November, 2010

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11/30 Porterville Crew program:

Good Morning, MS

Is this what you posted more campfire talk? Or is the program Really back in operation. Was there a letter of reinstatement or just easy quick talk. I would love to see this letter. Show us the money... or proof....


11/30 Australian firefighting


The link to Australian firefighting sign up is NWCG: Australia / America Exchange


11/29 The Porterville Crew program has been re-instated for 2011 thanks to the good work of FAM leadership on the SQF.

Why? Why would a manager (Line Officer) go down this path of throwing her subordinate under the bus in front of cooperators, US Congressional Rep, the Porterville City Council, County Supervisors, the media, her Forest Leadership Team including subordinates to the Fire Chief? Is this how Line Officers are trained to deal with issues?

This issue was able to be fixed. We did not need her to have drama contest with herself. We did not need a member of the US Congress and local officials inquiring about her little drama email.

For sake of argument, let us say the whole program was a mess (and for the record, I dont believe that for a minute), next time you have a similar issue Ms. Terrell do this.
  • Step 1) Call Fire Chief into office.
  • Step 2) Explain issue(s).
  • Step 4) Move on.

You have permission Ms. Terrell to print and hang it on your wall as a reminder next time you get that urge to send out another email zinger.

No media, no congressionals, no dramatics, wow - what a concept.

On a positive note, because of her actions, the next time this Congressman hears about re-organization options with Fire Management, maybe, just maybe he will listen a little closer. Time to start educating again and she stepped right into this one. I will be informing my local congressional staffs about this incident to ensure they have the full story. Just one more example.

This is how change happens, one example at a time.

Finally, anything we learned from all this whole event? How to/how not to treat people maybe? I know I learned a few things.


11/28 Interesting article about this fall's weather pattern.

La Nina gets help bringing colder, wetter weather to Sacramento
By Matt Weiser
Nov. 28, 2010

Northern California's soggy, cold fall weather is caused by a collision of two huge temperature cycles in the Pacific Ocean, weather experts say, and it's likely to continue through December.

The first player is La Niña, the normally dry sister of El Niño.

La Niña is caused by a cooling of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. This bumps the jet stream north, typically bringing a wet winter to the Northwest and drought in the Southwest.

Because Sacramento lies in a neutral zone between those two effects, La Niña usually means "normal" here. In 130 years of data, rainfall in La Niña years is 96 percent of average, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

But this year, La Niña is mixing with a lesser-known pattern called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO. This is a cyclical temperature change in the northern Pacific that is much longer lasting.

The PDO cycle this year is negative, or cooler than normal, just like La Niña's effect, said Patzert.

The two phenomena have created a very strong jet stream that is... <more at the link>

fair use disclaimer

11/28 lost another tanker pilot

AB ,

I got this last week but waited to post until further info came out.... also a link to his obit is at the bottom. Prayers go out to his family.....


To all CAL FIRE employees,

We have received word that Robert (Bob) Finer was killed in an airplane crash on November 17, 2010. Bob, an S2-T tanker pilot for us during the fire season was off contract and was flying for another company somewhere else when the accident occurred. This is the extent of the limited information we have at this time. What we do know; is that we have lost an outstanding air tanker pilot, husband, father and a good friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s family in their time of loss. Bob is survived by his wife Dena and four children of Boise Idaho.

Bob started his firefighting career as an Air Attack pilot in April of 2001, flying OV-10 aircraft. He eventually moved into flying the S2-T airtanker as a trainee tanker pilot in 2003 and then becoming a fully qualified initial attack rated airtanker pilot in July of 2004. Bob flew as the primary air attack pilot or air tanker pilot at several bases throughout the state and was highly regarded for his professionalism and his airmanship. Bob will certainly be missed by all of us.

At this time the family is still finalizing funeral arrangements and I will get that information out to you as soon as I receive it. For anyone planning on traveling to Boise, some of the tentative plans Dena indicated to me on the telephone were, that the services will be at the Calvary Chapel in Boise at 1230 with a military service to follow at the Veterans Cemetery at 1500. I do not have any of the addresses at this time. Below you will find the contact information for cards or flowers. Please keep Bob’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Dena Finer
528 N. Elizabeth
Star, ID 83669

Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel
5400 Fairview Avenue
Boise, Idaho 83706
ph • (208) 376-5400;   fax • (208 323-8339)

Aviation Safety Officer


Sad news. Ab.

11/26 from the Hotlist:

Thanksgiving is over


One way or the other a number of people want to know!!! Their lives and livelihoods depend on it!

Did she rescind the order to terminate the Organized Crews?

Will there be training for the Porterville OCs? For other OCs?

Was she told she "had to do this or she'd lose her job" or did she come up with this on her own? What did the FS Regional Forester know? What did the FS Washington Office know?

Is there some hidden agenda???

if there is one, could a hidden agenda also affect FS plans for
Region 3 training?
Region 2?
Region 1?
Region 4?
Region 6????

Does this shout watchout for the FS training of organized fire crews or for fire in general?

Most organized crews are minorities and dam good workers and firefighters. Maybe we need another consent decree levied against the Forest Service???

The true story needs to be told no matter what it is!

Seasonal firefighters face loss of Sequoia jobs

Tina Terrel said she sent her letter to get the Porterville OC leaders to determine which of their firefighters had proof of training and which would have to prove training or be re-trained in order to be hired next fire season.

And it seems to have worked, as Terrel noted: "I got a letter from the fire staff. They can get it done by Nov. 17." If this deadline is met, Terrel said she likely will rescind her announcement before Thanksgiving.

Open your mouth and speak or pick up your pen and write a letter, Tina Terrel!

Regional Forester, we expect to hear from you too!


Any letter or news article anyone has heard of? Ab.
Contact the author of the article... David Castellon • dcastell@ nospam visalia.gannett.com Maybe he knows something?

11/25 Dear Ab:

I retired/resigned from the Canadian Forest Service on November 12, 2010 after 34.5 years of service.

I now begin my “second career” as it were, which includes a Joint Fire Science Program supported project aimed at synthesizing the currently available information on crown fire behavior in conifer forests (e.g., the onset of crowning, type of crown fire and the associated spread rate and fireline intensity). In addition to summarizing the existing scientific and technical literature on the subject, project members are also seeking assistance from individuals in the form of field observations of crown fires and related experiences as well as still pictures and video footage. Finally, we are interested in hearing from you as to your opinions on the subject of crown fires and any specific questions and/or research needs/knowledge gaps that you would like to see addressed in this crown fire synthesis project. We have a project website.

Folks can contact me through my University of Alberta website.

Looking forward to hearing from your readership.

Marty Alexander


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hugs all around!






We give thanks for all of YOU, and for those who, through the years,
have given their ALL for this country at home and abroad.
Be safe. Hug your family and friends often.
Tell them why you appreciate them!
Carry on!
The Abs at wildlandfire.com

11/25 Atta_Gal please resend your message, it went in spam. Ab.
11/24 Happy Thanksgiving

As a firefighter who is bound to a career of swinging a tool I would like to thank everyone who keeps this site going. It keeps my family, who doesn't really grasp what I do, informed. They check the site often and my father is always quizzing me on what you all are discussing. Checking the hotlist always gives me hope of another call coming. The information that hits the "They Said" page keeps me on my toes for all the issues I may face.

Amongst the many things I am thankful for, this site is for sure one. Sometimes I feel like the wildland scene is a dead end road that I will never find my way free of, but you all give me hope and help remind me why I do what I do. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe holiday season.


Thanks for the thanks, D. Our thanks to everyone too! This community is a blessing for sure. I'm thankful. Happy Thanksgiving thread on the hotlist. Ab.

11/24 Link info for Australia details:

There is a website/link to go to and fill out for the 2010/11 Australia detail for DOI folks. I'm looking for it, any help would be great.


11/24 Always Remember project:

Mellie talked about the Pepper Hill Fire in northern PA near Emporium where 8 CC members died.

