Monday, November 17, 2014

The Next Big Thing In Wildland Fire Should Be This Small Thing #RescueMeBalloon #CaFire

#Rescue Me Balloon

 This simple cheap device could save wildland firefighters lives and should be required to be attached to every fire shelter by next season.


Rescue Me Balloon Uses Helium To Raise Bright Beacon With LED Lights 150' Above Your Shelter Deployment Location.


The balloon, made of durable plastic, is stored in a small canister with a clip for attaching to your belt, backpack or a your fire shelter.
 When deployed, the balloon rises up to 150 feet in the air, tethered by a lightweight cord. Easily spotted from ground and air.
The RMB also has a built-in flashing LED signal, which developers say is visible up to two miles away. The LED flashes an SOS signal, and the balloon is also designed to show up on radar.
Comes in different colors could be used to mark fire base camps, coyote camps, division breaks or drop points with specific colors. Deployment color and or markings could be made a standard in wildland firefighting regulations.
Specific markings could be deployed by different agencies and or by job function. 
"I can't help wondering if Rescue Me Balloon would of assisted the Prescott Nineteen or other firefighters on many other fire shelter deployments" "I personally think this is a SAR game changer"- Robert O'Connor Editor California Fire News.

Rescue Me Balloon Promo Video


Kickstarter Campaign Launching soon!

Bear with us as we sort out some technical aspects of our Kickstarter Campaign.  In the meantime, send us your Contact Information below and we'll keep you posted on our progress!

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Heart Attacks and Motor Vehicle Crashes, Leading Causes of Death for Sleep Deprived US Firefighters

Lack of Sleep Implicated in Heart Attacks and Motor Vehicle Crashes, The Leading Causes of Death for United States Firefighters

Firefighters Need Good Restful Sleep
Researchers found that 37% of 7,000 firefighters had at least one sleep disorder, making them about twice as likely to get in a crash than their well-rested peers.

They were also twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and more than three times as likely to report depression and anxiety, according to the study, published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

That increased risk is especially important because over 60 percents of firefighter deaths are caused by heart attacks and traffic accidents, according to The New York Times. The National Fire Protection Association tracks firefighter fatalities; its records show that stress and other medical-related issues, which often result in heart attacks, are the leading cause of firefighter deaths.

Findings of the study, led by Laura K. Barger, PhD, associate physiologist in BWH’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, are published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine today.
“Our findings demonstrate the impact of common sleep disorders on firefighter health and safety, and their connection to the two leading causes of death among firefighters,” says Barger in a release. “Unfortunately, more than 80% of firefighters who screened positive for a common sleep disorder were undiagnosed and untreated.”
“If you can get these people evaluated and treated when necessary, you can improve the health of workers,” Laura K. Barger, an associate physiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told the newspaper.

(1) 
Based on specific criteria, 66 US fire departments were selected to participate in a workplace-based sleep disorders screening and educational program. Approximately 7,000 firefighter participants were assessed for common sleep disorders.
(2) Firefighter Sleeping Picture: http://firefighterwife.com/blog/2012/12/01/sleep-well-my-love/
(3) Firefighter Sleeping Sign: http://www.honeymellow.com/collections/fun-signs
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Original Article Published Below in full:
Firefighters with Sleep Disorders at Higher Risk for Motor Vehicle Accidents

