Watch a Maine Pilot’s Amazing Aim Dropping Water on a Wildfire
Maine Forest Ranger pilots are instrumental in fighting wildfires, like this one in Brassua Twp that destroyed 8 acres.
How Hard Can It Be to Drop Water on a Wildfire?
Imagine yourself on a bicycle, riding along a really tall bridge. Underneath the bridge is a cupcake with a single candle burning. Your task is to tip a glass of water so that it extinguishes that candle, without stopping your forward progress. You have to allow for the speed at which you're moving and the distance from your cup to the candle. Oh yeah, and the wind. We can't forget the wind. The odds of making it are probably not great at all.
Can We See An Example of What They Do?
This is a huge oversimplification, I'm sure, but it gives you an idea of the challenges faced by Maine Forest Ranger pilots when they're trying to drop buckets of water on wildfires, like one in Brassua Township last week that burned 8 acres of woodlands. This is a remote location, so the buckets of water carried by Ranger helicopters are invaluable, especially in extinguishing isolated hot spots that could turn into something much larger. Watch as this pilot locates just such a hot spot and hits the mark perfectly.
According to the Maine Forest Ranger website, the fire was started by a spark from a track on a forwarder. (a vehicle that carries logs out of the woods for transport) This video gives an idea of the scope of the fire and the challenging conditions these pilots face all the time.
Was Anyone Hurt in the Fire?
Crews were able to totally extinguish the fire and limit the damage to 8 acres. No structures were affected and there were no reports of injuries. A big thank you to the Maine Forest Rangers for protecting Maine's forests. We appreciate your service.
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