florida. As I can, I have been following the 2017 wildfire season in Florida. According to the Wildland Fire Division of the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (updated regularly to reflect current wildfire conditions), there have been 2,377 wildfires that have burned 233,923 acres in Florida from January 1 to May 29, 2017. The Florida Forest Service has a Facebook page where they have reported on wildfires. I hope that you join me in pausing to thank the man and women who have worked hard fighting wildfires in Florida in 2017.

Thanks to my friends at the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page (video of the week, changes weekly) I learned about the following video about the Florida 2017 wildfire season, dedicated to the wildland firefighters that have worked wildfires this season. You will see some footage of tankers and helos working wildfires in support of the firefighters on the ground.


Direct link to video

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31st 1889 Johnstown PA dam break and flood

Today, May 31st, is the 128th anniversary of the dam break and flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.


from PennLive

scenes of the 1889 Johnstown PA floods

physics based simulation of 1889 Johnstown dam break and flood

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day - remembering those who died in military service


Direct Link to Video

Please join me in pausing, albeit perhaps a day late, in remembering all the men and women in military service in the United States who have died in service to their country.  You have made the ultimate sacrifice. Let us not forget. Let us not forget the families whose loved one did not come home after their military service.

As someone who grew up an came of age while the Vietnam War was going on, I am offering a special remembrance for all who died in Vietnam.

I meant to write this post yesterday, May 29th, on the day that we celebrated Memorial Day in the United States. As I was reflecting on the act that I missed posting yesterday, I remembered that today, May 30th, is the day that I grew up celebrating as Memorial Day. So perhaps it is fitting that I write this post today.

Friday, May 26, 2017

GOES-16 to become GOES-East in Fall 2017!


GOES-East sits at 22,300 miles above the equator at 75° West. As I write this on May 26, 2017, GOES-13 is GOES-East. When GOES-16 becomes fully operational in November 2017, she will be moved to 75° West where she will become GOES-East. At that time, GOES-13 will be shifted to on-orbit storage with her sister satellite, GOES-14 from the GOES-N through P series, I wrote about GOES-13 to 15 on November 30, 2016. GOES-15 will remain at 137° West as GOES-West.

NOAA announced that GOES-16 will be positioned as GOES-East in November in a May 25th press release , here is an excerpt from this press release summarizing how GOES-16 will improve weather forecasting.
GOES-16 scans the Earth and skies five times faster than NOAA’s current geostationary weather satellites, sending back sharper, more defined images at four times greater resolution as often as every 30 seconds, using three times the spectral channels as the previous model. The higher resolution will allow forecasters to see more details in storm systems, especially during periods of rapid strengthening or weakening. Also, GOES-16 carries the first lightning detector flown in geostationary orbit. Total lightning data (in-cloud and cloud-to-ground) from the lightning mapper will provide critical information to forecasters, allowing them to focus on developing severe storms much earlier. (NOAA Press Release, May 25, 2017, NOAA”S newest geostationary satellite will be positioned as GOES-East this fall, http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/noaa-s-newest-geostationary-satellite-will-be-positioned-as-goes-east-fall)

I will be writing more about GOES-16 in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Utah National Guard (2013 Working Wildfires (part 2 of 3)

I am a little under the weather today with one of those darn summer colds. Enjoy this video, second of three parts) of the Utah National Guard engaging in aerial firefighting.


Direct link to video

I shared part 1 of this three part video series of the Utah National Guard on May 3rd.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Warren Grove Fire (Burlington/Ocean Counties NJ) - ten years later

It was ten years ago this past week that a F-16 military jet on a training mission on May 15, 2007 dropped a flare on the Warren Grove Gunnery Range from too low an altitude. The flare did not burn out, hit the ground and sparked a wildfire in the New Jersey Pine Barrens that eventually grew to 17,270 acre Warren Grove Fire.

The rains came the evening of May 16, 2007, see PineyPower’s May 16th, 6:50 PM blog entry (scroll down a bit). I’m not quite sure when the fire was contained, probably a few days later. The B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page posted the following on the bottom of their main page last week:
Section B4 Wildfire Anniversary
The 17,270 acre 'Warren Grove Wildfire', Barnegat, started on May 15-22, 2007
1 home destroyed, over 20 structures damaged.
 
