"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
June, 2006

Home of the Wildland Firefighter

DATE
SUBJECT    (Previous Archive: May-06)

Return to Archives Page

6/30 Well, the WFU on the Mendocino finally got big enough it should make the
7/1 sit report. Fire is in the Yolla Bolly / Middle Eel Wilderness, near
Harvey Peak, 200 acres, currently being managed by Perkins Fire Use Team.

TC

6/30 Firefox -

The UTF list shows those Resource Orders that a GACC can't fill internally, and has forwarded to NICC; when an Incident is ready to demob resources, sometimes they just do it, and other times they notify the GACC, but only the most critical national resources are cleared thru NICC before being demobbed. The notification process is dictated by the Preparedness Level and the resource shortage situation.

And then, sometimes resources are demobbed because they are less than satisfactory performers and/or too high cost.

Mollysboy

6/30 Ab and Syd,

Here is another free Southwest Lightning map which updates every 15 minutes
and is reasonably detailed as to strike locations. ww.mesawx.com/southwes1.php

Old Sawyer

Nice. Ab.

6/30 There is a fire starting in the Santa Margarita Ecological reserve in
the SD-Riverside county line.

Live on http://archive.hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/

You will see the fire on 3 cameras. Click on "refresh" as the pictures
will not update if you have one selected.

RJM

Nice. Ab.

6/30

I am pleased to report that HR 5697, The Federal Wildland Firefighter Classification Act, has been introduced in Congress and was "marked up" by the House Government Reform Committee yesterday by Unanimous Consent.

The text of the legislation is as follows:

2d Session

H. R. 5697

To provide for the appropriate designation of certain Federal positions involved in wildland fire suppression activities.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 28, 2006


Mr. POMBO (for himself and Mr. PORTER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform


A BILL

To provide for the appropriate designation of certain Federal positions involved in wildland fire suppression activities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Federal Wildland Firefighter Classification Act'.

SEC. 2. REQUIREMENT.

(a) In General- In the administration of chapter 51 of title 5, United States Code, the Office of Personnel Management shall ensure that the official title assigned under such chapter to any class or other category of positions described in subsection (b) shall include the designation of `Wildland Firefighter' or words to that effect.

(b) Applicability- This section shall apply in the case of any class or other category of positions that consists primarily or exclusively of forest technician positions, range technician positions, or any other category of positions the duties and responsibilities of which may include significant wildland fire suppression activities (as determined by the Office).

SEC. 3. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this Act shall be considered to require any change in the pay, benefits, or other terms or conditions of employment that apply with respect to any category of employees or positions.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

For purposes of this Act--

(1) the terms `class', `employee', and `position' shall have the meanings set forth in section 5102 of title 5, United States Code; and

(2) the terms `forest technician position' and `range technician position' shall have the meanings specified by the Office of Personnel Management.

END

This is the first ever legislative attempt to get OPM to do what is should have done years ago...properly classify our federal wildland firefighters to more accurately reflect their current duties.

With the 4th of July Holiday upon us, this is the most current information I have. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at cjudd@fwfsa.org or 208-775-4577.

Casey Judd
Business Manager
FWFSA

Have a good Independence Day. Ab.

6/30 Sedgehead:

My estimate was at the order of magnitude level, not real precise. More interesting is the fact that the fuel moisture is less of a factor than the water released when the HYDROcarbon material, wood, burns. The molecular breakdown of the hydrocarbons produces more water than the released formerly trapped fuel moisture, live or dead. In other words, fuels baked dry of all moisture will still contribute a lot of water into the plume, and if the plume is not dispersed, and tips a little, a downburst could be headed for any place on the fire (assuming the other atmospherics line up). Dry fuels and dry air and wildland fires is a dangerous place, so keep Gleason's LCES in place and stay safe.

Old Sawyer

5 Million kilograms is 11,000,000 Pounds of water, and with water a 8.4 pounds per gallon, this is roughly 1.31 Million gallons into the plume above the 1500 acres. Ab.

6/30 Hi Ab,

Always fun watching you folks in the Excited States of America discuss the metric system (or as Grandpa Simpson calls it "a tool of the devil").

1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs

5,000,000 kgs = 11,000,000 lbs when measuring mass.

After looking over the article posted by Old Sawyer I am scratching my head a bit. That's a lot of water.

SmokeDawg

Welcome SmokeDawg from the north. Ab.

6/30 Sedgehead,
Conversion to metrics can be confusing. Just remember that a "Kilo" is
equal to 1,000.
Example: 2,000 mocking birds = Two Kilomockingbird

Old Fire Guy

haw haw. There's a link to a useful conversion site on the links page under worldwide, last row. OK, now how many water tenders is that? Ab.

6/30 "Old Sawyer" notes a "1500 acre fire . . . would have added on the order of
more than 5 Million kilograms of water into the column".

Let me do the math. 5 million KG means how many liters? gallons? If my
physics and chemistry are right, one gram of water at room temp should fill
one milliliter. So 1000 grams is about a liter? So were talking 5000
liters or water? And a liter is a little more than a quart? So that's
about 1250 gallons of water? Or if you want it in pounds, there's 7.5
pounds to a gallon, or in this case 15,750 pounds of water?

My point is, despite being a scientist and loving the metric system, most
of us have no idea how much 5 million KG is. I used to think I'd go
completely metric, but these days I record everything in English units
because other people will understand. The foreigners can probably do the
conversion, but not me! I calculated it three ways and got three different
answers, none of which may be right. As the saying goes, Old Sawyer, can
you say that in English?

I'm sign off with an Oddios, Bon Voyage, Auf Wiedersein, and Zia Jian. But
I count in English.

Sedgehead

Adios?

6/30 Misery Whip,

I don't believe Dr. Ziegler's case study is on the web. I did have the privilege to read a publisher's proof and was impressed with her analysis of the South Canyon Fire investigation.

If you've never actually read the SCF accident investigation report, we have posted the .pdf files to the Colorado Firecamp website. (They have also been submitted to the Lesson Learned database.) www.coloradofirecamp.com/south-canyon-fire/pdf-links.php

We had planned to get the SCF report fully digitized in .phpl format with searchable text and high-quality .jpg images in time for next week's anniversary. We won't make that goal. Progress is being made, just slower than hoped. Thanks to Andy Parker and Dick Mangan for providing printed copies.

vfd cap'n
6/30 Check it out:

Check out the GACC web sites "UTF reports"......... hundreds of UTFs
nationally............ yet when resources with 11 days left are released for
reassignment there is nothing available...... what is going on??????????

Firefox

6/30 My first recollection of showers in a fire camp was I think back in 63 or
64 (I'm ageing myself) on the fouts fire. At that time they were pretty
much open air, but surrounded by tarps strung up on pipes to provide some
privacy. They had separate hours for men and women, but many of the women
did not pay attention to the hours.

TC
6/30 Sounds like my fire world is different from the experience of others.
Forests here are "capped" at 20% overhead, most are below that figure.
Line officers (Forest Supervisors and Rangers) speak with one clear voice
on the support for fire. Resource targets are important, but take a
backseat when the National need demands.

Local fires.....our primary ff's are supported by the militia. Response
to a fire is our number one priority. Adjacent forests are treated like
our own when they pop a fire. If they call, we roll.

Sounds like the west could learn some from the east. Maybe the support
for fire here is maintained by our "militia" still being a critical part of
our fire response capability. Works for us anyhow.

Old Fire Guy

6/30 Dismantling FM, and Showers

My view on these two topics,

First on Bump Pulaski's, I couldn't agree more, we are not well
served by Forest Supervisors and or Rangers who are more
concerned with their own career advancement than the effect of their
decisions on FM. Hiring, is about on top of the list, along with their
apparent desire to not be exposed to risks, whether if be from RX burning or
personnel decisions make by Supervisors on and off the fire ground, and
budget priorities and allocations. The "I want it both ways" direction
presented by our Regional and Washington Representatives at the Division
Chief w'shop was disgusting. I can hardly believe we're going to the
general biologist series, nice move SAF. You'd think academic potential
would be a stronger apprentice selection factor? Q'man is pretty much
excluded from the above comments.

My last comment on the health of FM is reserved for the ECCs and
Prevention. The the practice of non firemen in the ECCs, the FS should
make dispatch part of the career ladder as does CDF. ECC decisions or lack
thereof has serious safety implications especially with a progressively
less experienced work force advancing. Prevention shouldn't be holding tank
for the sick, lame and lazy. I am not implying that all in prevention are,
but there are too many including the ECC staffs.

On the showers my first recollection of showers in fire Camp was on the
Skinner Mill and Hogg fires, there may have been some prior, but because
there were women sharing the showers I remember those two. It was common
enough that it wasn't that big a deal and I don't remember any men running
out, but I wasn't looking at the door. The River behind the fire camp at
the Forks also had plenty bathers of both sexes which was cool, the National
Guardsman being killed in a diving accident kinda overshadowed that though
and put the skids on swimming.

cbork

Year on showers?

6/29 From the hot list forum, sounds like lightning is popping in AZ and the Great Basin. Thanks for that Ab.

https://thunderstorm.vaisala.com/ and click on the free lightning map button...

Syd

You're welcome. Ab

6/29 Abs & all,

I always get nervous around the end of June because we have a history of infamous burnover accidents right around this time of year. New and rusty people getting some of their first fires of the year in conjunction with the period when we see a traditional spike in fire behavior in the western US is not a good combination. I hope my bros and sisters are extra cautious during the next few weeks. This is starting to shape up like a real fire season.

I wanted to share a recent discovery of a very interesting case study entitled “Blaming the Dead; The Ethics of Accident Investigation in Wildland Fire” by Dr. Jennifer Thackaberry-Ziegler of Purdue University. The source is “Case Studies in Organizational Communication; Ethical Perspectives and Practices”, a recent Sage Publications book.

The title of this chapter alone is enough to send chills down your spine. Blaming the Dead. This is a compelling analysis of good intentions gone awry, and why the wildland fire community needs to seek out this special kind of expertise if we are ever going to get our culture back on a reasonable footing again. Right now, we are amateurs when it comes to conducting internal accident investigations. Legislatively, nothing has changed since Cramer in respect to how future USFS burnover fatalities will be investigated. I hope Tom Harbour has something up his sleeve for the next one. The future success of Doctrine will be in serious jeopardy if we have another USFS/OSHA/OIG dog and pony show without looking at organizational problems all the way up to Mark Rey and beyond.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a link to this case study. Anyone know if this is online somewhere?

Casey, Good on ya.

Misery Whip
6/29 Casey,

You are right. Preparedness funds are being diverted to non fire projects
and to fund non preparedness personnel. Overhead taps of up to 40% are
common on many forests out of the forest allocation of preparedness
funding.

Another MAJOR problem is non fire people in the agency with authority over
fire management programs that do not know what they are doing. They don't
know, they don't care, they don't understand, they have a complete
ignorance and indifference to fire management. This is seriously damaging
fire management's ability to do its job. They couldn't do a worse job if
they tried, and they are trying. Fire management MUST be supervised and
managed by experienced fire personnel who have demonstrated the ability to
provide competent leadership. The current dismantling of fire management
by the agency is a complete disgrace.

Bump Pulaski
6/29 On dozens of fires across the West, orders for federal resources -- the ones the Agency said would be available this season -- are going unfilled.

Tens of thousands of additional acres are burning as a result of Geographic Coordination Centers being unable to fill orders. NIFC, in fact, is having to draw dozers from as far away as Florida for fires in Nevada.

A recent small fire in the Angeles National Forest resulted in the IC placing an order for 2 Type 2 teams and several engines. Even in SoCal the order couldn't be filled.

For those of you on the lines and those of you who have loved ones on the lines, please know we are doing everything humanly possible to educate folks in DC about the situation and get help.

We know the cause of the problem... preparedness funds diverted to non-fire projects. Congress knows the problem. We now must do everything we can to ensure this matter gets corrected before someone gets hurt.

If you are on a fire and are experiencing these types of problems, PLEASE let us know. Your name will be kept confidential but we want to ensure we are providing accurate information to those we are seeking help from. Thanks in advance.

Casey Judd
Business Manager
FWFSA

Firefighters, if you're in a situation where resources are not adequate and you have questions about fighting fire safely, please pull back and re-evaluate your tactics. Be safe. Everyone comes home. Ab.

6/29 Still Out There:

Dr. Potter sent me his articles during our discussions of the subject. Articles attached.

Impact of Released Fuel Moisture on Atmospheric Dynamics (small - 75K pdf)

The Role of Released Moisture in the Atmospheric Dynamics Associated with Wild Land Fire (small - 146 K pdf)

He agreed with my estimation that the 1500 acre fire (200 new acres that morning) would have added on the order of more than 5 Million kilograms of water into the column in an otherwise relatively dry air mass. The remaining issues include how it mixes and a lot of factors affecting downbursts. Fires as small as 100 acres can produce rain drops. Rain drops fell on Paul Gleason. Paul Linse, some of the Perryville crew, also at the Control road and at the subdivision before the downburst. In addition, Tony Sciacca and Nando Lucero noted the smoke laying down near the burnout further up Walkmoore Canyon, and decided to pull the Prescott Hotshots out, told the adjoining Alpine Hotshots, Jim Mattingly, and they both tried to call and contact Perryville but Perryville was already on the run escaping from the downslope run from the downburst further down the canyon. Paul Linse also noticed the area smoke in further up the canyon. The smoke laying down further up the canyon was not noticed until a few minutes after the burnover in the canyon below them. High winds did not involve the upper canyon until after the burnover below, from which Hatch walked out back up the canyon and was found by Gleason, Linse and Mattingly.

Old Sawyer

6/29 Old Sawyer:

Thanks for bringing up the idea of released moisture. Do you know if the article is available online, vs. having to buy a back issue of the journal? I imagine there must be a break-even point where the fuels are still dry enough to contribute to extreme fire behavior, but contain enough moisture to contribute to plume dominance?

This reminds me of something I've been wondering about, although I don't want to impede discussion of your original topic. It seems like people have often observed a calm before a fire blows up. I think it is mentioned in the Dude investigation and I've observed it at least once. Anyone have a theory on why this happens? My first thought was that you might be in a lull as the wind changes direction, but it seems like in that situation the winds are often kind of squirrelly for a while rather than dead calm.

Still Out There as an AD

6/29 The Jobs Page and Series 0462 (Forestry Technician) & Series 0455 (Range Technician) jobs pages and Series 0401 (Biologist) are updated. Ab.
6/28 Hi my name is Tammy Cogswell and I am looking for anyone who may have been or know of someone who was A Tonto National Forest (Arizona) Hotshot in the early 80's. My brother Christopher James Cogswell was a member of that crew. He passed away 12 years ago and I am finding that I have some questions regarding his time in Globe Arizona as a Hotshot and i am looking for anyone who may have been there at that time. Any help you could give or any direction you could point me in would be greatly appreciated

Thank You
Tammy A Cogswell
6/28 To All Federal Wildland Firefighters:

The Federal Wildland Fire Service Association (FWFSA) is pleased and honored to announce that historical legislation has been drafted which will "provide for the appropriate designation of certain federal positions involved in wildland fire suppression activities."

The legislation, introduced perhaps as early as this week, is the culmination of decades of struggles with The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and land-management agencies to properly classify our federal wildland firefighters so as to more accurately reflect the duties which they perform.

The legislation, drafted by the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce & Agency Organization will be introduced by Congressman Richard Pombo, author of HR 408, The Federal Wildland Firefighter Emergency Response Compensation Act (portal to portal bill).

In part, the [draft] bill calls for the designation of Wildland Firefighter which will apply to any class or other category of positions, to the extent that it consists of, or includes, forestry technicians, range technicians or any other category of positions the duties and responsibilities of which may include significant wildland fire suppression activities.

FWFSA Members: The entire text of the [Discussion Draft] will be sent to you at your fwfsa.org email address within the next 24 hrs.

Please note that at this time, as a Discussion Draft, text changes may occur before the bill is introduced. Once introduced, the bill will be numbered.

Calls I received today from congressional offices in DC give me the clear impression that both the Chairman of the full committee (House Government Reform Committee) Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) and Ranking Member (democratic party) Henry Waxman (D-CA) both support the measure.

For further information, please contact the FWFSA either at cjudd@fwfsa.org or 208-775-4577.

Casey Judd
Business Manager
FWFSA
6/28

Ab,

The Dude Fire is Still Smokin’

The latest chapter in the Dude Fire story has been written by Dr. Brian E. Potter, Research Meteorologist & Team Leader, USDA Forest Service AirFIRE Team.  Dr. Potter published an article in 2005 explaining how the water produced in a wildland fire enters the plume and affects the likelihood of causing a downburst.  The Dude Fire was among the most dramatic examples of this phenomenon in his article. “The role of released moisture in the atmospheric dynamics associated with wildland fires”.  Potter, Brian E., International Journal of Wildland Fire, 2005, 14, 77-84.

The Dude Fire downburst article by Goens and Andrews is referenced in Dr. Potter’s work.  Dr. Potter calculated the DCAPE - Downdraft Convective Available Potential Energy - and the Dude Fire DCAPE values were among the highest of the eleven severe fires examined.  Dr. Potter states: “Released moisture is not only a contributing factor, but at times a controlling or critical factor in fire-atmosphere interactions on time and space scales important to fire behavior and fire-fighter safety.”

One can infer that but for the fire-released water from the Dude Fire into the plume that day, on the order of 5 million kilograms by my estimate, the air would probably not have had sufficient water content to initiate and sustain the downburst.

Dr. Potter explains the need to add this to our predictive models:

“The traditional definition of fire behavior describes the controlling factors as fuels, atmosphere and topography.  If released moisture is indeed an important factor controlling fire behavior, then it presents an area of fire behavior research that requires strong knowledge and understanding of both fuel conditions and the atmospheric conditions.  The link between these two becomes a strong two-way interaction that cannot be studied or understood in separate fuel and atmospheric pieces.”
Dr. Potter concludes with what needs to be done to put this knowledge to work on the fire ground:

“There are also implications of this work for management, though practical application is far down the road.  If a manager knew that a certain rate of moisture release was a threshold for extreme fire behavior on a given fire and day, the manager may attempt to control rate of spread during a specific time period in the hope that the moisture release rate would stay below the threshold, thus preventing possible erratic behavior.  Fuel managers could also begin considering fuel loads that would hold the possible released moisture down below a climatologically determined level that divided blow-up from well behaved fire probabilities.”

Old Sawyer

6/28 Mellie,

There's a fire near Hayfork.

There's a fire north of Ironside Mt <snip>. It's 3-5 miles away from your place <snip>.

There are a couple of fires N of Salyer.

The Shasta Trinity NF has about 30 fires.

There are no air resources to deal with the fires on the Six Rivers NF and ShastaT and not enough person resources to man some of the others that could be put out while small. As you probably know there are fires on the Plumas, the Modoc and lots of resources are out of Region, in R3 and Alaska.

It's early in the season if any of these escape initial attack and turn into a Big Bar Complex. In 1999, that fire didn't start until August 23 and the rains put it out mid-November.

Todd

6/28 Ab,

The Lessons Learned Center has posted a better version of the Dude Fire report, that now includes an un-redacted 2-page "sequence of events" that came from the PMS-490 Fatality Fires Case Studies curriculum. Thanks to John at the LLC for getting that done. www.wildfirelessons.net/documents/Dude_Fire_Fatalities_1990.pdf

Part of the redaction had served to hide a leadership moment that should shine brightly amongst the tragedy of that day: Paul Gleason going down Walk Moore Canyon after the blow-up. It's something he talked about in the interview he gave the day before he died. It's a story we need to keep re-telling.

As usual, Nerd has sparked some reaction with her insightful comments. Whatever else she does in life, she's proven herself as a student of firefighter behavior.

vfd cap'n

Ya mean Nerd's good at trawlin'? (Tongue firmly in cheek.) If this keeps up, Nerd should get the "chum 'em in" award this year. Ab.

6/28 Nerd,

Easy there. Working on a Hotshot crew / Engine crew / Helishot or Helitack
all require a high level of physical fitness. Understandably the fine folks
that pound the dirt for hours on end generally need to be in peak shape
being that they burn ludicrous amounts of calories on most fire assignments.

I'm not going to blow smoke up anyone's kazoo when I say that being a former
Hotshot (R5) was the most difficult and rewarding experiences of my fire
service career. After 8 seasons I became a engine dude and there were times
I thought that being on a engine was much more physically wrecking than my
Hotshot days. I remember when the pack test was introduced to our crew in
the early 90's. It's the same test then as it was when I left the USFS in
2002 for a municipal job. Not one time did my former crew EVER deviate from
the test, nor did we beat the crap out of the rookies like some people view
the Hotshot program. I went from 220lbs to 190lbs in 6 months from hard work
and eating right. I hope that your jaded view of Hotshots or how you see
them in general will change. I know personally every time they hike by my
type 1 engine on a assignment I sit in awe knowing that they are going to
the worst piece of line to work their a**** off. The Hotshot program has
always been known for hard work, integrity and professionalism. How
professional is it when folks like yourself question their community like
you have? Be careful when you generalize for a entire group. We former or
now employed Hotshots can't speak for the programs out there that feel the
need to treat their rookies like crap.

