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Location Contributes to Wildfire Names

Ever wonder how some wildfires get such unusual names? Learn more here how the names of the fires are decided and why some are more interesting than others!

Unusual and conventional names abound when it comes to naming wildfires across the country. The recent wildfire names the later part of June 2017 are Goodwin Fire in Arizona, Lightner Fire in California and the Brian Head Fire in Utah.
One hundred and sixty two wildfires started in the last 24 hour period with nine being new large fires. A large fire is defined as over 300 acres, stated a spokesperson at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho.
NIFC continued by stating, they start small and as they get larger the Incident Commander is in charge of naming the wildfire. Some dispatch centers will assign a number (numerical beginning on basis of year) and other places select a name.
Bill Gabbert, executive editor of wildfiretoday.com stated in a telephone interview, “they are usually named after a geographical feature near the point of origin.”
Gabbert retired from the United States Forest Service and National Park Service after 33 years of service. He enjoys writing and started www.wildfiretoday.com During his 20 years fighting wildfires in Southern California three wildfire names from the early 1980s stood out. The Squirrel Fire (there was a dead squirrel), Impala fire – (Chevy caught fire) and Kitchen Fire (started near Kitchen Creek Road – near Pine Valley).
Tiffany Davila, public affairs officer for the Department of Forestry and Fire Management for the State Arizona mentioned, The Goodwin Fire was named for a little community west of Mayer.   The 303 Fire after junction loop 303 and 17 which is a major thoroughfare in Arizona.
Additional fire names include the Bowie Fire a couple months ago named after Fort Bowie. The Swiss Helm Fire named after the mountain range and Bar X Fire after the ranch nearby,” Davila continued.
Remember wildfires are a powerful natural force. Smokeybear.com states, “we must fully understand, and respect, in order to best help control. Nearly nine out of 10 wildfires nationwide are caused by humans and could have been prevented.”
Wikipedia defines a wildfire or wildland fire as an arena of combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or rural area. Depending on the type of vegetation where it occurs, a wildfire can also be classified more specifically as a brush fire, bush fire, desert fire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, or veld fire.

Cowboy Lifestyle Network challenges you to support the many brave firefighters who are fighting on the frontlines of wildfires to “Protect Our West” by drinking Coors Banquet.
Remember to drink Coors Banquet beer at any bar, concert, restaurant, rodeo, tavern and of course, any retail store. Meanwhile, you will be directly benefiting Coors’ Protect Our West Campaign and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF).

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Gretchen Kirchmann is a veteran journalist covering a variety of events across the country each year. She founded Kirchmann Media Group in 2009 and works as a marketing consultant with a forte for the western lifestyle industry, festivals, fairs and rodeo world. Her work includes 15 national communication awards plus coverage of Nashville's CMT Awards and CMA Fanfest. A favorite assignment was attending the all cast reunion of the Dukes of Hazard in 2006 and 2007 at Dukesfest. In December you will find her covering the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Miss Rodeo America pageant live from Las Vegas. Her favorite color is orange, favorite song "Rocky Top" and she loves to dance especially clogging.

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