Flares dropped from an F-16 belonging to the 177th Fighter Wing set off this large wildfire that consumed more than 17,000 acres (73 km²) of the Pinelands and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents.This fire burned through the following towns: Barnegat Twp, Bass River Twp, Eagleswood Twp, Little Egg Harbor Twp and Stafford Twp (accessed on May 19, 2017 from http://www.sectionb10.org/)

Judy Smestad-Nunn reported on a Wildfire Safety Council meeting in Barnegat Township, NJ on May 11, 2017 for Micromedia Publications - Ocean County. Among the main purpose of the meeting was the tenth anniversary of the Warren Grove Fire. Among those present at the meeting where representatives from the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard. The 177th Fighter Wing accepted responsibility for the Warren Grove Fire. I know that the 177th Wing was involved in an investigation of the fire, unfortunately that report is no longer available on the internet. While the NJFFS reached out to representatives of the 177th Wing to alert them to high fire danger on May 15, 2007, it seems that the fire danger warning was never transmitted to the pilots. A F-16 dropped a live flare from too low an altitude, the flare did not burn out in time and the Warren Grove fire was born. The 177th Wing and the Warren Grove Gunnery Range have made changes in the hope that a fire like the 2007 Warren Grove Fire never happens again:
Major Still, who is a pilot for the NJ National Guard, said the range was shut down for a year and a half afterwards, and new leadership was put into place to make sure it didn’t happen again. 
‘We don’t drop flares, there are no pyrotechnics, and every user who flies on the range takes a test explaining the rules,’ he said. Pilots also have to take a fire test, Major Still added. 
The Guard has instituted a fire response plan, and in the event of a fire they would get involved more quickly, he said. 
Master Sergeant Michael Mimler said a lot of what was done to reopen the range has become a national standard. 
'We communicate with local fire services. We have fire check-ins, and a lot of other ranges are doing the same thing,' he said. A lot of great things have come out of this for communities across the country’ (obtained on May 20, 2017 from https://micromediapubs.com/ocean-county/10th-anniversary-warren-grove-wildfire/

Improvements in communications among neighboring towns, evacuation plans, and Firewise Communities http://firewise.org/ which encourages and helps resident to do what they can to mitigate the risk of wildfire damage to their home and property. I wrote about fire and fuel breaks built after the Warren Grove Fire in October 2011.

The Asbury Park Press wrote a good article on the 10th anniversary of the Warren Grove Fire and lessons learned including more information on the Barnegat Wildfire Safety Council, one of the first towns to have such a council. Among the issues that the Barnegat Wildfire Safety Council works on are what the town and her residents can do to lessen the risk of wildfires. The APP article may be found here.

Before closing, I want to spend a little time on Firewise Communities. According to a brochure on Firewise Communities that I got from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service a few years ago Firewise Communities play an important role in wildfire suppression efforts:
When a large, fast-spreading wildfire occurs, firefighters may not have the resources to defend every home that becomes threatened. Communities whose residents take proactive steps to reduce their vulnerability have a greater probability of withstanding a wildfire and reducing damage and loss. Prepared communities became part of the suppression efforts and not part of the problem in controlling a growing wildfire (I am unable to find this brochure on Firewise Communities in NJ online).
To learn more about Firewise communities you might want to start by reading this brochure, Adopting Firewise Communities/USA: People Working Together . Firewise frequently asked questions may be found at Firewise FAQs  , and finally there is a Firewise Toolkit.

New Jersey’s first Firewise Community was Hardwick Township (Sussex County) in 2004 with Stillwater and Medford becoming Firewise Communities in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Barnegat, which was impacted by the Warren Grove Fire became a Firewise Community in 2008.  New Jersey currently has 14 Firewise Communities. See this list of Firewise Communities in the United States  or view the Firewise Communities interactive map of Firewise communities in the U.S. A list of Firewise State Liaisons may be found here. The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has a Firewise page. and you may learn more becoming a recognized fire wise community in New Jersey here.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Just In - Wildfire in Burlington County NJ

May 20, 4:25 PM

I was perusing local New Jersey media this afternoon, in the course of reading through the headlines on New Jersey Advance Media, I saw this article on a wildfire that is currently burning in Burlington County NJ. The wildfire is burning in Shamong Township near the Wharton State Forest in Burlington County NJ. The fire has burned about 75 to 100 acres as of this morning. New Jersey Forest Fire Service Crews are putting in a containment line around the fire and are setting backfires to protect homes in the area. No evacuations are in place at the moment.

The B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page has this notice on their main page:
05/20/17 @ 0950 hrs- SECTION B1, Shamong Twp "Bards Bridge Wildfire" behind the Antler Gun Club on Bards Bridge Rd.- NJFFS IC has requested an observation helo and command post trailer. Estimated size is 150+ acres with some containment. Size is expected to increase to around 300 acres after burn-out operations.  Local fire companies have set-up structure protection for homes in the area. State route 206 is still open.
Updated 1430 hrs.
(accessed on May 20,2017 at 4:19 PM from http://www.sectionb10.org/index.html)
Additional reports on the wildfire in Shamong Township:
ABC6 in Philadelphia
NBC10 in Philadelphia

May 20, 2017, 10 PM

The B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page is reporting that the Bards  Bridge Wildfire (Shamong Township in Burlington Township near the Wharton State Forest) has been fully contained at 300 acres. Local fire companies provided structure protection for residences near the wildfire earlier today. No homes have been damaged. New Jersey Forest Fire Service Wildland Firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor the fire overnight.