Sleep disorders are independent risk factors for heart attacks and motor vehicle crashes, which are the two leading causes of death for firefighters in the United States. In a national sample of almost 7,000 firefighters, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) examined the prevalence of common sleep disorders and their association with adverse health and safety outcomes and found that sleep disorders are highly prevalent, and associated with substantially increased risk of motor vehicle crashes and cardio-metabolic diseases among firefighters.
Findings of the study, led by Laura K. Barger, PhD, associate physiologist in BWH’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, are published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine today.
“Our findings demonstrate the impact of common sleep disorders on firefighter health and safety, and their connection to the two leading causes of death among firefighters,” says Barger in a release. “Unfortunately, more than 80% of firefighters who screened positive for a common sleep disorder were undiagnosed and untreated.”
Based on specific criteria, 66 US fire departments were selected to participate in a workplace-based sleep disorders screening and educational program. Approximately 7,000 firefighter participants were assessed for common sleep disorders. Firefighters were also surveyed about health and safety, and documentation collected for reported motor vehicle crashes.
Participants reported current health status, previous diagnoses of sleep and other medical disorders, the likelihood of falling asleep while driving, motor vehicle crashes, near crashes, and injuries.
Researchers found that a total of 37.2% of firefighters screened positive for sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, shift work disorder, and restless leg syndrome. Firefighters with a sleep disorder were more likely to report a motor vehicle crash and were more likely to report falling asleep while driving than those who did not screen positive. Additionally, firefighters with sleep disorders were more likely to report having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety, and to report poorer health status, compared with those who did not screen positive.
“Occupational sleep disorder screening programs can identify individuals who are vulnerable to adverse safety and health consequences, including those that are leading causes of death in firefighters,” says Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP, chief, BWH Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders. “This study provides the rationale for further research evaluating the effectiveness of occupational sleep disorders management programs on disease risk, mental health, and safety outcomes.”
Original Article at: http://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/11/firefighters-sleep-disorders-higher-risk-motor-vehicle-accidents/#sthash.lrIGY9a7.dpuf---------------------------------------------

Sunday, November 16, 2014

RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FOR MODERATE TO STRONG SANTA ANA WIND EVENT OVER LOS ANGELES AND VENTURA COUNTIES

OSCC - NWS Red Flag Warning

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
944 AM PST SUN NOV 16 2014

RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH 8 PM PST MONDAY OVER MUCH OF LOS ANGELES AND VENTURA COUNTIES DUE TO GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES.

STRONG SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE GREAT BASIN COMBINED WITH STRONG AND COLD NORTHERLY WINDS ALOFT WILL CONTINUE TO GENERATE A MODERATE TO STRONG SANTA ANA WIND EVENT OVER LOS ANGELES AND VENTURA COUNTIES. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED TODAY WITH WEAKER BUT
STILL GUSTY WINDS TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY EVENING AND POSSIBLY
THROUGH TUESDAY. MEANWHILE HUMIDITIES WILL RAPIDLY LOWER TO 8 TO
15 PERCENT BY THIS AFTERNOON... DESPITE THIS BEING A RELATIVELY
COLD WIND EVENT. LOWER HUMIDITIES ARE EXPECTED ON MONDAY. AS A
RESULT...RED FLAG CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TODAY THROUGH MONDAY
EVENING. THE RED FLAG WARNINGS MAY NEED TO BE EXTENDED THROUGH
TUESDAY FOR PARTS OF THE AREA...BUT WILL WAIT TO SEE HOW
CONDITIONS DEVELOP ON MONDAY BEFORE MAKING THAT DECISION.

CAZ240-244-245-288-547-170145-
/O.CON.KLOX.FW.W.0013.141116T1800Z-141118T0400Z/
VENTURA COUNTY COAST-VENTURA COUNTY INTERIOR VALLEYS-
VENTURA COUNTY COASTAL VALLEYS-SANTA CLARITA VALLEY-
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SAN FERNANDO VALLEY-
944 AM PST SUN NOV 16 2014

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PST MONDAY FOR
THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY AND THE VENTURA COUNTY VALLEYS AND
COAST...

* WINDS...AREAS OF NORTHEAST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH
  TODAY BECOMING 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH TONIGHT THROUGH
  MONDAY.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...5 TO 10 PERCENT. LOWEST MONDAY. POOR
  OVERNIGHT RECOVERIES UNDER 25 PERCENT.

* IMPACTS...RAPID FIRE GROWTH AND EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR SHOULD
  BE EXPECTED IF FIRE IGNITION OCCURS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
CREATE EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR. PLEASE ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE
OFFICIALS OR FIRE CREWS IN THE FIELD OF THIS RED FLAG WARNING.
---------------------------------------------

RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM MONDAY FOR THE KERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS



URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HANFORD CA859 AM PST SUN NOV 16 2014
URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HANFORD CA859 AM PST SUN NOV 16 2014
RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM MONDAY FOR THE KERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS DUE TO GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY

.STRONG HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE GREAT BASIN WITH STRONG NORTHERLY
FLOW ALOFT WILL BRING A MODERATE OFFSHORE WIND THROUGH MONDAY.
GUSTY EAST TO SOUTHEAST WINDS WILL DEVELOP BY THIS AFTERNOON WITH
LOWERING HUMIDITIES. STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR THROUGH THE PASSES
AND CANYONS...MAINLY FROM THE TEHACHAPI AREA WESTWARD. HUMIDITIES
WILL RAPIDLY LOWER INTO THE SINGLE DIGITS AND TEENS THIS AFTERNOON
AND CONTINUE THROUGH MONDAY. AS A RESULT...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ON TODAY AND MONDAY ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS
OF KERN COUNTY.

