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(Popular Mechanics)   New plan for fighting forest fires in the U.S.: Let the U.S. Air Force bomb the sh*t out of them   ( popularmechanics.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Wildfire, United States, firefighting bomb, firefighting bomb proposal, Bomber, United States Air Force, Officer Mike Benitez, government firefighting services  
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4622 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Aug 2018 at 10:05 AM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-08-10 09:16:50 AM  
Worked for John Wayne.
 
2018-08-10 09:20:56 AM  
You're supposed to nuke it from orbit.  Hence the Space Force.
 
2018-08-10 09:40:39 AM  
Excellent idea. As a bonus, it would be a perfect opportunity to use up all those napalm bombs that have been sitting around since Vietnam.
 
2018-08-10 09:51:28 AM  
Sounds like a solution for the Flint water crisis, too!
 
2018-08-10 09:53:47 AM  
The conspiracy nutters would lose their shiat if we started bombing our own country.
 
2018-08-10 09:54:01 AM  
No, Propaganda Mechanics, that would be a terrible idea.

I mean, unless there's a fire on your bombing range somewhere... then by all means, bombs away
 
2018-08-10 10:05:09 AM  
If only they would bomb telemarketers.  I could get on board with that.
 
2018-08-10 10:06:29 AM  
Bomb them with water balloons.
 
2018-08-10 10:07:48 AM  
Can we have prisoners fly the planes to save money?
 
2018-08-10 10:07:53 AM  
The War On The Rocks article is much better.

Also, War On The Rocks is a really cool site.
 
2018-08-10 10:09:33 AM  

vudukungfu: Worked for John Wayne.


MacGyver too.
 
2018-08-10 10:10:45 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
the bears do not like the idea.
 
2018-08-10 10:12:01 AM  
Why couldn't we create a reserve of dry ice that could be used to snuff out fires?

Especially grassland fires, this could allow the land to be coated by CO2 temporarily and the fire would extinguish once it couldn't respirate anymore.

No land damage involved.
 
2018-08-10 10:13:37 AM  
GBU-49 Paveway II cost: $42k
Effectiveness: extinguished flame in 100yd radius, once.
California Firefighter average pay: $49k
Effectiveness: Extinguishes flames for hours every day on ongoing basis.

Question: Who proposed this idea, the shareholders of Raytheon?
 
2018-08-10 10:15:26 AM  
It seems like (as painful as it will be for now) that we might be best served by letting these fires play out. We collectively screwed up with our fire prevention programs for 100 years and it seems like it might make sense to allow a reset- rebuild the homes with fireproof materials and proper firebreaks and manage with controlled burns going forward
 
2018-08-10 10:17:25 AM  

vudukungfu: Worked for John Wayne.


You mean Red Adair?
 
2018-08-10 10:18:24 AM  

Riche: Excellent idea. As a bonus, it would be a perfect opportunity to use up all those napalm bombs that have been sitting around since Vietnam.


I think napalm would have the opposite of the desired effect of snuffing out the fires.

Maybe some daisy cutters or MOABs.
 
2018-08-10 10:20:15 AM  
They were doing this in Sweden last month.

Video: Swedish jets drop Bombs to extinguish wildfires
Youtube mkyPDJGlWRA
 
2018-08-10 10:21:34 AM  
Catapults and Alex Jones fans. Good for the environment, good for society
 
2018-08-10 10:23:05 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Why couldn't we create a reserve of dry ice that could be used to snuff out fires?

Especially grassland fires, this could allow the land to be coated by CO2 temporarily and the fire would extinguish once it couldn't respirate anymore.

No land damage involved.


Back in yonder days, a friend tossed a sealed metal can full of water into a bonfire. We all ran like hell and when it finally went off it sent a mushroom cloud of steam well over the treetops and the fairly large fire was immediately and completely extiquished. Not even embers.

I wonder if they could use water bombs in a similar fashion.
 
2018-08-10 10:28:45 AM  
As a bonus, any duds would stick around for future hikers and scout troops to discover!
 
2018-08-10 10:28:53 AM  

Private_Citizen: GBU-49 Paveway II cost: $42k
Effectiveness: extinguished flame in 100yd radius, once.
California Firefighter average pay: $49k
Effectiveness: Extinguishes flames for hours every day on ongoing basis.

Question: Who proposed this idea, the shareholders of Raytheon?


