Telegraph Fire Update: 18,000 Acres N...

Telegraph Fire Update: 18,000 Acres No Containment

There are 14 comments on the Firefighter Blog story from Jul 27, 2008, titled Telegraph Fire Update: 18,000 Acres No Containment. In it, Firefighter Blog reports that:

Quick facts; Thirteen structures have been lost including 6 homes. 1,922 fire personnel are on scene.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Firefighter Blog.

danturner

Santa Maria, CA

#4 Jul 28, 2008
Before we all go a little on the cukoo cukoo side about super tankers lets look at some cold hard facts.
1. They will not control an 18,000 acre fire that has to be done with hand crews etc in open country and back country.
2. We have fire fighters from 4 other countries helping us with these fires and we also have people who are incarcerated helping and getting one whole dollar a day.
3. California back country brush needs to burn in order to regrow do some research on manzanita etc.
4. It is horrible that people are hurt and homes etc are lost but that is a risk I took when I decided to buy a home in the open country of Mariposa county.
5. Super tankers take large airports and long runways plus huge amounts of available water in order to be effective. They also take tons of fuel that pollutes the air with hydrocarbon emissions that are damaging the already dinged up ozone layer.
6. They depend on large area coverage and are not highly accurate
7. Finally, they are heavy and fly like a rock and the tight areas that most of these fires are in would put the units at a higher risk than they would provide value for. Besides which fire to you assign them to when you have over 600 going at once?
Lets take a moment to thank our fire officials for the work they do and the long hours they put in and the people all over the earth that have responded instead of whining and crying about some assets that may be of no use in most of these fires.
MIKE

Stockton, CA

#6 Jul 28, 2008
Follow the money trail and the truth will out. The economy is in the tank, everyone from Bear Stearns to your local banker is milking the treasury and Ed is right, get it done with the Supertankers. This b.s. that the dollar a day men in jailbird garb are saving bucks is bull.When I was in college I got stuck fighting a fire and there is a lot of bucks made at those fire camps; tools, food ect The media recently attacked a supervisor for saying; " lets get this dammed fire out" and we all know what he meant. Follow the money trail..........its a shame but the bible even says that in the end times, people will throw money in the streets. amen
Cynthia

Hood River, OR

#7 Jul 28, 2008
There's always going to be that someone that could have done something more. The most important thing is that people are safe. I also agree with the mony trail. It is very frustrating that politics has to play a part. When the good ole spirited men of this country care enough to give all they can to do the job and get it done. Who cares if you get paid get it done and save lives and livley hoods and our lands. In the end we will all need each other not government.
steve

Stockton, CA

#9 Jul 29, 2008
I USED TO WORK FIGHTING FIRES WITH THE USFS AS AN INTERN DURING MY COLLEGE YEARS. I WAS PAID A MEAGER SUM AND SAW THE WASTE OF MONEY BIG TIME. THE FOOD IS THE BEST USDA MEAT, QUALITY PRODUCE PLUS ALL THE FIXINS. A MEAL LIKE THAT WOULD TAKE A TWENTY BUCK BILL THESE DAYS.WHAT I REALLY ENJOYED WAS THE TREK TO AND FROM THE JOB SITE THAT TOOK TWO HOURS UP AND 2 BACK WHICH MADE FOR A SHORT WORK WEEK(WORK TWENTY /RIDE 20).THE REAL BUMMER WAS WHEN OUR CREW CHIEF SPOTTED SMOKE (you'd think he'd just hit the lottery) AND OFF WE WENT;I PLOWED LINES WITH PICKS,SMOTHERED EMBERS WITH SHOVELS AND MY JEANS GOT SO HOT I WAS SMOKIN.HAVING SAID THAT; THERE'S NO WAY A CREW OF FORTY GUYS ON CRANK COULD DO THE WORK OF THOSE SUPERTAKERS THAT CAN COVER OVER 4000 SG.FT IN 30 SECONDS. WHAT GETS ME TOO IS ALL THE GUYS THAT ARE WILLING TO &( NEED) WORK AND WE'RE BRINGING HOT SHOTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES TO HELP; BUILD SOME RUNWAYS ON STRATEGIC LOCALES (THERE'S PLENTY OF LAND AND RUNWAYS DON'T BURN), BRING ON THE TANKERS AND GET ER DONE!!!! IT'S A SAD DAY IN THIS COUNTRY ON MANY FRONTS BUT WE DON'T NEED THE THE EXTRA STRAIN ON THE BUDGET (THAT CAN'T BE BALANCED),UNHEALTHY AIR AND PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES TO SEE IT'S ALL GREED AND POLITICS AND THE SOLUTION IS IN THE HANGERS WAITING TO BE CALLED ..MONEY,GREED AND EMPTY SUITS ARE RUNNING THIS SHOW.WE SHOULD BE FOCUS ON PEOPLE' LIVES, THEIR PROPERTY, WILDLIFE AND OUR BEAUTIFUL STATE INSTEAD OF;(IRONICALLY), THE POLLUTION AND THE MININSCUL EXPENSE A SUPERTAKER MIGHT COST.
Sky Pilot

