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Author Topic: Largest Fire Currently Burning in the US  (Read 6041 times)
Гугл переводчик
Forum Regular

Posts: 183
Unit: Metric

« on: August 15, 2015, 02:12:03 PM »

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4475/

At 277,278 Acres, and the weather is not helping the firefighters at all.
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Former C/Maj., CAP
1st Lt., CAP
A1C, USAF                                           

Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 624

« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 03:30:21 PM »

A friend just sent me an image of a large fire (Stickpin, burning west of Colville WA) that was roaring DOWNHILL with a huge black plume above.  He took the image at 3000 AGL during a recon of the fire before air resources (tankers, lead planes, air attack platforms) could arrive.  From the image it looks like the fire grew from a spot to a monster in about a very short time...  Not near enough time for either tankers or ground pounders to hit the scene... By the time he arrived it was burning way too hot for either aerial or ground resources to be effective.  I flew the area a few days prior when winds aloft were strong.  It was pretty rough flying.  I expect we'll have quite a few more acres burned this season.  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4487/#
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 03:34:20 PM by Live2Learn » Logged
PHall
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Posts: 6,098

« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2015, 04:17:31 PM »

Fires usually don't like burning downhill unless there's a wind pushing it.
They much prefer burning uphill since heat rises.
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Гугл переводчик
Forum Regular

Posts: 183
Unit: Metric

« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2015, 04:28:05 PM »

I was wondering if CAP could do anything in this type of situation... The Red Cross has been called and they are helping with relief. The Feds even say their resources are stretched thin. There haven't been many mandatory evacuations yet, but they are on the way.
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Former C/Maj., CAP
1st Lt., CAP
A1C, USAF                                           

Live2Learn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 624

« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2015, 08:27:32 PM »

Fires usually don't like burning downhill unless there's a wind pushing it.
They much prefer burning uphill since heat rises.

True.  Rolling debris on steep hills is another common mechanism for downhill movement of fire.  As is spotting in advance of the flame front.  The winds were really strong over the Stickpin Fire so all three were in play (wind pushing the flame front, spotting in advance of the flame front, and rolling debris).
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 08:46:37 PM by Live2Learn » Logged
PHall
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Posts: 6,098

« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2015, 08:50:27 PM »

I was wondering if CAP could do anything in this type of situation... The Red Cross has been called and they are helping with relief. The Feds even say their resources are stretched thin. There haven't been many mandatory evacuations yet, but they are on the way.

Best thing CAP can do is stay out of the way.   
Assisting the Red Cross in running the Evacuation Centers is about the only job most CAP members can do, if the Red Cross needs and wants the help.
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Live2Learn
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Posts: 624

« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2015, 08:53:23 PM »

I was wondering if CAP could do anything in this type of situation...

The fire fighting agencies have fairly strict criteria for anyone who pilots recon aircraft.  Some CAP pilots would meet them, quite a few (maybe most) would not.  WAWG is in discussion with some agencies to see whether a fit might be possible.  Not many CAP members have wildland fire experience, so I suppose if the planes and pilot issues can be resolved then the observers and command module issues can be agency personnel.  I really doubt CAP could participate in any way during actual suppression ops, other than as a platform for air attack. 

About 10 years ago CAP in Oklahoma flew high elevation missions that were a cross between 'high bird' and mission recon.  I don't know how the planes were crewed. Their purpose was to spot smoke columns so agency air resources could quickly mobilize.  Oklahoma is pretty flat, so curve of the earth was the limiting factor to visibility.  That and clouds.  In the West it's a lot more like mountain flying, and often we descend below 1000' to capture GPS coordinates of small fires.  I don't think CAP can really do the mission in Idaho very well.  I never saw the AAR for the Oklahoma effort, but it seemed like it was working under the burning conditions that existed at the time (it was January, they were in a drought, high winds were common, nearly all of the fires were in tall dry grass, and all of the fires were human caused).  A bit different from western conditions.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 08:59:36 PM by Live2Learn » Logged
Holding Pattern
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Unit: Worry

« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 11:50:56 PM »


Best thing CAP can do is stay out of the way.

What can we do to prepare to be more useful than staying out of the way for the next fire?
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SarDragon
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Posts: 10,342
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2015, 01:19:56 AM »


Best thing CAP can do is stay out of the way.

What can we do to prepare to be more useful than staying out of the way for the next fire?

Train folks to be aerial photographers. Get the classroom training out of the way, and then do SAREXs in that arena. We've done several down here in CAWG over the last couple of years. You can practice the processing with any old pictures. That's the most tedious part of the job, and the one most easily screwed up.

