Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

May 3, 2014

As wildfire fear rises, US tanker fleet incomplete

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With a vast swath of the West primed for wildfires, federal foresters are preparing for the worst with a budget that might run dry and a fleet of air tankers that in some cases aren't ready for takeoff.

A combination of extended drought, warming weather and an abundance of withered trees and grasses have created ideal conditions for fire — more than 22 million acres were blackened by wildfires from 2011-2013, primarily across the West.

"It looks like it's going to be a serious enough season to where we run out of money again," Tom Harbour, director of fire and aviation management for the U.S. Forest Service, warned in an interview with The Associated Press.

"I'm really concerned, there is no question," Harbour said. "I think we are going to have a lot of fire."

The agency is doing what it can to prepare for wildfire season by burning sections of forest in high-risk areas to remove dead or dry vegetation that could fuel a fire. In another step, crews will launch a major forest-thinning project on Lake Tahoe's north shore.

In no place is the situation more worrisome than in California, where several years of stingy rainfall have turned forests and scrub into matchsticks and tens of thousands of homes are perched along fire-prone areas.

Firefighters battled a blaze in the mountains east of Los Angeles this week, where temperatures neared triple digits. And states from New Mexico through southern Oregon have been left sere by a lack of rain and snow.

But even as fire risk has increased in recent years, the number of large air tankers dropped.

About a decade ago the Forest Service had more than 40 of the big tankers at its disposal — the draft horses of firefighting aircraft that can dump thousands of gallons of flame-snuffing retardant in a single swoop, far more than a helicopter.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • ODD Brooklyn Bridge Mystery Flags-12 [Duplicate] Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge NEW YORK (AP) — Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags. The white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered Tuesday from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge co

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Federal appeals court deals blow to health law WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies. If upheld, the decision could mean

    July 22, 2014

  • Music-Shawn Mendes-3 [Duplicate] Vine star Mendes finds breakthrough on pop charts NEW YORK (AP) — Six seconds isn't a long time, but Vine superstar Shawn Mendes made the time count when posting cover songs on the social media platform. The teen singer says he would pick the hits he would cover — and the sections of the tracks — an

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schizophrenia Genome [Duplicate] Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick. Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many y

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston Marathon Suspects Friends [Duplicate] Marathon suspect's friend guilty of impeding probe BOSTON (AP) — A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Monday of impeding the investigation into the bombing. Azamat Tazhayakov was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy, with prosecutors saying

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hopkins to pay $190M after doc taped pelvic exams BALTIMORE (AP) — Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to more than 8,000 women whose bodies may have been videotaped or photographed by a gynecologist using a pen-like camera during pelvic exams. Dr. Nikita Levy was fired in February 201

    July 21, 2014

  • ODD--New Jail Jumpsuits-6 [Duplicate] In Michigan black-and-white stripes are the new orange SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sheriff says he's trading his inmates' orange jumpsuits for black-and-white stripes, in part due to pop culture. Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel tells The Saginaw News that all-orange jumpsuits are increasin

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy also injured fingers on Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A report says a 12-year-old boy suffered cuts to four fingers on Walt Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean ride, three months before a British tourist had a similar accident. The report made public Monday by the Florida Depart

    July 21, 2014

  • Obama-6 [Duplicate] Obama gives protection to gay, transgender workers WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called the "irrefutable rightness of yo

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Weird Al Yankovic Portrait Session-9 [Duplicate] 'Weird Al' on his weirdly successful week in music LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attention pop stars: If "Weird Al" Yankovic shows up at your concert or has tracked down your personal email address, you're likely his next parody conquest. Such was the case for artists like Pharrell and Iggy Azalea, who are cove

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller