Monday, January 30, 2017

Wildfires in Chile - January 30th

I suspect that most of you know about the devastating  wildfires that continue to burn in Chile. I wrote on January 20th about the death of three Chilean wildland firefighters and I understand that a fourth firefighter has died, see this January 25th article by Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today, and as well as a fifth firefighter (an air tanker pilot). This in addition to deaths of civilians from the wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres. The 747 tanker was deployed to Chile last week, part of aid to Chile from around the world. The Russians sent an IL-76 tanker which arrived today (see the January 30th article on Fire Aviation) and more airtankers are enroute to Chile (see the January 29th article on Fire Aviation), including perhaps one of Coulson's C-130s.

I am embarrassed to say that I only realized today that Bill Gabbert of Wildlfire Today and Fire Aviation has been embedded with the 747 crew since it was deployed January 24th. Bill writes of the deployment of the 747 tanker and being embedded in this January 24th Fire Aviation article.

Bill has done a fantastic job reporting from Chile! Thanks Bill and stay safe. Anyway, there are way to many articles to refer to here. Rather I refer you to articles with the Chile label from Wildfire Today and articles with the Chile label from Fire Aviation. There are a lot of articles, but if you would like to see some photos and videos, see this January 29th article on Wildfire Today and a video shot from inside the 747 cockpit on Fire Aviation (January 28th). Bill has several posts with other videos and photos that you might want to check out.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Scenes from bush fire season in Australia (2017)

Earlier this week I wrote about aerial attack on some bush fires that burned last week in New South Wales, Australia. Today I continue along the same lines by embedding some videos from the 2017 bush fire season in Australia. To all my friends in Australia, stay safe.

The first three I found courtesy of my friends from the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page who have a video of the week page (updated weekly on the weekend)

Direct link to video

Direct link to video

Direct link  to video

And these two on bush fire(s) in the Kurri Kurri region of Australia, the first uploaded on January 18th and the second published on January 24th

Direct link to video

Direct link to video (click on show more on about this video)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Red Flag Warnings in Oklahoma on Jan 24th with a few wildfires

As I was checking the national weather map yesterday (January 24th) on the National Weather Service, I noted that there were Red Flag Warnings in much of Oklahoma and perhaps a portion of western Texas, These maps changes through out the day, and unfortunately I did not think to save an image for you. But I did note that the National Weather Service at Norman, Oklahoma posted this graphic on their Facebook early on January 24th about the Red Flag Warnings.

I wondered if there were any wildfires in Oklahoma yesterday, and I did discover that there were multiple wildfires (grass) yesterday in Oklahoma destroying at least three homes (see this report (with photos, a video and a map from KFOR for more information), at least one helicopter flew in support of the wildland firefighters on the ground. One of the wildfires burned in Edmond in Logan County, where the three houses homes that were destroyed were located, for more information see this report from The Oklahoman. According to a January 25th report from KOCO the fire in Edmond rekindled this morning (January 25th). There is a Facebook for Oklahoma Wildfire Info where I found the the article from KOCO and information about January 24th's Red Flag Warning. Finally the Oklahoma Forestry Services has a Twitter account where I saw some tweets about recent wildfire activity, they reported this morning that temperatures were cooling this morning and the winds had died down meaning less critical fire weather concerns.

As I write this, I am reminded of what may be obvious, that a change in the weather (even in the winter) can lead to wildfire danger. Further, a wildfire of any size can destroy a home. Stay safe everyone.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Large and small air tankers flying fires in New South Wales, Australia

A distant relative of mine lives in New South Wales, Australia. Knowing of my blog and my interest in aerial wildland firefighting she sent me a news report from the ABC, an Australian media outlet, about a bush fire that burned a little over 3,000 hectares last week. The bush fire was not all that far from where she and her family live. She told me that the bush fire was under control on Thursday night (January 19th). I have read elsewhere about some bush fires that burned last week near where my relative lives in New South Wales. I provided some links for one of these bush fires, the Currandooley Fire, at the end of this post. I am not quite sure if the Currandooley fire is the fire that she told me about.

