"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Home of the Wildland
"I Was There" - some day, as time and space allows, I'll tell you my stories
about spending nearly 3 weeks in Eagle, AK in 1967 on a BLM Helicopter
doing fire suppression (unofficially) on both sides of the International boundary.
Thank you for the information on Bill, that has to be the right person.
"Don't knock 'em till you've walked a mile in their moccasins" Been in 12 states and Canada on fire assignments and the Blossom Bar area is one of the toughest you or anyone else will ever fight fire in. Have been told by many folks over 30 years in the business that the Siskiyou NF has some of the roughest ground they have ever seen. This includes Shots, Jumpers and IMT members. Most other areas are flat compared to the Lower Rogue River Canyon.
Beware of making opinions of others fighting specific fires unless you are/were there my friend.
Viejo - did you ever spend any time on the "Silver Fire" in 1987 in that country?
Gives you a whole new appreciation for steep, nasty country!
If you think that SoCal is all "grasslands with roads" your ignorance is unbounded!
Of course you prove that when you imply that SoCal firefighters are not "REAL
wildland firefighters". I invite you to speak with me directly, I am sure the abs will
forward for me.
"flat so cal grasslands"
I guess Todd has never been to the Angeles....
In response to viejo,
Sir it is obvious you have little knowledge of the extreme terrain and conditions of
Oregon but I will tell you that the firefighters on that fire need no negativity from you. We construct fireline at a SAFE pace.
The steeper and more rugged terrain, the longer line construction takes. Ive seen the mountains
you're insinuating about. Rafted and hiked there. These are the wildlands that give our type of firefighting their name, wild.
Those on the blossom complex deserve our respect as firefighters, not just pangs of
jealousy that we are not there!
A firefighter who's been there done that.
Here is a picture of the Dirty Face Fire Plume going from Lake Wenatchee to the
town of Okanogan, WA Region 6 This fire has just started and is in the timber 200
acres in size at last report but this smoke tells me it is much bigger now.
There is a Bill Zoodsma on the Sullivan Lake Ranger District of the
I wish I could watch the CA Type 1 team in Eagle AK. I spent a few days in Eagle last year when the Type 2
was there. It's a place where people go to get away from society, and this CA team is going to be in full
I saw a few Ted Kozinski types there, always with large revolvers displayed. Some of the locals would
attend morning briefings with their firearms. One morning there was a gunshot heard near the briefing.
A local story was that the Customs Officer there had quit his job in a letter and could not be located.
Seems he had confiscated the first shipment of lettuce and other fresh produce from Canada when the river
thawed after the long winter.
Here's a pic of Downtown Eagle, and a view of the Yukon River from there. (Don't mind the
photochop, just protecting the guilty.)
There I Was
With that kind of travel time are they on a 24 hour shift, or at least two 16 hour consecutive days with an 8 hour coyote rest time on the line? Its hard to believe that 21 hand crews cannot construct 6 miles of fireline in 8 days. viejo
viejo, we're not in your flat so cal grasslands with roads, dude. we're
REAL wildland firefighters.
Just wanted to tell you that you are right on about the Blossom Complex! I am assigned to
the complex and in 40 years of fighting fires I have never seen such rugged terrain. I talked
to a Hot Shot Supervisor and he stated that it was one of the hardest hikes he has ever had.
It is straight up and straight down with Big trees. The crews are really doing a great job with
Yeah, I'll bet and those Supes haven't seen their 20s in some
Has anyone else noticed the amazing lack of containment progress on the Blossom Complex on the Siskiyou NF?
The fires started on 7/21 and each 209 reports slow spread. Today's report shows 21 crews and 8 helicopters committed to a fire they seemingly have nursed to 971
acres. Is this simply a blatant grab for overtime, or has the Forest Management staff put so many constraints on the suppression effort to make containment impossible?
Nothing hidden in how the Blossom Complex of lightning-caused
fires are being managed and fought. Good progress is being made.
The fires are burning inside the Wild Rogue Wilderness -- in the
mountains near the Wild and Scenic Rogue River -- some of the nastiest,
most rugged mountain goat, fire country in the world. Blossom
Complex Fire Info Site with map. (Luckily, life and property are not
immediately at risk.) The fires are being fought aggressively but because of
inaccessible terrain, lines are indirect. This complex of fires has top
priority in the nation for resources and equipment, thus the numbers you
mention. Here's one bit of info that shows how rugged the terrain is and
how difficult to access: several 20 to 40 person jet boats are under
contract to ferry groundpounders upriver. They're working round the
clock. After arriving at the river
drop point, it's still a 2 hour hike in. Lotsa tired 20-year-olds out
there earning whatever is their due. Ab.
Re the Monument:
Dick, what's the plan on the bricks and why the holdup?
A Brick Purchaser
Re: Lobotomy's challenge to 'Fire Managers and Supervisors'
I have been amazed at the ruffled feathers from his post! I am a 'Fire Manager and
Supervisor' and it did not offend me! It did prompt me to pledge to the deserving
cause of Lobotomy's run. THAT IS WHAT HE INTENDED!
I wonder how many of the folks that took exception to his post have done the same....
Gansner packs: check the 1994 version of the water handling guide....it
has some photo's and descriptions. (and it is spelled Gansner in the guide)
Question for R5 Engine experts: does anyone have a copy of the R5 standard
compartment configurations for a model 62?
The name was given to me by one of my employees who worked with him and he
thought that is what his name was. I will see one of the IAPs in a few days
and can double-check it then. Thanks for checking.
I am looking for any pictures of the funnel cloud that was over the North edge of SkiLak Lake
during the King County Creek Fire in Alaska. I know that a lot of people took pictures, just
don't know if any of them are on here.
Ab will have my email addy.
I started working on the monument when Vicky convinced folks that it would happen. We have worked hard to make it happen. It has come along long way!! It has
a long, long way to go. Many of you in 1994 & 95 put long hours into the digging of lines (sprinkler) before we planted. Believe me, we have had a devoted crew to
do this. It's not always that maintenance folks and we who had it built are coordinated. IT WILL BE DONE! so just back off and come and see.
Are you sure that you have the name correct of the
Task Force Leader? I can't find any record of a
"Doosma" in any of the fire databases.
I am trying to locate Bill Doosma who was a task force leader on the Sunrise
complex in Utah last week. I understand that he may live in the Spokane
area. If anyone has a lead for me, maybe Ab can forward my e-mail to him or
her. Thanks to all and have a safe season.
I have been keeping up with the "Big" debate about the condition of the Wild Land FF Memorial. I had a few questions concerning it, but Oldest Dog answered quite a few of them.
What everybody, including myself, all agreed on from the first overgrown
vegetation photos was that it was not in great shape. Then, seeing it all chopped down to nothing and the damage to the angel angered people once again.
Just for general info, I used to work for a landscaping company and what had been done was completely negligent. It does not take very long to weed eat around the statues
or the benches and for the angel it is not so hard to get down on your knees and pull the weeds to keep from doing damage with the weed eater.
Like Old Dog was saying, getting angry and mean do no one or anything any good and it gets a p**sing match going and that is not needed at this time.
Most of the readers here are probably already aware of Ken Perry and his
upcoming 52 Mile Mega-Run to benefit the
Firefighter Foundation. Some of you have already sent pledges here
or called the WFF to promise your support.
Since our staff here at Wildlandfire.com are big fans of the WFF, we
offered our services to create an online process for folks to make their
pledges, be able to monitor the results, and be able to contact the
participants after the run. The place to start learning more about the
run, Ken Perry, and how to make a pledge is here:
Benefit. If you just want to make a new pledge, you can shortcut to
here: Pledge Entry Form. We are
happy to provide this free service to the WFF as a way to help support
their most worthy cause.
To help keep our readers updated during the run, we’re working on
creating an information page to provide the status and progress as fast
as we receive it. We’re considering maps, weather conditions, photos,
video, audio, etc. All comments or suggestions for this area are
My thanks to those in the chat room last night, who once again were
willing to help me with testing and reviewing the pledge pages. If you
are looking for answers or just want to relax and shoot the breeze,
there are some great folks with a wide variety of experience and
knowledge who can be found there most any night. It’s free and everyone
Now, let’s get the ball rolling and spread the news of the benefit run
far and wide. Tell a friend, your family, and your crewmembers. Signup
as a full crew, a business, an office department, a district, or however
Thanks for your time. OriginalAb.
link to web cam to watch fires in medford, ore
Since BLM Bob, Mollysboy, and now the cynic are reading something into my post, I hope to explain it. First of all, you obviously are missing the intent of the post and secondly, no where did I say the word “all” to describe the “Fire Managers and Supervisors and other” who I was putting the challenge out to.
Here is the statement that seems to be making some people uneasy.
“It was more like a challenge to the Fire Managers and Supervisors and others who have that "little extra disposable income" to finally join the wildland fire community and support it (It meaning the WFF) . These people gained alot from the Overtime Pay Cap Bill, but never stepped up to the plate and started participating or contributing to change in the community even though the works of others have given them great benefits in their profession.”
Here are some facts:
Currently the WFF Website shows 899 members of the 52 Club as of July 29, 2005.
Using the Forest Service as an example, as of the quarter ending December 2004, the Forest Service had 33,325 employees throughout the organization. Of those employees, 25,435
(76%) were at the grades of GS-7 and higher.
Mellie, Tahoe Terrie, danfromord, Long Distance Traveler, Disappointed,
KB, lurkers, and everyone else who's written in on the Monument issue:
As for vegetation: The Monument was carefully landscaped to
demonstrate the diversity of fuels within the overall Great Basin ecosystem.
There are (were) smaller range type plants near the entrance and larger
ones as you walked along the Monument walks. In addition there have been
significant symbolic donations like the mon (not moon) tree. It was
given by Charlotte Larson to honor the link with the national women's aviator
group. If anyone remembers, this group "the 99s" includes Amelia Earhart
- Charter member - and other women pioneers in aviation, Deanne Schulman,
first woman smokejumper and hotshot, among them. That tree may not make
it. Damn shame.
As for vision: The upswelling original push for the Monument
came from the grass roots - the interagency rank and file - and
worked its way up. It had a HUGE interagency push. It was created for
ALL wildland firefighters and the people who support them across the
My personal opinion: Someone person got their tail
feathers in a bunch over some personal power thing and spread a lot of
garbage around at NIFC about the Monument belonging too much to the
families who have lost kids and spouses. A NIFC higher up reacted to the
threat/control message. This kind of unintentional poisoning process is
not uncommon with both small-minded people who feel under appreciated
and those who get nervous and try to control situations. In any case,
someone higher up hired the company that made the drastic changes that
resulted in the current "down to mineral soil" look of the
The Monument in the past and in original vision has been a place we
can all come together and find PEACE regardless if agency, contractor,
or vollie. People support each other, celebrate our firefighting
profession, reaffirm principles of safety and dedication to training and
the work we do and some people work through their grief (which also
reduces lawsuits against the government). I personally think that the
BLM person in charge of unilaterally mandating the changes is sending a
clear message that "this is BLM land" and "we will
control it" while saying "nothing is to happen here for the
next 2 years" and "no bricks will be set" etc, etc,
(ie, let me first move on from this job I'm in). Ever hear of shooting
yourself in the foot?
My appreciation to "The ghost in the works" for your
My appreciation to those with big hearts, an inclusive style and the
Thanks to the Abs who make this forum possible.
Oldest Dog Barking
Yer welcome. Ab.
Not sure what happened with the firefighter memorial.
Last year we had a barbeque and weed pulling party.
Lots of fire center employees pulled weeds during
their lunch hour (including some upper management). It
doesn't really have anything to do with bureaucracy.
It's a question of someone taking the initiative and
sending out a few emails and putting up a few fliers.
As far as I know, that didn't happen this year. I
think it's better that the firefighting community take
care of the memorial rather than getting a maintenance
FYI Alice Forbes was out there pulling weeds last
Not to speak for Lobotomy, but when you work hard for organizational
change at the grassroots level, you can get burnt out. When you do, you
look around to see who isn't "pulling their weight" at their
grade and rate to make effective change occur. Now pulling your weight
when viewed from outside is one person's perception. There are many ways
to "pull your weight" that one person isn't privy to.
However, Mollysboy, the question isn't "what have you done in
the past and what have you given up", but "what are you doing
0462 (Forestry Technician) & Series
0455 (Range Technician) jobs pages and Series
0401 ("professional" Biologist) are updated.
Mellie - for the "official" story all about the Monument, go to
www.nifc.gov and click on "nifc features".
Well said. I just figured Lobotomy had in fact had one. Maybe after some time to reflect
lobotomy will think better of the disconnect between the typing fingers and the brain.
Otherwise, some one whose posts I always enjoyed, has lost most of their credibility.
The congressional Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization will
hold congressional hearings on HR 408, The Federal Wildland Firefighter Emergency
Response Compensation Act, on Friday, August 12, 2005.
The hearing will convene at 10:00 a.m. in the Conference Room of the red Rock Fire Station
in Red Rock Canyon National Park. (this is west of Las
Federal wildland firefighters are encouraged to attend. For more information, please call
the FWFSA @ 916-515-1224.
Long time since I have added my two cents worth....
You are still doing an outstanding job of providing a voice for
the wildland firefighting community.
With regard to the previous condition of the Wildland Firefighter Monument, looking at the pictures there were some great
metaphors to be found regarding the over all state of the profession.
Like firefighters up to their ears in tall grass- which could be interpreted to be extreme
fuel loadings, overwhelming red tape, decreasing budgets, increasing demands, and the looming demographic
shift which threatens to destroy our continuity of safe operations. The monument is art as well as a tribute.
As the fuel loading, loss of organizational memory and loss of experienced
personnel overshadows the wildland fire profession, like the weeds in
Boise have covered the monuments of those who have given the last full
measure of devotion, we are forced to revisit the basics of who we are and
why we were organized so long ago.
I believe that the wildland fire profession in the US is still one of the
premiere fire services in the world. We have learned a great deal about
the dynamics between fire and the North American landscape. We are
incredibly effective at what we do. We need never lose sight of that. We
do need to gain a better understanding of the political and social context
in which we practice our craft. We need to embrace new realities and
never forget the things that work well.
Like the weeds in Boise, we need to cut back the political fog,
organizational malaise and personal complacency which threatens to choke
the essence of who we are and what we do. Relevancy requires work in the
political world of government service, each of us needs to get involved to
make the system work.
My two cents...
The ghost in the works
Well said. Ab.
Does anyone know the story behind the grasses and perennial
that were planted at the Monument? What was the vision? Any left?
We didn't quite finish our update in time for yesterday's 10th anniversary of the Point Fire. But, that wasn't for lack of desire or effort.
We have adapted the Point Fire case study from the BLM Engine Operator course (PMS 419), to be presented as a 1-1/2 to 2 hour training session. It has a 6-page instructor guide and 8-page student handout. The web and PDF versions are posted on the Colorado Firecamp website,
We will be mailing the Point Fire video (NFES 2663) and printed materials to all 300 fire departments in Colorado. Others are welcome to download the materials from our site and order the $2.67 video from the Great Basin Cache.
Our prayers go out to the families of Bill and Josh. They are not forgotten.
The Wildland Firefighter Monument
Does anyone know the decision process, politics, issues behind what
happened at the Monument at NIFC? Did all this happen because someone in
charge wishes they didn't have to deal with it? because NIFC will be
moving to DC? because someone got political? threatened somehow? Is this
about big or little egos? Is it about not liking the vegetation? Was it
simply malicious? Is it one person or several? Is it Murphy's law and
hiring a heavy-handed lumberjack "landscaper"?
Like Mollysboy I think stereotyping is not the way if there's a
better one. It's easy to brand some "GROUP at NIFC" as the bad
guys. Well, I have a number of friends there who are good and caring
people and who have lifted a pulaski to help. Can we unravel what part
is played by exactly what players and why? Then we might know who to
write or who to mention when we write congresspeople.
To my friend Lobotomy - could I suggest that when offering comments about a broad group of folks ("Fire Managers and Supervisors"), that you might consider not painting with such a broad brush!
Many of us that fall under the classification of "Fire Managers and Supervisors" worked for mucho years, all the way until late in the 2000 fire season to be exact, earning $7-8 per hour
LESS on overtime than our BASE pay rate! Most of us had no mandated responsibilities to work on wildfire assignments, either on
IMTs or as single resource overhead, yet we willingly worked on large fires as needed, missing camping trips with our families, birthdays, County Fairs, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, and time to enjoy the National Forests, National Parks and Wildlife Refuges that brought us into Forestry and fire management in the first place.
Many of us are now retirees, continuing to fill roles that the Agencies cannot fill with regular employees, such as
FBANs, ATGS, OSC1 & 2, and many, many other necessary jobs on wildfires, all at an AD rate that does not pay OT or HP, no matter how many hours are worked!
I'm personally offended and insulted by your statement that .."These people....never stepped up to the plate and started participating or contributing to change in the community even though the works of others have given them great benefits in their profession." Last time I looked, folks like Paul Gleason and Mark Linane ended their careers as "fire managers and supervisors": are they included in your broad brush criticism too?
Stereotyping by job title or GS-level is no different than racial or gender stereotyping, and contributes nothing to the important battle of keeping wildland firefighters safe, and taking care of them and their loved-ones when something goes wrong!
Ab, in answer to your question:
While I'm not AT Northern Utah, I do fight fire in Northern Utah and
like to keep a close tab on things. I look at really good sites, like
Southwestern Area and Western Great Basin, and others, and just wish we
had anything close to similar. But Kudos to those sites.
It's good to see the pledges coming in for Ken's 52 mile run. To think some of us gripe about our annual 3 mile walk.
Here's a challenge...
I've already sent the WFF a check for $52 for Ken's run. If 52 people send in $52 or more for Ken's 52 (I sense a theme here) mile excursion before he does it, I'll send in ANOTHER $52.
Fifty-two firefighters sending $52 for 52 miles (there's that theme again) can't be that hard. I think that's my crew's weekly coffee tab at Starbucks. A couple shot crews and some jumpers makes 52 people. A busy helibase must have 52 people. It's gotta be EASY to find 52 people on a project fire...
Can you meet the challenge?
Re: Mason Gulch
Quint Gidley is a West Yellowstone smokejumper. Not sure of all the
details of his accident but was told he fractured his pelvis recently on a
jump in Montana. Please tell Jersey Boy, Quint is also a friend of mine.
I hope he's recovering well. Ab.
I looked at the South Ops website and it's got ours beat by far. The
lamest website out there has got to be Northern Utah IFC. It's
practically useless, I log on just to laugh. I think someones 8-year old
updates it every three weeks.
Are you at Northern Utah? Ab.
Back on 7/17 AZ Trailblazer said (among other things):
...."Another thought for our younger readers out there.......
Keep in mind, once you have been given (issued) a task book, you have 3 years
to have it completed. Also, to maintain currency, you have to have
performed that specific position within 5 years for non-aviation jobs and 2
years for aviation positions. " ....
The 310-1 Wildland and Prescribed Fire Qualifications System Guide sets
the basic National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) standard. Agencies
can require more restrictive (additional training for positions , etc)
standards for their own folks, but cannot have lesser standards for NWCG
The current (2000 - the one in place now) 310 - 1 says, on page A-7:
"It is the responsibility of the trainee to:
5. Complete the PTB within a three-year time limit. This is three years
from the time the first task is evaluated until the task book is completed.
Otherwise, the trainee must begin the process anew."
The clock starts ticking from the date of the first evaluation, NOT initiation
of the task book. This has some problems; like, how long after
training is that person's knowledge and skills up to snuff anyway? Ostensibly
the person could go for 10 or more years with an initiated task
book that had no tasks evaluated and they would still have 3 years to
complete it after the first task evaluation is documented. Now, I don't know
of anyone managing task books in that way, but by the 310-1 it would
be possible. The draft for the new 310-1 may resolve some of that, if the
task book is initiated fairly promptly after all prerequisite training is
The new draft (April 2005 - not in place at the moment) 310-1 is a little
more complicated, it says on page 18:
Position task books have a limited time in which they can be completed:
A PTB is valid for three years from the day it is initiated. Upon documentation of the first
task in the PTB, the three-year time limit is reset from that date. If the
PTB is not completed in three years from the date of the PTB
initiation (or first task being evaluated) the PTB will no longer be valid. A new PTB may be
initiated, but all current qualification standards will then apply.
For maintaining currency both versions basically say:
For the positions identified in this guide, the maximum time allowed for
maintaining currency is three (3) years for air operations and dispatch positions and five (5)
years for all others. "
Though the current one (2000) says specifically "expanded dispatch".
Thanks, sign me: Paul Fieldhouse
Howdy AB's and all.
On the condition of the F/F's memorial in Boise, well, it finally got to me and I couldn't hold back any longer. These folks that are honored there deserve equal treatment to the solders buried in Arlington. They gave the supreme sacrifice to protect life, property and the public lands that most of us hold dear to our heart. I e-mailed Sen. Boxer of CA asking for her support to do something about this travesty. If the Washing Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Mount Rushmore or The Fallen F/F's Memorial in Emmitsburg, etc ever fell into a state of disrepair that this site did, heads would roll. I asked her to do what she could to try and keep this site from ever again looking like it does now. The F/F's that are remembered there deserve more. I don't think it is something that volunteer labor should take care of, although I appreciate those that did. I feel the Volunteer labor that is found in the Firefighting force of America should be enough to offset any cost towards the upkeep of this site. How much do the F/F's of America ( paid and vollies ) have to give before something is given in return ? Enough of my rant, Thx AB for letting me go.
Be safe out there, EVERYONE comes back.
Sorry to bother you but it has been driving me mad for the past few days.
Does anyone know the slang term for an oil rig fire fighter as in the John Wayne film Hellfighters. I've been searching internet and can't find anything and can't remember the term.
Oh by the way the Royal Marines and the Royal Navy use CDF it is shortened to Common Dog as in "He has no common dog.." meaning no common sense. The F stands for ...well you can work that out for yourselves.
The monument looks horrible and the persons who made it look like that should be ashamed. In the event that you happened to be the one who desecrated the monuments and broke the wing of eva's angel (and possibly damaged others), I know that she would forgive you and that she does not need it in order to fly. The people who give their lives should not be treated this way.
I am so irritated right now that I can not express it, so I am done.
From the comments and pictures that I'm seeing on "TheySaid" regarding the "before and after" of the Wildland Firefighter's Monument/Memorial at NIFC, it looks like Mark Rey hired an old-time West Coast forester to come in and clear-cut the decadent old growth and implement the "Healthy Forests Imitative" to lower the WUI risk to the headquarters building.
Maybe we can give Tri-Data a multi-hundred thousand dollar contract to maintain the site so that we show proper respect to fallen firefighters?
We will pledge a dollar a mile for the run. Hope more people join up.
In regard to the monument it looks like someone was p.o. ed at having
to do the maintenance, so they screwed it up for spite. Am I wrong?
Someone at NIFC hired some maintenance people to do the job up
special. I don't think maliciousness, just failed to attend to detail or
sensibility. I may be wrong. Ab.
I was hoping that someone in the FIRE COMMUNITY could help me find some work in the WILDLAND FIRE area. The scenario is; I will have a bachelors in Fire Science in two years, however I will be 49 years
young -- what kind of a job can I get without passing the pack test! I am really interested in all aspects of wildland
firefighting -- to include base camp operations.
I have a suggestion on the monument issue.
I live in Alaska at this time so this won't work out for me most likely.
I suggest that there be a monument cleaning and appreciation gathering 2 -3 times a year. Everyone who can make it from the local areas please do so.
Say Spring, Mid summer (that one might be hard to fill) and fall. Announce it through the various agencies networks, on here, by mouth,
etc. etc. Since so many people are affected by this, maybe we can get enough together to make it work. I haven't been there, but I believe that 5 people with the right tools could do what needs to be done. If it is actual fire people doing it then maybe we wouldn't have the problems we have now. We actually care.
Lobotomy wrote: "It was more like a challenge to the Fire Managers and
Supervisors and others who have that "little extra disposable income" to
finally join the wildland fire community and support it. These people gained
alot from the Overtime Pay Cap Bill, but never stepped up to the plate and
started participating or contributing to change in the community even though
the works of others have given them great benefits in their profession."
Excuse me? You might want to consider revising that. There's not enough
room on this site to list all the "fire managers and supervisors" that do
not fit under your blanket statement.
ROFLMAO. You guys just made my day! Ab.
My pledge was not meant to be a discouragement for other pledges.. I pledged the money that I waste each year through
gambling while going to conferences and meetings in Reno... I hope others who do the same will pledge that money for the run that KCP is taking in support of our families and friends for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
It was more like a challenge to the Fire Managers and Supervisors and others who have that "little extra disposable income" to finally join the wildland fire community and support it. These people gained alot from the Overtime Pay Cap
Bill, but never stepped up to the plate and started participating or contributing to change in the community even though the works of others have given them great benefits in their profession.
Pledges of 5 cents per mile... to 10 dollars per mile or more.... or corporate pledges of 100 dollars per mile should be the goal.
"Sit on your arse.. and change will pass you by... or stand on your legs and let your knowledge and experience be heard... you will be part of the wildland fire community" ... A quote from a well known and lesser
practitioner of wildland fire.
Northern Rockies Safety Alert!
Area of Concern: Firefighter Safety
Distribution: Geographic Area Wide
Discussion: The effects of the wet June on fuel moistures has been negated by the warm and windy weather that has occurred over the last two weeks. Whereas June precipitation was 100-200% of normal, July thus far is running less than 20% of normal over many areas. Dead fuel moistures have dried quickly and 1000-hour fuel moistures and energy release components are approaching or exceeding the 90th percentile over much of the region. This, coupled with the above average growth of grasses and shrubs, will lead to abundant available fuel once the understory vegetation cures, which has already begun in many areas.
So far the fire season has been slow to start in much of the Northern Rockies. This is partly due to the excessive greenup that occurred and the lack of lightning over the majority of the geographic area. Don't expect this to continue as the weather outlook for the next week calls for hot temperatures and low humidities. The effects of the long-term drought are still with us.
Fire Behavior Concerns to Firefighters and the Public:
· Expect fine fuels to ignite easily and fires to move rapidly, especially in valley locations, south aspects, and on steep slopes
· Expect heavy fuel loading that will lead to intense fire behavior. This will result in fires with a high resistance to control. Large fuels are already showing complete consumption on recent fires.
· Expect continuous fuels. The growth that occurred due to the wet spring will support fire growth in areas that typically wouldn't burn in past years.
· Ladder fuels are beginning to show signs of moisture stress and will allow fires to climb into the crowns. This will lead to many embers starting spot fires.
· Predicted hot temperatures with low humidities will result in high probability of ignition for new starts as well as spot fires.
· Anticipate fires to remain active in thermal belts.
· Ensure good anchor points. Direct attack is still the best strategy in most of the Northern Rockies fuel types. Keep one foot in the black.
· Utilize water wherever possible. The large fuels will be difficult to extinguish without it.
· Anticipate flame lengths when determining safety zones.
· Keep LCES at the forefront with particular attention given to lookouts. Undetected spot fires could spread quickly during the heat of the day.
Snake River IHC,
Congratulations on your certification as "fully qualified"!
Old Fire Guy
I have not been getting alot of OT like Lobotomy has been, so I can only pledge
25 cents per mile... in addition to my 52 Club Membership. Hope that helps!!
Okay everyone, let's step up to the plate and make Ken's run a huge success. I called the WFF and have committed to my pledge, so I am putting out the challenge to everyone else. If anyone can get their entire crew to pledge to this noble cause, I will bake them cookies and brownies and ship them to their home base. So come on guys, I have put many a crewperson over their flight weight! It will be worth it......
The post and link to the Southwest lightning site is very good. Does anybody
know why the northwest does not have a quality site anymore. Is there one
coming in the future??
The NIFC Monument saga
I was through Boise yesterday coming off an assignment in the south land. After reading the ongoing discussion I took a trip along the walk of the monument at NIFC and took some photos. I was amazed at the over reaction and lack of any kind of understanding that was exhibited by those who did the " Maintenance work" . Someone should be reprimanded or maybe beaten. People go there and Reflect, Pray, Cry, Honor etc. Look at the attached photos, the wing was broken off an angel, Things broken and scattered and all but the trees weed-whacked to an inch of the ground. The level of disrespect was unacceptable to say the least. These small objects left behind are coated in the tears and sorrows of many people and to be handled so recklessly was wrong.