CAZ295-162300-
/O.CON.KHNX.FW.W.0006.141116T1800Z-141118T0400Z/
KERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
859 AM PST SUN NOV 16 2014

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PST MONDAY FOR
GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR THE KERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS...

* AFFECTED AREA...THE KERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS...FIRE WEATHER ZONE
  295...ESPECIALLY FROM THE TEHACHAPI AREA WEST TO NEAR INTERSTATE
  5 NEAR FRAZIER PARK.

* WIND...EAST TO SOUTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 45
  MPH DEVELOPING BY THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY.
  STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR THROUGH THE PASSES AND CANYONS.

* HUMIDITY...HUMIDITY WILL LOWER TO 10 TO 15 PERCENT THIS
  AFTERNOON...THEN TO 5 TO 15 PERCENT ON MONDAY. OVERNIGHT
  HUMIDITY RECOVERY WILL BE VERY POOR.

* IMPACTS...RAPID FIRE GROWTH AND EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR SHOULD
  BE EXPECTED IF FIRE IGNITION OCCURS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL. PLEASE ADVISE THE
APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OR FIRE CREWS IN THE FIELD OF THIS RED FLAG
WARNING.
--------------------------------------------- CFN - California Fire News 2013 
 -  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Air Tanker 910 Ending Decade Battling Wildland Fire

10 Tanker Air Carrier McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 N17085
10 Tanker Air Carrier Tanker 910 Retires Last Flight Saturday
A DC-10 converted to an air tanker to battle wildfires across the USA is being honored this week as it ends its decade of service.



Its final flight is set for Saturday when the plane is to fly from Castle, Calif. near Merced to Oscota Mich. for dismantling, its operator, 10 Tanker Air Carrier, announced Friday.

Tanker 910, converted to an air tanker in 2004, began battling fires California under a contract with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) in 2006, the company also said in its news release.



By the company's tally, Tanker 910 was used in more than 500 firefighting missions in California and over 750 in the U.S.

They included the Rim Fire, King Fire, Mountain Fire, Zaca Fire, Station Fire and the Happy Camp Complex Fire, the company said.

"We've flown in Nevada certainly many times," safety officer John Gould of 10 Tanker Air Carrier told the RGJ Friday.

"Most of the area in Nevada is BLM land, and I think those guys in the BLM began to understand that it's useful in the large fires in the sagebrush country," Gould said.

Tanker 910 was able to carry large amounts of fire retardant, making it useful in battling large fires, he said.

Tanker 910, an original DC-10 first-generation air tanker, has been based at Castle airport in California since last summer.

"To honor the work the airplane has done on California fires, officials at the Castle airport plan to salute the airplane as it takes off for the last time," the 10 Tanker Air Carrier company said in a statement.

The company plans to replace Tanker 910 with a newer model that will carry the same "910" designation as the plane being retired, the company added.

"That is important for people to know," Gould said of the replacement airplane entering service.

10 Tanker Air Carrier is now in its ninth firefighting season, “We have 30 places in the West where we can operate from, so that depends on where the Forest Service wants us,” Hatton said.

President and CEO Rick Hatton.and two partners originally launched 10 Tanker in 2002 to create a superior firefighting aircraft. They invested about $30 million to modernize the DC-10 and add retardant tankers to its underbelly.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Arizona State Forestry Division Yarnell Hill Fire LODD FOIA 21 Video Clips


The Arizona State Forestry Division posted 21 video clips on its website on Saturday that offer little new insight on the last moments of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the 19 firefighters who died battling the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.

The videos were uploaded to the website Saturday morning and include a clip that was previously released in December 2013.

The Yarnell Hill Fire video clips, shot by other firefighters, take place in the moments before the Granite Mountain Hotshots were overtaken by the fire and progress to the point where their bodies were discovered.

