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11/30 Firenwater said in passing something about the rake-off of fire budget each year for overhead.

I heard earlier this year that it wouldn't happen this year under the congressional funding for the National Fire Plan. But I also heard from a budget buddy this week that about 30 cents on the dollar got on the ground this year.

How can this be true? Is her estimate a one-time example? Did this happen in more than one place? She claims that other program areas sucked off the money before it got out to the districts and even the NFs and that the FMOs were left holding the "empty" bag. Tell me this ai'nt so.


11/30 The jobs fairy says this came in: 
Please post the attached messages/documents for info on critical new fire job info.

MEL Madness 2002 -- the hiring schedule we've all been waiting for... 
(Ab sez: There also was an Appendix A listing phone numbers and resources of all the USFS National Forests, Ranger Districts, etc across the country. We will not post that now.)

Here's a note from Kellie Persell (R5) relaying important job application information provided by Joy Thomas from ASAP. 

"...  It was discovered that the FSJOBS site is in a bit of a mess. They are working to update it and gave another site for use in the meantime.

Non-FS applicants should use the internet site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/people/employ/asap

Forest Service employees and management can use the intranet site at: //fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/hrm. (This site contains some additional information for applicants that will be useful for HR and Management personnel to have when doing outreach and helping applicants apply.)

Please ensure everyone is forwarding 2002 applicant packages and not the 2001packet or a partial packet! The only form from a 2001 packet that can still be used is the C form itself. Even the C Form instruction sheet has changed! <little snip>

ASAP plans to notify all existing candidates in the temporary and permanent data base that they will need to reapply if interested in 2002 employment. They have ordered postcards and plan to mail them out in the next 2 to 3 weeks."

From reading through the e-mail, it seems the biggest confusion at this time is that some applicants are getting 2001 temporary fire application packets from District Offices or they are getting only partial packets. Applicants, call the ASAP number and request a packet. Do not use an old or a partial one. The number is 1-877-813-3476. If you are a first time applicant, ask them what the procedure is.

11/30 TO THE FIREFIGHTER WHO SAID: "I love firefighting and I love the outdoors but it is damn tough to get a full 12 month a year job with the Forest Service"

This is more than true for alot of us formerly loyal employees.

But the OMB in the last week has cut the Preparedness Budget for FY2003 by $80 million dollars. So tell me again why I should feel loyal to the USFS.

Me? I'm looking for a job possibility with the private sector.
11/30 Copy of IHOG memo with headers and footers removed :)

Subject: 310-1 & IHOG

Hi folks, just wanted to update you as to where we are w/ the reconciliation effort w/ 310-1 & the IHOG. Here is the skinny:

  1. All FIRE related Helicopter Manager qualifications & positions will be removed from the IHOG immediately, in time for this next revision, and will only reside in 310-1.
  2. All project-related helicopter management positions will remain in the IHOG.
  3. There will be two Helicopter Manager positions recognized in 310-1 (as presented in San Diego), one for exclusive-use managers (used by some States, our ex-use manager position will be augmented), and one for CWN helicopter management.
  4. 310-1 will recognize and define a single-resource "Helicopter Boss", which will be the Exclusive-use Helicopter Manager, thus the barrier many potential helicopter managers now face will be removed as they qualify for an Exclusive-use Helicopter Manager under 310-1.
  5. The FS (& other agencies) will move Exclusive-use & Asst. Exclusive-use helicopter manager standards to agency documents. This is for a couple of reasons. Our agency (and several others) Ex-Use Helicopter Managers & Assts work in appointed positions, under PDs requiring skills beyond the minimum quals stated in 310-1. Because of this, our Exclusive-use manager qualifications will have a few additional requirements beyond the 310-1.
    HOWEVER, the minimum requirement to manage a federally contracted helicopter on any incident will be the 310-1 CWN Helicopter Manager position, which will require biennial attendance at a workshop, & the HEMG training course.
  6. As mentioned, the 310-1 folks have agreed to officially recognize the helicopter manager training course, and will issue it a #, etc.
  7. I know some folks are worried about the timing of getting the 310-1 changed to the new standards. I had a conversation w/ Bob Leaverton yesterday (one of our reps on the IOS Working Team), and he offered that the IOS team could issue a letter of commitment (if necessary) to have 310-1 changed by March. We'll see where we get w/ that, personally, I am satisfied that we have commitment from all parties (i.e., I have the faith!).
  8. Also, the exclusive-use helicopter manager position will not be subordinate or a prerequisite for CWN helicopter manager; this is to ensure that a path for helicopter manager exists beyond working on an exclusive-use helicopter crew.
I hope this makes sense, this is a fairly complex issue, and I'm sure I've omitted some details. There is still alot of work to be done, & alot of educating of all parties involved w/ helicopter managers. Personally, I am very satisfied w/ the outcome of this effort, and think we make tremendous progress fixing several problems.
11/30 In response to firenwater

Yes there are numerous people leaving for other positions. I myself have been with the F.S. as a seasonal for 4 summers now. I would also consider leaving if I were in the same position. I love firefighting and I love the outdoors but it is damn tough to get a full 12 month a year job with the Forest Service and it is even tougher making ends meet with a family now days. Don't get me wrong I love the job the Gov. gives me and I love what I do. But lets face it when you have a family , bills and mouths to feed your loyalty goes to your family not the F.S.

I agree something should be done. Hey even if the wage increase was not up to city Fire Dept. or State Dept wages. I can almost guarantee you if it was somewhere close then we could talk loyalties. I am sure there are plenty of other people who feel the way I do.

So lets not be upset with people trying to better themselves but with the people who will not let us do it with the agencies we are currently with.

Hope things get better.
R6 F.F.

11/30 easternforester, 

You might want to check out the Southwest Region 3. I worked for the Mormon Lake Shot crew out of Flagstaff, Az from 94 through 97. Most crews in this region have at least 2 to 3 openings per season and some have more. Some crews hire with little or no experience due to not having to deal with someone's bad habits and the fact that they have a good veteran base to train and mold new recruits. We started the season the first of May sometimes a week or two sooner and ended the end of September. The overtime is excellent and most of the crews in R-3 have an excellent reputation in the fire community. Good luck and happy hunting. 

Hey AB, I have been reading your site for months now and every time I check out the photo pages I get the urge to dust off the boots and get back in the game, some of the best times I ever had were on the fire line. Awesome web site and keep up the good work. 


Thanks. Ab.

11/30 I think it's interesting that we received both of these documents today. One is the Congressional hearing into the 30 Mile Fire; the other is a job outreach for FMO in the district involved.


I put the Minutes of the Congressional Hearing on the Thirtymile Fire in our docs files.  Senate Committee on 30-mi.  Ab.

11/30 I Ramble

Not sure I woulda said it quite the same way as you but I couldn't agree more about the flight of employees from the FS to other agencies. It's about to take another nasty turn since CDF just came out with an announcement for Captains positions that is open to outsiders (including the FS). And So Ca isn't the only place this is happening. I talked to some folks from Colorado this summer and they have the same problem. We in Northern Cal have been loosing good employees for years because of the pay issue.

I been at this for 25 years now and as a good friend put it once "my blood is green through and through"....BUT I have been thinking lately, that the only way to solve some of the pay issues and management interference of all sorts (including the huge rakeoff of budget each year for overhead and many of the problems identified in the South Canyon Report, with ditto from the 30 Mile report) is to have a separate federal fire agency.

Think about it. What if all agencies, including DOI were under the same umbrella? What if we were recognized as professional firefighters instead of "forestry technicians"? What if our administrators only had to concern themselves with supporting the fire service instead of worrying about things like cutting timber and reacting to NEPA appeals? And what if our pay series was compared to other fire departments instead of "forestry workers" to determine our pay rates? The fatality and burn escape and accident investigations keep recommending making administrators accountable so what do they do?? They send them to more training. There is NO WAY going to a class at Marana is ever gonna give an agency administrator the background necessary to understand the complexities of modern day wildland firefighting. The underlying problem here is that the fire job has become too big and complex to make it a collateral duty, even at the agency level.

Well that oughta be enough to get a little dialogue going.

11/30 Hey Cache Queen,

Jeez, what do you want to say all that for - you're going to scare away all my new friends here. I thought we were having fun. 

But what's this about you bailing? Tell me it isn't so! Was it something I said? What about the old ball-and-chain, are you going to make him keep working? I think most of us would prefer it if he retired and you kept working. 

I enjoyed your rant about working hard, trying to do good, and having fun. I sometimes wonder if we're losing the capability to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously. I could go on about how great it was in the good ol' days, but no one liked me back then either. 

11/30 R-5 Alienhead, 

Here is the information that we have gotten on our forest. It sounds like it will be a COLA increase. But the increase as far as I know is not 30%, it is more like 15%. 

It's supposed to happen by the start of next year if not sooner. Sorry I deleted the official notification so I can't post it for you. Your union rep should have all the info for you, that's who has been informing us and keeping us informed on all the updates. 

Have a great winter. 

11/30 Dear Ab:

This maybe a slightly opinionated response to High Deserts inquiry to the quality of the new shot crews that were out there this last season. I just happened to have been assigned to one of the new crews in Colorado. This was my 9th season and I spent it as a lead on this crew. Walking into it I wasn't sure what to expect, but after the first couple of weeks (once everyone got to know each others knowledge and abilities) I tell you what, I would have walked straight into Hell and back with them. These were dedicated people with mutual respect and would have easily done anything deemed necessary without question at the drop of a hat. I started in So.Zone of R-5 and wasn't sure how the people would measure up to the high standards set there, but tell you what, the crew name and duty station was new, people on this crew have been around since the 80's and 90's. 

Rocky Mountain
11/30 From Firescribe -- Book captures grief of FDNY:


11/30 I was wondering if any of you had a chance to work with any of the new Hotshot crews that were out there this year. I was wondering what everyone thought of the ones that they did work with. I know there was alot of robbery going on among all the crews out there for quality people and I was wondering how they did. I heard some real good things about some and some not so good, just wanted to hear what everyone else had to say.


11/30 What is all of this talk about a big 30+% pay raise for R-5 or southern 4 NF? Where is the bill? Whose decision is it? I've searched the Bills in Congress with no avail. Would this be a type of locality pay-- COLA? Will it happen in my lifetime?

R-5 Alienhead
11/29 AB, just saw a note come down from on high, something about the IHOG Godletts have agreed to agree with 310-1 as far as training goes for some (all) rotor positions, they will keep the same training standards for non-fire project managers. I did not have time to carefully read the memo sooo... until copy can be posted....just be aware a change is coming. Oh, it has been agreed that the helicopter workshop will be given a number and be a requirement in 310-1. Rumor also has it that the IHOG group did not do this willingly, some pressure from on high was exerted.

Now, if we can just get the heli-whiners to stop throwing a hissy fit when their orders for; hot lunches, MORE ice and shade is not delivered 10 minutes before it is requested......


11/29 Hello All -- 

I have made T-shirts printed with the design inspired by the one created on this site. (AB, it is attached to this E-mail.) I would like to make them available to those who read this bulletin board and benefit from it. I have been selling them for $12.00 and will have to charge an extra $3.00 for shipping. I am not a business, so the shipping is a little costly. There are only a limited number (less than 70) so it is the preverbal "first come... first served". The design is on a 100% cotton preshrunk white T-shirt (good as a fire shirt) in sizes M, L, XL, and XXL.