All in all I'd say the idea "could" be cost effective IFyou could target the fire within an hour of it starting when its still small and couple bombs could snuff it out - having said that, good luck getting approval for an airstrike within the CONUS in a time frame that would be meaningful for quick containment of the fire.

And the very first time someone suffers property damage, or god forbid and actual injury/death, the lawsuits will insure it never happens again (never mind that the house/car whatever probably would have burned to the ground without the bombing but as we damn well know its better to do nothing than to do something effective and get sued anyway)
 
2018-08-10 10:29:01 AM  

croesius: The conspiracy nutters would lose their shiat if we started bombing our own country.


It's California. Government gets a pass.
 
2018-08-10 10:31:13 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Why couldn't we create a reserve of dry ice that could be used to snuff out fires?

Especially grassland fires, this could allow the land to be coated by CO2 temporarily and the fire would extinguish once it couldn't respirate anymore.

No land damage involved.


Where would the money for the carbon offsets come from?
 
2018-08-10 10:31:49 AM  
We can only wait until that magic moment when fire crews are sent in to battle a fire and a different government agency sends in bombers to hit the same section of fire line.
If you doubt this would ever happen you have a lot more faith in the military and government than I do.
 
2018-08-10 10:33:49 AM  
Dearest Margaret,
Read these words and know that you are very much in my heart during these trying times.  Our valiant Air Force continues to work towards the fight of the mighty and seemingly unstoppable fires of the northwest.  I have been deployed to the new Air Force Base: Donald J. Trump.  The number of planes that fly in and out of here staggers the mind, Margaret.  A man could go mad counting them all.

Our leaders tell us all is going according to plan.  The Officer's Club is soon to be completed.  That is planned for 2021 and there are many celebrations for when it is completed.  The official portrait of Donald Trump arrived yesterday by C-17 and they are storing it in a hangar until the club can receive it.  We have been allowed only the briefest of moments to stand before it.  Eyes of the officer alone will soon be the only ones who will see it.

The many contractors here are livid that they cannot leave on a Friday morn to go to their home of record.  They claim to be upon a 4 x 10 workweek but they rise with us and go about their day their 'work' shrouded in mystery and meetings plenty.  They have been known to take their noon meal in excess of two hours yet claim it is work related activities.  No such relief is given to us, Margaret.  Thirty minutes to hasten to the cafeteria of the King of Burgers and then back to the computer workstations where I spend my days a-Farking.  It makes me appear busy and my many supervisors relish every computer click that my keyboard sounds out.

Well, Dearest Margaret, I must go.  The golf course design is to be announced and all have been summoned to it's exposition.  The safe bet is that the design is "Trump Inspired" so that the base may pay many honorariums to the Trump Golf Course people in perpetuity.  I see only 18 holes and a nasty dog leg with a hazard of water on the 7th.

The virtual server that I request yet a month ago has been delivered to me from the image factory.  I must now request a place for it upon the server farm.  This should take but a scant six months.  Then there will be the many trial of the Risk Management Framework though this server came from a trusted source and approved design.  My heart is quite heavy with the tasks before me.

I must now go, Margret.  They say, perchance the year beyond this they shall actually take to the skies and fight those fires many.  It was sad to see Portland go up in the flames on the news.  At least it wasn't the important Portland in Maine where the cement comes from.

My words to your heart, Margaret
Harold Freakstorm
Sharepoint Administrator, U S Air Force Base Trump
 
2018-08-10 10:36:13 AM  
Fighting fire with the flames of freedom and democracy.
 
2018-08-10 10:36:31 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 10:39:35 AM  

big pig peaches: Riche: Excellent idea. As a bonus, it would be a perfect opportunity to use up all those napalm bombs that have been sitting around since Vietnam.

I think napalm would have the opposite of the desired effect of snuffing out the fires.

Maybe some daisy cutters or MOABs.


Starting fires is the main way wildland firefighters put out fires. It's impossible to actually put them out, even relatively small ones are far too large. You can drop retardant on them from a plane, but that will really just slow them down a little. What you can do is contain them, by creating areas with little to no ignitable material, and the quickest and most efficient way to do that is to set them on fire. Here's a firefighter, setting some fires with a drip torch:
sep.yimg.comView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 10:39:35 AM  
Man, the military gearheads at Popular Mechanics sure have some shiatty ideas.
It's almost as if the hobby attracted stupid, nasty people.
 
