Wildland Fire News

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Massive Times Square billboard thanks the firefighters who battled Australia’s devastating fires

VIDEO: After months of devastation, all the fires burning in the Australian state of New South Wales were declared contained for the first time last week. And who else to thank but the thousands of firefighters who have put their life on the line to extinguish them? Knowing that a simple "thank you" wouldn't suffice, the NSW Rural Fire Service took out a 70-foot billboard in New York's Times Square to thank all the firefighters who helped battle the blazes. The size was intentional. "Imagine fighting a bushfire higher than this billboard," the video in the billboard reads. "Thank you to the brave Australian and US firefighters defending Australia. And to the world for all your support."

Report: Work to reduce wildfire risks has economic benefits

Projects to reduce the risk of wildfires and protect water sources in the U.S. West have created jobs and infused more money in local economies, researchers say, and they were funded by a partnership between governments and businesses that has become a model in other countries. A team from the U.S. Geological Survey reviewed work being done in several counties along the New Mexico-Colorado border that make up the watershed of one of North America's longest rivers, the Rio Grande. The review shows how public-private partnerships could become a critical component for safeguarding the land and benefiting the economy amid the threat of federal funding cuts and worsening wildfires brought on by climate change. The study focused on 2018, when the partnership, called the Rio Grande Water Fund, doled out $855,000 to contractors in the region. The spending supported an estimated 22 jobs, ranging from forest thinning to research, environmental consulting and fence removal.
Laredo Morning Times

Early Season Wildfire Burns 2.3 acres in Rhode Island

More than two acres of land were burned by a wildfire that broke out under some power lines in Smithfield over the weekend. Ben Arnold is the Principal Forest Ranger with DEM’s Division of Forest Environment. He says, "It was human caused, definitely. It could have been anything from somebody flicked a cigarette in there to something else." He says the area that burned was covered in dried grasses and debris. Arnold says, "It was leaf litter and light flashy fuels, grasses, and different brush." The DEM says the key factor is the fact that there's no snow on the ground, leaving that grass and debris to dry out, which typically wouldn't happen until the spring. Arnold says, "Even though it's been fairly wet this season, we've gotten our fair share of rain, it doesn't take long for those receptive fuels to dry out. You get a couple days of sunshine and a little bit of wind and that's all it takes."
WLNE-TV ABC 6 Providence

California: 536 new homes in San Diego won’t clog roads in case of evacuation

The addition of 536 new homes on a former golf course in Rancho Penasquitos won't clog the one road leading out of the neighborhood in the event of an emergency evacuation, according to a new city study. The city released the environmental impact reporter for Lennar's Juniper proposal on Wednesday. Lennar is proposing to turn the languishing course behind the old Hotel Karlan on Penasquitos Drive into 536 housing units for senior citizens, including 81 affordable. The project also includes a nearly three acre public park, a three-mile trail. The environmental document analyzes impacts such as noise and traffic. It also looked at how the additional homes would impact evacuations in the northeast portion of Rancho Penasquitos, a neighborhood with only one road in and out.
KGTV ABC 10 San Diego

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

California lawmakers propose wildfire insurance bill to protect homeowners

A bill introduced into the California Legislature on Tuesday would add protections to some homeowners at risk of nonrenewals. The “Renew California Bill” would require insurance companies to write or renew policies for existing homes in communities that meet state standards for fire-hardening. The bill would also require insurers to offer financial incentives for homeowners to do the work to make their homes more fire-safe. AB 2367 was introduced by assembly members Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Monique Limon, D-Santa Barbara, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and United Policyholders. “More Californians are hardening their homes against wildfires but not seeing the results of their hard work when it comes time to obtain or renew insurance,” Lara said.
KCRA-TV NBC 3 Sacramento

Fire crews work to prevent future wildfires amid dry streak in Northern California

Northern California is having its driest February since 1864, making conditions ideal for wildfires. That's why firefighters have been working to minimize the blow one could bring to an area near Colfax. For 10 months the crews, led by Cal Fire, have been working to create a shaded fuel break — cutting, chipping, burning and clearing dangerous vegetation in Placer County’s North Fork American Canyon that could add fuel to a wildfire. Cal Fire Captain Justin Kimbrell said they chose the area because of its wildfire history. Kimbrell said the project was first conceived nearly a decade ago and has come to fruition because of support from Gov. Gavin Newsom. "It's going to slow down the fire that may start in here," Kimbrell said. "It gives firefighters an opportunity to come in here and actually slow it down, put it out and actually extinguish this fire." Kimbrell said nearly the entire canyon used to have dry brush around most of the trees and large rocks.
KXTV ABC 10 Sacramento

Wildland Firefighting course in Arizona huge success

This past semester several EAC Gila Pueblo Campus students completed their Basic Wildland Firefighting course, which ran from October to November. This course offered an exciting and engaging experience for students. It was based on the actual Wildland Firefighting field and taught by instructor Barry Johnson who has over 20 years experience. Students received a real world glance at the career itself. Upon completion of this course, students received three certificates; Wildland Firefighting Training, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior, and Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service. These students didn’t just get the content information needed for a potential career in Wildland Fire, they also got hands on experience and the opportunity to work with people in the field. They gained a sense of the culture and the requirements of the job.
Copper County News

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