<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d6823728\x26blogName\x3dFirefighter+Blog\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://firefighterblog.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://firefighterblog.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-1585559697748296898', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

May 21, 2007

"It Sounded Like A Train"

Check out this dramatic footage from the Pine Barrens Fire in New Jersey May 16.
Notice the wind in at the tree tops.

Thanks to Jason at Hamptons Fire for the heads up.

Labels: ,

May 19, 2007

Blog of Future Firefighter Paul Whalen

Thanks for the mention Paul, I'm honored.
Best of luck to you.
Be safe.


May 16, 2007


An F-16 training over the Warren Grove Gunnery Range near Atlantic City inadvertently ignited what is know now as the Pinelands Fire. No one feels worse than the pilot. Let's hope nobody gets hurt before the flames are doused.
I have to say watching the TV coverage I'm taken back by the ferocity of this blaze. Crowning in May on flat terrain in New Jersey has me scratching my head. Combined with the fire activity in Georgia and Florida this month I have to believe the California and Western states region are in for it this season.

May 15, 2007

"Copter Chick" Desiree Horton

Helicopter pilot Desiree Horton added Firefighter Blog to her blogroll. I've been a fan of hers for years watching her traffic reports from KTLA and KABC in Los Angeles. Desiree fights fire by helicopter for the USFS and CDF in addition to other flying jobs that include news flying! Her Copter Chick blog is an online account of her flying life and other activities of interest to her many fans.
She lists her interests as surfing, snowboarding, dirt bikes and motorcycles, (she has a cool Harley) traveling and friends.

She probably wouldn't mind if you took a look at the DVD of her movie One Six Right.

Yes guys proof that the perfect woman does exist.


May 13, 2007

Bugaboo Scrub, A Self Winding Dynamo

"The word "dynamo" means "Power in Motion," from Greek: δύναμις; dynamis, -power, and Latin: motio, -motion."

Magneto hydrodynamics
Drift of spiral waves

It burns in 35% humidity and "eats" water;

"Gorski said Florida is the driest he has seen since 2000. The fire chief said he has never seen a wildfire so resistant to water. Nothing happened initially when firefighters started pumping more than 100 gallons of water a minute on the wildfire.
"It wasn't even like affecting it," Gorski said. "It was like drinking it.""

Inciweb summary of the two headed Bugaboo Scrub Fire now being fought on fronts in Florida and Georgia.


This large fire started in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia. It eventually spread into northern Florida. The Georgia portion is called the Bugaboo Scrub Fire. The Florida portion is called the Florida Bugaboo Wildfire. This site will provide updates for both portions of the fire.

Mandatory Evacuation - Deep Creek, Florida & areas east of US 441

Residents in the Deep Creek area, east of 441 and north of I-10 remain evacuated. Much of the Columbia County area along the east side of 441 that is west and southwest of the head of the fire, remain evacuated. Residents who need more information can call the Columbia County Information Line at 386-719-7530.

Mandatory Evacuation - Reeves Landing, Georgia

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for Reeves Landing, 3 miles NE of Fargo.

Evacuation lifted - Taylor, Florida

The residents of the town of Taylor have been allowed to return to their home but have been asked to remain on alert.

Precautionary Evacuation - Moniac, Georgia

A precautionary evacuation remains in effect.

Fire Update

Bugaboo Scrub Fire (Georgia)

Fire crews working for Georgia Forestry Commission, along with private timber companies, are working along the flanks of the fire where conditions allow and are working to protect structures in the area. Fire crews and forest industry personnel are also strengthening lines on the southwest edge of the Okefenokee Swamp near Fargo. Crews have been successful in holding the fire inside the refuge with the exception of three small areas that have been contained. A community protection plan has been implemented and crews are continuing structure protection in Fargo. The break in the weather has aided crews in preparations in that community.

Florida Bugaboo Wildfire (Florida)

This is the south portion of the Bugaboo Scrub Fire that began in Georgia. The portion of the fire in Florida is reported at over 101,000 acres. Crews report good progress made Friday due to lighter winds. Despite the best efforts of firefighters however, 9 outbuildings were destroyed and one damaged in a hunting camp near Deep Creek. The same lighter winds are expected to keep fire behavior down today, giving firefighters a chance to complete more containment line. Burnout operations were conducted late into the night Friday and went well. This morning, crews are having difficulty working on the line due to a heavy inversion that's holding thick smoke and fog near the ground.

The Southern Blue Incident Management Team will hold a press conference today (Saturday) at the Day's Inn at the intersection of I-10 and US 441 at 4:00 pm.

Acreage Update

Totals for Bugaboo: 212,042 acres

Bugaboo Scrub Fire (Georgia): 111,042 acres

Florida Bugaboo Wildlife: 101,000+ acres


Mostly clear and breezy with a 20% chance of showers in the afternoon. High temperature of 90, minimum humidity of 35%. Winds: E to NE at 5-10 mph with gusts to 15 mph.

