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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

8/6/2013 Burnout operations on Colockum Tarps Fire could increase smoke output

A "burn-out" is a useful tool for gaining control of a wildfire and preventing it from spreading out-of-control.  Firefighters on Colockum Tarps plan to use this technique of controlled use of fire to create buffer areas in the coming days.  This may result in some extra smoke and emissions in the area of the wildfire, especially along the west perimeter.  

Lower humidity optimum for burn-out operations on the 
west perimeter of the Colockum Tarps Fire

Wenatchee, Wash. – Fire managers found a window of opportunity yesterday afternoon to initiate burn-out operations in Division C on the west flank of the Colockum Tarps Fire. Relative humidity dropped enough for a successful test burn. Fire crews then started igniting along prepared, reinforced firelines to remove unburned ground fuels and create a blackened strip. The burned area was patrolled by crews throughout the night.


Today firefighters are expected to continue burnout along the west fire perimeter to create a continuous broad buffer. Once the blackened line area is sufficiently wide and cool, burnout of more interior fuels will proceed using aerial ignition techniques. Aerial ignition uses ping-pong-ball-like spheres filled with chemicals that, once ejected from an aircraft, ignite after hitting the ground. The spheres are spread in pattern intended to burn out large areas yet avoid undue damage. Aerial application is useful for burning out areas too steep or inaccessible for firefighters to safely enter.  Aerial ignition is likely to be implemented within the next 36 hours when the reinforced fireline is ready and weather conditions are right to obtain the intended result.

More details area available here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/3567/19781/