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how to stop fires soonest
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Why not use the technology of military heat-seeking missiles to develop one to hit forest and brush fires while they are still small? A. Auerbach PO Box 256 Oracle AZ 85623.
AA85623, May 31 2001

Dresden Firebombing Campaign http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_storm
[Willie333, Oct 10 2005]


       Well, sure! Firespotter gives coordinates of a smoke, a heat-seeking missle with a halon warhead is dispatched, and when the fire crew arrives they mop up the remains.
Dog Ed, May 31 2001

       Sure would cut down on illegal campfires, too.
egnor, May 31 2001

       C'mon--identifying an appropriate fire is why you use it in conjunction with firespotter planes or lookouts. Anybody in the middle of a forest fire is in grave danger, missile or no missile.
Dog Ed, May 31 2001

       Descriptive titles, people...
globaltourniquet, May 31 2001

       Isn't a lot of the application of chemicals done onto non-burning areas? The combination of green plant matter and heat from nearby fires activates flame retardant chemicals and raises the combustion point of nearby plants. Make missles that just miss the heat, though, and you might have a plan for fighting fires and getting Iraq back in the arms business.
reensure, May 31 2001

       Many Americans were up in arms as it was when we bombarded the Sudan with cruise missles. I don't think bombarding California with cruise missles is going to get much support. Except for certain parts of California, of course.
ejs, May 31 2001

       For what its worth, the current thinking on the issue is that brush fires are naturally-occuring phenomena that serve the purpose of thinning out underbrush which, when left to grow unchecked, serves as fuel for catastrophic and genuinely uncontrollable fires.   

       The truly disastrous fires in the U.S. during the last few years are partly attributable to a long-standing policy of putting out every fire, everywhere, immediately, rather than allowing nature to take its course.
snarfyguy, May 31 2001

       snarfyguy, I think your summary of current thinking is entirely correct. But humans have elected to manage vast stretches of land (in the western USA and in other places) for production of timber, of grazing, or as wilderness, and I don't think we can easily go back to letting nature take its course in these managed lands. If you pick up an ostrich egg then you can't just drop it and let nature over without ruining the damn thing, and to my mind the fire suppression issue is similarly constrained. Not to say that all past land management has been intelligent, mind you. But we've got the egg in our tricksy simian fingers now, and we really don't want to ruin it. Think, naked ape, *think*...
Dog Ed, May 31 2001

       You could use a GPS guided MOAB approach and drop a really big fuel bomb just behind the leading edge (assuming the wind is blowing the fire in a particular direction) of a fire to cause the fire to blow back towards the bomb. It seems do-able. Like the firebombing campaigns in Dresden.
Willie333, Oct 10 2005


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