I enjoyed reading about the air tankers and helicopters that were used to help the firefighters on the ground fight the bush fire. The 10 Air Tanker's DC-10 "Southern Belle" and Coulson's C-130Q "Thor" are currently in New South Wales based at Richmond (see this article from Wildfire Today for more information), both flew the fire. The report my relative told me about is dated Friday, January 20th. It is about the people behind the helicopters and planes fighting the Tarago and Sutton fires and as chance would have it was also mentioned in Mike Archer's Wildfire News of the Day on January 20th.

Wildfire Today (1/17/17) report on Currandooley fire
Currandooley fire contained

Friday, January 20, 2017

Three wildland Chilean wildland firefighters die - RIP

I want to take a moment and  pause to remember three Chilean wildland firefighters, known as brigadiers from the Chilean National Forest Corporation who died on January 15th fighting wildfires in Chili.

Please join me in remembering and praying for:

Ricardo Salas
Sergio Faundez
Wilfredo Salgado

Reuters video
Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today on January 17th

I offer my condolences to the families, friends, colleagues and all who loved Ricardl, Sergio, and Wilfredo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Desiree Horton Helicopter Pilot

I would be remiss if I did not write about Desiree Horton. I first learned about Desiree back in 2008 or 2009 when I first starting blogging about aerial wildland firefighting. I believe that at that time she was flying a helicopter for the CBS news outlet in Los Angeles. A couple of years ago I did hear that was flying a helicopter for CAL FIRE, the first women helicopter pilot. I think, but am not certain, that she is still flying for CAL FIRE.  I hope that she is still flying for CAL FIRE. I enjoyed this October 2014 video report from CBS Los Angeles on Desiree Horton and I thought that you would as well.

Direct link to 2014 video report from CBS Los Angeles

Bill Gabbert of Fire Aviation wrote two articles about Desiree Horton that you may find here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

In honor of the Tuskegee Airmen

I can think of no better way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King on the day we in America celebrate his birthday (His actual birthday is January 15th) then to share a video/documentary (45 minutes) from the Military Channel about the Tuskegee Airmen (National Park Service Historic Site), the African American units of the Army AirCorps who did heroic work in World War II.

There is another site, Tuskegee Airmen Inc, however I should warn you that many of the links to documents on their history page appear to be broken. But they do have good videos and images (current and history) pages.

Direct link to video on youtube

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Video of last launch of Space Shuttle Discovery

I took the day off yesterday to take care of a little personal business before going to see the latest Star Wars movie, Rogue One. Perhaps near the end of its run in movie theaters. I am a Star Wars fan so I enjoyed the movie. I wanted to post something fun today and in my wonderings on Youtube just now came across the 13 minute video shot from various cameras of the last launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery on February 24, 2011.

Direct link to video

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Natalie Jones, Helicopter Captain at Erickson Air-Crane

I am always interested in female pilots. So when I ran across a video about Natalie Jones, the first female helicopter Captain at Erickson Air-Crane, I wanted to share this with you. I don't think that I have shared this here before, I have looked. Although you never know, perhaps I shared this as a video of the week last year? In any event it is worth sharing again.

I found a short interview by Just Helicopters with Natalie Jones, published in the fall of 2015.

I always enjoy videos and articles where the pilot is the subject of the video. In this case, the pilot just happens to be a woman.

You go Natalie. Stay safe.

Natalie Jones, Helicopter pilot for Erickson, Inc. from Gail Mooney on Vimeo.
Direct link to video on Vimeo by Gail Mooney

In the event that the above embed code doesn't work (I've had trouble with Vimeo code on other occasions), here is a direct link to the same video on Youtube, uploaded by Erickson Air-Crane.

Monday, January 09, 2017

How NOAA and Researchers have been Preparing for GOES-R/16

I've spent some time over the last few days trying to learn more about GOES-R/16. I've already mentioned some of the websites that I visit in posts on November 21,2016, and November 22,2016. For the very latest on new developments by GOES-R/16 you will want NOAA's Satellite Information Service's GOES-R/16 blog.