Here's picture of Memorial Springs, dedicated to the memory of those firefighters.


Thanks Firefox1. Ab.

11/23 Posted this evening by Captmack on the hotlist...

Calif. Inmate Firefighter Killed, Others Hurt in Crash
A civilian also was killed, and a dozen inmate firefighters were hurt, four critically.
The Associated Press
Posted: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 09:02pm
Updated: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 09:08pm

GORMAN, Calif. -- A truck carrying a prison inmate wildfire crew collided Tuesday with a car on a narrow highway north of Los Angeles, killing one inmate and the driver of the car and injuring the truck's 12 other occupants, authorities said.

The car and truck crashed on Highway 138 near Interstate 5 south of Gorman, Los Angeles County fire Inspector Matt Levesque said.

Fire Inspector Frederic Stowers said one inmate was killed and the other 12 occupants of the truck were injured, four critically. Eleven of the 12 were inmate firefighters, and the other was their fire captain leader, who is not an inmate and was driving the truck. (more at the link...)

fair use disclaimer

Also posted by norcaltraining on the hotlist, another article by the LA Times with aerial photo.

Sad news. Condolences to friends, coworkers and families. Prayers for the complete and speedy recovery of the survivors. Ab.

11/23 More remembering our fallen:


Thank you for keeping efforts lately on the site remembering fallen brothers and sisters.

Our ongoing project on the BDF to remember USFS and aviation contractors. We have been at this for a few years now.

Take a look at our page and of course help fill in the blanks and corrections. Unfortunately the list is far from complete, since we are researching one fatality from 1958 and possibly one from around 1970 here on the forest.

>>> fallen usfs firefighters memorial


Great site the BDF Heroes site! The url no longer worked, so we all thought the page was taken down. Great news that it's not.

Of course the Always Remember Project will share. Earlier in the year we used your page to verify what we were finding. Group effort! Thanks to all researchers and  members of the Honor Guard. Ab.

11/23 Spike Camp

Does anyone know if the FS used the term spike camp before the CCC did? Lots of CCCers got their skills and work ethic from FS mentors.

I agree, nice Melissa is back and very interesting website on the CCC. I remember one marker in north/central Pennsylvania up near Elk State Forest (Emporium) where CCC firefighters died. Wish I'd taken a picture. CCC young men did a lot of very fine bridge and trail construction throughout the Midwest and Northeast. They still exist.


11/23 A family member once asked me where the term Spike Camp came from.

I didn't know.

Here it is, pre SJ, pre HS, from CCC Days.

CCC Side Camps, Fly Camps and Spike Camps

Thanks Melissa from the WFF for the link to an interesting historical website.
Good to see you back.

a hotshot

Thanks, I added it to the IMWTK page. Ab

11/23 Sym Limb video


Attached is the Sim Limb video, as a 6.6 mb Windows Movie wmv file.

vfd cap'n

fs simlimb 25 megs.wmv

Many thanks, vfd cap'n. It's as impressive today as it was upon first viewing. Thanks to Michelle Reugebrink, Dave Chamberlin and Tahoe Shots. Ab.

11/23 Always Remember project:

Thanks everyone,

Jeff for the Tunnel 6 contact info, Rick for all the old LAC memories, and others. It's amazing the wealth of historical info people can still tap.


11/22 Giving thanks

Hi to all:

I know it is still two days away from Thanksgiving but since it appears I'll be shoveling snow until then, I wanted to offer my sincerest heartfelt wishes to all and your families for a very Happy & Safe Thanksgiving.

Each year at this time, while being thankful for the obvious...families & friends, I like to offer my thanks to all of you who allow me to have the best job in the world. Yes, the stress and frustration can be intense at times and although the desire to throw up my arms and say "to hell with it" enters that void between my ears every once in a while, all I have to do is think of this special community and the men & women who place their faith, confidence and trust in me and the FWFSA along with all those who make this community the family it truly is and my motivation to continue to deal with the *#%@ in Washington builds back up.

Thanks to all of you. May Peace & Happiness embrace all of you & your loved ones during the holidays.

Much Respect & Affection,


11/22 Sym Limb video

Thanks, Retired!

Regarding appreciation of the danger when in snag-infested woods, this training and video came out in 2006 because of all the falling snags and felling accidents. It's a great opportunity to see how fast a limb hits the ground, often before anyone can act...

Sim Limb (OK, the link to Sym Limb does not work anymore, maybe because it's 25 Meg. Does anyone know where it moved to or have a copy they can send us?)
Hotlist thread to read the comments about it...


Update, OK got it from vfd cap'n...

11/22 Always Remember project:

Kenneth Enslow was a first year Fire Fighter I with CDF. He was employed at the Home Gardens Schedule A station in Riverside County. CDF Firefighter Enslow was killed by a falling snag on the RECER Fire on the Mendocino NF. It was his first wildland timber fire and he may not have appreciated the danger despite being warned. He died the next day, August 14, 1990.

Signed Retired

11/22 Ab,

Here are four CAL FIRE Green Sheets ref: the fires where additional information is requested. I have attached the 1990 RRU California Fire, the 1990 MNF Recer Fire, the 1987 MEU Lauder Fire and the 2004 TCU Tuolumne Fire.

Thank you.

CORE VALUES: **Leadership*Competence*Integrity*Safety*Customer Service**

Unit & County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins
Riverside County Fire Department

Thanks very much, John. The Always Remember! Project appreciates the information. Ab.

11/22 Reminder:

The WFF number on the 2010 Combined Federal Campaign is #12544.

Good time to make a donation. Ab.

11/22 for the Always Remember project,
from Melissa at the Wildland Firefighter Foundation:

Camp Pendleton Fire LODDs - 1966

Lance Corporal Roger L. Zarbok, 19, St. Paul, MN
Private First Class Leslie W. Hendrix, 20, Keyes, CA
Private First Class Cecil J. Henshew, 20, Bellevue, WA
Private Lewis W. Connor, 20, Kenova, WV
Private First Class Henry S. Terrazas, 20, Austin, TX

Killed in the Blackwater Fire- 1937:

Alfred G. Clayton, Ranger
James T. Saban, Technical Foreman
Rex A. Hale, Jr. Assistant to the Technician
Paul E. Tyrrell, Jr. Forester
Billy Lea, Bureau of Public Roads Crewman

CCC Enrollees:
Clyde Allen
Roy Bevins
Ambrogio Garcia
John B Gerdes
Will C. Griffith
Mack T. Mayabb
George Rodgers
Ernest Seelke
Rubin Sherry
William Whitlock

Complete story of the fire: 2007/08/death on the fire line blackwater fire

Fairview Hollow Fire - Kentucky Div. of Forestry, 1965 - LODDs
William Brock
James Shepard
Kenneth Mcknight

1965 Fairview Hollow

11/21 Ab,

Guess my memory is not that great, LOL. The name of the incident Mr. Enslow was on was the Recer Incident not the
Bear Incident. Please pass on to Mellie. Thank you.

Judy Brazzi Bungarz

Thanks Judy. Ab.

11/21 Always Remember!


The post, 11/21 from Mellie requested information on the fatalities. Under CDF Fatalities is listed Kenneth E. Enslow.
Mr. Enslow was killed by a falling snag on an incident on the Mendocino National Forest August 14, 1990. Mr. Enslow
was an engine crewmember on a So. Cal CDF Engine, was 20 years old and I believe this was his first year working for
CDF. The incident name was, if memory serves me right, the Bear Incident.

Judy Brazzi Bungarz
Retired Center Manager, Mendocino National Forest

Thanks Judy. Ab.

11/21 Always Remember!

Thanks for the insight, "Retired". I looked up several CDFers to check your premise that it's not the Unit address. They're both listed as Sacramento, with the CDF or CAL FIRE chief's address.