Nerd, realize that all of us have our place in the fire service, some jobs
more arduous than others. Think about what you say before you hit the send
button, what you say and how you say it can be taken 100 different ways.
Keep on keepn' on with the pack test. Be a leader, treat YOUR folks with
respect and don't worry about others that can't play by the rules.

I hope that you don't find offense to my post, no harm meant.....

Have a safe season!

Jumpseat

6/28

From WO-T2

 

PREPAREDNESS LEVEL 4:

Description: Two (2) or more Geographic Areas are experiencing wildland fire and/or

support to the NRP requiring Type 1 Teams; competition exists for resources between

Geographic Areas. When 425 crews or five (5) Type 1 Teams are committed nationally.

 

Currently, there are:

 

6 Type-1 Teams committed on wildfires and 11 Type-2 teams committed.

 

Morning reports shows:

 

Crews
(20 persons)

Engines
(5 persons)

Helicopters
(7 persons)

Air Tankers
(2 persons)

Overhead

Total Personnel

234

652

94

16

1,766

10,396

 

Fire Activity

Yesterday

Year-to-Date

2000 Fire Season

10 Year Average

Number of Fires

258

55,952

48,479

40,166

Acres Burned

120,671

3,512,652

1,381,321

1,306,662

6/28 Anyone know why we are still at National Preparedness Level 3?

Many ICS 209's in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah,
Idaho, and Oregon ARE ALL SHOWING CRITICAL RESOURCE needs
of engines, crews, dozers, helicopters, and airtankers.

sign me,

Live from Nevada waiting on Dozers from Florida

6/28 Joe Hill and "Another CDF BC"

I too made it to Marble Cone in 1977 on the back of a "CAL. DIV. OF
FORESTRY" Model 5 when I worked at Santa Clara Ranger Unit. I had just
come back from a weeks worth of sick leave due to the the nastiest (and my
first of which would be many more) case of poison oak that I picked up on
the Mount Diablo Fire a couple of weeks before. I returned to the station
to find the station empty and both the Model 5, Model 1, Dozer and State
Forest Ranger gone. I had to climb through an open window in the empty
barracks building to spend the night in my bunk. The next morning the
relief dozer operator came to pick up his state vehicle and I hooked up
with him and joined my engine crew at the Arroyo Seco firecamp.

Anyway we did have the orange fire shelters on board the engine in 1977 and
were instructed to have them along with the banjo canteens whenever we
"dismounted" from the "rumble seat on back of the Model 5. We also had the
"pull over your head" fire shelter/blankets on rear of the Model 5. I have
2 mint condition orange fire shelters in their original cases that I plan
to auction off on E Bay once I retire!

Merced Mullett

6/28 AB:

Looking through some old papers and came across a line-up sheet for the 1974 fire season airtanker Line up sheet. I retyped it as it was printed. Pretty interesting to look back at al of the various aircraft. It would be neat to have other readers do the same thing for any other line-ups they have in their files and post them here. I also have 1975 and 1976 and will send in if you like.

“Another CDF BC”

That is interesting. I put your table into a html table: 1974 Airtanker Line Up. We'll add 'em to historical records. Ab.

6/28 The first year we were issued fire shelters in the Humboldt- Del Norte Ranger Unit was in 1978, but we were not required to carry them on the line until 1980. We kept them in the engine instead. They were the orange, oblong models that had their own belt. As a jumper, we were all issued shelters but almost no one carried them, or if they did, left them with the jump gear when we went off to fight fire. McCall used to issue shelters as you hooked up in the door. There was a fire shelter pocket built into the bottom of our jumper web gear but most jumpers kept their rain fly in there. Some attitudes changed after South Canyon. In Alaska, it was routine to fight fire wearing Friscos or Levis, T-shirts, baseball caps, and Bean Boots.

Joe Hill
6/28 CDF began using fire shelters after the Spanish Ranch Fire in 1979.

“Another CDF BC”
6/28 Ab,

El Cariso in 1973. Base camps were often located adjacent to creeks or
other natural water sources, and skinny-dipping was our bath after shift.
Towards the end of season we saw our first crew of all women. We worked
night shift, they had the days. One afternoon on our way out we had orders
to send 3 people back to get new lunches (the ones we had been issued had
"expired"). Another crew member and I went with our squad boss. As we
walked the ridge above camp, we could see the female crew enjoying their
swim. SB told me, "Go ahead and tell the rest of the crew when you get
back.....who's gonna believe you?"
Dennis B. should remember this.

One fire I was on that year did have a "shower unit", but it was all creek
water pumped through a pipe with holes drilled in it. Still felt good!

Old Fire Guy

6/27 HOT SHOVELS UP GUYS!

All hot shovels bump up. Time to start throwing dirt at the growing forest
service mis-management crown fire!

Last year we didn't hire seasonal fire fighters, but we still had fires.

Now, there is a major workforce reduction in fire management coming to a
forest in region 2 next year. Cutting the Engineer positions on the
engines and the District AFMO's. I don't have to tell any of you how
absurd and wrong this is. Why would the agency even consider such an
ignorant and self destructing plan? But who's next? Will this crown fire
continue to grow into the other regions and consume fire management as we
know it. Stay tuned.............................

Signed,
2 more chains

6/27 Union Letter regarding A-76 Competition of Communications Services Work Functions
www.wildlandfire.com/docs/2006/FSC_Letter_A76_Violation_060627_FINAL.rtf
rich text file (open with word)

noname

6/27 I'm going to be updating IMWTK.

Someone asked me who the first female IC was. I think it was Linda Szczepanik IC of NorCal Team I. Jeanne Pincha-Tulley is also an IC of CIIMT 3. Can anyone tell us when they became ICs?

Does anyone have any other historical type questions that should be included on this page?

Did the first use of a shower unit occur on the Marble Cone Fire in 1977? Ab.

6/27 I was also on the Marble Cone Fire in 1977, my second season with CDF. Great memories. I was stationed in Humboldt-Del Norte Ranger unit and we drove down as part of a strike team from Fortuna. My engine was a 1966 Ford Model 1, equipped with a 500' pin lay in the hose bed, a PTO and auxiliary pump, a Homelight 925 chainsaw with a 36" bar, and a 500 gallon tank. My captain was a former marine and vietnam vet who seemed to be the hardest man I ever met (he was killed the next year while falling a tree). We wore "banana suits" over our polyester uniforms, were still called the "Division of Forestry", and didn't use fire shelters, (although the USFS did). I saw no naked women on the fire or in the showers but certainly thought about them a lot.

Joe Hill

Did you use fire shelters in 1978? Ab. I need to update IMWTK.

6/27 Friend just sent me this link. I find it hard to believe but, with Oregon worse in that department than CA what do you expect. If the boss is busy yelling in Spanish what about the English only speakers?
Maybe that you have to speak English to get a red card!

Fire Crew Bosses Who Can't Speak Spanish Can Lose Jobs
Oregon Begins To Strictly Enforce Language Rule
www.thedenverchannel.com/nationalnews/9413390/detail.phpl

RJM

6/27 Man on a mission in Washington State

there are a few colleges and private companies who do the fire classes you're looking for. i sent a bunch of people to the classes given in philomath oregon and they did a great job. company is called called nftca. hope this helps. i know they have more classes this year.

HB

6/27 Anyone know what fire/burn/etc is putting up the column, maybe on the Six Rivers NF or even the Shasta T? It's visible from Hwy 101 Eureka area looking toward Hyampom maybe. I don't see anything on hot list or on the Wild web, although on the wildweb it looks like the Shasta T had a couple of starts 15 min ago, location unspecified... Nothing on the 5:00 news either.

It's really unsettling to be heading home from a trip and see a column...

Mellie

6/27 Still Out There as an AD & Fyr Etr

...Wholllly cow!...I’’m not sure if this is the exact incident you are referencing, but this is ..err... was my experience on the Marble Cone fire so many years ago. I was on a casual crew pulled from a collection of community colleges. The crew I was on was called to the LP a day or two before the lightening strikes that started the whole thing. We were staged at Arroyo Seco initially (and in a strange bit of irony, that is where my future foreman & supt was working at that year before transferring to where I would be working the next summer when I got hired as a seasonal) but then on the second or third day we went to one of the original lightning strikes. To make a long story short, we got bumped around for five or six days on one side of the fire never getting more than a hot meal at any camp. Finally we got moved to a new camp on the other side of the fire. One of the guys noticed that a military shower unit was setting up so he sauntered over there to see when they would be opening and gave him our sob story of a severe lack of hygiene opportunity since we had been on the fire. The operator of the shower told him to bring our crew in an hour before the scheduled start time so we could get in line first.

So that we did, the line started with our crew. Keep in mind that this fire was my first fire of any kind, and I was a wet behind the ears and very innocent 18 yr old barely out of high school. As the line formed some other folks got into line as well. I remember a gal standing in the line talking to someone on my crew that she knew. As they started to let us into the shower, I realized that she was actually IN line for the shower and had her toilet bag, clothes etc.

Although I couldn’t really believe that she was going to jump in the shower with the guys, I’m not ashamed to say I was a little bit more than nervous as that’s how it looked.

I finally get into the shower tent and there are benches around the wall and one multi head shower in the middle with five or six guys already at the shower I made my way to the shower and do my thing all the while eyeing the door to see if that gal actually was coming in.

As I get back to my spot and start to dry off and get dressed in she walks. As just like it was a normal as could be she pitches her gear down, drops down to her birthday suit and heads to the shower. I don’t remember anyone saying anything but that is probably because I was too embarrassed and trying to get out of there as quickly as possible. (and if you are wondering how the hell I remember this....come on, I was a green 18 years old, this scene is burned into my memory!)

If I remember correctly, this type of operation did not last as a day or two later they had posted times for female showers...one whole hour each day the showers were for females.

Ahhh....those were the days.

There is also the story of the football game between the inmate kitchen crew and a bunch of folks from various crews. ...The guards ended it quickly as it was umm...getting pretty rough.

Pulaski
6/27 Thanks Fyr Etr. Is there anything that didn't happen on the Marble Cone?

Still Out There ...
6/27 Still Out There:

Showers. After hearing this story told and re-told over the last 25 years, I am starting to think "urban myth". Even heard this story from brothers on my own crew who "were there," while I was there, but not in the shower. Could even tell you the crew (and firefighter) reportedly involved (but won't, of course). This would be a credible story for this particular firefighter, but I can't swear to it as I was not really "there."

However, I've heard this story told by numerous people who swear "no sh**, I was there" recounting a firefighter on about five different crews, ten different fires, all between 1977 and 1981. Maybe it happened more than once. Maybe not at all. I'll believe it when she signs on and says "OK, it was me."

GGFire
6/27 Re:  Man on a mission

She needs to contact her training officer, or fire records keeper, for
her duty station where she took the classes. They should have a copy
and be able to fax it to her.

KD

6/26 Showers:

Still Out There as an AD,

During the Marble Cone Fire, Los Padres NF in 1977, the national guard was providing shower units in the field, when they worked. There were supposed to be different times for male and female. While my crew was on the line, we were told one female firefighter, who had been on the line several days (no strict hour limits or conveniences like you see on major fires now), did not want to wait hours and yelled in to ask if anyone cared if she came in. Everyone was too tired to care and she showered with the guys. The shower hours were adjusted after that. Women on crews then had to really prove themselves and could more than hold their own.

Fyr Etr

6/26 Jeff, Region 1 has an Incident Medical Specialist Program you might be
interested in. Check out the following website for more information:

www.fs.fed.us/r1/fire/nrcg/Committees/Operations/ims/ims_web_site/

- Idaho Girl
6/26 I have a question someone out in wildlandfire.com might be able to answer.

My friend has been calling down to the Angeles NF trying to get her S 190
and S 130 Certs so she can get her red card. Is there any way some one
can point us in the right Direction.

Thanks.
Man on a mission in Washington State

6/26 Good morning.

My name is Doug Houston and a retired firefighter/smokejumper/still doing ATGS as an AD and am President of the National Smokejumper Association. I am (we) are interested in the possibility of putting this information about Finn Ward (son of the Missoula Smokejumper Base Manager) on the Wildland Fire website, both as an article and as a link to the donation site. I follow Theysaid quite often and see that it might be a great source to let people know about donations needed. It's an unfortunate accident and will be costly for Ed and his family. Whatever assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Here is all of the information on the smokejumpers.com website and anything that we can do will be greatly appreciated by the family.

Thanks alot.

Doug

I put a link under announcements on the classifieds page as well. Ab.

6/26 re: Dude Fire report

The redacted pdf version of the Dude Fire report available on the Lessons Learned site was created in April, 2003 - a few months before Cramer.

It seems wrong to me that the names of 5 brothers and a sister who fell in the line of duty should be blacked out. I can't believe that Paul Gleason would have wanted his name hidden, either.

Here are some people we should remember on this 16th anniversary of their ultimate sacrifice:

Sandra J. Bachman
Joseph L. Chacon
Alex S. Contreras
James L. Denney
James E. Ellis
Curtis E. Springfield

Remember. Learn. Share.
vfd cap'n
6/26 Ab,

I am hoping you can answer a question for me or point me in the right
direction. I am currently an apprentice doing my different details across
the country. I am a paramedic and would like to work as such in the
field. This season I am on a rappel ship out of Idaho so I'm not available
for details as an EMT, but would like to know of anyone I might be able to
contact for questions regarding the medical unit leader taskbook. I have a
lot of questions regarding being a medic and what I can do or even how I
can work.

Any help you could give me, I would appreciate.

Thank You

Jeff

Readers? Ab.

6/26 It is with a sad heart that I advise of the death of one of our own. Bob "Bobbo" Fornier
died as the results of a vehicle accident Friday on the Sierra National Forest. Bobbo
was the Facilities Unit leader on the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident
Management Team. Services are pending at this time.

Boone

Condolences to family, friends, and team mates. He will be missed. Please let us know of services so we can post the info. Ab.

6/26 WCT thread

I would add that in appropriate fire camp situations I believe a person in
a wheel chair could fill some fire camp jobs. No one expects them to be on
the fireline, but if the ICP is in town at an air strip, why not? Blanket
statements saying "pass the test" overlooks exceptions. Even my suggestion
has limits. I do agree that some people who are still breathing just don't
belong in fire camp.

Ex-runner

6/26 OK, now's the time for a lighter subject.

Last week, a few folks were discussing the first time that women worked on fire crews. I'm wondering if anyone knows the truth about a story that has been circulating for years. I've heard two versions. Supposedly, one of the first women firefighters got frustrated about her lack of opportunity to get into the single shower unit at fire camp. After fuming for several days, she said, "The h*** with this," and marched into the shower filled with males, stripped off her clothes and started to clean up. One variation has all the males running out in various stages of dress and undress. The other variation has all the guys in camp suddenly lining up to take their shower. Anyone know the real story?

Still Out There as an AD

6/25 A reminder-- on Monday, June 26, it will be 16 years since six firefighters perished in Walk Moore Canyon on the Dude Fire north of Payson, Arizona. More information can be found on the Lessons Learned web site at www.wildfirelessons.net/documents/Dude_Fire_Fatalities_1990.pdf (pdf file)
--
Bill Gabbert
International Association of Wildland Fire
6/25 The Old Man of the Dept.

Doing the packtest at 70 is quite an inspiration, however, as a female rappeller out of Region 4 the 45lb. packtest is the least of my worries. After an 85lb. packtest in typical terrain (mountainous w/ elevation gains and losses of 900 to 1200 ft.) and the 1.5 mile run with the gazelles on our crew, most of whom time in well under 9:00, the regular packtest is a welcome rest.

HC

6/25 Nerd-

Not sure what book you're reading about shots, but NO ONE pulls the crap you were describing. As shots, we take great pride in our fitness, but even more in our professionalism and safety records. Your accusations of pack tests on hills and other hazing procedures are infuriating. Either come be a shot and see what happens with a crew or drop it. For the amount of exposure to risk the shot community faces, I think our serious accident/fatality numbers are as good if not better than the rest of the fire service.

-blackliner
6/25 Hickman, although just doing his job while off-duty, is a HERO! (tongue in
heek, now don't smack me about the hero stuff!)

Fire chief pulls boy out of water

NEOSHO, Mo. — When Neosho fire Chief Greg Hickman heard
police radio traffic Monday night that a car had overturned in Shoal
Creek just a quarter of a mile from his home, he rushed to the scene.
(click the link to read the whole story)

I love it when members of our community are in the right place at the right
time! Way to go!!!

When I asked him, he said:  "There are a few good days in this business..."

Mellie

6/25 For your,

Wildland Fire's
TERMS, NICKNAMES, JARGON, SLANG TERMINOLOGY, PHRASES & FUNNY ACRONYMS

Dear Ab,

From New Brunswick, Canada we have the following rather local saying:

"The Arse is out of 'er" -- a sudden significant increase in fire behaviour

SmokeDawg
6/25 Ab and others:

Several comments about the WCT ("Pack Test"): there is a ton of documentation available about the development of the WCT, including the official EEO non-Discrimination evaluation that was conducted. I'd recommend reading it to get a solid background on the issue.

Yes, it was primarily developed by a male: if it wasn't, it would have been developed by a female! Last time I looked, a firefighter was a firefighter was a firefighter: same job, same pay! Gender has not been a factor for many years. Same with ethnicity. Lots of females and males (and others?) participated in the evaluations. Again, take a few minutes to read all about the development process, including the criteria that were used regarding costs and ease of application, as well as the surveys of field practitioners about the jobs on fire that need to be performed, and the activities that should be tested.

As for the need for an IC to pass the WCT, think about what skills are really critical for that position: experience, training, sound judgment, team building, good leadership skills! If WCT scores become a key criteria, we could end up with Jessie Ventura or "Arnold" as an IC.

Mollysboy

6/25 Must read training material for EMS folks:

http://img.slate.com/media/50/Rosenbaum_FINAL_FOIA.pdf

Hey...everybody who is any way associated with EMS NEEDS to read this report. To summarize, a civilian finds a well-dressed, 60-70 yo male lying on a sidewalk. Civilian activates 911, triggering a tiered response. FF/EMT personnel respond, and begin an assessment. Patient begins to vomit; FF/EMTs assume ETOH and report that, and only that, to arriving ambulance personnel, despite 1 FF reportedly finding blood on his glove. Ambulance personnel were delayed finding their way to the scene because they couldn't understand the dispatcher's accent. Ambulance personnel proceed to treat the patient under the assumption that the patient is intoxicated; it seems that a more thorough assessment was not conducted. Patient was turned over to hospital triage personnel, again, with "ETOH" as the only information transferred. Neither the fire fighters nor the EMS personnel completed any paperwork! the patient sat, low priority, in a hall way, "sleeping it off" until a nurse on the NEXT SHIFT noticed his snoring respirations and posturing! Patient expired shortly after. Well, it turns out that the patient was a recently retired editor of the Washington Post who had been hit on the head by a mugger. The paper began asking questions about "inconsistencies" in the hospital's account of the patient's death, and the story came out.

The thing is, I think everything that happened on that call has happened to everyone of us, it just hasn't all happened on one call. Or maybe it has, and it just hasn't come out like this story has, because the patient wasn't a prominent newspaper editor, or wasn't badly compromised. I would be very surprised if any of the care providers in this chain kept their jobs; I would be surprised if their bosses kept their jobs. This man died from a lack of thoroughness, compassion, and information transfer, all the way up the tiered response.

Definitely a striking call to discuss in training.

Meghan

6/24 One of the reasons that I still do the pack test at age 70 is to show the youngsters that it is no big deal.
If the old man does it , then no one else can complain about doing it.

The Old Man of the Dept
6/24 In response to "Middle of the List",

CDF must offer all Fire Captain positions to promotional candidates prior to using the open list to fill spots. There are approximately 250 people still on the promotional list. There are 395 open list candidates (although there is significant overlap between the lists). To date no open list candidates have been hired.

This doesn't mean that open list candidates will not be hired before the promotional list is exhausted though. If a position is undesirable (for instance in a remote location, or some other unfavorable attribute) it may be difficult to find promotional candidates to willingly take the job, and then they can go to the open list.

Most open list jobs I have seen filled are for northern camps. Station jobs, and Schedule "A" positions are highly desirable in all areas of the state, and it is unlikely too many of those jobs will go to open list candidates. Southern units will likely have sufficient candidates willing to promote into open positions.

The numbers of retirements will be quite high. Estimates are between 400-600 over the next two years. So jobs will most likely be offered eventually, but the bulk of retirements will not start happening until the end of this year.

Signed,

CDF Medic
6/24 Believe me, I'm no buff 18-year old. In fact, about six years ago, I spent about 18 months where hobbling between the bed and bathroom was a major accomplishment until my back pain could be diagnosed and a major back operation completed. The "light" test requires someone to walk without a pack for a mile in less than 16 minutes. I don't see where height, sex, or factors other than having a minimal level of fitness would affect the ability to take this test. I can see the possibility of having someone exempted if reasonable accommodation has to be made for an otherwise qualified individual. Nor is this being blind to factors outside of a specific region: I have been sent to fires in all but two of the Forest Service regions and have been on incidents with every level of government involvement: local, state, federal and military. I have seen where someone's lack of fitness has required medical intervention in fire camp and could have potentially interfered with safe incident operations. The ability for someone to handle stress and long hours (both factors in sound decision-making) is improved with fitness.

