Quote of the Day - Television is called a medium because anything good on it is rare.
Reports this morning on Rimoftheworld.net Emergency Center include this transcription of scanner traffic at 8:03 a.m. Wednesday, October 24, 2007, from their minute-by-minute transcription of emergency scanner radio: "Air-to-ground: 'I'm at 7500 (ft) and in quite a bit of smoke (over the Grass fire). Attempting to do recon of the area and being hampered by heavy smoke; haven't been over the Slide fire yet because of media traffic and heavy smoke in the area.'"
What? Media air traffic?
Come on, folks. Get those news helicopters out of the way. There are lots of people with homes up there, and you're interfering with the firefighters trying to protect those homes. Let the air tankers drop water and fight the fires. It's hard to believe we need to see more aerial television shots of fire given the extensive news coverage already in place, and as the pilot above mentions, it's hard enough with just the smoke in the way. We don't need you.
It's been a frustrating evening watching the private, local Internet resources upload information about homes lost to the fires in the Running Springs area. They don't have much information and are trying to gather it from a number of sources. Thankfully, though, they put it up. The media and government aren't providing the information for fear they'll post something wrong and get sued for it. The local resources have it figured out though; they simply post a disclaimer identifying the information as unverified.
Everyone understands, and it's fine. Just give us the information and let us sort through it. But in the meantime, let those firefighters, aerial tankers and helicopters do their job.
Let's ground the media helicopters and keep them out of the way.