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Thread: Fire on the Mountain

  1. #1
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    Fire on the Mountain

    Shot these pics from my backyard a couple hours ago. There was a brush fire just over the ridge on the hill between our house and the 210 freeway, a little more than a mile from the house. Nothing real worrisome, and they had it knocked most of the way down by the time I go the camera out, but a good chance to try out my telephoto lens (low-end Nikon 70-300mm) and the rapid fire mode on my D50. This is one of three helicopters I saw dropping water on the fire. You can see the bulldozer opening up a fire break, while the chopper is hosing things down just below the ridgeline.

    These shots are cropped from larger frames so they're not the highest quality (roughly the middle 1200 x 900 pixels from a 3000 x 2000 frame, just for reference).

    Attachment 10822
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    Attachment 10824
    Attachment 10829
    Attachment 10825
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    Attachment 10828
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    We've got our seasonal fires all around us now. Some as near as 10 miles away....some closer. Yesterday I had to drive up out of the canyon to the town of Cottonwood Idaho to work on a mobile MR system. 58 miles of smoke while driving on the Camas Prairie.........It's that season for us.....We've been in a drought cycle for 9 out of the last 10 years.....

  3. #3
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    Glad they extinguished them while still small. Your safety is important to me .
    Shaz
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    535
    Great pics Vaughn!

    Strikes me that if flying a helicopter low over a smokey, hilly, probably windy area weren't dangerous enough, that poor guy's got some big power lines right there to worry about too!

    There was just a wildfire at Kitt Peak where I used to work. Lucky it's mostly little oaks and pinons (or similar pine) there and a little easier to control, they managed to keep it away from the observatory, but a friend told me that they cut down just about every tree in the area.

  5. #5
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    "low-end Nikon" ??? Isn't that an oxymoron?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    I've never seen a helicopter water bomber. I wonder how they fill up?

    Years ago in Toronto at an air show I saw a Canadian(?) water bomber plane in action. They lit a fire on a barge, it flew by and dumped on it, and then flew out into the lake and re-loaded, and then dumped again.

    They re-load by flying low and slow over the water, and drop down a belly scoop, then they drop down like they're landing on the water, and whammo, full plane of water.

    I bet the plane takes some serious stress when doing so.

    Still, that way they can reload without returning to base. They just drop by a nearby lake and relaod. Works great in the northern wilderness. Which makes me wonder how they reload a helicopter.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    "low-end Nikon" ??? Isn't that an oxymoron?
    Watch what you say about Nikons please. There was nothing "low end" about the D40x I bought last week......or maybe I was just taken advantage of?......

  8. #8
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    Delton, Michigan
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    17,232
    neat shots vaughn! but you ought to have been in a forest fire and have those helicopters and the big water planes flying overhead while in a tree now that was exciting. sometimes the wind and smoke was so bad that you couldnt see the planes tillthey got out of the smoke.. urnt several thousnad acres in oregon..umatilia forrest
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
    Wow, cool shots! Too bad about the fire though. They are scary especially to a Midwestern city boy!

    Wes

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    I've never seen a helicopter water bomber. I wonder how they fill up?

    Years ago in Toronto at an air show I saw a Canadian(?) water bomber plane in action. They lit a fire on a barge, it flew by and dumped on it, and then flew out into the lake and re-loaded, and then dumped again.

    They re-load by flying low and slow over the water, and drop down a belly scoop, then they drop down like they're landing on the water, and whammo, full plane of water.

    I bet the plane takes some serious stress when doing so.

    Still, that way they can reload without returning to base. They just drop by a nearby lake and relaod. Works great in the northern wilderness. Which makes me wonder how they reload a helicopter.
    Art, the helicopter in the picture sequence looks like one that has to land before filling. They are filled much like a water truck -- from a large hose and a hydrant. Some of the choppers have a large hose that hangs below the fuselage so the pilot can hover over a body of water (lake, ocean, even swimming pools) and pump in a new load of water. Like this:

    Attachment 10867 Attachment 10868

    We've got some of the Canadian "Super Scooper" planes out here. There was a big hoolpa when they started using them a few years ago. They are very cool, in that not only are they fast to fill, but they hold a LOT of water.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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