Still Out There as an AD
6/24 Hey...
Ab, awesome reply to No Name. It's been my experience
that people who are very proud of one attribute in
themselves (say, their level of physical fitness) tend
to judge all others on that attribute and frequently
that attribute alone. I'm not implying that that was
No Name's motivation for posting; I can see the
annoyance of the double standard. It's just a general
observation triggered by the original post. I owe some
of my general bad attitude toward Hotshots (which I am
slowly getting over) to a number of encounters just
like that. I do the pack test, but it's hard for me;
I'm 5'9", 145, female, and pretty fit, and I can hump
it on the line just as well as most of the guys, I
just do it a hair slower and think carefully about
what I carry. It ticks me off badly when folks imply
that I'm a less able firefighter than somebody who
routinely comes out of the pack test with times in the
30 minute range, and then collapses in a gooey puddle
at the finish line. I'll amble in right at 44:45, drop
my pack, and wander off for a little cool-down stroll.
Another trend I've seen is crews requiring additional
fitness tests to the pack test...say, staging their
pack test on hills, or following the pack test with a
strength test. If you go down that road, pretty soon
you've got one-upmanship between crews, with "my crew
is better than your crew because our fitness test is
harder" and thats where people get hurt. it's like the
old "Can you chug a gallon of water" competition. Now,
I don't dispute that wildlandfire is a physically
intense activity, and that a little physical edge is a
safety advantage in terms of getting oneself out of a
tight situation. But what about the little mental edge
that keeps you from getting into that tight situation
in the first place? I wish I saw more competition
between crews and individuals in terms of the quantity
and quality of the their training, or in terms of the
close calls they thought their way out of, instead of
ran their way out of. I wish that I didn't hear
stories of rookies being told not to report to the med
tent, no matter what, because it would make the crew
look "weak". I wish that I heard more crews boasting
about their safety conciousness and low injury rates.
It's probably a demographic hazard (tongue in cheek).

Nerd on the Fireline
6/24 Question for CDF folks.

After the open testing process CDF gave, how many folks did CDF pick up and are there more positions open? Been hearing lots of people retiring by the end of next year, any projections on how many people retiring?

Signed,

Middle of the list
6/23 Ken Perry/WFF Benefit Coverage:  Information & Status Page    Photo Page 
Current Pledge List (for viewing what you pledged and has contact info for paying)
6/23 Can you tell me why Stanislaus Wildcad isn't working and hasn't since Monday? Is it something on their end? I sent a note to one of the dispatchers and haven't heard anything back yet as to the problem. It would be nice to know the resource stats for around here. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this network. I didn't know anything about it until after Greeno's death and it has been a world of information and discussion that is needed. Especially in these hard times of fluctuation in the organization. My husband retired in March and it's nice to read things that are happening and not happening around the country. Thanks, Pattie

It seems to be working from where I am Pattie.  Using the Recent Incidents link:  http://63.196.254.151/wildweb/WCSTFrecent.php, off of our WildWeb page link to the STF, it shows quite a bit of activity today and during the past week.  Make sure your browser is set to request the most recently updated file.  If you need help with that, just ask.  OA.

6/23 On 6/22, "Still Out There as an AD" said "everyone should have to at least
pass the light duty pack test". "Old Man of the Dept" said he doesn't
"really see any reason for anyone involved in fire to fail the pack test"
considering he is 70 and still passing. I will make some assumptions and
assume they are discussing western fire camps in remote areas where
evacuation by foot might be required in an emergency. For example, base
camp managers ARE required to pass a test and appropriately so. They may
work in remote areas near the fire. In many cases, fire camps are in small
towns with local residents and even hospital patients which are not
evacuated. So, burn over is not always an issue and vehicles may be
readily available.

Obviously, there are exceptions to everything. Not every 70 year old will
pass the pack test. Hey, the majority of men DIE before they age 80. This
includes all 70 year olds (whether they are in the majority or minority,
the majority will still die). I know one 31 year old who can't pass the
test because of a fall resulting in a broken back and titanium cage
replacing a vertebra, for example. You'd never know it looking at him. He
just looks a little overweight. He's an exception.

Should disabled people be kept out of fire camps because they can't walk
rapidly? I would beg to differ. I believe the IC and his staff should
use judgment in hiring people with limited abilities, including some
people who you might consider "willingly disabled". For many western
settings, it might be wise to require a light duty pack test if the
situation calls for it. From my experience, half the time those settings
do not require a fitness test for some jobs. Sitting at a desk and
weighing 300 lbs. for whatever reason should not prevent you from working
some jobs in fire camp. That's usually true in the east on fires worked
from a district office or in the west when conditions in fire camp make
evacuation by vehicle rapid and easy. The result is we still let some of
us camp slugs like me decide when its time to quit or to keep working
rather than make that decision for everyone.

I say this because I used to be 18 years old, six foot tall, and 135 lbs.
I know how easy it is to sit back smugly and wonder why some people are fat
and out of shape while others are not. I certainly thought everyone could
look like me at 18 and I'd look that way forever. Age took its toll but
even at 40 and 175 lbs., folks considered me skinny and I was still pretty
smug. Now that I'm pushing 60 and 230, my attitude is changing and I am
certainly off the fireline in part by choice, in part by a ruptured disk
from lifting 18 foot 3x10s alone. I could probably pass the arduous test,
but don't risk reinjury. The fact remains some people who can't can pass
that test still provide a valuable service to the fire organization. I'll
just say to those who would have everyone pass a test "imagine yourself at
300 lbs. and in need of work. You may think it will never happen, but fall
off a roof, get hit by a snag or a car, and it could be you unable to run!"

Lastly, I do strongly agree with the folks above that some people need some
motivation to get in shape. I'm just not going to judge their condition by
their looks, because at least for some (and perhaps a minority) their
physical appearance may not reveal the underlying causes. We would loose
their valuable skills if we blind ourselves in our smugness, mine included.

Sign me "Ex-runner".

You address the overweight issue. Let me add that I know many who are shorter or who have bad knees or backs and are not overweight. Many of them got those bad knees and backs fighting fire. Many are older. Most are fairly cardiovascularly fit in spite of bad knees and backs and being shorter. This Ab is not sure the WCT is the best test of firefighter fitness to begin with, especially firefighter fitness for shorter men and women. It is, however, the one that is used. As I understand it, it was designed by a runner and a man. A test of cardiovascular fitness would be better in my opinion, but it would be much more costly. Ab.

6/23 Ken Perry/WFF Benefit Coverage:  Information & Status Page    Photo Page 
Current Pledge List (for viewing what you pledged and has contact info for paying)
6/23 Heads up for all going to the southwest this summer. Just got off the
Brins fire in Sedona, AZ. Pulled off a night burn in some manzanita with
89% live(?) fuel moisture and it was freaky how extreme the fire behavior
was. 32 seasons and never saw brush vaporized like that. Be dam* careful
when you get the chance to go help out. "Omnis Cedo Domus".

Backburnfs

Well, I'm pretty glad you're still out there oversee'n your crew. Ab.

6/23 SteveM

Here, Here....well said!

CDFer

6/23 Ab,
Thank you for responding to my question. It is sad that he can hold us to the standards but he will not. What is real sad is that we work for him and 5 of us are 7 to 19 years older (54 to 57) then he is!! No Name

The bottom line is that you adhere to the standards set for your job and he is adheres to the standards set for his job. Standards for his job are just not the standards you want them to be. The IC's job is more about strategy, tactics and command than humping hose up a fireline -- pack test of the brain is more like it. Muscles between your ears. In all fairness, I guess the turnabout question would be, "Can you meet the mental standards he needs to meet to do his job?" But that's really a moot point since you do different jobs and the standards you're held to for qualifying for those jobs differ. Ab.

6/22 Dear Ab,

As we are closing out the Ken Perry Run for this year, I want to Thank the IC Team who helped immensely.

They are :

Tom Hutchison, Incident Commander
Tony Duprey, Deputy Incident Commander
Debbie Santiago, Public Information Officer-BLM
Stanton Florea, Public Information officer-USFS ANF
Bruce Schmidt, Safety Officer and Spiritual Support
Ken Perry, Ops Chief and Runner
Clay Meyers, Staging Area Manager, Fox Tanker Base
Fox Tanker Base, Staging Area
Green Valley Station, Staging Area
Hall Stratton, Staging Area Manager, LA County Station 126
LACO Station 126
Lori Green, Team Cheerleader
Wendy Perry, Family/Runner Support
Ian & Paula Perry, Family/Runner Support
Jeff Locke, Texas Canyon Hotshots
Victoria Smith, GIS Tech Specialist
Steve Myers, Computer Tech Specialist
Tom Patterson, GIS Tech Specialist
Al “X” Kellogg, Team Logistics Chief
Joel Lane, Team Driver
Stephanie English, Logistics Support, LA County
John Scott, Video Producer
Mellie Coriell, Computer Tech Specialist

These people brought with them their passion for firefighters, their excitement for life and their joy to help. It was contagious.

The others that I want to thank are the folks who made the pledges. Your support goes many places. Thanks for all you have given.

Many, many, thanks to the Abs and this forum, for without the help of this web site I know the Foundation would not be where it is today.

Ken Perry you have given more than you will ever know.

Humbled and Honored,

Vicki Minor
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Thanks also to Melissa who did most of the work behind the scenes for this event and pedaled along with Tony and the runners; to you Vicki for coming to the run and doing your thing with the media, the participants and the little kids; and to Burk who held down the fort on the home front. Thanks also to Hutch's wife Becky for her support behind the scenes. I like my shirt!

Pledgers, if you haven't "settled up", please do so. You can click on the pledge list link at the top of theysaid to find out how. Ab.

6/22 Q-MAN''s Retirement ParrrrTeeeeeeee on Saturday

Please give wide distribution, thanks!

Hi Everyone! Last Minute changes have been made to Ray's party - isn't
change great?!?

Due to the heat, we are moving the party inside. (it's supposed to be 109
degrees this afternoon and getting up to 113 degrees on Saturday!)
The party will be at the Wildland Fire Training and Conference Center ...
this is 3 blocks south of the original site at Freedom Park.

Being a government facility (with no alcohol allowed), we will be setting
up a Beer Garden, just off site.

The party is still starting at 1200hrs/High Noon

Check-in is being setup just inside the main training center entrance, in
Room N123. Please stop in there and sign the guest book, if needed - make
payment, and get your hand stamped (so you'll be fed).

See you then!
Pam

6/22 IMWTK
www.wildlandfire.com/docs/imwtk.php
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I wanted to contribute to the discussion on the above referenced page about who was the first female hotshot:

I spoke with Roddy Baumman, former superintendent of Zig Zag IHC, who confirmed he hired both Kimberly Brandel and Deb Schnell in 1977. He also remembers that Joe King, superintendent at that time of Baker River IHC, had hired a woman named "Da-ne" (not sure of the spelling) "a couple years before that."

Interesting note: Roddy remembers seeing the first woman ever on the fireline in 1970 (Nancy Graybill, now Region 6 Regional Forester) who belonged to a Type 2 crew. "It was quite the shocker for us," he said.

Karen

Thanks Karen. I added it to the page. Ab.

6/22 It seems to me like everyone should have to at least pass the light duty pack test -- if you can't walk a mile in 13 or 14 minutes (faster than the test requires) I don't think you should be involved in any fire position. The hours, working situation, and so forth, call for people to be in at least somewhat better than average physical condition. I don't mean to sound harsh, but some of the folks hanging out in their lawn chairs in fire camp look like heart attacks waiting to happen. And fire camps have been burned over.

Still Out There as an AD
6/22 Do not really see any reason for anyone involved in fire to fail
the pack test. I am 70 and passed it again this year.

Old Man of the Dept
6/22 No Name,

If you look up ICT2 in the Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide,
PMS 310-1 page 32. There is no fitness level required for ICT2.

SRJS
6/22  I was looking through the selection of chainsaw oil mix in the hardware store this week and saw a type I hadn't seen before. Here's a link to the product: http://doitbest.com/DoItBest/Main.aspx?PageID=64&SKU=584940  but basically it says, "No guessing with this handy oil. One 3.2 oz. bottle treats 1 gallon of gas and works in any ratio from 12:1 to 50:1. The special additives allow for increased lubricity and more efficient heat dispersant, thus allowing a wider mix ratio range".

Has anyone used this or a similar multi-range oil? It sounds very handy since I have several power tools which use 16:1 up through 50:1 mixtures and I have to have a container mixed for each of them. But I sure don't want my chainsaw seize up just cause it's easy.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Sign me: Work smarter, not harder.
6/22 Ab,

I was was talking about enviros or as you called them environmentalists. <snip> Remember Teddy Roosevelt was a conservationist or better definition a person who believes in using the renewable natural resources.

With everybody concerned about the new plan and budget the only way to get something done is to get the public involved and get a letter campaign going.

Casey wrote awhile back about everybody contacting their representative for help and writing to the board members. One thing I found out is to make sure you write to your own representative. Unless you are from that certain persons state they will ignore you. Sad, but true.

Cris

Hmmm, I consider myself an environmentalist. Ab.

6/22 Addendum to CDF (not Capt. Emmett) reply to James and to all other 1st year firefighters:

Consider not complaining about anything during the entire fire season. Ask questions. . .learn your agency policies and procedures, then use your experience and background to offer ideas for improvement or suggestions for change. Any good module leader knows there is always room for improvement and will be willing to listen and discuss your thoughts with you.

Enjoy your new job. Some of us who lurk here don't get to be on the line anymore, but we'd enjoy hearing about your first fire or any other adventures you want to share.

SteveM
6/22 Hello Ab,

I have provided a link to a report "Managing Forest Fuels" commissioned
by the Forest Practices Board in BC Canada. I suspect similar reports
regarding this subject matter have been commissioned in the US as well.

www.fpb.gov.bc.ca/special/reports/SR29/SR29.pdf (pdf file)

Keep your stick on the ice.

SmokeDawg
6/22 Ab,

I took this Perkins fire (CA-LPF) photo collage yesterday ( 6/20 ) at
around 1500 hrs from New Cuyama near Fire Camp. Size at the time
was around 10000 acres. View is to the south.

sting

Nice one. The patchiness has a nice quality. Be safe out there. Ab.

6/22 Ab,

I have a question about the pack test. Do you need to pack test arduous to be a ITC 2 that leads <snip> team? I know of one that only took it once in the last three years and failed it badly just last week. His team is drew to go out and he said that his team checks every one that comes into his camp. Someone needs to check his. I know that if he tries to come onto my fire I will turn him away.

No Name

6/22 James:

Glad to help. I know 250.00 is not alot in this day and age, but that is part of the deal. Consider that the 850.00 Company Officers receive per year for uniforms does not go that far when Class A's cost 1,500 a set. (don't worry, you are not required to have that until you go to the BFC Academy.) Uniform standards are a very important part of CDF's tradition and something that all CDF employees end up digging out of their own pocket to supplement. Probably no different than any other fire department. Word of advice......don't complain about the uniform allowance on your first shift.

Good luck.....work hard, ask questions, learn the chain of command, and embrace CDF and it's traditions. The department is very near and dear to those of us who call it home. Good luck.

CDFer (not Capt. Emmett)
6/21 Thanks for the budget info TC.

Hot list forum is interesting. I had to go look at the large fire map...
Things are cooking: http://firemapper.sc.egov.usda.gov/

Mellie

6/21 Doug Coyle:

Those of us in the industry for many years, had the pleasure of working with Doug while he was in the fire service with ODF. Doug was passionate about fire, and he was a strong advocate that all of us were members of that club including the private sector. Doug was active in NWSA after his retirement and went on to make the "Wildland Firefighter Foundation" a reality. Without his drive for that venture there would have been many families that did not receive the kind and compassionate help from the Foundation!

Those contractors from Region 6 are saddened and we have lost a true friend to the industry.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Harriet and her family!

Debbie Miley
Executive Secretary
National Wildfire Suppression Association

6/21 The Jobs Page and Series 0462 (Forestry Technician) & Series 0455 (Range Technician) jobs pages and Series 0401 (Biologist) are updated. Ab.
6/21 I've updated my fire web page. Here's the URL. www.bellsouthpwp.net/p/h/phsh/fire.php

The idea is to provide a graph of the number of teams and crews active. I harvest info from the national situation report. I tried previously to track the data daily, but that's too much work. So this year, I'm trying to track it on Tuesday and Friday, perhaps updating on weekends or however frequently I can manage.

The current page is quick and dirty. I'll work on it this weekend to clean it up and make it more readable. This, at least, puts the data up on the web.

The graph is drawn in "units" of 3 or 4 days. While the current numbers may look like a straight line, rising constantly, its really a real change of gradually increasing numbers. The REAL straight line is "dummy data" for any date beyond the last entry. Rather than use zeros, I've taken the latest value and filled the source spread sheet with that number (like 11 crews active). For the next four months, as data becomes available, the line will move to reflect current data.

Enjoy. Sedgehead.

6/21 I just went reading through the "They Said" and I just had to throw in my 2 cents into this issue.

1. You have people back east who can not see the forest because of the trees.
2. The enviors (Don't confuse them with conversationalists) do not want any type of logging and they also do not want a fire destroying their trees.
3. People who have never been to a fire are calling the shots and are a serious risk to those who are on the fire line.

One more thing to remember is the Forest Service is being sued every time they try to come up with any plan.
The one thing to start considering is the groups of people who are not seeing eye to eye on certain issues all need to start standing together and only then will things start to change.
The landowner and the hunter. The firefighter and the logger.

If we don't start, nothing will be done and all the complaining in the world will not change a thing.
All this comes from a brief conversation with an ATV rider. He asked why they were having a controlled burn in a certain area. I told him that I didn't know. He then asked why they did not just do selective logging instead. I told him because the Forest Service would end up being sued by the enviros. He was disgusted.

Just some food for thought.
Cris

P.S. I guess no one else has seen the program I asked about earlier.

Hmmmm, Cris, did you mean environmentalists instead of enviors and conservationists instead of conversationalists? Let me know and I'll correct your post... Ab.

6/21 Mellie,

WFU fires are charged to WFSU also, just like suppression fires, so the
decision to change strategies should not have been budget driven, except
for the fact that there is also pressure to keep charges to WFSU to a
minimum also. Also, acres treated from WFU fires are not part of a target.
They are reported as accomplished acres, but do not count toward any
assigned target.

On the FEMA codes, my understanding, which is very limited, is that there
needs to be some sort of declared state of emergency to use a FEMA code.
So normal, non-wildland fire responses would not qualify.

TC
6/20 I have a couple of questions about fed budgets and burning or responding to interface (not purely wildland fire) incidents...

The first ones are about targets for burning being met in R3 (or any region) and what happens next:
Were the WFU (Wildland Fire Use) fires in Region 3 converted to some kind of suppression strategy after targets were met for the individual units/Forests they burned on, say, rather than being converted for exceeding prescription?

So, then fuels targets for the unit are met, right, and now a whole lot of people are on WFSU (suppression)  (http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/dispatch_logistics/crews/sit300/sit300.php) funds rather than WFPR (preparedness) or WFHF (hazardous fuels) funds, resulting in "savings" within those reduced budget areas?

Secondly, on another all-risk kind of emergency response budget topic...
In CA and elsewhere these days, a large percentage of work that wildland firefighters do is structure/interface protection. Costs for this are charged to a P Code, right? Why aren't those costs charged to some other more logical code, like a FEMA code or an F Code? I think I heard that when firefighters worked on hurricanes last year, the costs accrued were charged to some kind of FEMA Code... ? If we're working toward streamlining budgets for accountability, why not go all the way?

Just trying to understand the parameters of the budget playing field.

Mellie

6/20 With this talk about seasonal firefighter with CDF. How do I go about
becoming a seasonal firefighter with CDF for next year?

Thanks!
Cy

Cy, I'd be happy to give one of the CDFers your email addy and let him or her answer your questions. CDFers, if you're willing, let me know. Ab.

6/20 Bump Pulaski,

You said, "On prescribed fire and WFU programs: I've noticed many WFUs going suppression lately. The proper decisions must be made up front before going WFU on natural ignitions."

I have to agree with you completely. Sometimes the need to meet RO and WO fuels targets clouds (or confuses) the professional judgment of our fire managers on the ground. Most field level fire managers want to do what is right, but are stuck between a rock and a hard place in accomplishing the mission, "Caring for the Land, Serving People".

New Mexico has had large fires since January. They have also been in near record drought and had near historic high ERCs throughout the winter and spring, and now the summer.

Forest and District fire and fuels managers have a great conflict going on mentally and ethically when it comes to prescribed fire and WFU fires in regards to meeting the mission. If they don't meet their target, they may lose funding for their program for successive years. If they have a prescribed fire escape or a WFU fire exceed prescription and become a wildfire, they risk losing their jobs through a RO or WO inquest to appease the public, rather than achieve and implement lessons learned. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

This conflict could someday cause the Forest Service to lose both of these valuable tools due to public and political backlash. The policies of having target (acre) accomplishment based budgets is something that is causing the increase in escapes and WFU fires, not the lack of experience of professional field level managers and practitioners.

This is just one of many examples of how RO and WO expectations and policies can conflict and create problems in the field.

I am sure that more public interest and political pressure will be forthcoming regarding all of the NM fires that have been "changed from WFU to suppression strategy".

Hopefully, this pressure will result in lessons learned and a new doctrine for fuels management will start to evolve.

