Over the years that I have been writing this blog I have known of many wildfires in Washington and have a great deal of respect for their State wildfire agency, the Wildfire Division of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). The WDNR is very competent, working hard to keep their residents as safe as they can from wildfire danger. They do this with the following resources:
DNR Wildfire is the state's largest on-call fire department, with more than 1,300 employees trained and available to fight fires as needed. This includes more than 800 permanent DNR employees, 500 seasonal employees, about 117 wildland fire engines, eight helicopters and six single engine air tankers, which are under contract with DNR.
Additionally, the Department of Corrections works with DNR on a voluntary Correctional Camps Program that provides job training for approximately 300 inmates while meeting the state’s need for more wildland firefighters and firefighting support. Corrections crew members are able to earn minimal funds while providing cost-efficient support. (obtained from http://www.dnr.wa.gov/FightingFire on August 29, 2017)I learned a little about their helitack program on the WDNR Aviation page, their eight UN-1H helicopters are equipped with buckets to drop water/foam on fires. In addition, they fly helitack crews to remote locations to provide initial attack on wildfires. More information about the helitack program is available on the WDNR Aviation page, and you will want to visit the WDNR flicker page for some photographs. For those of you who are interested in fire aviation, here is a link to a short history of the WDNR helitack program.
Finally, the WDNR has a nice page of wildfire information, including a map, with links for more information on current wildfires.
Next up: reflections on CAL FIRE.