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Wildfire TFR's

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Jul 23, 2002
About how much time must pass after the end of a wildfire before the feds lift the TFR's. Reason I ask is that there was recently a serious wildfire here that is now fully extingushed, and the feds have all but closed up shop, but they still have TFR's in effect for the area.

Thoughts anyone
yeah I wondered about that too, but from what I was told, after the fire is out, often single engine air tanker planes are used to reseed where the fire was, and I guess they do not want anyone flying around down there until they are done seeding.

But often sometimes, that fire is not completely out. I was flying on a fire north of Santa fe, and weeks after the fire was contained, there were stilll some little smoldering spots on the edges.

They like to be very conservative when they give containment estimates and cancel the TFRs
414 Flyer:

In your experience how long was it before the restrictions were finally lifted. As it stands now there are no aviation operations taking place, and the fire was fully contained almost a month ago.
It should be pretty close for it to being lifted, if it has been that long. Its probably still going to give the single engine tankers a chance to seed.

One thing you can do it to call the nearest forest service district office and ask about it. Which TFR is it?
Fully contained doesn't mean the fire is over. It means that a line has been scratched around the fire, or that workers have been around the perimeter. It does not mean controlled, or settled/closed out. This is a public misperception.

Very often after a burn has been brought under control, it will be re-ignited in firing operations to burn out a control area. Simply because you don't see smoke or fire, or other aircraft, doesn't mean that the fire operation is over.

How do you know that air ops are over?

I've worked fires for which NOTAMs remained active for almost six months and others which lasted only hours.

It was only a few years ago that nine jumpers were killed in a flashover in a burned area that was "contained" and no longer active. It had been completely burned over and they were hiking through to another part of the fire when it reburned and killed them. (Storm King Mountain). Never assume that simply because you can't see it, the danger doesn't exist for you, or others.

I was advised of an aircraft a few days ago just prior to my drop. The air attack had a brief visual on an airplane putting himself where he certainly didn't belong, and I got word just prior to making a tough drop in a rough place. One extra distraction I didn't need, and at a time I didn't need it. If the TFR is there, definately observe the limitations given. If you see smoke or ops in progress, stay well clear even if there is no restriction. The life you save might be your own, and mine, too.

I understand the fact that contained does not mean extingushed,
however, the fire has been fully extingushed, and rehab operations are underway.

I know that the air operations have ceased because all of the tankers and helicopters that were stationed here have moved on to other more serious fires in the region. I understand the ramifications and the degree of seriousness involved and I certainly respect the restrictions that are currently in place.
Air tankers are national resources and are only hoarded (assigned) on fires in the Republic of California. Elsewhere, tankers aren't assigned to a fire, but are called on a fire as an available resource.

The fact that tankers aren't handy doesn't mean that the operation is over, or that they won't be back. I've dropped on fires four months after most of the ground crews had been pulled out, and five months after the last previous tanker drop.

There are many other reasons that a TFR might be in place, aside from air tanker operations.

Rehab is a function of a going fire; it's where crews are sent for rest, resupply, medical, etc. It's an area that is off the front line, and is used to rotate crews. Overhaul is done following a fire; that's probably what you're thinking of.

Seeding ops are separate from firefighting, and no SEATs are doing seed ops. Every SEAT in the country is committed presently, to fire contracts, or CWN fire contracts. Seeding is bid separately in the late fall or winter. TFR's are not established for seeding.
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Okay..well I was told that one TFR here in NM ( at the time, was still active) was still active because they were going to have some seeding going on.

Seeding here in NM is not waiting until the fall. They started in on it immediately after the fire, because they wanted to get something growing if possible, before the moonsoons hit. I am pretty sure SEATs were being used in some areas.

I think you are right, I thought I saw them putting seed into T-412 at the SEAT base here at Double Eagle earlier this year... Of course, how he's moved onto hotter pastures...

If you see smoke, or blackend area, stay away. This year has been especially bad. Keep a good distance and watch for tankers en route to and from the fire.

P.S. Avbug, Where you currently based this year? Im in Porterville. Like to get the chance to meet you. Also, PM me about T- 123, I was right behind them and saw the whole thing.

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