Slow and low assessment is something we can be well suited to do. The other air assets either fly too fast (fixed wing planes), or they stir up debris, and distort the view(s) (helos).
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 01:24:43 AM by SarDragon » Logged
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
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Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,098

« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2015, 01:48:13 AM »


Best thing CAP can do is stay out of the way.

What can we do to prepare to be more useful than staying out of the way for the next fire?

Train folks to be aerial photographers. Get the classroom training out of the way, and then do SAREXs in that arena. We've done several down here in CAWG over the last couple of years. You can practice the processing with any old pictures. That's the most tedious part of the job, and the one most easily screwed up.

Slow and low assessment is something we can be well suited to do. The other air assets either fly too fast (fixed wing planes), or they stir up debris, and distort the view(s) (helos).

Now, convince Cal OES and the Interagency Fire Coordination Center that we can actually do the job. We're a big unknown to them.
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abdsp51
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2015, 02:27:27 AM »

The folks I spoke to from CALEMA and local OES were very familiar with us.
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,342
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2015, 02:37:03 AM »


Best thing CAP can do is stay out of the way.

What can we do to prepare to be more useful than staying out of the way for the next fire?

Train folks to be aerial photographers. Get the classroom training out of the way, and then do SAREXs in that arena. We've done several down here in CAWG over the last couple of years. You can practice the processing with any old pictures. That's the most tedious part of the job, and the one most easily screwed up.

Slow and low assessment is something we can be well suited to do. The other air assets either fly too fast (fixed wing planes), or they stir up debris, and distort the view(s) (helos).

Now, convince Cal OES and the Interagency Fire Coordination Center that we can actually do the job. We're a big unknown to them.

We did a 3-day mission back in '07 for the fires down here in SD County, and they were thrilled with the product.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,098

« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2015, 11:25:28 AM »

The folks I spoke to from CALEMA and local OES were very familiar with us.

And that was how long ago?   

CALEMA doesn't exist anymore, they went back to their old name when Gov Brown took over several years ago.
And the Interagency Fire Coordination Center up in Boise, who runs the Federal response, doesn't know much about our current capabilities.
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abdsp51
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2015, 11:48:02 AM »

The folks I spoke to from CALEMA and local OES were very familiar with us.

And that was how long ago?   

CALEMA doesn't exist anymore, they went back to their old name when Gov Brown took over several years ago.
And the Interagency Fire Coordination Center up in Boise, who runs the Federal response, doesn't know much about our current capabilities.

2012.
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KatCAP
Recruit

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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2015, 08:33:40 AM »

See http://www.captalk.net/index.php?topic=20345.0
Declining Use of Ground Teams
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Theodore
Recruit

Posts: 47

« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2016, 02:40:47 PM »

I say we should make a movement to allow older cadets to assist on the fire lines. 16 and up? And the younger cadets operate the radios, help with relief, etc.
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THRAWN
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Posts: 1,861

« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2016, 02:57:16 PM »

I say we should make a movement to allow older cadets to assist on the fire lines. 16 and up? And the younger cadets operate the radios, help with relief, etc.

You're daft. Fighting these big fires is no easy or even remotely "safe" task. Want to fight fires? Plenty of outfits that you can join. CAP ain't one of them...
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
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Theodore
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2016, 03:22:02 PM »

People asked for suggestions, Im giving them to you. Im not daft. Too Gung-Ho, maybe. But I wanna help people. What good would it be to have every single CAP qualification, but not use any of them?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 03:28:16 PM by Theodore » Logged
Theodore
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Posts: 47

« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2016, 03:25:56 PM »

What if our aircraft did water drops?
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Luis R. Ramos
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Posts: 2,619

« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2016, 03:32:07 PM »

How much of a fire would the equivalent of a spit put out? I guess .0000000000000000000001...

 ???

A spit because that is how much water a Cessna could carry... How much water would the other airplane, the GA8, be able to carry?


 ::)


Remember that roughly, one liter of water=2 pounds! Not exactly but you can use that as a rough estimation...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 03:35:26 PM by Luis R. Ramos » Logged

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Theodore
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2016, 03:35:07 PM »

Wait, I got it. C.A.P. can do evacuations for the Fire Departments, and direct traffic
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foo
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Posts: 162

« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2016, 04:22:45 PM »

I say we should make a movement to allow older cadets to assist on the fire lines. 16 and up? And the younger cadets operate the radios, help with relief, etc.

You're daft. Fighting these big fires is no easy or even remotely "safe" task. Want to fight fires? Plenty of outfits that you can join. CAP ain't one of them...