New Jersey Advance Media, 7:09 PM on May 20th

Friday, May 19, 2017

A look back at the Station Fire (2009)

As sometimes I happens this time of year, I got involved in picking up some plants and gardening supplies today so I never did finish the article I started on the 10th anniversary of the Warren Grove fire that burned over 17,000 acres in the Pine Barrens in Burlington and Ocean counties New Jersey. I hope to finish and post that article this weekend or perhaps on Monday. Sorry about that.

In the meantime, enjoy this video compilation from the Station Fire (shot on August 28-30) that burned over 160,000 acres. I cut my teeth, so to speak, watching live footage of this fire seeing some incredible footage of tanker and helo operations. You will see some nice tanker and helo footage in this video. Enjoy!


Direct link to video

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

NWS Incident Meterologists (IMETs) - 2017 edition

Some of you may recall that I started to write about Incident Meteorologists (IMETs) last year (see for example August 10, 2016, August 11, 2016, and August 15, 2016.  Briefly, IMETs are Meteorologists with the National Weather Service who have received extra training that helps them provide onsite meteorology support services to wildfires and other incidents.

I hope to continue writing about IMETs during the 2017 wildfire season, so I want to take a little time to share some information about what IMETs do. 

First, there is a short article shared on the Weather-Ready Nation website on A Day in the Life of an Incident Meteorologist (IMET) on the Front Lines of a Wildfire , some of you my recall that I shared this article in one of my blog posts from 2016. I thought it worth reposting a link to this article because I think that it provides a nice overview of what IMETs do. Those of you who watch the Weather Channel may be familiar with a show called the Wx Geeks hosted by Dr. Marshall Shepard from the University of Georgia, On December 16, 2015 he interviewed Heath Hockenberry from the National Weather Service who was the Fire Weather Program Manager for the National Weather Service, go here  to watch the 17-minute video.


I’d like to share a short video where you will hear an IMET talk about his work.


I am sure that many of you know about the West Mims Fire https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5153/ that has burned over 152,231 acres in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the fire is currently at 23 percent containment. Those of you who are interested in reading more about the West Mims Fire will want to read Bill Gabbert’s article on Wildfire Today about the West Mims Fire, he first wrote about the West Mims Fire on April 10th and he has written other articles as well which you can access via this link. When I went to the NWS IMETs Facebook page earlier today, I noted that IMETs were assigned to the fire on April 13th for two weeks and another on April 25th. A third IMET was assigned to the fire on May 8th.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Air Spray (Edmonton Alberta) celebrates 50 years


Direct link to video

Air Spray, out of Edmonton Alberta, has been in the aerial firefighting business for fifty years. Air Spray's roots began as Air Spray Ltd in 1954 as an Ag Aviation operator. Air Spray Ltd's first foray into aerial wildland firefighting began in 1958 with  a contract with Alberta using two Stearmans, later switching to TBM Avengers in 1961. Air Spray Ltd went out of business in 1996 and was resurrected and reincorporated in 1967 as Air Spray (1967) Ltd. To read more about the history of Air Spray, go to the Air Spray History page.

Air Spray's current air tanker fleet consists of

I don't know how long this will be freely and easily available on the web, but Skies Magazine has a nice spread about Air Spray in their May 2017 edition. As I post this on May 15th, Skies Magazine's May 2017 article on Air Spray (with nice photos) may be found here.

Congratulations to Air Spray on 50 years in the tanker biz. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Up close with a crop-dusting helicopter

I found some awesome footage of a crop-dusting helicopter this afternoon that I think you will like. For much of the video you are inside the helicopter on crop-dusting runs. But that is not all, there are some views, probably from a camera under the helo, as well as some awesome footage on the ground.  I especially enjoyed the small landing pad on the portable tanks so the helo's tanks can easily be refilled close to the dusting operations. Strap in and enjoy. Allow about eight minutes to watch the video.


Direct link to video on youtube

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A look at the role of heli-rappellers

Enjoy this video from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), released in January 2017 as a part or their Wildland Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR). I enjoyed learning a little more about what is involved in heli-rappelling and how rappellers help out other wildland firefighters, especially in the remote mountainous regions of the western United States.