Agencies and bureaucracies tend to be cold at the hart. The people in them mostly good hearted, but frozen by the processes, rules and committees. I believe that was some of the reason for the creation of the WFF in the first place. To help fill the cold spot in the heart of the fire agencies in regards to our fallen. I do not know the answer here but something cold has gone too far. I would not want to be the person who drives that little truck ( see pics)
It would be better to fireline the markers and put some RX fire to it. Maybe I will write a burn plan this winter when I have more time. I know all those remembered there would like that better too.
Long Distance Traveler
Here are the Monument images that Long Distance Traveler sent in: www.wildlandfire.com/docs/memorial/boise.php
Thank you for doing the run for the WFF, True North Gear would like to donate
$2 dollars per mile ran, and if you need a hydration pack please let us know.
I will pledge a dollar a mile also. It's worth at least that.
The question is,
Which PDA is best for ArcPad and General use? We want one that can do
all the normal PDA stuff but that will also be able to do fire mapping and
other related things.
Here is a contact for the Stand Rock Crews, Darrell Ausborn is the Regional
FMO that could help out with a direct mailing address.
Great Plains Regional Office
Branch of Natural Resources
115 4th Avenue SE
Aberdeen SD 57401
Bob Sienko, Forester
Darrell Ausborn, FMO
Morgan Beveridge, Fuels Specialist
I hate to see a rookie bro run that hard without any pledges, so I hereby
pledge $1/mile. Hey, did you see that Sean Lyman posted our rookie picture
to this site? He's also in Southern California.
I am trying to locate an address for the Standing Rock crew who worked
on the Billington Ranch during the recent Mason Gulch Fire. Any suggestions?
Vicki Donley - Billington Ranch
Hey, thank you to all who responded about the flight helmet/king radio
cable. Hopefully we can get one ordered right away!
More info regarding Flight helmet/BK radio adapter-
The NIICD (National Interagency Incident Communications Division) has lots of info on their website regarding various pieces of radio hardware, adapters, and sources. Follow the link below for pictures and more-
I believe the NFES #5328 adapter will do what you want. The AV021 shown on the same page is the David Clark #C7021 that COMT mentioned.
I just attended Shane Heath and Jeff Allen’s groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial that will be placed at the Indianola Helibase outside of Salmon next year. It was such an honor and such a somber time to remember those two young firefighters.
The Salmon Challis National Forest and the Indianola Helibase did a great job in hosting the gathering. Mike Dudley, USFS, spoke about flying Shane home with the same pilot who flew with him in taking Doug Dunbar home. His message will stay with me for a long time. Kit Kimball, Director of Inter-Governmental Affairs and External Affairs US Dept of Interior attended from the D.C. office on behalf of Gail Norton, Secretary of the Interior. Kit grew up with Jeff Allen’s mom, so she brought a real personal touch.
I was so moved to see Jodi Heath lean into her husband and blow a kiss up to the helicopter that did a fly-over. These families showed so much love and appreciation to the
I hope that you will mark July 22nd on your calendars next year for the unveiling of the statue at the Indianola Helibase outside of Salmon, Idaho. There will be two statues of
rapellers. The artist did a tremendous job depicting Shane and Jeff
rapelling to the ground.
We will be adding a place where donations can be made for the Shane and Jeff memorial to our website at
Friday’s gathering was quite a tribute to Jeff and Shane.
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
We just got back to Wisconsin after taking the superior circle tour.
When we traveled through White River it looks as if there was a huge
forest fire there a few years
back. Where would we find information on that? When and how many acres
etc....... How horrible for you people. Our hearts went out to you.
Thanks for any info you can give us.
Hi Conrad, Horrible, well, I don't know about that. It's probably
much harder for nearby residents than for wildland firefighters. For our
forests and rangelands, fire is a natural part of the cycle. For us,
minimizing the bad aspects of fire is our job.
To find out about that particular fire:
If there is no reply here (many firefighters are off fighting fire), you
might try calling the National Forest nearest the fire. You can start
If they can tell you the name and if it's occurred within the last 5-6
years you could download the archived list of fire stats and look up
that particular one at this valuable database: http://famweb.nwcg.gov/.
Having name and year helps in finding stats from online records. There
are .exe files by year. Info is there if you're willing to search
through it. Ab.
Still looking for explanations...
Carbon monoxide may have disoriented firefighter S. Rucker
Southwest lightning site in real time: www.mesawx.com/southwes1.php
Space Shuttle Discovery up and runnin thanks to a lot of hard recovery work
with our folks on Columbia two and a half years ago. Great to be a part of this
family. Never give up! See you out west in August. Safety is #1.
Re: HECM flight helmet-to-BK-portable adapter
Found these, which sounded like what you're looking for...
Hope that helps!
Sam in R9
Flight helmet/BK radio adapter
I believe what you are looking for can be found at www.aircomsys.com
Part # ACS998-3
Any information on the accident involving a CNF - Palomar District Engine near Julian,
CA????? Heard stuff on the radio, sounded like no major injuries. Any further info??????
Stay Safe this fireseason!!
Take a look at the Hot List Forum, It was reported there
yesterday. Broken foot was all. It's easy to register if you haven't
Looking for an adapter for a flight helmet to a king
handheld radio. here is a couple of sources I have
technical info, Nexus U-94 A/U (where helmet plugs
into) to B/K KING EPH/LPH radio, with PTT button.
(Double check that the U-94 is right for your flight
helmet plug, It has been awhile since I ordered
part # ALN-B414
David Clark 508-751-5800
part # 18652G-22 , model # C7021
Edmo Distributors Inc. 800-235-3300
They can make cables to specifications, no part #
Comes in handy in noisy environments.
Lobotomy, Lori, Ex-hotshot and Fire Bill:
Thanks guys. I happened to end up in Boise today, and I had hoped to meet with Vicki (never actually met her) However, she's in Sac. I'm hoping we can
figure out how to keep a running tab on pledges...fairly easy at this point, but I hope, as I'm sure you do, that when firefighters come off the line and get some internet access, these pledges will start to pour in.
I told Vicki that I will do the run even if only one person pledges, but folks...make me work for it. As it's been said, this is for us and our families, so let's get the word out there. I was a little shocked with Lobotomy's pledge...That's great, but even a
nickel a mile, is still important to the foundation. Think what would happen if every wildland firefighter simply pledged a
nickel or dime a mile.
Kenneth Perry pledges One dollar per mile, + an extra dollar for every hour less than 14.
Have a good one,
Ok, I hate to be a nudge, but the SoOps site, News & Notes especially, is really lame. C'mon, that job has been filled for months, yet there are rarely any updates and virtually nothing of interest!
Southern California is supposedly the center of the wildland fire universe and the Intel shop there is 'five and dime' at best!
I noticed some of the teams that might have alerted members on
news and notes have started posting on the hot list forum when they get
called up. Ab.
Re Southern UT fires:
It's been a rough couple months here in the vicinity of St George. Here are some totals as listed in the local paper the Spectrum.
It feels like we have been out more than we have been home everytime mother nature flings lightning our way but our dept wouldn't have it any other way :) Hopefully when my film gets developed there will be some good shots.
The Sunrise Complex Fire, 10 miles north of St. George, consists of seven fires that have burned 17,827 acres. This fire is 30 percent contained with no homes or structures threatened at this time.
The Dammeron Complex Fire, 12 miles north of St. George, has burned 18,368 acres and is 70 percent contained. Crews on Sunday continued to "mop up" the fire. No significant spreads are expected.
The Tank Complex Fire, about 30 miles South of the Utah/Arizona border, has burned 50,540 acres and is 20 percent contained. More than 400 firefighters are working this fire.
Year to date figures according to www.Utahfireinfo.gov
558 fires burning a total of 287,634 acres (191 human caused, 31,189 acres) ( 367 lightning caused, 256,445 acres)
My heart sank when I saw that another aircraft had gone down. Thank God
the results in this one will have a happy ending. My best wishes for a speedy
recovery go out to all the crew that were aboard. Y'all out there - BE SAFE!
North Las Vegas (7.21.05) 24-hour Briefing
File Code: 6730 Date: July 23, 2005
Route To: 5720
Subject: Preliminary (24-hour - after the accident) Briefing
To: Jack Troyer, Regional Forester, Intermountain Region
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Location: North Vas Vegas
Date of occurrence: July 21, 2005
Time of occurrence: 1711 Hours
Team leader: Ruth Monahan, Forest Supervisor, Sawtooth NF
Mission: Reconnaissance, Fire detection
Activity: Humboldt-Toiyabe (H-T) NF
Number injured: Three
Number of fatalities: None
Property damage: Rockwell 680FL Commander Destroyed
Narrative: Aircraft N7UP was dispatched to the Spring Mountains National Recreation of the H-T NF for a fire reconnaissance mission due to lightning storms that just passed through within the past 24 hours.
Shortly after takeoff from the North Las Vegas airport, the aircraft impacted the ground approximately 180 yards off the departure end of the runway.
All three (pilot, ATGS and ATGS Trainee) were taken to local hospital, Pilot (intensive care) and Trainee remain in the hospital recovering from injuries. The ATGS was released from the hospital at approximately 2200 hrs on the day of the accident.
NTSB is on scene conducting the ongoing investigation with assistance from engine and airframe technical representatives (Air Safety Investigators) and FS/DOI assistance.
The National Aviation Safety Manager delegated the investigation to the Region.
/s/ Ruth M. Monahan
RUTH M. MONAHANTeam Leader
cc: Regional Safety Manager
Boy, have I been getting the website hits!!!
I sent a short note to Ab at . . . www.wildlandfire.com/theysaid/ and mentioned I had
created the following web-sub-page: http://bellsouthpwp.net/p/h/phsh/fire.php
Apparently its pretty popular amongst fire fighters! The page simply shows the number of teams
and crews active on fires.
I went from about 1400 "hits" (web site visits) in 7 years to 13,665 in a week. Overnite the number of
hits has gone to 13,900, and I had not updated the webpage for a week until tonight after work.
Hmmmmmm. Maybe I need to sell some advertising! HA!
Philip E. Hyatt
Hmmmm, I was wondering if you were prepared. Best check with your
server to make sure yer not going to be charged for so many visitors.
There's an increase in wildland fire activity around the US and the rest of the world, and many of us in the business are interested in the reports posted here and on the "Hot List Forum".
But please remember when using ICS designators that ICS, a national system, uses 5 letters, not just 3: for example, BDF by itself could mean several different Forests. When it's shown as MT-BDF, it is clearly the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Montana.
Since "TheySaid" is read in all 50 States, the Canadian provinces and in Europe and Australia, we can help each other better understand "where the action is" by specifying the State designator too.
Good point. Ab.
Thanks for posting my message. But I think you
might have gotten WYS Quint Gidley confused with Phil
Lind-a BLM jumper who was impaled down in nevada.
Gidley was injured recently - late friday/saturday
probably. His name appeared on the smokejumper status
report on sunday in the notes section, with a notation
to "read the fact sheet". other than that, no details
as to the extent of his injury.
I'm curious as he was an old hotshot buddy of mine.
Thanks for the help,
I thought you meant Phil. I haven't heard about another injured
Thanks Mike Apicello for all your good work trying to solve the
Wildland Firefighter Monument problems. I hear often that you do a lot
a lot of very good things behind the scenes in support of fire and all
different current projects that others work on at NIFC. You're one of
unsung public servants in my book, and a darn fine writer! I am
forward to making your acquaintance one day. If you end up retiring
I make it back to Boise, please come visit us in Northern California.
have space upstairs for visitors to spend the night. We can tip a few,
notes and set the world straight!
You are one of those older dudes, right?
Re: Aero Commander accident at North Las Vegas
Just an update: Ron was released from the hospital with cuts and
bruises only. Marge is still in the hospital recovering from a fracture
and a possible spinal injury. The pilot was a relief pilot (name and
current status being withheld at the request of the family and
employer). The current contract for the aircraft is held by the Nez
Perce National Forest and the aircraft is based out of Grangeville,
Idaho, although it was on assignment at North Las Vegas when the
accident occurred. The investigation is on-going. We also send wishes
for a speedy recovery to those involved. Hurry home, guys, we miss you!
- R1 employee
I don't know if you answer these types of questions, but I thought I
would try anyway- I am a secondary FF who goes out as HECM. My forest
fire cache does not have any flight helmets so I have one ordered from our
regional cache. I would like to get one of the extra cables that would
allow me to plug my Bendix king handheld radio into my flight helmet
microphone. I have seen other HECM's using them. No one seems to know what
the cable/adapter thing is called or what number to order. We ordered
something last year and it was wrong, we ordered something this year and it
was wrong again. Even the fire cache folks don't seem to know anything. Do
you know anything about this stuff?
Anyone hear more details about services for Jerry Martinez? I presume
they'll be in Montana?
Whats this I hear from Boise ground pounder??? The Monument now
like a tractor drove through it? The moon tree is dead because of
direct sunlight. All the tended perennials are gone, whacked down. All
left are trees, a large sage and a couple of weeds. Good grief! Will
take some pictures? I still don't know if he's pulling my leg!
Pigs are gonna die: means that there's a big fire, with a big base camp.
With pork served every meal, it takes a lot of dead pigs to supply
meat to the camp.
Added it: Funny
fire names and terms page. Ab.
Does anyone have any info on the injured WYS jumper Q. Gidley?
As I recall hearing on Friday or Saturday, Phil's still in the
hospital in UT in intensive care. They wanted to transfer him to a
hospital at home, but it will have to wait as the UT docs want to keep
him longer to be on the safe side. As you can imagine, threat from
infection is high whenever you have this kind of injury and intestinal
surgery is performed. They're being extremely careful.
The Wildland Firefighter Foundation will try to pick up his air fare when
he can fly and probably some other expenses to help sustain him as well.
Those smokejumpers take good care of their members. Prayers/good thoughts for healing are welcome. Ab.
Re Swamp Walker:
Red To Green;
Tell you daughter that when the Gold Bond quits working you have to get out
the Bag Balm.
Of course you can't be really sure the GB isn't working until you have gone
through all 3 colors of GB: Yellow, Green and Blue.
hey, the is a whole big room full of sandtables at the WFTC in
McClellan, Ca. The whole facility is fairly new so I guess those tables
are too. Someone there may be able to help you.
Our ATGS friends and coworkers Marge and Ron (and their pilot whose name I still have not learned) took a terrible bounce off of the runway pavement at North Los Vegas Airport the other day while taking off for an air attack mission. After seeing the film footage of the post-accident activities and of the wreckage it is incredible that they all survived. All were hospitalized.
Our thoughts and prayers go out for the speedy recovery of these good folks. Much speculation is out there as to what caused the accident and let us hope that whatever caused this accident be ascertained soon and remedied to prevent future accidents.
You folks heal up soon!
Ditto on the healing wishes. Ab.
This info is circulating via FS email in R6. We linked to the kvbc
video on 7/21. See a more current link with video, stories and photos
above in NMAir Bear's post.
ATGS Ron Rucker from R6 was an occupant in a ASM that crashed in Las Vegas,
NV (7/21/05). It was the 7UP beachcraft out of Pendleton, OR that we use
frequently. All three were in serious condition... more info can be seen at
In response to your request on sand tables, I have been on two different
ones, but they both covered the total aspect of a "fire".
One table was made of wood and had a river and highway painted on it. The other was a metal box with a couple of 5 gallon buckets of sand/ dirt poured in it.
The instructors who were doing the scenario had different colored bottles of chalk. Blue for
water, red for fire. There were also mini trucks to represent the different class of fire trucks, cotton balls to represent smoke and one even had real pieces of pine tree to be the forest. There were also radios (turned off) to get use to talking on the radio.
There were different scenarios of IA from structure protection to digging line around a 2 acre fire to calling in bucket drops.
It will give everybody who does it a completely different aspect of what is going on with a fire. It will really make you think and it will make you sweat if you have not done it before.
At the end we discussed what could have been done differently and what each person would have done differently.
If you have anymore questions ask AB for my e-mail and I will go into greater detail of what was done.
George Motschall is retiring after an... interesting career.
He is retiring as the head of South Ops... the actual title is longer than I can remember for this post.
What is pertinent is that he is one of the last of the breed that made the Forest Service what it should be.
He got lots of... grief... for not exactly doing things by the book at certain points of his career. But I am here to tell you he got things done!
Folks like him made this organization great! He may have shot from the hip and PO'ed overhead but he always had the troops at heart and stayed steady in the face of chaos.
The fact that he rose to the position he did may be of some hope to us all!
I've never known George to P'Off people. Always smiling... He
always has had such a nice sweet personality... for being a wildland
firefighter. Happy retirement George. Ab.
The Region 6 Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program recruitment
bulletin is now posted at www.wfap.net/recruitment.phpl. Region 6
will be hiring approximately 22 apprentice. Applications must be received
by September 14th.
I'd like to comment briefly on Lobotomy's request for
info on work/rest, etc.
You could call this a modest proposal from a camp slug
who is no longer on the fireline. First, the new
work/rest implementation has worked very well in my
opinion. I've found folks VERY eager to make sure
people get adequate rest by enforcing 8 hours rest for
each 16 hours worked, even to including 2 meals into
the day, resulting in a 15 hour work day, 8 hours
"rest", and 1 hour meals. Three weak points remain.
1) Eight hours off-shift is not eight hours rest. As
Lobotomy hints, there's time standing in meal lines,
shower lines, phone lines, and other lines that all
adds up to about six or seven hours sleep.
2) Travel time often exceeds the 2:1 ratio and is
ignored. One is still sometimes expected to travel
16-24 hours to an incident, bed down at 2 a.m. and go
on shift at 05:30 with a very short night. This is
considered ok because in theory we all start out well
rested. But the same happens when we go home. I just
got a "red eye" flight home and spent 24 hours in
travel status with only a dash of sleep on the three
3) This last one will be resisted by many fire
fighters, just like the 2:1 ration is resisted by the
workaholics out for every minute of chargeable time
possible; that is, those who would always work 18
hours days. IF we REALLY wanted rested firefighters,
we would have a day of R&R every 5 to 7 days, with
8-12 hours of paid time. Providing 10-12 hours paid
time would be reasonable because its time away from
family and home when one could be doing something else
aside from hang around camp. This would give folks a
day to catch their breath and sleep in late (as well
as go to sleep early for the next shift). If
possible, one could rotate crews through motels; as
Lobotomy suggests, other agencies provide motels and
in the east, even crews often stay in motels. This
would give crews a leisurely day to catch up on sleep
and call home for more than five minutes.
I doubt this last idea will be popular. Many
firefighters would rather have dollars than sleep,
even if it endangers themselves and others. From the
agency's perspective its costly, but in the east it
seems to work.
Sign me as: Well Rested.
I think you have hit the proverbial nail on the head! In the FS's zeal to attain certain goals they have not taken into account several aspects of human behavior and the 'old ways' that work. We used to look at seasonal for a couple of seasons at least to see if they fit, and they likewise looked at us for a fit. Now we hire folks off the street that never slept in the dirt or had to be on time in their lives! It was/is bound for failure on many levels. I will not stay on my soap box to elucidate all of them. You summed it up nicely!
You been away a while BB? Ab.
I wish I could be there to pedal alongside Lobotomy, but distance and
duty will keep me here.
The OT hasn't exactly been streaming around these parts, so I'm going
to double-up my 52 Club membership in honor of this 'fun run' and send
the WFF another check.
RE: Sandtables....... Leadership Development Webpage > Toolbox > Make Sound Decisions > TDGS Library & TDGS Workbook..
There are many other excellent items on this webpage. Worth some surfing. Good luck!
Those darn HS challenges that many of us remember....... anyone who has been a Hotshot loves them.... the roots of the HS community....the very roots of the wildland fire community.
Who can do the most push ups?... who can walk the fastest up the mother "friggin +.+ 07 hill" the fastest?... the hotshot community has done it for years...
I wonder if the Engine, Helitack , and MANAGEMENT subcommunities will send a dime to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation for the little jog that a fellow wildland firefighter is taking to raise funds for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation?
Yes, This is a challenge... if you are a current or former hotshot, engine slug, helislacker, or jumper weenie..... show us all you are still in the fight.. A pledge is for OUR FAMILIES... what a safe bet. Get off your butt0Ck$.....
Ex-Hotshot... still a Firefighter
Try this for STEX.
Old Fire Guy
Please post on fire terms- my daughter (USFS engine) just came home from
a 14 day with these terms to add to the list:
Yellows- nomex shirt
Swampy walk- also known as "hotshot walk" The very odd wide stance
variation of walking because the FF is suffering from "hotshot butt"
(also known as monkey butt). The Goldbond isn't working and the FF
doesn't want any body parts to touch. (Her digital camera video was
quite amusing to watch and see the swampy walk in action.)
Post my name as Red turned to Green
She gonna send that clip in? I put them on the Funny
fire names and terms page. Ab.
I love your support for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and what an excellent idea!!!
With overtime finally "streaming" in at home, I pledge $10 per mile. Any donation, any amount per mile is a victory for the wildland fire family and the work that the Wildland Firefighter Foundation performs each and every year for the families and firends of the injured or fallen. It's the least we (wildland firefighters) can do to support our wildland fire community. I'll plan on cheering you on... all the way to the finish line if I'm not sidelined by fires... or if I fall off my bike as I try to follow you.
P.S. - those of us that go to Reno for four to five conferences a year.... think how you can re-direct those miss-spent gambling funds towards the families of the injured and fallen ... I have. I hope you will also.
I am looking for any info on sand table scenarios. Any direction would be
I enjoy the news and notes but was curious why all the GACC's don't use this
information system? I guess that why the ABS have there own WLF news page,
which is a good source of info.
You can be sure that I will make a hefty donation per mile for your run. What an amazing thing to do! The only thing that bums me out is that I can't be down there to root you on. That is the same date that I will be in Seattle with the kids for one of John's past crewmember's wedding. If, for some reason, you change the date, please let me know. I will be down there in a heartbeat. If not, I will be with you in spirit. Be safe and GOOD LUCK!! If there is anything that I can do to help you out, contact me. You can get my email through Ab or from the WFF. You are an angel!
Please review the video on this website page: http://latgawa.mind.net/Wildlandfire.php
Would you be interested in linking to or using the video on your website?
Thanks Red Hawk, people interested can view and bookmark it. Ab.
Regarding BIA fire positions, more specifically type 2 handcrew and AD engine work around Navajo Land, here's some contact info for you:
United States Department of Interior
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Navajo Region Human Resources – RM. 240
301 W. Hill Avenue
P.O. Box 1060
Gallup, New Mexico 87305-1060
Telephone: (505) 863-8211
They will be able to point you in the right direction.
On July, 3rd I was making an ultra-distance run for my birthday, and at about mile 30 or so, during a moment of runner high bliss, I had a wonderful idea. And here it is!
On Sept. 3rd, 2005 at 0700 I will set out on a 52 mile run from Fox Air Attack base in Lancaster,
CA. The exact route isn’t known at this time, because I need to check out the suitability of the roadsides I have ideas for, and confirm mileage. But the idea is to have fire stations, or wildland fire related points along the route. It will most likely be in and through the Angeles National Forest. I will have a back-up route in case….well, for instance….there is a fire where I want to go. Once I have confirmed the route, I will let everyone know.
Why Sept. 3rd, you ask? Well, no reason really. Symbolically, I felt it should be during fire season. And quite frankly, I like running in the heat. I had originally planned on a bit earlier, but I think this will give everyone a chance to decide if they wish to pledge. I’m kind of hoping for a lull at that time between the Northwest cooling down and the Santa Ana’s kicking up.
This run is intended to reflect the “52 Club”. In order for the WFF to benefit, we would like to ask the wildland firefighter community to pledge. Folks it’s just like when we were all kids in school and had a “walkathon”. People would pledge whatever they felt comfortable with, on a “per mile” basis. After the run is completed the referee will confirm with Vicky that it was completed, and the pledge money would be sent directly to the WFF.
1. The course must be completed in 14 hours. If I don’t, you pay only for the mileage completed at the 14 hour mark.
So within that 14 hours, I can walk (trust me no one can run 52 miles without walking some) and stop for quick rests (change socks, etc.) But remember, the point is to raise money, so it would not benefit the WFF for me to walk and sit around for 14 hours. A distance like this would normally be a 12 hour cut-off time, but because I’m planning on running normal roads that, of course, will be open to normal traffic, I want to pad for unknowns. It should take, if all goes normal between 9 and 11 hours.
I will have a support team that will provide food, fluids and medical aide (blister popping, etc.). I’ve asked Tony Duprey to be the referee. He is well known and respected, and I’m sure a good motivator at the 45 mile mark. Anyway he has agreed to help us out. If for some reason he is unavailable due to fire assignment, we’ll find someone.
If anyone happens to be in the area on that day, please feel free to stop by Fox or along the route. Trust me the further along in the run, the more entertaining I will be, and as anyone who’s done big races can tell you, there’s nothing like spectators along the route.
Vicki Minor wanted me to tell everyone a little about myself. I’ve never been real comfortable with bios, but here goes.
Currently I’m an Air Tactical Supervisor, for the BLM. Before that I was an Alaska Smokejumper, and before that I was with the USFS with the Fulton Hotshots on the Sequoia NF. I also spent three summers working for the Kern Co. FD on an engine. In the spring of 2000, I injured my back during a rescue operation in Alaska. After two major operations, I now have a couple of pounds of titanium and a complete fusion of the lumbar spine, and constant lower back and hip pain. This of course limits many activities that I can do. However on a whim this past winter, I decided to run the Los Angeles Marathon, and while training for that, I realized that running didn’t make my back hurt more. It didn’t necessarily make it hurt less either, but I found something I could do. I also realized, after my performance in the LA Marathon that speed as not really going to work for me. Of course, many will tell you, it never really has. So if speed
will be no friend of mine, then maybe endurance and distance would. That would be the route I would take. A perfect sport for plodders. So that’s me folks….not much there.
I am in contact with Vicki and the WFF, and I am not sure how she plans to set up the pledging, collection, etc. But I’m sure that will be worked out. I wanted to get this out so that many that are out on fires will have a chance to see this.. We’ve got just over a month.
Depending on how this goes; how much money we can raise, and how much support we can get…….there is the possibility for “52x2” in the summer of 2006. 52x2 means just that; 104 miles. Location and time limits to be determined. Unless I can get Dean Karnazes to be my personal trainer, I don’t see a “52x3”…..But who knows???
Kenneth Perry pledges $1.00 per mile.
Kenneth C. Perry
Great idea KCP. We'll post updates from the road. Ab.
We have a disc of photos of the Mason Gulch fire in Colorado. Some of the
fire companies that were fighting that fire expressed an interest in having
the photos for a teaching tool.
We have not been able to get a comprehensive list of companies and addresses
to send discs to and wondered if you might be interested in posting them on
your site? We understand firefighters use this site a lot. The disc is 30
megs. so we can't e-mail the photos, but if you like we could mail you a
disc. We would really like to give something back to the people who saved
our butts, and although this isn't much it's a start.
Polly and Pete Conlon
Thanks Polly, send 'em in. Ab.
Readers, we get these cool notes daily... Here's an example:
Hickman is headed to Bear Country (NMAirBear that is) New Fire.
Just look for the guy wearing yellow and green.
All these messages about who is going where. WhoooHooo. Have fun.
Be Safe. Ab.
can you give me any information on which departments accept red green
colorblind applicants? it's frustrating to go thru the time and expense of
applying, traveling and then only to find out the physical will exclude you
based on color blindness. I am ff2 and emt certified.
Re: Wildland Firefighter Monument at NIFC,
I appreciate the contributions and replies regarding the lack of maintenance at the firefighter monument. What I see here is that there are many others concerned about the issue, NIFC is aware of the problem, and a permanent solution is being sought.
I thank Anne Jeffery for her official response to let us know the area has at least been spruced up for the short term. I also thank all the NIFC employees who volunteered their time and effort currently and in the past. But I don't view landscape maintenance, regardless of the location or importance as their responsibility. I highly doubt their position descriptions contain any such duties and those declining to participate aren't to be blamed. And there are certainly times when the willing wouldn't be able to take the time off their normal duties to contribute.