Oroville, CA

#11 Jul 30, 2008
Just as I figured you guys are now stuck with Mr.Supertanker. Trust me this clown will test your patience in the upcoming weeks. We in Paradise finally have containment so this dork moved on. Best of luck to all of you.
I am going to be in the Coulterville , Mariposa
area in a few weeks, is the fire east of that "line"?
kevin

United States

#12 Jul 30, 2008
you have containment at what price to the lowly taxpayer?Interesting a pilot would weigh in but then your a pilot who'd be out of a job with your dinky drops we see on you tube if we could bring in the big boys and get the fires out! Like the supervisor from Butte County said and was reparmanded;" lets get the FIRE OUT and quit playing around"!. Alot of firefighters look forward to fire season ..that overtime pay, the chow,MOSTLY THE PAY AND TRAVEL TIME.Sky pilot.......right.

Since: Jul 08

Red Bluff, CA

#15 Jul 30, 2008
And yet another thread hijacked by the venerable Ed Nemechek who has once again proven his point with statements unsupported by anything other than the companies seeking to make millions off these products. Real-world experience bears a stark contrast to Nemechek's agenda-driven vision.

http://www.wildlandfire.com/pics/air23/dc10-l...

This venerable safety record for "supertankers" was in the media quite recently in fact as the one supertanker allowed to fly in the states (and which I'm certain Nemechek is aware) nearly planted itself into a hillside will preparing for a drop. After impacting several trees and leaving chunks of its wingspan strewn across the ground, this aircraft dropped altitude even more significantly and crews on the ground swore they were dead, although skillful pilots were able to throttle the engines and climb up before returning to Victorville to ground the damaged aircraft.

What else is Mr Nemechek failing to tell us about supertankers? Perhaps that they simply aren't as brilliant as he wishes to believe. Cost-savings are out the window... the cost to deliver retardant from an S2T, commonly used on initial-attack in California interface fires, runs at about $1.02/gallon. Compare this to Tanker 910, a supertanker, which delivers retardant at a price tag of $2.37/gallon, more than doubled. Maybe this might be tempered by a supertanker's flight characteristics, but in fact this comparison is embarrassingly tilted in favor of the small, nimble aircraft commonly seen over the sky's of California's wildfires. The S2T is well-loved by firefighters for its agile handling and its ability to make extremely technical drops when and where they are needed. By contrast, supertankers are incapable of the steep-diving runs frequently performed by S2Ts and other firefighting aircraft, and as such are worthless on the initial-attack of most fires. In reality, supertankers fill a much-needed boost for a politician's playbook, as they most certainly are a glamorous PR move. A supertanker's practicality as a firefighting aircraft is questionable at best, and in the conditions where they are most needed - in steep and tight canyons, with winds blowing hard - where fire activity is extreme, these planes are completely ineffective. Throwing away money on these toys takes funding away from hand crews and engines which are the real line of defense in these trying and catastrophic moments.

