Gigantic airships to fight forest fires
June 24, 2002 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Gigantic airships to fight forest fires
An airship carrying just under one million litres (265,000 gallons) of water could release an artificial rainstorm over wildfires. It's a big project, but airships with that kind of lift capacity are already in the works.
posted by Irontom (7 comments total)
I don't understand why we fight forest fires at all. Forests are supposed to burn occasionally and it has been part of the normal life cycle of forests for eons. Of course, since we humans insist on intervening, fuel accumulates on the forest floor over the years and when the inevitable lightening strike (or crazy letter-burning-woman) comes along there is a massive inferno instead of a smaller, slower burning more fuel-starved forest fire.
posted by plaino at 6:20 AM on June 24, 2002

I heard Matt Lauer this morning on Today talking to an official about accusations from certain Republicans that these fires wouldn't be so bad if environmentalists would allow more logging.

Did anyone actually hear anybody say this?
posted by boost ventilator at 7:04 AM on June 24, 2002

fires wouldn't be so bad if environmentalists would allow more logging.

It isn't the trees that are burning (at first) it's all the needles and branches and junk on the forest floor that accumulates over many years. If there were less of that through controlled burns or removal then the fires wouldn't be so hot and fast and wouldn't be able to readily burn the trees.
posted by plaino at 7:33 AM on June 24, 2002

Great idea!
posted by stbalbach at 7:52 AM on June 24, 2002

Wow. Moral of story...if you're gonna go camping in the boonies, take a garden rake along and clear out all the forest floor down to bare dirt for a 50-yard radius of where you intend to build the fire. The loggers can't get in to do it for you.
posted by alumshubby at 8:13 AM on June 24, 2002

The moral should be not to live in the woods unless you expect a forest fire now and then.
posted by pracowity at 8:22 AM on June 24, 2002

Maybe the moral should be that people manage forests rather then let them grow out of control and then burn out of control?
posted by insomnyuk at 12:03 PM on June 24, 2002

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