I encourage those in a position to do so to seek and implement a permanent solution. From my admittedly limited perspective it doesn't seem such a large problem to overcome. While I'm not well versed or a fan of politics as a daily weapon, I disagree with one reply to this subject here that said writing members of Congress or State officials is wasted time. I know from personal experience how suddenly one can receive an email or telephone call and be at the wrong end of a congressional or other governmental inquiry. I have also observed it take just one phone call or letter to the appropriate (or inappropriate) individual to initiate this type of undesirable process.
Again, my thanks to those who contributed information. I guess now I'm curious to hear the story behind the memorial bricks that are allegedly sitting in a warehouse for two years?
0462 (Forestry Technician) & Series
0455 (Range Technician) jobs pages and Series
0401 ("professional" Biologist) are updated.
Hellroaring Fire, a small private contractor in northwest Montana, is seeking a qualified engine boss to run a Type 5 engine out of Polson, MT. See contact info on the Jobs Page.
Ab, I need some help from the wildland fire community.
Anyone have the following types of photos or ideas they would be willing to share?
I would like to get photos of the living conditions of wildland firefighters during
their off duty times... ie- tent city, tarps over remote encampments, and the long lines for food or supplies? How many hours of actual rest do wildland firefighters actually get each night while on an average assignment these days? How long do wildland firefighters wait in supply lines off the clock to get needed supplies for the next shift? How long do wildland firefighters wait off the clock in shower lines? How long do they wait off the clock in commissary lines? How long do they wait in phone lines attempting to contact family?
Also, if anyone has info on the quality and length of sleep you get in most camp settings, the effects upon the family when you are gone for 14+ days per assignment, or the effects on health while sleeping in firecamps during fires, etc... please share it.
I want to get accurate photos and stories of firefighters living conditions during their off times... ie - trying to sleep during the day when it is 100 degrees or trying to sleep at night in a government provided sleeping bag rated at 45 degrees when it is actually 15-30 degrees.
Wildland firefighters keep getting compared to other federal workers on assignments such as the FBI, Customs and Border Patrol, and others... Most of the other federal workers are gone a few days, stay in a nice hotel, order food from a restaurant, and can talk to their families during the short duration they are gone from home... wildland firefighters do not have these luxuries.
Ab, can you forward any responses to me? I would like responses from the ground pounder firefighter to the upper level wildland fire manager if folks have comments to share.
Thanks in advance.
Will do. Ab.
Aviation Mishap: A Nez Perce National Forest fixed wing air attack aircraft assigned
to the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada crashed on takeoff from the North Las
Vegas Airport late this afternoon. The three individuals onboard the aircraft were taken
to a Las Vegas hospital where they are being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Plane reportedly under contract to the FS down on takeoff at the North Las Vegas
tail #N7UP, plane does fire recon, transports firefighters. 3 people
video report: www.kvbc.com/
I had not looked at this site for a few days and as I backtracked to the info about the neglect of the monument, I was ready to throw my shovel and clippers into the car and head for Boise to fix the problem. Good thing I finished reading today and found that Anne
and others had done the job. Thanks Anne. Maybe post a photo when it is finished. I am still wondering what can be done to complete the wall that Vicki has in mind for the bricks.
Sarah Larson ( Matt Taylor's mom)
It has been two years since the Cramer Fire tragedy. It’s been on my mind
a lot, and with fire season really starting to heat up, I wanted to put a
few thoughts out there for the fire community.
There are some very important lessons yet to be learned from the Cramer
Fire. Few people have been talking about it in recent months, though
Misery Whip, Mellie, C-Sagebrush Faller, and a few others here have made
some very good, thought-provoking points here over the months. I've truly
appreciated both their writings and their perspectives more than they can
know. A heartfelt thanks to them!
Having been part of the Cramer Investigation (Fire Behavior), I've had a
more close tie than most, and in the past two years, have seen and
experienced more than I could have imagined. After a return visit to the
Cramer Fire site last fall, it became more apparent than ever to me that
human factors played a huge part. And in looking at the interaction of
human behavior and the fire environment, some new insights surfaced.
I’m no expert in human factors by any means, but so much of what Laurence
Gonzales discusses in Deep
Survival, and Weick and Sutcliffe in Managing
the Unexpected, really started to make sense. Many of the same
fundamental human factors common to complex organizational accidents. And
another unsettling realization - the fire behavior on Cramer, and some of
the associated human behavior, was in too many ways a close repeat of
South Canyon. We learned much about human factors out of the South Canyon
tragedy, but have yet to learn much from Cramer in this regard.
On July 22, 2003 at 1524h, the last radio transmission was aired from the
two rappellers at H-2 on the Cramer Fire. I hope everyone out there will
take a moment on July 22 to honor the memory of Jeff Allen and Shane
Heath. And here’s another thought: wherever you are, whatever you're
doing on July 22, consider taking "Six Minutes for
Safety" at 1524h. To
honor Jeff Allen and Shane Heath, and reflect on what you can do to ensure
everyone comes home safe from each and every fire.
Thanks for listening, and be safe out there!
Kelly Close, FBAN
Ft. Collins, CO
PS. There will be a memorial ceremony tomorrow (7/22) at the
helibase in Indianola. Among other things, they plan to break ground for
a memorial to Jeff Allen and Shane Heath.
Hello Abn & All...
Just a few points regarding earlier posts concerning the NIFC and the Monument. Writing letters to any of the Idaho Congrssional Deligation would be an effort in fruitility, they're too busy stripping the VA of funds for their own pork barrel projects. As for the NIFC moving to Washington DC...just rumors started from the BLM's attempt to move 16 BLM staff from the NIFC to Washington DC, which was stopped by the Honorable (joke) Sen. Larry Craig. Craig seems to think that 16 government employees leaving Boise will substantially cripple the local economy so he threatened the director of the blm to stop the move or he (Craig) would hold up the appointment of a deputy director position in the BLM. If it doesn't concern farmers or farming then Lary Craig doesn't want to hear about it and that goes for anything to do with wildland firefighters. The best avenue for action is for someone to drop a hint of the situation to Govenor Dirk Kempthorne, or his chief of staff, let Dirk know theres a chance for him to be on the local news and he'll jump through rings of fire to get the monument cleaned up, he'll just have to find out WHERE the NIFC is located.
Re: Live Reel tactics
It is possible to use a tactic with your live reel without using "hard line "hose. We stopped putting that red rubber hose on our reels years ago. If you use Reeltex, or even Hotline hose or
equivalent, you get more GPM with 1/4th the friction loss in your hose. You would not have to alter your tactics in any way, and this improves your margin for safety, as the hose is more effective. I know some agencies used to say they didn't like soft hoses on a reel because you couldn't rool it up empty and then charge it without crushing the reel. This is true, but the Reeltex type hose has a spiral type spring running in it that keeps the hose rigid, even when empty. It meets all the NFPA tests, and is very durable, even dragging it over rocks, etc. It costs a little more, but is less than half the weight when dragging hose uphill or through brush. It's not the tactic that's wrong, maybe just the hose!! If you use a synthetic hose like Hotline on a reel, and have to roll it up empty, just remember to unroll the reel and charge it before rolling it back on the reel. These newer lightweight hoses save firefighters' backs and knees, and then we can all go to even more fires!!
"The Blacker the Forest, the Greener the Paycheck" - Old USFS saying.
Friends of the NIFC Monument:
I agree with KB's husband. Most of the folks enshrined at the NIFC monument would agree were they still here with us that a yearly (or so) prescribed burn of the grounds would be very fitting as many of them were the pioneers of prescribed fire as we now know it. Many more spent good portions of their careers proudly involved in this ultimate act of resource management. If the vegetation is indeed "designed to reflect the wildland vegetation and environment" it would be most resilient to this regular management activity.
Maybe just a tad of re-design is warranted: a bit of pruning up of trees, a bit of line construction by the NIFC staff folks prior to prescribed fire. Maybe they could use some of the warehoused bricks to create short walls to focus heat upwards and away from statues, trees, etc. The backside of these bricks would end up black and the frontside would still proudly display the names of those intended to be remembered. Most fitting. Just an idea.
And regarding the problem of smoke in the office buildings nearby.......oh never mind.
The FWFSA is pleased to report that the Federal Workforce & Agency Organization Subcommittee has informed FWFSA Business Manager Casey Judd that it has scheduled congressional hearings on HR 408, The Federal Wildland Firefighter Emergency Response Compensation Act for August 12, 2005. This will be a field hearing in the subcommittee chairman's district (Jon Porter, Nevada), likely the Red Rock Canyon National Park.
The FWFSA will provide additional information as it becomes available.
For more information, contact Casey Judd at (916) 515-1224.
viejo and Dawn
I agree that knocking down flashy fuels of light to moderate intensity can
be accomplished with the standard 3/4" or 1" hardline booster hose. We did
it quite a bit when working in FBFM 1 or even 3 and it was pretty
successful. When called to assist with a "run-away" marsh burn that the
locals would light trying to knock down 10 foot tall flamelengths in
flatstem or roundstem bulrush was pretty much hopeless using our hardline.
So before I left the unit had had most of our larger engines retro-fitted
with 1.5" swivel discharges on their front bumpers. But rather than plumb
the front "trash line" with 1.5" hose I went with a 1.25" hose that
Wajax-Wildfire used to market exclusively with a KK Bubblecup nozzle.
Speaking of interesting nozzle/hose combinations in 2000 while staged in
Boise I wandered into the LSRD engine compound and noticed a really odd
setup. Wound on the hose reels of their Great Basin engine packages were
1/2" industrial hydraulic hose with a Forester Twin-Tip nozzle on the end
(and I thought those Forester nozzles were only good for mop-up). I asked
one of the Engine Module Leaders what was up with the 1/2" hydraulic line?
He told me the combination of Forester nozzle, Class A foam and narrow
diameter hydraulic line on the hose reels were extremely effective in the
sagebrush and cheatgrass that year. Since the Great Basin package has two
hose reels they would toss over the hose from the reel off the side of the
engine that was opposite to the fire and, in tandem with the hose reel on
the engine side of the fire, basically have two discharges working the
fires edge. The first reel would knock down the flame with the Foresters'
straight tip and the second Forester would "foam" what the first nozzle
knock down. Using two hose reels with 3/4" or 1" hose would probably use
up their 850 gallons up rather quick so the 1/2" hydraulic line seemed to
be the best combination of water conservation and effective knock down in
their light to moderate fuels. Would I use this in 4 foot tall flatstem?
Not if I wanted to save my whiskers!
Interesting though....when I was up in Boise recently I noticed all of the
new LSRD engines in that same compound had 1" hard line on their reels!
The Blue Light
Get your red bags ready for a trip North: "red flag warnings" for Friday on the
LNF, BRF and BDF for high temps, low RH, and T-storms with associated
winds (and little if any precip).
On behalf of NIFC employees, we appreciate everyone’s concern and passion for the Wildland Firefighters’ Monument. We, too, have tremendous respect for the monument and the meaning it holds. We assure you the issues being discussed here have been, and are continuing to be addressed. The Monument looks quite different right now than it did in the photos posted here earlier.
Every year since the Monument was created, NIFC employees have held an annual Monument Clean-up Day and many spent the day trimming, weeding, and cleaning up. This year, a day was set and planned for, but was interrupted due to inclement weather. Although it was rescheduled, staff had less time to plan around the new date and participation was below what we normally have.
As you are probably aware, the Monument grounds were designed to reflect the wildland vegetation and environment in which firefighters work each year. These grounds, similar to landscapes across the West, saw unusual growth of smaller fuels this year.
In light of all this, however, we have already taken action. The paths are cleared, and the vegetation is trimmed around the statues and stones. Additional work will take place over the next several days to restore the site in the condition we’ve all come to know.
Also, we are working on a long-term solution to see that this situation does not arise again. In the meantime, however, we do thank you for your interest, your passion, your concern, and your comments. We share in your respect for the Monument and all firefighters.
Group Manager External Affairs, Office of Fire and Aviation
Bureau of Land Management, National Interagency Fire Center
Anne, many thanks for the feedback. Please thank all who
Looking at this link to Tacoma Library and found some great articles on
Forest Fires of the early 1900's
Go to that site and look for
My name is Leland. My sister Marlene Clitso has experience in fire fighting
around Navajoland. We are trying to get info on Ft Defiance, AZ contact
email and phone numbers so she can obtain her RED CARD from them.
new northern Calif GAc website
Thanks TC. Ab.
I forgot to mention something else about the monument in my last rant.
If anyone is going there and expects to see the bricks, don't. As most
people know, the bricks were laid in the pathway, but as the rains came,
the mud filled up the writing and you couldn't distinguish what was on
them. Vicki had all the bricks pulled up and had a wall designed so that
they could be displayed and read without any problems. That too had a
stop put to it. All the bricks are now sitting in a warehouse were I was
told that they would stay for 2 years. Once again, the political machine
had stepped in. I was extremely disappointed when I was there to not be
able to see bricks that had been bought in some friends' memory. If I
had purchased bricks and knew that they were sitting somewhere where no
one is going to see them, well, I'd be plenty mad (I'll put that
As for JerseyBoy's comment, no, it isn't the Smokejumpers that take care
of it. They had a paid groundskeeper who is doing nothing for the
monument. I do know the situation, but have refrained from telling all.
Believe me, it is going to take letters and phone calls from people like
us to get things changed around there.
Regarding the Monument-
I have visited the monument in June 2002; January, April, and October 2004;
and June 2005. Every time I go to NIFC I make it a point to visit the
monument and pause for a moment. Before 2005 I have always seen the
monument in great condition and I have enjoyed the natural setting.
This past June it was overgrown, and it was the first time I did not walk
the path. I have walked the path in snow before but it seemed more
treacherous with the overgrowth. I did not think to ask anyone about it
because I assumed that it was just a growth spurt and it would be taken
care of soon. That was almost 2 months ago.
Would someone in Boise please walk over to Larry's desk and ask him what is
up? Regardless of whose job it is- if we can't get the person to do it I
say allow others to step in. This is not a performance review issue- this
is a matter of respect for the fallen and their families.
a disappointed BLMgirl
Most 3/4" hard lines will only flow 23-25 GPM and will not provide an effective fog pattern to protect the
nozzleman. A 1" jump line with a good (Akron Turbojet or equal) fog nozzle is a much better choice. However, you've got to match the attack line and nozzle to the pump capability.
If that's all the agency provides, you got to use the equipment they give
you. If the pump is not adequate perhaps a SAFENET is in order. In the meantime, recognizing the unusual fuel loads this year, perhaps a change in tactics should be considered.
How many burnovers and near miss situations are acceptable?
Before people start a letter writing campaign to
Senators, it might be best to find out the facts of
Could it be that this is a job normally done by the
Boise jumpers during slow periods? Looking at the
smokejumper status report for the last 5 weeks with
jumpers scattered between Alaska and the Great Basin
sub-bases, there probably wouldn't be anyone around to
do the maintenance.
Maybe a different arrangement needs to be in place
during fire season?
Hmmmm, from what I've heard, I don't think the SJs are assigned.
Somebody want to check who's supposed to be accountable? Ab.
We were in Boise Monday, my husband had been at the monument on the 8th and he said it needed a prescribed burn. It is a mess after seeing the pictures I am angry as I feel it is very disappointing it is disrespectable to the firefighters living and dead and
their families. We would be glad to work on the monument at anytime. When you can't even see the statues or the walkway and how are you suppose to sit on the benches? Let me know what we can do to get this
I think this was in the spam filter, Leo. It just showed up although
you emailed several days ago:
RE Gazner packs
West Valley FS BLM Alturas Resource Area phone no UNK at present
Dry Creek FS relied on them heavily 1991 1992 when I was there
I have no photos
Give them a call, someone would have a digital camera
I’d like to mention names but the FOIA type crap exists
Contact those folks, best bunch I ever worked with and I think they would provide a great assist
Has anyone heard about the report on the Tuolumne Fire and when it will be coming out?
I thought I had heard something about the end of june but I guess that is incorrect. Any
info would be great.
Another ground pounder
The legal beagles, CA and fed, are reviewing it before release.
They've had it quite a while but they also have other things to review,
I am told. Ab.
Earlier this month Lonnie Barnett was looking for pics of Camp Pendleton's heavy brush engine, to build a scale model of it. I can't help with any pics but I can suggest he try the forum over at DoD Fire
there are several firefighters from Camp Pendleton who post there regularly, particularly one CPFD Jim (perhaps the Jim911 who posted the pic at wildlandfire.com?) regardless if they are one and the same CPFD Jim seems a helpful type who might be willing to take a few pics and send them Lonnie's way, that site also has a photo section and I believe there is a pic or two of the engine he is looking for. Failing that Camp Pendletons engine was built by Boise Mobile Equipment so perhaps he can get some pics or plans from BME
www.bmefire.com/. Finally he may be interested in another site The Scale Firehouse,
a website devoted to building models of emergency vehicles.
Regarding the WFF memorial at NIFC, I visited it in 2001, and at that time it was fairly overgrown but the statues were easily seen, I asked about the reason for the poor
maintenance and was told part of the artists design was to have natural looking vegetation to give the effect of firefighters working at a fire. When I saw it I felt the uncared for greenery took away from the monument, artistically the idea may have been a good one at the time but I also felt it looked neglected, but at the time the pathways and benches along the way were clearly being maintained, sounds like that is no longer the case.
For the USFS types out there, if you have not seen the greatest good 3 disc CD set, there is quite a bit of fire stuff in the extras, some video and interviews of the early days of air tankers, 40 years of Smokey PSA's, Lookouts, etc. One of my favorites was an interview with 3 retired hotshots recalling their careers in the early days of the professional USFS fire organization (1950-60's).
I am also trying to put together an informal history of USFS fire apparatus, I've found a fair amount of information for R5 back to the Model 51 and 60 but little on the Model 40, 50, 56 and 58 (pre 1970's?) and nothing on equipment used before these. Also very little on equipment used outside of Region 5 besides that currently used (model 22, 46, and 70/71 in R3, model 45 and 80 in R6, Model 52 in R4). From searching through the archives I found a few bits of info on the colors and a few places that have surviving examples of the early engines but not much else. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I saw the note from SCM and this is the condition that I found the monument in also. We too, took pictures of how overgrown and shameful it has become. While in Boise I got the names of all the senators for the state and I'm planning I writing every single person who might be able to put some pressure on NIFC. From the conversation I had with Vicki, there was a fabulous man who took care of the grounds, but he retired a while back. They now have a new groundskeeper, but what he does with his time is a mystery to me. Vicki also told me that she had a crew that was waiting to fly out and had volunteered to take care of this. She was turned down, the reason being that they had someone to do this and they wouldn't allow
What a dishonor to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and their families. Shame on those who have allowed this to happen. They will be hearing from me. Care to join me in a letter writing campaign? Public and family pressure can change things around. I know that when John's marker is set I want to be able to see it, not have to push back weeds to find it.
Apparently you haven't seen very many Light (type6) and Heavy (type4) Engine that the BLM utilizes, a hard line is their standard line for fire attack. Their engines do carry 1.5" hose but its carried in compartments, not loaded as a cross lay, speed lay or preconnect. The BLM has gotten somewhat bigger in their thinking since they have 5 or 6 Tatra 6x6 type 3 engine with a r/c bumper monitor. I'm a engine boss on a type 4 engine and we have a" bumper line" set up on our engine for a 1.5" preconnect, up to 15o feet but this season we just have a 50ft section of 1.75 , with a tft,
preconnected to the bumper outlet, plus we have a 1.75" speedlay
preconnected off the hose bed. Our "Trash Line" is very good for heavy fuels AND engine protection. We are currently working the Esmerelda fire near where that burnover
occurred, You should see what that crew was up against, then again when somebody figures how to predict what mother natures is about to throw at us I hope they let the rest of us in on it.
Regarding Preparedness Levels:
So now I count 16 Type 2 teams committed, 4 type 1 teams... and most national resources committed with competition between
GACCs for local and national resources. MAFFS being ordered with deployment to Boise and possibly to other areas. Shortages of Type 1 crews, type 2 helicopters, and large airtankers. I wonder what the predicted dry lightning tomorrow will bring in terms of fires that can be supported and what the National Preparedness Levels will reflect by Friday or Saturday.... still a 3 or will it show the drawdown that is actually happening across the western U.S.?
Based upon the 07/20/2005 Nightly Situation Reports, the GACCs are in the following preparedness levels.
National Level: 3
Eastern Great Basin: 4
Western Great Basin: 4
Northern Rockies: 3
Rocky Mountains: 3
Nortwest: (No report) Morning report shows going to 3.
Northern California: 2
Southern California: 1
Got my Wildlandfire.com
If you haven't bought one yet, you better!! This one has CLASS and you'll be proud to wear it anywhere. Can't wait till my next fire I go on it will make a statement for sure! Thanks AB for a quality product. Be sure to buy one from the They Said Store and spread the site around!!
Thanks Willy-N. We think they're mighty fine. Ab.
Abs...here's a copy of the info I got on the engine burnover in Northern Nevada, complete with typos and spelling errors.
While the crew was commended for practicing the 10 and 18s, no mention was made of the fact that they attacked a hot fire line with a hard line. As demonstrated, a hard line does not have enough GPM to provide the knockdown necessary if a wind shift occurs, even in light fuels.
I won't go into hose line size or nozzle recommendations, but in my opinion, 75-80 GPM with a good variable flow fog nozzle is a minimum sized for hot line.
(Thanks viejo. Ab had to correct the typos.)
North Valley NV Engine Burn Over -- 24 Hour Briefing
Location: 7 Miles North of Orovada, Humboldt County, Nevada
Date of Occurrence: July 16, 2005
Time of Occurrence: 1735
Team Leader: Everell "Butch" Hayes
Activity: Initial Attack
Number Injured: None
Number of Fatalities: None
Property Damage: $210,000
On July 16, 2005, at approximately 1700 hours fire personnel from Orovada Volunteer Fire Department and Bureau of Land Management responded to a reported fire some 7 miles North Northwest or Orovada, Nevada. The IC met the engine captain on the south edge of the fire on State Highway 95. Instruction were given to cool down approximately 150 feet of active backing fire,
1- to 3-foot flame lengths, between the highway and the right-of-way fence. The objective was to tie into an existing tractor disc line at the fence line. The engine initiated direct initial attack with hard line with a second engine to follow in tandem. The engine entered the green approximately 10 feet off the highway. About half the engine was still on the gravel shoulder when the southwest wind shifted to the northwest causing an immediate blow up with 10- to 15-foot flame lengths. Fire and smoke were sucked into the turbo charger air intake which stalled the engine. Efforts to restart the engine failed and the crew and driver had to escape into the safe zone on the highway. The front of the engine and front tires immediately caught fire. The second engine abandoned efforts to extinguish the fire due to intense heat and smoke from the burning engine.
There were no injuries. The fire was contained at approximately 4,480 acres The engine crew should be credited for following their training and adherence to the 10 and 18.
Hi Ab & All,
I’m looking for some information and I’m not sure where or who to ask, so thought I’d start here. Yesterday I received some very disturbing photos emailed from a friend who had recently visited the Wildland Firefighters Monument at NIFC. The person was very concerned about the maintenance of the monument, more specificly the lack thereof, as it looked neglected and abandoned. As I viewed the photos, I was shocked and offended. I’m sending a few of the photos, taken July 13th to show the condition. There appear to be weeds and other growth over 6 foot as some of the statues are barely even visible. The overgrowth has even impeded the walkways, rendering them nearly impassable. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves for the rest of it.
(Photos of Overgrown
Monument at NIFC.)
I heard one of the victims family members were visiting on the same day and became very upset and angry at the neglect. I’d expect there have been many more visitors surprised and saddened by the appearance.
So what I want to know is who is responsible for the maintenance of the monument? Is anybody responsible? Is the position vacant? Is the person just not doing their job? Who can we call or write to express our outrage to? I think NIFC has a maintenance department that takes care of the rest of the grounds. Wouldn’t they be the obvious choice? Is there a funding problem?
Any help or info will be appreciated. This monument was designed and created to honor our fallen comrades. There is very little honor being shown when one requires a chainsaw just to clear a path to walk through or view the markers.
Thanks for the forum Ab.
Would someone please call NIFC and ask if anyone's in charge? Ab.
Here in central Oregon Haines is set for a 6 and lal for 6 for
Thursday 7-21-05. Looks like it could get interesting.
John "DOC" Brown
We have added the NIOSH report to the earlier Cedar Fire reports from CDF and Novato FD.
We extracted the higher resolution maps and photos from the NIOSH .pdf file and resized them to be suitable for folks to use in Powerpoint presentations. Or, as desktop wallpaper to spark conversation with others in your office. Map 2 is particularly useful for understanding the firing operations.
Also, we have been working to update the website for next week's 10th anniversary of the 1995 Point Fire. After the Point Fire, back in his MTDC days, Dick Mangan headed up a study that resulting in a paper called "Surviving Fire Entrapments." We have now posted that paper at
Some who see the pictures of engine 6162 may be misled into believing the cab of an engine can be relied upon as a safety or survival zone.
I recently read that FEMA was looking for retired Plans types...Section Chiefs,
Restats and Sitstats for Florida detail. Do you know how to contact them?
Re the deaths of Spanish Firefighter brothers:
This is making its way around behind the scenes and was forwarded
to us. I have refrained from calling Marc myself as it seemed likely
he's been overwhelmed with calls. I talked with John Szymoniak, before
posting this circulating email from him. John has worked with Spanish Firefighters
for several years especially Marc Castellnou and the Catalonians who have made several trips to
the US and worked with firefighters on the Wallowa Whitman NF in Oregon.
Marc, if you're reading, we send our love and best wishes to you,
to the families and friends. It's a small world. It's a shared pain. Ab.
Folks, Marc Castellnou called me a few minutes ago to tell me they lost 11
firefighters today due to an entrapment. He wanted to assure his US
friends that he and those we know best from Catalonia are ok. He was
concerned we might hear something in the media and worry for his and other
GRAF members safety. Details are sketchy at this point. He said he will
send an email when he can. He did tell me it occurred due to vehicles getting
trapped by a spot fire - the lead driver apparently may have panicked, left
his vehicle which trapped those following other trucks. He will be having
a difficult time in the coming days, weeks and months with such a tragedy.
He also said they have a lot fire activity across all of Spain and
Mediterranean Europe. He expects at least another month of heavy fire
load. I will forward more when I hear from him. Take care. z
Ab - some photos from Spain where the 11 firefighters died on Sunday.
Deceptively light ground cover, one of the US "Common Denominators"!
I'm only posting one
of these photos right now the one that shows people and flames. I
believe it's taken with a cell phone sometime after the burnover to show
Firefighters, we have very heavy "deceptively light
ground cover" across the West this year. Please be aware to the
max. Pay attention to fuel loading and try to anticipate fire behavior more
extreme than your experience might suggest. Please be safe.
Just to let people know about the passing of Jerry Martinez, the fire management
Officer from the Sioux Ranger District, Custer NF. He was found dead in his motel room
two days ago while on fire assignment. We will miss him.
Condolences. When there's more info on services, etc, please let
us know. Our thoughts and prayers for family and friends. Ab.
A couple of factors distinguish this incident from the more typical
1. The tree branch actually penetrated the smokejumper's protective
jumpsuit, which is indicative of the force of the impact.
2. The fellow smokejumper on the scene, who is a paramedic, did excellent
work to treat the victim's injuries and stabilize his medical condition for
transport. We might look at this aspect of the story for a future People,
Land and Water article.
Wishing for the best,
Thanks to the Wildland
Firefighter Foundation (and all who have contributed to the 52 Club)
for the support they/you are providing. Ab.
Re the BLM Smokejumper who was injured.
To: WO DOI/BLM Officials
From: BLM - NIFC
Through: WO Public Affairs Group Manager
Subject: BLM Smokejumper Injured on Fire Jump
What: A BLM smokejumper based in Boise, ID, was injured by a protruding tree branch while jumping a Nevada fire on July 15th. The injured smokejumper was given immediate medical treatment by a fellow smokejumper who is a paramedic.
Background: BLM Smokejumper Phil Lind was in the second group of jumpers to be dropped on a small fire on the Ely BLM District on July 15, 2005. At approximately 1:07 p.m. (PDT), when Lind was approaching the ground, his parachute was caught by a tail wind. Lind was driven into a juniper tree with some forward speed. A sharp, protruding tree branch penetrated Lind’s jumpsuit and penetrated four to six inches into his lower left abdomen. Fellow jumper Justin McGregor, who is a paramedic/EMT, was also in the jumper load. McGregor cared for Lind’s injuries on site, potentially saving Lind’s life. Lind was transported to the Panaca, NV airport by helicopter, and then to the University of Utah hospital via a fixed-wing air ambulance. He underwent two surgeries and is expected to be released from the hospital sometime during the weekend of July 23, 2005.