The bodies have been edited out. The Forestry Division website says the video clips were obtained from the U.S. Forest Service through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The videos are presented as they were received, the website states and were redacted by the Forest Service. The Arizona Republic, under the state's public records law, has previously requested all forestry records on the Yarnell Hill Fire and the subsequent investigations into the deaths of the Granite Mountain hotshots.              




From The Arizona Republic:

The videos were uploaded to the website Saturday morning and include a clip that was previously released in December 2013.

The clips range in length from fewer than 30 seconds to more than seven minutes. In some instances, the quality of the audio is clear. In others, the audio is muffled by wind or poor radio reception.

A previously released clip showed firefighters listening to radio traffic between Granite Mountain and command staff. The crew seemed puzzled about what was going on. One said he thought the crew was in a safety zone. Saws are heard in the background, which one of the firefighters said was not a good sign.

That clip contained the voice of Eric Marsh, the superintendent of the Granite Mountain crew, saying the hotshots were preparing a deployment site. The clip ended with command staff trying several times to reach the Granite Mountain crew by radio. The calls go unanswered.

The clips released Saturday occurred before and after that previously released video.

The clips recorded before seem to contain talk about fighting the fire and evacuating the remaining residents from the area.

The clips recorded afterward show the firefighters becoming increasingly concerned about the Granite Mountain crew. In those, the firefighters begin asking how long it has been since anyone has contacted the Granite Mountain crew.

"It's been at least 30 minutes," one man says.

At one point, another says, "Come on, Granite, let's hear you talk here."

Another: "It's a long time."

"Especially in this fuel type," one more says.

In another video, a man asks, "How many were in there?"

A short time later, a man says: "They were sitting in black. Eric decided there was a trail that kind of follows that ridge ... green. That lookout was down below and I went in to ... Eric. And that's when it picked up. I just happened to stumble upon the lookout."

That lookout was Brendan McDonough, the only surviving member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

He told The Republic on Saturday night that he had not seen the videos or heard the audio.

"It's not a surprise to me, but I haven't seen it. I don't know anything about it," said McDonough, who lives in Prescott and works for the Boise, Idaho-based Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

"I try to stay out of the politics as much as possible," he said of the footage. "It's a huge tragedy, and there's a lot more people than me involved, and there's a lot more people that know more than I do.

"I just have the memories of the times with my brothers."

Other videos show the firefighters planning their attempt to rescue the Granite Mountain crew and making their way to the area — once a tangle of scrub oak, bear grass and agave — where the hotshots tried to survive beneath emergency blankets as a wall of flames overtook them.

In a video, the firefighters discussed if it would be possible to get a helicopter to the location and if that would be helpful.

Once the bodies are found, the emotion in their voices is apparent.

At one point a voice can be heard uttering a profanity and confirming that the bodies of the Granite Mountain crew have been found.

A firefighter is heard over the radio saying, "True, and just confirming, no medical treatment is needed at this time."

A few weeks ago, families of the Granite Mountain had been warned by J.P. Vicente, a Prescott fire captain, that the videos might be released.

Families were concerned that the videos might show the bodies of their loved ones at the deployment site. They have asked that no such footage or photographs be made public. But they were torn, too, because the videos and accompanying audio also might give them new information.

Roxanne Warneke, whose husband, Billy Warneke, was one of the 19 men killed, watched the videos in her Marana home. For her, there still are questions. Would the redacted portions have provided those answers?

In one of the video clips, just 29 seconds long, a man says, "I don't have anybody else that I feel comfortable sending that way."

Warneke says that sounds as if someone had specifically sent the Granite Mountain crew into the area where they were trapped and killed.

"We'll never understand. We will always ask why," says Tammy Misner, whose son, Sean Misner, was a Granite Mountain hotshot.

In her home in Santa Ynez, Calif., Misner watched the videos and listened, hearing the bewilderment, the fear and then sadness in the men's voices.

"It was just disturbing to look at and watch, but at the same time I don't think I heard anything that would make any changes to what we already feel we know happened," Misner says.

"You're watching this, and you know what's going on. Our guys are gone."

Carrie Dennett, a state forestry spokeswoman, did not respond to The Arizona Republic's multiple requests to speak about the footage.

About two weeks ago, the newspaper asked Dennett and other state officials if they were aware of previously unreleased footage pertaining to the Yarnell Hill Fire. The officials said they were not aware of any such footage.