Mr Nemechek, stop playing on people's fear and fright, their hopes and the fact that the general public knows little about these matters. Your victimization of emotions of the public-at-large is sick and decrepit.

Since: Jul 08

San Francisco, CA

#17 Jul 30, 2008
The tree-trimming accident shows the lacking flight characteristics of the DC-10 and it's poor firefighting capabilities. Likewise it shows the skill and luck of the flight crew who skirted death (of both themselves and ground crews working nearby). Indeed there have been several cases where small tankers have disassembled mid-flight, though this is very much a reflection of the aging air fleet used by the fire service (much of which has been phased out to avoid these sorts of accidents in the future).

It would seem pretty apparent however that you have finally admitted that your impeccably safe supertankers actually aren't, and now you're perfectly happy with risking these pilots lives in unsound aircraft that are worthless when they're really needed (tankers are worthless in high winds when fire activity is most extreme) and can't even get the drops that firefighters really need on the ground - that mid-slope drop that can make or break a crown run during an initial-attack. The drop merely drops the fire activity and slows it down, but once again fails to actually put out the fire - ground crews have to follow-up and do the vast majority of the work, with or without tankers.

In reality Ed, supertankers, as have been demonstrated are a cost-ineffective means of delivering retardant to the wrong locations. S2Ts can deliver over twice the retardant for the same cost - and they can pinpoint their drops where firefighters need them. Unlike these bulky ogres such as Tanker 910 which lay down expensive and inaccurate drops which have often proved ineffective anyways.

-----

On a sidenote, there are promising aircraft in the works for fire service use, and one of the most promising I've seen yet is firefighting models of the older military Cobras. These are very impressive and I've seen extremely good work out of them, and would like to see both the USFS and Cal-Fire look into adopting these further.
Sky Pilot

Chico, CA

#18 Jul 30, 2008
kevin wrote:
you have containment at what price to the lowly taxpayer?Interesting a pilot would weigh in but then your a pilot who'd be out of a job with your dinky drops we see on you tube if we could bring in the big boys and get the fires out! Like the supervisor from Butte County said and was reparmanded;" lets get the FIRE OUT and quit playing around"!. Alot of firefighters look forward to fire season ..that overtime pay, the chow,MOSTLY THE PAY AND TRAVEL TIME.Sky pilot.......right.
Yes I am a pilot but I do not fly Airtankers. I have been reading Ed's drivel for weeks now. It is obvious that he does not let facts get in the way of his incessant posting. The tanker that he is raving about work well in some areas but not in the area where he is screaming for its use. Steep narrow ,deep winding canyons and large aircraft do not mix. Thirty years ago the first thing I learned when I was a new
seasonal firefighter is that there is no property worth dying for. I almost got cooked so I found a less exciting occupation.

Best to those in the Mariposa area.

Since: Jul 08

Red Bluff, CA

#20 Jul 31, 2008
When we describe Tanker 910's collision as "pilot error" do we mean that the pilots screwed something up, or simply that they chose to fly the plane in an approach that would actually be effective, and in doing so disregarded the plane's limited flight characteristics causing a collision.

I believe we can make some general conclusions about Mr Nemechek's statements. The first is that supertankers such as Tanker 910 do have certain things that they do very well, such as hitting grass fires on the valley floor or painting ridgelines on large fires where fire crews have gone away from direct attack and are focusing on prepared defensive lines to check the fires spread. While smaller tankers such as S2Ts may be able to deliver the same retardant line at a much more affordable rate ($1.02/gal compared to $2.37/gal for Tanker 910), supertankers do accomplish this mission quite well (if not necessarily in the best manner for the taxpayer). That supertankers are well-suited to initial-attack on a small fire (10-15 acres) with a rapid-rate of spread in the Feather River Canyon, as Mr Nemechek claims they can do, is likely false. A 25,000-foot long wetline is not exactly what is needed on these fires (where a few smaller drops at different angles effectively checks spread), nor does it actually put the fire out (retardant checks fire spread, that's about it), nor is the plane sufficiently maneuverable to actually navigate this sort of terrain (unlike smaller aircraft such as S2Ts), nor is it nearly the most cost-effective means (at $26,500/hour for flight-time alone) of suppressing these new starts.

