I hope so too. We are having a cool evening and the wind has gone stopped so the fire is lying down for the night. I hope to see more planes in the air soon after sunrise. The yellow plane can scoop water out of the river (or there is a small lake within a few air miles) so that should be a help.
GREAT pictures. We live up here and were so grateful for all the air support fighting this fire. These pictures really showcase these amazing folks at work! Montana truly has the greatest firefighters anywhere on earth!
Comment by Montana.Bischofs — September 3, 2012 @ 12:42 am
I was amazed at the quick response of the aircraft! That’s commendable! It’s the first time I’ve seen the “SuperScooper” on a fire. I think that’s the Bombardier 415 Superscooper made in Canada and it carries about 1600 gallons. I agree, Montana has some of the very best firefighters anywhere!
I hope you and your property will be safe from the fire!
We have not had measurable rain for about 6 weeks or more … it is tinder dry. Vegetation is shriveling up and dying .. not the colorful Fall everyone was hoping for. There has not been a fire near me before, but they say conditions are explosive. (the people stupidly shooting off fireworks last night at the campground down the road made me cringe) Hoping we all get some rain soon to prevent fire destruction of our wilderness areas. Great pictures.
Those are about the same conditions that we’ve had here but maybe a little longer since a good rain. We’ve also had quite a bit of wind. No rain in the forseeable forecast either. Our only salvation at the moment is cool nights.
Great report. You got some excellent photos documenting the process.
We, too, in New Mexico have such dryness. The plants, doing their best, have produced many flowers and fruit this year because of the timing of the scant precipitation. But they are struggling. Early dropping of leaves observed – I guess that means storing what reserves are left in the roots. I liked hearing that Denver allows watering of trees in their strict and good water conservation rules.
I know you have had some really bad fires. A lot of acres have burned in Montana this summer, mostly on the east side of the Divide. We’re now getting some fires in the western part. The Coeur d’Alene Mountains west of where I live are still nice and green but the Cabinets are very dry already. THere will be problems right up to the first snow.
Hi Montucky, Having come from Southern California, I am familiar with brush and forest fires. That “Super scooper” as well as the DC10′s that get modified for fire-fighting, really do wonders. So sorry that this fire is around and I hope it gets put under control very soon. Have an excellent day!
I couldn’t find “Combest Creek” on InciWeb – perhaps it’s been given another name? We had two of those Super Scoopers in use in the Bastrop,Texas fires last year. It was amazing to watch them work. Here’s a great video of the planes picking up water. From the response of the folks with the video camera, I’m not sure they were expecting to see such a thing – I’m so glad they posted it.
That’s a great video! I haven’t seen these planes “scooping” yet but have watched the choppers fill their buckets many times. InciWeb hasn’t picked this fire up yet, nor have any of the news outlets. They may call it something else when they do pick it up; my guess is just based on location.
No idea, Chad. We haven’t had lightning for a long time though and that particular location doesn’t look right for a lightning strike. From here I can’t even tell where it started and I don’t want to interfere with fire traffic to get much closer. Looks like it came from fairly low on the east slope. At the moment there are only choppers on it and it has crossed a ridge line to its west. Not a good thing! The photos were taken from the top of the hill on the road in front of our house.
When you see how little they can drop in comparison with the size of the fire, it’s amazing that any of these fires are ever brought under control. My son used to fight fires in California. I know the dreadful work it can be. But I also know the dedication these wonderful people display.
Hi, Montucky, I know what you mean… my son told me many stories… but it’s not for everyone because some of these dedicated folks work till they drop…. the work is that intense. You have to be in good physical condition. Be safe. So sorry the fires have hit your area too.
i have some awesome pics and video of a superscooper in action on the neuse river (your old stomping ground) last year. we were amazed at his skill with the wind and choppy river. he would fly right over our heads and wave while he was in his holding pattern…it was great! oh, and he put the fire out too =o)
Those pilots are a special breed. Same with the chopper pilots. This is the first SuperScooper that I’ve seen although I’ve read about them. I’d like to watch more, especially picking up water. 1600 gallons is a pretty good load! As I remember the Neuse, it would have been a perfect place to use one of those.
Thanks. I would have liked to be a bit closer but it was still pretty interesting to see. By the looks of it there will be many more days before it’s over and more aircraft in service. Today they were flying some little single engine crop-duster types. It’s surprising how effective those little guys are!
I watched the little planes dropping retardant on a big fire in 2007 and was impressed. These are the Air Tractor AT-802 SEAT (Single Engine Air Tanker) with an 820 gal. capacity and they are able to be very accurate in their drops. I have done some firefighting with wildland fire trucks which have only 300 gallons and their effectiveness is incredible, so the 820 gallons from the air is better than it looks.
Nice work getting the planes and their crews in action. As you have shown us in the past, fire is one of Nature’s ways of renewing the land. Of course, why the weather has been so screwed up the last decade is a while other story.
Yes, there have been lots and many more have started recently. The smoke in western Montana now covers hundreds of miles, although the have been several windy days that have cleared it our briefly and we’ve had a few breaks.
I’m sorry to hear about these conflagrations. The newspaper and the television stations in Austin have been running stories this week about the one-year anniversary of the devastating Labor Day fires that central Texas suffered last year. The area shown in your photographs seems more rural, so let’s hope fewer buildings will be destroyed (I think it was over 1600 in central Texas).
Photography can be such an effective way of displaying a sequence of events and you have done that so well here. In a few photos you have reported an event that several written paragraphs could not have adequately revealed. Thank you for bringing to all of us the gravity of this natural disaster.
We are having cooler weather now which helps a lot, but there are still a lot of acres on fire and lots of new starts. Our nights are now in the 30′s but the days are very windy with temps into the 80′s. The wind is especially bad.
These are great captures, the first photo is very beautiful. When I was living in La Baie, Saguenay, I once saw a yellow airplane plunging at the surface of the bay to take up water in its tank. It was exactly the same airplane as in your photo. It was something to witness so I imagine it must have been impressing to see all the action there !
I hope this huge fire is not too close to where you live. Take care !
Hello Terry, I’ve been neglecting my fellow bloggers over the summer whilst I took time out to get lots of jobs done that I’ve been neglecting over the last couple of years. But now I’m back on track and I’m going to camp out in Montanas outdoors for a while and catch up with events in your part of the world that you’ve been out photographing.
The fire looks huge, was it close to you? The pilots of those planes must have nerves of steel to fly that close to the ground, presumably a sudden change of wind could enshroud them in smoke and leave them in zero visibility. Very dramatic images indeed!
I’ve been behind in my contributions to the blog world too, also getting some jobs done, mostly a remodeling project that has taken far more time than I even dreamed it would.
Yes, those are admirable pilots. I’ve watched them for hours on various fires and they are just amazing. The ones that I’ve talked to love doing it. I can understand the challenges and the satisfaction that would be there after doing that job!