Contact: Ken Frederick, External Affairs, NIFC.
Our thoughts and prayers for a complete and speedy recovery. Ab.
Hello, a long time ago I was standing in a chow line on a fire just
before Thanksgiving, and I heard this firefighter behind me say, " I can
buy two pair of redwings for the price of one pair of whites." I turned
toward the young man and asked him, " How many pair of feet can you
buy?" I believe this occurred when Nick was still working for whites but
who can remember. The point being get the best boots for your feet, you
cannot replace your feet, a least not yet. Cost should not be an object.
Fire Behavior Safety Alert from Region 3 Issued today.
It is interesting and important to read this alert. This morning, we had an outflow boundary from thunderstorms south of Yuma, AZ hit our area this morning around 5 a.m. Over 200 miles away, the winds in the Banning Pass switched to East and Southeast and gusted to over 40 miles an hour and the temperature rocketed into the 80's at 5 a.m. in the morning. A
similar event happened last year on the Verbenia Fire and helped to contribute to its spread on the second day.
Some very important information for firefighters who are on or may be going to the Arizona fires:
Fire Behavior Alert Issued 1530 MDT Tuesday - July 19
I agree with Old Trail Guy, don't worry so much about
the name, it's how they fit and how they are made.
I've always worn Wesco toe to heel stitch boots. Off
the shelf they fit my foot great, and I never got
"white-bite". But someone elses experience may be
different. The thing about the big name companies,
they can put the money into research. For example go
to westcoastshoe.com and look at their Firestormer
boots. Expensive 3-1/2 to 4+ benjamins depending on if
you customize, but they are specifically designed for
the groundpounder, with some very cool features. You
get what you pay for. Good luck in your search and try
on as many styles of boots that you can get your hands
on before deciding.
I want to report some findings to wildland firefighters. The Dept. of
Justice has paid PSOB benefits to Rick Lupe's survivors. That has set a
precedence for Rx burns. When I was in D.C., I met with Dept of Justice
Lawyer Hope Yeankie and Valerie Neal, Benefits Specialist. Those folks
really working hard for firefighters to get all the benefits they have
Pat Bucello at the National Park Service had visited with the Dept of
Justice on Dan Holmes' behalf, and I was leery after hearing from other
sources about PSOBs not being covered under prescribed burns. There are
many layers in dealing with the Federal Govt. Each case is different,
far as I can see with the support of the Dept of Justice, they will in
be paying on prescribed burn fatalities. A big thanks to Pat. I found that the
of Justice staff were really caring. They aren't scary bureaucrats -
are willing to go to bat to ensure families get what is theirs.
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Thanks for the info Vicki, it's
good news! Sometimes we can forget that buriedunder all those layers of
government and hidden behind the acronyms,
there are some
real good folks working as hard at their job as we do at ours. OA
If you have your old guy reading glasses with you there is a set of the
charts in the Incident Response Pocket Guide, pages 70-71, that covers
elevations from 1,400 to 9,200 feet and range from 34 degrees to 110
degrees. Tough to read as the printing is extremely small but they are
For the guy looking for boots if you plan on doing this for a living get
the best you can afford and I would suggest getting a custom fit if you
really plan on staying with it as a career. After years in the shot
numerous foot problems from off the rack boots (Red Wings, Westcos,
Whites) I had a custom measure done with Nicks and they fit like a pair
slippers once they get broke in. This brand has never caused any
with the soles of my feet, however, I do have several sets of bite scars
the tops of my feet from breaking in new boots or rebreaking in
now advise my new employees to get Nicks if they are serious about doing
this job. Another point to remember. Stay with the standard black
either rough out or smooth. Maybe it was operator error but even with
repeated consistent maintenance the two pair of Elk Tan Whites I had
broken done to non rebuildable status after two seasons of constant wear
all fire activities. I have spoken to other folks that have had the same
problem and think it may be in the tanning process.
Dedrick's fire engine on the Classified
Page has just been reduced in price by $3,000. He is also
offering a full "turn-key" solution, including all hardware and
equipment, including PPE, necessary to begin fighting fire. See
the updated details here:
gazner or gansner?
Correct me if I am wrong, but the hose pack is called a gansner, after
gansner bar on
the Plumas. Not that the name has anything to do with it's effectiveness but I think it is
an interesting side note to a piece of wildlandfire nomenclature.
National Preparedness Level is a 3! : )
Fingers & Toes Crossed to go out soon,
Be safe everybody,
The RH tables can be located on the National Weather
Service Sacramento fire weather web site. The actual
link is: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sto/rhtbl.php
I may be stirring up the hornets nest again, so if you choose not to
post this I understand. As a local government captain I feel the need to
highlight some of the information in the NIOSH report.
"The victim had a history of “allergen induced asthma” that seemed to
have seasonal exacerbations. The condition was first diagnosed in 1999
by his personal physician and subsequently shared with the physicians
providing occupational medicine services to the Fire Department. He was
prescribed bronchodilators and steroid inhalers for his asthma which
could be considered mild because he never required any of the following:
hospitalizations, emergency medical care (e.g. a hospital emergency
department), oral corticosteroids, or work restrictions. In August, 2003
the victim had his lungs tested as part of the fire department’s annual
medical evaluation. Off medication, his pulmonary function tests were
completely normal (FEV1 was 99% and his FVC was 96% of predicted values
for someone of his age, height, and gender)."
I hope this puts to rest the preexisting condition that so many of us
thought separated ourselves from Steve. It is important for us to
remember that what happened was a tragedy, but even worse would be to
try and continue this FF attitude of "it cannot happen to me." I hear it
every time there is a fatality! Lets keep our heads on straight and
admit that we are all vulnerable no matter what color our uniform is.
You can order them through www.nwcg.gov/pms/pubs/catalog/catalog2005.pdf.
NFES 1178 Relative Humidity & Dew Point Table, B-O-6A (5/72) $ .07 EA
REMARKS: for elevation 6101-8500 (AK only 5701-7900)
NFES 1179 Relative Humidity & Dew Point Table, B-O-6B (5/72) $ .07 EA
REMARKS: for elevation 3901-6100 (AK only 3601-5700)
NFES 1182 Relative Humidity & Dew Point Table, B-O-6C (5/72) $ .07 EA
REMARKS: for elevation 1900-3900 (AK only 1700-3600)
NFES 1185 Relative Humidity & Dew Point Table, B-O-6D (5/72) $ .07 EA
REMARKS: for elevation 501-1900 (AK only 301-1700)
NFES 2155 Relative Humidity & Dew Point Table, B-O-6E $ .06 EA
REMARKS: for elevation 0-500 (AK only 0-300)
NFES 2154 Relative Humidity & Dew Point Table, B-O-6F $ .06 EA
REMARKS: for elevation 8501-11000 (AK only 7901-10000)
NFES 2153 Relative Humidity & Dew Point Table, B-O-6G $ .06 EA
REMARKS: for elevation 11001-13500 (AK only 10001-12500)
Fact Check as of 10 A.M. 07/18/2005:
Thanks to the person who shared the link to the Region 4 MAC group minutes for yesterday.
(http://gacc.nifc.gov/wgbc/predictive/intelligence/macminutes.pdf). In the minutes, it was said that the NMAC member of the group would “question why we are still at a National PL 2.” Some of us have been questioning it for several weeks but most of us are just field level Forestry or Range Technicians.
Type 1 Teams Committed:
Sexton – Dammeron Fire, Region 4
Oltrogge – Florida Fire, Region 3
Custer – Hurricane, Region 8
Feser – Hurricane, Region 8
Hill – Hurricane Region 8
Type 2 Teams Committed:
Blume – Trail East Fire, Region 2
Chrisman – Boundary Creek Fire, Region 10
Larsen – Big Horn Creek Fire, Region 1
Muir – Esmerelda Fire, Region 4
Truman – Ridge Complex, Region 3
Panko – Hurricane, Region 8
Saleen – Clover Fire, Region 4
Suwyn – Wilson Complex, Region 4
Philbin – Butte Fire, Region 3
Lineback – Edge Fire, Region 3
Giachino – Staged, Region 4
As of 07/18/2005:
National Preparedness Level: 2
Northwest G.A.C.C. – PL 2
North Ops CA G.A.C.C. – PL 1
South Ops CA G.A.C.C. – PL 1
Northern Rockies G.A.C.C. – PL 2
Western Great Basin G.A.C.C. – PL 4
Eastern Great Basin G.A.C.C. – PL 4
Southwest G.A.C.C. – PL 4
Rocky Mountain G.A.C.C. – PL 3
Eastern G.A.C.C. – PL 2
Southern G.A.C.C. – PL 2
National Preparedness Levels
Preparedness Level II – One region of the country is experiencing high fire danger. Wildland fire activity is occurring, and there is a potential for escapes to larger fires.
Preparedness Level III – Two or more regions of the country are experiencing wildland or prescribed fire activities requiring a major commitment of national resources. Additional resources are being ordered through the National Interagency Coordination Center. Incident Management Teams are committed in two or more regions, or 275 crews are committed nationally.
Preparedness Level IV – Two or more regions of the country are experiencing incidents requiring Type I Teams
(Happening Now). Competition exists for resources between Geographic Areas
(Happening Now). Or when 425 crews or five Type I Teams (Five Type 1 Teams Committed
Now) are committed nationally. Some firefighting resources may be pre-positioned to respond to predicted incidents
(Happening Now) and liaisons are established with the military and Canadian resources.
Some thoughts on boots for Ryan,
Don’t get hung up on a particular brand name when it comes to boots. The
bottom line is how do they fit. The same size boots from two different
manufacturers are going to fit a little different because each company
a different mold (called a last) to build their boots. The trick is to
find a boot company that uses a last shaped like your feet. The only way
to find out is to try on a bunch of different boots and let your feet
you which brand is best for you. My own personal choice is the red
I’ve hiked literally thousands of miles in them on extended backpacking
trips, years of trail construction and now three years on the fire line
with very little trouble. Will they work for you? I don’t know; that
depends on your feet. They fit me really well so I’m sticking with them
but each firefighter needs to find what works best for them.
Old Trail Guy
A collection of "potpourri":
1. been passing Email with friends in Spain and Portugal; the Spanish
are devastated by the deaths of their firefighters; in Portugal, they
have also lost 2 firefighters to burnovers over the past few weeks; it's
a dangerous job, no matter where you are in the world!
2. The Aussie study "Project Aquarius" showed that firefighters lose 1
liter of fluids per hour thru sweat, and that 2/3 of the heat is
generated metabolically, with only 1/3 the result of the heat from the
3. the NIOSH report on the 2003 "Cedar Fire" is now on the web at
4. Missoula County, Montana moves to "High" fire danger tomorrow, as a
result of high temps and drying winds, in spite of a super wet May and
Be safe out there!
Thanks for throwing out the challenge! I hope everyone will get
involved. As for the 52 Gold Club, the Stanislaus Helitack are one and
the same as the Bald Mountain Helitack. One is just the forest name, but
the crew goes by Bald Mt. rather than Stanislaus... Okay you guys, I
want to see the enrollment in the 52 Club soar past 1,000. Let's go!!!
Well,just to give a heads up. There was a fire outside of Ennis,MT that
was contained today. The fire ran through the tree crowns and sent
embers over a 400 acre area.
Just a little more information in the Highwood Mountains ,east of Great
Falls, a tree core moisture test was done just before June and it was
rated at 11%. Kiln dried is 13%. The local forecast is temps in the 80's
to 90's and no moisture in sight. Things are drying out quickly and I'm
watching for smoke.
The NIOSH Report regarding the Cedar Fire has been completed. Here is
Relative Humidity and Dew Point Tables...
Does anyone have a link to these? The current set in my weather kit is
looking the worse for wear, and I couldn't seem to find any online
today. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong spot.
Thanks in advance!
A worthwhile blast from the past (7/10/01) regarding HYDRATION:
Remember to stay hydrated out there, whether on the line or in camp. If you don't, you can suffer muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue, constipation, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and sometimes death. If you get the camp crud, staying hydrated helps your body fight the infection.
Consumer Reports (08/01) has a little equation for figuring how much water a person (with an average activity level at average temperatures) should drink every day. It's this:
your weight (W) times 0.04 (the pounds of water lost per day)
times 2 (the cups of water needed from all sources to counteract daily water loss).
So a person who weighs 160 pounds should be consuming 12.8 cups of water a day (160 x 0.04 x 2 = 12.8 cups), at least half from water and the rest from healthful beverages, fruits and veggies. They say count 1/3 cup of water per fruit or veggie serving. (Each alcoholic drink requires 1/2 or more additional cups of water. No sodas allowed.)
Keep in mind: the water loss they talk about (0.04 pounds) is the average. Wildland firefighters work hard in hot environments for long hours and sweat up a storm, loosing much more than that.
Thus the admonition: "Drink, drink, drink!"
(Honey, I know you're reading this. That means you, at least 11.2 cups!)
The Professor (married to the Fire Ecologist)
On the PL discussion in S. CA,
I have to add a real quick comment that the PL in July in the last four years has ranged from 3-4, and has usually increased to 3 in mid-late May or even late April as things dried out and the region put in for severity funding. It is hard to justify severity funding in PL 1. But, I don't think the state can do burns in PL3. However, even if they are not wanting to go to PL3 and the fire load doesn't justify it, the fire danger does look to justify PL2. I'll hold off on the editorializing for today and just stick to those facts.
Good for you. I know you try to take one day at a time, but often several days attack
you at once. Best catch yer breath while you can. Ab.
Cedar fire DVD, free of charge very nicely done and good training video
Cedar fire short videos-http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/news/031118.phpls-
and could you add this link on your links page good for any fire in San
Diego and Riverside counties with more to come.
We'll post it here. Ab.
Has anyone heard an update on how the BLM Boise Smokejumper Phil Lind is
doing? He was injured on a fire jump near Ely NV coupla days ago.
As reported on the Hot List Forum yesterday, "The North Valley Fire
(Winnemucca Field Office) had a engine stalled on their IA response. The crew retreated back to the black and was safe, but the engine was engulfed by the fire."
Thank goodness all are fine. Could someone post the report of the fact finding team
when it comes out.
People, please be safe. We're having very hot temps - 112 yesterday in
NorCal. Other places it's hotter. Like Lobotomy says, stay hydrated.
Drinking enough water is critical for clear thinking.
More sad news on the wildland fire front, just read on the NWCC homepage (under intelligence, then morning shared report) that at least 11 FFT's were killed, east of Madrid in Spain. May all of us take a moment to send our thoughts to their families and loved ones.
Heads up, things are gonna get crazy in a hurry- the weather is turning very warm and dry out here in the PNW, even the westside of the cascades is getting hotter and drier everyday, everyone be safe....safety before mission...
chick on the line
There's another article that came out yesterday that provides some
details. Scroll down the page. This tragedy has been on my mind today...
Be Safe. Ab.
I noticed that the boots topic brought in a message from Mare on 7/17 with
a hyperlink to the Lessons learned Center's "What's New" page in order to
provide a PDF article on that subject to folks.
Many of our new pages have a dynamic list of the 10 to 15 most recent
documents. The dynamic links are temporarily generated until that item gets
pushed to the bottom of that most recent 10 or 15 items and in a week or so
falls off. They are still in our myfirecommunity.net database though.
The "hard link directly to a document" in the database comes up when it is
selected and opened, or found in a search of our database. The "boots PDF"
Copy and paste that type of link into an email and it takes people right to
the document on the first click. Adobe Acrobat will want to open a new
window to display that PDF so yes, the pop up blocker may need to be turned
off for a moment if nothing happens.
This week we have a national "Learning Organization" survey going on that
your readers may want to weigh in on the next time they come to our home
page at www.wildfirelessons.net. Three groups are mentioned there to help
people jump in. The more the better and it only takes about 15 minutes.
Readers, please take the survey asap; it closes July 22. It's pretty
Thanks Dave for the making the distinction between dynamic vs hard
links. Your pdf link worked fine in spite of my popup blocker. Ab.
Hey all -
Hope everyone is having a safe and busy fire season. I have 2 things to talk about.
First, I had the pleasure of going to Boise and meeting with all the folks at the WFF. What tremendous people they are. Vicki, Melissa, and Burk are 3 of the most dynamic and compassionate people I have ever met. I spent 2 days talking their ears off and they were such gracious hosts. They took the kids and
me all around their office and told us stories about the firefighters on the memory wall. We were able to see all the Hotshot shirts which is quite a sight to see. My favorites had to be the dirty, grungy ones that looked like they had just been peeled off someone and put right up on the wall. I was tempted to go up and see if any of them smelled like smoke (my favorite thing to do when John would come home), but I thought they might think me a little weird for doing that! Afterwards, Vicki took us over to the Monument. I must say how impressed I was at this little slice of heaven. Even with the overgrowth (due to some issues to be resolved), the markers and the mementos left on them touched me deeply. I am looking forward to going back when John's marker is put in so I can leave a special something there too.
Second (and out comes the soapbox), it's time for your monthly nagging. Hee hee. Okay, while the last few months may have been tight financially, I know that the paychecks are getting bigger and the overtime is kicking in.
All it takes is 2 hours of OT to join the 52
Club. You never think when you head out the door to a fire that anything is going to happen, but believe me, it can. Wouldn't you like to know that your family will be taken care of those first few months when there is no money coming in? I know first hand how much the WFF helped me. So please,
JOIN UP NOW!! Also, check and make sure your life insurance is current and the beneficiaries are who you want it to be. Extra insurance is not a bad idea either, especially if there are house payments to be made (again from personal experience). So, be safe, have fun, and you'll hear from me again!
Ab challenges crews to dedicate 2 hours of overtime pay to the 52
club. You could talk about what 2 hours are going to be your donation
and discuss whatever safety issues seem reasonable beforehand. You could
mark the start time and the end time. You could remember the families
and the firefighters who are no longer with us. You could make it a
dirt-throwing celebration or a moment of silence.
Firsts: There's already a first hotshot crew, the Lassen Shots,
and a first Helitack crew, Stanislaus Helitack Crew, but others can get
their names on the Gold
List as well. It's the right thing to do. ( I heard that the entire
crew that's working toward HS status at Mad River RD signed up in early
May. Hmmm, I don't see them there... Hiding? Crews should say they're a
crew. There were 16 on the Bald Mt Helitack that signed up in memory of
Greeno. Did the Stanislaus Helitack Crew beat them? Just wondering??)
Hey, there could be the first Engine Crew, the first Smokejumper Crew, a
first Camp Crew, a first CDF crew, other state crew... Hey how about a
Check the 52 Club Members
List. Lots of familiar names there. What a community we are. Ab.
My personal opinion on the gazner is DONT USE THEM. Half the time they
don't deploy right (I've been pulled down the hill a couple of times) and
they are very time consuming to build just not worth it. the best thing to
use would be a reg hose pack you can build them in half the time. and almost
always deploy without incident (unless the wye from the previous pack is
Rumor control is it true that the F.S. is holding back with implementing
IFPM from the WO rumors are flying in some places, and if so are the new
P.D's being utilized?
Signed: Just needing to know?
Everything I've heard about from those going to R5 meetings
indicates the FS is going ahead. I was told "We've got
standards" about a month ago when I asked. Readers, anyone know
anything to the contrary? Ab.
0462 (Forestry Technician) & Series
0455 (Range Technician) jobs pages and Series
0401 ("professional" Biologist) are updated.
Oliver, your response to the ground squirrel in firecamp question was
pretty funny. Backburnfs, our kids have all learned to shoot and have
improved their aim while on "ground squirrel garden duty". I
have another real solution that sounds far fetched, but works.
First let me say that for us, ground squirrels are a mixed blessing.
We're an in-holding near a wilderness area. The squirrel population has
increased dramatically with our garden and orchard. On the one hand, the
squirrels chum in some eagles for great birdwatching, but they do tend
to wipe out our veggie garden and fruit trees. They also have fleas and
attract rattlesnakes and the garden is a popular outdoor sleeping area.
A balance is necessary. (When we find rattlers around the cabin and
garden, we have developed a catch and release method. Not so with ground
The way we manage when our ground squirrel population around our
garden gets too LARGE is to give them the "chewing gum
treatment". If you place half a stick of gum (we don't even unwrap
it) at the entrance to their burrow, they eat it and die. I prefer Juicy
Fruit and I usually leave a whole stick so they can double their
pleasure, double their fun.
I kid you not...
Regarding your question on Gazner packs, contact any one of the Angeles N.F.
Fire Stations and they should be able to help you out in how to make the pack.
Search on the utility at the top of this page for ANF fire contact
Brian from Australia,
Take at look at this website: www.fire-ems.net/calendar/make.cgi
It lets you set up the type of 24 hour shift you are interested in.
Just follow the directions.
Lassen Volcanic Park lost their Rx burn today.
We can't verify that's true although there is a fire there. Info
on the Hot List Forum. Ab.
Here is an interesting table for the "predictions" for the month of July from the NICC Intel section. It is for the month of July.
july '05 stats
I wonder how the "predictions" went so far for the month of July since we are in the middle of the month? Are predictions the basis for preparedness? or is it science? or is it common sense? or is it just the number of crews assigned as so many people keep incorrectly pointing out?
The number of hand crews assigned should not be an indicator of preparedness levels... fuels, weather, fire history, and proven science should be the indicators. Rogue Drogue, I agree with your point that preparedness levels are not directly related to safety... those preparedness levels are critical for proper positioning of national and local resources to help prevent large fires from happening or to mitigate their immediate effects.... less exposure... less risk. With less risk, firefighters are safer. These are Secondary Effects that relate to firefighter safety that some of us who do not look at the big picture cannot notice.
In National Preparedness Level 2, there should NEVER be a ICS 209 that shows CRITICAL RESOURCE NEEDS.... In local GACC Preparedness Level 1, there should NEVER be competition for local or national resources..... If we have critical resource needs or competition for resources, we are not prepared to the level we should be for firefighter safety.
At least 11 Spanish Firefighters were killed today in a forest fire raging along a 17-km front in central Spain
in the Guadalajara area east of Madrid.
Spanish Fire Fighters killed
Condolences. Our thoughts and prayers for families and friends. I
know there will be some phone calling and emailing going back and forth.
Please keep us appraised. Ab.
Thank you very much for answering my question with detail. I’m sorry for and yet interested in why the IAFF pulled the rug out from under you at the last minute. I hope things work out for all of the wildland gang. I’ve seen ‘em in action, worked along side of them and I know half a dozen or so of them in my dept. and they’re almost as cool as us former military types. For what it’s worth, I think when the DoD’s NSPS kick’s in, we’ll be loosing any and all types of representation.
Drink lots of water and wear sunscreen if you are heading to the Southwest or California in the next few days!!!
Interesting High Temperatures in the Southwest and California today with temperatures supposed to peak tomorrow.
Lake Havasu, AZ – 130 degrees
Needles, CA – 123 degrees
Bullhead City, AZ – 122 degrees
Blythe, CA – 121 degrees
Palm Springs, CA – 120 degrees
Las Vegas, NV – 115 degrees
Phoenix, AZ – 115 degrees
Daggett, CA – 115 degrees
Red Bluff, CA – 112 degrees
Redding, CA – 111 degrees
Fresno, CA – 108 degrees
Cranston, CA – 107 degrees
Bakersfield, CA – 107 degrees
Sacramento, CA – 106 degrees
Beaumont, CA – 105 degrees
Bishop, CA – 105 degrees
Interesting tidbits…… Highest recorded temperature in North America was 134 degrees (Death Valley, CA, June 10, 1913). Highest recorded temperature in the World was 136 degrees (El Azizia, Libya, September 13, 1922)
NPS'r in AZ
As a training officer and as a carded training specialist, I know that you will need to be ordered up as a trainee.
As a supervisor, if I need someone to fill a specific position on a fire, the liabilities would be too great to allow a trainee to fill that spot, especially in aviation.
My recommendation would be to get with your unit's/agency training officer/specialist and get your name on the trainee list. I know when I worked the FEDS that you could be placed in ROSS as a trainee, but with the advent of ICQS, I'm not too sure if that is still true. Anyone out there know for sure?? Those who work for CDF and CA OES/local government, you are placed as a trainee in the ERD.
Another thought for our younger readers out there.......
Keep in mind, once you have been given (issued) a task book, you have 3 years to have it completed. Also, to maintain currency, you have to have performed that specific position within 5 years for non-aviation jobs and 2 years for aviation positions.
Like I tell my 1-4 year firefighters, don't be in such a rush to "promote". If your career path is the fire service, you have many years ahead of you to gain the experience needed to feel comfortable to take on a new position or new responsibility.
As an example, in 1998 while I was helping the good folks in Texas during their fire problems, I was a STLE trainee during my 2 months there. I was scared to death to see the local teenagers and 20-something year old volunteer firefighters running around with a few months of local fire experience getting carded as engine bosses and overhead. I suppose it worked for them, but it's not going to work where I come from.
Be safe and hydrated!
The ganzner pack is slowly becoming a thing of the past. There have been more recent applications of the progressive hoselay pack that are more reliable, less time consuming, an hold up better in the long run. I remember seeing instructions to make them but it is something else to actually make them from instructions. My advice would be to start talking to some older firefighter types that would have a better knowledge. I can make them, but it would be hard to explain. The best option is the Coconino or Travis pack. These are variations of the gansner that are contained in a FS Green pack. They seem to be heavily relied upon in some areas. I'll try to find a good set of instructions.
For those not able to read the pdf, basically the memo (from the
National Fire & Aviation
Executive Board) said that the smaller sized men's and the women's La
Sportivas were not
8" tall and so do not meet the PPE standards in the Fire & Aviation
I think we all can agree on two things that are pretty obvious:
1.Nobody can be safe ALL the time
2.Preparedness levels are not directly going to make people safe
The point of my post was just that there seemed to be some interesting
things going on to justify staying at PL2.
Thanks for the Hot List Forum. It's great to have breaking fire news.
In addition, sounds like one team and crews from NorCal are heading
out to NV.
Be Safe in the thick vegetation. Stay well hydrated in the heat.
stay up to date on weather reports. Take care of the kids.
This is in response to Ryan's post about choosing the correct boot.
First off throw your redwing's in the trash or save 'em for working with
concrete or painting...
No, seriously if you plan on going on many wild land fires in the
future, I highly advise you away from redwing's.
Been there done that and have the blisters to prove it.
Never ever ever compromise price over comfort on the fire line!
Some things you can get by without ie. rain coat, bivvie, down jacket
Yeah your gonna be freezing and miserable or cuddling up to your space
blanket and a warming fire if feasible.
But, boots are hands down the most important thing on your body next to
Dig deep into your pockets, borrow money whatever you gotta do and
spring for a pair of White's Boots.
At first they will be uncomfortable like a female in high-heels but,
once you break 'em in...like wearing sandals on the beach.
I suggest in breaking them in other than wearing them everywhere you go,
get them completely wet and go for a hike.
Repeat the process and be sure to apply the white's boot oil or grease
after your done. Its proven.
Lace to toe or not, (I say not) go 12'' tall, color-all black is easy or
go stylee if permitted with your crew, and get some brown rough-outs.
The sizes differ from your normal kicks...so be sure to have your foot
measured by a shop or do it CORRECTLY yourself.
If you're lucky and your shoe size is common they might have your size
If not they will custom build a pair for you and you won't see 'em for a
The great thing is you can have the soles rebuilt season after season as
Check out www.whitesboots.com they are really knowledgeable and
La Sportiva Memo
www.wildfirelessons.net/WhatsNew.aspx discusses the latest edict on
these boots. As a
woman wearing a smaller size boot, it appears I am excluded from wearing
men with larger feet can continue to wear them. Sure hope this changes
If you cannot access the pdf report (as I couldn't), you likely
have your browser configured not to accept popups. If you want to read
this, you'll have to reconfigure your browser. Ab.