Again we are not a business so we don't have an elaborate financial collection system. Just E-mail me first with order and address....... I will E-mail you that I have the shirt or shirts....... send your check...... check gets here....... then I will send the shirt or shirts right away. Sorry but that is the best I can do under the circumstances. When I run out, I will reply to your E-mail and notify AB to post it here also.

ALL proceeds (no profit to me) will go to the United Way September 11 fund (http://www.uwnyc.org/sep11/index.phpl). I searched for a specific fund for the Pentagon but could not find one. If there are any suggestions I will happily split the income between the funds.

Orders and any questions to:
T_shirt911@hotmail.com (there is an _ after the T)


If you click HERE, you can view the design. Let me remind everyone who uses this design (even if  slightly modified) to retain the copyright j.evans & wildlandfire.com at the bottom. All proceeds from this design should go to benefit the families of those lost. Ab.

11/29 First, in response to "easternforester" - If you're really looking for an adventure, the Alaskan hotshot crews do hire rookies. Try looking on the Alaska Fire Service website.

Second, to BLM Bob - your last message, in which you actually took time to explain yourself, made some good points. See how much better the point gets across when you don't insult your audience?

Just another firefighter

11/29 Hi everyone -- just a word of warning for all of you that want to take on BLM Bob -- bad move. At least most of you have only to read his comments in this forum -- I, for one have had to take much of his daily "abuse" for years. Must say, found it humorous that he pushed a few buttons out there. In all honesty, he does have the background to voice an opinion -- which he definitely does, in his usual sarcastic, gut-splitting manner. So, my advice: Listen to what he has to say, but don't get all in a wad over how he says it --- Thank God I'm getting outta the business soon, to escape this horrible person (Pulleeze, just kidding!) and to get away from all the goll durn serious stuff that goes on -- what happened to the "fun" and camaraderie of this fine group of fire people -- we were and can continue to be VERY GOOD at what we do -- but we need that good dose of FUN as well -- did the PC world destroy this aspect? When I've told people that I was raised by the "old" Boise Forest Smokejumpers years ago, as a young impressionable 18 year old -- they look at me like I'm nuts -- they're sure that I was raised by a "pack of dogs." But I can tell you this, I learned how to swear better than a sailor, drink a jar of vinegar to prove a point, and to eat a cigar rather than to smoke it -- and I'm still alive as a relic of times past when this business didn't have to be so SERIOOUS. We can still work hard, live hard and play hard -- and maintain respect -- but DON'T LOSE the FUN!!

Cache Queen

11/28 RE: the Redmond IHC [www.fs.fed.us/fire/operations/crews/redmond/] and other training and entry-level opportunities ....

you might put in a call to Jeff Scussel, the assistant director of USFS R1 Fire & Aviation, about their Great Northern crew in Missoula. This is a developmental crew strictly for entry-level candidates, and specifically designed as a high-level-training entry to the interagency fire world. Jeff's at (406)329-3404 and further details will be available online in the next week or so.


11/28 Bald Paul,

Thanks for the lead, but unfortunately I'm not in the
Pacific NW nor am I a FS employee currently. I'm
pretty certain my agency wouldn't pay to send me to
Redmond for the summer.

I appreciate the help,

11/28 easternforester

I don't know who you work for, but the Redmond (Oregon) IHC is a "detail" crew. They get detailers for the summer to staff the crew, it's a good crew and a great training assignment. I don't know when they do the advertisement, but I'd keep my eyes open. 
You might start by checking: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov.

The people at the Redmond Air Center could probably also help you.

Bald Paul

11/28 Info from the union regarding the fy2002 budgets. Note the funding for a
30-mile memorial and new fire shelter development.

NFFE budget-letter 2002


11/28 Bh,

As everyone (who cares) is aware of, Region 5, especially the
southern forests, continue to lose experienced and trained firefighters
to other local agencies as soon as they become eligible. Upper echelon
sources have mentioned recently that even though the USFS academy
graduates sign a document committing themselves to a length of service,
that other agencies are willing to pay to buy them out of their

See the document posted here a couple years ago from an Angeles NF FMO
to know that this is not a new issue.


I personally agree with the philosophy of the other agencies. Let
someone else train them to our standards, let them get the experience,
then suck 'em up!

I also personally disagree with the concept of the USFS being
considered as a training ground for these same agencies.

I suggest the USFS make a sustained effort to maintain the
personnel they recruit and train.

I say pay them at a comparable level, where ever they are.

I also say that money ain't everything. Each employee must be able
to respect themselves and have the respect of others. Let's make the
public respect the USFS firefighters. Our public information officers
are pathetic. I said PATHETIC! Our leaders in Washington are
PATHETIC! They act as if the vital services our agency provides is some
how an embarrassment! They decide to not to ask for the real amount of
financial support (MEL) our nation requires to suppress wildland fires
as if they were some bastard stepchild asking to sleep on the front step
rather than demand a bedroom.

Is it politically correct to ask our Congress to maintain the
finances promised to help stop a repeat of the conflagrations of last
year (2000), with the current terrorist/war going on? Oh, hell yes it's
ok. It really is ok. Take some time and ask them your self. Write
your representatives, I think the addresses can be found on this site

It ain't a rumor Bh. There are processes being explored to maintain
our young'ens.

Now, what's going to keep our old'ns in the fold? They're fleeing
like rats!

Alas, I Ramble
11/27 JR, 

It all depends on how you left the first job. If you left on good terms I would go back and talk to the Captain and ask him for your old job back, any good Captain will pick you back up no questions asked. 

If not you should reapply and don't limit your self with one Forest, if your living situation permits you to do that. With all the new jobs coming up for the up coming season, you should not have any problems getting hired. 

Good luck next year and start working out and strengthening that foot for the up coming fire season. 

11/27 Maybe a rumor, maybe not? Is region 5 or specifically the 4 southern california forests getting a 32% raise for engine crews?
11/27 just got back from the east for another trip. question regarding demo appointments from last year. i got hired on as a 13/13. I had a probationary period of up to 90 days. when can i reapply to another job? ive heard 1 full year. i have training scheduled for this winter but need to know if i can apply elsewhere or do i have to wait one full year in time and grade to apply? 

thanks ab- my season is starting to wind down... 

11/27 I got hired by a forest last year to work on an engine. I broke my foot
just prior to starting my training. I would like to get hired again on an
engine for this year. Do you recommend that I contact the same people or
just go through the normal hiring process again? Any help would be much

11/27 A question for those who would know,

Reading the requirements for Type I hotshot crews I find that up to 4 people on a crew are allowed to be "rookies". Is this common or is this strictly a "use only if necessary" provision?

My reason for asking - I'm a forester and wouldn't mind quitting for a seasonal wildfire position, but I'm
not interested in being on a normal handcrew. I'm in great shape, have some fire experience (not a full
season), a college degree (doubt it matters), little qualifications beyond the red card, and a willingness
to learn. Which regions would be most likely to hire a first year as a hotshot (or would any)?

11/27 NorCalTom:

No, fire shelters are not issued to us in Alberta. I'm sure you've heard all the arguments for and against, and I guess that the province has decided that it's going to stay on the "against" side of the fence. I've asked about it before and the answer I get is that they tend to give people a false sense of security, and they'd rather us not let ourselves be put in the situation where they are necessary. If everyone is paying attention to the 10 orders and their LACES, then you should have time to follow your escape route into your safety zone. Which is what we would have done in this case, had the head gotten any closer; as it was the wind took another turn and the helicopter's buckets knocked what was left out of the trees. I don't think that there's anything wrong with making a retreat to a safe place. We're not heroes, we just put out fires in the forest; the only thing we are USUALLY saving is someone's timber allocation... definitely not worth anyone's life. Another thing maybe worth considering is the difference in the typical fuel type found here compared to California. We're mostly faced with black spruce up here which isn't nearly as finicky and explosive as the fuel types you have to work with. But, who knows... I'd be interested to hear what you think about it.

11/27 What does everyone think about the recommendations for naming the new HOTSHOT crews? I heard the ones in R5 are going to be called "interregional crews" but will meet the same standards in the National Hotshot Ops Guide. Big RIP! Supposedly when more Hotshot crews are added to the Region, they will come from these crews.

I know there were problems with dispatching training crews last summer, but is this the answer? Sounds like the shots are protecting their turf. What? Afraid youll have some competition when it comes to assignments?

Smells like a shot crew, walks like a shot crew, quacks like a shot crew? Why not IHC? (Not necessarily el cariso)


11/27 Say, S who sent in the pic of the dozer mired in the mud:

Where's your fireshelter? What would you have done if the flank that turned into the head had gotten to you? Does Canada not supply its F/F with shelters?


11/27 Today's National Park Service daily report has a small piece on the crash
of a helicopter at Daniel Boone NF on November 12. The water bucket came
into contact with the tail rotor while in flight.

11/26 This is a picture of the Grand Canyon Helicopter Training Academy (Sept.
2001) Helicopter Specialist Mike Minton, Pilot Eddie Thoroughgood and crew.

For Posting, Thanks, Frosty

I put it on the Heli4 page. Ab.

11/26 Hi Ab, hope your turkey day was good. 

Flash, if you are taking training with Florida DOF, ask one of the rangers to bring you a copy of the Forestry Firefighters Guide. It should explain about Strike Teams and Task Forces in there. I know the guide is on line also, but you will need to get the web address from one of the rangers. Hope this helps ya a little.

Gittin dry down here boys and girls. Maybe we can all visit in a month or two when the fires start. Do the terms OT and Road Trip mean anything to anyone?

11/25 More dozer photos and an 715A brush rig from Keith. On the Dozer  and Engines3 pages.

Also, more very nice Moose Fire photos, Burnout, Torching, Lake McDonald Plume, etc. I added them to the Fire7 photo page with the other Moose Fire photos. If anyone knows individual photographers, please let us know so we can give credit.


11/25 Mollysboy,

Hey, here's hoping you did all right chasing mulies and elk. Until just recently it's been hard hunting here - too warm and clear.

But as far as NFPA standards and "facts" go, I've got a few for you. But first, let's set a couple of things straight - I was having fun, blowing off some steam. As it happens, I know one or two of the people  that you named. And the truth is, I am a pencil-neck in a windowless office...okay, maybe my office does have a window, but I definitely don't get out enough to suit myself anymore.

Here's the facts - though I wasn't on the group that set the 'helmet' standard, I am on (and have been on) an awful lot of workgroups and committees that address national-level issues. You don't know me, so you have no idea of the weekends and evenings that I have given up over my 28 years working on national interagency issues where consensus seemed near impossible, but I think it's safe to say that I have lost count.

So perhaps you'll allow me to strongly disagree with you when you claim that I should not criticize the decision on the hardhats. And frankly, even if I was never on a committee, I still think that I (or anyone else) has a right to criticize a bad call. And the NFPA wildland helmet standard was a bad call. People criticize decisions I was in on all the time, and if affects them fighting fire then I believe they have every right to criticize even if they've never made a decision that affected anyone else.

