About W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking

This Spring W.I.S.E. initiated THIS Fire Tracking site. We have been endeavoring to track the larger fires in the West. So far we have tracked over 110 fires, many still active.

The way W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking works is that each fire (that we choose to track) gets it’s own post. That post is updated periodically. We try to update on a daily basis while the fire is active, but some days the information is not available.

If a fire you are interested in is not on the main page (it only holds 15 posts), then there are a few ways you can find it. First, try typing the name of the fire in the search applet in the upper righthand sidebar. Second, you can click on the “state” category if you know what state the fire is in. Third, if you know what month the fire started, you can look in the archives under that month.

For each fire we are attempting to post daily stats for acreage, personnel, percent containment, and suppression costs to date. That way each post becomes a historical record for that fire. You can see how the fire grew day by day, along with the changes in the other stats. That’s something InciWeb doesn’t do.

W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking is in blog form, designed for feedback. People on the scene, or anywhere else for that matter, can contribute information, photos, or ask questions. It’s a two-way communication, something else InciWeb does not do.

W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking is free. It costs the taxpayers nothing. That’s definitely not the case with InciWeb. Your donations are sincerely appreciated, in any case.

Unlike other fire sites, W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking is not designed by and for firefighters. Our expertise and concern is about forests and other landscape types, and so we can provide indepth analysis regarding the effects of a particular fire on multiple forest values and resources. By collecting and posting the daily record for each fire, we are establishing the basic information needed to analyze fire effects.

InciWeb, the government fire reporting site, has been up and down this year. Right now it is functional again. If the InciWebbers show they can report fires consistently and without server glitches, we may pick and choose which fires we track more selectively. Our intention was never to compete with InciWeb or supplant them. We only provided a comprehensive fire reporting service because we thought such was needed during their long absence.

Due to the workload involved with W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking, the other subsites at W.I.S.E. have been neglected. Sorry about that. Hopefully in a week or two the fire season will calm down a bit and the other subsites will get more attention.

In that regard, if you feel like reviewing a new book or paper of exceptional quality and cutting-edge, new paradigm thinking in the environmental sciences, please do so. We are always happy to post contributions from the experts.

For those select few among you to whom we have promised specific projects, please bear with us. We have not forgotten. The list is still right here on the W.I.S.E. bulletin board. Your project is circled in red. We will get to it when we can and eventually for sure.

Please take some time to explore W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking. There is a wealth of information being collected there. Sometimes you may need to read between the lines because the whole truth is only hinted at. Your analysis of specific fires is also welcome, as are your photos, maps, and on-the-ground observations.

Please Donate to the Cause

W.I.S.E. is non-profit. Heck, we’re damn near non-income. But we are endeavoring against all odds to save forests and spread good information and knowledge about stewardship of our forests and landscapes.

We’re trying to save forests. We’re trying to stop or reduce the megafires that are ravaging our forests. We’re trying to make this planet a more habitable place for all life forms.

To that end we have created and are managing 12 websites. Our most recent site, W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking, is building records of the major fires burning this year, so that we can evaluate those fires after the season is over and seek ways to lessen the destruction.

We have not shirked from controversy. We have pushed the envelope. We have berated the Powers That Be for their incompetence and misguided policies that destroy forests, both public and private, and incinerate homes, farms, and ranches, and pollute the air and water, and cripple economies, and drain the Treasury.

We have endeavored to post the best, most cutting edge science, so that visitors can learn the facts for a change instead being pepper sprayed with rude and a-scientific propaganda all the time. We are a beacon, a light in the smoky darkness of a thousand forest fires burning at once.

W.I.S.E. is free. Our sites are open to all, free of charge, without a fee, buy in, ticket charge, or gate receipt.

But it is not free to do all this work. It is time consuming. Moreover, the expertise displayed here is the result of hundreds of years of combined professional effort. All of the experts published at W.I.S.E. have contributed their knowledge for free, and we are deeply grateful, but we also recognize that their expertise is hard won and represents lifetimes of dedication.

Your financial contributions are also deeply appreciated. We share this wonderful letter we received today, with gratitude:

Dear Mike,

Enclosed please find a check in the amount of $200. I hope it will help to keep your great sites going and allow you to continue to share wisdom and expertise.

As I promised myself, “a dollar a day” contribution will hopefully assist this endeavor to spread the word about forest health in particular and the rational study of the environment in general.

We send Randy a big Thank You. He would never admit it, but he is a victim of excruciatingly bad forest policies. His home and landscape are under tremendous threat. His area has been visited by fire storms emanating from mis-managed federal forests and hundreds of his neighbors’ homes have been incinerated by those fire storms. There is little he can do to change those terrible policies on his own.

But W.I.S.E. is attempting to do just that. We want to save rural homes from predicted, preventable fires. We desire to save the taxpayers $billions in emergency fire costs by encouraging the application of restoration forestry to millions of acres, thereby rendering forest safe and resilient to fire and far less prone to catastrophic destruction by holocaust. We wish to protect, maintain, and perpetuate forests, wildlife habitat, watersheds, airsheds, recreation opportunities, and all the other amenities and values that forests provide us. We are deeply cognizant of the heritage of our landscapes, and promote the respect and restoration that our heritage deserves.

That is our quest. Little by little we are having an effect. Top policy makers are reading our sites. The pendulum is being swung, the elephant is slowly moving.

Your contributions make it possible for W.I.S.E. to pursue this quest. Our budget is threadbare. We can barely pay our monthly Internet fees. But with your help we will persevere.

Your contributions are tax deductible. The Western Institute for Study of the Environment is a 501(c)(3) non-profit collaboration of environmental scientists, practitioners, and the interested public.

W.I.S.E. provides a free, on-line set of post-graduate courses in environmental studies, currently fifty Topics in eight Colloquia, each containing book and article reviews, original papers, and essays. In addition, we present two Commentary sub-sites, a news clipping sub-site, and the W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking site.

Our mission is to further advancements in knowledge and environmental stewardship across a spectrum of related environmental disciplines and professions. We teach and advocate good stewardship and caring for the land.

Please help us out. Please visit our donations page [here].

Thank you.

Lightning Storms of June 30

Vaisala Lightning Explorer [here] has been registering significant lightning strikes this afternoon in Eastern Oregon, Northern Nevada, Central and Southern Idaho, Utah, Southern Montana, Western Wyoming, Western Colorado, Northern Arizona, and Northwestern New Mexico.

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