I was wondering how to go about getting a helitack detail? I'm a HECM
trainee and would
like to get a few more things signed off on the taskbook. Will dispatch
fill an order with a
trainee or does a trainee specifically have to be ordered? Thanks for
all the help
NPSer in Arizona
I commend you on keeping your folks safe. Preparedness levels are just
one part of the overall big picture of safety. If you think you will
always be able to do that, I commend you again and will keep my folks at
a distance from yours. Are you always 100 percent of the time with the
folks who you are protecting? If we have preparedness inspections for
safety, should preparedness levels also be a part of the overall safety
Southern California GACC is still in Preparedness Level 1 and the
National Level is at a 2 even though conditions have gone from bad to
> From the National Weather Service - San Diego : STRONG UPPER LEVEL
Pressure will drift southwest into Southern California this
weekend. This will bring more hot weather into inland areas. By
Sunday ... the highs will be in the 90s to slightly above in most
San Diego County inland valleys and in most mountain locations...
100 and 110 in the inland empire...105 to 115 in the upper deserts
and 110 to 120 in the lower desert.
I'm trying to get some info on how to build a Gazner Pack. I've looked
online and I can't find anything other than a few indirect references.
With all the discussion of the national preparedness levels, I decided
to start tracking the data on number of crews and teams active. I'm
unlikely to update this daily or even weekly, but would be glad to quit
tracking it if someone else choses to do so! It takes a few minutes to
run through the sit report every day and to upload the info; that's more
time than I have choose to take to play on my computer at home where I
now track the data and upload things from.
I've posted it at:
One thing I noticed after reading the posts of other is that we've not
had many type I crews active at any one time, nor have we exceeded the
275 crew line to push it toward level III.
Thanks! Philip E. Hyatt
It's important to note that the resource
orders behind the scenes may differ somewhat from the resources reported
in the SIT report. Ab.
Did I miss it???
What's the latest on the use of the La Sportiva boots? I'm still using mine. They are over 8" and have provided me with so much more support on sidehills I can't believe it. Also heard, first-hand, that the shot crew who used them loved them.
Anyone know where I can get the most recent info on what has been determined?
Gracias in advance
I found the best way to deal with rats and other rodents in Martha Stewart's new Prison Blues cook book. My favorite recipe is as follows:
1 -Captured rodent
1 cup of white corn meal
1 medium onion (preferably a Walla Walla Sweet)
2 cups of Merlot Wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup of Marion or Black berries
1/4 cup Cilantro (or to taste)
salt and pepper as needed
After properly field dressing the rodent place rodent in a bowl of salted water...rinse and pat dry before pan roasting.
In large sauce pan sauté onions, add wine, chicken stock and seasonings, continue medium heat reduction for 30 minutes.. place on low heat and add berries... continue reduction on low heat for another 20 minutes or so ...stir sauce before plating the rodent ...This will be the sauce.
Make a white corn meal polenta (plan ahead... a good polenta takes at least an hour to cook)
Pan roast the rodent (do not over cook) serve on bed of polenta with berry/wine sauce drizzled over the top of this very tasty and easy to prepare dish.
Hope this helps..<grin>
<haw haw> Ab.
Thanks Casey and FWFSA-
I am a "militia" member in the fire world without the fire retirement. I
appreciate my fire OT and am more addicted to the smoke than the $$. I
joined the fire world full time after 9/11 (I went to my first fire
9/12/2001 and was AMAZED at the fire family I saw and had to join). I go,
like many do, to make a difference, see immediate results, get away from
the conference calls, and to make sure those I work with receive the best
information possible at all times to make their job as safe as possible.
I appreciate your attempt to include the militia in HR 408. If someone has
to wordsmith- I hope they first give it to the Fire Captains on the engines
and put me second. Regardless, I'm still going to head out to fire camp and
enjoy the tent world away from the cubicle whether I am paid full OT,
normal OT, or for 24 hours. The job is the first incentive- the money a
Thanks for all the hard work and full OT on fires,
Hey KW, just spread a few rattlesnakes around camp and before you know it no rodents.
A totally natural and biodegradable solution to your problem. .22’s are a lot more fun
A question has been posed as to why the FWFSA is not part of the International Association of Fire Fighters any longer. I offer this response with the utmost respect and regard for the IAFF and its member locals but also out of responsibility and loyalty to the members of the FWFSA to ensure they get the biggest bang for their "political buck."
As I've mentioned before, the FWFSA is an employee association whose membership is nationwide and whose members fill the full spectrum of wildland fire positions from GS-2s to FMOs. The FWFSA was founded in 1991.
The IAFF is a 260,000 member union representing firefighters throughout the U.S. & Canada. It is comprised of municipal fire departments, industrial departments, federal firefighter departments and state firefighter agencies. The vast majority of members are employed by municipal departments.
The FWFSA was a member local of the IAFF until the summer of 2003. It was identified as Local F-262. All federal firefighter local unions comprise the 16th district of the IAFF. Although it is likely the smallest of all IAFF districts memberwise, it is the largest geographically spreading from Maine to Hawaii.
The federal firefighters with the IAFF are unique. Whereas municipal departments represent themselves by local and have County Boards of Supervisors and City Councils to negotiate contracts and work with to improve pay and benefits, federal firefighters must rely on the IAFF for contract negotiations and technical
servicing... except the wildland firefighters. The wildland firefighters are covered under the National Federation of Federal Employees
(NFFE) which is the exclusive bargaining representative for the federal wildland firefighters. Therefore, when the FWFSA joined the IAFF, it was solely for legislative/political representation.
For many years, the wildland firefighter issues were brought before the delegates at IAFF conventions where they were
adopted... in essence giving the IAFF the go-ahead to work legislatively, using all of the resources available to the IAFF. As federal employees, naturally any legislative remedies to address issues had to be done within the confines of congress.
The FWFSA worked closely with the IAFF in the early '90s to the point where major pay reform legislation for federal firefighters included 3 provisions for wildland firefighters; portal to portal pay, the elimination of the OT pay cap and inclusion of hazard pay in retirement calculations. This legislation was originally introduced in 1994. Despite working closely with the IAFF, when a form of the bill was finally passed and signed into law in 1998, the IAFF had "carved out" the wildland provisions in the bill.
This started what was a downward spiral in the relationship between the 2 organizations. In 1998 I was elected 5th District VP for the California Professional Firefighters, the California State Agency of the IAFF. My priority was to
resurrect the wildland issues. The FWFSA leadership and I, in concert, continued to build relationships on Capitol Hill that the IAFF would refuse to
develop... namely with western Republicans. In the end, this effort paid for itself by having Rep. Pombo introduce HR 2814 in 1999 to eliminate the OT pay cap. Quite frankly, the passage of that bill was done entirely by the FWFSA. As a result of the passage of that bill, we kept working on
other federal wildland firefighter issues.
Between 2000 & 2003, there was a leadership change in the 16th district of the IAFF. The wildland firefighters were simply told to wait "five more years or so" before the IAFF took up its
issues -- this, despite the significant sums of per capita the FWFSA was sending to the IAFF each month.
In 2003, I continued to work with Rep. Pombo on wildland issues as the Board of Directors of the
FWFSA. In looking at their responsibility to its members and recognizing significant relationships already developed in Congress,
the Board simply decided to disaffiliate from the IAFF and go it alone.
The savings in per capita payments has allowed the FWFSA to become a
more professional business entity, create its own PAC so it can contribute to candidates at the federal level without having to beg the IAFF for $$, and most importantly, allows us to reach out to all wildland firefighters and actually bring some of them back to DC with us on occasion when we lobby our issues.
The bottom line in the decision of the Board was to make a business decision in the best interests of
its dues paying members. Given where we were on our issues, where we are now and where we're going, I
think its clear the best decision was made.
We remain committed to helping our Brothers and Sisters in the IAFF achieve success on
their issues as we hope they will continue to help our cause. We respect the work the IAFF is doing for
its municipal members, but I am confident the members of the FWFSA believe the decision to
disaffiliate was the best one for our organization.
I'm helping teach S212 on my home unit. I was informed of that with very little
time to prepare, plus my home unit does not have a copy of the final written exam.
Can you please post this so I can get pointed in the right direction.
Just curious, I am 69 years old and carry a current red card.
Any other older types out there with red cards?
Old Man of the Dept
My understanding on that rat pic was that the individual(s) involved got into big trouble over it.
Short of killing squirrels and rats, I don't know any effective way to keep them out of gear and food in fire camp.
If you are willing to kill them use the bucket/barrel and the string method.
A container half filled with water that high enough sides to keep them from getting back out. p-cord strung from the ground or from a tree over the top of the container with a toilet paper roll on it. Put peanut butter or glue some sort of food that they like on half of the roll. String the line through the middle of the roll. Place the roll over the center of the bucket. When the critters try to get the food it will roll causing them to fall into the bucket and drown.
This works great with mice infestations. I think it would work with the other critters as well. Only one thing, you may get into BIG trouble killing off the local wildlife in a fire camp.
I am going to NorCal in August to work for about 2
months on a Type 2-IA crew and hoped you could help me
with a question I have about boots. I currently have
a relatively unused pair of Red Wings that are NFPA
approved, but I've been debating whether to get a more
serious boot (e.g. Whites, Hathorn, or Wesco). Any
advice you could offer on what boots would be best
given the region and type of crew would be much
appreciated. Many thanks.
Why is it that the wildland side of the house not part of the IAFF?
Is it because of seasonal hiring or is it something more convoluted?
Anybody know how to deal with ground squirrels in firecamp in a simple
way (no guns
or poison)? I remember more than one incident with rats or rodents in
I thought there was a central clearing place for details.
I.E. 30 days as an engine boss, 90 days as an assistant etc.
I am having no luck finding it though.
Anyone know where to look?
Regarding Terrorists starting wildfires, the following write-up appeared in the March/April 2005 issue of "Wildfire" magazine:
From the President’s Desk
Wildfire Magazine, March-April 2005
Terrorists in the Woods
Ever since September 11, 2001 the focus of much of the world has been fixated on the issue of Terrorism! The tragic deaths of thousands of Americans in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, coupled with hundreds of deaths in Spain and Bali at the hands of terrorists has led to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, creation of the US Department of Homeland Security, and the expenditure of billions of dollars (that’s billions with a capital “B”) to improve security and reduce the risks from terrorists and their Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
The massive increases in the US budget for protection from terrorism has been mostly sent to Police and Structural Fire Departments. But, wait: what about the threat of terrorist-caused wildland fires in our forests, community watersheds and wildland-urban interface? Who’s worried about that threat, what are they doing about it, and how much is being spent to fund the efforts to prevent it?
The history of fire being used as a tool of warfare is well documented: Native Americans used fire against their enemies, both other tribes and against the expanding European whites; the Aboriginal people of Australia also used fire to discourage the incursion of the British settlers onto their island.
In World War II, the Japanese launched “fire balloons” against the western US, and while largely unsuccessful, did start a few fires, and killed 6 citizens in Oregon. The Palestinians in the latter half of the 20th century used fire to try and destroy the carefully planted pine plantations in Israel.
Now, in the beginning years of the 21st century, more and more folks are moving into the wildland-urban interface. Even under the best of conditions, when a single ignition occurs under critical fire conditions, hundreds and thousands of citizens are threatened with entrapment, injury or death from rapidly spreading fires. Imagine if a small band of determined terrorists, with only some basic fire weather and fire behavior training like we teach in S-190, decided to set multiple ignitions in some our most vulnerable areas, like heavily populated valley bottoms with limited egress/access and a heavy, dry fuel loading at the peak of the burning period?
There are many such areas around the world, in the foothills of Andalusia in Spain; outside of Sydney and Melbourne, Australia; and in numerous areas of the US from Florida to the Pine Barrens of New York, to the foothills surrounding Los Angeles. Even my own home town of Missoula, Montana has areas that fit all the above criteria, and is surely at risk under the wrong combination of weather conditions and a committed terrorist with fire on his mind. And any of us who have traveled to areas like Red Bird, Kentucky in the fall season when the “woods-burners” are out in force have an appreciation of “domestic terrorism” at work, often successfully!
The real question that lingers for fire managers at risk from terrorists is what are you planning to do to prevent terrorist-ignited wildfires that are intended to destroy resources, kill innocent civilians, and disrupt normal life? And, are you prepared to deal with multiple terrorist-ignited wildfires under the worst possible conditions? And for our legislators in the countries that are being targeted by terrorists, what are YOU going to do to insure that the wildland fire agencies in your areas are trained, equipped and financed to address these threats?
The clock is ticking, and its probably a matter of “when” rather than “if” such events, so where do we go from here??
Hi to all:
As I wrestled with the recent "controversy" over HR 408 last night, I wanted to try and provide as much clarity, detail and fact as possible.
The original language of HR 408 (HR 2963 last session of congress) was crafted by former FWFSA president and current Six Rivers NF Deputy Chief Kent Swartzlander and myself (I'll give him most of the credit) beginning in 1998.
Our original intent was to provide portal to portal pay for all employees of the 5 land management agencies who were assigned to
"emergency incidents." We did not [emphasis added] specifically include or exclude anyone. We included the term emergency incidents rather than just wildfires as these employees are multi-tasked and have found themselves on FEMA assignments, chasing hurricanes, picking up shuttle parts etc.
The "fire funding" aspect of recent posts on They Said has nothing to do with eligibility for the benefit.
Kent and I went back and forth for at least two years with draft bills, discussion drafts etc., with the Legislative Counsel who needed a clear definition of a "wildland firefighter" so they could write the bill in the legalese we see it now.
When the final version came out, Kent and I were both concerned that the original intent of the bill to cover all employees on an emergency assignment was muddled by the Legislative Counsel. However, we have been assured by the Legislative Counsel several times over, that the original intent of our bill is intact in the language as written and that Congress will understand the intent.
Yes the bill was written by the FWFSA for its members, primarily 0462 Forestry Technicians, eligible for the early retirement provisions for federal firefighters. However, the vision of the bill was to properly compensate all employees for such emergency assignments.
We can argue back and forth as to whether the current legislation says this or that. However, there is no dispute that the FWFSA is the only organization pushing for pay, benefits and working conditions. Through the hearing process, and development of the implementing regulations by OPM should the bill pass, the FWFSA will work to ensure the original intent is understood.
Please understand that the political/legislative process is complex and extremely difficult to navigate. The bill could be amended etc., at any time in the process. And let's please keep in mind that HR 408, like HR 2814 in 2000 eliminating the OT pay cap for wildland firefighters, are simply steps in the right
direction... but as a recent posting acknowledged, sometimes you have to take what's being offered, i.e. a slice of the pie rather than the entire pie all at once.
If you want to have your voice heard, then help us move this bill. FWFSA membership is not exclusive to 0462 Forestry Techs nor is it exclusive to R5. But no one can expect reform legislation to pass without expending significant time and dollars. So rather than bickering back and forth, put your passion to work. Join us in moving this bill so we can earn even greater credibility and work towards benefits for seasonal firefighters and hazard pay for employees while on prescribed burns...oh yea, and proper classification!!!
24 hour shift
When I was working in California in the 1990s, the 24-hour shift was often used to reduce the time and exposure to risk when crews had to be shuttled long distances with helicopters. The thinking seemed to be that even if the crews spent some time at night catching some zzzs, they had more productive time on the fireline and longer, more uninterrupted time to sleep when they were back in camp. On the surface, it made some sense, although the devil is usually in the details ...
I haven't heard much about this in recent years; I don't know if that's because I've primarily been in other regions, or if the brains-turn-to-mush-without-rest safety issues caught up with the practice.
Still Out There as an AD
I think what you are asking for are the different shift calendars using 24 work days. First there is a 56 hr. work week or the 72 hr. work week, On the 56 hr. schedule there are three shifts, each shift works 10- 24 hr. days per month. some examples of this are:
First is 24 off 24 off 24 off off off off 24 off 24off 24 off off off off and so on.
Another is 24 off 24 off off 24 off 24 off off off off 24 off 24 off off 24 24 off 24 off off off off 24 an so on.
Still another is 24 24 off off off off 24 24 off off off off and so on.
I don't know a lot about the 72 hr schedule but I think some of CDF are still on it. Almost all the paid fire depts. on the west coast are now on the 56 hr.
Do we like it? Pros you're only working 10 days a month with time to get plenty of rest in between work shifts. Cons, your away from home 10 24 hr days a month and with working overtime the 24's may turn in to 72's. For a full time work schedule you can not beat the 56 hr.
I hope this is what you were looking for.
Speaking of Congress....Colorado Firecamp has begun posting reports compiled by the Congressional Research Service.
Never heard of CRS? It's a $100 million a year, taxpayer-funded "think tank" that provides non-partisan research to Congress. Thanks to a group called the Open CRS Network
(www.opencrs.net) the public can now search and download the reports that previously were only readily available to Congress.
The first two reports we've converted to webpages are "Forest Fire/Wildfire
Protection" and "Wildfire Protection
Sorry, there's no mention of HR 408.
Thanks for your footnote, I'm getting good rest but your concern was appreciated. I didn't see anything in SRJS's post
referring to 24 hr shifts "on the line" so that was the reason for my post. Oh and yes we did have authorization from the IA IC to work over 12 hrs, that was before Mark Millenix's T2 Team, then later Jack Krugman's T1 Team took over managing the fire, which both teams have done a great job doing. Our 12-18 hr days/shifts have been more than time on the fireline. 12 on the fireline, then another 4-6 hrs doing engine/crew maintenance (we had problems with our cafs compressor, which we fixed), checking on brother & sister firefighters (both "Wildland" and "Structural/Wildland") since I have another paramedic on my crew, our "down time" has been used flushing eyes, treating minor burns, sprains & strains, and heat injuries (amazing how an iv purks a person up :o) top that off I'm also a Strike Team Leader hence I have other engine crews in my charge . The good news is that we will probably be demob'ed today or tomorrow then we can go back to our comfy station beds until the next tone out. And I thought
I'd miss my years as a smoke jumper lmao.
Good enough, carry on. Ab.
Dear LIONA, NORCAL Capt and all others:
I've started and stopped this posting several times in an effort to craft it properly. I am deeply concerned about the recent postings about HR 408 and what seems to be an authoritative definition of who would receive portal to portal and who wouldn't. Rather than go through the common "tit-for-tat" on They Said, I'm asking that
LIONA, NORCAL Capt and
any others please contact me directly at (916) 515-1224 or FWFSAlobby@aol.com
before offering opinions such as those recently posted.
The FWFSA has worked far too long on this to have inaccurate information passed out on such a popular venue as They Said. It does a disservice to not only our members, but to those that want to make a difference in their futures.
Although the FWFSA's Board of Directors have lived and breathed this bill for years, the bottom line is that as one of the original writers of this bill, the
"buck stops here" on my desk. Whether you support it or don't, understand it or not, I urge you to contact me directly if you want factual information.
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association.
Regarding control burns near an airport……thermals are not the main problem,
visibility is. We experience up and down air on all fires, the big problem is whether
we can see or not. Hopefully, at the very least airport management has been
You bring up a valid point about 24 hour shift, a 24 hour shift is a 24 hour shift but thats about it. Sometimes dude ya just have to look outside the box or as in your case look outside the shovel. I don't know of too many agencies or
municipalities across the country that require their firefighter to remain awake for the entire 24 hr shift when theres no business going on. On a 24 you're at the station for 24 hours staffing equipment, responding to alarms
etc the primary reason for one being on a 24 hr shift. With most agencies/departments
that utilize the 24, the crews stay busy between alarms doing training, equipment maintenance, public service stuff during what is
referred to as "normal business hours", 8-5 usually. After 5 the crews relax in the station, cook meals, SLEEP when they can, but respond to an incident when toned out. As for you body getting all out of "whack" that usually
occurs when one does rotating shift work like doing 12 hr day shift to a 12 hr night shift. My crew has been working the Mason fire in Colorado the last 7 days, 12-18 hrs days/shifts and we haven't had any problems (oh lord a fire engine crew that does
Municipal Fire/EMS AND Wildland? No Way!). Luckily we work in a region that doesn't burn as hot as other regions just this season its burning more. And for Heavens Sake lets be careful out there.
Hi Donna, I think you might have misunderstood SRJS. He's is
talking about the pros and cons of a 24 hour shift on the line away from
his home forest, fighting wildland fire. There is no "station"
time. There's simply work and rest. There's a policy of a 2:1 work to
rest ratio, as well. Type I handcrews and everyone else on federal fires
typically work, at minimum, a 12 hr shift. Many regularly work 16 hr
(includes 4 hr OT) and sometimes longer if needed and the Incident
Commander approves it. On a federal fire if a 24 hour shift is
necessary to accomplish critical goals and approved by the IC, work
continues day and night cutting line, burning out, physically working in
some capacity. So I think you and SRJS are talking apples and oranges.
What works for structure firefighters on 24 hour shifts in stations with
their own beds does not work so well for crews on the wildland fireline
away from their station working for 24 hours in a row.
Fiery, do you want to know about 24 hour shifts while on duty in
your station? Can you give us more specifics?
(Donna, if you're working an 18 hr shift on a federal fire, you
best make sure you have the IC's approval or you will be out of
compliance with federal work/rest policy. Get your rest. Keep your head
Be Safe all. Thanks for the discussions. Ab.
In response to your questions regarding HR 408. I was hoping someone would answer your questions, but, if not, here is what I have gleaned from this pending legislation (someone please correct me if I am wrong):
The Food Unit Leader job, and the (lack of) fitness required will have nothing to do with the portal-to-portal pay. The determining factor will be that Food unit Leader's home job and the Position Description at the national forest, park, wildlife refuge, BLM office, or BIA agency.
Likewise, the Time Unit Leader. If the Time Unit Leader is an Administrative Officer at home...no portal-to-portal pay. If they are an Incident Business Management Specialist at home, and fire funded, then...Portal-to-portal pay.
The Food Unit Leader is a warehouseman at their home job at a fire cache and thier job is fire funded? Then.... Portal-to-portal pay. If they are a Job Corps cafeteria manager at home with no fire in their position description? No portal-to-portal pay.
Likewise, the District Ranger that is an Air Support Group Supervisor? No portal-to-portal pay. The Helitack Foreman that is an ASGS? They get Portal-to-portal pay.
The fire dozer operator that is on a Type II fire handcrew assignment? They get portal-to-portal. The recreation tech swinging a pulaski alongside the dozer operator? No portal-to-portal pay for the rec tech, as their job is not fire funded at home.
I hope that helps understand the requirements to receive the benefits of the pending HR 408.
LIONA, the bill has nothing to do with fire funding. Read it: HR
408. Hopefully Casey (or Kent) will reply to your comments directly.
They wrote the bill. Readers (... NORCALCapt), if you have questions,
contact Casey. Ab.
24 Hour Shift,
For those of you who think the 24 hour shift is a CDF-only thing, well you can thank the US Forest Service for the ones who came up with the idea and implementation of it, but they finally got smart and got away from it. The CDF just adopted and stayed with it.
I have only heard one pro for it so far: The crews and overhead get to see the lay of the land before it gets dark. That is not always the case in the later part of the fire season.
To me the cons far out weigh the pros: My body gets all out of whack. Almost no work gets done after dark. You are mentally comparable to having the blood
alcohol content of .10 after being awake for 24 hours. I do not need 24 hours off after a shift. More time for folks to get into trouble. Sleeping in a Field during the mid day is not fun, and then if you sleep too much you cannot fall asleep at night in preparation for the next day. I could go on, but think that is enough, give me 16's any time over 24's, that's just this
I would like someone to respond to the financial side of how much more it costs to have two complete shifts, verses the normal lighter shift at night as in the fed world.
To whoever asked about planning for terrorist attacks using fire.
Evidently there is planning going on. It's fine to keep this information
out of public view in my opinion. Hopefully it helps guide your policy
behind the scenes.
I'm not a firefighter but I enjoy reading this page. Thanks for doing
your jobs. We homeowners appreciate it.
We homeowners all need to insure defensible space surrounds our homes
and that we minimize risk in any other way possible. We need to do our
share to be part of the solution.
Keep up the good work. As you say, be safe.
Oh, there's a fire in Oak Glen now.
Here's a good one for all you pilot types......
At what level/ fuel loading to you tend to get
thermals that will influence the aircraft?
We're trying to do a prescribed burn approximately 6-7
miles from an intermediate sized commercial airport.
The national IMT rotation is only for NICC to assign teams
to requests from GACCs, not for GACCs to use internally. Each
GACC controls who gets assigned to what within the GACC (unless
there's some kind of shortage and the national MAC steps in).
Oltrogge's team is from the Southwest and was available and the
Southwest just assigned that team to the fire. If Oltrogge's Type 1
team and the other one from the Southwest weren't available then the
Southwest would have ordered an IMT from NICC and NICC would
have used the rotation list to fill the order. Like in California they just
assign the California teams to incidents until there aren't any more
available, then NICC uses the rotation to fill requests for teams to
California. It goes the same way for each GACC.
Sin Nombre (spelled right this time)
I corrected spelling on the others. Ab.
Um, why yes, it is clear, and everything makes perfect sense! Ha! No, thanks very much for your post, I appreciate the insight from your perspective. I am aware of the GACCs, and how they have their internal rotation schedules. I am still a little confused though........was Southwest GACC #1 yesterday? Is that why Oltrogge is out again? Sorry if you answered this, I just want to understand. I didn't think that team was #1, but I could well be wrong about that.
I just had a NR that didn't come through, and I do understand to keep cost down that sometimes GACCs don't want to get resources from another region. Huh, that is interesting about holding teams to 33 members - I had not heard that! I do hope to get out within the next few weeks. This is a great web site, but it isn't anything like being on an incident! : )
I really like the 24 hour shift system because I can get some quality rest and adequate sleep when I'm on my 24 off shift cycle. As a former Firecrew Captain I found it difficult working the 12 hour shift system in that by the time you got your bus, crew, paperwork,
feeding, etc done. You only had a few hours of sleep available. With 24 off you have time to get good quality rest and take care of your engine company or crew logistics.
I will say while your on you're 24 hour shift you need to take appropriate safety breaks during the day and night. Pacing yourself is essential. Small mini-breaks, good calorie intake and obviously hydration accordingly are key parts of a 24 hours shift system.
As a State agency we are paid for hours worked on or off the line. Someday I hope Washington will recognize the hard work our brothers and sisters in green accomplish and pay them on a portal to portal system which in my opinion is well deserved.
Couple of thoughts:
Reading the post about the amount of time and effort it takes to make
things happen - this was an excellent summation of how things happen- the
"process" - when groups are formed, take on issues, and then work with
entities such as the Congress. Important things often take a lot of time.
And that's why we need to keep the old die-hard charged. Raising awareness
and fighting the good cause are like relay races. Charge out the gate,
sprint like heck, hand off the baton to a teammate before ya hit the wall.
Remember: many an initiative, policy, law didn't get enacted because the
effort just ran out of steam...... one person can't do it all alone. But if
it's a just cause - one will never be alone.
Thanks Mellie for the post. -- and let me share that this happens inside
of government too, at times it's real hard for even the most energetic free
thinkers to get things going. The process is shared. And there is power
Also, Thanking the editors of 'Theysaid" for posting the excellent
submission from FIREHEAD on Wildland Fire Use. What a great post. This
post is a keeper. I clipped it and keep it close by. Yes, WFU is here,
more and more plans are being finalized - and the proof is in the pudding.
it was just a matter of time before the Situation Report got its share of
WFU entries. Fire management / it's not just suppression. We need it now,
we need it for the future. These are acres that need fire. And in the
long run, an ultimate benefit is the elimination of hazards. Let fire be
the cleansing, natural disturbance agent that it always has been. Good
Okay: just a point about the "national" team rotation not making any
sense....... and the "national" preparedness level....... anything with
the word national when it comes to fire....... Remember, there is no
reason for it - It's just our policy!
Hang in there everybody. Look up, look down, look around. You see, we are
all in this together!
-- Just an Observer.
Even after being a dispatcher for over ten years, the rotations of teams should be straight forward and easy to follow and understand, wrong. There are a lot of variables. Yes, there is a basic rotation for the GACC. But many of the GACCs have more then one team so they have internal rotations. So example California, the Pacific Southwest Region, has 5 T1 IIMTs. So three of these teams are on a 2, 8 and 24 hour call rotation every week. If California is "UP" 1 , 2 or 3 on "National" rotation then the team on California internal rotation of "2 hour" call is "UP" but California has the right as well as any other GACC to use their T1 team first, if it is an internal T1 incident, T2 teams have a NOPS and SOPS rotation also.
If more then two members of the "Command and General Staff" cannot go with the team, the team is Unavail. or if the IC is unavail. then the team steps down and the next team goes.