Direct link to video from NIFC

Monday, May 08, 2017

Aviation history -- a look at airmail circa 1925

I found myself a little depressed today thinking about abandoned airports. Wanting to put a more positive spin on aviation history, I found myself thinking about air mail service in the 1920s. I do not have time today to write on the role that New Jersey air fields played in air mail service in the 1920s and beyond. But I did go to youtube hoping to find something interesting to share with you, which is how I came to share this 61 minute silent movie (in two parts) circa 1925 from the United States Post Office department on the Air Mail Service. I believe that the aircraft that you will see is a Dehavilland DH-4. You will see her (or perhaps a few DeHavilland DH-4 aircraft?) make a cross country flight from New York to San Francisco.

The video that I am sharing, in two parts, is from the archives of the San Diego Air and Space Museum (SDASM). This is a silent movie, however, you might want to mute the sound to avoid a distracting humming sound. You won't miss anything.

Enjoy!


Direct link to part 1 of video from SDASM Archives on Youtube


Direct link to part 2 of video From SDASM Archives on Youtube

From the Smithsonian National Postal MuseumAirmail in America: 1918 to 1926


Friday, May 05, 2017

A Neptune P2-V tanker in action (April 25, 2017)

I literally just saw a great video from Bob Webb of a Lockheed Neptune P2-V tanker in action. This is one of Neptune Aviation's P2-V's, T-14 (Webb/Bailey). You will see footage on the ramp and in action. Great camera placement. Bob just uploaded the video to Youtube on May 4th. Fire footage was shot on April 25 over the Sawmill Fire. Ramp footage at KFHU (Fort Huachuca Air Attack Base, Arizona). Second Mechanic and Videography by Dan Smith. Crew Chief: Dan Elliott.

Nice work guys, thanks for sharing this video with us. Stay safe and thanks for all you do to keep us safe.


Direct link to video from Bob Webb on Youtube

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Utah Army National Guard (2013) working wildfires

Most of my regular readers know that I love helicopters. Here is part 1 of a 3 part video showing Utah Army National Guard Helicopters working Utah wildfires in 2013.

Matt this is for you, may you continue to fly in favorable tail winds. RIP my friend.


Direct link to video

Monday, May 01, 2017

Images of fighting a grass fire in Kansas (late 2016/early 2017)

I have been doing some reading recently about grass fires in the southern Great Plains for some upcoming blog articles. I came across this 14 minute video of some firefighters working a grass fire near Marquette Kansas that was uploaded to Youtube by JRockyHill in January 2017. Not sure when the fire was. But you get the idea. of what the firefighters do to work a grass fire.


Direct link to video

Friday, April 28, 2017

Florida Wildfires - April 28th

Florida continues to have a very active 2017 wildfire season as you can see from the following article from the Florida Forestry Service. I know that the Florida wildland firefighters have been working hard to protect the folk in Florida.



As I write the Florida Forest Service has a map of currently burning wildfires (as of April 28th) that I am sharing below. The information on the Florida Forest Service Wildland Fire Current Wildfire Page changes frequently, but if you are reading this article today you will see that they have several maps of individual wildfires.
obtained on April 28, 2017 from http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Wildland-Fire/Current-Fire-Conditions


Here are forecast fire danger indices from the Florida Forest Service.



Finally Florida County level burn bans.



Here are a couple of videos, thanks to my friends at the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page for the links to these two videos. These videos reflect wildfire activity about a week ago. I am not sure what the current conditions are.

Collier County FL, Golden Gates Estates (video uploaded on April 21st)


Direct link to video on Youtube

Polk County, FL (video uploaded on April 21st)


Direct link to video 


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Jersey Forest Fire Service Aircraft (2017)

This article is possibly because of a document written and update periodically by John H. Rieth, New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) Apparatus Roster and Guide (last updated January 2016) that I found on the B10 NJ Widland Fire Crew Info Page on April 26, 2017. I am going to list the aircraft operated by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service for wildland fire operations. Direct link to NJFFS Apparatus Roster and Guide (by John H. Rieth, last updated January 2016) may be found here.

HELICOPTERS
All state operated helicopters are currently owned by the US Forest Service. They were obtained through the Federal Excess Property Program (FEPP). These six helicopters are:

  • Delta 1: 1953 Bell 47G2, 75 gallon bambi bucket
  • Delta 2:  1975 Bell Jet 206B Het Ranger, 100 gallon bucket
  • Delta 3 1969 Bell 206A/B Jet Ranger
  • Delta 5a: 1966 UH-1H Huey, 300 gallon bucket
  • Delta 6: 1966 UH-1H Huey, 300 gallon bucket
  • Delta 7: 1974 UH-1H Huey, 300 gallon bucket

FIXED WING
Three fixed wing aircraft are currently operated by the NJFFS for detection, observation, and command operations.

