Friday, May 8, 2009

On Wildfires

California's burning down. Again. Yawn. My apologies to Californians, but the rest of the country's got to be agreeing with me on this: shouldn't wildfires be part of the weather segment rather than a headline story? Don't peg me as a Midwestern chauvinist here, though. I get equally bored by "Flooding in Midwestern Floodplains!" headlines.

FuturePundit does share some interesting thoughts on the wildfires, and throws out some random thoughts on things we could be doing to stop them:
Last night a couple of guys were telling me exactly what I was thinking already: Extremely fast methods of spotting fires in early stages along with very fast reaction times for helicopter tankers could nip somem fires in the bud. Time is of the essence. Could cameras trained on hillsides with image processing software spot fires 10 minutes earlier on average? Then there is the effect of absolutely massive efforts. If 40 or 50 old jumbo jets were converted into water carriers could a fire get put out even after it has reached a couple of hundred acres?
Decline and fall quote of the day:
The America of the 1950s, given such tech, would have tried. The America of today - not so much.

1 comment:

Diane Meyer said...

They really AREN'T using image scanning software now? Are they still using the forest ranger, in the tower, scanning the forest with his binoculars? Certainly they are using some kind of high tech imaging equipment. Guess the average, working American makes too many assumptions.