Denis Lee Cullins, 1987; Copter 102 Kneeland Helitack sacramento
Eva Marie Schicke, 2004; Copter 404 Columbia Helitack sacramento

Even though the national database goes back to 1981 with names of people on the Maryland memorial, when you go back beyond about 2000, the links to individual record details are more spotty, including no info on if they're wildland or structure firefighters. They can only post what they receive and can verify.

"Retired", I added the your details for Kenneth Enslow to the database. The USFA database does not have any of his details. I figured out he died in 1990. Do you remember the incident name? There could be info on the Lessons Learned Center database.

Thanks for the personal emails, too.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is supporting this research, as well as others behind the scenes. Thanks, everyone! This is truly a wildland firefighter endeavor.

Always Remember! Hug your family. Count your blessings!


11/21 Always Remember!


Kenneth Enslow was a 20 year old CDF Firefighter killed on a fire on Mendocino National Forest in early 1990's. Killed by a falling tree. The artist that made the sculpture of firefighters on the capital mall in sacramento used him as the model for the one of the firefighters in the statue. Should be a CDF green sheet or USFS doc with more info. Think his engine was out of CDF Riverside. Could be CDF uses Sacramento as location for all employees?

signed retired

11/21 Does anyone know if a FLA is planned or completed for the WA-FEBN-Daven Place Fire burnover?

I don't see anything yet on that hotlist thread.


I haven't seen it yet. Here's the hotlist thread with the 24 and 72 hr reports: WA-FEBN Daven Place Fire burnover. Ab.

11/21 Always Remember!


The only reason I can think of for listing the victims from Bautista Crew 3 as "CDF Sacramento" is that they were inmates. As such, they wouldn't be considered part of Riverside Unit CDF.

Tool Pusher

11/21 Always Remember!


In the Oakland Hills Fire, it was an OFD Battalion Chief who died. The only OFD name on the list is Riley. That should be the lost member.


11/21 Always Remember!

Good morning, All,

I could use some info if anyone knows or has access to pertinent records. These LODD firefighters are missing from our Always Remember! database. I'm hoping someone has or can get this info.

Camp Pendleton Fire 1966/11/1 (same day as the Loop Fire, and reported in the LA Times) 4 firefighters killed
Baliff Fire on the San Bernardino NF in 1967, 1 firefighter was killed
Tunnel 6 Fire in 1954 on the Tahoe NF, 3 firefighters were killed

CDF Fatalities:
California Fire 1990/6/27 near Hemet, Riverside RU, 2 members of Bautista Crew #3 were killed, just found those but wonder why they're labeled from CDF Sacramento?
incorrect-Kenneth E Enslow (Sacramento)- incorrect, should be Victor Ferrera
Aaron J Perry (Sacramento)
Canyon Fire 1968/8/2 near Azusa, 8 firefighters were killed

Kenneth Enslow must have died on a different incident, maybe falling snag?

Interagency CA
Oakland/Berkeley Hills Fire 1991/10/20, one FF and one LE were killed.
The USFA website has nine records. One is an Oakland FF, but help raced in from all over during that firestorm. Can anyone rule any of these firefighters in or out?

Blackwater Fire
in Wyoming 1937/08/21, on the Shoshone NF, 15 were killed and are listed on the plaque, but I can't make out the names

Fairview Hollow Fire on 1965/3/16 near Harlan, KY Division of Forestry, 3 firefighters were killed

Utah, OK, just found those two names...

One 1988 record I'm looking for is an entrapment LODD from a "Bule Hole" Rx burn.
The USFA ff memorial lookup has the following fatalities listed, but no info surrounding their deaths or whether they are wildland fire or prescribed fire. (The USFA database only goes back to 1981 so there's no record of any older, more historical deaths.)

1988, Oregon searching for possible entrapment LODD called Bule Hole Rx burn Firefighters Memorial Database Results searching on OR and 1988

Firefighter's Name /           Fire Dept. /             Name City, State

Beck, Wendell L     / Crooker River Ranch Fire District / Terrebonne, Oregon
Mohr, Louis A         / Pine Grove Rural Fire District / Hood River, Oregon
Schas, David Alfred / US Forest Service / Redmond, Oregon
Stroda, Joseph J      / Halsey-Shedd Rural Fire Protection District / Halsey, Oregon

If anyone has entrapment fatalities from your states, would you please let me know? I appreciate the memorial photos and Wildland Fire Memorial Sites with names from the NJ firefighters and others. It's a rich collection of those that gave their all.

Kellie and Tom Jones, Thanks for the info and leads on reading about the Tillamook burn in OR.

Thanks everyone for any help,


11/20 R-5 Forest Service Firefighters. Your Regional Forester is looking for a few good IC's. Maybe the letter for the other IMT positions is forthcoming, however if not, thanks to wlf.com this outreach can be extended to you.

Wildland Firefighters - It's time.

Apply for membership on our California Federal Incident Management Teams. Applications are accepted until January 15th. Both qualified and trainees may apply.


Date: November 18, 2010
Subject: Type 1 and Type 2 California Interagency Incident Management Teams (CIIMT) - Incident Commanders/Deputy Incident Commanders Pos itions
To: Forest Supervisors, Forest FMOs, ECC Managers, Directors


The California Wildland Fire Coordinating Group (CWCG) is recruiting for IC, Deputy IC, and IC mentee trainee positions to serve on the Type 1 and Type 2 California Interagency Incident Management Teams (CIIMT). Applications for IC, Deputy IC and IC mentee trainee positions need to be submitted through your CWCG Agency Representative listed in the application by December 1, 2010 . As part of the application process, CWCG will schedule an interview with Incident Commander Applicants during the month of December.

Applications can be found Here.

The California CIIMT tenure was changed from 5 years to 3 years in 2009. If you have not applied since 2006, you must reapply to be considered. Team members selected from 2007 and 2008 fall under the 5-year tenure and will fulfill their commitment at the end of 2011 and 2012 respectively. Team members selected in 2009 will fulfill their 3-year tenure at the end of 2011.

Applications will not be considered without the following signatures (/s/ will not be accepted):

* Applicant
* Certifying Official (verifying that the applicant meets all certification/qualification requirements in FSH 5109.17 for the applied position)
* Immediate Supervisor (acknowledging applicant will be made available for team assignment(s), training, and currency maintenance for up to 3-years)
* Forest Supervisor or Staff Director (acknowledging applicant will be made available for team assignment(s), training, and currency maintenance for up to 3-years)

If you have any questions, please contact your Agency Representative listed in the application.

/s/ Daniel J. Jirón (for)
Regional Forester
11/20 Operators Manual Model 51


We are forming a volunteer fire dept in Sloughouse CA, obtaining a 1981 GMC 4 door Model 51 Fire Truck, with a KCR Manufacturing 300G tank, with a hose reel on each side. Someone  took the brass labels off the control panel. Do you know where I could obtain an operator's manual? I've contacted the manufacturer to no avail.

Thank you for any assistance you might provide,
Andrew Gjelsteen

I'd be happy to pass on any message. Ab.

11/19 Update on the NV BLM Unimog photo:

We have discovered who the NV Firefighter is and the photo is of him on the left and his brother.

My question now is this: Does anyone have photos of Tildon Smart's dad that could share them here and with Tildon?

Thanks, Ab.

11/18 Seeking info on who's in a photo on wlf.com

Hi, my name is Tildon Smart I was wondering if you could tell me the names of the gentlemen in the Winnemucca BLM unimog photo. I lost my father in January and the guy on the left resembles him but the photo is not clear. If you can't tell me, is there any way you or I could find out?



Tildon, I don't know. That photo was sent in about 2000 and appears to be from 1998 or 1999. That's the original size. Readers, does anyone know who the firefighters are? Credit is to NV Firefighter. Photo description follows. Ab.

