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We had a big forest fire right outside town the other day. The fire fighters said it was human caused since there was no lightning anywhere near the fire site. They fought the fire for three days, burned over 600 acres. Fortunately the winds were blowing the fire away from the city and no homes were destroyed, no one killed. This is a heavily forested, low density populated, semi-remote area.

I went there after work to take pictures, I really wanted to get pics of the smoke jumpers going in, but I missed them. Instead I got a few of the fire fighting aircraft doing runs.

Fire seen from 5 to 10 miles away




Crowds gathered everywhere there was a good view of the fire




The house on the low left was maybe a mile from the fire, but the fire was expanding away from that area. Some homes were evacuated just in case.


A firefighting Convair 580 heading back to Ladd Army Airfield to refill with fire dispersants.


It must take some big cojones (and good pay...) to fly old turboprops into a forest fire!


Seen from another angle the fire seems to rage strong under the smoke...




An amphibian Canadair CL-415 Scooper, an aircraft made specifically for firefighting. Three of these are stationed here in Fairbanks every summer, plus a fleet of another 5-8 aircraft of various sizes.


Forest fires are a fact of life here in Alaska. Most fires are allowed to burn without intervention, only when they get within 5 miles of villages and cities that they get fought. In the late summer here the city often gets enveloped in fire smoke and the air quality sucks, as it seems the whole Alaska interior burns to a crisp. Driving to a high point in late summer you can see forest fires raging in a few spots. Summers here are often dry, with prolonged daylight, so the vegetation grows fast, and burns even faster.
 

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Damn, those planes look small compared to the fire. I'm sure it helps, but it seems like the equivalent of pouring a glass of water on a house fire.

California or any state in the lower 48, burns, it's national news. I never heard a peep about this on any news.
 

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yes it takes balls to fly prop planes through the smoke, it takes bigger balls to be a smoke jumper.
 

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yes it takes balls to fly prop planes through the smoke, it takes bigger balls to be a smoke jumper.
^this!!!

Crazy photos, Snabb.

We had a fire come within a mile of home a couple years ago. Three days evacuated. It jumped multiple roads but, luckily, the high winds and fire crews directed it mainly through the woods in between populated areas. A few families did lose their homes or outbuildings tho.
It apparently started thanks to someone lighting a campfire in a heavily treed area, on a very windy day...not cool.
 
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