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Designate Wildfires As A Strategic Military Target

Harness the resources of the military with mutual benefit.
  [vote for,

Back in the mid 20th century USA, if you wanted something to stop being, the most effective way was to add that thing to some of Curtis LeMay's more interesting lists. Strategic Air Command no longer exists, having won its fight without fighting, Sun Tzu would be proud. Nowadays, threats to the continental US are homegrown, possibly the most destructive is the routine wildfires that rage throughout the forested areas but most noticeably in the populated regions of California.

Strategies to fight these fires are myriad, one is to use specially adapted aircraft to drop water on the fire from above. Aircraft are fast, maneuverable and have been tasked with getting things to targets for a while. Sadly, the aircraft used are pretty modest in both number, size, and capability.

So, let's sell the idea to the air force. They load up 50 B52s with water, the network of tankers, AWACS, helicopters, fighter escorts, etc. mobilizes to get those B52s on a low- level bombing run through an inferno-like Californian hellscape. We build it into and use it in the training program, we develop interesting anti-conflagration weapons systems* and so on.

Instead of splashing a bit of water from some venerable yellow flying boat, we bring in the BUFFS to carpet from low level with a million pounds per day until the Colorado River has been airlifted 1000 miles out of the normal route. Satellite recon with IR should identify pockets of resistance that can be picked off from high altitude assets like the B1. Eventually, forest fires will be forced underground** severely limiting their capability against military and civilian assets.

*heat seekers exploit an obvious vulnerability of an opponent unfamiliar with camouflage in the modern battle theater **There are still issues in Centralia with this kind of thing.

bs0u0155, Dec 16 2019


       Would it not be more cost-effective to (a) Declare California independent (b) designate it as an enemy state and then (c) recruit the wildfires to be on Our Side. The cost savings could be considerable.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 16 2019

       <Activates tractor beam array in attempt to haul [MB] back from the Cynicism Event Horizon/>   

       What's not to like ?   

       Well ... maybe the idea of flying a B-52 through mountainous terrain at treetop height. That could be more exciting than is strictly necessary. Briefly.   

       But apart from that, using laser-guided containers (made of frangible non-flammable resin-bonded glass fibre, or rockwool, similar to the WW2 P-51 drop tanks) to dump tonnes of water on the target would do a good job, and could be done from higher altitudes.
8th of 7, Dec 16 2019

       What if the water were CO2 saturated? You could ram even more into solution if you spiked it with a touch of.. say ammonium chloride to offset some of the pH, you'd boost the firefighting capability of the munition with long term nitrogen-cycle boosting capabilities.
bs0u0155, Dec 16 2019

       If I remember correctly from my days in MaxCo.'s Tactical Research Department, fuel-air bombs are capable of depleting the air of oxygen over quite a wide area.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 16 2019

       No, those were your Great-Uncle Sathanus's farts, but it's easy to see how the confusion would arise.
8th of 7, Dec 16 2019

Soviet Russia just used nukes to put out fires.
Loris, Dec 16 2019


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