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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wildfires Rage On in TX, a 2nd firefigher dies,water from above.

According to the Texas Forest Service, March and April werethe state's driest  on record, leaving it in extreme drought and fueling recent wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and burned more than one million acres over the past two weeks. Paul Hanneman one of the ncident Commanders quoted "These conditions are  unprecedented in our history, there is nothing on record that we can compare this to” This is saying a lot since Texas has seen some of the worst wildfires Nationally in recent years. Governor Rick Perry has asked President Barack Obama for federal disaster funding, with the cost of fighting the fires estimated to be $2 million per day, supporting nearly 2,000 personnel across the state.

A major portion of these expenses are in an effort to bring water from the skies, NO not trying to make it rain but by dropping it, by some accounts millions of gallons, by dozens of aircraft. Fixed wings and helicopters, if it flys and can drop water its probably being utilized.

In one day recently one of these tankers made 16 drops, that almost 200,000 gallons of retardant laden “rain”.

And then there are the helicopters. They may not carry as much water (only measured in hundreds of gallons not thousands, BUT they are very effective. They can respond quicker, get into places the big boys cant and use pinpoint accuracy to deliver their critical loads.

What’s left after a wildfire burned over a fire truck and killed a firefighter as he tried to escape.

Many states have already sent resources to Texas and Virginia is now making preparations to do the same. Virginia’s first obligation is to protect the citizens and natural resources in the Commonwealth but now that we are coming out of our traditional Spring Fire Season we are in a position to send some help. The last time Virginia sent resources to help in a similar situation the assistance lasted several weeks, firefighters were rotated every 2 weeks, the equipment (dozers and engines) stayed and new operators were rotated.

TEXAS needs all our help if all you can do is pray for those firefighters and communities involved, support relief agencies helping or help by GETTING YOUR SMOKEY ON…. DO IT! Thats no bull! OK the picture above is a bull, you know what I ment.Many of the pictures were taken from a report out of "The Atlantic"

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