Unimog: I was looking at your engine pictures and didn't think it would be complete unless you had some pictures of a Unimog. So here they are. I was a crewmember on Unimogs for my first three seasons, and in 1998 and 1999 I was the foreman of 2931 (Super Mog). For those who don't know the Unimog is made by Mercedes Benz, and they are a perfect truck for the fuel types and terrain in the Great Basin. Engine 2931 has a 350 gpm pump and holds 730 gallons of water. The most impressive feature is the hydraulic blade that we use to cut line. Many people who don't understand Mogs are under the impression that they are not reliable and prone to serious break downs. What they don't understand is the stress and strain that these trucks are subjected to. With proper care and maintenance I guarantee these trucks can out perform anything on the lines today day in and day out.

Photo courtesy of NV Firefighter.

11/18 Floating Over Flames

Story of a smokejumper..


11/18 Subject: Great Basin Cache (GBK) Annual Inventory and Subsequent Ordering Cut-Off Date

Great Basin Cache will perform an annual inventory in January, during which ONLY orders for emergency incidents will be processed. GBK will continue to process and ship all other orders until inventory begins, however, to ensure that your order is processed and shipped, it must be submitted no later than December 17, 2010. Normal processing should resume on January 24, 2011.

Please note these dates on your calendars and spread the word to your training officers, course coordinators and cooperators. We realize this has a large impact on the fire training community and want to spread the word now so you can preplan your course supply orders.

If you have questions, feel free to direct them to me at 208-387-5104

Thank you for your patience.

Nicole Hallisey
Assistant Manager, Great Basin Cache
National Interagency Fire Center
11/18 Historical crew photo posted on Handcrews 28 photo page:

Cle Elum & Ellensburg Combined Crew '70s: Here's a photo of the Regional Reinforcement fire crew, combined crews from Cle Elum, WA and Ellensburg, WA, early 70's. Claim to fame is that we were sent to Minnesota to fight the peat bog fires in the fall, an impossible job! And then it snowed. Photo compliments of John Gaasland.

11/17 followup thanks for photos for Oregon wildfire billboards:

Attached please find the final of our wildfire billboard. I received two additional photo submissions. This ultimately was the one we chose because we were able to get it in the proper resolution.

Thanks again for all your help!

Josephine County Emergency Management/Search & Rescue

Thanks contributors and thanks Andrew H for Structures Threatened. Ab.

11/17 followup thanks:

The Wild Fire Camp in Salida Colorado exceeded my expectations. Because of your helpful website, I was able to get my S-130/S-190, S-133, L-180, I-100 and a verification that I completed the pack test at 7,200 feet.

Thanks again,
- Adam

Adam, Glad the info here steered you in the right direction. Best wishes in your firefighting career. Ab.

11/17 Chance Zobel, LODD

From GA Peach, this memorial service takes place this morning. (In about an hour Pacific time. Please take a moment of silence.)

Fallen firefighter to be laid to rest today (South Carolina -Columbia)
Nov 17, 2010

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Family, friends and firefighters from all over the state will gather to celebrate firefighter Chance Zobel's life today.

Zobel was killed while putting out a grass fire Saturday. Troopers say he was hit by an out of control car in the median of Interstate 20.

Firefighter Larry Irvin, 30, was also injured in the accident. Irvin remains in the hospital in critical, but stable condition.

A public memorial for the 23-year-old Zobel will be held at

1:00pm Wednesday at
Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, SC

followed by a burial service at Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Irmo. (more at link)

Donations solicited for fire fighters' families (South Carolina) (story at link, but here's the address for donations)

Donations should be mailed to:

Columbia Fire Fighters Foundation
Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union
1320 Washington Street Suite # 1
Columbia, SC 29201-3382
Account # 413001330078

11/16 All,

I'm looking for outside funding sources to attend a 2 week wilderness medical training in January.

I work for the NPS which has the Albright-Wirth grant program. Unfortunately, that program seems to be overtaxed. Last year it took almost 11 months to find out I didn't get my request funded.

With the funding issues affecting training and travel funds across the agencies, I'm going to have to look elsewhere to fund my non-standard training needs.

Any help or ideas would be appreciated.


Good luck with that. I'm happy to pass any messages on to emt_mb. Ab.

11/15 Congrats to Brian Kliesen a permanent-seasonal firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service and the raffle winner of the new 2010 Jeep Wrangler from the 1910 Fire Commemoration committee!

U.S. Forest Service worker an appropriate winner

. . . 1910 Fire Jeep owner Kliesen had only bought his raffle ticket the day before the drawing. He had been following the 1910 Fire Commemoration events closely upon reading "The Big Burn" by Timothy Egan through a wildland fire community website, unable to attend personally due to his active status as an Army reservist. . . .

Big congratulations, Brian, and thanks for your service to our country, as firefighter, as a supporter of the WFF and through your military service.!


Repost: on 10/19 Brian wrote:

Dear Ab,

Once again the Combined Federal Campaign has started and Federal Employees, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines are encouraged to make either a one time contribution or a monthly allotment to one of hundreds of worthy charities. Something as simple as $5.00 a month would equal $60.00/year for your favorite charities.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is one of those recognized charities listed and I would encourage you all to consider a donation to this fine organization. It is Number 12544 and this is one of the easiest ways to donate to them.

For more information on the Combined Federal Campaign, or to donate online, go to; opm.gov/cfc


SPC Brian Kliesen
Fort Riley, KS

11/15 Leader Development:

Firefighters in this for a career...

Make time this winter, visit fireleadership.gov/ and take it upon yourself to educate yourself.


11/15 The newsletter (which Ab has abbreviated) came in from the Executive Director of FireSmoke Coalition (firesmoke.org), CPTC

The Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition provides:

  • Resources for Firefighters
  • Pathology and Toxicology
  • Hazardous Materials
  • ALS | BLS | ER
  • Military

From the Executive Director (abbreviated newsletter info; links provided)

Welcome to the new training web site for the Fire Smoke Coalition, a division of the Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition. As the epicenter for Fire Smoke education, it is our mission to provide first responders with the latest research and training opportunities to prevent fire smoke exposure.

Included in the new site:

Ask an Expert: Post your questions for response within 24-48 hours. Experts include Coalition board members and national authorities on fire smoke which include firefighters, toxicologists, medical doctors, and more. Whatever the question, we have the expert to answer it.

Firefighter Blog: Share information relative to products, training, SOPs, SOGs, etc. Many departments don't know where to start when searching for equipment, implementing standards and more. Share what you know or need to know. (and more)

Shawn Longerich, Executive Director

Ab's bold. It's easy to sign up with PayPal. $25 buys you lots of important health info for life!

11/15 Mellie's Tillamook Fire request:


I would suggest contacting the Oregon Department of Forestry's Tillamook Forest Center. It is devoted to the history of the Tillamook forest and they might be able to assist you with your search for that book.

Toll Free 866-930-4646

They do have limited winter hours. They can be found on their website: tillamookforestcenter.org

Good luck.


11/14 Porterville (OC) Organized Crew program shut down for 2011:


Seasonal firefighters face loss of Sequoia jobs


Part of the article, but read the whole thing. Ab.

More than 400 seasonal firefighters assigned to Sequoia National Forest are worried that they might not be hired next year.


She gave her field divisions until Oct. 31 to get their documents in order.

"They didn't do it," she said of the Porterville OC.

It's left OC members, including Visalia resident Dereck Bailey, worried.

"Honestly, I don't know what they're going to do about wildland fires [without the OC crews next year]," he said.

The loss of income could be devastating to his family if the Forest Service doesn't hire seasonal firefighters here next year.

But that's not likely to happen, Terrel said.

She said she sent her letter to get the Porterville OC leaders to determine which of their firefighters had proof of training and which would have to prove training or be re-trained in order to be hired next fire season.

And it seems to have worked, as Terrel noted: "I got a letter from the fire staff. They can get it done by Nov. 17."