In her Saturday email to the newspaper, Dennett wrote that state forestry "received the additional footage yesterday (Nov. 7) from the US Forest Service." The footage was uploaded Saturday to state forestry's website.

Attorney Patrick McGroder, who represents families of the fallen hotshots in wrongful-death and benefit legal cases, had not seen the footage on Saturday night. He criticized state forestry's handling of the release, saying officials were insensitive and lacked decency.

"Whatever substance there is on those videos, to release those in the way that the state forestry department has has chosen to do it speaks to the enormity of the insensitivity to the victims and the families of the hotshots," McGroder said.

"I've not seen them and how substantive they are, but you're still dealing with very tender, sensitive victims of this tragedy, and you would think that the state forestry department would at least have the decency to at least contact the victims' survivors to let them know it was going to be released and to give them the opportunity to either see the videos or have the opportunity to determine whether there's anything that might cause them any further injury and damage."



Arizona State Forestry Division Yarnell Hill Fire LODD FOIA Video Clips Wildfires Today: http://wildfirestoday.blogspot.com/2014/11/arizona-state-forestry-division-yarnell.html
Yarnell Hill Fire Report: https://azsf.az.gov/sites/default/files/YHR_Data_092813_0.pdf
Arizona republic FOIA Story: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2014/11/08/arizona-yarnell-fire-videos-released/18750369/

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Virgin Galactic's #SpaceShipTwo Crashes In Mojave Desert: 1 Pilot Dead, 1 Injured

Space tourism Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane explodes at 45,000 Feet


Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane exploded and crashed during a test flight on Friday, killing one crew member and seriously injuring another, authorities said.

The  Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo explosion came after the plane dropped away from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane and fired up its hybrid rocket engine, said Stuart Witt, CEO and general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The blast scattered debris across a two-mile swath of the desert floor north of Mojave, which is about 95 miles (150 kilometers) outside Los Angeles.


"We hope that the survivor will be just fine," Youngblood said during a news briefing.

The pilots have not yet been identified, but both of them worked for Mojave-based Scaled Composites, according to Scaled's president, Kevin Mickey. Scaled has played a key role in developing and testing SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic had planned to use this SpaceShipTwo to fly passengers on suborbital trips to the edge of space, beginning as early as next year. A nearly identical rocket plane is already under construction inside a Mojave hangar. More than 700 customers, including celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber, have paid as much as $250,000 to take a ride.

First powered flight in months

SpaceShipTwo's crew was testing the rocket engine in flight for the first time in more than nine months. The plane was slung beneath WhiteKnightTwo for takeoff from the Mojave Air and Space Port at about 9:20 a.m. PT (12:20 p.m. ET). When the paired planes reached a height of about 50,000 feet, about 40 minutes later, SpaceShipTwo was released for the test.
Witt said the anomaly occurred about two minutes after SpaceShipTwo dropped away and fired the rocket engine, but he didn't see any explosion. "It wasn't because something did happen. It was what I was not hearing and notseeing," Witt said.
Photographer Ken Brown, who was covering the test flight, told NBC News that he saw an explosion high in the air and later came upon SpaceShipTwo debris scattered across a small area of the desert. The WhiteKnightTwo plane and its pilots, meanwhile, landed safely.
Authorities cordoned off the crash site pending an investigation. A National Transportation Safety Board team was expected to get to the crash site Saturday morning. The Federal Aviation Administration said it was also investigating the incident.
Mickey said he expected that the investigation would take several days.
One of the two test pilots aboard the plane was killed, said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, who was among the officials dealing with the crash's aftermath.
The other parachuted to the ground and was injured. That pilot was transferred to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California, according to Kern County Deputy Fire Chief Michael Cody.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo  Mojave Desert Crash Site
Credit: Image from video by KABC TV Los Angeles shows wreckage of what is believed to be SpaceShipTwo in Southern California'son Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. 
The explosion of Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket is stirring up mixed emotions as scientists and others involved in the space industry wait for more details on what happened over the Mojave Desert on Friday.

Here is some of the reaction to the crash:


— Former NASA top space scientist Alan Stern has seats to fly on Virgin Galactic — and its competitor XCOR aerospace. He isn't rethinking plans to fly in space at all.