Now on the "Name Requests" NICC and the GACC are following the National Mob Guide. Name request are to be used in rare and few situations. For specialized positions only, or to meet agency objectives. (not exact quote but close). NICC and the GACC have to authorize NR before they get processed for a fire suppression incident. So don't expect too many of them this year. Teams are also being held to 33 members for out of GACC assignments. Some GACCs even have in-GACC team sizes this year. This is to try and use closest avail resource concept and to keep the cost of the incident as low as possible.
If you think that was confusing, add Buying Teams, Dispatch Teams, Fire Use Modules and Fire Use
teams, CDF Fire Teams, Area Command teams, FAST track teams and LAD teams to the mix, all
of which for some strange reason have different rotations. (Oh yes the Priority Trainee List Rotation)
Did that help at all??
I have been reading some posts on here about the HR 408. I am confused about some things folks are saying, I was under the impression that FIREFIGHTERS is what was mentioned? Now with that I ask all of us that really are firefighters, what is a
forestry tech? OK I am sure I will get a million answers for that one. Anyway what I am asking here is this, the bill I read was to help firefighters get more of what they deserve, not to exclude anyone " militia, or
ADs. But I do believe that all of the folks on fires are not firefighters, for example does a food unit leader need to pack test at the arduous level??? NO! or does the time unit leader need to??? NO! So with that is it wrong to exclude them maybe but a GS 8 engine Capt. in Ca gets about $35,000 less a year than a counterpart in the same position. No I think that is not fair, but I am only a GS 8 not an 11 or even a 12 just an 8.
Do I think that with HR 408 can we retain firefighters YES, do I think that we can recruit a more diverse workforce with HR 408 YES. I figured that I could throw out my 2 cents here and leave it open for
ideas, not bashing each other. We all have to work together and learn from each others
mistakes, so for all the folks who are not mentioned in HR 408 think of this when was the last time you got a phone call at 0300 and had to jump up get dressed drive to work get on a fire engine and go to a fire right behind your fire station??????
Do we deserve better pay? YES do we deserve better retirement ? YES. So why all the complaining? Relax and see what happens.
Who knows, maybe the whole federal fire program will get contracted out and then what?? Militia folks, I do think that in the end you see why we want more and I am sure you folks will get some of the cake also but before you all get mad at fire folks let just see what happens.
Thanks for your time and please comment on my thought here and let me know your opinion.
Since I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, I definitely can't remember what the National Rotation Schedule looked like yesterday. I do not recall however, Southwest being #1, yet Oltrogge's team has been ordered for the Florida fire in AZ. Am I wrong, was Southwest actually #1 and that is why his team has been ordered? I am just trying to get a grasp on the rotation schedule and understand everything. Thanks!
Ab, sign me,
Information Diva who is still trying to perfect information on the National Rotation Schedule
Hi I'm a firey in Australia, Brian Webster,
We are considering trial of 24hr shifts in place of our 10hr days and 14 hr nites!
Wondering if you could inform us of how your 24hr roster operates and any advice?
Is the 24hr roster a good system?
or a system you wish you didnt have
CDF? others? Ab.
Hello. Long time lurker, first time writer here. What got me to write
was seeing how willing some people are to not include the "militia"
people that go to fires in the FWFSA sponsored legislation. Everyone
that does the job needs to be included under the same compensation
rules. It seems like a simple fix to include the militia, I can't see
why they were left out in the first place. If they're not included in
the compensation rules then it's clearly unfair because they do the
same job out at the incident. I'm really surprised that some people
don't think the militia need to be included just because they aren't
full-time fire people when it would be impossible to do without them.
It seems elitist.
The other thing is about Type 1 team rotation. Each GACC sets up its
own internal IMT rotation and the NICC rotation just identifies which
GACC sends the next one. If the NICC rotation picked the next team
then it could mess up the internal GACC rotation which allows the GACC
to be sure that the teams get an equal chance for assignments and also
to rest teams when they need it. Things are sometimes managed best by
the people that are closest to the information. GACCs have to manage
the teams and know what their needs are.
Here is some pictures of the Second Hud Fire in Reg 6 Omak, Washington. The first 60 are of that fire and a few other added. We have another one "West Omak Lake Fire" that could turn into a Complex Fire going. It borders the same area the "Hopkins Creek Complex Fire" was last season. Looks like are area in Region 6 Okanogan is off and running for our Fire Season now.
A quick stop by theysaid... Abs, good to see the store developing.
I like the new caps with flames.
We like them too, Tom. The Shop-WLF
hats link. Ab.
Thanks FWFSA and Casey for all your hard work on HR 408 and other bills
that have been passed into law to benefit the federal wildland
firefighters they've benefited, even if they don't cover every person
who's fought wildland fire in some capacity or another.
It often amazes me that what appears as a momentary vision, takes
time to get defined in formal vision and mission, and then often takes
years of hard work to bring to fruition. Hard choices are made along the
way including who's to be included and who's not, how to pay the bills,
how to set priorities, communicate, how to grow professionally, how to
outreach, how to influence, etc. With groups formed of and serving fire
professionals in service areas -- like the FWFSA, the ADFF, the WFF,
it's natural to want to right all wrongs. It's usually impossible to do
that in one fell swoop, but better done issue by issue, group by group,
person by person. I personally hope that you who see inequities in
treatment of members of your group band together to make change if you have not
yet done so. It's also important to have organizations like the NWSA
that promote professional standards among contract or public sector firefighters, the AAP
that works on issues relating to airtanker pilots and crews and the IAWF
that brings firefighters from around the world together to look at
issues in wildland firefighting, among other things. All of these
organizations contribute to the professionalism of all of us in the wildland
firefighting community, in the same way that the formation of the R5
Board of Directors and the Division Chiefs group of R5 did a number of
All I have to say is if you haven't joined and supported groups that
support you, then Shame on You! Words are cheap -- unless they're
collective. Actions like phoning reps and writing letters and going to
Washington and sending in dues to make the collective voice happen, that
takes effort, vision and purpose. Sticking with the process over the
years required to create the vision, well that takes
commitment and, for me, is a part of the vision-driven life I lead. Dis-sing
one group because it doesn't represent everyone doesn't make sense to
me, although raising issues here on theysaid around this process does
educate us all.
Mellie's advice: Make sure your life has purpose. Get passionate!
If you haven't joined the ADFA
and you're an AD, spouse of an AD, friend of an AD, join it! There's
power in that PACK of wolves! If you're a professional public sector
firefighter, join NWSA.
If you're what the feds (OPM notwithstanding) define in the backdoor way
as a federal
wildland firefighter, join FWFSA.
They're doing good and important work for professional recognition for
wildland firefighters! Airtanker folks know about the AAP;
friends are invited to join as well. If you're interested in fire issues
relating to everything professional from human factors, leadership,
communication, etc. and like to discuss these issues with firefighters
from around the world, join the IAWF.
If you're wildland firefighters who go in harms way -- and you
all do, as much as you guard against it-- join the WFF's
52 Club for the sake of your families and your crew's families.
We all need to have a safety net in times of grief and trial!
If you're "militia" or fed non-Fire firefighters, we all
thank you. You're probably the most unacknowledged Public Servants
in our midst. I want to acknowledge and thank the dispatchers, too, for
Live your passion, folks. Make a difference! As I finish this post, I
realize how many people I know who do live their lives with
passion, who are working in their own way to make a difference.
Yours are lives well lived! Thank you all!
Links to these organizations can be found on this page or on the Classifieds
As a former militia member and current AD, I applaud the FWFSA for pursuing issues that have been around since I entered the service many years ago. I don't see any other group or organization doing anything at all to address the issues of federal wildland firefighters.
There is an old saying- no pay, no play. SRJS is absolutely correct. It takes years and years , and a lot of money to establish relationships in congress and to educate them on our issues. To get them to do anything takes even more of an effort. You can't expect a dues funded organization to spend its dues dollars and time for everyone, even though I know the number of federal wildland firefighters who will benefit from HR 408 far exceeds the FWFSA membership.
Maybe we're splitting hairs with semantics about "all" federal wildland firefighters and who gets what. As a former militia member and current AD, I am a double-dipper. That means along with my retirement and use as an AD, I make more than our active firefighters. Is that OK?
If bosses are forcing folks to go on fire assignments (my personal opinion is that most militia go to fires for the overtime) its time to visit your union representative. But I don't think 408 will create a mass exodus of militia from fire assignments. The criminal charges from Cramer & Thirtymile will do a good enough job on that.
If the agencies start paying these folks what they should be paying them, maybe the militia wouldn't be needed after all.
No one organization can carry everyone's water. If the FWFSA is going to take the time and spend the money educating congress and researching issues and seeing successes-it was the FWFSA which provided for the elimination of the overtime pay cap for wildland firefighters in 2000, then they have every right to prioritize their efforts towards their members. But as I said, far more federal wildland firefighters will benefit from the FWSFA's work than our members. Maybe those folks should stop taking the "free ride" bus and join the FWFSA.
Because I am a single resource who has worked with 8 of the Type I teams (and likes to get name requested with teams I've had good experiences with), I am a "lurker" on the national rotation schedules. Anybody who lurks as much as I do will quickly notice that the national rotation schedule is not always followed! I do understand that sometimes they want to send the team closest geographically, and other times they do actually follow the rotation schedule. Confusing! I even asked the IC on a fire last year and he laughed when I asked him about the rotation schedule and said heck, he didn't understand it either!
However, sending the "closest" team has its problems. One is that a team (such as the Southern teams) might not get to go out west at all on an incident. Teams need to have yearly assignments to keep team cohesion and brains sharp. Another problem with sending the "closest" team and that is fatigue from going on too many incidents. I went out with a Type 1 team in 2002 and the whole team was literally frazzled, fighting, etc. because they were exhausted. Because the geographically closest team had repeatedly been sent on incidents, I think this fire was their 8th of the year (no wonder they were tired). I do not think that sending the geographically closest team is the answer.
Can anybody explain to me why the rotation schedule doesn't have an IC next to each team??? If the IC was listed then I could at least know if California 1,2,3,4 or 5 was up, same for Southwest teams, same for Southern, etc. Or, would that make too much sense?
Ab, Sign me,
Information Diva with no Information on National Rotation Schedule
I tend to agree with your overall assessment about the definition of "Federal Wildland
Firefighter". Are you aware that there are some units in the USDA Forest Service which employ a significant
workforce under the "Forestry Technician" umbrella as firefighters, yet they are forcefully telling those
employees that "they are NOT FIREFIGHTERS but are forestry technicians". Hummm simple
terminology isnt it? Yet decades ago there were Fire Control technician positions in their own series the old GS 0456. Those
were abolished and everyone was lumped into the Forestry Technician -
supposedly to benefit all the non-professional field folks (I am saying this as a
classification issue not a professional issue).
Also when the special salary rate for southern California was developed and pushed forward,
primarily by fire management, ALL forestry technicians benefited from the
effort not just the fire folks. I would suspect that if the bill is passed that things will be made right
when it is formatted by OPM. Same thing happened with the overtime pay issues.
When Fed. FFs finally got true overtime for the hours they put in, everyone
benefited, not just those in a FF position description. As for the ADs, yes there is a
definite class system alive and well there with the fed agencies.
It appears that you're asking about a national
rotation schedule for type I teams. That can be
found on the NIFC information page. Find the team
rotation and click on it. Will tell you which team is
up where nationally and is updated as things change or
on wednesday as thats when the rotation changes if
there are no activations off the national list. For
local teams check out the local geographic area web
sites as most all of them have a similar list.
You can also find the info on a lefthand side rotation link on the
I Incident Management Teams page. There's also a Type
II Teams page. Both of those pages can be accessed via our Links
page under Federal. Ab.
TC (and any others that contributed), much thanks for sending in the photos!! ...also, I had almost forgotten abut the air tanker plaque at the airport. I havent been there since the tanker base was shut down in the early 80's or so.
I did have my doubts if that photo link would work, but thought I would give it a whirl. This link should REALLY work...I hope.
will take you the the Chico Enterprise Record article on the event published 7/9. In the article there is a link to the chico ER photo album. I found the Rattlesnake photos in the folder for 7/11/05.
danfromord - Thanks for the offer. I tried to look at your page a while ago, but no luck. Is it down or moved somewhere else??
The AZ Florida Fire Webcam (cross-posted from the Hotlist Forum)
Since it is an air quality issue in the Tucson valley the local environmental agency
is updating the webcam of the fire hourly now. As of this posting still putting up
a good column! www.airinfonow.org/html/floridabig.php
Rattlesnake Memorial Dedication from TC
More than 300 people attended the dedication of the new Mendocino Rattlesnake Fire Overlook and Memorial Trail on July 9th, the fire's 52 year anniversary. Speakers included Tom Tidwell, Deputy Regional Forester; John Maclean author of "Fire and Ashes"; Duane Stous, Rattlesnake Fire Survivor; and Jim Barry, project coordinator. The Forest Service and CDF honor guards also participated, with Forest Supervisor Jim Fenwood conducting the ceremony.
Family members of the firefighters who perished on the Rattlesnake Fire attended the ceremony along with firefighters from the USDA Forest Service; California Department of Forestry; California Department of Corrections; and Local Fire
Departments from near and far. Glenn County Supervisor Denny Bungarz, Sheriff Larry Jones and many residents from Glenn County were also in attendance.
Grindstone District Ranger Jim Giachino and Forest Supervisor Jim Fenwood unveiled the plaques of the fallen firefighters, the honor guards read the names of the firefighters while crosses were unveiled across the canyon where the men died; and Dave Roak played taps from across the canyon at the conclusion of the ceremony .
After the ceremony, the Mendocino, Tahoe, and Eldorado Hotshots provided guided tours on the Memorial Trail to where the men died. Later families of the firefighters who died, met at Jensen Park for a picnic lunch and John Maclean provided book signing.
photos: Rattlesnake 1,
(thumbnail only); plaque
(also posted this morning)
Just wanted to add a post to They Said, Ricco Fire Pics and Information for the Black Hills National Forest.
Theres alot of great pics here: www.rapidcityjournal.com
There is a list in the national Mob Guiode, Chapter 6, page 10 of all of the Type 1 crews. There are a few California MEL Crews that have
achieved type 1 status but asre not listed and they are listed in the California Mob guide Chapter 6, page 332. As for the type 2 crews The federal ones are listed in the California Mob guide for the California crews, but for the rest I'm not sure. Hope this helps.
National Mob Guide www.nifc.gov/news/mobguide/Chapter_60.pdf
California Mob Guide www.fs.fed.us/r5/fire/intel/mob_guide/final_05_60.pdf
Thanks for all of your hard work on HR 408, and hopefully we can see the light at the end of the very long tunnel we have been working in since Kent S. first wrote the the bill several years ago. If those from the "militia" and "AD Group" would like to join in and reap the benefits they should form their own organization and lobby congress. The whole process is very time consuming and costs a ton of money. The FWFSA can not be the voice for everyone, but it sure does shout pretty damn loud for its members. And once again thanks!
From TC, Another Mendocino Event coming up:
On August 13, 2005, at the Willows Airport, the Mendocino National Forest
will host an anniversary day marking the 50th year of aerial firefighting.
Joe Ely, the fire control officer on the Mendocino in the 1950s, had long
been interested in developing the concept of dropping water on wildfires.
In July 1955 he talked with several local ag operators about it, and he
asked Floyd Nolta, of the Willows Flying Service, if he could do it. Nolta
cut a hole in the belly of a Stearman 75 Kaydet, added a one-foot square
water release gate, and tried it out.
For his historic demo drop, he set the dry grass alongside the Willows
runway on fire; his brother Vance flew over it, released the 160-gallon
water load, and put out the fire. Airtanker number 1 was in business.
The first drop on a fire was during the Mendenhall Fire, August 13, 1955,
on the Mendocino. Vance Nolta flew the Stearman and dropped six loads of
water on the fire. It was considered so successful that he worked another
fire the very next day.
By the summer of 1956, seven biplanes had been modified for firefighting.
The original Stearman was joined by several N3Ns – the primary training
planes for U.S. Navy pilots during World War II.
When Forest Service rangers wanted tanker drops on a fire, they radioed the
dispatch office at Willows. Charlie Lafferty, the dispatcher, would call
one or more of the contracted flying services and let them know where the
fire was. Soon, rangers from all across the state were dialing "Willows 80"
to ask Joe and Charlie for help.
The fledgling Aero Fire Squadron fought 25 fires across California that
summer. But these aviation pioneers found that on hot windy days, the water
barely made it to the ground. So USFS fire staff tried using a slurry of
sodium calcium borate – but the borate mixture sterilized the ground when
it landed. They then mixed bentonite with water. When more than one
aircraft was needed, Ely would fly in the front seat of a Piper Tri-Pacer
piloted by Lee Sherwood. He'd have Sherwood waggle his wings to point out
locations where he wanted the tanker pilots to drop.
By 1957, the USFS had decided that air attack was a real weapon in its fire
control arsenal. But the biplanes couldn't carry more than 120 gallons of
the heavy bentonite retardant – and they were useless on project fires.
Neither the federal nor state agencies wanted to fund an armada of tiny
tankers, so the USFS began working with bigger contractors for larger and
faster aircraft. Many Navy TBMs were converted to airtankers that could
carry 600 gallons.
The original ag pilots who proved that wildfires could be fought from the
air were eventually nudged out by the bigger, faster airtankers. Many
continued ag work, sowing and spraying the rice fields of the northern
In 1982, the 25th anniversary of the first water drop on the Mendenhall
Fire, the USFS honored them with a ceremony and a plaque at the Willows
The sole surviving member of that group, Frank Prentice, will attend the
anniversary at Willows on August 13, which will feature displays of vintage
aircraft, airtanker demo drops, and historical exhibits.
Other sponsors include CDF, Glenn County, Frank and Lila Prentice, the City
of Willows, and the Willows Chamber. For more information call Phebe Brown
Like Pulaski I missed the Memorial at the Rattelsnake Fire site also but
if you all would like some more info and possibly more picts contact Jim Barry
of the Mendocino National Forest. Jim was the guy
responsible for getting it all done and from the Picture on they said he did
a great job. Pulaski, if I get a chance to go up for a drive in the next few
weeks or so I will try to take some shots and post them.
Thanks Dan and thanks to Jim. There are also more photos from TC.
Links above. Ab.
Hey Ab, is this a new hazard we need to be on the look out for in
California? We don't have these strange hazards back East... Thought
it might interest some of the other They Said readers.
"In Southern California, a unique and still unexplained hot spot the
size of two football fields is producing temperatures above 400 degrees
at the surface, and has started at least one brush fire..."
Here is a link to the story and some video:
What Casey said is right. I am a member of the "militia". I have a choice
to make myself available, for what area I am available, and I usually get a
decent heads up when I am ordered. I have a day job (albeit fire
preparedness funded) but I am not a fire retirement position.
Now my other half is a firefighter- when they are on shift they HAVE to
respond if able. That may mean that even though he's supposed to be off at
1800 if his engine gets a call to an assignment at 1400- it may be 3 days
before he gets home and our plans are just postponed. It's part of the life
he choose when he was hired.
I personally would love that all responders get treated the same, militia
or not. Yet, I fully support the FWFSA in their current goals. Are there
any militia in the FWFSA? If so how much (%)? How would the militia get
organized to join in this effort?
sign me curious...
I was wondering how many crews there are in the nation and the break down if anyone knows
it, ie. Type 1 crews, Type 2 crews. I would also like to know if possible how many are Fed.,
State, and contractors. I am often asked this question and have to reply with I don't know.
Please sign me
New York Wildfire & Incident Management Academy
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
SUNY Building 40, Stony Brook, New York 11790-2356
Web Address: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg1/acad.phpl
For Release: Immediate
Contact: Bill Fonda Charles T. Hamilton, Information Officer Academy Coordinator
(631) 444-0350 (631) 444-0270, Fireacad@gw.dec.state.ny.us
2005 NEW YORK WILDFIRE AND INCIDENT MANAGEMENT ACADEMY
Eighth Annual Academy to be held from October 21st - October 31st, 2005
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in conjunction with the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force, will hold the eighth annual New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy (NYWIMA) from October 21 through October 31, 2005 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY.
This year's Academy will be the largest Academy ever with 32 courses being offered. Course offerings include training opportunities for beginning and veteran firefighters and include some never before offered classes such as Situation Unit Leader (S-346), Resources Unit Leader (S-348), Facilities Unit Leader (S-354), Supply Unit Leader (S-356), Dispatch Recorder (D-110) and Facilitative Instructor (M-410).
"This year's incident command and wildland firefighter training courses represent a real expansion of the Academy's course offerings," Academy Coordinator Charles T. Hamilton said. "Emergency response agencies across the nation now recognize that the establishment of a highly functional command system at the start of an emergency response is one of the best ways to safely and efficiently manage an incident so that emergency response personnel and the public are protected."
This year's Academy will also once again offer several course groupings that closely follow position training qualification listings for wildland and prescribed fire positions found in PMS 310-1 Wildland and Prescribed Fire Qualifications System Guide and FSH 5109.17 Fire and Aviation Management Qualifications Handbook. Course groupings include concentrated training programs focusing on the training necessary for wildland firefighters to perform in Squad Boss, Crew and Engine Boss positions, Ignition Specialist, Fire Effects Monitor and Prescribed Fire Burn Boss (RXB2) positions.
For the rest of this announcement, visit the Academy's website: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg1/acad.phpl
Good for you. The best resource is Women in the Fire Service, www.wfsi.org.
Their website has tons of information. They also sponsor a summer camp for
young women called Camp Blaze, www.campblaze.com.
If you want to be a firefighter I would suggest that you look into the Fire Explorer program. The Fire Explorer program is through the Boy Scouts of America and is sponsored by a local fire department. The Fire Explorer program will give you hands on training, a taste of the fire department life and structure, as well as serving your local community in various ways.
If I remember correctly you have to be thirteen and in Junior High 7th or 8th grade. I would check with the local Boy Scout Council, they should be in the yellow pages, and see if there is a program near you.
In the department I was with after they were trained they got to go on calls and were used in support roles at major incidents. As an Explorer you are not allowed to go into burning building or be on the front lines of wildland fires. In California there is a one week Explorer Fire Academy and there you get to work on live fire training under close supervision with firefighters from all over the state.
Several of the explorers have gone on the be volunteer firefighters and some have made it into California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and other local Fire Departments around the state as well as going into the armed forces as firefighters. So Good Luck and Stay Safe.
Retired L.A.V.E. and past Explorer Post Advisor.
There are Type I Incident Commanders that are "militia". And almost every Overhead Team has "militia" members (and AD members). Every position out there has "militia" and AD's who fill those orders. And there are thousands of Type II crewmembers that are AD's. These are not federal wildland firefighters? What dictionary or personnel manual are you reading? Just say "all federal wildland firefighters with fire position descriptions" if that is what you mean, and leave it at that.
The use of exclusionary language about AD's and "militia" not being even considered in your "all federal wildland firefighters" is sad.... I guess that is your point of view, but I can assure you that is not shared among "ALL" federal wildland firefighters. In my frame of reference that ALL includes AD's, militia, and fire-funded personnel.
With the pay proposed in HR 408 there will be a division of the team as pay differences among firefighters increase (contrary to your bill's designed intentions), and (I believe) there will be a net loss of more "militia" fire personnel who willingly "volunteer" to go on fire assignments. I say "volunteer", as many in the US Forest Service are "volunteered" by their bosses to make budget ends meet.
WFU (Wildland Fire Use) is not being used as an excuse to avoid using contractors and cooperators. Wildland fire managers have known for many years that we cannot go on fighting fire the same way we have been for the last 50 years. The "10 o'clock fire" mentality has resulted in abnormal fuel loadings, changes in fire resistant/fire dependent ecosystems, and has put many firefighters at risk. Wildland fire use has evolved from PNF (prescribed natural fire), "G" fire ("good" fire), WFURB (wildland fire for resource benefit), to the current WFU. It's been around for years, and in my opinion, you will see a lot more of it in the years to come.
WFU zones are highly regulated - who wants to be accused of letting a fire burn that went on to destroy 5 million dollars of houses??? All WFU zones are pre-identified in the unit's Fire Management Plan. If a lightning fire starts in a pre-identified WFU zone, and certain other conditions are met (weather, fuel moistures, etc.), the fire will be managed as a WFU. A few years back, we started using Fire Use Management Teams, which are comparable to Incident Management teams. A Fire Use Team has a Fire Use Manager instead of an IC. Yes, a Fire Use Manager is required to complete training, task book, and experience requirements just like an IC. There are different levels of Fire Use Managers, just as there are different levels of IC's.
If you've been paying attention, you will have noticed that there have been more and more fire use fires on the Sit Report every year That is a response to the better organization of the teams in getting that information to NIFC, increasing success in getting WFU zones identified and approved, as well as a sign of increasing acceptance in the fire community (i.e., yes, these are "real" fires). The fact that a WFU is on the Sit Report does NOT indicate that the fire has entered suppression stage. Fire Use teams may or may not need to order resources. Plans may be in place to protect cabins or other property within fire use zones. If so, the team will order resources the same way other teams do. Contractors and other cooperators can be, and are, dispatched to WFU incidents if the need arises. Most of the time, a few people are sufficient to do some monitoring and mapping. If a WFU does burn outside of the pre-determined zones, or if fire behavior is more intense than the Fire Management Plan allows, these fires can be converted to wildfires, and appropriate suppression action can be taken.
I am aware of the hurdles that contractors and cooperators are facing this year in getting their contracts. However, WFU incidents are not responsible, nor are WFU's being used to keep preparedness levels down. It's not easy to get a zone designated as a WFU zone. It takes years of analysis, planning, and finally a consensus of fire managers, ologists, and other folks. The WFU's you are seeing on the Sit Report today are the result of years of work by a lot of people. Give the WFU's a chance. I believe it's the way to go for a lot of our public land.
HR 408 was written by & for the dues-paying members of the FWFSA many years ago as a response to one of the organization's legislative goals and objectives. We recognized early on that the legislation would benefit far more employees than just our members. In crafting the bill, a definition was needed by the Legislative Counsel in Washington. It made sense then, as it still does, that the definition would include those federal wildland firefighters that are eligible for the federal firefighter early retirement provisions as a result of their classification. As a result, wildland firefighter is defined as an "employee of the Department of the Interior or the United States Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture, the duties of whose position are primarily to perform work directly connected with the control, extinguishment, prevention, and management of wildland fires (including an employee engaged in this activity who is transferred to a supervisory or administrative position), but does not include an employee or group of employees excluded by the Office of Personnel Management under the second sentence of subsection(c).
We clearly sympathize with those that form the militia, Range Technicians, Recreation Technicians, ADs and others who may not meet this definition. However, please note that the language does not specifically exclude them. The last sentence clearly allows for those that have the exclusive bargaining rights for such employees, to engage in dialogue with the agencies and OPM to bring their PDs up to 21st century text so that they can qualify for the benefits of this bill.
As an employee association, we do not have bargaining rights. We have worked hard with Congress and met with OPM previously on classification issues. Not only regarding the archaic 462, the nonsensical and impractical 401, but the very fact that those in the militia...are not recognized for their fire activities. The farthest we can go is to secure a "sense of the congress" that Forestry Technicians and other similar employees should be classified as Federal Wildland Firefighters. However, the union, primarily NFFE, is the organization which must work with the agencies, OPM & congress to truly affect change in this area.
We would love to have everyone who goes to a fire be properly compensated. But again, as an employee association with dues paying members, our primary responsibility is to them. Any person or organization has the right to petition congress to improve pay, benefits and working conditions. ADs have their own association and as such, their own goals and objectives. As a result, they must actively pursue those as I'm sure Mr. Carson is doing.
The classification issue is not new. For those of you who believe you would be excluded from HR 408, I would strongly encourage you to seek action from the Union to work with us to find a way to incorporate you folks. Keep in mind that if the bill is passed, OPM is tasked with developing implementing regulations...the perfect opportunity to ensure others are eligible. However, the FWFSA, by itself, simply can't carry everyone on its shoulders.
Also, and please clarify if I'm wrong, those that make up the "militia" do so voluntarily. While the Chief of the Forest Service "encourages" participation, a number of studies have shown that fewer and fewer "militia" are performing firefighting work as a collateral duty. The 462 Forestry Technicians, the Hot Shots, the Smokejumpers, do not have the luxury to "choose" whether to fight fires.