If this deadline is met, Terrel said she likely will rescind her announcement before Thanksgiving.

fair use disclaimer

11/13 Mellie,

There is a book titled "Big Sam" written by his son Sam Churchill. Big Sam Churchill grew up in a logging camp in the coast range of Oregon and worked as a logger before and during the Tillamook fire . It has quite a bit about the logging practices that led up to the Tillomook Burn and includes many events during the fire. I checked it out of my high school library in Yakima 45 years ago and read it so I can't recall if it goes into the aftermath of the fire or not. It was what got me interested in becoming a forest fire fighter. You might find it interesting...if you haven't found it already.

Tom Jones

11/12 From Casey:

Now that Kent is retiring, he'll have plenty of time to head back to our old stomping grounds together...Washington D.C. I can't tell everyone how much I miss him when I'm on the Hill and the incredible amount of time & effort he put into the FWFSA and federal wildland firefighter issues over the years...or the beer we consumed during our Hill journeys!

Thanks Casey for that post. Great to see all the names together. We all need you and a strong FWFSA now more than ever. You and Chief Swartzlander might just need a kegger this time around since you could have plenty to work on over the next 9 years if these were ever implemented:

  • Freezes federal salaries, bonuses and other compensation for three years.
  • Rolls discretionary spending back to FY 2010 levels.
  • Requires 1% cut in discretionary budget authority every year from FY 2013 to 2015.
  • Use highest 5 years to calculate civil service pensions, instead of 3.
  • Ask Federal workers to contribute 1/2 the cost (not 1/14) for retirement.

fiscalcommission.gov: CoChair Draft pdf

Buckle Up.....

11/12 For those interested in looking at larger and longer patterns of La Nina and El Nino oscillation

Rick Ochoa's Predictive Services podcast (Fire Weather Program Manager at NIFC), mp3 about 3 minutes

map that's referenced National Wildland Significant Fire Potential Outlook  (pdf 382 K)


11/12 Ab,

I was first certified as a Firearms Safety Instructor in 1970, and have taught in three states. Please let me remind all of your readers who may be heading for the woods this fall to remember the cardinal rule of gun safety: "Always point the muzzle in a safe direction." Guns and ammunition malfunction.

Thoughts and prayers for the families of our firefighting comrades.


11/11 Does anyone have a copy or know where there might be a copy of

The details of the Tillamook fire from its origin to the salvage of the killed timber [Unknown Binding]
William G Morris (Author)

Amazon says it's out of print.
# Publisher: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station (1935)
# Language: English
# ASIN: B00089Y50O

I'd be curious to read it.


11/11 Remembering Captain Clyde ‘Frank’ Lang, 1923-2010

Remembering captain clyde frank lang 1923-2010

Just heard about Frank's passing. This was posted last fire season when I was gone. What a character, They broke the mold after he was born. RIP.


11/11 CO-WRF-Meadow Creek Fire tree branch injures firefighter:

Meadow Creek APA: firefighter was struck by a tree branch on the Meadow Creek Fire, White River National Forest on 7/5/10 (posted by Lessons Learned Center yesterday):

Meadow Creek APA (2,088 K pdf file)

Thanks for the heads up roadrunner. Ab.

11/11 CA-CNF-Engine burn damage

The CNF FLA on the engine burn damage 9/23/10 (posted by Lessons Learned Center yesterday)

CNF Engine Damage FLA (917 K pdf file)

Thanks, roadrunner. Ab.

11/10 Re Porterville (OC) Organized Crew program shut down for 2011:

Making Local News .. recorderonline.com


11/10 My deepest condolences to the family, friends and hotshots who knew the Pleasant Valley Hotshot and the Logan Hotshot who lost their lives with accidental gunshot wounds, this past week.

You are in my thoughts and prayers as I travel home, and always-


11/10 Fatal accidental gunshot wounds:

Saw something on CNBC last week and was wondering:

Did either fatal accident involve the popular Remington 700 rifle? There are growing concerns that the "safety" can act as a trigger and the gun can fire with no one ever pulling the trigger.

Documents Reveal Remington Wrestled with Potential Gun Safety Problems for Decades
Deaths, injuries raise questions for popular Remington 700 rifle

Be safe!


11/10 Kent Swartzlander retirement:


Now that Kent is retiring, he'll have plenty of time to head back to our old stomping grounds together...Washington D.C. I can't tell everyone how much I miss him when I'm on the Hill and the incredible amount of time & effort he put into the FWFSA and federal wildland firefighter issues over the years...or the beer we consumed during our Hill journeys!

Our newest & youngest members need to know the sacrifices, contributions & impact the earliest FWFSA members like

  • Kent Swartzlander,
  • Don Will,
  • Dennis Baldridge,
  • Pete Duncan,
  • Rusty Witwer,
  • Jeff Barnhart,
  • Charles Beckman,
  • Bob Bennett,
  • Jon Bianchini,
  • Don Bliss,
  • Duane Brunson,
  • Denny Bungarz,
  • Barry Callenberger,
  • Doug Campbell,
  • Rodney Carlton,
  • George Chapman,
  • Autumn Clark,
  • Rick Cowell,,
  • Ken Crawford,
  • Larry Craggs,
  • Tony Duprey,
  • Anthony Escobar,
  • Sean Ferrell,
  • Don Feser,
  • Al Foley,
  • Robert Frost,
  • Richard Garner,
  • Steve Griffin,
  • Rich Haagenson,
  • Gerald Herring,
  • Jerry Horine,
  • Michael Horney
  • Mike Huhnke,
  • Tim Huntington,
  • Jerry Hurley,
  • Thomas James,
  • Paul Johnson,
  • Ken & Charlotte Jordan,
  • Carlton Joseph,
  • Jeff Keiser,
  • Greg Keller,
  • Danielle Kissinger,
  • Dan Kleinman,
  • Pete Koerber,
  • Robert Kress,
  • Robert LaMay,
  • Robert Laeng,
  • Michael Lanier
  • Mark Linane,
  • Ron Linebarger,
  • Merritt Lovejoy,
  • Joaquin Marquez,
  • Harley McGovran,
  • Jerry McGowan,
  • Joan McNamara,
  • Chris Mehnne,
  • Ray Mockli,
  • David Montoya,
  • Steven Montoya,
  • Morris Moody,
  • Tammy Mount,
  • Mike Nobles,
  • Gerald Ortega,
  • Leticia Otero,
  • Greg Overacker,
  • Cliff Peay,
  • Jeanne Pincha-Tulley,
  • Steve Poulos,
  • Steve Raymer,
  • Richard Rios,
  • Ron Rusten,
  • Lynn Saunders,
  • Brian Scott,
  • Bob Serrato,
  • Mark Smith,
  • Stan Stewart,
  • Jeff Stone,
  • Larry Turman,
  • Scott Vail,
  • and others

made and continue to make today to support the FWFSA in an effort to provide our Nation's federal wildland firefighters with the pay, benefits, working conditions and recognition deserved for far too long.

The FWFSA's continuing existence, and the foundation for our continued commitment to our wildland firefighters was forged by these men & women and others. The only way we can repay them is to remain dedicated and persistent in our efforts.

My sincerest best wishes to Mike & Kent.


Reads like a who's who of wildland firefighter leaders. Thanks FWFSA organizers. Ab.

11/9 The local news last night said Mike Minton, currently Chief 2, will become the new FMO on the Six Rivers NF come January.

Minton, who performed as the Deputy Forest Fire Chief since 2006, brings a broad diversity of skills and knowledge to the position. Some of Minton's previous experience includes working for the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon National Park and working for the Bureau of Land Management on the Northern District of California. from the FS press release

Kent Swartzlander is retiring at the end of the year. Best wishes to you, Kent! Thanks for your great service! Thanks for your contributions to FWFSA in its formative years (and after) and your appearances before Congress.


11/9 RE: Betty White as an Honorary Ranger -

I guess they finally found someone to sign the Forest Service wide NEPA decision for prescribed burning.

