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NEVADA CITY, Calif. July 23, 2018 – Large wildfires capture the public’s attention, rightfully so. However, over 90% of vegetation fires are caught before they devolve into these massive blazes, fueled by dead and dying trees, excessive heat and fierce winds. You might see a mention of these small incidents on our Happening Now log, but mostly they go unnoticed.
Here is a rare look at one of these small fires, as seen from above. This short video, provided by U.S Forest Service Air Attack 507, gives a birds-eye view of the lightning-ignited Stampede Fire which occurred on July 14, 2018, northwest of Stampede Reservoir near Truckee. A coordinated effort by Tahoe National Forest fire resources successfully contained this wildfire before it ever made the news.
Tahoe National Forest Battalion Chief 61 arrived on scene first to manage the wildfire incident and the incoming Forest Service fire resources.
Next, Tahoe National Forest wildland firefighting engines from Truckee and Sierraville deployed hoselays through the dry timber slash and brush to initially attack the wildfire from the ground.
Air Attack 507, flying in a Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter, provided aerial coordination. Helicopter 514, with the support of Tahoe National Forest Helitack, made five water-bucket drops at 260 gallons each. The water drops slowed the fire’s forward progress while the Truckee Hotshots constructed containment line to secure the fire’s edge. With a coordinated effort of all personnel involved, the fire was safely contained at one quarter acre. An engine from Sierraville remained on-scene to monitor the suppression efforts overnight, according to Joe Flannery, Tahoe National Forest PAO.
This small fire is just one of literally thousands contained by firefighters every year, without fanfare and often without any public knowledge or recognition. Lightning will continue to strike, just look at the 1,610 lightning strikes this Sunday but maybe we humans can be a little more careful. Please report any wildfires, just call 911.