(Very very late) Weekend News Read 28 September 2013.
(Photo: Ramin Talaie / Getty Images via Slate.com)
The Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park, August 30. (Photo: Al Golub / Zuma Press via Mother Jones)
323,828: That’s the number of "fire targets" tracked by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites over the past six months. Each target is represented by a speck on this map of North America and the Caribbean. (Photo via The Telegraph)
FUTILIDADE A resident uses a bucket of water to try and beat back flames from a wildfire in Santiago de Besteiros, Portugal. (Photo: AP via The Telegraph)
A small boat floated on the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir as smoke wafted from the Rim wildfire in California’s Yosemite National Park Sunday. Containment of the fire doubled to 15% on Monday, although it was within a mile of the reservoir, the source of San Francisco’s drinking water. (Photo: Jae C. Hong / AP via The Wall Street Journal)
Morning News Read, Monday 26 August 2013
(Photo of inmate firefighters on Highway 120 on Sunday as the Rim Fire burned on the northwest edge of Yosemite National Park by Jae C. Hong / AP via The New York Times)
Weekend News Read Sunday 25 August 2013
- U.S. STATEMENT ON SYRIA: “…Based on the reported number of victims, reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured, witness accounts and other facts gathered by open sources, the U.S. intelligence community, and international partners, there is very little doubt at this point that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians in this incident.” Looks like Bashar’s days are finally numbered. (NYT)
- BUGGERED UP: Everyone’s favorite surveillance agency, the NSA, reportedly spied on the United Nations. (Der Spiegel via Reuters)
- TO YOUR HEALTH: With the Affordable Care Act looming, it’s time to ask: does your state have its health insurance exchange set up yet? (WashPo)
- FLAME WAR: The Rim Fire has grown to more than 133,000 acres — or 210 square miles — and only seven percent contained. (LATimes)
- NOT BFF’S: Following a car bombing that left 47 dead in Lebanon, Al Qaida blames Hezbollah. (Guardian)
- JUSTICE COLLEAGUE: Ruth Bader Ginsburg opens up about the Supreme Court: ”If it’s measured in terms of readiness to overturn legislation, this is one of the most activist courts in history.” (NYT)
- DONALD SCUMP The New York State attorney general is suing Donald Trump for ripping off people through his “Trump University” program. Pro tip: That you enrolled in something called “Trump University” should’ve been the first hint this was a scam. (NYDN)
(Photo: Richard Drew / AP via the New York Daily News)
Mayer fire department chaplain Rev. Bob Ossler reacts during a memorial service for the 19 wilderness firefighters who were killed on Sunday when when an out-of-control blaze overtook the elite group near Yarnell, Arizona. (Photo: AP via The Telegraph)
Why The Heroic Work of Hotshot Crews Isn’t Getting Any Easier
For “Fire”, the lead essay in his 2001 book of the same name, Sebastian Junger interviewed many hotshot crews and even joined the ranks of one crew out of Oregon to learn about their jobs on the front lines of fighting forest fires:
Many hotshots I spoke with attributed the increasing danger of their job to severe drought conditions in the northern Rockies, as well as to decades of rigorous fire suppression. Both have contributed to a huge buildup of dead fuel in our nation’s forests—fuel that ordinarily would have been cleared out by the small fires that regularly flare up in an unmanaged ecosystem.
Later in the essay, Junger describes the hotshot camp routine while on the line:
[Spike camps] are established in a roadless area and supplied by helicopter with food, tools, and paper sleeping bags. According to Forest Service policy, hotshots should not be spiked out for more than two days in a row. One level less comfortable than a spike camp is a coyote camp, and hotshots are not universal in their love of coyote camps. Coyoteing, as its called, means dropping in exhaustion wherever you happen to be when it gets dark. Because hotshots have only their line packs when they fight fire, they are usually caught without food, sleeping bags, or extra clothes.
Front page, The Arizona Republic, Monday 1 July 2013.
(via The Newseum)