Gizmo

P.S. - Bump, you also said, "The agency, as a whole, has lost the traditions, work ethic, and discipline that made it great." I disagree with you on that one. Those things aren't lost, they are firmly evident in the new crop of fire managers and wildland firefighters in our ranks, and the leaders (some retired and some still employed working behind the scenes) who are mentoring them towards success. Some day, the term "Forest Service Family" will be commonplace again. Some day, those folks will occupy the RO and WO leadership positions within the Forest Service.
6/20 Interesting Safety Alert and a heads up to any folks responding to fires on
the MNF. As you can imagine folks here are pretty concerned.

TC

SAFETY ALERT
MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST
June 20, 2006

Marijuana growing operations have intensified and become more sophisticated for this field season. Law Enforcement personnel have already eradicated nearly 70,000 marijuana plants from the Forest in the last four weeks. Saturday, June 17, two men were shot and killed execution style near Covelo after they were involved in what law enforcement officials believe was a raid or pirating of marijuana at a large growing operation. The men suspected of the killings may have traveled onto the Mendocino National Forest, Covelo Ranger District.

Covelo Ranger District Restriction of Field Administrative Duties

Because Law Enforcement is unclear of the location of the suspects in the execution killings near Covelo, all official administrative work activities and travel through the Covelo Ranger District are suspended until further notice. This suspension of work and travel applies to all Mendocino National Forest employees and other National Forest employees from other units. If Mendocino employees know of Forest Service employees from other units who are working or traveling through Covelo Ranger District, they are to inform them of the work and travel suspension. The suspension will be lifted as soon as Law Enforcement officials feel the suspect(s) have been caught or have left the area.

Covelo Ranger District Restriction of Incident Management Activities

Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers will respond to all wildland fire or all risk dispatches to accompany resources responding to incidents. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers will be stationed at Covelo until Law Enforcement officials feel the suspect(s) have been caught or have left the area.

Forest Service Field Employee Check-in Communication Plan

All Mendocino NF and other Forest Service employees will follow the Forest’s check-in procedure with their supervisor for field work on the Forest. With the increase in criminal activity, marijuana growing and link to organized crime, employees need to be aware that the growers are actively camping, working and transporting materials, food and marijuana on the National Forest. If an employee locates a marijuana plantation or observes suspicious activity, leave the area immediately and report the activity immediately to the Mendocino Dispatch Center. Follow the guidelines in the Forest-wide Job Hazard Analysis for Field Employee Check-in Communication Plan.
 

6/20 The Southern California Wildland Fire Season Outlook has been updated (June 20, 06). It can be found at: http://gacc.nifc.gov/oscc/predictive/outlooks/myfiles/assessment.pdf (pdf file)

Some interesting things from the update:

The Palmer Drought Index shows most of Southern California as as being in moderate drought. This would make sense, since most of Southern California has had less than normal rainfall and fewer cumulative rainfall days. (Page 5).

Management and Resource Implications
• With fire season well underway by the end of June, Southern California
resources will be less likely to be available for out-of-station assignments.
• Funding level reductions could result in diminished initial attack resource
capability, thus increasing burned acres to above average levels. (Page 9).

Lobotomy
6/20 Doug would appreciate the fine comments about him that have appeared in "They said", but would have probably been somewhat embarrassed since he was not one comfortable in the limelight. But his accomplishments as leader of Oregon Department of Forestry's fire program, CEO of Wildland Firefighter magazine and a director of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation attest to his leadership, and well earned recognition.

Those of us who were partners with Doug in birthing Wildland Firefighter can attest to his qualities as a leader and a human being. He was a person who stayed focused on the people who do the actual firefighting, which is one of the founding objectives of magazine. His involvement with Wildland Firefighter Foundation is further testimony to that focus.

I don't think any project gave him more professional satisfaction than working with Vicki and others to make the foundation a success. In a conversation not too long ago he mentioned his pleasure in seeing your web site and web site family strongly support the foundation.

Doug will be greatly missed by all of us who have worked with him and considered him a friend. The Wildland Fire Community has lost a champion and a friend.

John F. Marker, (USFS ret.)
6/20 Quick email from  Vicki:

There will be a service for those who wish to attend for Doug Coyle,
on Friday, June 23, 2006 at 11 a.m. at the Huston-Jost Funeral
Home in Lebanon, OR.

Huston Jost Funeral Home
(541) 258-2123
86 W Grant St
Lebanon, OR 97355
www.hustonjostfuneralhome.com

6/20 Captain Emmett,
Thanks for the tip(s) I start on Monday in the MVU. Cdfer, thanks for the strike team info. Wow $250 is not much, pants are 50 bucks a pair! If anyone else has any info they feel I need, let me know!
\
James
6/20 Re: Forest Service Ethics Reminder

To All Federal Wildland Firefighters:

Recently, (June 5, 2006 to be exact) Hank Kashdan, Deputy Chief for Business Operations with the Forest Service issued a memo to all Forest Service Employees reminding them of their responsibility for complying with the Standards of Ethical Conduct and other regulations relating to activities with non-federal groups.

Some have questioned the timing of the memo given the recent flurry of press articles about FS budget shenanigans and the impact on staffing etc. Some have suggested the FS has targeted the FWFSA and the memo is an attempt to stifle membership in the organization and quiet the rising voice of discontent with the status quo.

Regardless of the coincidences or the FS's intent, employees should simply follow some very basic, common sense actions when involved with non-federal organizations. Since the FWFSA is at the forefront of actively pursuing changes to better our firefighters & their families, I'll use the organization as an example.

Common sense dictates that if you want to express your views here on They Said and/or through membership in the FWFSA, avoid doing so on the Government's time and equipment i.e. using your Gov't email address, phone etc. There are times when using such equipment on Gov't time is necessary and I'm sure the FWFSA or any other organization would go to bat to protect the rights of an employee to do so if the Agency took exception to such actions.

Don't write letters to Congress criticizing the Agency or it's actions and policies on a Government computer or while on Government time. Don't make calls to the press on work time or using Gov't phones. Don't talk to the press on Gov't time and don't show up on the evening news in uniform blasting the Forest Service.

That being said, your personal, private time is your own. It is the history of this Nation that not only allows its citizens and employees, but demands that they take action to correct archaic, out-of -date policies; identify waste, fraud & abuse etc.

The FWFSA and this forum allow you to have a voice in your future. Don't be intimidated by memos, just use basic, common sense. There is no "violation" or "compromise" of any ethical standard of conduct by being a member of a non-profit employee association whose goals and objectives are to improve your pay, benefits & working conditions.

Sadly, the Agency won't do it on their own and sadly some of their actions raise ethical questions which require the FWFSA, as an organization, to address such issues with those that can effect positive change. That happens to be congress. If you believe actions by your employer stand to increase the risk to your health and safety as well as that of your co-workers and the citizens you protect, you have every right to participate in an effort to correct such actions.

Channel that however, through the FWFSA or other organizations that can use your voices as a collective tool to effect positive change. When it comes time to be invited to testify before congress on issues such as classification or budget related impact, FWFSA members who have the expertise in these areas will, by Congress, be afforded the opportunity to testify freely without fear of repercussions by the Agency.

I can tell you that this recent memo has raised a few eyebrows on Capitol Hill. However the FWFSA will give the Agency the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to a simple annual reminder. If anyone has questions or concerns about what they can and cannot do, the FS suggests you contact your Primary Ethics Advisor. You can do that...or you can call me...on your own phone and your own time of course!

Respectfully Submitted:

Casey Judd
Business Manager
FWFSA

6/20 James:

In response to your questions, All CDF Firefighter I's will now be on a 72 hour, three day work week. This would be three 24 hour days on duty followed by four days off. Engine Strike Teams are selected in a few different ways. Immediate need can be filled with five closest engines code three to the incident with a STL to meet at the incident or five closest engines with leader departing from the unit. With planned need, a CDF Unit will typically try to use one engine out of two engine stations to retain coverage for that station's first due area. However, one engine stations are rotated into the mix for equity. CDF tries to send at least two or three four wheel drive engines with a strike team unless a specific request comes in for all four wheel drives.

Lastly...CDF Firefighter I's do recieve a uniform allowance. I don't know the exact amount, but I believe it is around 200.00 or 250.00 dollars. Someone may have an exact number on that for you. Good luck!

CDFer
6/20 Howdy Abs!

James,

Your shift will begin and end at 0800. Being the new guy you will most likely work weekends Fri, Sat and Sun or Sat, Sun and Mon.

You will be on a 28 day pay period ( I know, it does seem odd, doesn't it?) and be paid once a month with your overtime following about 2 weeks or so
after that.

A word of advice, when your season ends, don't have your retirement contribution refunded to you as each and every month you work as a FFI will count toward retirement. Very important to leave that money in PERS!

When do you start and what unit are you assigned to, James?

Good luck and have a great fire season!

Captain Emmett
6/19 Ab,

Good article in the Missoulian today about retired Parkies organizing to call BS on the Bush administration’s mismanagement of our national parks. Here’s the link:

www.missoulian.com/articles/2006/06/19/news/local/news03.txt

I admire what these retired Park Service employees are doing, but it makes me wonder why we don’t have an equivalent organization of angry retired FS employees.

I know there are some disgruntled retired folks with green blood out there. I would think that an organized group of ex- rangers, forest supes, Type 1 ICs, and regional big dogs might actually get the public’s attention if they banded together to publicize the current sorry state of the Forest Service’s fire management organization.

At the very time many people in the Forest Service are becoming aware of the importance of good leadership and culture, and are beginning to understand the relationship of healthy organizations to preventing accidents, we have a leadership vacuum, our culture sucks, and our organization is being decimated.

The nature of wildland fire fatalities is such that it is impossible to predict when and where they will happen, and how many people will die. One thing is certain; future wildland fire fatalities will happen on our national forests, and when they do, the Forest Service’s present failings will be at least partly to blame.

Misery Whip
6/19 Doug Coyle was more than a friend. He was one of my mentors and taught me not to be restrained by my own barriers. I wished I had spoken with Doug more these past few years but will always remember him as the "why can't we?" type of guy he was and have long ago forgiven him for the money I lost to him in poker games and sucker bets.

Doug Coyle believed in and practiced the philosophy that our single greatest resource for fire fighting is the fire fighter... He supported positive changes that could be seen and felt at the lowest positions of the organization. Doug also believed in the "family" of fire fighters and went beyond his own agency to include others in his family.

Oliver
6/19 Governor Sends CDF Firefighters,
Engines to Help Fight Baja Blaze Honors Mexican Government’s Request for Wildland Fire Assistance San Diego –

 Governor Schwarzenegger yesterday sent 53 California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) firefighters and 10 engines into Baja California to help fight a wildland fire. The group was dispatched from CDF’s Monte Vista headquarters in San Diego County, 20 miles north of the border.

The firefighters crossed the border at 7 p.m. last night to help fight the Baja wildfire that has burned more than 4,000 acres 40 miles west of San Felipe. “We want to be able to help where we can best be used,” said CDF Chief Ruben Grijalva. “These CDF firefighters are well trained and their engines are well equipped to provide Mexico with the best help possible.”

The request came to California late Saturday night. Two “strike team” crews, each with five engines and a team leader, became available to assist Mexico when CDF determined that the state could deploy resources while remaining fully staffed here.

An additional four firefighters were assigned as support staff to assist with logistical needs for the crews during their assignment in Mexico. “We have the resources to be able to help our neighbor Mexico fight this fire,” said Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman. “We have a mutual interest to keep people and property safe from wildfires and I believe it is our duty to help our friends.”

An advance team of two CDF fire chiefs and one captain traveled to the scene early Sunday to be briefed and determine where CDF’s resources could best be utilized. The engine crews were staged in Ensenada last night and are being deployed to the fire site today. It is unknown how long the firefighters will be assigned in Mexico.

6/19 Hello,

A couple of you answered some questions I had a couple of CDF weeks ago, thanks! I have a few more now. With the CDF changing the work week what will be the schedule? I know it is 72 hours, I am wondering when a shift would start and then end. Another question is how are engines selected for strike team/out of county responses? My last one is a continuation from my last post as it is still not clear to me. Do seasonal firefighter 1s get a uniform allowance? Thanks
\
James

6/19 I don't think it was the Bush administration that has dismantled the forest
service, though outsourcing/budget cuts/outsourcing studies have done a lot
to continue the major decline in the service. In fact, the forest service
has dismantled itself and it has been happening for years.

There are a number of reasons and causes for that. One, a clear lack of
leadership at most levels, especially in Washington and the regions. I see very
poor decisions being made by forest "Leadership teams" "Steering teams" and
forest "Management teams" especially when it comes to workforce planning
and fire management programs. There is a real disconnect with the field at
most levels. Many modern day forest service employees wear shorts and
sandals to work and sit in front of a computer all day, all week, all year.
That's not the forest service! The agency seems to have taken the
importance of the field out of the forest service. The agency, and my unit
in particular, reduces critical fire management positions while using
budget as an excuse but then continues to hire landscape architects,
biologists, archaeologists, etc. all the while wanting fires suppressed,
some fires managed for resource benefits and prescribed fire targets met.

We are an agency floundering without a clear goal or mission and no leader
to take up the reins and get us back on course. We have people working here
who do not support multiple use. They don't want grazing, or timber
harvest, or hazardous fuel reduction. Some don't like prescribed fire, some
don't like hunting. We've had the CD tear region 5 apart and a host of
other social engineering projects and programs to further divide our
employees. It's ironic, but with all these social improvement programs the
agency treats its employees worse than it ever has. The forest service
treats its employees like sh*t. It wasn't like that 20 or 30 years ago,
but it is now.

The agency, as a whole, has lost the traditions, work ethic, and
discipline that made it great. I don't want to see the agency outsourced.
Maybe it's happening because congress sees we can't manage or supervise
ourselves anymore. The one thing that makes Americans truly free is public
land like the national forests. Land that is owned by the American people.
A place we can go to hike, camp, hunt, fish, ride bikes, run, take
photographs, have a family picnic, get a permit to gather firewood, graze a
few cows, cut timber, do a little mining, gather mushrooms, ride horses,
etc. You name it, there are thousands of uses where free Americans can go
to enjoy their own land, and in most cases, without having to pay somebody
for it. That's what makes us truly free. Management of the national forests
in my opinion is inherently government, it should not be contracted out.

The forest service needs a real leader to kick the agency in the butt and
get this place up and running. And quit doing stupid stuff like cutting
fire management programs to the bone and beyond. Come on, get with it man!

I don't need to go into it in detail here, there has been much written and
said, but to the agency leaders in washington and in the regions and in some
S.O.'s GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND! Fire management should
separate from the agency because the forest service as an agency has shown
they can no longer support fire management and they don't have the fire
savvy or sense to properly manage or oversee fire management programs.

On prescribed fire and WFU programs: I've noticed many WFUs going
suppression lately. The proper decisions must be made up front before going
WFU on natural ignitions. We do not want to lose WFU or Rx fire programs.
It is a good and important tool in forest management. I don't think good
decisions are being made when there is record drought, ERCs are at the
97th percentile and we are not even at our ERC season peak yet, we are at
record or near record ERCs, we have had large fires all winter, it is very
early in the fire season and we're going WFU. We've got to being thinking
out front. With the current fire weather and fuels conditions it is very
easy to get over extended with too many WFU incidents, and ongoing and
increasing wildland fires. What if we get a big dry lightning bust
throughout the southwest to add to the already heavy fire load? How far
are these fires going to move in a 40 MPH wind with 5% RH? Are we going to
threaten structures or towns? Let's be smart with fire use and rx fire, we
need no more bad examples and there are plenty out there we can learn from.
We need the public's support, we don't want to scare hell out of them.

I don't know if the forest service can come back from its downward spiral.
I know there are still some good forest service employees out there who
work hard. I hope we can make it. But the agency will never be what it once
was.

Bump Pulaski

6/19 To: NWCG Members
From: NWCG Chair, /s/ Kirk Roudebaugh
Date: June 6, 2006
Subject: Firefighter Safety Stand Down

On June 21, 2006, thousands of fire departments across the nation and Canada will “stand down” for firefighter safety. The NWCG is joining with the International Association Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and other groups in supporting this call for safety. I urge you to make a special effort to focus on safety that day as well. Because the responsibilities of NWCG Members are complex and far reaching, your agency may not be able to “stand down” as are some firefighting agencies. However, through a variety of methods, I encourage you to heighten your agency’s safety awareness that day through a tailgate safety session or similar brief program. This year, the focus is on emergency vehicle operations – specifically, seatbelt usage and safe driving through intersections.

The message is simple and direct: Wear your seatbelt and stop at intersections.

Attached are a few additional discussion topics you may wish to consider for tailgate safety sessions or similar programs on June 21st. You may also wish to visit the following web sites for additional information and ideas. NWCG Safety and Health Working Team (SHWT) at www.nwcg.gov/teams/shwt/index2.php or the Six Minutes for Safety Program at www.nifc.gov/sixminutes/dsp_sixminutes.php or the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) at www.iafc.org/standdown.

Thank you very much for your cooperation in this important national safety effort.

Attachment A
cc: WT Chairs
     GACG Chairs

Attachment A
June 21, 2006

Suggested Wildland Safety Topics

Moment of silence for Line of Duty Deaths

  • Review and explain purpose at a Tailgate Safety Session
  • Review the Watch Out Situations, Fire Orders, Risk Management Process, or LCES, etc
  • Pass out copies on the Incident Response Pocket Guide (PMS#461/NFES#1077)
  • Review the 2005 NWCG SAFETYGRAM (www.nwcg.gov/teams/shwt)

All other agency activities (forest health, unit management, public education, etc.) should also focus on safety and health

Fire Line Safety
Review agency Standard Operating Procedures and Fire Manuals

  • Review individual knowledge of communication equipment and procedures
  • Review adequacy of current communication system as well as individual units

Personal Protective Equipment
Review fire suppression personal protective equipment

  • Check all PPE, for obvious defects, cleaning and maintenance needs.
  • Red-tag all equipment with defects and remove from service.
  • Emphasize use of eye and hearing protection

Apparatus and Equipment Check
Check all fire suppression equipment and other equipment stowed on transports and other vehicles including all aircraft.

  • Address MANDATORY seat belt use, driving with headlights “on” and use of emergency lights
  • Review roadside response protocols for engines and response vehicles
  • Conduct mandatory buddy inspections of all vehicles

Injury and infectious Disease Safety
Review agency SOPs and protocols

  • Address proper PPE
  • Address proper hand washing and other universal protocols

Training

  • Review minimum training requirements (fire operations, driving, etc.)
  • Check and ensure employees have received proper vehicle training and that it is documented, e.g. defensive driving, CDL, EOVC, ATV training
  • Address wellness fitness training including how to stay fit year round

Behavioral Health

6/19 I will miss Doug Coyle. Seems like I ran into him more often than expected. It's a small fire world.

I can still remember meeting him at the first R5 Division Chiefs Meeting I went to in Feb, 2000. Doug was there at a booth for Wildland Firefighter Magazine. We stood and talked for almost an hour. Very nice man. Funny. Compassionate.

We talked in part about people and issues in fire. At some point the conversation turned to Dick Blood's murder. Dick had been the driver of a school bus on the Big Bar Complex. He'd been stabbed to death the last night en route home, as the crew he was driving had been demobing in Anderson CA, just south of Redding. It was a very sad affair and his murder, so far as the law was concerned, was only resolved several years later. I am certain it's still unresolved for his family... As I recall Doug was involved with the WF Foundation which I think was in its inception. The Foundation provided some money to the widow and maybe there was a little ceremony in Boise. Of course the Forest Service as an agency couldn't or didn't do anything. Made my heart hurt. ... Gee, I didn't even know Vicki in those days. Thank God for the Foundation now!

Anyway, Doug and I had much to share in that initial conversation and in subsequent ones. I took home with me a bunch of back issues of the Wildland Firefighter Magazine.

Later when we met here and there it was easy to slip back into the same conversational place.

I'll miss you Doug. God speed.

Mellie

6/19 I will miss Doug. He was a good person and truly cared
for his Firefighters. As a Legacy to Doug, we should
make sure we always have the State and Private
wildland firefighter in our mind as we plan activities
with our Wildland Firefighter Foundation. It was a point
Doug was a champion for!

John Henshaw
WFF Board Member

6/19 I am so sorry to announce that Doug Coyle died of a heart attack Friday night.
Before retiring, he was an Oregon state forester.

After his retirement, he and a few others created the Wildland Firefighter Magazine.
He had a tremendous range of fire suppression in him. He became a strong force
in building the Wildland Firefighter Monument at NIFC.

Without Doug, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation would not exist as it is today.
He was a founding father. All the good that has come from the WFF wouldn't
have been possible without his support and energy.

Doug and his wife Harriet lost their beautiful daughter to cancer 4 weeks ago.
Harriet has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his name to the
Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

I am stunned that he is gone.

Vicki Minor
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

This is indeed sad news. Condolences to Harriet and all. Please let us know about services. Ab.

6/19 Hi all,

Mellie where did you hear that? I would love to get a copy of that letter. I was just online here checking things out and I read that and was blown away. I called a friend of mine who is a labor attorney for a large well known union, he told me that if the agency sent out a type of gag order letter for its upper level folks to follow it's 100% against the law unless it was approved by congress, the pres, and depending maybe the senate, or court ordered! I bet its none of the above except a scare tactic!