"Let's not be chicken Littles here," said Stern, now a vice president at Southwest Research Institute. "The birth of aviation was also a very dangerous time period."


"All forms of transportation carry risk," he said. "To expect spaceflight could somehow be different is unrealistic on the part of the public or anyone. Secondly to do something very hard, to do something on the frontier, comes with risk."


— Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, offered his sympathies to the families affected by the explosion.


"Today, we are tragically reminded of the tremendous challenges that we face every day in our efforts to push the envelope of human experience and capability in space enterprise and exploration," he said.


Stallmer and Bill Nye, chief executive of the Planetary Society, said the courage of both pilots and the commitment Virgin Galactic has made to space tourism will serve as inspiration as the industry continues to make space travel as safe and reliable as possible.


— Former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, who nearly died in a 1997 fire aboard the Russian space station Mir, said when he first met British billionaire Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, he told him the first thing he'd have to worry about is liability insurance.


"You will have setbacks," Linenger said he told Branson. "That is a reality."


— In New Mexico, from where Virgin Galactic planned to launch its tourism rockets within the next year, hearts were sinking. The New Mexico Spaceport Authority issued a statement saying it was sending its thoughts and prayers out to the crew's family members and the team that has been working for years to develop the rocket.


"We will continue to work with and lend our support to Virgin Galactic through this tragedy and in the coming months as we move forward," the authority said.


Several people expressed sadness that one pilot was killed and another was seriously injured, many also said they understand the risks that come with pushing the boundaries that have hampered the burgeoning commercial space travel industry.


SpaceShipTwo Facts
The Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo is a suborbital, air-launched spaceplane designed for space tourism.Wikipedia

First flight: October 10, 2010
Top speed: 2,485 mph (4,000 km/h)
Wingspan: 27' (8.20 m)
Length: 60' (18 m)
Engine type: RocketMotorTwo
Manufacturer: Scaled Composites
Designer: Scaled Composites---------------------------------------------

CA-YNP Yosemite Fires Dog Rock Fire and Meadow Fire

Yosemite Fire Update October 30, 2014
Update #26

DOG ROCK FIRE 


Current Situation: Fire crews have completed rehabilitation of the fire area. The fire is at 311 acres, and with 100 % containment. Firefighters and fire engines will be patrolling Hwy 140, watching for rolling material and hotspots. Travelers should use extreme caution and expect delays when driving through the fire area. Smoke from the interior of the fire may be visible.

MEADOW FIRE
MEADOW FIRE FIRE PERIMETER MAP
37 42.738 x 119 30.541 – Mariposa Co., 7,870’, August 16). The fire is at 4,772 acres and 98% containment. Smoke continues to show occasional smoke from the interior of the fire perimeter. It is now in a monitoring status. Until further notice, the only trail open in the Little Yosemite Valley area is the Half Dome access trail from Nevada Falls. The Little Yosemite Valley campground has been re-opened.
Additional Fires 
Cathedral (37 51.843 x 119 23.720 – Tuolumne Co., 9,140’, July 16) This fire is now at 22 acres and continues to smolder and creep through surface fuels. It is northeast of Cathedral Peak. Smoke is occasionally seen from locations within Tuolumne Meadows.

Lembert (37 53.159 x 119 19.059 – Tuolumne Co., 9,250’, July 16) This fire is at 4 acres and continues to smolder and creep through surface fuels in a lodgepole pine forest. It is east of Lembert Dome. Smoke is periodically visible from locations in Tuolumne Meadows

Double Rock (37 54.616 x 119 35.025 - Tuolumne Co., 8,800’, found September 18) This high elevation fire, burning since July has been declared out. 

Closed Trails: The John Muir Trail between the Clouds Rest Junction and Sunrise High Sierra Camp.
Sunrise trail to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake through to the John Muir Trail
Clouds Rest
The trail along the Merced River between Little Yosemite Valley and Echo Valley.

Air Quality: Although air quality has improved, smoke may continue to be visible from the Meadow, Lembert and Cathedral Fires.