I have a question - are you defending the NFPA standard just because you respect the people that were on the workgroup? If so, that brings up a thought I've had a lot lately - is it okay for us to disagree with
something someone did, even if we respect them? I've seen this in the wildfire world several times recently - people say that so-and-so could never have made a bad call or a bad decision because so-and-so has been doing a hell of a job fighting fire for X years and is highly respected. I don't buy that.

In my years fighting fire, I've come to respect a number of people that have been at it longer than me and/or have seen some hellacious fire...but I've seen some of them make some bad calls. There are long-time crew bosses, overhead, FMOs, Type 1 ICs that I respect the hell out of, but I've seen things they did that didn't measure up and I believe we have to look at the bottom line. I believe we have to look at whether the decision was sound, regardless of who made it.

So, I don't much care who made a call if it's bad. And that goes double for any bad calls that I make.

11/25 Full Brim helmets

2oz, I can't see anyone paying attention to NFPA over 2oz. After all it is basically a suggestion not a mandate, LA County and CDF have been non compliant for years with those "LA County" dual purpose helmets, stripped down they are a couple oz over the old limit of 20oz and in this stripped down mode they do not meet NFPA requirements for structure helmets, fully equipped to meet the structure requirements they are over 30oz, I don't recall the exact weights but I do remember that fully equipped they were closer in weight to my leather structure helmet than to the wildland standard. This does not seem to have affected their use in California over the years. Besides if this does become an issue, I'm sure Bullard will find a way to shave a few oz from the full brim to maintain sales.

As to the Full Brim vs Cap style, I prefer the looks and smaller size of the cap but have to agree with those defending the sun protection aspects, I've used both and I do prefer the full brim in a hot sunny climate (cactus doesn't shade like pine trees).

11/25 They might rate high on the 'dork' scale, but as another wildlander with a little skin cancer, I gotta add my support to the full-brim hard hat camp. Hopefully, WP's solution of drilling holes in 'em will allow us to hang on to the hats with that extra few inches of sun protection. Good thinking, WP.

Hope the Abs and everyone else out there are enjoying their holidays!


We are, we are! The Abs.

11/25 Ab,

Here is the link to the story on the death on Thanksgiving day. It was not a firefighter, but a civilian who died. www.sfcav.org/2001_crimoradeath11.php

Hope this will clear up any rumors.


Thanks for the clarification. Ab.

11/25 A slew of photos came in:
Some from the Seventy Fire in the Feather River Canyon area of CA,
Some air tanker photos from Germany (Hey, Michael, send us some more info, please, like where and when.),
And one from S, our Canadian contributor - another of his "try to avoid this if at all possible" photos, this time with a dozer.
I posted them on the Fire7, Air Tanker 3 and Dozer photo pages.

Thanks All.

11/25 To Kevin with the new engine,

If you have not been dispatched to the incident you do not need to go there. Legitimate contractors wait for a dispatch. Odds are the folks in Tennessee are not going to accept an engine without a resource request. If you are going to start contracting engines I suggest you talk talk to someone who is doing it correctly. 

Good luck.

11/24 I am sorry to again be asking for information. Again concerning a death on another firefighter, in VA Auguasta County. Anyone know if it was a burnover or a tree? My thoughts and prayers to family and friends. Be safe out there folk fire season isn't over yet.

"concerned IA Dispatcher in SC"

No problem with asking. That's partly why we're here. It was a vehicle accident. Hickman sent in this link: Crash Kills West Virginia Firefighter. There isn't another one in addition to this, is there? Ab.

11/24 I'm a 30 year wildlander and full brim plastic hardhats with shroud are the best. The brim to keep the sun off your neck and anything else, I didn't get mine soon enough though I am battling skin cancer from too much sun. The plastic also out performs aluminum in the parking lot crush and puncture tests. So anybody know why the policy makers decided the full brim is non-compliant. Gee I'd hate to be n-c after all these years of being an angel.


11/24 A few new jobs on the jobs page, including a CDF announcement from CDFBC and an announcement for Alaska hotshot postions. Jobs link is located in the header of the theysaid page above. Ab.
11/23 In response to Kay,

Try checking with your local Florida Division of Forestry district office. Ask about a position on one of the Incident Management Teams.

Florida Ranger
11/23 I too looked at the Canadian picture with some solicitude. However, I then remember that this is the same group of individuals that hang on the skids of a helicopter and saw the tops out of trees and drop their helitacks in the trees to climb down to clear a heli-spot. I may put my foot in my mouth calling them Jockeys, (ones that work with a specific object or device), but they don't seem to follow the same rules in Canada that we are faced with in the US. Safety maybe somewhat lax up there. I, like Jim, would have to think real long and hard about doing something like that either hooking or unhooking... If a life was in EXTREME DANGER, a hot hook might have to be considered, but I would still like the ship on the ground and at least 25 feet of line on the bucket. The pilot in the Canadian picture would have very little margin for error without a line under them, but it's hard to see the entire picture...

So much for Arm Chair'n...
11/23 Ab, 
Have to agree with Jim on the bambi bucket picture. Who in their right mind would risk such an exposure like this? You should have put that on the photo page of what NOT to do.

It's ironic the picture is on the same page as that of the rescue helicopter that is smashed up from a "soft landing" crash. To the person who sent in the bambi bucket picture, take a good look at that rescue helicopter and imagine it on your head while unhooking the bucket. 

Please be safe and think about what you are about to do.
An- R5er;
11/23 Hey Ab,

This is for Kay...interested in being on the fireline as a med
back=up...She should take the fireline EMT course...being offered in NH
this coming June...take the annual refresher and pack test then get
listed as a single resource fireline EMT and she will get called! she
can e-mail me at firebabenh@hotmail.com if she has any questions.


Hi KJ, glad to see yer still lurkin' out there. Ab.

11/23 Ab,

The picture you just posted of unhooking a Bambi bucket from the helicopter lights my candle at both ends. There is NO GOOD reason to unhook a bucket in this manner at this location and is absolutely an unnecessary action that puts the helitack's life in jeopardy and exposes the person to unnecessary risk.

11/23 Jim,

Great job with memorial pins. Just got mine on Wed. and they looked great. Make sure and let your wife know how much everybody appreciated her hard work.

Hope everyone had a safe and wonderful thanksgiving. If there is anybody from Ventura County Fire who reads this forum, write in and let me know, I have a few questions for you.

Again many thanks to Jim and his wife.
11/22 Fire photos from S. and SM.

S. says: Here are a couple more for you.

1) Unhooking the bucket on an IA fire near Canmore, Alberta Canada.
2) IA fire at Upper Kananaskis Lake, Kananaskis Country, Alberta.

SM says: Here's a couple photos of interest from the Walton Fire on the Powell RD on
the Clearwater NF in Idaho in late august 2001.

Thanks, I put them on the Heli4, Fire7, and Air Tanker3 photo pages. Ab.

11/22 AB,

Just wanted to put my two cents worth in on the "full brim helmet" (hard hat)
discussion. Simple solution, just drill a few holes in the hat or trim about
1/4 inch off the brim, that should take about 3 ounces off. Nobody should
notice, and some with the drilled hole option might just look normal with it

Personally, I do not see why any one would want to wear a fill brim
helmet/hard hat (AKA the Dork kind of hard hat). How many times have I heard
(or said) "You really look like a Dork with that thing on."

Oh well, to each his own, I did shed a tear when they MADE me switch from
aluminum to plastic. I never had my "tin lid" melt when up against the
flames. I could take the liner out and heat water in it for a hot drink on
late seasons fires. It never broke when used to knock some sense into the
FNG's on the crew (only used as an attention getting device). It could be
used for a chock block in a pinch, (but NOT on a cat, anything D-4 or bigger
anyway). You could use them for a "seat" on wet cold ground and not worry
about it braking and getting plastic slivers in your butt. They could rattle
around in the back of your truck and never break. And, you never had to
worry about it being too heavy!!


PS, Ab - last year you had some posts about smoking a turkey? Do you
remember what kind of papers they used?

Zig zag? Naw, that's the name of a hotshot crew! (BTW, I don't think the cookie inhaled.) Ab.

11/22 --..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..--..

The Abs wish you a happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for many things, especially this fire community.

11/22 hi everyone,

I would like to join L.A.V.E. in giving Jim a thumbs up, pat on the back,
and round of applause for his work with the WTC memorial pins. Also thanks
to the Abs and everyone involved in the ribbon design. you guys are

stay safe,

My hats off to Jim also. He did the hard part. I'm just waiting for mine to show up. Ab.

11/22 Howdy everyone,
Does anyone know why Southern area's Intelligence report lock up two different computers? I try to look at their report at home and it locks it up, then I go to work and it locks it up at work.
11/22 From Firescribe about the timeframe of release of a new fire shelter.


11/22 I recently purchased a type 6 engine and a friend of mine has three others
that we would like to get onto the fires on the east coast. Right now one
of the engines is in Tennessee attempting to get hired on. Does anyone have
the names of contact people who might be able to help us out? Thanks.

At a contractors meeting in Wenatchee, Wa a couple of weeks ago we were told
that the full brim helmet is non-compliant because it is or 3 ounces
overweight according to the 1998 standards.

11/22 Dear AB,

I've been reading the info on your website and thought this might the best format in which to ask a question or two. My name is Kay <snip> and I am a registered nurse with 23 years Emergency Room experience. Also have been member of Florida One Disaster Medical Assistance Team since 1992. Went to Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Marilyn, Florida Fires, Hurricane Opal and the World Trade Center. Also deployed on several training exercises in the field. 

While at the Florida Fires we found out you could not deploy to the fire line as a medical unit if you did not have a "red card". After talking to some of the Incident commanders and Safety officers at the event it became apparent that they could have used people suited for medical backup, certified for the fire line but not necessarily wanting to "fight" fires per se. When I came home from the fires I got my red card and S-130 and S-190. I took the step test and passed at the "arduous" level. 

That was back in 1998 and was on the volunteer list at Jackson Guard in Niceville, Florida, affiliated with Eglin AFB in the Panhandle of Florida. Didn't see much activity as they lost the list with our names. This past April I took the pack test and rated at the "arduous" level again. Doing training with the Jackson Guard presently doing fuels management and endangered species protection just to get a higher profile and more "hands on" in the field. I'm also on our county wildfire team as medical member.

Also going back to school and majoring in archaeology, soon to graduate in that and on to masters in same. I'm a "traveling nurse" at present which means I take short term contracts. Pretty much like the temporary work the wildfire fighters do and this is the area. I'd like to know if I'd qualify for in your opinion. I've read that the Paramedic B or FFT2 is the closest designation to my qualification of being a R.N. As an aside, I've also had some training in flight nursing through my hospital experiences and helicopter and fixed wing transport training through my Disaster Medical Assistance involvement. Also training in nuclear, biological and chemical situations.

Basically I'm looking for short term employment, as medical backup on the fireline. Don't have a problem being in the field at all, personally I prefer it. Do you think there's a slot for someone like myself in the bigger picture of firefighting in the U.S? The people at Jackson Guard said they would be happy to sponsor me if that's any help and they sent my information to the state of Florida (I think.)

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope I haven't wasted your time. ANY information you can pass on, either positive or negative, would be gratefully accepted.


