Conditions seem to keep heating up in the southwest, as fires in Southern California, and Nevada continue to ignite. Last week much of 10 Tankers efforts were focused in the Nevada region.
Burning 1,700 acres during the first 24 hours after being reported at 9 p.m. MDT on July 6, 2020. The Numbers Fire was reported to be the second-largest active wildfire in the state of Nevada at the time. Fueled by Pinyon Juniper trees the fire was able to grow rapidly.
During this time an inversion layer had formed over the Numbers Fire that inhibited any aerial attempts to contain it. The smoke being trapped in the lower atmosphere caused limited visibility for pilots.
Here is an example of what an inversion layer does:
With the fire reaching the Monarch Fire burn scar ( a fire of 2,324 acres, fully contained on June 28th, 2020), fire activity was beginning to slow. This would provide a helping hand to the winds coming from the west, making visibility safer for flight crews to begin working.
By the next afternoon our Tankers were ready for action. Tanker 910 completed 6 drops on both July 7th & 8th making it a total of 111,816 gallons of fire retardant within 24 hours. And an additional 27,954 gallons from Tankers 911 & 914.
Though during that same time our Tankers were simultaneously fighting to take down an additional fire not too far away.
25 miles SE of Alamo, Nevada the Meadow Valley Fire was first reported shortly before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 7. Fueled by tall grass (2.5 feet), short grass (1 foot), and brush (2 feet) the fire had reached over 3,000 acres. Aerial assets were immediately called to take action. Tanker 914 completed two drops over the fire the next morning, and over 12 more drops over the next 2 days from Tankers 910, 911, and 914.
By July 14th both the Meadow Valley Fire, and the Numbers Fire had reached 100% containment thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone involved.