One of the things on my mind as I go about doing reading on GOES-R/16 is to keep an eye out for good, understandable information on GOES-R/16 that I may share with you (link to in my blog). To that end, I was checking out a couple of NOAA satellite's social media accounts a couple of days ago. I already knew that NOAA Satellites has a twitter account (@NOAASatellites) where they share great images and videos from their satellites as well as images and videos from the satellites of other countries, e.g. Japan's Himawari-8 satellite (shared by NOAA Satellites on January 5th). Often they provide a link where you may go for more information about the image you are seeing. Among the images that @NOAA Satellites shares are images from GOES East and GOES West.

I went to NOAA Satellite's Facebook Page late last Friday and found some information on for how researchers and scientists have been using GOES-14 (the back-up in orbit spare) in rapid scan mode to prepare for GOES-R/16. You may also want to learn more about the Super Rapid Scan (SRS) capability of GOES-14 and how researchers have been using GOES-14 in SRS mode for the last few years in an article from the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconison-Madison with an interview with the Director of NOAA's Advanced Satellite's Product Branch (ASPB), Tim Schmidt, the article may be found here.

As I find more interesting links on GOES-R/16 I will, from time to time, share them here.

Friday, January 06, 2017

A little about GOES-R/16 & LA County Air Operations (2016)

I continue doing some background reading on research on GOES satellites including GOES-R/16 which is in geostationary orbit and is undergoing operational testing. NOAA's satellite and information service has a GOES-R blog is updated as warranted to keep us apprised of what GOES-R/16 is doing. For example, according to their January 5th post, scientists received the first data from the magnetometer on GOES-R/16. Here is an excerpt from the GOES-R Blog's January 5th post describing the magnetometer on GOES-R/16 and the Earth's geomagnetic field
The GOES-16 MAG samples five times faster than previous GOES magnetometers, which increases the range of space weather phenomena that can be measured. . . . Earth’s geomagnetic field acts as a shield, protecting us from hazardous incoming solar radiation.  Geomagnetic storms, caused by eruptions on the surface of the sun, can interfere with communications and navigation systems, cause damage to satellites, cause health risks to astronauts, and threaten power utilities. When a solar flare occurs, GOES-16 will tell space weather forecasters where it happened on the sun and how strong it was. Using that information, forecasters can determine if the explosion of energy is coming toward Earth or not.
In the meantime, while I am doing my research and reading on GOES this week, I have been dealing with a lingering sinus infection so don't have quite as much energy as I usually do. I do hope to write something telling you a little more about the research and reading on GOES that I have been doing. However, I am not quite ready to that yet.

In the meantime, here is a video for you to enjoy from the LA County Fire Department highlighting LA County Air Operations in 2016. Thanks to my friends at the B10 NJ Wildland Fire Page who shared this video last week on their videos of the week page. Absolutely incredible photography from some great photographers. Enjoy!

Matt this video is for you, may you continue to fly in favorable tail winds with the helos.

Direct link to video from LA County Fire Department

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

History (1946) - forest fire protection in Ontario Canada

Thanks to my friends at the B-10 NJ Wildland Fire Page who have a weekly video page. I check out this page most every week and bookmark the videos. It was in going over these bookmarks just now, looking for an interesting video about aerial wildland firefighting that I found the video that I am going to share with you today.

This is a video from 1946, uploaded by Periscope Film, a short film distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures, directed by Van Campen Hellnerand. It was filmed with the cooperation of the Forest Protection Service of the Department of Lands and Forests, Ontario, Canada. For more information about this film you will want to go to the Direct link to Youtube for this video, and click on show more below the three lines introducing the description of this video. It is safe to say that I only know about this video through my friends at the B-10 NJ Wildland Fire Page, I don't think I would have found this video without their help. The folk at B-10 NJ Wildland Fire shared this video on their video of the week page in late November of 2016. Thank-you!!

Direct link to Youtube for this video

Monday, January 02, 2017

Inside the Martin Mars

Continuing with sharing/embedding videos of Air Tankers during this holiday week, here is a video tour shot in September 2015 of the Martin "Hawaii" Mars while she was moored on Sprout Lake, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Direct link to video