Welcome, Kay. Readers, any suggestions? (BLM Bob, don't you dare try to troll in this theysaid newbie, even if you are aiming to win the "fishing competition"!) Ab.

11/21 I have to agree with Mollysboy on this one as a full brim bullard does wonders for a neck with the sun and ash. I would still be wearing the old composition helmet if allowed.
Is that the same Rick Jensen that used to work on the Rogue? 


11/21 W-O-F is already an employee at the GS-9 level, but the forest situation has changed here: no more logging, slash burning, or forest fire/BD crew. So I was looking to move to another forest where I could work more in Fire. I thought dispatch would be good for these aging knees. 

By going through the "self rating" process, I did not rate out high enough to qualify as a 9, according to their system. 

The interesting thing was that, the very same week I got my rating from the FS, the National Park Service wrote that I qualified and made the cert for a GS-11 Fire Information and Education position. It seems I can write more convincing responses to the KSA's (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) than I can portray by checking little dots on the "C" form. Oh, the NPS hired someone from within their own agency. 

Consequently I am still at my old position, which is fine. Thanks to the vicarious experiences provided by "They Said" I can still feel involved in the Fire world. Thanks for the forum.

You're welcome. Ab.

11/21 Dear Sirs,

I am a student in Forestry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. I am in the fifth semester and next year (~2002) I will have to do a period of practicing of about 10 weeks in a
foreign country.

I am very interested in forestry and firefighting and I have been a fireman since 1997. I would like to know if there are possibilities to do this period with a fire brigade or if you know of other possibilities. I would be thankful if you could send me some information.

Best regards,
Federico Ferrario
11/21 Does anyone have any information about DEMO jobs? When will they be posted and what application procedure will be used this year?

11/21 Jim,

Just wanted to give you a well deserved round of applause, nice job
with the pins. I received mine yesterday and am wearing it now. It must
have been a lot of work to get this think done and in a pretty timely
fashion, about 2 months from design to delivery. I also want to say thank
you to all the rest of the people who worked on the pin idea. It is amazing
that so many people who don't know each other have come together to do this
for our brother and sister firefighters whom mostly we have never met.
America and firefighters are just amazing, don't you think? 

I would like to wish everyone out there who put on the boots and lug the
tools and sweat and strain putting out fires of all kinds a Happy
Thanksgiving and a good Holiday Season. My prayers with all of those who
will not have turkey with their families.
Listening to the rain. 


The Jobs page, Series 462 and Series 455 were updated yesterday. Ab.

Just back from a few weeks chasing the Muley's and wiley wapiti, so decided to scan "They Said" for a few minutes when I came across BLM Bob's comments about full brim hardhats/helmets, and the "pencil-necks in windowless offices" that developed the NFPA 1977 Wildfire PPE Standard.

Seems like BLM Bob didn't do much research on his concern before he let his fingers run wild on the keyboard to "They Said": as I look at the actual NFPA document, I see that some of the pencil-necks include Don DeYoung from LA County Fire; Rick Jensen from BLM; Frank Russell, Beaverhead NF; Gary Wood, NC Forestry; George Yarns, PA Forestry; and Roger Browning, GA Forestry Commission, as well as an IAFF Rep and a CDF rep: not exactly my idea of "pencil necks in windowless offices!!" These folks are all active wildland firefighters that are well qualified and experienced in fire suppression operations.

Specifically regarding the Bullard 911H, BLM Bob might be interested to know that Dennis Stout from Bullard sat in on the NFPA 1977 committee meetings and fully supported the weight limit: it was only after the Standard passed the vote of the Committee and the general membership did Bullard discover that their 911H wouldn't pass!

So, my advice to BLM Bob: first, get your facts straight! Then, get involved - tell the BLM you want to give up your weekends to sit in standards-setting meetings in Akron, Ohio and Philadelphia, PA while trying to reach "consensus" with 29 others from the fire community, industry, OSHA and test labs who are all part of the process, and may not agree with your point-of-view. Maybe you can get us back into Orange Fire shirts??

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the Problem!!"

11/21 BLMBob,

Why is the Full Brim "Non-Compliant?" The only info I have received is the 3 year service policy. Any new info would be appreciated. 


11/20 Jeremy,

Call (208) 373-4265 and request the forms for the hiring process. When you get everything filled out, send your resume, C form, and an SF-50 (if you are a permanent employee).

Don't send via the e-mail, use the regular mail and send it certified so they have to sign for it when they receive your package. Make copies of your package and keep the signed slip of the certified mail.

You should receive a letter saying what you rated as (ie GS 3,4,or 5), If you don't get a letter back call the number from above and ask then when you will receive it. When you receive this letter go to the forest you want to work at and talk to the Battalion Chief and sell yourself to him and show him the letter that your app. is in the process and how you rated out.

One of the Captains on my forest went to a hiring meeting in Oregon. If there are any new forms or new Phone numbers, I will let you know. Good luck and don't give up.

The big question I have is how did the woman-in-fire qualify as a 5 and end up being a 9?

An R-5er
11/20 I am taking training with Florida's DOF. One question I am having trouble answering is the difference between a type one and a type two hand crew. HELP!!! I can't find it in any of my material. I also want to know if there is a website where it is detailed what comprises a pumper strike team, dozier strike team etc.

Thanks for the help.
Flash in Fla
11/20 does anyone know of any pvt contractors in north carolina? please get a hold of me at slookout66@hotmail.com
11/20 Reply to Jeremy--

Regarding the Fire Hire application using the "C" form, and to answer your questions:

I believe you put the wrong announcement number by using FSJOBS-01-T004. That is temp. jobs, EXCLUDING fire. The fire jobs are listed as FSJOBS-02-T003. They only cover GS-02, 03, 04, and 05 series. If those are the temp. jobs you are going for, I'd say you need to go through it all again.

I notice while trying to go through it myself, that the website has two different announcements on the same file for T003. On the page www.fs.fed.us/people/employ/asap/index_series.php, if you click on the blue highlighted letters FSJOBS-02-T003 you get last year's announcement which opened 11-15-00, closed

But just below that, if you click on the blue box which says "Download in MSWord format", you get this years announcement (opens 11-5-01, closes 11-30-02).

This process was so confusing last year; we ended up having to submit a paper copy of the form "C" anyway. Then a detailer from the Washington Office called me at home on a Sunday and spent 45 minutes going over all the questions and getting my responses again. She said they had over 1000 more people to contact to get their info. They hoped the process would work better this year.

Yes, the FS did eventually contact me to tell me that I was qualified for a GS-5 job (I'm a GS-9 now.) I was offered one temporary job, 18 pay periods on duty/ 8 off. I didn't give up my permanent full time job for it, even tho I would have liked to work for them. A local dispatch office was interested in my application for a -9 job, but couldn't pick me up because I wasn't referred to them through the ASAP process.

Your best bet for PFT jobs is to watch for the individual announcements and apply to them. Just my advice.

Good luck,

11/20 Ab,

The Minnesota Wildland Firefighters Association is preparing its' Fall newsletter, The Smokechaser Dispatch and encourage anyone interested in employing experienced wildland firefighters next season to submit their names, projected employee needs, and contact information for inclusion as space permits.

This offer is NOT limited to private fire contractors. There is no charge.

Please send to: linscott@rea-alp.com

Also, anyone wishing to receive an e-copy of the Smokechaser Dispatch please email a request to the above address.

Dana Linscott
11/20 Just wanted to say thank you for your website.
Because of you I just received a full time, year round
job with the national park service in California.
Because of you I will be making 3x as much money in
California as I would have made still being a seasonal
here in Montana. Keep up the great website, and once
again THANK YOU!!


These kinds of messages make our day. Now all we have to say is "Are you gonna make us proud?" and "BE SAFE". Ab.

11/19 for the fella looking to fight bush fires down under.

Australia's Bush fires are fought by Brigades. The local area is broken down into districts, and are fought by the Minister of Bush Fires.

We worked with George Drew - Commissioner of bush Fires in Canberra, New South Wales. His office may be of help.

You are going to have a hard time gaining employment in Australia for this simple reason. Australia has the highest rates of volunteerism in the world. When we were there almost everyone is a volunteer fire fighter. They have top notch gear, training, and are rather aggressive.

I wish you luck.


11/19 From Firescribe:

Full Committee Hearing Information Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests Hearing Testimony on the investigative report of the Thirtymile Fire and the prevention of future fire fatalities:


11/19 To the people at Wildlandfire.com,

I was wondering if you could provide me with some assistance concerning the USDA Forest Service online application. I'm really trying to figure it out and so far I have emailed their tech support twice, and have received no reply. You guys have provided me with great help previously, so I figured you might have some experience with this. Here are my questions, I filled out my form C and submitted it, and at the end of the document it asks you to send in a resume as well. I did this on USAjobs.opm.com, but I there was no reference how to submit to the forest service with my application. So my questions are:
1. Do I have to print it out and send it via mail?
2. Does the Forest Service send me a confirmation notice about receiving my application?
3. How do know that they have everything they need from me?

My other concern was this; I heard from your forum "They Said" that Midewin National Prairie was forming a type I team, and I talked to the AFMO and FMO about joining it. THey both told me that the application process was online and as I have already mentioned, I tried to do this. In the Form C application, it asks to select a location preference, which I selected Midewin and others. Does this mean that my application is going to be sent to Midewin?

Finally, the Form C had a couple lines regarding a case number and the only one available was "1004" which it says is non-fire. Does this mean I wasted my time completely filling out an application?

Sorry for throwing this at you, I imagine that it does not make a lot a sense to you. However, I appreciate you taking the time to give me a hand.


11/19 BLM Bob:
Hope you save the old full brim to shed the caca raining upon your silver coiffure. Just imagine the fuss if you'd called us GIRLS.

11/19 Here's a couple shots from a hover entry/exit practice you might like. They are from an Alberta Helitack Support Crew - HS 1.


Nice photos S. I put 'em on the AirborneFF page. Ab.

11/19 Does anyone know where my Jumping Fire book that I got for my birthday went? Someone asked if they could borrow it and I haven't seen it since. While I'm at it, the pressure cooker is missing also. No more Abercrombie's white bean chicken (or turkey) chili until it comes home.


11/18 For those wondering about the status of the FWFSA, its web site has been updated.


11/18 Hey does anyone have info about how to apply, or get info, for wildland jobs in Australia? Do they hire Temp. people as we do here? Do they hire U.S. people on a work visa? I have lots of questions and have always been curious about fighting fire all year long. If anyone has info please get back to me.


11/18 Here's another shot from LA County Oct 12, 2001.


Thanks, I put it on the fire7 page. Ab.

11/18 Hello, i'm a firefighter from Macedo de Cavaleiros, a small vilage in
Portugal. I Wan't to buy a nomex coat, but they are to much expensive, i
wonder if you know anyone who have a old one and if he is interested to send
it to me! I would like to change with you batches and other stuff of fire
fighters, however, in portugal we are far ahead of you, but i'm pleased to
show you how we are!
11/17 Re: women and showers in fire camp.

I find the idea of showers in fire camp intriguing, tell me more. You mean there'll be no more climbing into the crew buggy every third day and heading down to the local high school for a cold shower? I could live with that.

And about women in fire camp, I was kind of overstating that. I know there are women already there - someone has to cook and hand out the sack lunches.

