Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Fire Detour

Today, instead of working on the various home-improvement projects that have piled up, we decided to use our Feather River Rail Society memberships and go visit the Western Pacific Railway Museum at Portola. However, I'm not going to write about that tonight, because on the way back, when we stopped to have dinner in Reno, we saw a lot of smoke to the east, and a bit of investigation showed that a fire was burning in the area south of Interstate 80, west of the Patrick exit and east of USA Parkway. The fire was well to the south of the Truckee River and it was safe to stop and take a look, so we did.

Arc Fire

Lisa had brought her big camera (the one she's been using to record WSFS and Westercon Business Meetings) with her today, and we took a lot of footage at the museum, but here she stopped to try and get some shots of the aircraft fighting this fire in the hills to the south of the freeway.

Here's a shot of one of the fixed-wing aircraft dropping retardant on the fire. At the very end, you'll see a helicopter as well. It sort of looks like they're going to collide, but they were actually well separated.

And speaking of the helicopter, here's the complete cycle showing that helicopter coming in to one of the ponds near the power plant south of the freeway, collecting a bucket of water, then flying off to the fire and dropping water on it. They were able to make a complete cycle in less that five minutes per drop.

Helicopter Drop

I got shots of the helicopter coming in to collect a bucket of water...

Helicopter Drop the process of filling the bucket from the pond...

Helicopter Drop

...heading for the fire...

Helicopter Drop

...and making a drop, although it's not that obvious because the camera-phone has a lot less zoom on it than Lisa's big camera.

Arc Fire

Here's a portion of the burned area showing where fire retardant (red) was dropped to stop the spread of the blaze.

According to news reports, several hundred acres burned, and the fire was not yet out when we left, but it did appear that the sustained air attack was knocking it down.

When we got home, Lisa handed me the video footage from the camera. It took me a couple of hours to extract the footage you see above and to upload it to YouTube. Our upload speed here at Fernley House is awful. A two-minute clip took about 40 minutes to upload. Someday we'll update our internet service.

Lisa was worn out from spending much of the day hauling that heavy camera around and went to bed early. I don't blame her. I'm a bit worn myself, and all I did was stand around in the sun. Glad I remembered to put on sunscreen.
Tags: fire, lisa, video

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