Province in discussions with owners of Martin Mars

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Re: Province in discussions with owners of Martin Mars

Postby Drip_Torch » Jul 8th, 2015, 10:04 pm

There is a reason why we don't use steam locomotives anymore.


Yeah, but truth be told, the reason we don't fight fires with steam locomotives anymore, is because we stopped putting spur lines into our logging settings - it had nothing to do with the diesel power locomotive.
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Re: Province in discussions with owners of Martin Mars

Postby Swoop » Jul 8th, 2015, 10:06 pm

rookie314 wrote:Another example of a fiscally inept government trying to make itself look good in the eyes of an ignorant public. There is a reason why we don't use steam locomotives anymore.


...and this is the point that's being overlooked - no denying you're absolutely correct...however, theoretically speaking - if you were out of modern diesel powered locomotives to move the cargo that absolutely had to be moved because peoples property and lives depended on it, and the only other viable option was a working steam engine that was ready to go - you'd use it...

...I said it before, and I'll say it again - there's no denying the Mars is outdated - not to the point of being scrapped - but no question there are definitely much more efficient aircraft out there...however, they aren't readily available and they aren't based on the island - which is in a fire rating level that's been pretty much unprecedented in recent memory - so, it's all hands on deck, and if the Mars can be utilized, it's one more tool that assists the ground efforts in controlling these fires...it's really not that difficult if you cut the rhetoric out of the arguments...

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Re: Province in discussions with owners of Martin Mars

Postby maryjane48 » Jul 8th, 2015, 11:35 pm

if we had built say four more bombers of the type conair use ., would we not have been better off ? before spring even started we were told it was going to be hotter and drier summer , bc was put into the postion of having to resort to this because why ?
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Re: Province in discussions with owners of Martin Mars

Postby Dizzy1 » Jul 8th, 2015, 11:54 pm

lakevixen wrote:if we had built say four more bombers of the type conair use ., would we not have been better off ? before spring even started we were told it was going to be hotter and drier summer , bc was put into the postion of having to resort to this because why ?

Because then you guys would have been griping that it would be a waste of money and just use what we have.

What if four wasn't enough? What if we need more? Would you guys be griping that we should have bought more? Then what happens next year when the fires aren't bad and they're just sitting on the ramp? Grumble Christy Clark, grumble Christy Clark, grumble.

Doesn't matter what kind of planning we did in the spring - we're past that point, we're in the present now and we need what ever resources we can get.

Sometimes it's best just to look at the reality of the situation instead of trying to make everything political.
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Re: Province in discussions with owners of Martin Mars

Postby madadam » Jul 9th, 2015, 12:23 pm

http://www.albernivalleynews.com/news/312698871.html

The province has entered into a one month agreement to use the Martin Mars waterbomber, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson said.

"Today (July 8), I’m pleased to announce that we’re entering into a one-month agreement to use the Martin Mars airtanker," said Thomson.

The iconic Martin Mars may begin firefighting operations as early as this weekend, Minister Thomson said.

"Given the extraordinary fire situation this year, and recognizing that public safety is paramount, we need to look at every possible tool in our toolbox," said Minister Thomson.

He did caution that the Mars is limited in what it can do.

"The Mars is not suitable for steep terrain. We will only use it in situations where it is safe to do so," Minister Thomson said.

"The airtanker will be stationed at Sproat Lake – due to its size the Martin Mars can only land on and scoop up water from about 113 water bodies in B.C. as opposed to the 1,700 water bodies that our amphibious scoopers can access."

The News is waiting on a response from the MFLNRO regarding usage of the Martin Mars on Dog Mountain.

There are also the mechanical preparations.

"The Martin Mars has not been used to fight forest fires for the past two years, and given it is 'coming out of retirement' we need to ensure that it is safe to fly," Minister Thomson said. Pilot certification must also be up to date, he added.

"We expect we may be in a position to use the airtanker by this weekend."

A call for comment to CEO Wayne Coulson has not yet been returned. Speaking earlier on July 8, Coulson said that flight preparations would be taking place that day and that the Mars would hopefully be performing test flights by 7 p.m.
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Re: Province in discussions with owners of Martin Mars

Postby Drip_Torch » Jul 9th, 2015, 12:28 pm

bc was put into the postion of having to resort to this because why


Lake, with all due respect, I'm not sure what position you see us in, or exactly what you're suggesting we're having to resort to.

As I see it: It's a hot, dry year with about 2 times the average number of fire starts and close to 10 times the average area burned. There is a fire burning above Sproat lake and a Mars sitting in Sproat lake - the fact that the province is extending an as needed contract to the owner of the Mars seems like due diligence to me. The Coastal fire center is seeing extreme conditions and this is exactly what FIFT (forest industries flying tankers) designed the Mars to look after - all those years ago.

The Mars is big, slow, and drops too much water into too large an area to be considered efficient under typical fire conditions - and, coastal's fire conditions look like they could be going beyond "typical". Could end up being a good fit and we may, in hindsight, end up being thankful that there still is a Mars available, or things could change in our favour, and this could end up being a whole lot of dialogue and an exercise in due diligence that ultimately doesn't see the Mars "needed".

The fire that inspired the Mars took place 77 years ago, and if we took the time machine back, today people were getting worried in Victoria and there were discussions about sending in the Navy. In a few more days... a destroyer will tie up in Campbell river and 1200 sailors will join the fight. (I might be out on that number, I'm going off memory and not notes.) The loss of merchantable timber (economic opportunity) was, at the time, unimaginable and the island started feeling awfully small.

Would we be in a better position with four more firebosses? I dunno, I have a hard time believing that four more firebosses would make any difference at all. I suspect they'd be sitting on the ground waiting for a target of opportunity and some air to start moving to create some visibility. Does randomly hanging 800 gallons of retardant in the canopy a hundred or so feet above the fire really accomplish anything? No. That's why we use other tools, like the cl 415's and the heavy lift heli's to cool the leading edge and keep it on the ground (slow the rate of spread) until it can be maneuvered into an area that it can be controlled from.

You'll hear testimony that the Mars was simply flying PR missions in 2003, and by the time it actually got to the Okanagan that might be true - to some extent, but I would suggest there were days in 2003 that the same could be said for every aircraft that left the ground.

"A Province on fire" - (tell you a secret - no not really, or a least not yet.) Wildfire Management appears to me to be doing a great job managing things. (We'll know a little more by tomorrow afternoon when we start to experience some unstable air) You want to see a province on fire that's northern Sask - matter of fact, it's threatening to set my computer on fire too. But, somehow, the message needs to be driven home, we just don't need a low valley start right now due to an avoidable human caused fire. So, it's in the news, perhaps it "is" the news and it should be.

ETA: With the "Spirit of BC" decaled on her floats.

Drip Torch - an upright and steadfast keeper of the flame, but when tilted sideways the contents spill and then our destiny is in the wind...

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