The Cover Picture
The cover picture on this issue shows a four-engined transport plane dumping 1,600 gallons of water on a simulated brush fire, during recent tests at Rosamond Dry Lake, near Los Angeles, Calif.
The purpose of the tests, which were witnessed by representatives of Los Angeles County, City, State and Federal fire fighting services, was to determine the pattern of water dispersal as a means of checking brush and forest fires in rugged terrain until ground parties can reach the areas.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Keith E. Klinger hailed the experiments as “very encouraging.” He said “the result was a definite effect on the fire, although we did not attempt to actually put out the flames. Primarily we are interested in developing water dispersal patterns and in instrumentation tests.”
Janies K. Mace, Deputy State Forester, said that research on the plan of aerial bombardment of fires “has just begun, but we may well be on the threshold of a new era in fire control.” Both he and Chief Klinger credit Donald W. Douglas, Jr., vice-president and test director of the aircraft concern, with having suggested the idea of using big planes as water transports in battling flames. “Obvious procedures entail use of such ships over rugged terrains difficult to reach by ground routes and in which persons may be trapped by flames uncontrollable except from the air,” Mace said.