I hadn’t heard of aircraft bombing a forest fire to stop it spreading and help put it out, but the tactic was used in Sweden this week, apparently with some success.
… on Jul. 25, a Gripen dropped a 500-lb GBU-12 Laser Guided Bomb from 3.000 meters in an attempt to cut fire affecting Älvdalen’s shooting range, a military range where unexploded ammunition and difficult terrain made conventional extinguishing methods not sufficient. The Swedish pilot dropped the GBU-12 so that the bomb would cut the fire at a certain distance from the impact point: a fire requires oxygen, heat and fuel. The explosion burns oxygen that is no longer available to the fire.
The first test had “a very good effect“, that is, the bomb broke out the fire. Even on other fires that were 50, 100 and 150 meters from the target, the effect was assessed according to the Swedish press.
According to the preliminary report, this unusual firefighting technique has been successful.
There’s more at the link.
Here’s a brief video clip of a Swedish Air Force Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter dropping a guided bomb on the fire.
I wonder if that might be worth trying in US states where wildfires pose a major hazard to firefighters? I suppose insurance companies would carry on about the danger to life and property involved in using high explosives, but it can’t be any worse than the danger posed by fire, can it?