Road Closures


·· Hwy 441 is closed from Homerville to Florida line (previously Fargo to Florida line)

·· SR 177 south of Hwy 1 (entrance to Okefenokee Swamp Park) is now open

·· SR 177 between Stephen C. Foster State Park and Fargo is closed

·· SR 94 is closed from St. George to Moniac and from the Florida line through Fargo to Statenville

·· SR 185 in Georgia is closed

·· SR 89 in Georgia from Fargo to Homerville is closed


·· US 441 from County Road 100 A in Lake City to the FL/GA line in Columbia County, FL is closed

·· State Road 2 from CR 127 in Baker County to the FL/GA line in Columbia County, FL. Is closed

·· I-10 exit ramps to US 441 are closed.

·· I-10, from US 90 (Sanderson, FL) to US 129 (Live Oak, FL), is closed due to smoke and fog. The fire is still north of I-10 and east of US 441.

·· US 129 entrance ramp to I-10 in Live Oak is closed

·· I-75 is now closed form Valdosta, Georgia to I-10 at Lake City, Florida (previously from Florida line to Lake City)

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildland Fire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin 05/05/2007 at 1700 hrs.
Location Ware County, Georgia/Baker County, Florida
Incident Commander Ruggiero / Quesinberry /

Current Situation

Total Personnel 339
Size 233,718 acres
Fuels Involved

Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - The fire is burning in southern rough and wet scrub/shrub, and industrial pine plantations of various ages. The western area is made up of timber stands of various ages and composition, with dominate species being longleaf, loblolly, and slash pine. Swamp/bays are intermixed throughout and due to a low water table are readily available to burn.

Florida Bugaboo - Mosaic of southern rough, 1 to 25 years old, and wet scrub/shrub, and commercial pine plantations.

Fire Behavior

Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - Moderate to extreme fire behavior with widespread torching. Rate of spread 40 chain/hour with 5 to 25 foot flamelengths. The western area is observed to have high to extreme fire behavior with high rates of spread and single tree and group torching, as well as spotting.

Florida Bugaboo - Extreme fire behavior with torching and spotting.

Significant Events

Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - An evacuation ordered is still in effect for the Moccasin Creek community. A flight restriction remains in effect for the southern end of the Bugaboo Fire.

Florida Bugaboo - I-10 closed periodically due to smoke east of Lake City.


Planned Actions

Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - Continued line building along the swamp edge break and perimeter road. Plans for the western area include structure protection, fuel mitigation, and line construction.

Florida Bugaboo - Construct and hold lines in all divisions. Structure protection.

Projected Movement

Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - Projected incident movement/spread during the next period is west and southeast. Projections for the western area include potential for significant spread due to continued high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidities.

Growth Potential

Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - High to extreme

Florida Bugaboo - Extreme

Terrain Difficulty

Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - High

Florida Bugaboo - Medium

Containment Target

Containment and control efforts will be dependent on a significant rain event.


Bugaboo Scrub (GA) - Of the total acreage 118,643 acres are in Georgia and 10,447 acres in Florida. All critical needs and costs to date are included in the Big Turnaround complex ICS-209 since the Big Turnaround resources are taking action on the Bugaboo Scrub fire. The Bugaboo Scrub fire is now moving off of federal wilderness and refuge areas managed by the Southern Area Red Team. The fire is now entering private and industry land in Georgia. Once this fire moved off of federal property, the Lone Star State IMT (Hannemann) assumed management of these areas on state and private property on behalf of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Florida Bugaboo - Fire is also in Columbia County.


Current Wind Conditions 5 mph NE
Current Temperature 86 degrees
Current Humidity 45 %
Forecasted Wind Conditions 12 mph NE
Forecasted Temperature 85 degrees
Forecasted Humidity 40 %


May 10, 2007

Video From The Griffith Park Brushfire

Hamptons Fire embedded some of the better video's from the Griffith Park Brush Fire earlier today. Considering how many people could see the fire from their own doorsteps it's not surprising so many videos and images are available.

Earlier today I added some random video from the incident on my Vod.Pod (below on sidebar).

Labels: ,

Added A Voting Widget

I wish I had more time to blog on the massive Florida wildfires and hope to free up some time later but I wanted to point out a new feature I added to the sidebar.

Please check out the Presidential hopeful voting poll down the sidebar.

Update: 5/22
I deleted the voting poll booth. Some ideas don't have appeal. I had a feeling it would not.


May 09, 2007

Griffith Park Fire A True Hollywood Event

For those that don't know Griffith Park is a 4,000 acre oasis in the middle of L.A. proper. It is the home of the Griffith Park Observatory, the Greek Theatre, L.A. Zoo, a golf course equestrian center and kiddie play land. Dozens of miles of hiking trails wind through the park and views from the higher points are the best in the Southland.
The fire started at 1:30 pm and from my (TV) vantage point 200 miles away it looked like it was skunking for the most part and was nothing more than a curiosity. Later in the evening a major wind gust put the fire in context. It could have been bad. The TV people were excited and there was talk of the Zoo animals being evacuated. Media hysteria was setting in.