Our goal is to improve the pay, benefits and working conditions for our members. In so doing, we strongly believe we'll be helping many others. We continue to work on bringing benefits to seasonal employees and hazard pay to those on prescribed burns. However, we are limited to what we can do contractually.
Perhaps folks can argue back and forth as to what "all" federal wildland firefighters means. However, I believe it is consistent to define that as those eligible for the early retirement provisions and whose primary duties are to perform work directly connected with the control, extinguishment, prevention and management of wildland fires.
Given the fact that the Acting OPM Director did not know that seasonals don't get benefits and that our firefighters, as defined, are GS employees, it is clearly time that the ADs and the union work to educate OPM and others on their issues. Please keep in mind that our members are also part of NFFE.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thanks
Well there are a couple of things that we need to know first. What kind of firefighter do you want to be?
There is the wild land fire fighter who, in the beginning, works only for so long
during the year. Then there is the city fire fighter who lives 24 on and 24 off in a fire house.
Both types are extensive in training and being in great physical shape.
There are women in both types. These women worked hard to get there.
Remember one thing though, Ashley, this is a dangerous life and job.
You can try talking to the fire fighters who live near you first and hear what they have to say.
As for training in the wildland there is basic, intermediate, wildland fire
behavior, crew boss, engine boss, incident commander, urban interface,
and many more.
As for the city there is normally a fire academy that you can go to. Their training is alot different, dealing with structures alot more.
If you have anymore questions just let us know.
Just for the record, the provisions in HR 408 (referred to in Mr. Judd's reference of his meeting with the OPM) does NOT "...benefit(s) all federal wildland firefighters working for the five land management agencies across the country."
If passed as written, this bill would only benefit those in fire-funded positions with fire position descriptions. That's right, the "militia" folks in wildlife or timber or range or soils or hydrology or recreation wouldn't benefit at all from this bill, even when on fire assignments.
So if you are a Recreation Tech and go out to help on an engine with fire-funded personnel, you don't get equal pay. Your co-workers would get portal-to-portal, you would get the same old same old. If you are on a Type II crew, those folks whose positions are not fire-funded positions would not get the benefits of this bill which provides for personnel who happen to be in a fire-funded position and position description.
And, of course, it does nothing to benefit AD employees, who, I believe, are part of the "ALL" in "all federal wildland firefighters working for the five land management agencies across the country".
A good bill? Yes, I would support it. It's a good start, and may pave the way for true equal compensation. But let's be honest as to whom it would benefit, and not say "all" unless it includes all federal employees working side by side eating smoke.
The AD Firefighter Association also put together a Legislative Contact page at
It has addresses, phone and fax numbers
Chair, AD Firefighters Association
Here's a pic of the new rattlesnake fire
memorial. Notice the crosses
in the background across the canyon. Photo courtesy of Larry Cregger.
Thanks to others who sent this in. Ab.
hi my name is ashley, i am 13 years of age and i have been wanting to become a firefighter eveer since i was 7 years of age. i want to know if you could give me some information about what i need to know to get the career of becoming a firefighter. also is it true that it is harder for women to get the career as becoming a firefighter then it is for men. please write back if you can. thankz bye
Food for Thought:
Could you give a number for each team Like the RB: Rocky Basin 1 or Rocky Basin 2 or Rocky Basin 3....Do the same with the rest of the
teams? So we could tell what team is up. My significant other is on one the teams and it would be nice to know which team is up? I don't know if that would be hard or not. Team 1 is Rocky Basin 1
So all this talk about preparedness level. Engines are staffed crews are ready. We are catching fires. Not too many big fires yet. At the forest level we dispatch what we need and order what we will be needing. Preparedness level is just a number that we can say
"ooooo, we at level 5". The point is that a number is not going put out fires.
Someone who does not have a big head and worries more about being safe and catching fires than a stupid number.
To all Federal Wildland Firefighters:
This past Friday, July 8th, I had the honor of meeting with Mr. Dan Blair, Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management along with Mr. Donald Winstead, Deputy Associate Director for Pay & Performance Policy at OPM's Washington DC HQ at Mr. Blair's request.
Recently I reported that I had received the invitation to meet after receiving a copy of a "draft" letter stating OPM's views on our portal to portal legislation, HR 408. The draft letter for the most part opposed the legislation in every aspect. I responded to Mr. Blair indicating his data and information was flawed and misleading and perhaps we could meet to work together on behalf of our federal wildland firefighters.
I believe the meeting was positive. I outlined the historical chronology of the issues contained in the bill, along with classification and other issues on the FWFSA's legislative plate. In fact, the Acting Director was unaware that seasonal wildland firefighters do not receive health benefits of any kind.
OPM had been solicited by the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization Subcommittee to provide its views on the legislation. Those present acknowledged errors in the calculations contained in the draft letter and will have a clearer picture of what we are trying to achieve as a result of the meeting and additional data I will provide to them. I was pleased that the OPM representatives acknowledged that they simply look at the bill from a policy standpoint and rely on data from the land-management agencies...data that, for all intents and purposes, is often a bit out of whack. Thus I think it went well as an opportunity to educate OPM on our issues.
OPM administers pay and other regulations for 1.8 million civil servants so getting a meeting with the leadership on our bill was quite an accomplishment.
I'd like to reiterate that HR 408, The Federal Wildland Firefighter Emergency Response Compensation Act benefits all federal wildland firefighters working for the five land-management agencies all across the country. There have been some nutty rumors that it is just for FWFSA members, or just for R5 firefighters...Nonsense! All grades, all Forest Service regions, BLM, BIA, Park Service & Fish & Wildlife. As always, if you have any questions, or want the current political scoop, please feel free to contact me at FWFSAlobby@aol.com.
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
The Rattlesnake Fire Memorial and Interpretive site was dedicated last Saturday July 9th on the Mendocino N.F. As much as I would have liked to there was no way I could be there. I have found a few small photos of the ceremony on the MNF website. I found a few photos from the event scattered around on the Chico ER photo album page at:
www.dotphoto.com/GuestViewAlbum.asp?AID=2610479&Page=1& (you might have to cut and paste the
link). (Ab couldn't get this to work at all.)
I'm wondering if anyone knows of any place else has photos up from the dedication (that is all I found with a news search)
Insight into the current PL level is definitely appreciated, but one must insist that something nefarious may indeed be going on. Reading the definintions of the different PL levels, it seems obvious that we should be at a 3. The way the book reads, "...or 275 crews are committed nationally." I'd like to stress the "OR" part of that sentence. These PL definitions are laid out to give NMAC direction on what level to put the PL. Competition for national resources does exist- airtankers, hotshots, etc.
There is a reason for the more open checkbook at PL3, fire danger and activity warrant spending more $$.
This is just my opinion, but it looks like the leaders at the national level are turning a blind eye to the current level of activity in order to save some preparedness money. Hopefully this won't jeopardize anyone's safety in the field.
Is your Congressional Representative on the list below? If not, ask them to sign up as a co-sponsor for HR 408 - The Federal Wildland Firefighter Emergency Response Compensation Act of 2005. For more information, contact any officer of the FWFSA or
Casey Judd, FWFSA Business
Rep Pombo, Richard [CA-11] - 1/26/2005
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 1/26/2005
Rep Cunningham, Randy (Duke) [CA-50] - 1/26/2005
Rep Otter, C. L. (Butch) [ID-1] - 1/26/2005
Rep Simpson, Michael K. [ID-2] - 1/26/2005
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 1/26/2005
Rep Doolittle, John T. [CA-4] - 1/26/2005
Rep Udall, Mark [CO-2] - 2/1/2005
Rep Cardoza, Dennis A. [CA-18] - 2/1/2005
Rep Renzi, Rick [AZ-1] - 2/8/2005
Rep Weldon, Curt [PA-7] - 2/8/2005
Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] - 2/8/2005
Rep Simmons, Rob [CT-2] - 2/9/2005
Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-44] - 3/1/2005
Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] - 3/1/2005
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 3/8/2005
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] - 4/6/2005
Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] - 4/12/2005
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] - 4/20/2005
Rep Tauscher, Ellen O. [CA-10] - 4/20/2005
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 4/21/2005
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 5/24/2005
Rep Hayworth, J. D. [AZ-5] - 5/24/2005
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-5] - 6/15/2005
Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] - 6/16/2005
Rep Bono, Mary [CA-45] - 6/16/2005
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] - 6/16/2005
Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 6/22/2005
Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 6/22/2005
If you don't have his/her name or contact info, you can find out
who your House of Representatives congressperson is HERE.
We have this link on the Links
page under Federal, Practical. Ab.
There's nothing nefarious going on with National Preparedness Level (PL)
remaining at 2. Hugh and, before him, Lobotomy hit the nail on the head
with the links and quotes from the NIFC page.
The reason we're at PL2 is that so far we haven't reached the
national crew commitment level of 275. We do have activity across
geographic areas and ICTs are out, but numbers of committed crews do not
exceed the magic number. If you could take a gander at the eb and flow
of the resource lists you'd see what I mean. We've pushed
"2.8", maybe "2.9", but the weather has changed, the
line has held and resources have been demobed. ICs got a directive to
demobe resources asap when safe to do so. They seem to be doing
that and it can save $$. Anyone else notice how when we go to national
PL3 it seems we have a more open checkbook. Staying at PL2 saves us
5-10M per day, I'd bet. If we can do that safely, it is good business to
stay lean and mean.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the National PL if Type 2
crews get committed to hurricane relief. I'm speculating, but that could
depend on who's paying. If crews are paid with an F Code (under FEMA),
we could conceivably go to 300 crews committed and still remain at PL2
Keep those red bags packed. The season is still in diapers.
FROM : National Wildfire Coordinating Group
REPLY TO : NWCG@nifc.gov
DATE : 07/11/2005
SUBJECT : SAFETY WARNING : Failure of Sigg type bottles
Due to recent recurring issues in the field regarding Sigg bottles, we are
reissuing the following safety alert notice from 2002.
/s/ Gene Madden,
Chair, Safety and Health Working Team
Fuel bottles in the field were found to bulge and the crimp holding the
threaded plug failed due to excessive pressure. During tests, all of the
four brands tested failed by splitting out the side of the bottle or at the
crimp in bottles constructed of two pieces. Some bottles failed at
low pressures. Pressure is generated by filling the bottle completely to
the top and exposing the bottles to temperatures in the 80's.
>From the limited testing performed to this point, the following conclusions
can be reached:
Emphasis should be placed on making sure that these fuel bottles are not
filled beyond the manufacturer's recommended fill line. MSR prints a
warning on each bottle specifically stating that overfilling may cause
extreme pressures as the temperature rises.
Of the four brands tested, (MSR, Stansport, Primus and Optimus) only the MSR
meets the requirements of GSA's IPD for aluminum fuel bottles. The MSR
fuel bottle is of one-piece construction and exceeds the 400 psia burst
pressure requirement. The other three brands are of two-piece construction
and do not meet the minimum burst pressure of 400 psia specified in the
Although further testing should be done, it appears that the cap seal
design of the MSR bottle allows the o-ring seal to fail before the bottle
bursts. This allows only a small amount of fuel leakage if the bottle is
over-pressurized, instead of allowing the entire contents of the bottle to
Now that some areas are heating up and running, you might want to check the Classifieds Page and check the selection of engines and other equipment for sale. We just added a new ad for a skidgine that's under a current USFS contract. Buying, selling, or browsing, we're fast becoming "the place" for wildland fire engines and equipment. See the skidgine here:
personal favorites for quotes:
"Never fight fire from ego" C. Caldwell, 1979, fire near Placerville...makes more sense every year...
"Have cognition before ignition" DIVS briefing- Shasta-T, 1987... ditto...
I added them to the Quotes
to Live By page. Ab.
The possible answer to the question of, "why is the national prep level at 2 in July" is this: the feds had a short fall in funding and have not staffed the usual crews. So they then try to use WFU excuse as a way to limit the use of cooperators and contractors and then see if the fires over take
their management objectives. This way they are basically buying time until the fire over
burns their WFU sites. Evaluations of exposures is the one factor that will override the WFU use. Some sites are true WFU sites but look at how many
WFUs have been on NIFC's web site this year?
To clarify some uncertainty about how Preparedness Levels (PLs) are determined, the below is direct from a NIFC web page at
Additionally, each Geographic Area establishes its own PLs, as do most local units. As PLs rise, certain actions are dictated (e.g., additional staffing, military activation, etc.).
Also note that one Geographic Area can be at a high PL but the national PL remains at a lower level. A recent example was when the SW Areas was at PL 4 but NICC remained at a PL 2.
What are National Preparedness Levels?
The National Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MAC) establishes Preparedness Levels throughout the calendar year to help assure that firefighting resources are ready to respond to new incidents. Preparedness Levels are dictated by burning conditions, fire activity, and especially resource availability.
The five Preparedness Levels range from I to V, with V being the highest level. Each Preparedness Level has specific management directions. As the Preparedness Levels rise, more federal and state employees become available for fire mobilization if needed.
Preparedness Level I – No large fire activity is occurring. Most geographic areas are experiencing low to moderate fire danger. There is little or no commitment of national resources.
Preparedness Level II – One region of the country is experiencing high fire danger. Wildland fire activity is occurring, and there is a potential for escapes to larger fires.
Preparedness Level III – Two or more regions of the country are experiencing wildland or prescribed fire activities requiring a major commitment of national resources. Additional resources are being ordered through the National Interagency Coordination Center. Incident Management Teams are committed in two or more regions, or 275 crews are committed nationally.
Preparedness Level IV – Two or more regions of the country are experiencing incidents requiring Type I Teams. Competition exists for resources between Geographic Areas. Or when 425 crews or five Type I Teams area committed nationally. Some firefighting resources may be pre-positioned to respond to predicted incidents and liaisons are established with the military and Canadian resources.
Preparedness Level V – Several Geographic Areas are experiencing major incidents which have the potential to exhaust all agency fire resources. When 550 crews are committed nationally. Canadian Liaison and a coordinator for military mobilization are asked to participate in national planning.
I just finished reading "Summer of
Fire". It was excellent. I just wish there were actual fire maps in the book noting the advance of the fire. Yes, statistics are in there, but maps would let those of us that have never been to Yellowstone see the progress.
So if anyone is interested in buying it, it's worth the few dollars.
Linda Jacobs is an excellent writer, especially for never being a firefighter herself. Excellent research.
Some tragic news.
The inmate crew firefighter who suffered a severe heart attack on the line during
a July 4th fire in Orange County CA passed away a few days ago. Sorry, was
unable to report in a more timely way, I was tied up on an 1,100 acre fire in the
hills above Yorba Linda this week. An investigation into the line of duty death is
Contract County Guy
For those of you who like statistics:
I was curious about how this year (with its persistent Preparedness
Level II) compares to recent seasons and checked the situation reports
for July 9. This year, we've burned slightly over 3 million acres. Since
2000, the only year that surpassed the number of acres burned to date
was 2002 with 3.1 million acres. If memory serves me correctly, we had
already been at Level V that year for several weeks. Of course, that was
a huge urban interface year with numerous decisions to disengage or to
use way-back indirect attack. The slowest year was 2003 with just less
than 1 million acres year-to-date. Last year at this time we were at
Level III with just less than 3 million acres burned. The 10-year
average is 1.8 million. Doesn't seem like that long ago when a 2-million
acre whole fire season was considered substantial ...
Still Out There as an AD
To answer your questions, management level refers to the complexities of
incident (while you we there), ie Type 1, type 2, type 3, type 4 or type
Job code refers to the position that you performed on the incident, ie:
(crew boss) or DIVS (division group supervisor). Operational periods
to how many shifts that you performed for each position on the incident,
if you spent a total of 10 shifts on an incident and performed in
positions during the incident, you would post 5 shifts as a CRWB and 5
shifts as a DIVS.
If you fill up all the spaces, on the back of your redcard, check with
Units redcard coordinator to see if he/she has ordered any of the
record cards, these cards are about the same size as your redcard and
can be ordered from the Boise Cache (I don't have the NFES # on the top
So everybody knows, the 5 Federal Wildland Fire Agencies
have decided to
track all experience by incidents and this information is needed to post
experience into the IQCS computer program.
Hippy Mike - a Forest Redcard Coordinator (among other things)
I am fairly new to this redcard system. On the back of the card we are
to fill out the experience record. Some of the items are no brainers,
while some are requiring a key to get the proper items filled. But in
case I may not be the only one, could you help us out as to where we can
find a key?
Date (Self explanatory)
Incident Name/Number (Self explanatory)
Management Level (Help needed here)
Job Code (What we worked as on the fire, right?)
Operational Period (Help needed here)
State (Self explanatory)
Fuel Type (I know them, but maybe others don't)
Size Class ( I know this, but maybe others don't)
I worked very closely with one of the pilots on that air
tanker. Brian Bruns was a
lieutenant commander in the U.S.N. the NAVY and the WILDLAND FIRE
lost a very good man that day. My prayers are with his family .
Ethan John Molzhan
AD3 VP-65 VR-61
We lost some good men. Ab.
Grindstone District of the Mendocino National Forest near Willows
Dedication of the memorial to those who died on the Rattlesnake
10 AM Saturday (tomorrow)
Living memorial: Forest Service to honor firefighters in Saturday
I had the opportunity to stand up in front of my local Rotary club today
and put some money in the basket in memory of the anniversaries of South
Canyon and Thirtymile. Anyone who knows about Rotary knows opening your
mouth always costs you money, but it's always put to good use. This is
what I had to say...
This is in memory of the anniversaries of the 14 lives lost at South
Canyon and the 4 lives lost here in Washington at the Thirtymile Fire.
In our profession, the family that is the wildland firefighting
community, we not only mourn the loss of our friends, but we celebrate
their lives and sacrifice, and work diligently in their memory to
improve safety for ourselves and our colleagues, our family."
The 30+ members and guests present stood and clapped.
What a great week to contribute to the
Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
crosses at Mann Gulch
Re:6/23 posting, Dough Kohl
Try the Missoula smokejumpers, they have installed the crosses
On crews I was on and stations where I worked we always had softball,
volleyball and horseshoe tournaments. Not necessarily as pt per se, but
as a end of day winddown. Some of the most spirited games anywhere were
those intra-squad competitions. The rules were no reports of injury
attributable to the sports, we didn't have any significant injuries
anyway. Except for a hangnail in the net or A Voit tattoo on the
forehead. Then again we may be the reason team sports are frowned on
today. It is great for crew cohesion and teamwork I can say that, if
nothing else have after hours events were everyone that wants to can
Be Safe all you interagency firefighters on the Mason Fire near Pueblo,
The rest of you BE SAFE, too.
0462 (Forestry Technician) & Series
0455 (Range Technician) jobs pages and Series
0401 ("professional" Biologist) are updated.
Referencing your 7/2 post:
Our mothers went to the same school. Important words in the phrase are,
The key is to take the identification of a person, unit, forest, park, etc.
out of what is said and focus on what we can learn from their experiences
that might be of benefit to ourselves and others. These are fundamental
After Action Review ground rules that can apply to writing reports or
conveying lessons in stories. The shift from finding fault and pointing out
blame toward a safer, reporting, just, flexible, learning culture will be
based upon the same ground rules.
Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe in their book Managing The Unexpected,
write about the work of human factors researcher James Reason on the safety
culture of an organization being an "informed culture" in chapter five. We
know many of you are familiar with this book and have it on the shelf. For
those of you waiting for a good reason to purchase it, I'd like to take a
few quotes from it that may encourage the investment of about $20.
Weick and Sutcliffe write that Reason's data suggests that
"the best way to
maintain states of intelligent wariness is to collect and disseminate
information about incidents, near misses, and the state of the system's
vital signs. The problem is that candid reporting of errors takes trust and
trustworthiness. Both are hard to develop, easy to destroy, and hard to
Karl and Kathleen continue to describe a series of steps that an
organization can take in cultivating an informed culture.
cultures are dependent on the knowledge gained from rare incidents,
mistakes, near misses, and other "free lessons," they need to be structured
so that people feel willing to "confess" their own errors. A reporting
culture is about protection of people who report. And it is also about what
kinds of reports are trusted...a culture cannot be safe if its reports and
reporting relationships are flawed."
What gets reported in the first place is affected by how an organization
handles blame and punishment.
"An informed culture is also a just
culture...described as 'an atmosphere of trust in which people are
encouraged, even rewarded, for providing essential safety-related
information---but in which they are clear about where the line must be
drawn between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.' ...Reason reports that
when this line is clear, only about 10% of the unsafe acts fall into the
'unacceptable' category. This means that the other 90% are blameless and
could be reported without fear of punishment. But if people are unclear
about what constitutes grounds for punishment, if people feel ashamed to
admit errors, and if management deals with errors in an inconsistent
manner, then that 90% will be concealed. As a result, the system will be
seriously deficient in understanding how vulnerable it really is."
These themes are rampant throughout years of dialog on this site, at every
conference and gathering of firefighters. Those at the Pulaski Conference
are to be commended for their efforts toward the creation of a solid
foundation for what can become a just and informed, much safer culture. The
current focus on leadership development and getting better at learning from
each other are more big steps in the right direction. The way we each talk
with one another about "what, not who" can begin to make the same
Trust will develop when mutual respect for each other throughout the
organization is clearly visible. It takes conscious effort. Each of us can
do our part every time we say or write something to another firefighter. In
time this behavior will lead to regular, candid, professional dialog where
honesty and integrity are openly valued, rewarded and expected all of the
These are exciting times for the entire wildland fire community. I'm glad
to be around now to see it happening.
Dave, sorry for the delay in posting, you got caught in the spam
filter. You're whitelisted now. Ab.
||Firefighters, tell your loved ones that there are families posting to
Familysaid board. Nothing like folks to talk with to pass those lonely
times when your firefighter is off and away. Ab.
Interesting article from the Glenwood Springs newspaper on the anniversary
of the South Canyon Fire. Here's the link:
I am always uneasy during the first few weeks of July, too many tragic
wildland fires occur in the western US at this time of year. When you have a
combination of rusty fire crews just coming up to speed during the same
period when we usually experience increasing fire behavior, it probably
shouldn't be a surprise that many of our deadliest accidents happen during
the first few weeks of July. Although it is clearly a factor in many of our
more infamous burnovers, important issues like crew cohesion only seem to
get attention after we have an accident.
Whenever I get to central Oregon these days, I make it a point to visit the
wildland firefighter monument in Prineville. I have yet to make it beyond
Tammy Bickett's stone without getting choked up. Whenever I see her image,
it reminds me of what a great person she was, what potential she had, and
how sad it is that all of those wonderful kids are no longer with us. I will
never forget the lesson I took from South Canyon: no lousy piece of ground
and vegetation is worth the life of any person. Ever.
Be careful out there. The Dragon is waking up.
||Just a note to our audience. . .
Our Online Scanner list,
found on the News Page has Region 5 pretty well covered. If there is a new
start in California, you can probably listen along to the initial and
extended attack. But, we're very under-represented for the rest of the
Regions. We're searching and listening for new online scanner links to add,
but aren't having much luck. If you're aware of any good online "fire"
scanners in your area, please let us know about it.
||Another quote to think about
"Never attribute to malice that which can
be adequately explained by stupidity."
||Contributors... Thanks for all the good fire info posted on the Hot
List Forum. Ab.
||Thanks for remembering July 6, 1994.
We cannot forget. Our best to you and Ken. I've heard there were many
flowers placed on Storm King. Ab.
||Dr. Jon Driessen at MTDC did an excellent paper "Crew Cohesion,
Wildland Fire Transition and Fatalities" in 2002 that looked the
of Mann Gulch, South Canyon and Thirtymile. It's available on the
MTDC web site.
It's also got a link on our Docs Worth Reading archives
page. It's a pdf file:
||God bless our fallen friends in London,
Keep vigilant against terrorism,
Google search on London bomb. Ab.
||Crew cohesion is currently being studied and a paper was presented
specifically on the status of this project at the Safety Summit:
Thanks Old Sawyer. I'll have to read that. They did ask to
use the photos from our photo pages. Looks like they've given credit to a
magazine website for those... Ab.
||Quotes to live by:
Here's one I forgot about but it speaks for it's self.
Author - Unknown
Your actions speak so loudly I can't hear what you're saying...
I added it to
to Live By. Ab.
I could not let this day go by without an acknowledgement to the families
and co-workers of those lost at Storm King.
We are so sorry for your losses. They were the Best of the Best.
Kathi Beck, Age 24, Prineville Hotshot
Tamera Bickett, Age 25, Prineville Hotshot
Scott Blecha, Age 27, Prineville Hotshot
Levi Brinkely, Age 22, Prineville Hotshot
Doug Dunbar, Age 22, Prineville Hotshot
Terri Hagen, Age 28, Prineville Hotshot
Bonnie Holtby, Age 21, Prineville Hotshot
Rob Johnson, Age 26, Prineville Hotshot
John Kelso, Age 27, Prineville Hotshot
Robert Browning, Age 27, Helitack
Richard Tyler, Age 33, Helitack
Don Mackey, Age 34, Missoula Smokejumper
Roger Roth, Age 30, McCall Smokejumper
Jim Thrash, Age 44, McCall Smokejumper
We have had the pleasure of meeting most of these families. They are
wonderful and inspiring people.
We have a whole wall of photos, here at the foundation, dedicated to the
firefighters of Storm King.
I wish you could be here in our office when people stop by and see the
pictures on the walls. Some of them cry, and then the fire stories start to
come, most of them funny, the things they did, or pranks they pulled, all of
them bigger than life. They left a legend behind.
Levi Brinkley's Dad left
us a sign that hangs on the wall with the photos.
What we learned......
The lives of the 14 firefighters on Storm King serve as a constant
reminder for all firefighters today. We learned that human life is
more precious than any home, property, or landscape and safety
should guide all firefighters' decisions.
The wall with all their pictures is part of the changing image banner
on this page:
Remembering the Fallen. It's the image with photos and purple flowers.
||Hard to believe it's been 11 years since South Canyon. Seems like last
fire season for some of us.
God Speed Tami, Kathy, and Levi, God Speed!
||AB, Biker Joe, Rogue Drogue, Old Sawyer and all...
Thanks for posting and responding to my query. I knew that the fear of
injury would be the
main obstacle in my pursuit and I am working on preparing to touch upon that
issue if need be.
As for now I am taking a different angle and attached is a rough draft of
the avenue I am headed.
If you get a chance look it over, and let me know if I should even go
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The purpose of this communication is to create a forum in which to
discuss an item that can be found in sections 13-04 and 13-05 of chapter 13
in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations. These
specific sections deal with the Physical Fitness and Conditioning
regulations that are to be adhered to by employees and Agency
Administrators. These particular sections state the following:
“Agency Administrators are responsible for ensuring the overall
physical fitness of firefighters. The Agency Administrator may authorize
employees who are available and/or serving in wildland or prescribed
fire positions that require a physical fitness rating of arduous, one
hour each day for fitness condition. All other wildland firefighting
personnel may be authorized up to three hours per week of duty time for
fitness conditioning. Furthermore, individuals who have a position with
an arduous physical requirement may be periodically tested during the
fire season to ensure they are retaining the required level of fitness
and conditioning. Fitness conditioning periods may be identified and
structured to include aerobic and muscular exercises. Team Sports are
not authorized for fitness conditioning.”
The fact that “team sports” are not authorized as a form of fitness
conditioning is a complete contradiction to the fact that we work in an
industry that strives to promote team cohesion. Cohesion is the ability or
tendency of a crew to stick together as a group. Experts who have studied
why people died fighting wildfires have long noted a connection between fire
crew cohesion and fatalities. Poor crew cohesion increases chances for bad
decisions leading to fatal incidents. In fact, a lack of crew cohesion has
been found to be one of the largest contributing factors involved in the
Mann Gulch, South Canyon, and Thirtymile tragedies.
These tragedies have permanently been etched into the minds of all who
serve in this industry and stand as a testament to the need for leaders to
build cohesive crews through team building and teamwork. In 1995, experts in
psychology, sociology, formal organizations, fire safety, and wildland
firefighting were brought together and created 21 recommendations in
relation to fire crew cohesion. Of their many findings, developing methods
to speed up crew cohesion and work practices before fireline
assignments was at the top of the list. However, turning a group of diverse
individuals into a cohesive team is not an easy process and requires
acceptance, open communication, reliance on one another, and shared
standards and values. Successful team cohesion is created through a bonding
and building of trust while learning to work together as a team. For many
crews the practical means of creating this bond of trust and team oriented
mentality is achieved by conducting quality training for both technical
skills and physical training.