I haven't been really happy since fire shirts went from orange to yellow...


11/17 Sounds like Female Firefighter ought to lighten up a little.
BLMBob made some good points and tried to add a little humor (though not quite politically correct) about women and showers in fire camp. No one really ever wants to go back to the good old days, but those frisco jeans and cotton fireshirts were real comfortable.
11/17 Ab,

I have about 100 pins left. Should someone want any they need to get a
confirmation email from me before sending any money. ihogman@yahoo.com

Unless I get a large amount of requests for pins, these may be the only
ones made, which may make them valuable at some point in time. The pin
manufacturer wants to use the pin in their 2003 catalog as an example of
their work.

There are still a lot of shirts available at the secure web site

I would like to thank you and all who ordered pins and the first
donations should total $1600.

11/17 Female Firefighter:

Jeez, lighten up a little - or at least, stop taking yourself so
seriously. Sometimes a little touch of a sarcastic sense of humor
can drive a point home better than the best prepared argument.
Stick around half as long as BLM Bob has, do your job, & maybe
in a few years you won't be quite so defensive. Not everyone gets
their point across the same way.
With cordial regards,

11/17 OOOOOooooooh Bob!

BAD DOGGY! Bad! I must now stand far away from you to avoid the caca that I'm sure is coming your way...................

11/17 I wonder when the last time was that BLM Bob was in a fire camp.


11/17 For those of you short handed back East. Just got word my crew and other
contract crews are being pulled back together in the anticipation of
heading East. We have sent 2 crews to Kentucky and hope to be filling
more orders as they come in.

Eagerly waiting in Washington.
11/16 Sounds like BLMBob keeps his brain in the same orifice as his "compliance". I fully agree that those making the "rules" should also have experience working "in the trenches". I also think retrogrouch should fine tune his opinion on women in firecamps...some women don't join the fireservice just to get a date...or to get married. Some do a fine job just being FIREFIGHTERS. He must REALLY be retro--women and showers are already at the firecamps.

female firefighter

11/16 Quill,

Hope this helps.

Meanwhile, we are still having fun here in Pa. This is the busiest year I have seen in 18 years. Our prayers are with the Evans family and the Strode family. For those of you here in the East, don't put those leaf blowers away yet!!!!!!

11/16 Hey got a quick question. I just finished up my season as a squad boss for a type 2 contract crew, working on my crew boss task book.I have a season on a F.S. hand crew and 2 seasons on engines with the F.S. and N.P.S. I am looking to find a Perm. F.S. position in R5 on an engine. I know the annoncement will be coming out on Dec. 1. Does anyone have any pointers as to filling out the app. and to which forests will be hiring the most. Any key people to contact that will be doing any hiring? I live in Wa. state now but grew up in central Ca. and wnt to relocate there to work. Any input will help. E-mail me at chadman98922@yahoo.com

Thanks and have a fast and productive winter.

11/16 Re: NFPA standards for wildland "helmets"

Argh! Helmets?!? It's bad enough that the venerable hardhat is being called a helmet, but to find out that the full-brim is no longer "fully compliant" is too much. It makes me want to rant...or cry. The full brim keeps sun and rain off your neck, to say nothing of bark, needles, leaves, and branches when you're thrashing in the puckerbrush. Yeah, I got your compliance right here...

It's hard to believe some of these newfangled standards whipped up by pencil-necks in windowless offices. Guess you have to call me a retrogrouch - I still get pissed off that I can't wear my full-brim metal Bullard any more. What's next, showers and women in firecamp?

Glad it's Friday.

11/16 Jobs page, Series 462 and Series 455 are updated.


11/16 hsfireboss,

It is my understanding that if it meets NFPA, it will pass the other requirements (ANSI & OSHA). NFPA tends to hold equipment to higher standards. But still make sure that the helmet is stamped, if it meets a requirement it will be marked on it.

What you are talking about is the new version of NFPA which covers wildland fire gear. In this standard (98 edition) the weight limit for helmets was reduced from 20 to 18 ounces. In theory making the full brim helmet not compliant, while the cap still met the standard. BUT, NFPA "grandfathers" stuff, and in the very first pages of the 98 edition is says that equipment manufactured to a previous standard will not be held to this editions standards.

But you should still check for yourself and definitely check with you agency, they may have changed their policy.

Oh yeah, I don't have my "big book of NFPA" next to me so my numbers might be off. But that is the gist of the edition.


11/15 This is a link to the Daniel Boone N.F. web page where daily updates are being posted regarding Krs Evans while he's in Kentucky:


Marie Walker
Public Affairs Officer
Daniel Boone National Forest

Thanks very much Marie. And thanks also to DF, a R6 IHC Supt, for the same info. It helps to know there are so many supporters out there. Ab.

11/15 I want to post this information again. Remember there is a fund for Krs and his family to help defray the costs associated with the accident.

Donations can be sent to either:
Krystofer Evans Fund
c/o Placer Sierra Bank
P.O. Box 780
Quincy, CA 95971
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
P.O. Box 3665
Boise, ID 83730


11/15 KPC,
The Crew on my forest comes on in late April. They do so for the 32 hour refresher courses and training for the up coming fire season.

Some of the crews still out there I would guess, is because there seasonals are being paid as an AD due to the 1039 rule.

Waiting in Oregon,
I was looking through the net yesterday and you should see all the orders that are not filled, don't be surprised if you get a phone call soon.

An R-5er

11/15 got a ?
what are the new requirements for wildland helmets?

ansi.? nfpa? osha? weight?

bullard or wildfire or pacific
do i need to purchase new helmets or can i use ones from last year - model 911c bullards?


11/15 Ab and all,

The pins are in, but they are in the shape of a rectangle instead of an outline. Here's a PIN PREVIEW.
I actually like the rectangle shape better. I will be mailing the pins in the morning, because I have to put together and address over 100 packages.

Thanks to ALL


Nice job, Jim, I'll look for mine in the mail. If you have any left over, would you please let us know? Ab.

11/15 This is a pretty basic question that the R5'ers can probably help me out with.
I was a little surprised that there were still some hot shot crews still working. I worked on a shot crew in the SW and we typically come on beginning of April and finish up the end of Sept. When did these R5 crews come on? Is it typical for them to go this late?

On our crew we used Ruffian (sp) packs and i believe they were custom made. We had a pouch for a hydrocell but it did not take away space from the internal compartment. IT fit in just above the main compartment. The pack hangs low and I really liked having it.


11/15 I took a look at the "6 Minutes for Safety, Today's Discussion" for Nov. 15th. It was called "Establish Positions for Safety (formerly LCES)". Are they changing LCES? and when were they going to share it with the troops? Does anyone have any info?

I sure didn't see anything on the site that explained why this is "formerly LCES". Communication is a key ingredient in safety - and something is not being communicated.

Firefighter Jane

Ab note: You can find a link to 6 Minutes for Safety on the Links Page under safety.

11/15 Ab, here are some photos from this summer:

The Orosco Fire: First Engine on Orosco ridge Engine 36 next to Water Tender 4 and Engine 48.

Hoopa Burnout pictures 1 and 2: A burnout on the Hoopa Indian Reservation (Northern Calfornia).

Crew pic: This pic was taken at 3:30 am. We were returning to our Cleveland NF station from the Orosco Fire (Ramona CA).


I put them on the Fire7 and Crew3 pages. This Ab likes the crew photo.

11/15 Ab and all,

In regards to resources, I can tell you that in Kentucky we would be in sad shape if it wasn't for the BIA and SRV crews we have here. I think the last of the Shot Crews are demobing from our area today. It's times like this that we all knew the 1039 rule would hurt us when it was implemented.

Also, the helicopter pilot involved in the crash was released from the hospital with a broken wrist, a laceration on his leg and bumps and bruises.

I don't understand what's going on with NICC. The fatality in Tennessee has never been mentioned on the Sit Report. Is it because he was a State employee? Since when did we stop acknowledging such an event?

There's still no sign of rain out here in the near future. Looks like there's going to be plenty of work for those that are available for weeks to come.

Be safe,
Ol' Dawg

11/15 TiredofitinPa.

I wonder when they will call crews from Oregon. Iv'e been watching the situation but no call to go or I'd be there as well as my crew.

Wating in Oregon

11/14 Hey folks--

Hope November is finding all of you well...
A couple gear questions:

1) Are Nomex flight-gloves of the type military pilots use approved for line use? Since I'm not doing a lot of heavy lifting, but am doing a lot of writing, I need some gloves with some dexerity built into them, and the standard-issue leather gloves just aren't cutting it. I've been looking into options, but I want to find one that won't get a wandering safety officer into a lather.

2) I'm thinking of upgrading my linepack, and I'm wondering if anyone knows of a lumbar-style pack that has attachments for CamelBak/hydrocell so it can go between the pack and the web gear? There's a guy who modifies The Pack Shack packs to do that (used it this year) but I want something that hangs lower. The problem I'm running into is that most of the new packs being designed have internal pouches for hydrocells, which takes away the internal space in the bag.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Take care and be careful.
The Quill.

11/14 STILL tiredofitinpa,

In Region 5 we are losing the contracts of our helicopters right now, seasonals are being laid off (1039 hours), hotshot crews are being disbanded and we just got almost three inches of rain the other day.

Fire season in most of the Regions is over, and the personnel are not there like they are during our regular fire season. I'm sure you will start to see more personnel coming to your fires. Don't give up hope, there are plenty of people out there willing to come and help out with the fires back there.

An R-5er

11/14 Greetings to All,

As you are all aware, many fires are burning here in the Keystone State, as well as MD., WV., KY., and TN. I have heard and seen numurous radio and TV reports asking why some of these fires continue to burn and why there is'nt more manpower on these fires. Can anyone from PA (DCNR type) shed any light on these facts ? At least in this forum you can give an honest answer and not be worried about who you might "tick off"! I know of one fire that is still very active where one FF. and two tankers were left overnite to "tend the fire" because of lack of resources. Does'nt the Commonwealth have the manpower for this or is it the same story again ? It would seem to me that with all the overtime to be made, our boys in green would be out there watching everyone else work as long as they could stand sitting in their Blazers!

STILL tiredofitinpa

11/14 NorCalTom

The U.S. Fire Administration has received notice of the following firefighter fatality:

Name: Harold Strode
Rank: Firefighter
Age: 46
Status: Career
Years of Service: 3
Date of Incident: 11/10/2001
Date of Death: 11/10/2001
Fire Department: Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture Division of Forestry
Fire Department Address: Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture, P.O. Box 40627, Nashville, TN 37204
Fire Department Phone: (615) 837-5103
Fire Department Chief: Commissioner of Agriculture Dan Wheeler
Cause of Death: While working a wildland fireline, Firefighter Strode was killed when he was overcome by a firestorm in the densely wooded and steep terrain of the Upper Cumberland Region of Tennessee.
Funeral: 11/13/2001, Celina, TN

Tribute is being paid to Firefighter Strode at: www.usfa.fema.gov/ffmem/

Also I understand the helicopter that went down in KY was a Bell 407 and the USFS has grounded the 407's until they can look at the tail rotors. The pilot received a broken leg and arm.


Thanks, Jim. Ab.

