USA–– BOISE — A black bear cub injured in the Mustang Fire has a new home. He was transferred to the Idaho Humane Society in Boise Thursday night.
Doctor Jeff Rosenthal is now taking care of “Boo Boo.” He was found hiding up a tree, nursing 2nd-degree burns on all his feet.
“Our first priority is to save his paws, and restore full function to his paws.” said Rosenthal, who is also Executive Director of the Idaho Humane Society.
Idaho Fish and Game offices report being inundated with phone calls and e-mails from around the country concerning Boo Boo. His story is actually very similar to that of the real Smokey Bear who was found hiding in a tree in 1950, burned in a New Mexico fire. Just like Smokey, he apparently provides an opportunity to spread a very important message.
“He’s a visible consequence of what can happen with wildfire,” said Rosenthal.
Forest managers say, this fire season, they can use all the help they can get.
“It’s been over 140,000 acres so far that have been burned through human-caused fires,” said Cyd Weiland with the Boise National Forest. “With the conditions we’ve had, it’s been hot, it’s been dry, it doesn’t take much.”
Also, Weiland says you can tell people to be smart with fire in the forest, but when you can show people a cute bear hurt by wildfire, that goes a long way.
“When they see Boo Boo, they can see what can happen when fire gets out of control,” said Weiland. “Having Boo Boo, having Smokey Bear is a really good reminder to always be careful with fire.”
Weiland also reminded people that stage one fire restrictions are in place, meaning that you can only have campfires in designated fire rings in campgrounds. Also, smoking is only permitted in cars or buildings.
The Humane Society hopes, after a month, they can transfer Boo Boo to a rehab facility. Then, perhaps he can be released back into the wild (that’s why they’re trying to limit his contact with humans during his treatment).When the Fourmile Canyon Fire erupted west of Boulder in 2010, smoke from the wildfire poured into parts of the city including a site housing scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-evidence-heat-trapping-effects-wildfire-particles.html#jCpWithin 24 hours, a few researchers at the David Skaggs Research Center had opened up a particle sampling port on the roof of the building and started pulling in smoky air for analysis by two custom instruments inside. They became the first scientists to directly measure and quantify some unique heat-trapping effects of wildfire smoke particles.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-evidence-heat-trapping-effects-wildfire-particles.html#jCpWhen the Fourmile Canyon Fire erupted west of Boulder in 2010, smoke from the wildfire poured into parts of the city including a site housing scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Within 24 hours, a few researchers at the David Skaggs Research Center had opened up a particle sampling port on the roof of the building and started pulling in smoky air for analysis by two custom instruments inside. They became the first scientists to directly measure and quantify some unique heat-trapping effects of wildfire smoke particles. “For the first time we were able to measure these warming effects minute-by-minute as the fire progressed,” said CIRES scientist Dan Lack, lead author of the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers also were able to record a phenomenon called the “lensing effect,” in which oils from the fire coat the soot particles and create a lens that focuses more light onto the particles. This can change the “radiative balance” in an area, sometimes leading to greater warming of the air and cooling of the surface. While scientists had previously predicted such an effect and demonstrated it in laboratory experiments, the Boulder researchers were one of the first to directly measure the effect during an actual wildfire. Lack and his colleagues found that lensing increased the warming effect of soot by 50 to 70 percent. “When the fire erupted on Labor Day, so many researchers came in to work to turn on instruments and start sampling that we practically had traffic jams on the road into the lab,” Lack said. “I think we all realized that although this was an unfortunate event, it might be the best opportunity to collect some unique data. It turned out to be the best dataset, perfectly suited to the new instrument we had developed.” The instrument called a spectrophotometer can capture exquisite detail about all particles in the air, including characteristics that might affect the smoke particles’ tendency to absorb sunlight and warm their surroundings. While researchers know that overall, wildfire smoke can cause this lensing effect, the details have been difficult to quantify, in part because of sparse observations of particles from real-world fires. Once the researchers began studying the data they collected during the fire, it became obvious that the soot from the wildfire was different in several key ways from soot produced by other sourcesdiesel engines, for example. “When vegetation burns, it is not as efficient as a diesel engine, and that means some of the burning vegetation ends up as oils,” Lack said. In the smoke plume, the oils coated the soot particles and that microscopic sheen acted like a magnifying glass, focusing more light onto the soot particles and magnifying the warming of the surrounding air. The researchers also discovered that the oils coating the soot were brown, and that dark coloration allowed further absorption of light, and therefore further warming the atmosphere around the smoke plume. The additional warming effects mean greater heating of the atmosphere enveloped in dark smoke from a wildfire, and understanding that heating effect is important for understanding climate change, Lack said. The extra heating also can affect cloud formation, air turbulence, winds and even rainfall. The discovery was made possible by state-of-the-art instruments developed by CIRES, NOAA and other scientists, Lack said. The instruments can capture fine-scale details about particles sent airborne by the fire, including their composition, shape, size, color and ability to absorb and reflect sunlight of various wavelengths. “With such well-directed measurements, we can look at the warming effects of soot, the magnifying coating and the brown oils and see a much clearer, yet still smoky picture of the effect of forest fires on climate,” Lack said. CIRES is a cooperative institute of CU-Boulder and NOAA.