2018-08-10 10:41:26 AM  
I feel like that would kill a lot of wild life, destroy natural geological formations, and leave unexploded ordinances all over the place.

The sonic boom idea is neat though.
 
2018-08-10 10:48:37 AM  

big pig peaches: Riche: Excellent idea. As a bonus, it would be a perfect opportunity to use up all those napalm bombs that have been sitting around since Vietnam.

I think napalm would have the opposite of the desired effect of snuffing out the fires.

Maybe some daisy cutters or MOABs.


Daisy cutters were the first thing that came to mind when I read the headline.  I mean, they're specifically designed to clear cut vegetation.
 
2018-08-10 10:50:09 AM  
See how all the fire lifts up off the ground into the sky while a cold jet of water sprays down towards the ground? Perfect for putting out fires.

avatars.mds.yandex.netView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 10:50:24 AM  

solve4x: I feel like that would kill a lot of wild life, destroy natural geological formations, and leave unexploded ordinances all over the place.

The sonic boom idea is neat though.


Humans like to hang around to the very last moment, but nature in general has a strong survival instinct and I imagine most wildlife hauled ass as soon as the smoke rolled in.
 
2018-08-10 10:50:39 AM  

tlchwi02: It seems like (as painful as it will be for now) that we might be best served by letting these fires play out. We collectively screwed up with our fire prevention programs for 100 years and it seems like it might make sense to allow a reset- rebuild the homes with fireproof materials and proper firebreaks and manage with controlled burns going forward


At some point, that's what's going to happen.

Fires burn up fuel.  Keep killing all the little fires as soon as they start, and they don't burn that fuel, which just keeps building up.  Until you get a little fire that you can't put out quite quick enough, and it gets to that fuel and becomes a mother-huge fire.

The shiat's gonna burn either way.  You can either let it do so in a controlled fashion, or you can keep putting it off until it becomes uncontrolled.
 
2018-08-10 10:51:04 AM  
The American solution to every problem: pointless warfare.
 
2018-08-10 10:57:02 AM  
"Although expensive, the increasing scale and frequency of wildfires in the United States could make them more attractive "

Meh, the Air Force, Navy and Air National Guard pilots and crew need constant flight training anyway.  Practicing perhaps unusual, but real world driven scenarios would be a plus plus for everyone.  Maybe the flight crew could even get Hazard Pay like the firefighters do ;)
 
2018-08-10 10:58:19 AM  
This looks like a job for Batman!

media.giphy.comView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 11:00:52 AM  

Karac: tlchwi02: It seems like (as painful as it will be for now) that we might be best served by letting these fires play out. We collectively screwed up with our fire prevention programs for 100 years and it seems like it might make sense to allow a reset- rebuild the homes with fireproof materials and proper firebreaks and manage with controlled burns going forward

At some point, that's what's going to happen.

Fires burn up fuel.  Keep killing all the little fires as soon as they start, and they don't burn that fuel, which just keeps building up.  Until you get a little fire that you can't put out quite quick enough, and it gets to that fuel and becomes a mother-huge fire.

The shiat's gonna burn either way.  You can either let it do so in a controlled fashion, or you can keep putting it off until it becomes uncontrolled.


Monsanto would like to help.  RoundUp(tm) the shiat out of California - making it a proper desert - burn it off once and be done.
 
2018-08-10 11:05:05 AM  
We have to destroy the forest to save it.
 
2018-08-10 11:12:28 AM  
Hey Guyz!  What's happening in this thread?   You need something Brrrrrrrrt'ed ?

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 11:14:26 AM  
They already use artillery to set off avalanches.  The sonic boom method sounds promising for that .
 
2018-08-10 11:16:19 AM  

Harry Freakstorm: Dearest Margaret,
Read these words and know that you are very much in my heart during these trying times.  Our valiant Air Force continues to work towards the fight of the mighty and seemingly unstoppable fires of the northwest.  I have been deployed to the new Air Force Base: Donald J. Trump.  The number of planes that fly in and out of here staggers the mind, Margaret.  A man could go mad counting them all.

Our leaders tell us all is going according to plan.  The Officer's Club is soon to be completed.  That is planned for 2021 and there are many celebrations for when it is completed.  The official portrait of Donald Trump arrived yesterday by C-17 and they are storing it in a hangar until the club can receive it.  We have been allowed only the briefest of moments to stand before it.  Eyes of the officer alone will soon be the only ones who will see it.

