Wildfire update: Canadian airtankers arrive to help with fire efforts

Wildfire update: Canadian airtankers arrive to help with fire efforts  

29 September 2011

published by www.kcentv.com

USA — Due to the shortage of heavy airtankers nationally, two Canadian airtankers from Saskatchewan arrived in Austin yesterday to assist with the statewide fire activity.

New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels; or where homes were lost): None

Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):

SOUTH 104, Hardeman County. 2,500 acres, unknown containment. This fire that started on the 21st rekindled and jumped the river yesterday, growing an additional 1,222 acres. Four SEATs and a MAFFS C-130 assisted.
MITCHELL 3, Crockett County. 580 acres, 95 percent contained. A hand crew and taskforce worked the fire yesterday. It is burning in rough terrain.
SHACKELFORD, Brewster County. 3,000 acres, no containment. The fire is in an inaccessible location and has burned onto Big Bend National Park. There are no threats at this time and the fire is expected to burn into a rocky area in the next day or two. The part of the fire on private land is not active.

BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 34,068 acres, 98 percent contained. Crews and equipment continue to mop up and protect homes within the perimeter. There was light rain over the fire yesterday. A small amount of re-burn is continuing in the interior. An assessment team has confirmed 1,554 homes have been destroyed on the large Bastrop fire and the Union Chapel Fire. Two civilians were found dead as search crews went through the charred subdivisions. A FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grant was received.

Weather Outlook:

West: A cold front will move into the Panhandle this morning and work south through most of the state by end of the shift. As the front moves south of I-20, it will encounter more moist air and scattered convection is expected over the southern half of the north branch and along and south of I-10 late this afternoon and generally south of I-10 overnight. The front will move into the Gulf of Mexico by Friday midday and out of the south branch Friday afternoon. Once the front passes, winds will becoming northeasterly and begin increasing in speed. The air mass ahead of the front is dry over the northern half of the state, thus minimum humidity levels will have a chance to drop into the teens out west and over parts of the north branch before the cooler air arrives. Temperatures will be much cooler across the northern 2/3s of the state on Friday.

East: …Hotter, Drier and More Unstable Today……Winds increasing from the North Tonight with poor humidity recovery…A critical fire weather situation will be developing later today and persist into Friday. A large low pressure trough to the northeast will bring a cold front from the northwest into the northeast Texas – Linden dispatch area Thursday night. Maximum temperatures will increase today ahead of the front contributing to hot, dry and unstable conditions with relative humidity values dipping into the teens in the north. The front will also contribute to poor humidity recoveries Thursday night. Strongest winds will be on Friday with continued low, daytime relative humidity values. North winds on Friday will range from 10 mph south to 15 mph northern dispatch areas which will equate to a critical fire weather watchout situation on Friday. Isolated thunderstorms are possible along the frontal boundary between Linden and Henderson dispatch zones this afternoon as well as the southern portion of the Livingston and Woodville areas.

Prevention Message:

Homes near wildland areas are at risk of burning in a wildfire, but a little advance preparation can greatly increase your home’s chance of survival. Remove dead vegetation within 30 feet of your house. Trim tree branches up from the ground and away from your house. Clean needles and dry leaves out of gutters. Create a firewise space around your house that is lean, clean, and green.

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