Now down to Firescribe; thanks for that definite must read.

The ANF Upper level folks need to quit kissing ass to the agency and listen to their people in the field and the taxpayers. I know if I worked there and was as pissed off at cutbacks as I am here in <snip NorCal> I would love to talk to the press and taxpayers and let them know that their safety depends on some computer in a entirely different state, "which has a 10th of the population as CA and nowhere near the interface numbers as CA" is deciding whether or not to move engines around or pay overtime to staff 6 or maybe 7 days a week. I am sorry to see an agency which is known as the top dog of wildland firefighting pay millions to our counterparts to suppress fires on the agency's land cause its firefighters were only able to staff 13 engines that day and only one of those engines was within 10 minutes the rest were 30 to 40 mins out! The taxpayers have a right to know and I think that the firefighters faced with these situations need to follow the incident complexity analysis 100% and when August hits with its low Rh and high temps, don't even get out of the engine cause we all know you're going be able to check 11 of the 18 of the complexity analysis before you even pull out of the barn! Oh wait CDF, LACO, LAFD, and KRN can probably be available to help but who's gonna pay them after 12 hours??? Yep you guessed it USFS.

So why cut IA resources? Because the WO was told not to study fire for outsourcing. If we have a bad season, the agency will be able to say we had a well suited budget and operated within our means and we still lost firefighters and homes as well as forest service land, it must be our poorly trained fire managers we better contract this out from now on so once again congress, we need to outsource! A slow season? Well they can jump up and down say, "See I told you so!!" Anyone else got any ideas?????

NORCAL Capt

I don't think it has so much to do with outsourcing as it has to do with budget crunch. Read the second article in the links below for where the $$ went. Ab.

6/19 From Firescribe:

Two good articles by Judy O'Rourke - LA Daily News

Story on Ken's Run for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation:
Run raises $31,000 for firefighters
Heat takes toll on Perry's 104-mile trek

Thoughtful synopsis of the cutbacks in SoCal:
Forest cutbacks spark backlash
Angeles fire force trimmed by 56

Thanks Firescribe. Both are a "must read"... Ab.

6/18 Ab,

I heard folks from the WO are starting to play hardball. They sent out a
USDA Ethics mailer regarding "Membership in organizations outside of
the government."

Muzzling the professional fire managers?

Is this why no one is writing in to theysaid? Last I looked there were three
branches of government
. Working as a public citizen through the legislative
branch is entirely LEGAL even if the administrative branch doesn't like it.
If there are repercussions, maybe the judicial branch will have to be called in,
much as I dislike lawyers (except for Old Sawyer - if he/she is one - and
Sunil, of course).

Mellie

Many firefighters are already out on assignment as well. Ab.

6/16 www.taosnews.com/db/Daily.php3#1033

One of our own, a contract engine boss, was killed
near Maxwell, New Mexico. I didn't know him except by
reputation, but my heart goes out to his family.

Please, drive careful everybody.

Nerd on the Fireline

Condolences. Ab.

6/16 Abs
This article may be of interest to some They Said readers. You decide.
www.missoulanews.com/News/News.asp?no=5778

SITL

Thinning the Ranks
by Jessie McQuillan

How—and why—the Bush administration is dismantling the Forest Service

Unsafe fire engines and chronically backlogged repairs were not likely what the federal government had in mind when it outsourced all the maintenance of California’s Forest Service vehicles in 2005.

Nonetheless, that’s just what it got when it handed the jobs of 80 government employees over to Britain’s Serco Management Services, which the agency called at the time “a leading international outsourcing company.”

The contract, undertaken in accordance with President George W. Bush’s competitive sourcing initiative, handed over to Serco the repair, maintenance and inspection duties for all vehicles used in California’s 18 national forests; it was billed as an estimated savings of $1.7 million in fiscal year 2005. But numerous brake failures, inadequate annual inspections and a ballooning backlog of work began plaguing the agency within weeks of the company’s February 2005 start date. In one case, an accident investigation discovered failed brakes on a fire engine though it had been twice repaired by Serco mechanics, according to the Forest Service. In another example, government inspectors “red tagged” 14 out of 25 fire engines for critical safety issues just after Serco’s annual service checkups. etc...

Thanks. Ab.

6/16 Thanks for that klamathman, I've been biting my tongue... but please don't blame him on my alma mater OSU. He's not a professor, only a lecturer, although he does have a PhD in sociology or something. Maybe they'd want to claim him. (Sociologists out there who might be reading, I appreciate your area of expertise, this is not a post against you.)

Fire Ecologist Chick

OK, how about that's enough on that topic. Question has been asked and opinions offered. Ab.

6/16 oliver-

Tim Ingalsbee is a professor at Oregon State University who involves the
Forest Service in expensive litigation so that projects like salvage
logging and fuels reductions don't occur. He spoke in opposition to such
projects as the Quincy Library Group fuels reduction. It is in my opinion
that folks such as himself that devote time and energy and money to making
sure that active management of our national forests does not occur need to
get a life. I can't believe that a guy like that who says fuel reductions
are bad is going to put his name in with people who have something to do
with fire fighter safety. People like him are why the Megram fire and
other big fires got so big and intense due to that tie up in court
litigation. Thankfully as a HSU alumnus, I am glad that Humboldt can't
claim him.

klamathman prosthetize s preaches

6/16 Perseverance & Hard Work Pays Off for Federal Wildland Firefighters

The FWFSA is honored and pleased to report that the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce & Agency Organization has decided to stop waiting for voluntary compliance by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regarding proper federal wildland firefighter classification and will introduce legislation mandating the classification change and call for a deadline for OPM to implement the changes.

The FWFSA has been assured that it will be involved in the crafting of the classification content. The call for proper classification of our federal wildland firefighters has been an on-going goal & objective of the FWFSA. This legislation is a result of perseverance, hard work and the FWFSA's ability to educate Congress on the issues facing our firefighters.

For more information, please contact FWFSA Business Manager Casey Judd at (208) 775-4577 or cjudd@fwfsa.org.

6/16 Re Rule #1 - Never lie to the Press

Does anyone know exactly how the reductions in engine coverage play out on a daily basis? ie -reduction to 5 day coverage from 7 day coverage? I know for my forest but not for the larger picture. The larger pic will have an effect if multiple regions get burning at once.

By the way, MS, officials are often required to toe the govt line when talking to the press. Over the years I have known some to be threatened with loss of their job for failure to do so. Let's not be shafting the messenger. The problem really lies with the Washington Office Forest Service flimflam. We just need to get the true numbers out there.

When there's a vacuum in the leadership department because the cost for honestly speaking out is too great, we all need to step up. No one should be a martyr here for telling the truth from their professional expertise. The public and our cooperators need to know.

Thanks for the forum Abs.

Tahoe Terrie

You're welcome. Ab.

6/16 If you haven't already RSVPed for Ray Quintanar's retirement party, please do so immediately to

Julie Vogan
Office: (530) 252-6620
Email: jvogan@ fs.fed.us

RAY QUINTANAR’S RETIREMENT PARTY
Date: Saturday June 24, 2006
Time: High Noon - Dusk
Location: Freedom Park, North Highlands CA
(next to McClellan Aviation Museum)
BBQ: Burgers/Hotdogs, Salads, Beans, Beer/Sodas & all the fixin’s
Traditional Roast & Presentations
Cost: $20/per person, includes gift
RSVP BY JUNE 16
COME OUTFITTED HAWAIIAN STYLE

The flyer said today is the deadline. They want a headcount. At least give Julie a call or email and then mail her your check. Snail mail addy is on the RSVP doc. Ab.
Directions to Freedom Park.

Ray's Retirement.doc
RSVP.doc

6/15 Family Said is picking up. Please let your family members know. It helps when firefighter supporters can help each other out when their loved ones are away. Ab.
6/15 Someone once said “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”…..

A National Fire Plan

They built a brand new policy in Washington last year
To save our trees from demon fire more money did appear
Will thin and burn and then will add more safety regulations
That will affect the deficit to record tribulation

She’s roped and tied and packaged
As “A National Fire Plan”
A good idea at the start, but tortured none the less
By bureaucratic leadership and centralized intent

If truth be known it’s all about increased responsibility
With less authority by plan for those out on the land
Which all equates to “take more risk” for rangers in the field
Make one mistake you’re history; that’s zero tolerance

They took a pinch of Storm King and a scoop of Thirty-mile
Then covered it with Cramer; as OSHA stood its guard
Clanged the evening dinner bell; force fed it to the troops
With fire shelter recalls – and acronyms to spare
Like NFMAS, WUI, MEL; WFSA and the like
A “Healthy Happy Forest” soon to sprout before your eyes

No jumpers – No air tankers – But bureaucrats to spare
300 new in Washington (1) for fires that happen there
But most of all there’s paper work controlled all from the top
What happened to initiative and individual thought?

Do not aggressively attack that little smoke you see
Until your checklist clears the path to Washington, DC

You’re still not cleared until the crew is briefed and “quals” are checked
That little smoke has grown and grown; but you’re not ready yet

Inspect the crew for safety’s sake; they’re all so young and green
That little smoke is blowing up; now running through the trees

Now IC’s turn their red cards back and FMO’s resign
They’re jumping ship like sea born rats; this outfit’s in a bind

I guess this fire thing don’t work; there’s always prescribed burning
Six years of drought and rampant weeds; “I fail to see the problem”

And so the “Brass” they figure out to double all the targets
The “Supervisors” all agree and pledge to one another;
“We will obtain deliverables; the troops must meet the outputs!
We all need feathers for our hats and rewards for; …our exemplary service”


If one of these planned prescribed burns escapes its burning boundaries
A detailed inquisition must find guilt so heads can roll
For to the lowest level, the guillotine applies
The field it now is wondering; why should we even try?

What was that flash across the deck? The Burn Boss just jumped ship
They are quite rare in these here parts; can’t blame em, not a bit

That “Early Out” ten years ago foundered this horse to “hurtin”
We lost the men who always called the “bullsh#t” that’s for certain
On all these new “Initiatives” and paperwork inflation
Will toast their passing from our midst and hail their dedication

The “Old War Horse” (2) is broken down, to ride he’s almost worthless
It’s time to turn him out to graze; reward for years of service

And yet, this outfit was at once, one right fine piece of work
Those were the days, militia reigned; but don’t you get me started

Karl Brauneis
Forester
Copyright @ Karl Brauneis 2004 as published in “The Smokejumper” / Fall 2005
Missoula Smokejumper Class of ‘77

Terms and references:
(1) Douglas R. Leisz / “A Curmudgeon’s Frustration” / Wildland Firefighter – 9/2000
(2) Old War Horse: Refers to the Old Guard of the U.S. Forest Service

Red Card: A firefighter’s qualification card
FMO : Fire Management Officer
IC : Incident Commander (Fire Boss)
“quals” : Qualifications
Militia : Every Forest Officer is a Firefighter as compared to a segregated fire corps.
WUI : Pronounced “WooE”. Wildland Urban Interface
WFSA : Pronounced “WooFSA”. Wildland Fire Situation Analysis
NFMAS : Pronounced “NifMas”. National Fire Management Analysis System
HFRA : Healthy Forest Restoration Act a “Healthy Happy Forest”
OSHA : Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Authors note: For a detailed assessment of this topic read the GAO Report of August 2003; Wildland Fire Management.

6/15

Quadruple Supervision
-or-
“A Wyoming Rangers Lament”

Sometimes a good thing just don’t work
When you’re riding for this outfit
Like Pinchot’s way to “decentralize”
Now he got it right – for certain!

Where every man had just one boss
And all who worked the forest
Knew of this fact; Those District Rangers they all sat;
Just a little left of GOD

Then out of Harvard did appear
A brand new way to manage
Centralize, consolidate; reduce your field time
Then schedule twice the work to do and cut your bottom line

For soon the zone it did appear
As districts faded under
So now you drive… and drive… and drive
A days three quarter ride

First Black Rock; then the Greybull;
Clarks Fork, Paintrock, Teensleep;
Elk Mountain and Encampment; no longer
On the ledger of forest ranger districts

Consolidate the Medicine Bow
With the Routt across state lines
Then throw in Thunder Basin
“Now there’s a big out circle ride”

With all the driving that we do
This going to and fro;
We now, can start and stop our pay
For a new boss every day

There’s one for every district that you’re trying to appease
And now it seems the forest staff thinks he’s the bigger cheese
But the darndest thing I must admit; is “computerized confusion”
The Regional staff in Denver writes; for your personal communion

It’s just the start what we all fear – more supervisory obtrusion

And through it all the worst you see
Has happened to the service
With all the driving to and fro
There’s nothing left to offer

I guess that’s why the public;
Prints shirts and cups and hats
That labels this here outfit
A Forest Circus Act

Karl Brauneis

Forest Ranger - Retired
Copyright @ Karl Brauneis 2004
Missoula Smokejumpers Class of 1977
As published in “The Smokejumper” fall of 2004

Terms and references:
Out circle: Cowboy term for riding the outside circle first and proceeding in during roundup.

“Forest Circus” U.S. Department of Aggravation.

Pinchot: Gifford Pinchot was the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service under President Theodore Roosevelt. He was later fired by President Taft for standing up to corrupt politicians and the “politically correct” of the Taft Administration. Roosevelt countered with the new Progressive Party.

Karl is a member of the “Cowboy Poets of Wind River” and can be reached at brauneisfam@wyoming.com in Lander, Wyoming

Thanks Karl. Ab.

6/15 Here is a link to Missoula Independent newspaper article on competitive
sourcing:

www.missoulanews.com/News/News.asp?no=5778

TC

6/15 Rule #1 - Never lie to the Press

La Canada Valley Sun
Fire Season Begins
By Mary O'Keefe

www.lacanadaonline.com/articles/2006/06/08/news/lnws-fire0608.txt

ANF Deputy Chief Don Garwood said recent reports that budget cuts made in the U.S. Forestry Service may put the area at risk if there was a fire are untrue.

All Angeles resources are still here," he said. "Our budget really didn't change. We chose to reduce staffing to live within our means."

Garwood added that citizen groups and organizations, such as the Boy Scouts and Fire Explorers, help the forestry service with many fire prevention programs.

MS

6/14 Targhee Fire Services is seeking two entry level Wildland full time engine crew team members for the 2006 fire season.  See the contact information and details on the Jobs Page.  The application deadline is just two weeks away, so hurry if you are interested!  OA
6/14 For crying out loud! (trying to remember Ab's new rules)

Who is Timothy Ingalsbee and how did he come to these conclusions as reported by the Contra Costa Times:

"This regressive move by the Bush administration sets back federal fire management policies over 10 years of progress, putting the Six Rivers and Sequoia back into the dark ages," said Timothy Ingalsbee, executive director of the Oregon- ased Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology."

Is he from Humboldt State University? What am I missing?

Oliver Moore

Not from HSU. Ab

6/14 Ab,

The reviews and investigations database on the Lessons Learned website is really taking shape. www.wildfirelessons.net/Reviews.aspx

One near-miss report I'd recommend to readers is the shelter deployment at the 2002 Marble Fire in southwest Colorado. An appendix discusses tactical risk mitigations and application of the 5-step risk management process specific to the incident. This could easily be included as a case study in an S-131 class, relating closely to the course material for FFT1 and ICT5 trainees.

www.wildfirelessons.net/documents/Marble_Fire_Deployment_Investigation_Report_REV.pdf

Going back through the historical documents, I never cease to be amazed at how there is really nothing new in wildland fire. Below are two examples from over 50 years ago, that mirror recent discussions on Theysaid about the need for the help provided by the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and for the agencies to deal with retention problems, which are still particularly acute in USFS R5.

vfd cap'n
6/13 The Forest Service showed a bunch of us a new program that will show
the projected path of a fire depending on wind and topography. Can hardly
wait to see how it does in our area. They needed local info first. Has anybody
else seen this program? What did you think? How accurate did you think it was?

Cris
6/13 Horseshoe Bob is only the second superintendent that crew
(Horseshoe Meadow IHC) has ever had in its 25-some-odd
year history, right? Hope you have a great (and safe) season
and a heck of a party. Is Ben C still around?

Still Out There as an AD
6/13 Ab,

Please pass on that Horseshoe Bob will be retiring on October 31st, 2006.

His retirement party will be in Visalia, Ca. at the Holiday Inn on January 13th, 2007
located on Hwy 99 and Hwy 198.

Thankyou,

Charlie B

6/12 Here is the story the Edwards Air Force Base did about Ken's run. Hope
you can put it in They Said as a link.

Ken's Run in Desert Wings.pdf <~1200 K pdf file>

Thanks .....

Lori

Nice story, neat pic. Nice Job, Eric. Ab.

6/12 Fire Season Begins
La Canada Valley Sun
By Mary O'Keefe

www.lacanadaonline.com/articles/2006/06/08/news/lnws-fire0608.txt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the article:

ANF Deputy Chief Don Garwood said recent reports that budget cuts made in the U.S. Forestry Service may put the area at risk if there was a fire are untrue.

"All Angeles resources are still here," he said. "Our budget really didn't change. We chose to reduce staffing to live within our means."

Garwood added that citizen groups and organizations, such as the Boy Scouts and Fire Explorers, help the forestry service with many fire prevention programs.

(Please remember that government officials speaking in their official capacity have to respond with the agency response, even if it is factually incorrect. 5 day engines vs. 7 days engines and cuts to two handcrews is not "all Angeles resources are still here". Many of the people who are having to tote the "agency line" are good folks who are stuck between a rock and a hard place.... it is not fair to them or the public to allow this agency misinformation to continue, and increase the risks to our firefighters and/or our communities.)

Noname

6/11 Dear JE

Posting your losses on They Said is one thing, addressing the situation with those that create the archaic pay & personnel policies that result in our retention problems (the Agency) and those that can affect positive change in the status quo (Congress) is the other option.

If you have the desire to address the situation with any of those particular folks, please let me know and I'll steer you in the right direction.

Casey Judd
Business Manager
FWFSA
208-775-4577
cjudd@fwfsa.org
6/11 From JS

www.contracostatimes.com

No Fire Management plan? HUH? interesting article

6/11 We have lost 3 quality Firefighters on our district in 4 days to CDF.

Retention problem?

Also went from a 5 engine district to 3 engines this year.

Budget?

JE

6/11 Shirley,

You may want to contact Gene Zimmerman or Elliott Graham.... both are retired and actively sought protection of the firefighters they supervised, and the protection of the communities around and adjacent to the forest.

Gene was a Forest Supervisor and Elliott was a District Ranger. Even though they are retired, they both have valuable information on the "process" and the "politics" involved in wildland fire and the protection of wildland firefighters and the communities they protect. Both have been vocal since retirement and very helpful to the wildland fire community prior to retirement and after retirement.

It is sad that someone has to retire or leave the agency before they can counter the false claims of the administration (ie- increased FFPC with factual cuts in preparedness resources -- huh?.. doesn't take a rocket scientist to say BS to those claims from Mr. Rey, Mr. Bosworth, or Mr. Harbour) - I wonder if there are "agency" folks speaking to the press off the record or as an "anonymous government source"....... I hope so. Facts speak louder than political rhetoric.

Shirley, if you need contact info, let Ab know. I will forward it to you.

Gizmo
6/11

"Opinion is varied on when and how virulent the next global flu outbreak would be, but even a modest epidemic -- similar to the pandemic that hit in 1968 -- could kill between 89,000 and 207,000 Americans. If the next virus mimics the far more potent 1918 strain, the U.S. death toll could reach 1.9 million."

The current H5N1 strain has between 50-100% mortality. If the virus (H5N1) continues its evolutionary process and continues in its current death and infection rates, it could mean tens or hundreds of millions dead in the United States..... Well beyond the 1918 model.

Wildland firefighters..... it is time to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Lobotomy

6/10 Shirley

The best person you could talk to would be Casey Judd and his number is on this site, look down a few messages. Also who do you work for if you don't mind me asking. You said you might write an article, that would be great. We need to let the public know whats going on with our budgets, then maybe something good would happen.

DS

6/10 Hey Lobotomy:

Another insightful, delightful post & commentary... we should hook up sometime and do some good things together... Hey, you've got "the right stuff" to be a role model (notice I said role model, not martyr), you know, kind of like a Director or something in the FWFSA... hehe

Casey
6/10 Shirley,

Great questions!!.

Simply said, the fire preparedness (WFPR), fire suppression (WFSU), and hazardous fuels (WFHF) funds are simply shells within a "shell game" that the Forest Service is playing with taxpayer money. This "game" is not meeting the needs of the public or the intent of the Congress in regards to protecting communities and reducing the risks of catastrophic wildfire.

First, the executive branch agency creates a proposed budget to accomplish its mission as dictated by the public. In the case of the United States, the public speaks through their elected officials in Congress, the legislative branch.

After years of devastating fires, the public directed Congress to do something to reduce the threats to our communities and our natural resources. As a result, the National Fire Plan was established and funded by Congress.

The National Fire Plan consists of the following:

1) Assuring that necessary firefighting resources and personnel are available to respond to wildland fires that threaten lives and property.

2) Conducting emergency stabilization and rehabilitation activities on landscapes and communities affected by wildland fire.

3) Reducing hazardous fuels (dry brush and trees that have accumulated and increase the likelihood of unusually large fires) in the country's forests and rangelands.

4) Providing assistance to communities that have been or may be threatened by wildland fire.

