Tag Archives: wildfires

Launches at Vandenberg remain suspended due to wildfire damage

It appears that though they had reported that the wildfires at Vandenberg Air Force Base had left the launch facilities undamaged, launches remain suspended due to necessary repairs.

Vandenberg officials have been tight-lipped about damage beyond confirming downed power lines in the area, despite unconfirmed reports in the local communities about a tracking station, weather sensor or other critical support equipment being ruined in the fire. Other unconfirmed reports mention damage to communication equipment.

ULA officials last said the launch would not occur before early October, but never released the targeted launch date as the Air Force began surveying damage and crafting a recovery plan. The Air Force remains mum about what was damaged or affected by the fires.

Vandenberg wildfire overview given by base commander

In a public meeting yesterday evening, the base commander of Vandenberg Air Force Base gave the public an update on the base’s wildfires that have raged for the past few weeks.

All the fires appear now to be under control. No launch facilities or base housing was damaged. They have increased security and are investigating the causes, including not dismissing the possibility of arson. He also noted that the fires not only caused the delay of an Atlas 5 launch, they might cause a cascading delaying effect on the scheduling of other subsequent launches.

Finger Rock Fire update

During the night the fire seemed to subside somewhat, and today it is raining. I can still see smoke, but no flames. However, the cloudy weather, plus morning is a poor time of day to observe details in the Santa Catalinas because of the angle of the sun, means that this is not a certain observation.

The Forest Service has sent crews up to check on the situation and will report an update later this morning. This news report says nothing about the fire spreading into Ventana Canyon, as it appeared to do to me last night. Hopefully I was wrong and the fire only appeared larger than it was.

Obama: “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.”

Obama on Sunday at a fundraiser, attacking Rick Perry: “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.”

Here is another example of a politician making a fool of himself. The wildfires in Texas have nothing to do with climate change. And if Obama thinks they do, he immediately shows himself to be completely ignorant of the science behind the Earth’s climate.

Fires in Arizona: more than one

Though the news has rightly been making a very big deal about the out-of-control Wallow wildfire in eastern Arizona, it turns out that this is not the only serious wildfire in the state.

Friends in Arizona clued me in on this website, Inciweb, which lists all the fires both active and inactive in the U.S. Of the active fires, Wallow is by far the biggest at almost 400,000 acres. However, there are three other big fires in the Coronado National Forest on the Mexican border whose total acreage exceeds 200,000 acres. These particular fires have shut down all public access to Coronado.

It is believed by one of my local Arizona friends that these fires are probably linked to either the illegal drug or immigrant smuggling that passes along the forest’s trails, coming north from Mexico. (When I was out in Tucson in January we saw clear evidence of this smuggling on these trails during one hike in the Huachuca Montains, with a lot of trash scattered along the trail and in several adjacent rock shelters.)