well, it seems there are about 3-4 fires out east. be careful out that way
Two fires burning. One West of South Shore Rd and north of the Great Pond. The fire department is holding strong to avoid the fire crossing the road east and north.
The other is on the west side of the hill next to the Boy Scout camp, burning from the water to the Southside road. East of the same area that burnt a few months ago. Firemen were turning people around as they were trying to hold the fire from crossing over Southside.
The two fires seem far enough to be unrelated (over the hill, more than a mile away).
Those are two major fires. Following major fires very recently in the same area. The F.D. says that some fires are set by farmers trying to clear their field. Or "empty bottles". That seems a bit of a stretch.
My money is on the fire bug problem on STX, in addition criminals set fires to distract resources away from their little deeds. As a retired firefighter don't let me catch some adult setting a fire. Worked many brush fires and they are to be taken seriously. Sounds like STX needs some type of Fire Patrol or fire lookout point. Wouldn't mind helping out voulunteer wise ,but community needs to really push for this.
@heavyd -- glad to volunteer for fire patrol and/or lookout point duty. Is that something the STX F.D. department would support? In your professional opinion, how likely is a fire to start with broken bottles of rhum or beer?
Would love to volunteer when I get there after July 1,2014. If you see a broken bottle at the start point for a fire, it was used as a ignition source,and if it was broken ,well you get my drift. By ignition source I mean the bottle or container was filled with a flammable liquid, any fire investigator would be able to determine this,further testing would confirm this or animal trained to do this would also be able to determine this. I guess a drunk after drinking rum or beer or a druggie could set a fire also. If there is a resident Fire Bug on STX you bet your last dollar he would be pulled in for questioning about these fires if he were in my old depatrment. They had to register their location with the local FD wherever they moved to,just like a sex offender. As you can see Fire Bugs or Sparkies ,as we liked to call them, are not my favorite people. Fire Patrols and Lookouts are what serve notice to these kooks they are being watched.
The State of Victoria, Australia debunked the myth in this article that bush fires could start with glass or empty bottles. They know something about bush fires in Australia.
In a separate study the Australian looked at cigarettes thrown out windows. In perfect lab conditions (thrown in dry hay), 33% could start a fire. In field tests in conditions similars to ours, the probability is down to 4%. And that's assuming our fires are starting from the roadways.
Since lightning is another common reason, but was not involved in the recent fires, it makes sense to seek alternate reasons. After all there has been 7 separate fires in 8 weeks within a range of 6 miles covering 1.5 square miles with about 20% of that area now burnt.
So, if not firebugs, what other suggestions should we explore, @speee1dy?
When you have the fires that start almost simultaneously in the adjacent area to next one,just follow the road. Had 5 fires start this way on the same stretch of freeway in a 3 mile vicinity no more than 75-100 ft. off the road in 3 hour period on a hot Saturday afternoon. There are simple devices made with cigs as a component ( which I will not devulge here) that can be time delayed for the perp to be long gone. Trust me we have active Sparkie on STX. I'm sure your FD knows this, as well as how these fires are ignited. The V Pattern will take you right to the base. Question, have there been burglaries on the opposite side of the island? If these fires are started in same vicinity every year this person or persons know how the FD operates on STX.
as someone else stated, mixie. fires for clearing that got out of hand. often on my way to and from work i see people burning debris, most likely brush. those things could easily get out of hand if not properly tended. and it has been especially dry , not much rain at all.
i will say this, my brother used to burn things all the time with a magnifier glass as a child
doing just a bit of research turns up a few fires and char marks from glass and plastic bottles when sunlight is reflected just right. very interesting if the stories are true
1) Glass: everyone repeats the "bottle" stories, possibly because many of us learnt how to start a fire with a magnifying glass -- but no-one until that Australian Government study in the link I provided above, assessed its likelihood scientifically. So small they can't put a % likelihood behind it.
2) Cigarettes: some think, a myth. In the Government of Australia study also linked above, it is 4% in conditions similar to us. So not zero, Given the sheer number of fires, statistically unlikely. And only in cases where the starting point is the roadway -- we don't know that.
3) Fires started for clearing out the land that got out of hand: that's a more likely scenario. My understanding is that it is illegal to start a loand clearing fire without first getting permission from the F.D. Would a landowner take such chances? Possible, but really stupid if he/she gets caught.
So that leaves the firebug theory as still the most likely one. Wait:
4) Aliens. Hard to smoke on Mars, with the lack of oxygen and all. So yeah, they'd have to come to our planet to grill one. And we'll still need lots and lots of smoking aliens to statistically start that many fires.
5) Starting fires would facilitate crime elsewhere: I haven't see any ViPD involvement during fires -- just FD. Has there been robberies in the vicinity of those fires?
Unfortunately if a arsonist was really good he could obviously cause serious damage. A property owner clearing and burning brush is able to do this also. Car fires next to brush areas,downed or arcing power lines. Morale of the story is do your brush clearance keep flammable vegetation away from your property. Brush in the wildland areas is going to burn, so let it and stay out the way. Oh, and put the garden hoses down it is way beyond too late. On the suppresion side a C130 with a MAFFS set up can water bomb good, lease a Super Scooper for a couple months or heck even a military helicopter with a water dropping bucket would really help. Air support and folks on the ground with fire engines can put out fires but time is of the essence,obviously earlier is a lot better.
In times of drought/dry season, burning permits are not issued.
It's been pretty dry in STT these days since we've had very little rain overall for the last couple months.
It seems STX has more issues with bush/brush fires than we do during these dry periods.
To obtain a burning permit, you have to contact DPNR, if they are allowing/issuing permits.
I feel terrible about all the animal lives that can be lost during these fires such as birds or their nests with eggs or babies, tortoises, iguanas, deer, etc.