  • Delta 10: 1986 Cessna 206 (five seat)
  • Delta 15: 1966 Cessna 182 (four seat)
  • Delta 16: 1963 Super Cub (two seat)

According to Rieth, the main air base for the NJFFS is Coyle Field (Woodland Township, Burlington County). The NJFFS also operates out of Andover Aeroflex, in Andover NJ (Sussex County).

As I write this in 2017, the air bases used by the NJFFS for 2017 SEAT operations are located at Downstown Aero in Vineland, NJ (Cumberland County) and Miller Field in Berkeley Township (Ocean County). Downstown is the SEAT air base in NJFFS Division C for 2017. I understand that the SEAT assigned to Division B is based out of Miller Air Park for 2017. For more information on 2017 NJFFS SEAT contracts see my April 7, 2017 article. If you are accessing this article after 2017, NJFFS SEAT bases may not be different.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Amazing video of the night sky from a commercial jet

I interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to share a stunning video that just came across my desk today courtesy of the AOPA who shared this article and video from Elsewhere Nine. This a video shot by one of the pilots (Sales Wick) of a commercial airliner on a night flight from Europe to Sao Paolo in South America. Some of you may know that I love the stars and this video offers me a view that I have never seen. Sure, I have been fortunate to see the dark night sky from rural New. England. But this video is stunning. Sales Wick shared the video in an accompanying post here.

Enjoy, this is a keeper. Thanks so much Sales Wick!



FlightLapse #01 - MilkyWay from SkyProduction on Vimeo.

Friday, April 21, 2017

About SEATs working wildfires -- SEAT Pilots and SEAT Manager (Lakeview Tanker Base OR) - 2014

I am frequently on the prowl for interesting videos to share with you. I found one today that I don't think that I have shared here previously. That is, a 2014 video from the Lakeview County Examiner (Oregon) where you here two SEAT pilots (Jodi Pillatzki and Danny Mosely) and Vicki Baker (Single Engine Air Tanker Manager of Lakeview Interagency Helitack and Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) base talk about how SEATs work wildfires in support of the firefighters on the ground. SEAT pilots Pillatzki and Mosely) were based at Lakeview Tanker Base at the time this video was shot on August 8, 2014.

Allow about eight minutes to watch the video.


Direct link to video from the Lake County Examiner

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Some recent wildfire activity in New Jersey (April 14th to 17th)

I was listening to Radio Feed from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, Division A (link to NJFFS Division A Radio Feed) this past Monday when I heard of wildfire activity in Ramapo (Bergen County, NJ not far from the New York State line). I freely admit that I was multi-tasking so was not following closely. But I knew enough to know that there was a wildfire of some sort in Ramapo on Monday, April 17th.

Knowing that Ramapo is in the response area of NJ Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) Section A2, I went to the NJFFS A2 Firefighters Association Facebook page later that same afternoon and saw the following post (April 17th at 5:22 PM), embedded below. Their Facebook posted answered my questions about the location (Ramapo Reservation near Mahwah, NJ) and that a helicopter with a bucket was requested.



Monday evening a friend of mine sent me a link to a short article about the wildfire in Ramapo Reservation to share with you, from the Mahwah Daily Voice (April 17th), confirming that one of the NJFFS Huey Helicopaters (Delta 7) with a bucket worked the fire, which was then reported at about three to five acres in size.

By late Tuesday afternoon, April 18th, a post on the NJFFS A2 Firefighters Association Facebook Page (embedded below) reported that NJFFS A2 crews were working on mop-up, reinforcing lines, and patrol. The fire was mapped at 12.5 acres.



Thanks to my friends from B10 NJ Wildland Fire for bringing the following video to my attention so that I may share it with you. You will see NJFFS Huey Delta 7 working the Ramapo Reservation Wildfire on April 17th, video from Mahwah Fire Rescue.


Direct link to video from Mahwah Fire Rescue


While I was on the NJFFS A2 Firefighters Association Facebook Page, I learned that NJFFS A2 wildfire crews worked a smaller wildfire on Friday April 14th and Saturday, April 15th (post embedded below), the Chickadee Fire burned about five acres near Upper Greenwood Lake in Passaic County.



These wildfires are representative of some of the wildfires that have burned in New Jersey the last couple of weeks. I know that there are more wildfires that have burned across New Jersey but have no list of such wildfires to share with you. I don't know of any major wildfires in New Jersey (100 acres or more) over the last 10 to 14 days, but I could be wrong.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Still more SEATs

For those of you who pay attention to such things, I am sharing two videos of SEATs in action, both dating from 2012. And both have been shared on this blog about 4 and one-half years ago. I was recently reminded of one of these videos, and I thought that they were both worth sharing again. Enjoy!
direct link to video on youtube


direct link to video on youtube

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tankers on federal contract in 2017 (U.S.)