11/14 Here's a nice little online article that mentions Rx burn on the Lassen. Prescribed burning is not so exciting (usually) as wildfire. I have wondered how to bring it more to the consciousness of the Public and what points about it matter most. (Nice job Mike.)

Some R5guy asked about budget in light of 9/11 a while back. As far as I can find out, there has been no directive on having to hire people by a certain deadline other than regular hiring deadlines. R5 NFMAS is being crunched as Ab posts this. Budgets are still being planned based on what Congress promised fire --> to reach MEL over a 3 year period. We're in year 2. I'd just say carry on. (The President agrees with me.)

Still no word on jobs being covered by ASAP, AVIEW or some regional plan. I need to check around to see if the hiring method has been decided. If you look at the jobs page, you'll see that most jobs (beyond FF1) close in Nov or early Dec. Hopefully a new round of hiring will begin then. Inquiries to the jobs page are picking up.


11/14 There is still no announcement of the TN firefighter's death on the sit report. You would think there had been time for Boise to receive the PMS 405-1 even if it went by pony express.


09/13 Readers,

I have added a clickthrough box to Amazon.com on the Books page. If you are beginning to think about shopping for the holidays and might purchase something from Amazon.com, please do it by entering Amazon from the clickthrough box on our website. We receive a small commission on each sale of books, computers, software, cameras, etc - anything that Amazon sells. We Abs have used Amazon with great success after comparison shopping on the net. If anyone has reviews for books offered on our Books page that have not yet been reviewed, send them in. We'll put 'em up.

On another note, the Jobs page, Series 462 and Series 455 are updated.


09/13 The Moose Fire photos are from the cd that was created by the various overhead teams during their time on the Moose fire. The camp was located in Columbia Falls and the fire reached a final ac. of 71,000, burning State, Private, Forest Service and Glacier National Park lands. Fire was actively burning for over 6 weeks with varied intensity. There were 4 big runs during the life of the fire with the largest being approx. 10,000 ac. in one afternoon.


Thanks for the info TMN. I added it to the photo description page. Ab.

11/13 Paul--

Here is the website that has more 30-mi photos.

You can look at "GALLERY 1" and then go to the "CLICK FOR ORIGINAL PICTURE FORMAT" (for downloading and printing). You can click on any of the photo titles with blue underlines and collect a complete set. You can also send anyone to the website to view the photos - perhaps better than a CD. If you need to make a CD, as Ab said, once you have each large photo on your computer, you can right click and choose "save image as" until you have them all. These photos are public domain and can be used for non-profit purposes. Please give credit to the photographers.

Condolences and best wishes to family and friends of dead and injured firefighters in TN.
Be Safe, All.

11/12 Ab, IA Dispatcher

Details are still very scarce on this incident. There is an AP release "Tenn. Blazes Under Control" from 11/12 that states:

"Six fireman were trying to cut a fire line on a ridge around 2pm Saturday in Overton County when the 'fire ignited up into the trees and created a firestorm', Tennessee Department of Agriculture spokesman Tom Womack said. The fire killed Harold Strode, 46."
That's all that was said. No one has been able to get anymore details.

Also there was a helicopter crash in Kentucky today during bucket operations. The pilot is in a local hospital and it appears he will be fine after recovering from minor injuries. It appears that some local ranchers caught the whole thing on video.

Ol' Tired Dawg

11/12 Here is what I know. This information came to me through my Agency. It is preliminary, but from a reliable source. I recieved this information yesterday, but was reluctant to share it, since I do not work for the Agency involved and felt it would show up on the SACC or NIFC reports

A fire fatality occured on the Cookeville District of the Tennessee Dept of Forestry. The fatality occurred on Saturday 11-10-01 at about 1800. The individual was an employee of the State agency. A 6 man crew was forced into safety zones because of intense fire behavior in mountainous terrain. 4 made it to a safety zone, 2 did not. One died, the other recieved burn injuries.


11/12 here's some info on the fire fighter that died in Tenn. our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those lost....

Dennis R5


11/12 A Tennesee newspaper, the TENNESSEAN, has information about the firefighter fatality in that state. It's entitled "Wildfire flare-up kills firefighter" and is by CARLY HARRINGTON. For the full story, the web site is

http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/01/11/10475322.shtml?Element_ID=104 75322

but newspaper article web sites sometimes last only a few days, so some of the text from the site is pasted here:

"Fire crews were expected to work through the night trying to contain a wildfire in eastern Overton County that has burned more than 600 acres over the past three days and claimed the life of a firefighter.

The fire, which started Friday, had been contained, but it raged anew Saturday afternoon after it rose into a canopy of trees and created a firestorm, Tom Womack, spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, said yesterday.

Six firefighters, who were working a fire line on foot, were near the unexpected blaze when it flared up. Harold Strode, 46, of Celina was killed. Five others were able to make it to safety, Womack said."


This article is the same as the one linked to in the next post. Ab.

11/12 Hi All,

I found this link from the daily newspaper in Nashville. Perhaps the Intelligence Desk at NICC hasn't yet received the PMS 405-1 yet, thus explaining the absence from the sitrep.



11/12 S-290 Intermediate Fire Behavior CD ROM

35.00 including shipping


11/12 Paul

You want a copy of the Hero Song performed by Cheryl Purcell and Jessica Dean. Suggest you contact the Naches Ranger District in Naches WA.

There is no other related information on the program. I keep a copy of the program on the wall of my office.


11/12 The Fallen Firefighter Memorial service held in Olympia (WA) last month is actually an annual event held at the State Capitol, sponsored by the Washington State Firefighters' Assn, with the cooperation of the Washington State Chief's Assn and the Washington State Council of Firefighters/IAFF. DNR has always participated with apparatus and personnel because the local unit's FMO feels strongly that we are one firefighting family, no matter if the fuel type is Red Slash or red brick house. Record numbers attended this year, and it was nice to see the guys in the blue turn out in such abundance to remember the guys and gals in green.

-Engine Dog

11/12 We hear all the talk about Kentucky burning. Three years ago I was in Kentucky with a crew from NJ State. When we were told we were heading to Kentucky, we all looked a little goofy. When we arrived in Kentucky later that evening we rested and went to work the next day. We got assigned to the Stanton Ranger District and were the only crew for the District. We started out jumping from fire to fire with a lot of hotline work. We didn't have time to rest relax or get hurt because we were the only resource in the District. We luckily hooked up with USFS Kim Wright and he kinda latched on to us. We spent many days eating smoke together and we earned a lot of respect for one another. We spent nights stuck up on a ridge eating smoke from burning out. At the end of our tour with only days left, we went to the Boone Hutt fire. The only resource still assigned to the area, we worked on securing a line with falling trail clearing and burning. The weather was just right. Spotters were in place. Mid afternoon the wind picked up, the fire intensified rapidly and spotters notified the crew of the intensifying fire. As we cleared our crew to safety zones, our spotters were being put in danger by the fire behavior. One spotter was stuck on a ledge as our crew boss made his way to him to ensure his safety. The crew boss met the spotter and they had no way back. Luckily for them they found a rock ledge and bunkered down. If not for a crew working together and for the coordination of Kim Wright and other members of the fire fighting crew, we could have lost our own. We have a lot of respect for Kentucky and for those we worked with.

Keep a headsup down south.
We are keeping watch in the North east with no rain in the forecast.
Lets all go home safe.


11/12 Anyone:

Does anyone have ANY information about the entrapment/burnover in TN on Sat? Rummors indicate there was a fatality and two in the hospital. Any information would be great. Thanks

"Concerned IA dispatcher"

11/12 Ab,

I am sorry to report another line fatality. The details are sketchy at this point but it happened in Tennessee 11/10 or 11/11. Initial reports state that there were 3 firefighters involved in a blow-up in a canyon. Two escaped with minor injuries a third was killed. It is unknown at my location whether or not shelters were deployed or what type of crew this was.

Ol' Fire Dawg

Nothing on the sit reports about it. Ab.

11/12 Hello all , while fire season has come to an end for the most part here in R-5 I feel that I need to explain my self for the last e-mail. I apologize for climbing on the horse, but after working for a ranger who happened to be an exceptional firefighter I felt compelled to defend him. I personally have great respect for this man who dedicated 30 years of his life to the wildland community and continues to mentor me me after my 15. I wish to thank all of the firefighters who worked so hard this summer and to say that I appreciate all that you do.

Brush monkey

11/12 This is just FYI for the readers ...

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Rumors of War (National Firefighters Day)

Probably lots of you have seen the email petition to establish a "national firefighters day." At least a half dozen versions of it have come to me in the last month or two. sheeeeesh. Here's an urban legends-rumors page that deals with it.


11/11 I was a employed by the USFS this summer, and was a member of the Naches, RD Initial Attack Fire Crew. I was not at the Thirty Mile Fire, but many of my co-workers were. I have seen the 30-mi photographs before, and have asked the management to burn a copy of the CD for me. Thus, I can burn copies and distribute them to the rest of the IA crew. However, this has not happened. I would like to know, if you could send my a CD containing these photo graphs.

Furthermore, at the funerals a tribute song was played, I know it was a local artist (up in the Winthrop, area), I would like to find a copy.

Thank you very much,

Paul, click the thumbnail photo to get the large image. You can download copies of the photos by right-clicking on your mouse and choosing "save image as" to your hard drive. Ab.

11/11 Hi All,

I am looking for the standard stocking level that BLM uses for their water tenders in R-5, type's 1, 2 and 3 . Any website link or further info would be greatly appreciated. I've scoured the web and found Engine stocking levels but nothing for tenders.. Thanks

Just a Driver

11/11 Hi,

I am from Northeastern PA, I'm a volunteer structural firefighter and part-time wildland firefighter on a local crew. Attached is a picture of our deuce and two of our State forestry five-ton units. Please post them on your site as you see fit.


Thanks Joseph, I put them up on the Engines3 Page. Ab.

11/11 three Oregon crews en route to Kentucky from Redmond today. they are contract crews. sounds like Oregon is making great strides with the contract world.


11/11 Al,

One of our captains is going to Oregon next week to have meeting on the hiring process this coming fire season. Those same subjects that you have brought up will be discussed in the meeting. We have gotten mail this past week about ASAP hiring in December and first round hiring ending in Jan..

Hopefully he will be coming back with some definite answers for us all. When I get some info I will let you know.

Brush monkey, I agree with you a hundred percent.

in theAn R-5er

11/10 AB,

Krs, the Plumas Hotshot came through surgery yesterday well. Again I'll leave it up to you to edit as you see fit. His spinal cord is not severed but it is extremely damaged. The doctors said that had he not been in the physical shape he was in, this incident would have killed him on the spot.

JD, it was the region that requested that the crew come home. As I understand it this wasn't the best thing for the morale of the crew...but there had been pressure from their families. A tough call at best.

Take care folks, it looks like it might be Thanksgiving in Kentucky for some of us this year.

Ol' Fire Dawg

11/10 Hey ab

Just thought I would make a comment about the remarks involving the national guard helicopters. Most of the firefighters here in R5 very much appreciate the help of the boys in green. When the area has been depleted of aircraft and the boys and girls on the ground are requesting resourses the army national guard has always stepped up to the plate and offered their assistance, and by my personal experience is very appreciated. Having worked with a ranger and fought fire with the same man on many occasions I can only say that the boys in green earn our respect for far more than their ability to keep us safe at home.