Yes, supertankers have roles where they can be effective, but this notion that they could somehow put out these new starts in their early hours is one of the farthest things from the actual truth.
Taxpayer

United States

#23 Aug 1, 2008
with all the problems in this state who gives a dammed about bigger planes, more gas and limited strikeability . Get the fires out so we can get houses built and get that property tax money rolling in to offset the the debt the empty suits have run up; I wonder if lay offs apply to the firefighters on the fire=lines have been affected by the governators exec. order??If we rounded up all the illegals who are sucking up all our money(10 bill.) annually, and put their asses on the firelines we could really get the cost of these fires way down. Fire does'nt need an interpretor, bilingual how to books just put them in with the cheap lowrisk prisoners and lay off those overpaid fireman and we might be able to get the costs way down but no; the pompous firemen. corrections people are of course exempt.What an ass-backwards state we have; we get rid of Gray Davis because of the physcal mess, vote in a Hollyweirdo who can't run a produce stand without ex governor Wilson telling him what to do; As far as supertankers go ....I can only draw one conclusion,. we voted for a human prototype and what we got was higher taxes, fuel costs, and ineffeciency ,something simular to what many before me have perported the supertankers to be in some cases.The bottom line is what looks good on the outside and has alot of sparkle could just be a flickering flame....I'LLLLLL BEEEE BAAAAAACCCCK. God Bless Arny's mess!!!
calvin

United States

#25 Aug 2, 2008
WE CAN'T USE SUPERTANKERS BECAUSE THE STATE IS BROKE DUE TO THE MISMANAGEMENT OF OUR TAX DOLLARS BY THE EMPTY SUITS AND THE DUMB GOVERNOR WHOSE ACTUALLY EX GOV-WILSONS PUPPET. iF WE'D USE PRISONERS, WERLFAREEES,AND THE 31 MILLION ILLEGALS HERE SUCKING US DRY AND LESS OF THE SACRED OVERPAID FIREFIGHTERS WE MIGHT HAVE ENOUGH FUNDS TO UTILIZE SUPERTANKERS AND GET AHEAD OF THESE FIRES. YESTERDAY SOMEONE WHO WENT BY TAXPAYER "SAID IT ALL" BUT I GUESS THE TRUTH HURTS AND THE WEBMASTER WIPED HIS MESSAGE OUT.WELL MR. TAXPAYER; DITTO, DITTO, DITTO!!!JUST YESTERDAY I WAS SHOPPING AND SURE ENUF A ENGINE PULLED UP AND ALL SIX OF THE FIREMEN AND TO STRUT IN WHILE ONE OF EM ORDERED A SANDWICH AND THE OTHER ARROGANT PRIMADONNAS STOOD AROUND POSING.

Since: Jul 08

San Francisco, CA

#26 Aug 9, 2008
Now that the lovely town of Modesto (it actually is better than Fresno) has had its chance to speak, I'm certain we've all gained some grand insights. I'm curious to know if everyone in Modesto that believes that everyone but themselves is overpaid (also curious about whether this grammar/spelling was a reflection of their education system)? I'm pretty certain that I'm not, as I made better pay in the private sector for quite a bit less work and commitment. Working as a firefighter, I'm paid approximately $9/hour - and the fact that I take a decent amount of pay home every month has much to do with the excessive hours I'm expected to work.

PS - Guys will stop at the stores for food, and not all of them will actually buy food... the rest will stand around and wait for the guy getting food. What do you except them to do?
mike

Modesto, CA

#27 Aug 31, 2008
The intentional grammatical errors saving Hawaii referred to is probably aimed at the state of this state and the idiots who are running it. We would expect a moron who gets paid $9.00 per hour to weigh in....he's probably on his off time either running a part time business or working out for a photo shoot for an upcoming FIREFIGHTER CALENDAR.You and the strong union that represents you are part of the fiscal problem in California.
You might think about moving elsewhere because what has happenned in Vallejo could happen in other cities then whattaya gunna do genius????

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