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Author Topic: Scenes from wildfires  (Read 5004 times)

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Offline swampwhiteoak

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Scenes from wildfires
« on: July 16, 2002, 07:08:42 PM »
Since its the fire season I thought I'd share some of my fire pictures.  
Here's a picture from the North Fork fire in California '01.  Notice the large plume coming from the bottom of the hill.

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2002, 07:12:19 PM »
This is a rubber tired skidgine.  Skidgines are skidders that have been turned into fire engines.  They can be very useful when working places that engines can't reach.


Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2002, 07:15:09 PM »
This is a type 1 fire fighting helicopter.  This particular one happens to be a skycrane.  It is modified with a large hose to suck up water from nearby water sources.

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2002, 07:17:20 PM »
This is a skidgine on tracks.  Bad picture due to dusty camera.

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2002, 07:19:34 PM »
This is a type 2 helicopter.  Most type 2's, like this one, are old army Huey's.  Used for bucket drops and transporting crews to remote locations.

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2002, 07:21:39 PM »
Close up view of a Type one helicopter water drop.  Camera got a little wet on that one.  

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2002, 10:03:42 AM »
Interesting pictures Swamp and thanks for sharing. I especially like the one of a birdseye view of the water being dumped from the helicopter. That musta meant you were close to the fire!

The first Skidgine picture, with the rubber tires reminded me of a railroad story.  The railroad had spread a herbicide along all the rails, so the grass was super dry. We had gone down a stub track to drop off a car and apparently a spark from the wheels set the grass on fire. We were pinned in the stub track, so the engineer went full bore out of there. When the engine went over the fire, the fans spread the fire big time and our extinquishers didn't phase it. We called the Belle Glade Fire Department. They got so busy fighting the fire that they didn't notice it circled around them and burned up their fire engine. :o We called the Fire Department again and they sent out another unit to save the day!   :-/
Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Online Jeff

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2002, 01:18:07 PM »
Swamp are you done with fire duty for this season or could you get called back? I hope we get rain soon. We are starting to see more reports of highway grass fires due to sparks from vehicles. Its really dry up here.
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Offline J Beyer

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2002, 02:48:43 PM »
Nice pics ;D

In the area where I live there are enough farm fields, roads, and camping to keep down on the fire danger.  By camping to reduce the fire danger, the campers use the wood laying on the ground to build fires inside a fire ring.  I'm just glad that I live in an area where the fires are extinguished the same day.  Being in central Wisconsin, we do not see  :o much for fires especially since our Department of Natural Resources do grass and swamp burns on a regular basis.  Have not had rain for two weeks  :(, grass is just starting to turn brown  :-[.

JB
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2002, 07:12:53 PM »
Swamp,

Some good pictures. Bring back a lot of memories. I have a few hours in those choppers when I was a Helishot on the Angeles National Forest.

Also worked with one of the first skidgines when they were first being thought of back in 1968. We had one on the Cadillac Ranger District, Huron-Manistee National Forest. The state of Michigan and Timberjack was a forerunner with this new use for skidders in fire suppression. In fact some of Michigan's units have been sent out to the western fires.

~Ron

Offline Tom

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2002, 07:21:53 PM »
I've heard some wild tales about water drops from aircraft.  How 'out somebody that's been under one tell us what it's like.  I know it's not like a gentle rain    I have heard that it can knock you on your Bohunkus. :D











extinct

Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2002, 10:27:54 PM »
G'day swamp,

Nice photos.  I had the chance to spend a day with a Skycrane crew when I was up in Canada.  What an amazing craft!
Everyone may have seen this photo, it did the rounds for a while last year I think.  Still deserves a mention though!

http://www.wildlandfire.com/pics/wall/elkbath-big.jpg

Cheers
Charlie.
Walk tall and carry a big Stihl.

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2002, 07:13:43 AM »
Jeff,
Might get called back in a a few weeks.  Right now I've got a lot of work to get caught up on, but I reevaluate it in a week or two.  Also depends on how bad the western situation is.
Up here there have already been reports of bean and wheat fields being burned.  We've had less than an inch in the past 7-8 weeks.

Ron,
Helishot on the Angeles?  You must have some stories and pictures to share with us.

Tom,
I've only been under glancing water drops from choppers.  Haven't been hit by enough force to be knocked off my feet.  I've never been too near a retardant drop from a plane, but I hear those can be quite dangerous.


Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2002, 03:55:20 PM »
Swamp,

I will have to get out some of my fire pictures one of these days. Most are in slides and 20-30 years old if I can find them. I left a lot of them with the USFS offices.

The Helishot teams were stationed on the various mountain peaks of the Angeles and we pounced down as initial attack from the chopper when dispatched. Similar idea as the smokejumpers, but taken in with choppers and rapelling.

Tom,

One does not want to get directly under a water or retardent drop as taught in one's training. It will surely take your hard hat off your head, thus be sure you have a chin strap and hang on to your head and seek any shelter near the ground. It does roll one around with force.

The worst is the danger from the falling trees and burning  snags. Besides that you will get colored bright pink or orange from the fire retardant. Its colored so the pilots and spotter planes can see the hits and what coverage they got. You can tell if someone got too close to an air drop if they are wearing retardant.

One needs to heed the warning to be clear of the drop area, but sometimes it "gets you", especially when you are making the call and the pilot needs to dump "now". I've experienced a couple and one quite direct that I won't forget.

~Ron

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2002, 03:57:39 PM »
Thought you were having a bad day?  This person(s) is having a bad month.  First he is evacuated from his trailer, then it gets burned along with his antique truck.  Upon returning to see if he can salvage anything a root burned tree falls on his car.

Offline Tillaway

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2002, 09:44:04 PM »
Reminds me of my younger days.... wait I'm not that old... I was just very young at the time. ;D
Making Tillamook Bay safe for bait; one salmon at a time.

Online Jeff

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Re: Scenes from wildfires
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2002, 01:55:54 PM »
I would like to share a note here that I got from my friend Ada last night. We worked together on the Tree of Hope Project, the field trips and continue to work together on new projects.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Family and Friends!  I just got the call and orders to report to the Traverse City airport tomorrow for a 2:30 p.m. flight to Oregon to the "Flagtail" fire.  I am going as an Equipment Time Recorder and will be there for 16 days (sleeping in a tent).

In case you haven't heard, we are at a National Preparedness Level 5 for fire this season which is the highest level possible.  
The Flagtail fire is a Type I which means it is critical (based on acres burned, type of brush, pending weather, structures compromised, fire reaction, etc.).  Here's a summary from noon today...

Flagtail in Oregon.  6,500 acres with 0% containment, 309 total personnel on duty, 2 structures lost. FLAGTAIL, Malheur National Forest.  A Type 1 Incident Management Tea (Wood) will assume command at 0600 PDT.   Burning in mixed conifer and lodgepole, this fire is 13 miles west of Seneca, OR.  Active fire behavior with torching and spotting was observed.  Crews are burning out from dozer lines.  Bear Valley Forest Service Work Center has been activated.  A warehouse and a cabin are confirmed lost.

Steve will be opening our e-mails for the next two weeks.  I should be returning to town on August 4th, just in time for the family reunion.  Hopefully Steve will have our new house ready to move into by then...  I'll send a note when I get back into town.  Until then, PEACE!
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life.
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