5 ) Committing to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, an interagency team created to set and maintain high standards for wildland fire management on public lands.

For the FY 2006 and FY 2007 budget cycles of the Forest Service, the AGENCY, proposed additional budget stalemates and budget reductions similar to the previous years. While doing so, they continued to state to Congress that they could continue the level of service under the National Fire Plan without reductions to firefighting production capability (FFPC).

Factual evidence shows that Congress has been mislead regarding the current state of Forest Service fire preparedness (loss of FFPC), and the ability to deliver other programs under the guidance of the National Fire Plan. There have been significant losses of firefighting production capability (FFPC) over the last four years.

This misleading of Congress and the public increases the risks to our firefighters, our communities, and our natural resources.

Protecting our fellow firefighters, our communities, and our natural resources is the basis of the wildland fire program. Without this, the wildland fire program will fail.

Lobotomy
6/10 Firefighters,

Could someone please explain the difference between Fire Suppression Funding and Fire Preparation Funding. I have heard both terms. Has one gone down and the other gone up or stayed the same in the current budget cycle? Preparation Funding must relate to engines and crews that are hired. Does it also relate to training? Does Suppression Funding relate to cutting brush? How do the two kinds get funded by Congress? Does Congress say "so much" for one and "so much" for the other? If they don't get that specific in designating where the money must be spent, how does the FS budget break them out? Is one more important than the other?

How are big fires paid for? It seems that the engines and crews you have ready at the beginning (Preparation) would also be critical resources for a big fire like the 2003 California fires. You can't just go out and find groups of people to fight fires at the last moment.

I apologize for all the questions. I'm trying to get my feet on the ground about these budget issues and firefighter cuts. I may write an article if I can sort it out.

Shirley

6/10 Over the last week, we've gotten a number of these announcements for Ray Quintanar's Retirement party.

His picture alone is worth a thousand words...

Ray's Retirement.doc
RSVP.doc

Ab.

6/10 R5 FFPC

The big fires of 98 in R-8 and in R1 and R4 are what gave you the National Fire plan in 2001. In the world of DC, 5 years was a long time ago  If the fires in So Cal in 2003 never happened, I believe the funding would have stopped sooner in R-5 and elsewhere. Stop and think about how many P numbers you have used on your unit and how long in the past 3 years it took to make it work. To end this I will say that the only way to keep FFPC in all regions is to end the Cost Pool's rake-off and the Forest Supervisor's rake-off on the Fire Budget. Oh by the watch, the Fuels budget too has been used in some regions and in some Forests, it can and will be use as a cash Cow to fund other areas than fire/fuels.

Tmo Spike

6/10 Re: ANF cuts (Representative of Nationwide Cuts)

-ANF FF,

The funded crews from WFPR (Valyermo and Arroyo Seco crews) were cut from the ranks of the Angeles National Forest program to meet the needs of the budget cuts in WFPR. Other cuts included downsizing engine modules to five day person effective and minimizing helicopter module strength.

Similar cuts happened throughout the Western United States.

Keeping the overhead of one of those crews to supervise an "AD crew will not cut it".... too many people lurking and willing to say BS to the process and the problems associated with it. Fund it or lose it.

So, how are they funding other crews and engine folks to meet FFPC requirements for the area?

Just a thought, I'd bet (fact) they were using suppression (WFSU) or severity funding to mitigate the losses of WFPR funding........ It is happening across the western US so it shouldn't surprise you.

40 firefighters cut from crews (WFPR) means 40 firefighters cut on crews.... 2 firefighters lost per engine module means 2 firefighters lost from daily FFPC and the Angeles has lots of fire engines....

You can juggle the figures but the outcome is the same.... facts speak louder than BS.

Rogue Rivers...

aka "stop cooking the books because people (and Congress) are watching you and know the facts.... "

Some Ab notes for the journalists who are trying to understand this...

FFPC = Fire Fighter Production Capability; the unit by which different modules and resources are weighted into the budget to try to adequately meet firefighting needs.
WFSU = Wildland Fire Suppression Funds
, a fund code.
WFPR = Wildland Fire Preparedness Resources or Wildland Fire Pre-suppression Fund
, a fund code.
AD Crew = "Administratively Determined" = a Temporary Crew.

6/10 First off I have to say Ken Perry is a true heart of the fire service, helping families he doesn't know, and those who don't know they're ever going to need what he has accomplished for the WFF!!!! Great job Ken you are a true brother of all "FIREFIGHTERS".....

I have a question for all of the ANF guys and gals, why did it take you so long to understand that the FWFSA is going to help you???? I am not slamming or meaning to be an a*s to anyone who just now joined, but why did you wait?

The FWFSA is the best $10 a pay period anyone in the FED FIRE realm will ever spend!

Just think about it for 2 minutes, the benefits you and your family will gain, college for your kids, a new bike for little Jimmy at Christmas, and maybe a new car for your wife so when she takes your kids to school, you know it will not breakdown again so you miss another off forest assignment!

I guarantee that when this passes and becomes effective it will end all the fire camp BS we all deal with every year.

Furthermore I know there are USFS followers that believe every word out of WO, RO, that this will never pass. I have heard quite a few folks that say they are happy with the money they make, that's fine for them. I asked a couple of these so called positive role models, so when are you retiring? Answers... usually within 2 years. I then asked who is going to replace you in your position? Answer... who cares I am going to be gone! My feeling exactly... who cares? I DO!! We need to be pulling new employees from outside agencies, not sending our type 1 and 2 ICs and other overhead to them. Wake up and smell the smoke people. HSA dictates retention issues, and that is our problem... retention. Did you ever hear in the past 10 years of a retention issue with CDF or maybe LACO, what about SFFD? No me either, why? PAY!!!! How many applications did CDF receive from USFS employees? Why is the agency trying to push us all away?

Now I issue a challenge to all Fed Firefighters oops did it again (Forestry Tech's) I challenge you all to try and beat the CA-ANF membership drive and sign up! It will take you about 15mins to complete all the paperwork and set up the automatic deposit withdrawal of $10 a pay period. That's less than a 12 pack of beer, or even yet cheaper than 2 cans of Copenhagen. I know some of you say yeah if I pay for this membership it will take away 2 cans of chew! Yep it will, but think how many cans you can afford after portal to portal passes. If we get equal pay you can have a case of beer with your Copenhagen and still afford gas for your car!

My forest has lost 3 apprentices to CDF seasonal positions in the past month! What about your forest?

NORCAL Capt

NORCAL Capt, let me try to elaborate or clarify your statement: "HSA dictates retention issues." I think you might have stated that in reverse and really mean that "retention problems lead to failure to meet HSA targets."

From where I sit, HSA (the Hispanic Settlement Agreement) is a given. The need to comply with HSA may influence retention, but only in a small way -- in that there's pressure to hire those who may not really want a career in firefighting. Some young city Hispanics may get into fire not really knowing what they're getting into. Living in remote communities without a local established Hispanic community may be hard. However, finding their way in the workplace is the challenge facing of all young people getting their first jobs... To some extent all new hires have to evaluate the fit between the job and their lives, their dreams, their priorities, and quit if it doesn't fit...

A more important issue, as I see it, is that failure with retention influences the Forest Service's ability to comply with HSA. Maybe this is where you were trying to go. Once hired and trained in fire, it's nearly impossible for the FS to retain these trained and qualified Hispanic firefighters because the FS is in competition with other non-federal agencies that face the same Hispanic hiring pressures but pay substantially more. I'm sure all of you have noticed that there are few Hispanic applicants at the GS-6 and 7 levels. We train 'em and they take higher paying jobs with another Agency. They want to buy a house too - American dream? Many Hispanic firefighters are not about to move to Montana or Indiana away from their Hispanic communities because housing may be cheaper, either. You'd think the WO would see the pattern...

The WO argument "We don't mind training them because it raises the level of firefighters in general even if they go to other agencies..." Well and good, but again taxpayers pay FEDERAL taxes for FEDERAL wildland firefighter training, not to train firefighters that are hired away, the same firefighters who then must be contracted and paid when the fire goes gunnysack at a rate 3 times the federal level. This doesn't make financial sense! Ab.

6/10 For everyone's information:

NWCG - Policy on Alcohol Use

Sorry it's so late.

<Noname> Fed

6/9 The Jobs Page and Series 0462 (Forestry Technician) & Series 0455 (Range Technician) jobs pages and Series 0401 (Biologist) are updated. Ab.
6/9 The Federal Wildland Fire Service Association (FWFSA) is delighted to report that federal wildland firefighters from the Angeles National Forest have raised the bar on other Forests across the country and sent a clear signal to the Agency that the status quo needs to change by submitting a staggering number of new applications to the Federal Wildland Fire Service Association in just the past day.

In fact Business Manager Casey Judd indicated he was having "a wonderful time today trying to keep up with the applications and processing them." The FWFSA is truly honored to have such an outpouring of support from the Angeles which, coupled with our current membership, will only strengthen our voice for change.

Now its up to those on other Forests across the country to join those on the Angeles NF in making their voices heard to improve their careers by joining the FWFSA.

Please visit our web site at www.fwfsa.org or contact Casey at 208-775-4577.

6/9 EMT Micah:

Here is a web site that has the audio for the Union Incident that occurred in
the Shasta CDF Ranger Unit. It has the audio as well as a narrative
breakdown of the radio traffic.

www.norcalscan.org/fire/cdf/union.php

SPFDBC
6/9 Noname,

Regarding the cut backs on the Angeles, there was only one crew that
was actually cut and it was a type II handcrew. This now leaves 4
Hotshot crews on the Angeles.

-ANF FF
6/9 Tmo Spike,

I have heard from some people in Region 5 and other regions that their
daily FFPC is now less than it was prior to the National Fire Plan buildup.

How could that be when the Forest Service is still saying to Congress that
the National Fire Plan is alive and well and functioning as the Congress
intended?

Lobotomy

FFPC = Fire Fighter Production Capability

6/9 There is a new Type 6 wildland engine offered for sale on the Classifieds Page.  It's located in Southern New Mexico, very reasonably priced, and could be a great addition to a local department with an immediate need.

And Thistleglow Fire just reduced the asking price for their Type 6 engine, along with adding offers to lease or lease to own.  OA

6/9 FS Fire Budget

Well if some of you recall I sent a message in 2002 or so that the ride we and you have in R-5 would fall again,  like it did in the late 70's and again in the 80's.  The Forest Service fire side of the house always thinks the money will last. The fact is the Forest Service will always do the build up and then take it apart within five years of a fat budget. . . I am sorry to see it happen again to all the outstanding firefighters in the Forest Service, but I knew it would come to pass. The only reason it went five years is because of the Q-man. . .

Tmo Spike

6/9 Is the Cleveland National Forest having to cut back also with the budget cut to R5?
noname
6/9 Hutch,

When I read your post, I thought about the distance between the leadership in the agencies and the firefighters on the ground.  I personally disagree with our president politics but at least he has the wisdom and guts to show up for the troops that he places in harms way.  Where was our leadership? Ken and the Shots could have infused them with energy in reality.

Dismayed Guy in the Agency
6/9 We received an email yesterday inquiring how to make a pledge payment.  You can visit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation website home page where their address or phone number is listed in the left hand  column.  We also added the information to the top of the Pledge List Page.  OA
6/8 Wowzers
I just read the post about the Angeles cutbacks due to budget.

I sure hope the fire gods got the memo that the Angeles has planned to have less fires this year! I think the last time I looked their reductions are alot more than just a couple firefighters per engine and some other resources but greater than 30% effectiveness per day. yep 28? engines with maybe 20 or less available every day presuming that there are no fires anywhere else and everyone is home and not in some stupid mandatory training which makes them unavailable.

Those numbers make them less staffed than in the early to mid 1980s.

Just a reader

6/8 Ken's Run:

Wow It was great to be involved in this great effort
and I would like to extend my heart felt thanks to all
those who stepped up to make this a success. Ken, your
the greatest and have truly demonstrated the "Power of
One". Look what has grown from your individual efforts.

To all the folks that hit the road and ran, what a
great way to help those who find themselves in need
due to no choice of their own. I would like to thank
the Agencies that stepped up and Supported in any way
possible from start to finish, Kern County Fire Dept,
California City Fire Department, Edwards AFB Fire,
Security, Information, Base Operations, and Los
Angeles County Fire Dept. The Fed and college crews
and their supporters who ran with Ken and picked up
the run when his body said "enough", and the individuals
from some agencies who did what was right.

I find it interesting that the run benefits the Wildland
Firefighter Foundation, who help WLFFs everywhere in
this great country regardless of agency, state,
jurisdiction, color of rig or shape of badge, yet the
greatest agency support came from our brothers and
sisters of the Military and Municipalities.

Hutch

6/8 Angeles fire protection cut back
Smaller, staggered crews to fit within budget

BY JUDY O'ROURKE, Staff Writer
http://www.dailynews.com/santaclarita/ci_3906453

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Fifty-six fewer firefighters will man the 28 engines in the Angeles
National Forest, and 40 regional "hotshot" crew members will be
phased out." (2 less firefighters per engine module and two "hotshot"
crews have been cut)."

Noname

Hmmmmm and what exactly has the WO told Congress? Ab.

6/8 The old and the new:

Here are some pictures of a FT that I'm restoring.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com

J.B.

6/8 Ab's

Congratulations to Ken and All who took up the challenge, I can't run 100 feet.

The support and contributions were great to see,

Do not take me too serious on this one because you wildland types only identify with a few classes of on road apparatus, engines, water tenders, command vehicles and "transport". :) (Things like fuel, food, transports for crew and equipment etc)

However the structural departments have this thing called a "truck". Usually it has a ladder or snorkel bucket to give them elevation to apply water to do rescue or ventilation. (Or mark a finish line sometimes!!) I am sure the crew of LACO Truck 126 (who were looking at the flag from the other side from the picture, obviously) may take umbrage at being called an "engine", as identified in the caption: LACO Engine Ready -Inverted Flag :)

To again be serious. Thanks to all you Ab's who did the great coverage. Thanks to Ken for the great try. Thanks to those who took up the torch and all who supported everyone.

I sent the link to the story and pix to a young female co-worker (<5 foot tall, 85 Lbs soaking wet) who is a marathon runner, she ran in the one in San Diego the day after Ken's run finished. Her mind was boggled at what Ken did and those who took up the torch.

Again thanks, my comments in green are in good humor.

RJM
6/8 Howdy Abs!

Hot enough for ya? The grass is burning in Central Calif. like it's mid July we're having several good sized fires every day all over the county. It sure makes the shift go fast!

As a side note, yesterday, 666 was the start of my 29th year in the fire service! Man did that go by fast! I even went to a little grass fire to celebrate.

James, contact your Personnel office and ask for a uniform allowance advance and they should cut you a check.

As for how many uniform items you should have to start the fire season? I would advise a min of 10 work t-shirts and 3 sets of working blues ( pants and shirt) as well as a job-shirt ( it's a heavy sweatshirt with a denim collar and elbows) you will be glad to have that clothing item; it can get very cold on the line at night!

I would save my money and not by the blue Nomex pants- $80.00 is a lot to spend for pants, the all cotton pants are around $50.00.

You will need boots, don't waste your money on Whites, a pair of all leather Danners or Matterhorns will be much kinder to your feet.

You will also need a station bag for going to and from work and an out-of-county bag, try www.hawkpacks.com for those items.

Your unit will issue you web gear and turn-out gear when you go to work.

Other than that, have a great fire season.

Learn all you can, keep your eyes and ears open , work hard and remember to have fun!

Good luck, James be safe and I hope you have a long and successful career with CDF.

BTW, what unit are you going to?

Captain Emmett
6/8 James,

Welcome aboard! You are becoming a family member of California's Fire Department with over 5000 members on the line. You have a vast array of opportunity ahead of you and as many challenges as your willing to take on. From working on Type III engines to Truck Companies, Paramedic to Law Enforcement, Aviation to Forestry, just to name a few, all in one of the greatest places to live. . I wish you the best in your new career.

As for your uniform allowance that depends on what rank you are entering at. Seasonal Firefighters do not believe receive a uniform allowance. If you were entering say as a Fire Captain off the open list then you would receive a uniform allowance but I believe it is not until the anniversary of your hire date. To be prepared for your first days be willing to work hard, listen carefully to what your Captains and Engineers expect of you. Take initiative when appropriate and ask many questions. Bottom line is keep one foot in the burn and the wind to your back, you will do fine. Also congrats on your new work week and raise. Again welcome to the CDF family.

CDF Jake
6/7 Hey Ab,

I'm looking to move out to the D.C. area this fall and would like to stay in wildland fire but there seems to be a shortage of those types of jobs. I'm at the GS-07 level with HELB, CRWB type quals. I've looked into Shenandoah National Park and some forests in Virginia, but i thought I would see if anyone out there had any other leads on jobs near D.C. with state, county or anything else. Thanks.

Looking for work in D.C.

It rains a lot in DC. Ab.

6/7 Hello, my question is for any CDF folks out there.

I am a new hire with a start date of next month and I am looking at being prepared when I show up on day one. My most pressing question regards uniforms. Is there in fact a uniform allowance? If so when is it available. Do I need to purchase a couple of sets now and get more later? Any other tips you may have for me to be better prepared will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
\
James

6/6 I haven’t posted anything here about the WFF Family Weekend because, quite frankly, I was at a loss for words. The emotions and feelings were so overwhelming that I didn’t know how to express myself or put it into words that could convey what I was feeling. But something happened to me over the weekend at Ken’s Run. While watching the hotshots running through the canyon it all came together for me. I realized that these 2 separate events were a mirror image of the message that is voiced by the foundation – Compassion spreads like wildfire.

We, the families who have lost a loved one, needed a helping hand when we felt like we couldn’t go any further. The foundation was that helping hand and let us see that we wouldn’t have to travel this road alone, that they would be there to support us whenever we thought we would stumble. Ken, knowing that his body was telling him that it was time to stop, needed help in finishing his endeavor. In that case it was the hotshots who lent the helping hand and let him know that he, too, wouldn’t be traveling that road alone and were there to support him, willing to keep on running in his place in order for the 104 miles to be finished. In both cases, we were able to pick ourselves up and start accepting the help that we all needed and was so unselfishly given to us.

This knowledge has restored my faith and beliefs that people aren’t just out for themselves and are willing to give whatever is necessary to make a difference. Whether it was Dave Rama handing me a Kleenex and giving me a hug during the ceremonies at the memorial when I couldn’t contain my tears or the family in the van who stopped next to me at Edwards and gave me a donation for Ken willingly and without any questions, these acts of kindness may be small but speak volumes to the quality of people that are in this world. There are people who have spent countless hours making sure that we know that we are all in this together. From the guys at Brookstone who set up the entire fire camp so that our families could experience how our loved ones lived while they were away from us to the dozens of volunteers, the fabulous folks at Edwards Air Force Base and fire service people that made sure Ken was able to run and not worry about anything, words can never be enough to thank them for their contributions and the giving of themselves for our benefit.

Lastly, what can I say about Vicki and Ken. I feel truly blessed to have met these two and to have them in my life. Neither one would ever acknowledge their acts and what they have done for the wildland fire community, but I have seen what both of them have done for us. And for all the toughness of their exteriors, I know the softness that is inside them. She is moved to tears by everyone’s story and feels for every single person that she comes into contact with. As she spoke to the hotshots before they continued their run, she had a hard time holding it together and was crying by the time she was finished. Ken, the iron man who can run all of us into the ground, isn’t so tough on the inside. Seeing him at home with his wife Wendy and their two Scottie dogs was quite the experience. You could feel the love between them and felt it surround you like a warm blanket. Thank you to all of them for sharing these wonderful moments with us.

I guess what I have been trying to say in this long, rambling post is that none of us is alone. We are all in this together, during good times and bad, laughing and crying. When one of our community falls, step up and take the challenge. Help that person or the family of a fallen comrade to continue making the journey. Do it by joining the 52 Club or making a contribution to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation. It may seem small and insignificant, but if all of us join together, it can grow to be so much more - a firestorm of compassion. Thank you to everyone who has started the flames – may it continue to grow.

Lori Greeno
6/6 Is it true about the new wildlandfire television series proposed by
John Scott Productions; NIGHT RUNNERS (trumpets please!)?

Fire Geek

I think they're gon'na have to do something to keep their videographers awake if they do. Photo Page is done except for any corrections. Several ? remain. Anyone who wants to do a list of about where you were at what time, at about what mile, and when runners picked up the torch for Ken, well, that would be very interesting and would document the event. We could add it to the photo description page. Ab.

6/6 Hey, I've been surfing WFF site don't see address to send pledge. Any info?
Congrats to all. Truly inspiring!

Lizzy Craig
Former USFS

For those still wanting to pledge, the link to the pledge page is right above this post in the table. I put it in RED. Ab.

You can send your check to

Wildland Firefighter Foundation
2049 Airport Way
Boise, Idaho 83705

6/6 I'm looking for some audio clips to liven up our S130/190 classes and sand table exercises.

I used to have a clip from SoCal of an initial dispatch to a reported vegetation fire. It was over a dozen units and about 2 minutes long. It was a real eye opener for some folks, especially some of our local VFD folks. Unfortunately this clip disappeared as my computer was used by other folks while I was deployed to the desert.

I have Googled my brains out looking for audio from dispatches and from actual wildland fires. All I ever seem to find is structural stuff from larger cities.

