Saturday, May 26, 2007

F-16: Super-fighter and Fire Starter

An F-16 training over the Warren Grove Gunnery Range near Atlantic City inadvertently launched a flare, igniting one of the largest Pinelands Fires in New Jersey history. The resulting conflagration burned for 16 days, stopped only by a huge rain system that drenched the mid-Atlantic states.

Photos of the Pine Barrens fire by Kate

New Jersey is one of the few states in the mid-Atlantic that is prepared to do battle with a fiery Mother Nature thanks to the Division of Forestry which operates wildland firefighting teams statewide. During this series of fires, the forestry teams were backed up by nearly a thousand rural and suburban volunteer firefighters, who worked at protecting exposures and providing water supplies via tanker shuttles.

According to retired LAFD Fire Captain "Mike," "I have to say watching the TV coverage I'm taken back by the ferocity of this blaze. Crowning in May on flat terrain in New Jersey has me scratching my head." Mike continues on his blog. "Combined with the fire activity in Georgia and Florida this month I have to believe the California and Western states region are in for it this season."
The fires have been extinguished by the potential for more fires remains extremely high. Hopefully, the USAF has altered the training flight pattern -- perhaps over the Atlantic:)


Mike said...

Hi Lou,
Thanks for the quote from my blog .
I am actually a retired fire captain from the California Department of Forestry.
Again, thanks for the mention. I'll add your site to my blogroll.
Best to you,

Steve Jones said...


There are over 2.5 million paramedics, firefighters, and police officers in the United States who routinely answer our calls for help without question or hesitation. Whether large scale disasters or everyday emergencies, first responders serve and protect the communities we live in. Yet there is no national day to honor their commitment to public service.

The First Response Coalition (FRC) is working to right this wrong and has launched a campaign to make September 25th National First Responder Appreciation Day. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and National Civic League have joined this campaign. To date, over 5,000 people have signed the FRC’s on-line petition, and hundreds have written to their elected officials in support of this worthwhile cause.

Last month, the Senate passed an FRC-conceived resolution to make September 25th National First Responder Appreciation Day. The bipartisan resolution was cosponsored by 33 senators, including Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, and presidential hopefuls John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The FRC is now working to replicate our success in the House and I ask you today for your help. Our goal is to attain 25,000 signatures by September 1, 2007, and I hope that you will consider helping us raise the profile of this worthwhile cause by encouraging your readers to sign the FRC’s online petition at

Our first responders embody the very best of the American spirit. With your help, we can give our first responders a national day that recognizes these men and women for their contributions, sacrifices, and dedication to public service.

Thank you,

Steven Jones, Executive Director
First Response Coalition
919 18th Street N.W., Suite 950
Washington, D.C. 20006
(P) 202.263.2904
(F) 202.263.2960