I suspect that many of you already follow Bill Gabbert's wonderful blogs, Wildfire Today and Fire Aviation, so you may already know that among the issues Bill writes about is Air Tankers and Helicopters on fire contracts in the United States along with Tanker Operators plans to convert aircraft to tanker configuration. In today's article I am going to summarize some of his recent articles (with links) and urge you to go read his Fire Aviation blog for more information. Thank-you Bill for your hard work in researching and then writing these articles. You will want to follow Bill Gabbert's Fire Aviation to keep abreast of any future developments

Those of you who followed the March wildfire outbreaks in Colorado and the Plains probably know that the USFS activated three of Neptune Aviations BAe-146 air tankers (tankers 02, 03, and 12), Bill wrote about this in a March 11th article on Fire Aviation.

Bill Gabbert talks about Tanker Operators plans to convert more aircraft to tanker configuration. His article on March 30th is a good read about Neptune’s BAe-146 and its sister Avro RJ85 (Conair/Aeroflite). He discusses Neptune's and Conair/Aeroflite’s plans to convert aircraft to firefighting configuration and contracts. Note that he says that Neptune will have one BAe-146 on contract with CAL FIRE this year.

Gabbert continues his good reporting in an April 10th Fire Aviation article where he reports on Coulson’s third tanker, T-133 that was nearing completion as he wrote the article. The is Coulson's second L-382G, the 3822G is the civilian version of the military C-130. He also provides on update on Airspray’s conversion of their first BAe-146 and their plans for more conversions.

Large Air Tanker Contracts (see Bill Gabbert's March 10th Fire Aviation article (with updates)

Bill writes about large tankers on exclusive use contract:

  • 10 Tanker: two DC-10s
  • Aero Air LLC: two MD-87s (see Bills article for an update on the MD-7s and the plans of Aero Air to have more MD-87s available later this year hopefully for a CWN contract.
  • Aero Flite Inc: four RJ 85s
  • Coulson Aircrane one C-130Q
  • Neptune Aviation: four P2-Vs and seven BAe-146’s

And tankers on call when needed contracts:

  • 10 Tanker: 1 DC-10
  • Aero Flite: (3 Avro RJ 85’s)
  • Coulson (1 L-382g)

See Gabbert's March 10th article for a complete list by contractor, tanker number and tail number. Bill also has a discussion about the transfer of seven HC-130H aircraft from the US Coast Guard to the USFS  and the conversion. One of the HC-130H (T-116) with a MAFFS unit will be available in 2017.

Finally Bill Gabbert writes on the reduction of the number of type 1 helicopters on federal contracts in 2017, Columbia Helicopters conversion of two of their CH-47d helicopters to use 2,800 internal tanks  and SEAT contracts for 2017.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

15-acre wildfire in Norvin Green State Forest, NJ (contained)

I got wind of a wildfire in a remote section of Novin Green State Forest thanks to Mike Archer's Wildfire News of the Day for April 11th, thanks Mike! Mike Archer linked to a short article from North Jersey.com/The Record (April 11th). This wildfire was in "rugged terrain",  an air tanker and a helicopter with a bucket helped the wildland firefighters on the ground to fight the wildfire. The cause is unknown.

Years ago I went on a couple of day hikes in Norvin Green State Forest, so I went on Google Earth to get an image showing the approximate location of the wildfire in northern Passaic County not far from the New York State line.

Approximate location of April 11th wildfire in Norvin Green State Forest in northern New Jersey
I knew that wildland firefighters from northern New Jersey would have fought this wildfire. As luck would have it, I found a facebook post with more information from the NJFFS A2 Firefighters Association posted on April 12th. Bravo 1, an Air Tractor 802 along with Huey Delta 7 and bucket worked the wildfire. The wildfire was contained at 15 acres by the evening of April 11th. Crews from New Jersey Forest Fire Service Section A2 worked this wildfire.  Job well done everyone!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Alabama's wildfire aviation unit

I've flown enough as a knowledgeable passenger in the right side of general aviation aircraft to know that you have a birds eye view to see certain activities on the ground, including wildfires. I suspect that making good observations from an aircraft takes experience. I have always had a general knowledge that there are agencies in the U.S. and internationally that make wildfire observations from the air, but had no specific information. Or perhaps I just wasn't paying attention. But I was paying attention last week when a short video from a local news report from WKRG in Alabama.