Any help from the readers would be appreciated.

emt_micah
6/6 <This is long but you'll have to deal- I'm trying to summarize over 48 hours here>

Since my father died unexpectedly almost 2 years ago I learned something -- once someone has passed you want people to remember your loved one. I truly feel this weekend honored those fallen in our family of wildland firefighters. This run became more than simply Ken -- it became about the collective soul of the wildland fire fighters and how the community choose to honor the fallen with pounding feet. Ken is the man who brought us together and my respect for him is immeasurable after this last weekend.

Ken has not been doing ultra runs forever -- and his race this past weekend was his personal record for distance. In following him for hours (in his truck), crawling along in the heat, I had the opportunity to watch him running with others, asking after his wife while she was running, hurling, being constantly filmed through EVERY moment, and contemplating how to deal with the quandary of pushing his body and respecting it. Through it all, people ran with him.

I think people here should consider this -- what if every firefighter that ran this weekend had friends and family pledging for the miles they ran? If you add up every mile run, we'd be easily in the hundreds of miles. I watched the Rio Hondo Roadrunners show up Friday afternoon and plug through the desert heat at 105 degrees, relentlessly staying with Ken. The many Edwards AFB guys that took their turns through the base. Ken's wonderful "night runner" friends that ran through the middle of the night with him. Then the two that amazed me - Brian Skerston and Jaime Puente who were stretching when we arrived at Fox and didn't blink when they decided to carry the torch on and run throughout the night. After a few hours of sleep we caught up again and Brian and Jaime were still running and had been joined by others. I watched guys as they finished marathon distances. I watched guys who had run the day before show up for more. The finish brought together all sorts of fire folks from USFS, BLM, LA County, Rio Hondo, and other agencies. I wish each of you (especially the families) could have seen how everyone pulled together to support the WFF.

I would like to see a page where each person could post their miles -- not for fundraising... but in honor of their contribution to the distance they pounded for the families in our community.

Thanks to all the support crew who leapfrogged along to provide hydration to the runners (Lumpy, I was sure you were going to clock one of them with that water). Thanks to California City fire that hung out with us from the start to Edwards. Thanks to the film crew who provided hours of entertainment as you darted around so smoothly it looked choreographed. Thanks to Debbie for arranging the Edwards light show and to Lt. Brad and Captain Katie for the connection help in the black hole. Also thanks to my buddy Tom for being our techie geek guy and georeferencing every last one of us at least once. Thanks to Green Valley for lending me your couch for a few hours- after 24 up I was staring to get loopy. And finally thanks to Wendy and Ken for not only making this an event but a true experience -- I appreciate all the hospitality.

I am hooked for life -- whatever this crew needs mapped, followed at 5mph, or photographed -- I'm there. Thank you to the fire family for a weekend of inspiration and belonging -- it was well worth the drive from San Diego. Whatever the event next year -- I highly recommend it as a trip worth taking.

Always,
GISgirl

Thanks for the photographs and descriptions. Ab.

6/6 There are emails flying behind the scenes. I'm going to share a few of them.
The planning is already underway!

Many thanks to all who participated.

Photos should be completed by noon or so. Thanks to those besides Tom and GISgirl who are sharing, especially thanks to Lee Anne Frazier.

Ab.

6/6 Melissa,

It was fun…let’s do it again! I’m sorry that I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to everyone. During the picnic I was notified that wildlandfire.com was waiting for the final digital photos so I went outside and parked in a location where I had the strongest signal strength. While uploading 22 MB’s of photos, I had a great conversation with Ab about the incredible, unforgettable finish. It took over 45 minutes to upload the files on my wireless broadband connection and I must have fallen asleep during the process.

Tom
6/6 Melissa and All,

I'm so proud to have participated. This was a "Dream Team". Let us all get
together at some point and brainstorm about the future. Let's do it again!.

Let's have a safe summer.
Ian
6/6 To Run Organizers and Supporters,

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to send a quick email to thank you all for your hard work and
efforts for Ken's Run. You all jumped right in to help and did whatever
needed to be done. I think I can freely speak for Vicki and Ken - we could
not have done this 2nd year Run without you. Your compassion, heart, and
individual strengths were at the core of getting this event pulled together.
I thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.

I will be working on loose ends of the Run; from pledges, to mailing out
t-shirts to our sponsors, etc. Please feel free to give me your input if
you know that there are other's to thank and recognize. I don't want to
leave anyone out. Just a couple reminders for folks:

Debbie - Could you get me the names of all the contacts at Edwards so we can
get a nice thank you out.
X Kellogg and Stephanie English - I'd like to send a letter off to all the
local companies and organizations that helped pitch in on the finish line
picnic.

Have a safe and beautiful summer with your families and friends!

Melissa Schwagerl
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

6/5 Well All,

The run has come and gone. I must say that I had a good time again this year. I remember more of it than the last one. I only wish my body had had as good a time. I am still having thoughts that I shoulda just kept going, and I'm sure I will for some time. But, at the same time, I'm happy with 100 K. If this had been a "race", I would have bailed much earlier in the evening. Getting as much as possible... at least to Fox... became the goal. I knew fairly early on that there was no way I was going to make the 25 hour cut-off. Although I was never sure that would happen, when it became later and later. I felt that asking all the runners and supporters to just hang out and wait till 8 PM on Sat. was a little too much. The fact that Jaime and Brian were there when I stumbled in at 0330, made it easier (not easy) to bow out but keep the spirit of the event. Finishing up the last 5 miles with everyone also made the sting a little less.

I any event, I want to thank everyone that ran with me: the Texas Canyon and Kern Valley Hot Shots, the Rio Hondo Roadrunners (one of whom ran 47 miles), the firefighters from Edwards Air Force Base and LA County Camp 2 crewmen. Darin and Debbie Thompson, who hung with me for 19 miles through the night. My wife, Wendy who started off with me like she did last year, and supports my obsession. And, of course, all of the team and supporters that endured the 104 degree desert, and those like the Abs behind the scenes. the sponsors we had. Vicki and Melissa from WFF. And finally, the people that pledged to this good foundation. I was aware of each person and the part they played in making this happen. My job was easy by comparison.

I don't know whether or not I will have to take next year off. But I hope someone will come up with an idea to carry on this event, wherever and whatever it may be.

KCP

I asked Ken about the 100 K. Here's what he replied: 

100 kilometers=62 miles.

It's just a milestone in ultra running...50K 50 mile 100K 100 miles, etc.

kcp

6/5 Hi Everyone,

I'm home after a very intense, exciting, and exhausting few days. I want to
thank each and every one of you that helped out on Ken's Team: those who
supported us through the run, those that ran, and those that pledged.
Saturday night as we hung out at Ken's house eating pizza and having a cold
one, we talked a lot about the past two days and all that transpired. The
one thing that stuck in all our hearts and minds were the incredible young
men (and woman - thanks Sara!) that ran with Ken, bolstered his efforts, and
made sure that the run was finished. I get a lump in my throat every time I
think about the respect these young firefighters showed for Ken. The
decision to stop running was not easy for him. He really struggled. I,
along with the whole team and crew, was touched by the way the Rio Hondo
Roadrunners, Texas Canyon Hotshots, Kern Valley Hotshots, LA County (and I
believe an El Cariso Hotshot?) all stood behind and beside Ken. Their act
of admiration and honor for Ken will forever be with me as it was everyone
else at Station 126 at the finish of Ken's Run.

Thank you for making this a truly memorable experience.

Be Safe,

Melissa Schwagerl
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
6/5 Latest in the Forest Service R5 hiring / promotion / job filling mess……

Seems FMO’s are being directed by the RO to promote unqualified folks into supervisory fire positions to support the latest court ordered hiring practices. Fact is doing so will effectively shut down the affected engines as the “other side” of the RO is directing forests to not respond engines unless they are all qualified up with legal drivers, engine boss’s and firefighters. 

The other fact is that the promotion of these unqualified folks will not satisfy the court order… promotion is not hiring….. 

The WO and RO need to stop sending mixed messages… One hand Pulaski Conference with “new” Doctrine that is supposed to define Fire, the agency, safety, leadership, etc… Other hand’s actions say that the Doctrinal changes are all fluff, talk and BS ….

If you fire supervisors do not have liability insurance… you had better get some prior to this season……

Sorry to see you leave Q man…. 

A disgusted observer
6/5 Thanks everyone! That was fun! Neat video of the finish.

Mellie

Video clip links on the Info and status page. Ab.

6/5 I have been a longtime viewer and contributor to the Wildland Firefighter "They Said" Open Forum on the Internet, and made a pledge to Ken Perry's run last year. I thought last year's run was a great success and hoped that this year's ultra-long marathon run for the benefit of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation would be even better.

I want to congratulate Ken for his stamina, his determination, and making his goal of 104 miles through the Southern California High Desert for what is every brother and sister wildland firefighter benefit. And congratulations to all those who supported Ken in his run from the beginning of training to the finish line.

But I am disappointed with the support that was seen for this year's run compared to last year's. There were 222 pledges that ranged from $0.05 to $10.00 per mile. I put my pledge of $1.00 per mile in the mail this evening. What is sad is by comparison of Ken's run last year received 454 pledges for half the work. Where did all the support go from last year? Did our tasks in wildland firefighting suddenly become more safe?

There are tens of thousands of firefighters from the federal, state, and local governments in career, seasonal, and volunteer departments across the nation that combat wildland fires. Any one of you know that Mr. Murphy and his Laws of the Unexpected can come up on any of us at any time and remind us that we are not indestructible. For myself, as a career firefighter and volunteer firefighter in California, should I be seriously injured or killed in the line of duty my departments have plans and benefits that will help my family out with bills and "other preparations" as necessary. But every little bit of assistance can help, particularly with the Federal Government.

Over the years the service that Vicki Minor and the Foundation provides with the Family Assistance Program in assisting families in this very serious time of need is worth the pledge I made and the membership fee I paid should I or any other brother or sister firefighter falls in the line of duty. I've read the stories of how the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has helped the families of wildland firefighters, regardless of agency or status.

There are several thousand firefighters each year battling our nation's brush, grass, and forest fires. And sadly, there may be injuries or fatalities battling these fires. That little donation can make a difference for your's or my family should we make that sacrifice. I know I would want my wife and family to have as much help as they could get if I were to die doing what I loved.

Who can't afford $1.00 per week for a year to help the WWF, which may someday help you? That works out to be the price of two dinners and two movies for two, a couple cases of beer, or a tankfull of gasoline in California.

Last year almost 1400 individuals and groups made contributions to the WFF in the form of a year's membership, and of those another 454 supported one of our own directly.

I hope this year that more people join the WFF and support this worthy organization. I can guarantee that unlike most of these 'charities' asking for donations of your cars, boats, airplanes, and property to help the latest civil cause for $0.03 to $0.10 on the dollar, the contributions you make would go toward someone we may know.

When we all chip in, we are all the better for it.

Once again, Ken, congratulation to you on this very challenging run for the WFF.

MOC4546
6/5 I just want to express my opinion on what I USED to think was a great agency. 

We are so caught up in doing what everyone else wants us to do, we are to scared to do what is right. The HSA is valid but it is paralyzing our agency and not allowing us to hire the right person for the job. How are we going to hire a 3-5-7 to replace the JAC that was prepped for that same job? That is not the only problem in this political circus, I'm sorry for all of the people that bleed green, I used to be one, but we are getting screwed by the RO, OPM, and WO. 

Sorry to all of those good old boys in the mid-west but we are not getting paid what we deserve. It's time to break away from the rest of the nation and get with the times. What we do in So Cal. is a hell of a lot different than what ya'll do. Why does everything have to be an act of congress and have to apply to the whole nation. Hell maybe if we paint our engines red we just might get a raise and the rest of the world would realize we fight fire not deliver sparkletts water. 

I'm so tired of everyone calling us FIREFIGHTERS, we are FORESTRY TECHNICIANS; how can the government get away with putting FIRE on our vehicles when we are not firefighters. That is the root of all our problems: give us the pay and benefits and we would not have the retention problem that the OPM seems to think is not a problem. Why do we keep putting ourselves out on a limb to go to T/C's , medical aides and structure fires, that we are not even responsible for?( All hazard all risk my ASS) 

OHHHHH I know why, because we need overtime to support our families. Without overtime we can't even make a decent living. How can unemployment pay more for a GS-4 than I make on a base check as a GS-7, to burn piles everyday, and then they wonder why my attitude sucks. 

More to come from this disgruntled <snipped location> forestry tech.

6/4 WOW!!…. After a good nights sleep I am more blown away than ever by the enormity of Ken and Company’s Run. Words cannot describe the vibes coming off of the group, both runners and support for this event. The heart of the group is enormous and fueled by the backing of the wildland fire community

I will follow this with a more detailed description after later… but did want to post a special thanks to Clay Meyers and his wife for the all night vigil they kept at Wille J. Fox Tanker Base.. Thanks Clay!! You contribution was HUGE!

Prior to the run Ken gave me a funny pair of socks with little toesies in them…. I kinda said “yea right”. Well those *injinji" socks (injinji is one of the run sponsors) with the little individual toe holders were the ticket!!!!!!! I am going to order some more. They were comfortable and made it through the whole period as I bicycled along with Ken and the runners. The "injinji" socks kept my toes from rubbing on each other as normally happens when I bicycle any distance. Thanks "injinji"!!!

More to follow…….

yactak
6/4 Hi All,

I think I have the Incident Management Team info and GACC info pages updated. Type I Teams and Type II Teams. Please take a look for your team and see if everything is correct. Let us know if not. Some teams have only team roster, while many have websites. Some websites are out of date. If any of the teams need a small website tune up, give a holler. Ab.

6/4 Hello Ab,

I was wondering if you or someone on the site would have access to the powerpoint or course curriculum for the S-185 entrapment avoidance course. If some one could provide me with a link or could email me the info., it would be appreciated. My email is burpeez@nbnet.nb.ca. Thanx.

Smokedawg
6/3 They crossed the finish line some minutes ago (1307 ?). Awesome!

Final photos and video clip are being served up! Finish line photos will get posted when they can be sent.

The video clip of the Finish is up! (Click the Info and Status Page Link above.)

Thanks everyone! Those on the site at LACO Station 126, party hardy!

The Abs.

6/3 Lori Greeno said a huge crowd was waiting at the finish line, plus a LACO hook and ladder, 2 big BLM rigs, 2 hotshot buggies, other rigs and engines lining the end route. 

The big mass of Texas Canyon and Kern Valley HotShots running en mass reached the finish line and they slowed down and stopped at the line, looking for Ken to break the tape. He was in the middle of the pack, hanging back, not wanting to be the first to break the tape. They grabbed him and pushed him to the front. He grabbed them and pulled them along to break the tape in the COLLECTIVE  KEN manner. What a great effort by ALL!

Watch the video clip. You can see the collective win!

6/3 I just heard from Debbie and Tom Patterson that the runners (Kern Valley HS and Texas Cyn Hotshots) have emerged from the canyon. They're at San Fransquito Rd and North Park Rd, running into Valencia.

While still in the Canyon at San Fransquito Station (home of Engine 35) on a hydration break and pit stop, Vicki Minor pulled up with her little grandson and talked to them, tearfully congratulating them for what they were doing in the relay. Hope someone got a photo of smeared makeup!

The hotshots are running their hearts out for Ken. 

For those who don't know, when a firefighter goes down, others step in to support their brother or sister. Warriors were supporting Warriors as the runners crossed Andrews Air Force Base and other Wilderness Warriors now Road Warriors have stepped in and stepped up to carry Ken's torch on the homestretch. (Ken's resting in the back of the ICP, he's not supposed to run we've been told... but knowing him, he likely will.)

Sounded pretty exciting in the background as Debbie spoke. The runners are on time to finish within the original timeframe of 24 hours (1330 today). Debbie said there are engines from LACO FD, Moorepark FD, FS, BLM and other rigs that are traveling with the runners. It's red lights and runners and gawking people amazed at the spectacle.

WHO IS KEN AND WHY IS HE RUNNING??? Ken is a collective as well as being his own unique self, of fire people supporting the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in our own mode of PLAY. 

I'm sizing and posting photos. OA has just updated maps and there are new video clips. Links at top of page. Stay tuned.

Ab.

6/3 The runners and supporters are in a canyon that allows no cell coverage in or out. 

OA posted several night-time video clips of runners leaving EAB and of night runners. Can't see much in the dark, but sounds like they're still carrying on.

Hopefully we'll get some updates soon.

Ab.

6/3 Great job Ken

1 mile or 104 miles, it doesn't matter; what you are, and what you stand for, are the most important thing. Your sacrifice to help others is what this is all about. Everyone is proud of what you accomplished and I hope more people start donating today so we can get closer to the goal that was set. I STILL DON'T SEE ALOT OF THE HOTSHOT CREWS, TYPE TWO CREWS AND ENGINE CREWS ON THE PLEDGE LIST.

Thanks again Ken and thanks also to all the people who helped plan and participate in this event.

DS

6/3 I've been watching all the "goin's on" with great interest. Thanks Ken and ALL for having such a great idea and organizing and making it real. What a wonderful opportunity to come together for a great cause! 

I know it's not over, that firefighters are still running. I hope folks will keep pledging. It's this kind of activity that firefighters and the extended community do as a form of "play" that just blows me away!!!

Yay rah for the NorCal II team members who have pledged. 

I love you all!!!

Mellie

6/3 Important Update:  If you or your crew were planning on participating in the run today, please continue with your original plans.  The run is continuing.  OA
6/3 Photos are updated from last night. OA updated the map. Run Ken Run. Be Safe All. Ab.
6/3 Time 0600  News from the front this morning from Ken and Melissa.  At 0345 this morning Ken's body began rebelling against the strenuous demands he asked of it.  The team met and agreed the best decision for Ken's health would be to stop him at the 57 mile mark near Fox Field.  Ken is doing ok health wise this morning, but feels pretty bad about his current status.

For all you folks who pledged for each mile Ken runs, paying for 57 miles is satisfactory.  However, in an effort to maintain the spirit of the event and continue to promote of the cause of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, the run has evolved into more of a relay.  Jaime Puente, many of you will remember him from his surprising ability to accompany Ken for 30 miles during last years run, and Brian Skerston, both of the Texas Canyon Hotshots, have taken the torch from Ken and have been on the road for a couple of hours now.  Their location is about midway between Fox Field and Green Valley (see the updated Current Location Map link above).  The team will meet again soon to update today's action plan, including determining if Ken may be able to rejoin the relay for various periods.  We'll let you know asap as we hear about it.  Congratulations from all of us to Ken for breaking his own distance record he set last year.  OA

6/2 Time 2315 Well. . Ken doesn't seem to be carrying a cell phone, but I did connect with Melissa from the WFF who has been biking with him since the start.  They've just left EAFB and are heading towards Fox Field.  Melissa says Ken will now be accompanied by Darin and Debbie Thompson for about the next 4 hours.  She says Darin and Debbie are friends of Ken's and that they are "night runners".  I'm not sure what all that entails, but I know if I was a long distance runner, I'd most likely be that type.  Melissa will ask Ken what he's thinking about when next she catches up with him.  OA
6/2 Time  2235  As I sit here messing with and maintaining maps, emails, and videos, I can't help but wonder what Ken's thinking about as he's run around 40 miles yet faces another 65 or so.  Although we all know and admire what he's doing and why, I can't help but wonder just exactly what thoughts occupy his mind at a time like this.  Does he focus on anything specific?  Does his mind wander?  Or does he somehow internalize and become one with his mind and body.  Obviously I'm not a long distance runner.  Maybe I can call and get someone to find out.  Hang on.  OA
6/2 Check out the new Current Location map!  It will remain with the links at the top of the forum messages for the duration.  OA
6/2 Time 2206  A couple of items of interest have happened. . .Wendy says that Elisabeth, remember the sno-cone entrepanauer from earlier today?  Apparently Elisabeth, spelled with an S not a Z, has raised $69.00 from her ventures today to donate to the KP/WFF Benefit Run.  And then Laurie Greenho, who is driving one of the vehicles with a sign warning of runners ahead, was questioned by an approaching motorist who asked her what all the commotion was about.  After she explained, the young Air Force man and his family emptied their pockets and gave all the money they had to help support the cause.  Good stuff, huh?  OA
6/2 Time 2030  Even as I was thanking the EAFB for their accommodations, they had heard about the lack of communications we were having and whisked Tom Patterson away to one of their comm rooms to provide some high speed connections.  Thanks to Lieutenant Brad Kimberly, there's a new video on the Information & Status Page and a couple more on the way.  Thanks again EAFB!  OA
PS:  Not that I'm too surprised at the courtesy and service of our fine Air Force folks.  I spent 4 years as member of that proud organization, two of them were pretty close at the old George AFB.
6/2 Time:  1945  A couple of new videos on the Information & Status Page.  They are about midway through Edwards Air Force Base.  Our military "boys and girls in blue" are running along with Ken.  Ken says there is quite a procession following along, including the base's own tv station media crew.  I talked with Ken for a couple of minutes, he says he's feeling good and all is well.  The temp has dropped to around 75 and the runners are enjoying the cooling down.  Photos and videos are being delayed since the coverage is sporadic at best.  Thanks again to the Air Force for accommodating our presence.   OA
6/2 Start photos are updated. 