Brush Monkey

11/10 Does anyone know?

Has the FS WO decided yet whether hiring will be done nationally or regionally and whether ASAP or AVIEW is going to be the program? Do we have any idea what funding might be?


The new FS listing for temp firefighter jobs that is on the jobs page lists ASAP as the contact. Anyone know more? Ab.

11/09 Thanks for keeping us posted on the condition of the Plumas hotshot. It is good to know that the folks at Daniel Boone NF are taking such good care of his family and those who stayed behind to support them.

My understanding is that the rest of the Plumas hotshots were ordered back to CA shortly after the accident. They had been in KY barely a week. Is this usual protocol after such an incident? I'm sure it must have been difficult to leave their severely injured "brother" behind.


11/09 The Jobs page, Series 462 and Series 455 are updated thanks to the jobs fairie. Ab.
11/09 Thanks Ab,

Also thought you might want folks to know that his parents are here in Kentucky and are working with the prevention team to release some Public Service Announcements in the area. They want arsonists to realize the damage results of their actions are not always limited to the forest itself. I also want to pass on how impressed I have been with the Daniel Boone's handling of this incident. They have taken extemely good care of the family and crew members who have stayed behind to be with Krs. This is a Forest with alot of heart. It is good to see as it seems to be something that is becoming too rare in our forests out west as we become wrapped up in technicalities and legalities. Ab, I'll let you clean this up for they said. The ol' sleep deprivation has got me rambling! Take care!

Ol' Fire Dawg

No cleanup needed. Thanks for the info. Ab.

11/09 Mellie,

Jason appears to being doing OK, about a month ago the Washington State Chiefs Association along with DNR, USFS and many others had a memoral service for our fallen bretheren. Departments from all over the State sent engines and crews. Jason was on the Wenatchee NF Engine.


11/08 Krs is scheduled for surgery on Friday @ 0730. They expect it to last 6 hours+/-. They will fuse his T4 through T9 vertabrae. HE has been heavily sedated for the past couple days to make him more comfortable. He also has fractured ribs (extensive) and clavical. His parents are with him as well as some members of the crew.

I'm sure your prayers are welcome.
The WIldland Firefighter Foundation has sent a check to assist the family. Donations can also sent to a fund set up @ Placer Sierra Bank -PO Box 780 - Quincy, CA 97591

We'll try to keep you informed.


11/08 My best wishes to Krs and his family and crew.

Does anyone know how Jason Emhoff is doing? I think of him often and hope he is recovering.


11/08 I just got my paper work to join the FWFSA, I also read their new web site about the mission of the FWFSA. To me after reading what they want to do and the goals they have for the employees of the forest service, I can see why the Union we have on our forest is so weak.

This organization is fighting for some good issues. Good luck FWFSA, and I will be a proud member and will be spreading the word of getting more members.

On another note, my prayers are with the family of the Plumas IHC Crewmember. If anyone has any new info on the his status (if he had surgery or not) it would be greatly appreciated.

An R-5er

11/08 Thanks for the info on the hurt Plumas sawyer. It's amazing how quickly this group can come up with valuable information. Even though it turns out I don't know Krys, I sent him a card. I hope he's doing well and that his family and friends are helping him be strong. Ol Fire Dawg, JH, or anyone else, if you have any updates, please let me know.


11/07 Hey Ab,

My name is Shawn and I am on the Cumberland Gap Fire Use Module with the National Park Service. In addition to my wildland fire management background, I am a structural firefighter and heavy rescue technician with the Bellport Fire Dept. on Long Island, NY. Just wanted to send in a couple of pictures I took while working the rescue and recovery operation at the World Trade Center.

Let us not forget the sacrifices the FDNY made on 9/11 and the sacrifices they continue to make as they go back to the site their brothers lost their lives. I grew up around the FDNY and the bravery they have shown is amazing. While everybody was running out, they were running in.

If anybody can, please go to a funeral service of any of the fallen firefighters, EMS, police etc. I have gone to a couple and the support the grieving family feels when 100 or so firefighters, police etc. are in uniform lined up, is obvious. I met fire service personal from all over the US at these services.

Well, have a safe fire season of 2002.

Firematically yours,

Cumberland Gap Fire Use Module

Welcome, and thanks for the photos, Shawn. I posted them on the NY World Trade Center page. Ab.

11/07 To all the ABs out there,

How can I express my Thanks To your Great work keeping all of us informed about our Firefighting world and giving us a communication tool that is truly 1st class?... This season you even included a new area in your site so that our families can pass on information and get questions answered when were not at home to answer them. I know IM not the first to express my thanks, but I hope all of us out there will continue to pass on our gratitude. Fire season is over now in Nor-Cal so you won't be hearing much from me while I return to the battle of Structure fires, Medical Aids and my Per-diem Paramedic job.

So for this season, THANK YOU, and never forget our Brothers and Sisters that gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect us from harm.


Thanks Dan. Stay tuned in. We Abs do work at this, day-in-and-day-out. We appreciate your thanks. But you all - our community, with all your dialog and venting, questions and answers - you're the ones that make theysaid a success. Here's to all of you, too! <clink> <CLINK> Rest assured, none of us will forget those who have died or were injured. We continue to hold those who are recovering in our thoughts. Ab.

11/07 Hi Ab,

NJ crew are keeping busy. We haven't had any substantial rain in weeks the leaves have fallen and now we are burning. We have had extreme fire weather warm windy days. No major fires yet but the little ones are keeping everyone on their toes. We cant believe how dry it is this fall. Well take care.


11/06 In response to the request for photos of the Moose Fire, here are some nice ones of flames and plume sent in by TMN. (Too bad, no air tanker photos.) I don't have any info on that fire other than the date on the photo 08/31 and knowing it was in Montana, in or near Glacier National Park. Does anyone have more info we can add to the description page?


11/06 Hi Ab,

My name is Aaron and I am a member of the Rio Bravo Hotshots. We are a twenty man type one hotshot crew based out of Lake Isabella, California. We are a mix of three full time kern county fire fighters and seventeen seasonal firefighters. We are a nationally recognized hotshot crew and can travel out of state. I am giving you this info because on your web page last spring you seemed to be uncertain about us.

Kern county also has a helitack crew (408) based out of Keene at station 11, a typed two crew based out of Lebec, and a fuels crew based out of Bear Valley.

Our crew has a webpage that is under construction www.co.kern.ca.us/fire/rbhs/rbhs.php. It should be able to answer any of your questions when it's done. We also have a logo. I'll see if I can scan and send it to you in the near future.

Please add this info to the mix on theysaid.


Hi Aaron. Welcome to the site. We look forward to adding your logo. Ab.


The Jobs page, Series 462 and Series 455 are updated.


11/06 Dear R4Heli-
One thing I will agree with you on is that the Military crews could use more training. Unlike you, they have their plates full training for Combat Missions, Civil Unrest Assistance, Natural Disaster Relief and many other things. Usually at the outset of a fire season, they are a little rusty with their aim, because they don't do it every day. I would not expect them to be any other way. But, it usually doesn't take long before they hit the mark each time. Do yourself a favor, take a couple of minutes one day and fly a drop or two with them and you will see that the "Hawk" is not a Huey or Jet Ranger. It takes two hands to handle a whopper (as the commercial used to say) and a full crew to keep it going. But remember this, if they weren't there when you call for assets, you would get nothing and you would really be whining then. You would be complaining about how everyone is endangering your life by not supplying assets. I don't know what you do in the "Heli" world, but don't step on people till you've walked in their shoes and ever tell me to listen up!!!

To CA in KY,
Oh yea, I almost forgot about you. Oops, wait a minute my chest is getting in the way. Ok, there thats better. Just how many crews (you forgot the "s" on the end of crew in your first message. Anything with more than one requires an "s".) does it take to sharpen that axe/hoe lookin tool. HeHeHaHa.


11/06 I.A. Dispatcher

I hope I am outta line from your perspective. I ain't disrespectin' judgin' or criticizin' the helo crew- Just commenting on KY terrain... And then -if ya read my words - I was just tweakin' the "Ranger" a bit. He and you sound so high horse and righteous and PC, makes me a little chuckie and I can't resist pokin' both your pontificatin' chests.

So there!
CA firefighter not much longer in KY

11/05 To "CA firefighter still in KY" and "R4Heli",

You are both out of line. Those helicopter crews deserve our utmost respect! Regardless of how you think they performed on an incident, I'd be willing to wager that neither one of you would volunteer to give up the resource once it was on your incident. Aviation positions are not the easiest to fill and these folks not only volunteer at times, but often times do not have a choice about what assignments they are told to respond to. Yet, they keep right on performing their duties while all you can do is judge and criticize. Shame on you!

"Ranger", you and the rest of our military personnel (regardless of which branch they serve in) have my respect. As far as I'm concerned, you folks are always welcome (and appreciated) on fires in Region 1!

- I.A. Dispatcher

11/05 ab, please post the pertinent info.
THanks, JH

Krstofer Evans, the Plumas hotshot hit by the snag in Kentucky, is still in serious condition. He is still on a respirator and the doctors are evaluating surgery on Wednesday. His parents are currently back there with him as are a couple of the hotshots we left behind. The crew will be home this evening.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation (www.wffoundation.org) is sending a check today to assist the Evans with some of their expenses. An account has also set up in Quincy at a local bank to assist the Evans.

Donations can be sent to either:
Krystofer Evans Fund
c/o Placer Sierra Bank
P.O. Box 780
Quincy, CA 95971
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
P.O. Box 3665
Boise, ID 83730

Cards can be sent to:
Krs Evans - 2nd floor ICU
AB Chandler Medical Center
University of Kentucky-Hospital
Lexington, KY 40536-0293

Our thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery are with him and his family. Ab.

11/05 Ranger:

Lighten up! Otherwise you might start getting comments from firefighters on the "accuracy" of Guard Blackhawks working fires! (and it ain't good!).


11/05 One Who Has Read It, Joe, et al:

I�ve read the old union board, but I don�t see much of the attitudes exhibited there reflected in the work place. As long as there are employers and employees however, there will be dissatisfied workers.

CDF is on the verge of some major changes, including a few that may impact folks looking for a career in the agency. First, the classification of BC is about to become a rank and file classification meaning they get union representation. In return for the added membership, the union will pledge not to oppose the removal of automatic rehire rights for seasonal Engineer (Preferred Limited Term list) or the establishment of an open list for Fire Captain. I haven�t seen the minimum quals for the Captain list, but I believe JAC participation is part of the package. Rumor also has it that the Federal JAC time might be helpful.

The other big change involves our pay structure. Currently during fire season (or at a county funded all year fire station), an Engineer or Captain is paid a regular wage for the first 53 hours of the workweek and a �half time� rate for the next 19 hours (72 hour work week). If the new contract goes through, starting in the 2003, the half time wage starts climbing toward time and a half based on a 56-hour workweek. At the end of five years everybody will be on a year round 72-hour workweek that includes 19 hours of time and a half each week. For a Captain, this means about a 35% raise over 5 years with a substantial increase in the time and a half rate after 72 hours.

