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Well the fall weather is certainly upon us now. It is difficult to believe that there is still a fire season out there, but it is true. California discussions continue for one of the Martin Mars. The southern end of the state is at about 170 days with no rain. We have completed a couple of trips now into the San Diego area to meet with fire officials, water management boards and government officials. The famous Santa Ana winds are starting to blow, so we should find out soon if their interest continues. I found the attached explanation of the winds educational:
It is often said that the air is heated and dried as it passes through the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, but according to meteorologists this is a popular misconception. The Santa Ana winds usually form during autumn and early spring when the desert is relatively cold, although they may form at virtually any time of year. The air heats up due to adiabatic heating while being compressed during its descent. While the air has already been dried by orographic lift prior to reaching the Great Basin, the relative humidity of the air declines rapidly as it descends and warms in its final stages as it passes over the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges.
The air is then forced down the mountain slopes out towards the Pacific coast; the air mass is further heated by compression as it drops in altitude before reaching the Los Angeles Basin western San Diego County and Tijuana (Baja California) at typical speeds of 35 knots. The southern California coastal region gets its hottest weather of the year during autumn while Santa Ana winds are blowing. During Santa Ana conditions it is typically hotter along the coast than in the deserts and the humidity plummets to less than 15%.
As the Santa Ana winds are channeled through the mountain passes they can approach hurricane force. The combination of wind, heat, and dryness turns the chaparral into explosive fuel for the infamous wildfires the region is known for. Wildfires fanned by Santa Ana winds burned 721,791 acres (2,921 km²) in two weeks during October 2003.
We also attended a 2 day symposium in Ottawa that was held with all the provincial fire authorities. We set up a booth (pictured below) for the S-61 and Martin Mars fire programs. There was a lot of interest in the Coulson Group programs..., we will see what the next Canadian fire season brings. Darlene Coulson did a great job of organizing and setting up the facilities. We will attend a similar function in Reno later this month that attracts the fire authorities for the Western USA.
Aircrane is setting up for the next round of aircraft and people moves.
C-FCLM has returned from the US Army firefighting contract in Yakima and is out logging in place of C-FMAY, while she gets readied for our second S-61 contract in Australia. C-FXEC is currently being dismantled for a vessel from Hamburg Germany to Rio de Janeiro Brazil.