Town Square

Dealing with the smoke

Original post made by James Art, Fire Protection Engineer, Danbury Park, on Sep 11, 2020

The smoke and the soot in the air is a very real problem!

What can you do about it?

Clean your air:
In your house you may be able to set your Heater or Air Conditioning fan to On, at the thermostat.
This will make the fan run continuously, which will circulate the air thru the filter, and help get some of the smoke out of the air you are breathing.
Replace the filter when you can.
Buying a separate HEPA air filter is even better.

You can do the same in the car, by setting it to recirculate the air.
Most cars also have replaceable cabin air filters.

Clean your smoke detectors:
Dirt and soot can accumulate in the detectors. Clean them out with a vacuum cleaner.
IF you can, remove the cover, but just vacuuming will help.
Mine are way up high, so I got a long length of plastic pipe and use that on the vacuum hose to avoid climbing a ladder.
The detector might sound while you do this, so if it transmits to an alarm company, call them first.

(Editor: Please do not restrict responses! Thanks)


2 people like this
Posted by Rich Buckley
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

9/15/2020 Rethinking Containment and Control of a Forest Fire. What sometimes takes days and weeks needs to be cut down to minutes and hours. We can do it theoretically.


(1) Delegate authority to State Level, air safety lead-in pilots, to render on site airborne authority to call up Federal air support tanker back-up. Train a new forestry air wing with modern tanker assets, strategically deployed around the country.

(2) Once the State Level, air safety lead-in pilot makes the call for Federal back up, they remain on station to control and direct incoming backup Federal air tankers. Federal Air Tankers will arrive in mass, in a long trail, lead by their own additional air safety lead-in pilot to assess and demonstrate the line of flight inbound air tankers should take as the best route into the drop zone. Each tanker has a flight position in trail: "Airborne Federal Flight 1, Tanker 2 would have, call sign " Flight 1 Tanker 2" , Flight 1 Tanker 3, Flight 1 Tanker 4.

There are 10 aircraft in each minimum size Federal Fight, in trail. Each 10 aircraft make up a flight. The fly in trail in 30 second intervals, VFR, and in visual contact with the plane ahead of them.

(3) Taker pilots should be ready to return to base or divert to another fire on command. If diverted to another fire on demand, the trail of plans break off at a point determined by the original State Level air safety lead-in pilot, who calls the break off point in the trail of tankers, using "fight of 10 aircraft as the break off points. No mission is greater than 50 in line tankers or 5 flights. The experienced air-safety lead-in pilots will learn through experience where to call the break point.


"Breaker, Breaker, Foxtrot Flight Leader 3, This is Cal State Fire air safety Command Pilot over the Paradise Fire, Do you read me?, Over.

Roger Paradise Command ready to copy, over."

Foxtrot Flight Leader 3, Paradise Command, You have the lead to a new fire target, bearing 130-degrees at 178 miles from your current position. How many plans do you have in tow? I will meet you over the target.

Paradise Command, This is Foxtrot Leader 3 in a string of 4 flights. I have myself and 19 tankers in tow. I can divert with 20 aircraft total, We are all airborne in route to Paradise Fire. We are armed with Red Retardant. 4 aircraft with water.

Roger Foxtrot Lead 3. are you VFR or IFR and what are your intervals?

Paradise Command we are VFR in 30 second intervals.

Roger Foxtrot Lead 3, lead Flight 3 and 4 to heading 130 degrees and proceed to your new Target. Flight 4 remain in trail with Flight 3, Over.

Roger Command, Flight lead 3
Roger Command, Flight lead 4

On another frequency each flight is confirming information with their flight leader.


It seems we need a Gen. Curtis LeMay-like aerial tanker bombing campaign, to use airborne equipment in a continuous line, called in by the air safety command lead-in pilots (who by the way are always well trained and senior pilots with thousands of hours and used to talking, thinking, and looking outside the cockpit at what's going on around them and on the ground).

The problem seems not to be the range of the aircraft as much as it is the number of aircraft attacking in a continuous run of drops and how long it takes to get to a level where other resources are called in to assist California.

These fires can be put out quickly if we organize attack strategies slightly. There is evidence they may be started by subversive groups during this political season. Whatever the cause, a change in attack strategy will smoother the fire quickly on the one hand while allow the Forestry Department to let segments burn as the Forestry Department may determine is good for growth and underbrush management and forest health.