Just talked with Debbie. She says all is going well, although she says it's grueling just to watch -- her heart's pounding and she's sweating...

Weather is it's hot and dry, chapped lips country fer sure. They've had some overcast. HUTCH chimed in with a spot weather report: 95 degrees F, 15% RH, wind's started to kick in, still high, light cloud cover. 

Roadrunner Hotshots are running with Ken, Melissa and Tony (Killer) are pedaling, 12-13 cars with Run Ken Run signs on the back are situated before and behind the runners filled with kids, supporters, team members, etc, being led in cheers by the RahRah DIVS Lori Greeno.

They're on a 17 mile stretch of dirt road moving toward Edwards... 

Stay tuned...

Ab.

6/2 And the runners are off!  Official start time was 1326.  89 degrees, soft breeze, blue skys with some high cloud cover.  I'm not going to say the Public Info Officer was "lost", just that they were at a different starting place than everyone else We're hitting the "get mail" button every 5 seconds waiting for the images to arrive.  OA
6/2 Report from Debbie Santiago at the Picnic Area Staging:  The 2nd briefing for the runners and supporters is beginning as of 1230.  Folks changing into running gear to accompany Ken from the beginning point include the Rio Hondo and Texas Canyon hotshots.  There is an aura of high excitement and spirit in the air!  Debbie says it's just awesome to experience.  We've got photos and videos arriving as I type this, use the links at the top of the message area here to stay up to date.  OA
6/2 Ab,

I am leaving in a few minutes to catch a plane, to be at Kens Run in CA. As I read the posts and see the pledges I feel this excitement and support that is in and around us. 

I realize what Kens Run does for us, last year and this year…. is create a coming together of the whole wildland fire community… 

not over a fatality…. but a fun and exciting event. My Heart is with Ken as he runs for all of us.

A teary and grateful Vicki Minor

6/2 Pre-Run Update:

The morning briefing has been held. Ken, along with the team and supporters are en route to the first staging area to collect a few more folks, then on to the starting line. Temp was an already 88 degrees at the briefing. Ken's feeling good and anxious to get going!

Photos here: www.wildlandfire.com/pics/wff-ken06/run.php 

Compliments of Victoria Smith, one of our embedded photographers. 

Run Ken Run! Ab.

6/2 The Run,

I think that it is pretty awesome to see such a great outpouring of support
for Ken's run. I wish him God speed and a safe return home. Its the people
like Ken and the They Said readers that bring all firefighters together. Its
nice to see us in celebration and remembrance for such a worthy
cause........God speed Ken.

Jumpseat
6/2 This came in yesterday eve:

Here's a photo of me and my neighbor Elisabeth. She's going to sell sno-cones
tomorrow after she get home from 1st grade, and donate to the WFF.

See ya,
KCP

6/1 The last batch of brownies are in the oven and soon I will be heading out the door to drive down south. What an honor to be watching Ken do his run knowing how much it means to the families who have lost loved ones and to the ones who, unfortunately, who will be living the tragedy in the future. It thrills me to see so many people on board and helping with the run this year.

Being from a fire family, even if it is just being a spouse, I know that at this time of year not much if any overtime has been made. Please don't let this stop you from making a pledge to Ken's run. Make your pledge and pay for it when the OT starts. This is an investment in yours, your crewmates, or some family's future. I truly don't know what we would have done if the foundation hadn't been there for us or had been unable to give us any money at a time when we needed it most. I don't want any family going through the trauma of losing a loved one, which is hard enough in itself, and then having the added worries of how to pay the bills or feed their children for the first few months until all the paperwork is done (and we all know how much the government loves paperwork!).

To those of you who have already pledged - THANK YOU!! To those pledging in the next day - THANK YOU!! Such compassion is a rare thing to find these days.......

Lori Greeno
6/1 Good afternoon all --

The start of Ken's run is a short 24 hours off and I believe everything is set to go. The other night Ken, X Kellogg and I were talking after finalizing things. One of the subjects that we talked about was the tightness of the "Brother and Sisterhood" of firefighters. How we all hang together when the chips are down and when it's for a great cause. There is not a more generous group of people in the world than firefighters when it comes to helping our fellow firefighters and others. We all dig into our pockets for the reserve of time -- which most of us have precious little of -- or to give a helping hand or dollar to those in need.

Some of us like Ken really step it up and go to superhuman strides to be of service to our fellows. As of 5 minutes ago the pledge count was at 156 pledges and almost $27K way short of the final numbers from Kens 52 run last year. Please folks, how about putting your name on the list. Yep its early in the fire season and I do remember the days of considering a second job or food stamps to make ends meet, especially early in the season. Anything is something and those of us that are somewhat better off can afford it.

Remember this isnt a California or just Federal thing; its a wildland firefighter thing and every firefighter is a wildland firefighter in one way, shape, or form.

Good luck Ken and may the Gods of good luck smile on your safe return home on Saturday evening.

HUTCH

Firefighters, companies, others who are considering it, you can pledge now and pay out of that first or second overtime check, heck as late as the end of July. Hop on and support this thing. Ab.

6/1 Vehicles are getting packed, Children and adults alike are getting geared up.
Down to the 24 hour countdown!

RUN KEN RUN!!!!!!

Let’s get those pledges rolling!

Those in driving vicinity – please come and cheer one crazy man and a bunch of
other fire runners on to finish! Don’t be shy, come and say HI.

Thanks for keeping the energy levels WAY UP!!

Paula Perry

6/1 The Abs want to send out some really BIG "thank yous" to Tom Patterson and Jeff Baranyi both of ESRI for the help they'll be providing in the realtime mapping of the KP - WFF event.  Thanks also to Victoria, GIS Girl (aka former BLM Girl).

Stay tuned, Fire Community, and prepare to be to turned on to the magic of mobile GIS!

I know I can speak for Original Ab when I say Whooooooooo Hoooooooooo! This Ab is looking forward to learning a lot and seeing a lot.

6/1 Hi Ab,

John Scott here. Could you post a message on the board about our film crew that will be taking video of the whole RunKenRun event? Ken and the support crew are well aware of our presence, but we will also want to get a lot of footage and some on-the-fly interviews with other firefighters, and supporters who may not be familiar with us. Footage will be used for a potential documentary feature on Ken and the Foundation.

Thanks!
John Scott

Anyone at the Run, keep a heads up for John and the film crew. John did the WFF video. Nice stuff! What a great resource. Thanks, John. Ab.

6/1 Hey,

Just wanted to let everyone know that the t-shirts for Ken's Run will be available at the run for $15.00, or, if you can only make it there in spirit, on line at www.wffoundation.org, or you can call our office at (208) 336-2996 and we will mail one right out to you. To see a picture of the shirt, which is really awesome (thanks Ian), go to www.wffoundation.org/kperry06/promogear.php. Thanks for all of your support!

Evie
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

6/1 Ab, Vicki Minor here...

I want to let the theysaiders know that the Fire Camp that was provided for our Fallen Fire Firefighters weekend family day was provided by:
 
Brookstone Emergency Services and their employees:
Gary Cardoza
Fred Simas
Tom Walton
Dan Urtnowski
Gary Morehead
Gary Pavusko

Rickaby Showers
Western Forest Fire Service Association
Rich Denker
Cattlemen Feed Company
Kachina Aviation
(pilot Morgan Mills (retired F.S.)
Grayback
(Mike Wheelock & Dave Hannibal)
EGGYS A.D.S. Printing
(Suzi Stewart)
Boise National Forest
– Dick Smith Much Gratitude to Guy Pence

Lucky Peak Nursery – Clark Fleege
Boise Helibase Crews
Idaho City Hotshots
Dave and Judy Rama
Brent and Kris Martindale
Forest Service Honor Guard

Incident Command Team:
IC Paul Broyles – NIFC - NPS
Al King – NIFC – NPS
Dan Buckely – NIFC – NPS
Guy Pence - USFS
Coleen Decker – NIFC – NWS
Rod Bloms – NIFC – US Fish & Wildlife Service
Mark Koontz – NIFC – NPS
Mike Wallace – NIFC – NPS
Paul Bryant – BNF - USFS
Kelly Cardoza – BNF - USFS
Rose Davis – NIFC - USFS
Tory Henderson – NIFC – USFS
Don Campbell – Boise Helitack – USFS
Evans Kuo – BNF – USFS
Steve Raddatz – Retired USFS
Joe Bates – NIFC – BLM
Madonna Lengerich – NIFC – BLM
Kelly Hawk – BLM
Alex Park – BLM – ISO
Ted Rex – Retired BLM


The people who provided this wonderful event for the families, came at no expense to the Foundation. Brookstone and Rickaby even came all the way from California!

I couldn't believe it. These great volunteers wouldn’t even let us buy them gas. Please, Community, when you firefighters see these companies & folks out on the road, on the fireground or in firecamp this summer, shake their hands or give them one of those big Smokey bear hugs. They gave us all a LOT!.

I have noticed that there are only a few companies who are supporting Wildland Firefighters on the Kens Run pledge page. All the time I have firefighters ask me to let them know which companies are backing them up by supporting the Foundation. I will tell you… whether individual and company, you can't buy the PR you will get… when you support the Wildland Firefighter, especially when something is close to their heart.. So please do.. support them.. through this run.

I received a letter from Jim Felix of the Supply Cash, and I quote “ I am so pleased that Diane and I have some place to give back to the wildland fire community where we make our living from”.

Help us call companies and let them know of this opportunity -- that they can help -- by pledging to Ken’s Run. Believe me, this Foundation and its Board of Directors have no sense of entitlement to any company’s money, we just want to make a difference in the lives of firefighters when it counts and we want to let companies know they can help. Ab just told me that Ken's Pledge page will remain up and open for two weeks following the run.
Anyone who can't pay right now can pay through the end of July.

WILL YOU HELP?

Vicki Minor
WFF

6/1 Wildland Fire Community:

My father was killed 48 years ago in the Stewart Fire on the Cleveland NF.
About a year and a half ago Dennis Baldridge, Bill Kuche and the Laguna
Hotshots (Descanso Ranger District, Cleveland, NF) began doing research on
fire-related fatalities on their forest. Eventually they tracked me down
and for the past 18 months they have done everything to research my
father's death and to provide me with information. In preparation for this
year's Family Day at the Wildland Firefighter Memorial, the Laguna Hotshots
extended the offer to pay for my Dad's marker that was placed in the
monument. They told me they would be honored to pay for it in his memory.
Dennis Baldridge attended the Family Day weekend and presented my Mom with
a Fallen Firefighter statue.

I have never met more kind, compassionate, caring people and want to
personally thank all of them. I hope I have the good fortune to meet the
rest of these men and women who have touched me and my family so deeply
with their generosity and kindness. They have truly helped to keep my
Father's memory alive and to celebrate his all too short life. Have a safe
fire season; I will keep you all in my heart and prayers.

Sincerely,
Kathleen Adam on behalf of Joe E. Adam and his Family

Amazing...  Dennis, Bill and Laguna Shots way to come through for a family and do the right thing. Kathleen, we have a remarkable community. I'm glad you got such a wonderful welcome to the fold. Ab.

6/1 Results of Engine Captain Review is a couple'a posts down. Ab.
6/1 Wow,

I just checked out the Ken Perry Ultra Run Pledge Page and was impressed how much each person or group is giving at the best of their ability to support the wildland fire community.

It was touching to see a young girl sharing the proceeds of her lemonade stand to support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. She probably doesn't know much about the work the Foundation does, but she obviously sees a good cause. Each person pledges based upon their abilities and financial situation... from the 4 cents per mile for little Anne, from the numerous 25 cents per mile from the children of many families and friends, to the individual contributions and the the businesses and firefighter organizations that pledged. Each is giving what they can to support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and the wildland fire community.

It is good to see individuals giving what they can. It is also good to see companies that support the wildland fire program giving what they can to support the fallen and injured wildland firefighters and their families.

I want to thank Ken Perry and his team of professionals and supporters. Who would have thought that such a run would raise so much money for the WFF last year? Hopefully this year, it will be a doubling or more of the funds raised.  Hopefully, it will reach the $250,000 goal!!!                            RUNKENRUN

Firefighting is a dangerous job and somebody has to watch our backs and support our families if something goes bad. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation gives us all a piece of serenity knowing that they are there "at our six" should the worst occur.

If you haven't pledged and have the financial resources to do so... please submit your pledge now. If little Anne can pledge, you can too.

Lobotomy
6/1 To All,

After 40 years today was Battalion Chief Bob Tinker's last day of work. Bob started his stint in the fire service with the USFS in the 70's ? Then he was the Fire Chief for Banning City, Battalion Chief for 5 years at Oak Glen Camp. Then lastly he was the Training Battalion Chief for CDF/Riverside County Fire. His retirement is set for Saturday June 24th, Stewart Park 9th & Orange, Beaumont, Calif. TB 720 J-2. contact Dawn Ammons-Kantner @ Clark Training Center 1-951-486-2954,1-951-486-2817.

"MAD DOG" BOB will surely be missed. Come help us celebrate his Fire Service Career.

Sam Sanchez (RUU)
6/1 I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum, I just wanted to spread
my depression and discontent at having been passed up for an assistant
engine foreman position. I am qualified and have been in wildland fire with
crews, engines, and dispatch centers since 1996, this will be my 10th
season. The new assistant engine foreman is a "diversity candidate" who is
qualified as an FFT2/FALA. I'm blown away by this, and I'm wondering if
there's anything at all I can do about it without unnecessarily causing
trouble.

-YetiMan
6/1 Run Ken Run

Less than 2 days. All the preparations are falling into place. The volunteers have spent many hours of personal time, making sure that all the little cogs are lined up to make the “Run” successful. The team is buzzing, making sure that committed actions are followed up on. There are many “heroes” this year that have gone the extra mile to make sure, routes, security and safety issues are addressed. We thank you all. There are the people who have donated materials, signs, food, vehicles, etc. I guess what I’m saying here is the “event” is going to happen. What we have to make sure of here, is that the needs… the ones that this benefit is designed to cover are addressed. Last year at this point of preparation, I believe we were a little farther along in pledges for the WFF. I would like to challenge people to dig into your hearts just a little bit. Be a part a part of the compassion in a proactive rather than a reactive sense. The love that comes together in a drive like this does more to heal and create the sense of “family”. Our Family here understands that the people who do the most dangerous jobs, are putting their lives on the line for us. These Heroes, are making a sacrifice, some know it, some don’t realize how much. We must appreciate, and show our appreciation to them. Give what you can, when you can, but do make a commitment right now. If you have not, Go to the Pledge page right now. Give a flat amount, an amount per mile, whatever you feel that you can give. They’re not going to ask for your credit card on Saturday night when the Run is over, But it would make us feel good to see your commitment right now. Get the spirit of the metaphor:…. One man makes a wild-ass commitment, goes beyond what he’s sure he can do, and ultimately he reaches the objective. Challenge yourself, Challenge your co-workers. This is for all of us.

Thanks to all

Ian

6/1 Re: 52 Club and Ken Perry's 52 Mile Ultra Run

In the spirit of crew cohesion and competitiveness, are you a current or former Hotshot Crewmember up for a good spirited wildland firefighter challenge?

Anyone who has been a Hotshot knows that crew rivalries have always existed. Heck, El Cariso, Del Rosa, and LP have been battling it out since 1946.

As a former member of the Del Rosa Hotshots, I would like to challenge each Hotshot Crew to become a 2006 Gold Member of the 52 Club.

Being a former Hotshot, I would also like to challenge other former Hotshots (wherever you are.... IMTs... engines... helitack.. your business... etc... ) to push to become 2006 Gold Members.

Sign Me... Duty / Respect / Integrity ... DRHS 1946-2006

P.S. - I would also like to thank Jack Brown, CEO of Stater Bros. Markets (former Del Rosa Hotshot, early 1950's) for all of his support during the Del Rosa Hotshot 60 Year Reunion, and for his support of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
6/1 Results of Review of Engine Captain Positions

Please share with employees who have positions on engines. Note that this letter is in the final stages of being signed by the Chief.

File Code: 6150-1 Date:
Route To:
Subject: Results of Review of Engine Captain Positions
To: Regional Foresters

I recently directed the Human Capital Management (HCM) staff to convene a small team of classification specialists and fire management subject matter experts from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service to review the classification of Supervisory Forestry Technician (Engine Captain) positions at the GS-08 level. In early April, the team reviewed both the supervisory and non-supervisory work of GS-08 Engine Captain positions, and expanded their findings to encompass all engine types. I have accepted their determination that the GS-08 grade level is supportable for an Engine Captain of a Type III or IV engine in areas with the added complexities of wildland-urban interface, including proximity of high-value improvements, and regular and recurring all-hazard incidents and frequent interagency jurisdictional issues and coordination requirements, and that the GS-07 grade level is supportable for all engine types when these complexities are not present.

It is important to note that the difference in grade does not represent a difference in the Agency’s performance expectations for knowledge, skills and abilities of an Engine Captain; they are the same for all Engine Captains, regardless of engine type. This is particularly salient as it supports our mobile forces concept for fire suppression, use, and support.

The interagency classification team will be developing an interagency position description for a GS-08 Engine Captain within the next few months. In the meantime, new Agency Position Files (APFs) in Avue have been established by the HCM Staff for your use. See enclosure for classification guidance and the list of APF’s.

Where it is determined that upgrades to encumbered positions are warranted, you are authorized to proceed with non-competitive promotions based on a reclassification study of this work. Where it is determined that existing grade levels are correct, it will be necessary to reassign employees to new position descriptions; however, we are asking that you hold off on reassignments until the interagency position descriptions have been developed. As a reminder, in accordance with CFR 511.704(a) (4), an employee whose position is upgraded is not entitled to back pay.

Questions may be directed to Joan Shelly, HR Specialist (Classification) at
(215) 257-3190 or via e-mail to jmshelly@fs.fed.us.

DALE N. BOSWORTH
Chief

Enclosure

cc: Michael Bunten, pdl wo OPS HRM class officers, pdl wo OPS HRM employment officers, pdl wo OPS HRM personnel officers, Kathy Burgers, Tom Harbour

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Enclosure
Classification Guidance
GS-08 Engine Captain positions

The classification factors differentiating the grades between the positions are “complexity” and “scope and effect.” Typically, our larger engines (Types III and IV) are located within or near highly urbanized areas. Their work affects, and is greatly affected by, the frequency and severity of all-hazard incidents. The proximity to these highly urbanized areas multiplies interagency jurisdictional issues and complicates coordination requirements and efforts. In these areas, the density and proximity of high-value improvements increases the scope and effect of the work. Further, the work of Engine Captains in or near highly urbanized areas is often more immediately visible to the public and frequently subject to the concurrent extra-Agency accountability. These same elements affecting complexity and scope and effect do not normally accrue to our Type VI engines, as they are generally located in more remote, rural settings due in part to their configuration, pump and tank capacities, and ability to negotiate primitive roads. There may be situations, however, where a Type VI Engine Captain is performing work on a regular and recurring basis in or near highly urbanized areas with the complexity and scope and effect that are typically found with a Type III or IV engine. See the discussion about “regular and recurring” on the next page, but in those cases, the GS-08 level is appropriate.

Until the interagency classification team develops an interagency position description for a GS-08 Engine Captain, the Human Capital Management Staff has established the following new Agency Position Files (APFs) in Avue:

  • A9526: GS-08 Engine Captain
  • A9527: GS-07 Assistant Engine Captain
  • A9528: GS-07 Engine Captain

The team distilled the many variables that exist in these positions down to the absence or presence of the factors discussed above. It is the responsibility of management to determine whether the GS-07 or GS-08 level is appropriate for each of our Engine Captain positions based upon the provided criteria. Management should first look at the Type III and Type IV engines as an indicator that the GS-08 level may be appropriate and then also look at Factors 4 and 5 of the GS-08 APF to ensure that the complexity and scope and effect are a match for the work being performed on a regular and recurring basis. The appropriate APFs must be matched to the work described. It is inappropriate to elect to use the GS-07 Engine Captain APF for any other reasons (e.g., budgetary) if the GS-08 level is warranted. Likewise, if the complexity elements are not present, do not use the GS-08 Engine Captain APF. Since management must certify the accuracy of an APF, the use of an APF that does not accurately reflect the demands of the job would amount to falsification of an official record.

These new APFs have been matched to existing positions for fire fighter retirement coverage. You are authorized to use the appropriate APF now to advertise for any vacant positions. Please instruct your Forest Supervisors to review each of their Engine Captain positions and determine which APF best describes the work being performed on a regular and recurring basis. “Regular and recurring” means that the situation happens repeatedly, not just a few times a year, and that it is expected to continue.

Questions should be addressed to Joan Shelly, Human Resources Specialist (Classification) at (215) 257-3190 or through e-mail to jshelly@ fs.fed.us.

6/1 Help - Assistance Needed: We'd appreciate some input this morning regarding the size/quality of videos we'll be receiving and posting from the Ken Perry/WFF Benefit. We're specially concerned about our dialup internet users.  If you'd like to participate, please use the following link to view a test .wmv file and let us know your connect speed, how long it takes to download, and how the quality appears to you. Thanks, OA

Test Video: test1.wmv

Email report to: wildlan_admin@wildlandfire.com

 
Copyright © 2014 FWI WildlandFire.com - All Rights Reserved. Your source for Wildland Fire News and Wildfire News and Information.