In the video, uploaded on March 29th, you will meet the Alabama Forestry Commission's Aviation Unit. At the time of this news report there were 37 wildfires to date that had burned more than 1,300 acres in Mobile and Baldwin Counties in Southwest Alabama this spring. Over the last three months (January to March 2017) there have been some 330 burned that have burned more than 6,500 acres

The Aviation Unit has been working making observations in support of wildland firefighters on the ground. In this short video you will meet Robert Trimble who flies one of four Alabama Forestry Commission's Cessna's. In his case a Cessna 182. He is an "eye in the sky" first locating wildfires and then flying over the fire and dispatching ground crews to the wildfire. He also works to keep the ground crews safe, advising them to move to safer ground if necessary.

You will fly with the reporter Pat Peterson as he joins Trimble one day as he flies over Baldwin County in Alabama. Trimble covers 10 counties in Southwest Alabama.


Direct link to video

Friday, April 07, 2017

Spring 2017 wildfire season - SEAT contracts in New Jersey and Pennsylvannia

It is early spring in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania and that means that the spring wildfire season is or will soon be upon us. Here in New Jersey SEATs in New Jersey Forest Fire Service Division B and Division C will go on contract on or about April 10th for a period of approximately five weeks, ending on or about May 15th. Dates are subject to change. As I write this on April 7th, much of New Jersey and adjoining areas have experienced three days of rainfall in the last week, rainfall of varying amounts. At least in my neck of the woods, the ground is somewhat saturated. But the ground can dry out quickly.

NJFFS Division B’s SEAT is an Air Tractor 802 (800 gallons). The SEAT that will be on contract in Division C is an Air Tractor 602 (600 gallons) from Downstown Aero. This will be Downstown’s  fiftieth year providing aerial fire fighting services in New Jersey.

April 10, 2017 Update: Downstown's AT-602 goes on contract April 10th. To show you how quickly things can change, there is enhanced fire danger in the southern part of NJ and eastern PA this afternoon and evening. I am not quite sure when the 802 in Division B goes on contract, when I get a date, I'll update this post.

April 26, 2017 Update: I am not quite sure when the 802 in Division B went on contract. I believe that she was on contract on or about April 17, 2017.

 obtained on April 7, 2017 from http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/fire/ff_aboutus.htm

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, an Air Tractor 802 (800 gallons) is on contract until at least May 5th, working out of the Moshannon Wildfire Air Operations Center at the Mid-State Regional Airport. The AT-802 is joined by a Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopter. The Centre Daily Times has a nice two-part article on the Pennsylvania spring wildfire season. In part one (April 3rd) you will read about some good background information about wildfire presentation and the like. The article also discusses the very important role of the volunteer fire companies who are often to first to respond to wildfires and how wildfires are fought on the ground with support from aerial resources. In part two (April 5th), you will read about the AT-802 on contract in PA, with a some great photos of the 802 that are a must see! In addition, you will read about how aerial (and ground) resources are deployed to the wildfire. I never know how long newspaper articles will be available, but I can say that accessed both articles on the date I posted this article (April 7th).

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

SEATs and Gel Tech Solutions help with landfill fire in Bahamas

This morning I found myself on the Fletcher Flying Services Facebook page. Fletcher Flying Services is an Ag Aviation company out of Immokalee Florida. The top post on their page, which I have embedded below shows one or two of their SEATs loaded with FireIce from Gel Tech Solutions working a landfill fire in Jubilee Gardens in the Bahamas. The Bahamian Government had contracted with Gel Tech Solutions and Fletcher Flying Services (who provided two SEATs) in mid-March 2017 to help them put the lid on a smoky landfill fire that had lead to some evacuations of nearby residents. I started out with this video, and wanting to know a little more, I went through my folder where I save e-mails from Mike Archer's Wildfire News of the Day. Lo and behold, I found just what I was looking for in his March 14th Wildfire News of the Day edition.

Apparently, Matt Struzziero, Director of Sales and Strategic Operations for Gel Tech Solutions sent along this same video and a link to a March 14th article from the Nassau Guardian about the landfill fire at the New Providence Landfill in the Bahamas and providing information about the Bahamian Government's contract with Gel Tech Solutions and Fletcher Flying Services that I reference in the preceding paragraph. Gel Tech Solution's FireIce product was dropped on the fire. Note that before you can view Gel Tech's FireIce page, you have to agree to their FireIce Disclaimer which says in part about FireIce: "Attempting to emulate the demonstrations depicted on this website without proper supervision by trained firefighters and medical personnel could lead to serious injury or death."


Direct link to video (uploaded March 13, 2017)


Monday, April 03, 2017

NW OK Complex (April 3rd) - update 3 of 3 - losses

Last week I began writing a couple of posts with updates on the Northwest Oklahoma Complex of Fires that burned 779,292 acres and is at 100 percent containment on or about March 22nd. It is perhaps still early to assess the damage from these wildfires. But I want to give you an idea of what I have found. I need to say that I suspect that these numbers may change and I consider them preliminary. Further what I am writing about here do not include other areas of the Plains outside of the Northwest Oklahoma Complex that were also affected by wildfires in March 2017.

