Moderator: HAZ - Moderators
Many of you are asking why more aircraft are not being used in more areas on the Woodbury Fire.
In re-reading this I must add that the following is not intended to be specific to the Woodbury Fire. I am not on or near the fire and am not privy to their plans and strategies aside from what has been printed publicly. The following is general information based on my experience and training about the use of air resources on any fire. Since no two situations are the same specifics will vary from incident to incident.
Please allow me to explain. The material the air tankers drop on the fires is called retardant. Normally (except under the right conditions in almost pure grass) it is not effective nor is it expected to extinguish the fire. It it were, they would be called extinguishing agents not retardant.
Retardant is normally NOT dropped on the fire (it would dissipate in steam) but in front of the fire, coating the unburned vegetation. The effect of this is to slow the fire's progress so crews can then effectively fight the fire by removing vegetation (fuel) and/or with engines, wetting vegetation thus cooling and possibly depriving of oxygen long enough so combustion cannot be sustained. These are the three legs of the fire triangle - heat, fuel, oxygen. Remove one (often times easier said than done) and the fire goes out.
Helicopters on the other hand are used to work on specific hotspots, to cool areas close to where crews are working, and the largest can also function as air tankers at times.
Water is often ineffective because by itself it does not stick to vegetation well and it evaporates rather quickly.
So, in this terrain where we can obviously not get engines and where it is too dangerous for crews whether due to the ruggedness of the terrain or the expected fire behavior, aircraft would be largely ineffective. A very valid consideration IMO, considering one of the largest airtankers (DC-10) costs in the neighborhood of $57,000 to drop a load of 11,600 gallons of retardant.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for posting. I am the guy that produces that wildland fire map.AZLumberjack wrote:he below link is to a map that's frequently updated as to where the active portions of the fire are at the present.
https://mappingsupport.com/p2/gissurfer ... DMek5Sa5AU
Good question - but I don't know the answer.pixelfrog wrote:Question for you, what constitutes a “Complex Point” in the fire? Is it rough terrain?
Well, this is strange.pixelfrog wrote:Yes in the legend the red triangles are listed as complex points.