Later in the afternoon L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa conducted a press conference from the incident base. He had the L.A. Fire PIO, the police chief and other officials at his side. The mayor clearly knows nothing about fire and it showed as he fumbled with words and warned people to clear brush from their property. Then the strangest thing I ever heard from a fire base happened. A mayoral aid came to the mic and began speaking Spanish. I could not believe it. Now I could understand if the residents of the affected Los Feliz neighborhood were primarily Spanish speaking but they are not. Los Feliz is upscale and doesn't share the same demographics as East L.A., they speak English! Bizarre, truly bizarre and tells you everything you need to know about Los Angeles politics.

The fire burned roughly 800 acres (updated) and last count there were more than 600 firefighters on scene. No structures lost. The firefighter to acre ratio could not be higher. With 6 local TV channels covering the incident it was fun to change channels to see which crews had the best views. Later in the evening I caught Chuck Henry of NBC channel 4. Chuck Henry is a great fire correspondent who always manages to get right on the line. Sometimes he gets to close as he did near lake Arrowhead in 2003 when his satellite truck burned. Had a firefighter not scooped Chuck from the road he would have died. Henry has earned his (fire) wings. Here is a link to a slideshow from NBC4 news from the Griffith Park Brushfire.

What made this a true "Hollywood" event was the grand stage. I'd estimate up to 5 million people were able to see flames by simpy walking outside of their house. If you can see the Hollywood sign or the back side of Hollywood Mountain you could see flame. If you lived in Burbank, Santa Monica, Downtown L.A or Long Beach all you had to do was look outside to see red. Quite a site for so many and doubtful there could be a more interesting venue for a fire.
The helitack people knew it too. Ordinarilly air ops stop at dusk but these helicopter pilots played on into the night. They were true action hero stars putting on a fantastic show.

Capping the night was another press conference by Mayor Villaraigosa. I actually felt sorry for him as he once again started in on the need to clear brush. He really had no clue about the fire. Everyone watching on any of the TV stations offering full coverage knew by now the threat to structures had passed. The mayor looked like an ill informed boob. In this Hollywood production he was the comic relief or tragic figure, take your pick.

Kuddos to the L.A. County and L.A. City fire crews as well as CDF support. L.A. Fire Ops. and media operations. You all put on a helluva production.

Labels: , ,

May 05, 2007

Robotic Firefighting Device

ZDNet points us to an article about a robotic firefighting device at Innovations-Report.com.

"Try to picture a snake-like robot that can move into places that are too dangerous for humans to enter. The snake can climb up stairs, force past beams and twist itself round corners. Imagine that it has a built-in advanced water tap that not only can be turned on and off, but can allow the direction of the water flow to be altered....

The snake has a wide variety of applications: fighting fires where humans can not enter due to heat or the risk of building collapse; underwater operations in connection with maintenance of oil installations on the sea floor; rescue operations in earthquake areas and potentially explosive situations.

“Tunnel fires are explosive and it is extremely dangerous for firefighters to enter the tunnel to extinguish the fire,” says Stavdahl. “In such situations, it is possible to imagine a whole nest of snakes slithering out from a layer in the tunnel. Since the snake has modules, it is possible to design snakes for different functions: snakes can, for example, provide oxygen masks to people trapped in the tunnel, light up the tunnel or carry a camera that provides firefighters outside an overview of the situation without requiring them to enter."

Interesting research and who would buy it. Maybe one device for a city the size of Cleveland or Bakersfield. Boston Fire Department maybe 2? Oil rigs? Mining sites? I'd like to see it in action.


May 03, 2007

Georgia Still Burning, Did You Know?

The fire disaster in Georgia remains under the radar of the national press but the story of life disrupted and dedicated firefighting continues. Children in the town of Waycross in Ware County Georgia have missed 8 days of school and everyone in the county face weeks of lingering smoke. The Okefenokee area's Satilla Regional Medical Center posts a fire information page for local residents.

Posted today;

"In the recent days, we have all witnessed incredible damage and awesome power. But the greatest power we have seen has been the extraordinary resolve, courage and dedication of the firefighters and rescue workers that are serving our community, fighting the wildfire. These brave men and women have worked day and night, saving lives and homes. On behalf of the employees, physicians, volunteers, and board of directors at Satilla Regional Medical Center, we thank you. Once again, you have given us someone to look up to. "

Here here, some stories to be told and heard from those on the ground. When 100 acres burn in the Southern California we get beginning to end coverage. When 100,000 acres burn in rural Georgia affecting thousands and endangering the health of hundreds we get glancing coverage. Yesterday
Governor Sonny Perdue issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in 21 counties in southeast Georgia.
Did you know that?