According to the last press release from inciweb for the NW OK Complex, dated March 21, 2017:
  • at least two civilians died as a result of this Complex of wildfires, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma,
  • at least 8 homes were destroyed in Oklahoma and 34 residences in Kansas were destroyed with over 100 outbuildings destroyed or damaged in both states.
NewsOK reported in a April 2nd article that "an estimated 3,000 head of cattle and 6,500 hogs” have died. This same April 2nd article talks about preliminary economic impacts of these wildfires:
Although the total economic impact for fires across the state remains unknown, the preliminary estimate for the Northwest Oklahoma Complex fires is $16 million, with an estimated $14.6 million in damage to cattle operations alone. 
Geissler (note: Oklahoma State Forester George Geissler) said it's difficult to determine a dollar amount statewide, as the fires have affected different terrains. 
Grass fires have burned acres that are used to feed livestock but also have burned areas that have little to no economic importance. Acres of wooded areas have burned, causing a loss for lumber and paper mills in eastern Oklahoma, and thousands of miles of fence have been destroyed, which Geissler said costs about $10,000 per mile to install.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said (see this April 2nd report from 8ABC in Tulsa OK  that the US Department of Agriculture has approved an emergency loan program for livestock producers in Alfalfa, Beaver, Ellis, Harper Rogers Mills and Woodward Counties in Oklahoma and livestock producers in adjoining counties may be eligible for these loans as well.

For more information:


I offer my thoughts and prayers for all who were affected by the Northwest Oklahoma Complex as well as those affected by wildfires elsewhere in the Plains (Texas, other areas of Kansas and Oklahoma, Colorado, etc.).

Friday, March 31, 2017

A brief look at how recent wildfires in OK, KS, & TX affected ranchers

Those of you who have looked at my March 29th blog post have met Molly Green, Office Manager of the Laverne OK office of Tyree Ag.

Specifically, I shared a video from the Oklahoma Forestry Services where Molly was discussing the relief efforts that are still underway for the ranchers affected by the devastating Northwest Oklahoma Complex that burned over 779,000 acres.

I was interested in what Molly had to say on the video, and it did not take me long to find the webpage for Tyree Ag, so I called her. We had a nice conversation, I appreciated the time she took to talk with me. We talked some more about the hay drop off for ranchers. I learned from her that many ranchers lost miles of fencing and that fencing is very expensive to replace. More importantly, she told me how much the ranchers loved their animals. I can relate to that.

We then spoke of the loss of so many head of cattle. I told her that I had seen some pictures from newspaper articles. By this time, I had told her about my blog, that I had posted  a few articles about the wildfires that affected Northwest Oklahoma. We talked some more, and she told me about a nine-minute video that I am sharing with you below. She thought that this video, by Arable Media and Agri-Pulse Communications  would be a good way to share with you about how the wildfires have affected the ranching community in OK, KS, and TX. The video has some graphic images of dead cattle that some might find hard to watch. We talked about the graphic images in the video, she told me that dead cattle (and other livestock) is their reality. It was hard for me to watch portions of the video. But I am glad that I watched the video without forwarding through graphic images. I needed to see that. 

I'd like to finish off with saying that in watching the video, I am struck by the residency of the ranching community and how they take care of each other. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who had losses because of these wildfires.


Direct Link to video on Facebook

I thought it important to share this video with you today. I hope to finish my three part series with updates of the Northwest Oklahoma Complex on Monday, April 3rd.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

NW Oklahoma Complex Update 2 of 3 - March 29th (videos from the fire)

Continuing with the post that I wrote on March 27th, with an update on the Northwest Oklahoma Complex that burned 779,292 acres and is now at 100 percent containment, I want to share some videos that were posted on the Oklahoma Forestry Services Facebook page seven to ten days ago. Specifically, they posted a series of videos that they called #FacesoftheFire. I am sharing three of these #FacesoftheFire videos from the Oklahoma Forestry Services Facebook page. Enjoy.

Molly Green, Office Manager for Tyree Ag (posted on March 15th)


John Morgan, Safety Director with Laverne (OK), Fire Department (posted on March 19th)


John Brown, SEAT Pilot with Henry's Aerial Service out of Brinkley, Arkansas (posted March 20th)



Finally, Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today shared two stories from firefighters who fought the NW OK Complex on March 15th that you will want to look at.

I hope to wrap this series of updates about the NW OK Complex on April 3rd. Stay Tuned.