Monday, October 26, 2009

Loma Fire 2009/10/26

Darren Stewart taking photos from the passenger seat of a helicopter.

Today's highlight was a visit to the San Martin Airport where they run helitack for the Loma Fire. One of the helicopters (an Aerospatiale SA-315B "Lama" type 3) took a GeoCam phone aboard on a recon flight, collecting more than 80 photos. The start of the fire is still under investigation -- many of the GeoCam photos were taken near the point of origin and will remain embargoed until the investigation is complete.

The fire was quiet today with light winds. The team was really trying to put it to bed before a cold front comes through tonight with much stronger northerly winds, predicted to gust locally up to 45 mph. If the wind manages to push the fire across the containment line and Highland Way to the south, the fire will be moving upslope again and things could get hairy.

Other things going on -- we met a whole bunch of folks on ICT 3 and had some good technical discussion with the GIS specialists about ways to improve our data export. Here's a bulk export of many of today's GeoCam photos (cleared for public release).

I'll leave you with some more of the nicer photos.

Loma Fire wide view from the southwest at about 3000'. Fingers of activity move slowly downslope on the south side, zero flame length.

San Martin airport from the air. The helicopters in the foreground are a Sikorsky S-64 "Skycrane" (Type 1) and possibly a Bell 407 (Type 3).

Field observer debrief in the GIS trailer. Observers Steve DeBenedet (left) and Rick Wonneberger (right) are debriefing with GIS specialist Jonathan Pangburn (center).

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