Monday, August 24, 2009

Through the Smoke

In yesterday's mini-heatwave I noticed several large fires burning out of control.

One large fire in Essex I could see quite clearly when I was over the V-Festival at Chelmsford. Listening in to the Police helicopter, it appeared that it had already sped across a farmer's field and taken a barn and some smaller buildings with it' keeping the Fire Service busy.

A second fire was visible somewhere near Sole Street on the M2 and on the way home, I came across smoke billowing from several spots in the densely wooded area behind the Wild Wood nature reserve near Herne Bay.

Fearing arson, this one I called in to Manston's ATC and then did my best to help the Police and the Fire Service find it, as it was some distance off-road and I ran into the usual problem of the Police controller having no local knowledge whatseover.

I haven't seen anything as bad as last year's fire in the heathland south of Canterbury but the Summer isn't over the ground is parched and the risk from the bored and feckless with a box of matches remains high.


Anonymous said...

A latitude & longitude may have helped pinpoint the problem, but I don't know if you fly boys carry GPS like us yotties do, or are you still reliant on radio beacons? Then again, I wonder how the police controller's map reading skills would hold up? Jammy Dodger

DrM. said...

Funny you should mention that. I have been speaking with Kent Fire & Rescue this morning about helping them better in future.

GPS works fine but Lat & Long doesn't mean too much to the police and others I fear!