Changes such as these are causing a lot of uncertainty. Rumors are circulating that the Department will hire a third shift and everyone will be placed on a 56 hour work week and lose the raise. The huge hire that would be required will be facilitated by the open Captain list. Some folks also think that since a number of employees (especially paramedics) are going to municipal departments, waiting 5 years for the full effect of the raise is too long. This has proved the breeding ground for some of the dissension you have seen.

All of this aside CDF is still a great job, especially for a seasonal Fire Fighter. The hours are long, but the pay isn�t bad and there is usually quite a bit of action. In Joe�s case, the Department probably represents the best option available for someone who wants both structural and wildland Fire Fighting challenges. Once your permanent the options run the gamut from ladder trucks to hand crews. If you want the best of both worlds, our agency probably offers the best choice.

I�ve worked for BLM and USFS. Both employers had excellent attributes and I worked with a lot outstanding people. I wouldn�t trade where I am now however, with any of them.


11/05 Ranger, very serious aren't we?

I guess it's good I didn't ask "How many National Guard crew does it take to sharpen a pulaski -- or screw in a light bulb?"

CA firefighter still in KY

11/05 Ab and All

The NY-Pentagon memorial pins should be shipped to me this week. I am waiting for a confirmation email from the supplier.

A few comments from shirt buyers.

"We did receive the shirts and they look great. Already worn them to work...on a casual day...and received only positive comments."

"Yes, I did get them and I they are nice. Do you have any of the pins that match the shirts?"


11/05 Just a note on the number of crewmembers in the Guard Helicopters. I spent 22 years in the US ARMY and we don't call them Helos. They are Helicopters or Choppers. Helos is a NAVY term. When I retired, I was a Platoon Sergeant in an Air Assault company. We had a total of 8 Blackhawks in the company. All of our Hawks had four crewmembers all the time. We had a Pilot, Co-Pilot, Crewchief, and a Flight Engineer. To the writer in "They Said", what do you judge your definition of "Steep Terrain" by. These flight crews train in all terrains, mountains, deserts, etc.. I am sure they know what steep terrain is. Check out the safety record of the unit involved, and I am sure you will see they are making the right decisions as far as their flight and crewmember regulations. Remember that these crews volunteer for these missions because they care about their communities and state. Before its all over, these same crews may be dropping troops behind the lines in Afghanistan. When you see or meet them, remember what they do and what they might be called on to do. They deserve our highest respect.

I also read the News report on the Foreign student charged with arson after burning our flag and starting a Forest Fire. Far as I am concerned, he should have burned in place. Personally to me, burning our flag and at the same time starting a Forest Fire is an act of terrorism and he should be tried as a terrorist. It is always been amazing to me that certain groups within the US would run to the forefront (for the publicity I am sure) to protect these kind of people. It's amazing how the rats come out of the nest when the media is near. It's groups like these that allow things like September 11th to happen. They have no respect from me.


11/04 Ab,

The firefighter hurt in Kentucky is a member of the Plumas IHC crew. He is in Intensive Care Unit here in Kentucky. He was seriously injured when a hardwood snag hit him from behind while he was falling another tree. His injuries are serious and may be long term. (Please forward the the more detailed info to AD if that's appropriate.)

The season's not over yet folks. Let's keep him in our thoughts and prayers and be careful out there.

Ol Fire Dawg

11/03 Here's some info for AD, but not the status of the CA firefighter who I've heard is a Shot:

Six CA IHCs are on the Daniel Boone NF fires: the Tahoe, Redding, Plumas, Klamath, and Eldorado, some type 1 (Training) and some type 2 crews. Here's a small pdf file of all the crews that are in the Southern Area or are committed to the fires:

Kearney's Southern Area Blue Team (Type 2) is on the incident. To go to their team website click HERE.

Here's a link to the long list of Redbird Fall Complex of fires including acerage and status on the Daniel Boone National Forest:
Redbird Fall Complex

This Forest has warnings to watch out for falling southern pine beetle-infested snags - and those warnings were up before the fire. Please everyone be safe.

For more info the Daniel Boone National Forest (Winchester, KY) phone number: 859-745-3100
fire website: www.southernregion.fs.fed.us/boone/


11/03 One who has read it,

The CDF Firefighters forum is crap. Most of the folks that post there are poor employees looking for a fight. In my opinion many of the posters are seasonal firefighters that feel CDF owes them something. Many of the members that post in an attempt to get a serious dialog going about issues facing the dept. are shouted down by the ill mannered rabble that seems to haunt that forum.

Joe, don't let the forum put you off CDF, there are more of us that love our jobs and would not trade CDF for any other Dept then those who don't know a good thing when they have it.

Captain Emmett

11/03 Fires are burning here in eastern KY near places like Manchester and Hazard and and also in southern WV in places like War and Yukon and English. Sounds strange to my CA ears. This part of KY has 48 fires that have already burned almost 14,000 acres mostly in the Daniel Boon National Forest. They think 40 fires here were arson.

The KY Army National Guard have brought in Blackhawk Helos with bambi buckets. These Nat Guards help with Rx burns every year. They say it takes 4 people on each Blackhawk to accomplish the drops because "the terrain is so steep". (...that is... steep by their standards...)

Where ever you are fighting fire, be safe.
CA firefighter among the "good old boys" in KY

11/03 For "One who has read it"

The discussion board site you are refering to evolved because the union web site established a discussion board that was for members only and required an ID to log in and post. Many felt it was heavy handed and monitored by CDF Management. Some believe that job related activities by management monitoring the site were being carried out as a result of some posts from an earlier site that had existed prior.

The site in question I believe does not represent the majority view of CDFer's. The content of the posts by a few will probably result in its demise, just as the other. I wouldn't post the address of it out of sheer embarrassment and disgust.

There are many in CDF (myself included) who are unhappy with the latest contract offer (5 years), but feel with the economic condition of the state of California leaves us no choice but to vote for it.

CDF has been at a cross roads for sometime now, struggling for an identity. Many parallels can be drawn with the USFS in Region 5, the struggles of the ground troops view of the mission vs the WO view. CDF is run by resource management who, along with the state "control" agencies (most notably Dept of Finance) are in conflict with the men and women on the front lines of fire control as to just what CDF is as a department and what kind of services it should not only provide, but more importantly what it should be funded for (all risk-all year).

Another CDF BC

11/03 I'm seeking info about the CA firefighter who is in serious condition in KY. Reports say he was fighting fire in the Daniel Boon National Forest and was hurt Wednesday evening when a falling tree hit him in the head and shoulder.


11/03 Joe, before you think of going to work for CDF, you should find someone with access and read the CDF forum. There are a lot of unhappy folks making very ugly and personal stabs at their peers. CDFBCs, have you read the forum? Is such ongoing grossness the norm? Does it permeate your job sites?

One Who Has Read It

11/03 A friend who was at Ground Zero in the early days said the scene was out of control then with too many rescuers amidst the equipment and too many tired firefighters onsite. He was worried then about accidental deaths. I can see the FDNY firefighters' desire to bring out the bros. I'm glad that cool heads in charge are making steps to keep Firefighters safe.

Stay safe. We need no more deaths.

11/03 Ground Zero Change Angers Firefighters



11/02 MGB,

I heard the CDF Academies are still scheduled.

Red Engine

11/02 There's a FDNY Memorial in NYC on Nov 18, 11AM -1PM at Madison Square Garden. You can find the info at www.iaff.org. This is supposed to be the largest gathering of firefighters in history.

Does anyone know if the Forest Service Honor Guard will represent us. Out of curiosity, do CDF and other state fire organizations have Honor Guards and are they going?


11/02 Purdy Fire, Werner Peak, Moose Fire tanker pics wanted...

I was on the Purdy Fire near Bozeman, MT in September and was wondering if anyone got any good pictures of Tanker 09 (a Lockheed Neptune) dropping. I am the copilot for this Tanker and my Captain and I are always in search of a good picture of us on a drop. (We have little to none to show our families.) We are willing to pay. PLEASE contact me at: "email link removed"

Thanks for a great job out there everyone!
PS Great site Ab!


11/02 CDF BC

You're more than welcome brother! Pretty amazing that we're shutting the door this week ain't it?

Another CDF BC

11/02 The Jobs page, Series 462 and 455 are updated.
11/01 ab thanks for this site,

I know that the ABS out there do this out of pocket and on their own time. Was wondering how large is the site? any statistics, Hits - MGB. Just wondering.

be safe all,

I'm pleased to say that in August we surpassed 105,000 unique hits. September and October have been closer to 90,000 apice. Including repeated hits in a day, the number is 1/6 higher. Some of you just can't stay away! We have somthing like 85 MB on the server, the site-map covers most contents.

Thanks for the thanks, Eric. Although intrinsically rewarding, providing wildlandfire.com which is now a "service" can sometimes be wearing. The benefits as well as the ongoing costs and responsibilities are similar to those of having a kid. In this case, our "kid" is the extended wildland fire community.

  • On the one hand, we have the inherent delight in watching the "kid" grow and gain professional internet recognition. We like providing the wildland firefighters' forum with its dedication to free speech that's not available anywhere else. We enjoy the feeling that that our efforts make a difference in firefighter safety and public perception.
  • On the other hand, there are expenses, difficulties, and the personal Ab wear-and-tear of never having time off, just as with a kid. Every day, 365 days a year, we have to find time and arrange computer connections to post theysaid at multiple times, no matter from where in the USA. Can't do that easily from the wilderness. Even at home sometimes a storm knocks out the system. We also must find time to keep the other pages and links current - including putting up photos, replying to those who want to use photos, who ask job-related questions. We occasionally have to research the really off-the-wall e-mails. And we're always trying to anticipate and create what the fire community might want next.
Doing this is a full-time commitment. We think our vision is worthy.


11/01 Hi RM & CJ

I did indeed visit the INSUITE site but was unable to download because of an internal computer problem. I'll look for a CD and take it from there. Thanks for the information.


11/01 Joe,

What you should is go to school and get your paramedic license. While you're going through school in the winter time, you can go to work for the forest nearest you to get fire experience for your new career in the fire service. With the paramedic cert. and the fire experience you would get with the forest service, your chances are going to be real good getting picked up with a city or county dept.

If you need more info just write back and you will get alot from the helpful people on this web page. Good luck with everything.

an R-5er

11/01 Thanks, Another CDF BC, I stand corrected. Even though I share my office with a Forestry Equipment Manager, I had forgotton the forestry heritage that the department so often tries to hide. While we're at it, to answer MGB's question below, whats going on with the hiring freeze?

Joe, I'm not sure what state you're in, but CDF looks for a mix of wildland and structural fire fighting for their new seasonals. No hotshots or smoke jumpers, but we do have helitack and 3" hose on the rigs. Give me an Email address if you're interested and I'll send the hiring specs.


11/01 Thanks Hickman, Mellie, GISgirl and RH for old and new sites. Thanks Abs for the photos here at wildlandfire.com. Your system is the most problem-free and error-free site I've come across. Some awesome pics!!!

The new BLM photo site is nice, but all the fire photos must not be entered yet. I didn't find some of the aerial photos I know were at the old site. Still, its nice to be able to download large images without having to e-mail and order them. Getting up to internet speed and efficiency. Powerpoint project here I come!!


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