Hydro-skimming firefighters

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Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Stormrider » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:24 am

Wildland fires can be devastating and the small town I live near is no stranger to them. Once again the community is threatened and as ground crews work to create defensive lines they are being supported by some amazing pilots. They literally scoop water from the lake and dump it on the fire.
Near the end of a scooping run.
Image
Lifting off.
Image
More info if your interested.
http://www.seeleylake.com/story/2017/08 ... /2462.html
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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by maik » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:31 am

Saw the same in Greece recently, fires on an island were fought by planes scooping water from the sea--quite amazing skills!

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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Stormrider » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:19 pm

Well its been nearly a month and the fire is raging. It grew another 50,000 acres in a seventeen mile run on Sunday putting the total acreage over 100,000. Its about a mile and a half north of me stretching for almost 20 miles to the east and 10 to the west. I have been under an evacuation warning for about two weeks and my best friend just got back to her place after being under an evac order for 10 days. I just bought a 550 gallon tank, pump and a couple hundred feet of fire hose. I can reach all of the structures on my property with a hundred feet of hose and I have the tank and pump mounted on a tandem axle trailer hitched to my chevy. I've got a hundred feet of the hose folded on the back of the trailer and I've been running drills all weekend. I am out in a grassy park surrounded by timber on all sides so I am not at as much risk as some of my neighbors who live at the edge of the timber, I've promised them I will come to their aid if needed.

There are of course a bunch of firefighters, forest service and state officials, law enforcement, and the national guard. Most of them aren't really doing anything but trying to look important. The hotshot firefighters who get called in on these bigtime fires just light more stuff on fire, the forest service are the ones who got us into this mess in the first place with their poor timber management policies and myopic response to wildfires in general. Law enforcement is enforcing martial law within evacuation order zones. If you are over 18 you can stay at your home, but travel is restricted, no going to the store for smokes and beer when you run out, if you leave an evac zone you can't return.

Ah what can I say I am stressed out, we are still better off than many of those on the gulf coast. I wish all those folks down in Texas the best.
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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Cody » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:18 pm

Good luck, amigo! As for the Gulf Coast, hurricane Irma, which is a real brute, is headed for Florida by the looks of it. It's battered a few islands already. Then there's hurricane Jose inbound, and hurricane Katia already in the Gulf.
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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Stormrider » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:03 am

Thanks Cody. I'll be alright. I'm more worried about some of the other folks who are already evaced, there are quite a few houses in some steep ground surrounded by thick dry timber that could easily be threatened by this fire. As for the gulf that's grim news indeed. I'll admit I haven't had time to keep abreast of things, I hope those storms aren't as devastating as Harvey.

I've watched some amazing stuff from my deck after the sun goes down, flames leaping hundreds of feet in the air above ridge tops three to seven miles away. Its really impossible to describe, I watched through my binoculars and I know the country. I saw trees 120 to 150 feet tall shoot flames easily their own height above them in single crown events, the events I witnessed where the fire raced up the mountainside in crown fires involving hundreds of trees at a time I can not even guess.One of the things that sticks with me was a cloud of smoke one night above a massive fire in a basin about seven miles northwest of me. The whole basin was on fire and they lit the shoulder of the mountain about a mile to the south, within an hour the fire they lit was racing around towards the basin to the north already burning hot, which was their intention. Over that fire was a sphere of smoke a mile in diameter glowing orange with the light of the fire below. The spookiest thing though was the slow rotation of that cloud of smoke. It was incredibly surreal and terribly ominous.

More info:
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5414/
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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by phkb » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:12 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay safe.

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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Norby » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:59 am

Good luck, Commander!
I guess your net connection is in danger also.
Feel free to post pictures if you have time.

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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Disembodied » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:19 am

Good luck, Stormrider - I hope you ride this one out safely!

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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Stormrider » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:37 pm

Thanks again for the support everyone. Fire has been out for about three weeks now and thankfully no structures were lost. I I am just getting caught up at work we missed quite a bit of time from smoke delays.
@ Norby:
Curses ill-begotten android phone! I couldn't get any good shots but check out this slide show, the first shot was taken about a quarter mile from my house. I am sure I was watching the fire from my deck when it was taken.
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/media/ ... re-photos/
Many days the smoke was literally toxic:
http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/AirData ... 09/06/2017
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Re: Hydro-skimming firefighters

Post by Norby » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:33 pm

Wow, thanks!

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