For More Information
Fire information: gary_wuchner@nps.gov, (209) 372-0480.
For wilderness access and trail closure details and questions please call (209) 372-0826.
For Yosemite air quality data and webcams: www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm
For smoke updates: www.californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com
Yosemite National Park Web page: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm
Yosemite Wildland Fire Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yosemite-Wildland-Fire/124632964255395

As with any fire incident in Yosemite National Park, firefighter and public safety is our number one priority. We appreciate everyone’s assistance with this priority

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

APPOINTMENT OF DESIREE HORTON AND WAYNE KRAGER TO CAL FIRE FORESTRY FIRE PILOT

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Desiree Horton and Wayne Krager to Forestry Fire Pilot, assigned to Prado Helitack Base in the San Bernardino, Inyo, Mono Unit. This permanent appointment will be effective on October 6, 2014.

Desiree Horton
Desiree Horton is a native of Southern California and was exposed to helicopters at an early age. After graduating from North Hollywood High School she went straight into flying. She spent years and countless jobs working double and triple shifts to pay for lessons and training. She spent the next 24 years flying such missions from tours, aerial photo shoots, traffic watch, news gathering for all of the Los Angeles stations, pilot/reporter for KABC, KTLA, KNBC, KCBS, and KCAL in Los Angeles, movie production flying, on camera flying for films and documentaries, frost patrol, organ donor transplant team flights, corporate, private, government, and celebrity charter, animal heard head count flights, land survey, power line patrol, heavy lift construction, police contract for Corona Police Department, USFS fire contracts, heli-ski, seismic, car race chase support annually including such races as the Baja 1000 in Mexico. Prior to coming on with CAL FIRE last year as an LT, she spent the previous 9 years flying fire contracts all over the California and the U.S. for various companies with the end goal to be a fire pilot for CAL FIRE.


 To stay proficient with her utility and mountain flying skills outside of fire season, Desiree flew heavy lift construction all over the Midwest and Heli-ski and seismic in Utah during the winter months. Desiree was hired on with CAL FIRE as a Limited Term Pilot in March of 2013 and was based up at Kneeland until coming to the Prado Helitack as of January 1, 2014. Desiree said “I am very excited to have been a part of starting the new firefighter 1 program at Prado and look forward to the rest of my life and career here in the Unit with Prado Helitack and the entire CAL FIRE family.”



Wayne Krager was raised in Southern California, and always had an interest in law enforcement, firefighting, and aviation. Wayne graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Administration in the fall of 1992. During his last years in college, Wayne earned his private pilot helicopter rating in 1992. It was at this time he decided to join the Army on the delayed entry program to become a Warrant Officer Helicopter pilot. Having served 7.5 years in the Army as a UH-1 Huey pilot Wayne decided to leave the Army and become a Deputy Sheriff of San Bernardino County in hopes of becoming a pilot with them. After completing the Sheriff Academy in December of 2001 and working in the jail, Wayne was asked to join the Aviation Unit. During his tenure with the Sheriff department assigned to Prado on a contractual basis, Wayne knew he wanted to fly permanently for Cal Fire. After serving 13 years with the County plus the 7.5 with the Army, he gained valuable knowledge and experience which would help me obtain my goal of flying for Cal Fire. Wayne stated “Through dedication and hard work, along with the support of my very loving wife and family members, I am now firefighting as a helicopter pilot for Cal Fire back flying 305 at Prado. I’m very blessed and honored to have been chosen for this position.”

We are glad to have such highly dedicated, qualified Pilot’s as well as good people in our Prado Helitack Program. 


Please join me in congratulating Desiree and Wayne and welcome them into the BDU/ CAL FIRE Family.---------------------------------------------

CVFF Charity Golf Classic to Benefit the Chula Vista Fire Explorers program. #CaFire

CVFF Charity Golf Classic


The Chula Vista Firefighter's Foundation (CVFF) is holding its Annual Charity Golf Classic at Salt Creek Golf Course on Friday, November 7th. All Local 2180 members and their family and friends are encouraged to play in this year's tournament. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Chula Vista Fire Explorers program. This is the CVFF's biggest fundraiser of the year and provides much of the funding for the Fire Explorer program. The cost per player is $125 ($500 per foursome), but will go up after Halloween so register early. With your registration you get a round of golf, a cart rental, breakfast, lunch, dinner, ample hydration, golf schwag, and much more.

Players can register online this year. Please go to the CVFF Golf registration page for more information and to register your team.

Please direct any questions about the tournament to Matt D'Amico, Jeff Ewert, Josh Sanders, Pablo Ornelas or Dangkhoa Nguyen.
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