(tongue firmly planted in cheek)


HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW. FS web page. Ab

11/9 RE: Betty White as an Honorary Ranger

RE:Betty White

I would rather have Betty White on the fire line over most of the "Line Officers". She would at least "act" like she knew what she was doing unlike the so called "Line Officers". Betty for District Ranger 2010!!


11/9 Ab,

Did you hear about the latest attempt to boost morale at the Forest Service? Betty White is being made an honorary FS ranger, with about the same fire qualification as some of the real line officers.

vfd cap'n

See post below. Ab.

11/9 Hi Folks -

I'm looking for a quality webbing belt for my boyfriend. I've had one forever that I got when working in fire, but not sure where I got it.

This is the closest I've found: nationalfirefighter.com  but I'm hoping for no velcro and a dull (not shiny) buckle.

Can anyone suggest a source?



Follow-up from National Firefighter: This belt in the link does not have Velcro and the buckle is more of a brushed or satin finish than a polished finish.
Here's a good location to discuss this: Hotlist webbing belt thread Ab.

11/8 Making the rounds:

Smokejumping and the Science of Megafires
Published November 08, 2010 | Popular Mechanics

Are we in the age of megafires?

Many scientists think the era of megafires is upon us, and not just because of the massive fires Russia suffered this year. Three of the eight worst forest fire years on record occurred in the past 10 years, according to fire experts.

A combination of rural development, climate change and years of firefighting policies that allowed brush to accumulate have set the conditions for massive blazes, and firefighters and researchers are investigating new ways to understand and fight megafires. Popular Mechanics visited the Fire Science Lab at Missoula, Mont. -- the birthplace of "smokejumping" and the largest fire research lab in the world -- to get a glimpse of how fire fighters use vast amounts of data, technology and some high-risk DIY to defeat tomorrow's conflagrations.

Field Tests

There are approximately 150,000 firefighters in the United States. Nearly 75 percent are dedicated to urban and suburban structures; some 40,000 fight forest fires, and then there are the handful of smokejumpers -- about 270 -- who parachute into the heart of a fire.

These extreme firefighters monitor a fire's movement and prescribe burns to stop the spread. Missoula is home to the first and largest smokejumper station in North America (there are six others), as well as one of the world's largest fire sciences research laboratories.

For lots more on the science and lifestyle of smokejumpers, see the full story on Popular Mechanics.

fair use disclaimer

11/8 making the rounds:

Betty White Honorary U.S. Forest Ranger; Webcast

At 11 am ET on Tuesday, November 9th, actress Betty White will be named an Honorary US Forest Ranger by Chief Tidwell at a ceremony being held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Betty White has stated in numerous interviews that her first ambition as a young girl was to become a forest ranger --- but in those days such career paths were not open to women in the Forest Service.

Watch this special Forest Service ceremony Tuesday, November 9 starting at 11:00 ET @: video/ (internal FS web for FS employees.)

The live video stream has open captioning

11/7 Porterville (OC) Organized Crew program shut down for 2011

In response to gr8-1

The ability to identify personnel signing up for classes or a fire assignment has not been an issue. There is picture id program in place already, I saw back in 2007. Certainly, there are 500 personnel, and a fire staff of how many ? 2 or 3 maybe.

Up until a few years ago these crews bought their own gear. Accusations of abuse from crew leaders/organizers... sure I'll give you that. Possible, but,,, innocent until proven guilty.. Right ... There is no difference between that and the abuse that goes on in the agency as a whole.

This issue was resolved when Crew Leaders were removed two years ago. risk vs gain. What again is the issue? Accusations that have been floated, or current events.....

P.S. When was the last time you went to staff a crew there?



11/7 R5 fire hire:

"The most current information I have received from our selecting officials is that this round's cert. Lists were intentionally pulled prior to the IFPM cut off, so that the standards will not be selection criteria this time but they will in the future."

Well, this is a yes and no thing...I was a SME there, and positions that had IFPM quals were looked at for quals after all. BUT, Anyone who would have made the position except for IFPM quals were put into Level 3, which can still be selected. Remember, the levels:

Level 1 is fully qualified, and HAVE PERFORMED IN THE POSITION BEFORE, either paid, temp promotion, detail, or acting.

Level 2 is that you have all the quals, and are certified in a SIMILAR BUT NOT EXACT POSITION. Example being a Handcrew captain putting in for an Engine captain job at the same level.

Level 3 is missing a qualification, such as needing a class, a taskbook, or IFPM. Example being putting in for an Engine Captain position without being ENGB, (or, now, missing an IFPM qual.) These folks usually are not considered until all Level 1 and 2 are gone thru, but this round only, can be offered.

Level 4 is either bad references, or someone has asked to have their app pulled from that round. These folks can not be considered at all .


11/7 Sacramento Memorial support needed.

I have a fallen pilot's family coming to Sacramento on Wednesday to see the Memorial there. I need someone to escort them to the memorial. It is a wife and two daughters.

Please contact me if you can help. Email me at: director@ nospam wffoundation.org or call 208-336-2996.

Thanks so much

Vicki Minor
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

11/7 comeback,

You would need to do some research on the terms reinstatement rights, career status and career conditional status. A Federal Employees Almanac or some intensive web searching and you will find answers.

But the fact is no one who leaves federal service will get that federal job back or any federal job back without competing (applying) for it. It is extremely rare to see non-competitive reinstatements. Not impossible, but I've never seen it happen in the Forest Service. The Merit Promotion Plan might also address this.

11/7 reinstatement eligibility

I'm aware that this issue was passed around a few months ago, but with regard to reinstatement eligibility... If a former employee was to comeback to the agency within the allowable time limit, what or where is that person placed if their previous position has already been filled? (ex. Engine captain position was filled and there are no more vacant positions on the district or forest, what now?)

the comeback kid???

11/7 To all:

On Thursday, Nov. 4, Dalton Lasater was killed by an accidental gunshot wound. Dalton was a member of the Pleasant Valley Hotshots, Tonto NF. He was a young ball of energy with a bright future in the agency. He is deeply missed. Our prayers, thoughts and hopes go out to his family and all of those lucky enough to call him friend.

The funeral will be held Wednesday, Nov. 10 in Palo Cedro, CA at Allen and Dahl Funeral Home, 1500hrs.

Cards and letters of condolence can be sent to'

Lasater Family
23972 State Hwy. 44
Milleville, CA 96062

Please keep his family in yours thoughts and prayers,
Patrick Moore
Pleasant Valley Hotshots

Sad news. Condolences to family and friends. Ab.

11/7 Most recent commentary on termination of the Porterville Organized Crews:



11/7 R5 fire hire:


The most current information I have received from our selecting officials is that this round's cert. lists were intentionally pulled prior to the IFPM cut off, so that the standards will not be selection criteria this time but they will in the future.

That being said, my assumption is that they may run in to roadblocks as the effective dates would be after the standards are in effect, so we shall see. I have already seen ASC deny temporary promotion SF-52's for people who did not meet IFPM and were selected for the promotion prior to Oct 1 but the effective date was after Oct 1. So the date the cert list was pulled may be a moot point with ASC as they are concerned with the employees position effective date. Hopefully there was discussion with ASC by those way above me and I'm just being a pessimist.

the gr8-1

11/7 Great posts Mike and Casey.

Hopefully the FWFSA can be effective in the next session of Congress. What we all need to do is to continue to support Casey through getting the word out and joining the FWFSA. We're all facing budget changes this year and in the future, we need our voice in Congress fighting for us now more than ever.

Thanks Casey/Mike

Doug Frederick, Spokane WA

11/6 R5 fire hire:

R-5 Fire Hire job offers start this week.  Does anyone know if they are going to allow job offers to go to applicants who don't meet IFPM requirements for the IFPM position(s) they applied to in this round? 


11/6 Brit Rosso, former Arrowhead IHC Squad ldr., Capt., and Supt. as well as SEKI overhead is now the director of the Lessons Learned Center. EODs sometime this month.