Ad hominem much?
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Spam
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2016, 04:34:42 PM »

Theodore:

Points for trying. However, given the high potential for threatening conditions to rapidly change inside an active disaster area (wind shift driven wildfires, rain-driven mudslides of hills now denuded of cover, flash floods, etc.) most controlling agencies are reluctant to send minimally trained volunteer assets INTO the threat area. The idea is, get people OUT, and evacuated to a safe zone, where CAP, ARC, and other agencies can function at reduced risk and without being a concern for the fire fighters to worry about.

Disclaimer: haven't been in a forest fire DR situation, but I've worked multiple DR hurricane, flood, and blizzard missions and have had the experience of splashing through rapidly rising waist deep flood water to yank back CAP guys from levee ops at 0200L, who didn't listen to the emergency "pull back - its going" calls from the FD. Some tasks, some missions, we need to recognize we don't have the core skill set for, and not oversell ourselves.

V/R
Spam

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Theodore
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2016, 04:50:03 PM »

I want C.A.P. to do more to help others though.
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THRAWN
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2016, 04:57:06 PM »

I want C.A.P. to do more to help others though.

Where is the funding coming from? Who will be providing the insurance? Who gets billed for maintenance or damage to the aircraft? Who gets sued when some hapless CAP member gets trapped in the fire?

CAP has a lane in the ES world. We need to stay in it.
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
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Theodore
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« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2016, 04:58:49 PM »

Yes, we can stay in our lane. But sometimes, the road has to widen.
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stillamarine
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« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2016, 05:56:06 PM »

If you've never fought a forest fire you will never know the danger there is. I've fought both wildland fires and structure fires. Only time I ever thought I was going to die was on a wildland. And I fell through a roof fighting an apt fire. Brush fires are completely unpredictable. No place on a fire line for CAP. Especially a cadet. Now I think CAP aircraft can help with spotting. FLWG does this when they do controlled burns on Eglin.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

USMC AD 1996-2001
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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,069
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2016, 06:14:26 PM »

Yes, we can stay in our lane. But sometimes, the road has to widen.

True, but that road was paved by trial and painful (and fatal) experience.

I think that's a fair enough opinion to have, and I respect you for it. We all want to help (well, most of us). I don't know your experience level, but when you've had a couple of decades (min) of broad experience as a responder, then perhaps your enthusiasm might be tempered by some caution. I know mine has been. My perspective at ten years in was vastly different from 20 years in, or 30. I know that if I joined today off the street, I'd have a different point of view.

We need enthusiasm (or we'll die as an organization). We also need caution and an appreciation of the realities of working with other organizations, and their technical niches in the ESF function.

V/R
Spam

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Holding Pattern
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,241
Unit: Worry

« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2016, 07:22:05 PM »

Theodore:

Points for trying. However, given the high potential for threatening conditions to rapidly change inside an active disaster area (wind shift driven wildfires, rain-driven mudslides of hills now denuded of cover, flash floods, etc.) most controlling agencies are reluctant to send minimally trained volunteer assets INTO the threat area. The idea is, get people OUT, and evacuated to a safe zone, where CAP, ARC, and other agencies can function at reduced risk and without being a concern for the fire fighters to worry about.

Disclaimer: haven't been in a forest fire DR situation, but I've worked multiple DR hurricane, flood, and blizzard missions and have had the experience of splashing through rapidly rising waist deep flood water to yank back CAP guys from levee ops at 0200L, who didn't listen to the emergency "pull back - its going" calls from the FD. Some tasks, some missions, we need to recognize we don't have the core skill set for, and not oversell ourselves.

V/R
Spam

A case in point: Here is an incident command post in a wildfire that got a little toasty:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLJYigWchf0

Anyone want to do the ORM on this one? :D
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Paul_AK
Member

Posts: 82
Unit: PCR-AK-011

« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2016, 12:51:26 PM »

No place on a fire line for CAP. Especially a cadet.
I cannot agree with this enough. My wildland firefighting experience is minimal, but I've been involved with a small number and the responding agencies already have the means in place to request more should they require it. If CAP gets involved beyond spotting I can see a spot at a rehab station or quarters helping give out water and food to the responders but nothing beyond that. It goes far beyond simply training a cadet how to dig a line or handle a hose. If you've got the drive for firefighting but aren't old enough, try finding a Fire Explorer unit or Junior Firefighter organization in your area. As Theodore stated the road can widen for CAP, but this kind of mission creep is an issue across the country and rarely helps.
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Paul McBride, 1st Lt, CAP
SSgt, 176 SFS, AK ANG
        
Earhart #13376
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: Largest Fire Currently Burning in the US
 


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