Physical Training (PT) is the predominant method used to determine an
individual’s physical condition and suitability for wildland
firefighting. For all crews a physical fitness test is given to make sure
those individuals given arduous firefighting duties can do their jobs safely
and effectively. This test typically comprises of some form of the
following: The pack test, a timed 1.5 mile run, timed push-up and sit-up
abilities, and pull ups. PT programs are commonly conducted with the goal of
achieving certain scores on these elements and personal fitness levels are
often monitored and recorded to gage individual improvement. But do these
programs gage the improvement of crew cohesion? Does knowing that crewmember
A can complete the 1.5 mile run 2 minutes ahead of crewmember B tell a crew
leader that he or she would be able to exhibit good judgment in spite of
stress, fatigue, or hardship? Can that knowledge be obtained through hiking
as a crew, doing a “mock” line digging exercise, or taking part in project
Team sports or team play as a form of physical training would not only
provide as a way to determine an individuals physical condition and
suitability for duty but would more importantly serve as a direct means by
which the building of trust while learning to work together as a team can be
developed and evaluated under controlled conditions. Every crew develops a
distinct personality of its own. How does the crew function, produce,
communicate and plan? How does the crew make its decisions? What are its
unique weaknesses and strengths? What roles do various members assume in
different situations? And how does the crew adapt to change? These are just
a few of the questions that could be examined in a team sport or team play
environment. The answers found through team sports or team play would have
much more direct relevance and correlation to fire line duty ability than
running 3 miles as a group of staggered individuals based on their running
ability with little inter-dependence on each another. Playing together as a
flag football team however, a crew is now completely dependent on each
other. If the linemen cannot block or the receivers cannot get open to catch
the ball, the quarterback goes down. The entire team as a whole must act
together to achieve success. Which of the two PT styles sounds most
appropriate for a physically capable wildland fire crew working to
extinguish a fire?
Under the current policies outlined in Chapter 13 of the Interagency
Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations, team sports are not
authorized for fitness conditioning. I am asking for a re-evaluation of this
policy. Team sports would not only serve as a means of developing strength
and endurance but the outcome would be physically fit firefighters who are
agile, productive and less likely to suffer injuries or accidents due to
fatigue. More importantly, the outcome is a cohesive crew that practices a
set of behaviors that reinforces learning, adaptation, communication and
||We here at WLF are happy to announce our online store has become the
primary outlet for Krs Evan's King radio/cell phone charger. The small,
light weight unit allows cell phones to be recharged anywhere using King
radio battery packs. Most of you will remember Krs as the Plumas Hotshot
sawyer who suffered major injuries when he was struck by a falling snag on
the fireline. 10% of each unit sold will be donated to the Wildland
Firefighter Foundation. Help us support our wildland fire community, click
on any Shop-WLF button at the top of the page to see more about this handy
||The Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association, a retiree
organization, is sponsoring a gathering of people who have worked for and
with the Forest Service in Portland, Oregon from September 4-9, 2005. All of
the wildfire community is invited to come see old friends and share stories,
some which may be true. We realize that September is the peak of fire season
here in the west, but for us older ones who have hung up the Nomex, here is
a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends. For details and
registration information visit:
and click on Reunion 2005. For you still doing the heavy lifting, stay safe.
||I tried team sports for my Hotshot crew in 1971 but had to stop
due to injuries, which disappointed the crew.
||Let's all take a few moments and remember the 14 women and men who died
Storm King Mountain 11 years ago on July 6, 1994.
For those who weren't in the business then, or those who long for the "good
when the only accountability for being involved in a burn-over was death,
dust off your
old copy of "Fire on the Mountain" and relive those awful days again!
Aberdeen, next year you might consider inviting yourself to
the Wildland Firefighter Foundation "Family Day" to celebrate with the
families the firefighters who are gone but not forgotten. Ab.
Here is the 2005 California Mobilization Guide:
In the guide it explains in Chapter 20 how the preparedness levels are set
in California. If the Southern California Geographic Area Coordination
Center (GACC) was following these guidelines they would be in Preparedness
Level 3. The National Preparedness Level is currently at 2 and if they
followed the National Mobilization Guide guidelines, the National
Preparedness Level would be a 3.
I know guidelines are guidelines, but sometimes guidelines have a purpose.
Maybe if these guidelines were followed, there would not be shortages and
competition for national and local resources?
Excellent question about SoCal's Preparedness Level........... I am still
why our National Preparedness Level is a 2. Does anybody know?!?!? I just
Anxious to go Out!
After having a similar discussion on the subject of group sports for PT a
few years ago, I too found no documented reasoning for the way it's written
in the Red Book. The only reasoning I got verbally from several sources was
that it was supposedly due to higher potential for injuries doing team
sports. (but nothing substantiated with documentation)
Depending on the political climate of your district, sometimes doing "Group
PT" away from the District Office's eyes is a potential solution. Though
there may be a fine line between the two, I knew of some crews that called
playing softball or ultimate frisbee "running sprints."
Personally I feel that team sports can be a great builder of crew cohesion,
great source of exercise, and of course; fun.
Documentation on the specific reference to no team sports and the
redbook can be found in most hotshot (or insert your resource name here)
crews CA-1 (traumatic injury...claim) historic file (names blacked out, of
Back in the day (read late Pleistocene, when IR crews roamed the land) we
reconstructed alot of knees, shoulders, and various other body parts playing
hard on the clock.
It's difficult to explain to OWCP how the taxpayer owes you a new ACL for a
missed dunk (hence the improved rule of,"if you're off the ground, you're
off the clock"). It's even more difficult to explain to the District Ranger
why you were wearing Whites when you smashed Billy's whatever, and ended his
And then there is the wallflower issue (not playing hard enough to receive a
I'm sure there is a valid, proofed, scientific reason for no team sports,
but the above is the reality.
Good luck getting past your brass with this, let us know your outcome (and
attach the 300 page JHA if they say yes).
Ab and readers:
Newsworthy: Officials have set up an ICP on the Superior Ranger
District. They have found remains believed to be of the 8 year old boy
abducted from Idaho. There is seldom anything so tragic or shaking that
happens in our little neck of the woods. Information has been relayed
through MSN and other news agencies.
||Active day again in SoCal…. San Bernardino National Forest (Barton
Riverside CDF (Golden Fire), San Diego CDF (Pauma Fire), Sequoia National
Forest (KOA Fire), and Orange County Fire Authority (Yorba Linda Fire). All
these fires with "normal" summer weather.
There was competition again today for aircraft and crews… so why is the
Zone GACC still in preparedness level 1?
||RE: djr - Bendix King – GPH portable in great condition. Buy before
7/15 and get a free radio harness.
Click on the Communication link on the Classifieds Page.
There are several issues you will need to deal with before you purchase a
radio. All the communications occur on Licensed Frequencies. The feds use
frequencies in the 162-174 MHz range, and as a "cooperator" or "contractor",
with an appropriate RFA (Radio Frequency Authorization) or MOU/MOA
(Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement) with each agency you plan to
communicate with on their frequencies, you may use them for official
business. Authorizations to use frequencies may be in the form of the ICS
205 if you are assigned to an incident, or they may be more wordy documents.
THe private contractors are authorized to use our frequencies only while
they are on an incident or project, and only for official business. They are
definitely not allowed to use the frequencies for their own use while off of
any incident. They would need to get a FCC (Federal Communications
Commission) license for LMR (Land Mobile Radio) and get an assigned
frequency for their "private" use.
Hope this helps.
||I would like to contribute to the lessons learned database of knowledge.
1. Keep informed of fire weather conditions and forecasts.
2. Know what your fire is doing - observe personally, use scouts.
3. Base all actions on current and expected fire behavior.
There is no substitute for the Fire Orders. These three are so important you must know them before reporting to work at the station, or whatever
your assignment is for the day. If you cannot get a forecast whether it be
NOAA, Fire weather forecast, NWS daily, local am/fm radio, agency or incident radio, you must get a forecast. Learn to recognize clouds as
indicators of future weather, become an amateur meteorologist. Learn to understand winds and what that can mean to your fire.
How many fatality fires in the last several years have unexpected (and/or
uncommunicated) wind shifts or increases in velocity been pointed to as being at fault, or at least a contributing factor?
Use appendix b and/or look up look down methods for determining fuel models and fuel moistures you must know fire behavior. It is an order!
If there is anything about aspect, slope and time of day and their affect on fire behavior you do not understand, I want you to stop and
think about it for a little while. Throw in time of year if you wish.
Think about 3 foot rainy season stimulated grasses growing up through the brush drying on a south facing slope in August, add flames to the
scenario. If you have not precisely followed these three orders, do not even leave
the station, incident base or house!
4. Have escape routes for everyone and make them known.
5. Post lookout when they is possible danger.
6. Be alert, keep calm, think clearly, act decisively.
These 1st six are the rules of engagement for fighting fire. You must have viable escape routes, all the time. When fighting fire there is
always possible danger therefore there is always a lookout posted. Each and every firefighter has the responsibility of being his/her own
lookout all the time. I believe #6 speaks for itself. If you have followed all 6 of these orders your are prepared to engage the fire in
action. If something unexpected occurs, the lookout will notify the forces and they may disengage from the action through the use of escape
routes and safety zones. Safety first!
7. Maintain Prompt communications with your forces, your supervisor and adjoining forces.
8. Give clear instructions and be sure they are understood.
9. Maintain control of your forces at all times.
These orders are to help a supervisor to communicate, instruct and control the firefighting resources assigned to that firefighter.
10. Fight fire aggressively but provide for safety first.
Only after satisfying all of the other 9 orders can you begin to put this order to use.
If you learn these orders and follow them, it is the most important lesson learned in this line of work.
These orders may come from a perfect world but if you do not follow their dictates you are doomed.
Use them everyday to your advantage. Learn to recognize the next change!
I am often in the piney woods and wildlands doing work and I wondered
what can be done to communicate with the different land mgmt agencies
and even emergency personnel. Is all I do is buy a compatible radio and
gain certain permissions and listen to and talk to whoevers? What would
be the best sort of radio to buy? There are icom radios on ebay stores,
are they any good, can someone help me select a radio? I need a vhf that
is between 140 to 175 mhz I believe. Programmable with tone generation
capability. Anyone? The private contractor people use public agency
freqs, don't they? Some of that is for emergency work but some is for
other work, how do they do it?
I am attempting to approach the powers that be in my district in an attempt to discuss the
subject of team sports and PT. The only comment stated in the "red book" is that they are
not allowed as a form of fitness conditioning.
Would you by chance know of any relevant documentation in regards to this subject that
may have been posted in regards to why this is the case and the reasoning behind it.
Any information you have would be greatly appreciated.
I will be meeting with the OPM Director this Friday in Washington DC. If you'd like,
please e-mail me, or have your friend e-mail me at FWFSAlobby@aol.com
info on the matter and I will try to discuss the situation while there.
||California Fallen Firefighter Memorial Criteria
Ab and B Lodge,
The Fallen Firefighter Memorial is dedicated to all firefighters who die in California, no matter what their affiliation. It is maintained through License plate fees (the Firefighter Plates) by California Professional Firefighters. Their web address is
www.cpf.org and the Memorial Page is at www.cpf.org.
The criteria are basically that if it is considered “On the Job” or one of the presumptions, it’s line of duty.
As of now we’re adding at least 3 more names this year for the Crew of Tanker 26.
I have been doing some tinkering my Windows Movie maker and have set up the Arroyo Grande video to music. I think my choice of music is pretty good (though some might disagree) it's black Sabbath The Mob Rules. I can listen to any music that there is! I guess my query is; Is anyone interested in seeing it, and how can I post it so that they can, it occupies almost 10 meg of space. I really appreciate the work that the original fim maker has put into this footage and I merely want to pay tribute to them.
Keith, right now space is not the issue, but copyright always is. To
post here, you need to own the video, the music, etc or have
permission. This Ab works pretty hard at making sure copyright is not
violated. It's only fair that we treat others as we'd like to be treated.
That said, it is great fun to mix media, isn't it? I personally have
feelers out to musicians for blues music on request of the Arroyo Grande
Crew. Maybe a digital music library that could be used for other
non-commercial fire videos would be useful. If you know musicians who like
jamming, ask them if you can record them digitally.
Keith, thanks for asking and letting me educate us all a little on
copyright expectations. We all feel like the internet is wide open. It is,
but we here at wildlandfire.com don't want to go the route of China which
seems to think ripping off intellectual and creative property is as
alright as breathing.
As soon as there's something copyright-legal that can be posted, we
hope it will be posted here. Everyone, please keep up the creative good
||Seafire, if you have access to ROSS its pretty easy. Other wise you
have to ask someone with access, or FOIA the information.
on second thought its probably best to just ask, instead of the FOIA route.
Happy fourth all of you - be safe. Eric
For R8 (Southern Region) you can sometimes find what resources are needed at:
Unfortunately, with ROSS in place, its not always updated. But to my surprise, it is currently. I have checked other region's UTF lists at times, but have found the same. Sometimes you can find them on the Area Coordination Center websites, but often the URL's change or they simply don't get time to keep them up to date.
||Some prayers are requested for an Orange County Fire Authority inmate crew
firefighter who suffered a "full arrest" heart attack while constructing
handline during initial attack for a fire in Modjeska Canyon/Cleveland
National Forest this afternoon. He was extracted from the line and
transported by OCFA paramedics who were able to get his BP and pulse going
again. He remains in critical condition.
The fire was held to 5 acres of brush in steep terrain.
Contract County Guy
Our thoughts and prayers for swift recovery. Ab.
from the Abs
I was wondering if any one can tell me if there is a site that you can
check on resource orders for your area or what equipment has been sent
out on a detail.
Hey NorCalTom, Gizmo, Joatmon, and others,
A follow up to your May discussion about the special pay rate vs. the
locality pay. The impacts from moving from the special pay table to the
locality table are huge. Just heard from a friend that promoted out of
the area and they LOST about $2,000 annually which will affect their
base pay, overtime, differentials, and retirement. It was confirmed on
their white slip. More responsibility and less pay. This is BS!!!
If you're under the special pay table you get an increase in pay if you
promote, BUT if you're under the locality table you get a decrease in
pay if you promote out of the area. Does this mean that everyone is now
under the locality table? If so then a lot of people are going to be
surprised when they see their white slips.
I guess I won't be looking at promoting outside this area....I don't
want to lose money for taking on more responsibility...I need to pay for
Casey, can FWFSA look into this?
So Cal Grunt
I just wanted to convey my thanks to the readers of this board. I now
have my b/k radios
programmed and ready to go. without the readers of
wildlandfire.com there is NO way I
would have been able to get as far as I
have. Thanks to all that helped, and have a safe
please sign me
"no longer frustrated"
Try this site for Bendix King programming manuals in .pdf format.
Sam in R9
(no clever nickname yet, though I've been partial to Killer Penguin...)
Scott from Illinois here. Just wanted to thank you for providing such a
viable option on the web for gaining insight into the world of
there is so much good and widely varied information to gather from the
site. It should be of benefit to all wildland firefighters to look
in a while to see the latest stuff! Thanks alot AB!
You're welcome. We learn a lot on a daily basis. Ab.
AB, Its amazing - if you dont read this board daily - it can take
hours to catch up, i missed it for a week on a deployment until last
Southern Nevada, and Utah are hot, dry, and looking like they did to
me in 99, and 2000. Had a heck of a season there in 2000, be safe all,
its only the 2nd of July!
Thanks for the forum AB,
Yactac, dude, how can you retire when fires are breaking! Must have been
sweet to IA?/IC that last one yesterday, unless you get another one in
the next 8
hours... After today you'll be a member of the "Just one more time"
We're gonna miss your wisdom and skills. Glad you'll still be here on
and in chat. Hopefully you'll still teach. <smooch>
Check this out on Yahoo Groups.
This should help, they also have files you
Thanks contributors. Ab.
I know how you feel I had the same problem. I searched
for over a hour then I found this site.
It has a pdf file that you can save and use for later.
I also found another site that might help you
Hope this will help.
I need the programming info on a bendix king radio.
Does anyone know where to find this information?
I have searched the web for hours to no avail!
If you post this please sign
thank you for your time and help.
My mother always said "if you can't say anything nice about someone
don't say anything at all".
That is why I and so many others have kept quiet about many near-miss
fire situations that we have been personally involved in or have
witnessed. And, oh yeah, there was fear of retribution. That is why we
need a system now like the one that you and Paula are proposing to find
all of the missing lessons learned out there. I guarantee that most of
the missing ones are missing because somebody covered up a supervisory
or management failure.
I can't wait to talk to those folks if it saves firefighter lives or the
grief of a near-miss or injury to any one of them.
The fix can only be organizational change which I support 100%.
Mmmm boy, thats some mighty heavy grass you got there. This
picture is of a
timber stand with 106 tons per acre of debris, half of what
the grass is purported to be.
Rattlesnake fire overlook to be dedicated July 9
Looks like ROSS will be the system for wildland fire. It's gone through
many iterations. We're finally in position to have it up and running
with some tweaking. Glad we're finally getting to the finish line. It's
been a long haul, requiring lots of time, effort, money and cooperation
among various wildland firefighting groups. Kudos to all! Thanks for
hanging in there!
Love the AZ-211 site! And Mellie, excellent thoughts you’ve got there on
the information stuff. Seems to me like the bottom line in all of this
information sharing stuff is having some basic standards to allow
different systems to share information between them. Believe it or not,
there are movements in this direction, coming from (hold your breath,
now), DHS (see disasterhelp.gov, go to Responders, then Emergency Data
Standards) . They are working on data sharing standards for emergency
management, although states like California, Arizona, and others have
already come up with different levels of how to use the capabilities. I
live in what we call a large metro area, and lots of folks around here
are starting to do this stuff too, although it’s all pretty piecemeal so
In answer to your question, I got some briefings on the ICS-209 program
as a plans person…The vision for the national ICS-209 program came out
of this growing need for having access to incident data to share and
analyze for decision support. The group with the vision was the national
intelligence coordinators from each GACC. A small sub-committee and one
very skilled programmer designed and built the system on the existing
Sit Report system and had a beta version ready to go from the idea (Nov
2000) to initial implementation (July 2001) in a record 9 months, used
nationally by the ’02 season. From what I hear, lots-o-folks who thought
is was a really stupid idea then can’t live without it now. Don’t think
there’s anything else like it nationally (that works) for actual
incident information sharing.
Rogue Rivers, interesting notes on the PL levels. I am not sure which
GACC you are referring to as not realizing they might need to raise
their PL, but I have heard that the southern California GACC has an
outreach out for an Intelligence position. Maybe the job is vacant?. Oh-
and Ab wrote, “Under the new system even the SoCal GACC News and Notes
goes away”. From what I’ve heard, north ops never liked the news and
notes page, and with the push in CA FS for both GACC web sites to match
exactly (although they’ve been a mess for at least 3 years now) I’m
guessing with the south ops job intel job maybe open that decision has
been made. Too bad, cuz I for one could use the info. Wasn’t there a
time when California was a leader in good ideas and innovation?
y’all be safe out there-
This is info straight from a Great Basin Safety Alert that came out to
us on 6/30/05. It stated that our normal loading is 30-40 tons an acre
and that there has been recordings of 200 tons and acre this year. Not
sure why they don't have that Safety Bulletin up yet, but it was sent
out to us yesterday by our State and District FMO. Hope that answers
Paula Nasiatka, the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Manager, and I
have been enjoying the recent discussion around "learning from
incidents" and the request for a "real life lessons learned area of some
sort, where firefighters can share their stories to help other
firefighters," mentioned 6/24. There are a couple of related things
that we thought folks might want to hear about.
We've been creating an Interagency Incident Review Database where
will be able to find documents to learn from factual reports, related
incident documents, trend analysis by SME's and more. Its ready to "go
live" this month and the prototype already has the blessings of many
say its long overdue. We'll need the help of the wildland firefighting
community to fill in the gaps where documents and incident information
details are missing. Some documents are very rare and many are
Some incidents never made it into the list at NIFC.
The value of stories as a way for adults to learn from each other has
recognized by a group we are working with. Paul Chamberlin is leading a
team effort to create a section of our Center called "Portals." Portal
Experiences that made firefighters begin to think and act differently
be published there in order to help others learn lessons and effective
practices. We've contracted with a professional writer/editor to work
folks so their writing skills can be supported and no one needs to worry
about the spelling/grammar geek's critique. Again, your readers may want
consider contributing their own stories.
Last of all, thanks Ab. The forum you provide is excellent and is valued
throughout the community. Your comments to help steer people to the
and not the who" are especially valuable. Whether wildlandfire.com posts
"good stuff" or our Center does, the firefighters we both serve have a
better chance to learn from each other. Let us know if there are ways
we can support your efforts in those directions.
Great Basin Area
Subject: Heavy Fine Flashy Fuel Loadings and Potential for Extreme Fire
Area of Concern: Firefighter Safety
Discussion: The wet winter throughout the Great Basin has caused
tremendous fine fuel growth in native, non-native and noxious weeds.
Specifically, the non-native and noxious weed components, cheat grass (Bromus
tectorum) and Red Brome (Bromus rubens L) have increased the amount of
fine flashy fuels.
Fuel loadings in fine fuels are heavy averaging 1500 to 2000 pounds dry
weight. This has been reported in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah in the Canyon
Lands and Great Basin ecosystems. Unusually heavy fuel loadings above
1000 pounds dry weight have also been reported in southern Nevada and
southern Utah in the Mojave Desert ecosystem.
Fine fuels have been reported under stands of pinyon/juniper where it
does not usually occur. Ignitions in these areas along with other
ecological impacts from previous year’s insect damaged and diseased
vegetation along with the decreasing live fuel moisture values will be
additive. Intensity and severity will increase and will significantly
affect burning conditions.
Fire Behavior Concerns to Firefighters and the Public:
• Anticipate fire to creep under wetlines and retardant lines in areas
where fine fuel matting is seen.
• Anticipate any ignition in flashy fine fuels to ignite easily and move
rapidly. You can’t out run it!
• Anticipate fire whirls because of a combination of fine flashy fuels,
terrain, dry atmospheric conditions and strong surface instability.
• Anticipate large acres to be consumed in a short period of time.
• Fire Behavior will burn the fine flashy fuels leaving some shrub
components until the live fuel moisture values drop to about 115% to
120%. Watch out for re-burn situations!
• Once the live fuel moisture values fall, flaming fronts will elongate
and fires will burn with more intensity and fire behavior will become
• Anticipate fires to exhibit extreme spread rates, elongated flaming
fronts, and increasing fire brands; expect more long range spotting.
• Anticipate dependent and independent crown fires in the insect
infested conifer stands.
• Indirect tactics may have to be used earlier this year.
• Ensure firefighters have good anchor points - keeping one foot in the
• Have adequate numbers of Field Observers who understand the effects of
weather changes, topography and can see the flaming front.
The 7/1 post by R4Firenut suggests fuel loadings of 200 tons/acre for
cheatgrass in southern NV. I clipped thousands of fine fuel samples over
the past 30 years and rarely found such loadings greater than 2
tons/acre. I've also measured some looking slash loadings that weren't
200 tons/acre. I wonder R4Firenut or someone else could confirm?
Had a burp in my email last eve and not sure if this went or not....
please trash if you already received it... Thanks!
New Guy and KD,
Both the 5109.17 (Forest Service) and the 310-1 (rest of the World) both
agree on currency requirements...
Three years for Aviation and Dispatch Positions
Five years for all others....
So New Guy ... looks to me like you have five years since your last
assignment to get another assignment in each of the positions to stay
FYI for the STL Dozer position any STL (Crew, Engine, Tractor Plow)
assignment will keep you current. (5109.17, chpt 20, 25.12 ………)
This is for the FS and the agencies that adhere to the 310-1. The TS
links page provides the links to both of these Fire Training and
It pays to be familiar with these …………
Good Morning all, just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy and safe
4th. Staffing up and pre-positioning is going on today in anticipation
of this busy holiday weekend.
Just something to think about for anyone possibly heading to NV for fire
assignments. Over 700,000 acres burned in just over a week, all in
Southern and Eastern NV. We went from stagnant to slammed all in one
day. Cheat grass loadings are over 200 tons an acre, a new safety alert
as of yesterday for NV, UT an AZ. POI is 90%+, expect 15-30 foot flame
lengths from fine flashy fuels, ROS to be around 100-200 a minute and
burnout operations that usually take place a mile from the fire is now
around 5 miles away, Scare anyone? Full consumption of pinyon and
juniper trees has been seen already.
This is just the Southern Dist thus far, we still have Central and
Northern NV that have had relatively little fire activity, but yet
everything is in place with fuels to have major fires all over the
state. To couple this problem, Carson City area has an arsonist that has
been on the prowl, setting 11 fires in the past week. Higher elevations
are starting to dry out and fine fuels curing. Looking to be a very
interesting year with a very high intensity season over the next couple
of months, maybe another 99 in NV?
Be safe everyone, heads up always and safety first. Lets take it slow
and not get complacent on what appear to be smaller, less threatening
fires. We've already seen that these things can get ugly in a hurry and
nothing is worth a life. Once again Happy 4th to everyone and take it
easy out there. Thanks Abs for all you do with this great website, mega
cudos to you for a job well done.
Regarding Preparedness Levels and Safety:
With 3 GACC’s having preparedness level 4 and one having a 3 (and one
not having an intel staff realizing they are having large fires nearly
daily for the last two weeks)… I hope intel folks of all areas realize
there is competition for national resources (ie. airtankers, IHCs, and
Type 2 helicopters) and realize that they are not necessarily in the
preparedness level they may think.
As of today (06/30/2005)…. 3 - Type 1 teams committed in two different
areas (Western Great Basin and Southwest) and 6 - Type 2 Teams in three
areas (Western Great Basin, Eastern Great Basin, and Alaska). SoOps
released their Type 2 team yesterday from one of the largest fires in
San Bernardino County history according to news reports, while earlier
in the week, two CDF Type 1 teams were also managing fires requiring
large commitments of federal resources. Large commitments of resources
to and within the Eastern Great Basin, Western Great Basin, Southwest,
Alaska, and SoOps (California) were occurring. ICS 209’s are listing
critical resource needs with only a national preparedness level of 2…
someone’s got to think about the big picture and put on their boots and
get back into the field. Under a NPL of 2, there should never be a
shortage of key resources.
From the “book”:
“Preparedness Level III – Two or more regions of the country are
experiencing wildland or prescribed fire activities requiring a major
commitment of national resources. Additional resources are being ordered
through the National Interagency Coordination Center. Incident
Management Teams are committed in two or more regions, or 275 crews are
“Preparedness Level IV – Two or more regions of the country are
experiencing incidents requiring Type I Teams. Competition exists for
resources between Geographic Areas. Or when 425 crews or five Type I
Teams area committed nationally. Some firefighting resources may be
pre-positioned to respond to predicted incidents and liaisons are
established with the military and Canadian resources.”
Eastern Great Basin Preparedness Level: 4
Southwest Preparedness Level: 4
Western Great Basin Preparedness Level: 4
SoOps California Preparedness Level: 1
NoOps California Preparedness Level: 1
Northwest Preparedness Level: 1
Alaska Preparedness Level: 3
Rocky Mountains Preparedness Level: 2
Northern Rockies Preparedness Level: 1
Eastern Preparedness Level: 1
Southern Preparedness Level: 1
This Year: 2005 (1/1/05 - 6/30/05) Fires: 30,079 Acres: 1,880,076
10 Year Average: 1995 - 2005 (1/1/05 - 6/30/05) Fires: 42,506 Acres:
Saturday will be the last day of work for yactak on the Los Padres
Happy retirement Rock......
yactac, thanks for your service too. Happy retirement. Ab.
Congratulations to Bruce Schmidt on his retirement!!! We look forward
to your continued service to the wildland fire community!!!
Hear, hear. Ab.
I was looking at your site and came across the photo of a brush truck
from Camp Pendleton the photo was sent in by a fellow named Jim 911. It
has a model #107 on the photo I am trying to build the truck in 1/25
scale and I need some more photos of it if possible any help would be
Jim, you reading? Ab.