That's great news! Excellent work by Dave Christenson as acting director, also. Here are some pictures of the participants: wildfirelessons.net Ab.

11/5 Ab:

Please post this with Casey's Post.



I enjoyed Casey

11/5 2003 Old Fire: Chuck Henry rescue:

For those of you who actually witnessed Chuck Henry being rescued and those who don't know, here is a picture of the event. The only portion of the news van visible is the aerial boom in front of the Joshua Tree National Park engine.


Thanks MA. I added it to the Fire 45 photo page. Wow. Click on the thumbnail for the larger photo. Ab.

11/5 Hi AB:

Attached is the complete letter (85 K pdf file) the FWFSA received from Mr. Eugene Warner last week regarding allegations about the Esperanza Fire. I sincerely appreciate the responses I've already received about this matter.

If this letter helps anyone recall this person or his motives, please don't hesitate to let me know.


Casey Judd
Business Manager
11/4 Popcorn Machine Code 3

Fire Geek:

It was nice to catch some night air before the film festival in Spokane, thanks to the Spokane FD popcorn machine. Yes, more folks should attend the IAWF conferences. The film night theme will probably continue.


Easy! Button.

11/4 Thinking of Barb Bonefeld...

Barb was wearing her Nomex when laid to rest this afternoon. A representative of the Honor Guard attended along with her friends and family. God has welcomed her home.

Old Fire Guy

Thank you very much Old Fire Guy for attending. I can imagine her in nomex. RIP, Barb. Thanks to the Honor Guard rep, too. Ab.

11/4 To All:

I'm curious if anyone off the BDF or who knows anything at all about the Esperanza Fire tragedy and subsequent criminal proceedings is familiar with someone named Eugene Warner.

The FWFSA recently received a letter from him and sent to all sorts of others including politicians, judges, local government fire departments, Dept. of Justice and the Riverside County grand jury among others, claiming all those listed in his letter, including the FWFSA were "playing the dumb card;" that the fire actually started on the 25th of October 2006 on Esperanza Ave. in Cabazon; that those listed have lied by saying the fire started on the 26th and demanding that the conviction of Raymond Lee Oyler be overturned and he, Mr. Warner receive the reward for revealing who started the fire on the 25th.

He is threatening legal action if his demands are not met but in all candor, his grammar and spelling don't demonstrate a great deal of credibility. He further states that it would give him " great pleasure to tell a jury all the things that were done to perjury (sp) your self."

These are serious allegations, especially towards the FWFSA which had no part in the investigation or the subsequent criminal litigation. If anyone in the community can shed some light on this individual and his intentions, please feel free to contact me directly at 208-775-4577 or by email at cjudd@fwfsa.org.


Casey Judd
Business Manager
11/4 Thinking of Barb... Missing Barb.

Barb Bonefeld was the Fire Staff Officer for the Huron-Manistee NF. Those wishing to do so can make a donation in Barb's name to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation wffoundation.org.

CADILLAC, Mich. - Barbara Ann Bonefeld, 54, of Cadillac, Mich., former Escanaba resident, passed away Oct. 29, 2010, at Mercy Hospital in Cadillac. She was born June 28, 1956, in Escanaba, and was the daughter of George and Jeanne (Schrader) Bonefeld Sr. Barbara graduated from Escanaba High School in 1974, then from Michigan Technological University in Houghton with a B.S. degree in forestry and later from Michigan State University with a M.S. in forest genetics in 1981. Barbara was employed with the U.S. Forest Service for almost 30 years, working in many different locations mostly in the western United States. She was first employed in forest genetics and later in forest fire management. She was also an instructor for forest fire management.

Barbara Ann Bonefeld is survived by: two brothers, Dr. George (Linda) Bonefeld of Marquette, Dr. Robert Bonefeld of Treasurer Island, Fla.; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George Sr. and Jeanne Bonefeld.

Visitation will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba, Michigan. Funeral services celebrating the life of Barbara Ann Bonefeld will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Scott White officiating. Burial will take place in the Lakeview Cemetery. The Anderson Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements and online condolences can be sent to the family at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.

Wildland firefighters MI-HMF

Thanks for the info. Appreciate it and your note of explanation. Ab.

11/4 SQF OC program shutdown:

I heard that out of the 500 employees only 30 needed documentation. The other 470 cleared the audit.

From what I know of IQCS they would not get a red card anyway.


11/4 Dispatch System guidance:

Can anyone help me locate the document that served as guidance to go to centralized, initial attack dispatch centers. As I remember, it was an element identified in the 1994 South Canyon IMRT Report. I believe Cyndie Hogg led a group to produce this document that addressed the recommendation to go from 4 tiered, to a 3 tiered dispatch systems.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?


Should be Retired

11/4 SQF OC program shutdown:


A lot of us have gotten our crewboss trainee quals signed off by working with the OC crews.
A lot of good Hispanic FS and BLM firefighters have started on those crews.
Does any of this have to do with documentation of citizenship?
I hope the baby's not being thrown out with the dishwater whatever kind of documentation is necessary. Just get 'er done.


Do you mean bathwater or do you wash your babies with the dishes? Just wondering. (Tongue firmly in cheek!) Ab.

11/3 SQF OC program:


Not sure what is going on with the OC program on the Sequoia but I came across this email. I have redacted the names of people mentioned due to privacy reasons. Read on people who read.

Concerned about the program

Letter from SQF Forest Supe (22 K rtf)

11/3 Dirty Jobs episode

I agree with "just my opinion" on the Dirty Jobs episode. I think it painted us all in a poor light. Makes us look somewhat "cowboy" like as a profession. I just hope this episode doesn't get a lot of air time. Too bad these folks made the choice to go along with what the producers probably wanted instead of showing us as a group of professional wildland firefighters.


too bad

11/3 SQF OC program:

The SQF Forest Supervisor is out of her mind to shut down this successful OC program.

In its 70 years of existence it has assisted in fire suppression and emergency incidents all over the US. It has provided quality training for our firefighters, crewbosses overhead, and gave us highly qualified career firefighters. With the loss of 15 TY2 crews in our region fires will be more destructive, cost more to the taxpayers, and jeopardize public and firefighter safety. I hope the National office will see the error of her ways.

M. Chiodini

We still have not seen any kind of official communication on this, and if true, we don't know if this order comes from the forest or from the region or higher up. Ab.

11/3 SQF OC program:

Porterville Organized Crews (48 K pdf file)

About this issue. I can guarantee this is true. Does the WO know of this bad idea?


I've also backed up the file on wlf.com under Porterville Organized Crews. (same 48 K pdf file) Ab.

11/3 SQF Oc program:

The crews are made up largely of minorities and they're said to be great, hard and productive workers.

I found this article from April 2008, people.bakersfield.com :

Wildland fire season approaching

Date: April 30, 2008
Contact: Mary Chislock, Public Affairs Officer
Phone: 559.784.1500

Fire Crews Gear Up
For the 2008 Wildland Fire Season

PORTERVILLE, CA – The Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument Organized Crew (OC) program is again gearing up for this year’s wildland fire season. “This program has been in existence for nearly 50 years on the Sequoia National Forest. Over 450 crewmembers are recruited locally and hired by the Forest Service for ("On-call national and local emergencies,” stated Tina Terrell, Forest Supervisor)

The recruits are temporary employees, dispatched nationwide to emergency incidents requiring 365-day availability. The 15 crews hired are organized into three firefighting sectors called the Cobras, Black Eagles, and Scorpions. In addition, two to three camp crews are also hired to perform support duties in fire camp.

“These firefighting crews are well known for their work on wildland fires and projects throughout California and other parts of the nation. This temporary workforce is an invaluable supplement to the wildland fire fighting resources of the Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument,” stated Brent Skaggs, Fire Management Officer.

The OC crews are supervised by agency personnel and follow the same national training requirements for all wildland fire duties. Upon successful completion of the work capacity test, each crewmember receives an additional 40 hours of required Annual Fire Safety Refresher training. Leadership positions, selected from the crews complete additional training.