The many contractors here are livid that they cannot leave on a Friday morn to go to their home of record.  They claim to be upon a 4 x 10 workweek but they rise with us and go about their day their 'work' shrouded in mystery and meetings plenty.  They have been known to take their noon meal in excess of two hours yet claim it is work related activities.  No such relief is given to us, Margaret.  Thirty minutes to hasten to the cafeteria of the King of Burgers and then back to the computer workstations where I spend my days a-Farking.  It makes me appear busy and my many supervisors relish every computer click that my keyboard sounds out.

Well, Dearest Margaret, I must go.  The golf course design is to be announced and all have been summoned to it's exposition.  The safe bet is that the design is "Trump Inspired" so that the base may pay many honorariums to the Trump Golf Course people in perpetuity.  I see only 18 holes and a nasty dog leg with a hazard of water on the 7th.

The virtual server that I request yet a month ago has been delivered to me from the image factory.  I must now request a place for it upon the server farm.  This should take but a scant six months.  Then there will be the many trial of the Risk Management Framework though this server came from a trusted source and approved design.  My heart is quite heavy with the tasks before me.

I must now go, Margret.  They say, perchance the year beyond this they shall actually take to the skies and fight those fires many.  It was sad to see Portland go up in the flames on the news.  At least it wasn't the important Portland in Maine where the cement comes from.

My words to your heart, Margaret
Harold Freakstorm
Sharepoint Administrator, U S Air Force Base Trump


Beautiful
 
2018-08-10 11:18:33 AM  

I am Tom Joad's Complete Lack of Surprise: The American solution to every problem: pointless warfare.


Except the damn Swedes beat us to it this time.
 
2018-08-10 11:20:04 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Why couldn't we create a reserve of dry ice that could be used to snuff out fires?

Especially grassland fires, this could allow the land to be coated by CO2 temporarily and the fire would extinguish once it couldn't respirate anymore.

No land damage involved.


I like the way you think.
I would imagine the amount of dry ice needed to put out the Carr fire or the Complex fire would be insanely expensive, if even produceable.
B-52 Stratofortress can carry 70,000 pounds of ordinance. Dry ice ranges from $1-3/pound, but since this is a joint state and military function that price will go to about $25/pound or so.

The question is how much dry ice is needed to extinguish an acre of wildfire?

The Carr fire, for instance, is currently at about 181,500 acres. It would seem to me that the amount of dry ice needed would be more than could actually be produced.
I suppose it would be possible to use it only at the edges of the fire to suppress the growth of the fire though. Even then you'd need thousands of tons of dry ice in hundreds of bombing runs, conservatively.

https://www.quora.com/Would-large-qua​n​tities-of-dry-ice-be-helpful-in-smothe​ring-forest-fires-bush-fires
 
2018-08-10 11:21:24 AM  
Why not? We seem to have shiatloads of cash just sitting around. Why waste it on unnecessary things like fixing infrastructure, taking care of our medical needs, paying a living wage, etc. etc. etc.?

We can just bomb the fark out of forest fires...to hell with everyone living in the immediate areas!

Guess we can just send the water bombers back home, then:

i.kinja-img.comView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 11:22:25 AM  
Wow, did anyone read the article?

I'm thinking no.
 
2018-08-10 11:22:26 AM  

solve4x: I feel like that would kill a lot of wild life, destroy natural geological formations, and leave unexploded ordinances all over the place.

The sonic boom idea is neat though.


The source article mentions using air bust munitions with composite, not steel, bomb casings. That would minimize the damage on the ground. And yeah, the sonic boom idea is cool. Smarter Every Day should do a youtube video where he tests the theory.
 
2018-08-10 11:24:07 AM  

mrsleep: Wow, did anyone read the article?

I'm thinking no.


I bet you didn't read my comments (initial one, at least).
 
2018-08-10 11:25:54 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Why couldn't we create a reserve of dry ice that could be used to snuff out fires?


Why would dry ice snuff out fires?  The fires themselves are already making large amounts of carbon dioxide, then heating it up, and letting it float away.  Why would having to start from a cold block make all that much difference?

And even if it didn't heat up and get blown away, if it did stick close enough to the ground to put out the fire, then you best be real careful with which way is downhill and which way the wind is blowing.  Otherwise your cloud of de-oxygenated gas could roll right through a housing development and kill every man, woman, dog, and cat in the place.
 
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