For more information about the Sequoia National Forest Organized Crew
program, contact Robert Benik at (559) 784-1500.

There are pics of the Cobras, Black Eagles and Scorpions: Handcrews 26 photo page

I don't know why SQF would cut a program that has success in hiring and training minorities to such a high standard of work ethic as these crews are reputed to have.

Does anyone have a memo that the crews are being cut? If true, wonder what is the rationale...


11/3 Tor,

Are you serious? Is this confirmed or talk around the campfire? If so this will be a major loss after such a long history of good work from these crews.

Please provide some contact to push this issue up the chain to be heard by the right people.

/s/ Confused?

11/3 SQF OC program


Can anyone tell us more about shutting down the SQF Organized Crews. Is this an attempt to engineer minorities?


11/3 SQF OC program Shut Down

This program has been providing 500 firefighters for 70 years. With no leader's intent Sequoia Nation Forest is shutting the program down. This program is used regionally and nationally to support wildfires. Also used as a training center for 70 or 80 crew boss and trainees a year.

Looking for input. Aka. Support at the regional or national forest.


(OC = Organized Crew) Ab.

11/3 The elections are over so now what for federal wildland firefighters:

Not surprisingly, Republicans regained control of the US House of Representatives yesterday. Somewhat of an electorate "self-correction" after several years of the same party running the Administration & Congress. Fascinating to me is that many who voted against the Democratic majority because it represented big spending, big government and an intrusive government, voted because the government hadn't done enough to fix unemployment, the economy etc. Maybe I'm the only one bewildered.

Regardless of the outcome, the FWFSA has for years worked very hard to forge relationships with those on both sides of the aisle. I cannot explain the lackadaisical response to our legislation in Congress this year except to chalk it up to this being the weirdest, most partisan session I've encountered in 17 years. We did receive a personal acknowledgement from the Congressman who introduced our bill that the staffer assigned to it "dropped the ball" in moving it.

I think we did do a good job of educating many who previously were unaware of the issues facing federal wildland firefighters. The recent Station Fire hearing in Pasadena, CA also helped build a foundation for next session. Perhaps the Democrats will learn something from all this although history shows that regardless of who is in charge, they eventually get blamed for everything and the electorate makes a change.

What we will be working on in the coming weeks is any input we can make with the Republicans with respect to committee assignments especially for those who represent the 11 western-most states. As even the Station Fire hearing congressional panel noted, none of them were on committees of jurisdiction for federal wildfire issues.

I am personally hopefully Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and a cosponsor of our bill will move up on the Natural Resources Committee and that Darrell Issa (R-CA) a previous cosponsor to our PTP bill a few years ago will move up to Chair the Oversight & Government Reform Committee.

All in all I don't think there will be a negative impact to our efforts on behalf of federal wildland firefighters. What folks should be cautioned about is the overall congressional attitude and achievements in the next session. If gridlock didn't smack us all in the face this session with a Democratic led Administration & Congress, wait until you have the Democratic Administration and Senate, and a new Republican majority in the House. Navigating that will not be for the faint of heart!

11/2 Re 2003 Old Fire: Chuck Henry rescue:

Thanks to Fire Geek for giving credit to Steve Elenberg (Old Fire 2003, Chuck Henry rescue). I was an eye witness to this rescue and Steve truly earned the DOI Valor Award that day. Extremely brave actions on Steve's part. If you ask Steve about it he'll tell you it was nothing compared to a flood rescue that was really scary...


11/2 Re Dirty Jobs Episode - Wildland Firefighting:

So, I just watched the episode. Looks like a lot of "mishaps" on national TV. Lighting off a flaming front and then figuring out that the fan boat is stuck. Nice. The guy that accidently discharges the pistol in the woman's ear? My god. He looks like he shouldn't even be in nomex, let alone handling a firing pistol. I must say it's a great show usually, too bad it made us look, in my opinion, like idiots.


Just My Opinion

11/2 Dear AB:

I've thought about putting some thoughts about today's election in writing for some time. It is long so I have attached it. Perhaps you could create a link to it so those who might be interested in reading it can without taking up a lot of space on TheySaid.


Casey Judd
Business Manager

A thought provoking solution. Here's the link to the document. A Political Perspective. Please communicate directly with Casey if you so desire. Ab.

11/2 Ab, please post.  Thanks

2006 vs 2010 Standards (35K pdf file)

These are the new standards for the apprentice program. It's been in the makings since 2008. You should start to see a major decrease in the amount of vacant GS-5 SRFF in R5 within the next 6 months to a year.

noname fire


Please consider who supports wildland firefighters when making your choices.


11/2 Sad News - Barbara Bonefeld has passed away

Hey Ab - this came through on Lotus Notes yesterday, didn't see anything on They Said -  Barb was one of the "good guys", One of our few female ICs.

I'm sure folks would like to know...a sad day for fire management.

Dear Forest Service Friends and Family,

With sadness, I regret to inform you that Barbara Bonefeld, Huron-ManisteeNational Forest Fire Staff Officer, passed away peacefully today at 1215 following a brief illness.

Thank you for your prayers and support for Barb during her illness!

We'll share information on arrangements as they develop.

Forest Supervisor
Huron-Manistee National Forests
Barb was the former IC of the Fire Use Management Team and EA T2 IMT. One of her noteworthy achievements was development of the Mack Lake staff ride.

Rest in Peace dear friend and colleague.

Laura A. McIntyre-Kelly, Center Manager, EACC

Condolences. A great and surprising loss. Barb was a fine firefighter, fine fire leader, a friend and  a contributor here. Smart, quietly funny and determined. I'll miss her. Please keep us informed about services, where to send condolences and other arrangements. Ab.

11/1 Abs,

Here is a letter from the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and
also Governor Schwarzenegger complimenting Cal Fire Director Del Walters
on his job performance. Walters retires next month.


Sent: Monday, November 01, 2010 5:11 PM
To: Undisclosed recipients
Subject: Message from the Chief & Statement from Governor Schwarzenegger

Monthly Message from the CAL FIRE Chief
November 2010

In June of 1971, when I first reported for duty as a seasonal firefighter in King City, I had no idea that I had begun a career, much less that I would close out that career as Director of one of the finest public safety and resource protection departments in the world.

Last month I made it known that I would retire this year, and during the month of October I spent much more time considering the future of CAL FIRE than reminiscing. Therefore, I am taking the opportunity in my last message as Chief to convey topics I think are of great importance to the future of CAL FIRE.

  • Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements - Maintain a sound perspective regarding cooperative fire protection agreements. Our cooperative fire protection contracts are of immense benefit to the people of this state. This program provides values that are often lost in the controversies focused on how much we charge, recovering our costs and labor issues. Our stance needs to remain firm; conduct business in a transparent, consistent manner and employ defendable methodologies for accepting/renewing contracts and ensuring that we are adequately reimbursed for the services we provide. The comprehensive, integrated services that CAL FIRE provides are essential to the success of California's mutual aid system, particularly when extraordinary emergency events occur.
  • Relationship with the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection - During my tenure, I feel the Department completed several significant accomplishments in cooperation with the Board. I believe the groundwork is in place to continue and improve on that cooperation.
  • Relationship with our federal partners - California's' fire protection responsibility is roughly divided into thirds: one third of the state is designated as Federal Responsibility Area, one third as State Responsibility Area, and one third as Local Government Responsibility Area. It's important to foster a strong relationship with our federal partners, regardless of our sometimes divergent fire control objectives. Understanding their policies, and ensuring ours are understood, as well, is critical. We must also assert our voice in the management policies of the federally managed lands in this state.
  • Involvement in local, state, national and international emergency and resource management efforts - Our collective experience in managing large and complex emergency incidents and protecting natural resources in a changing environment is of great value locally and globally. We need to remain engaged!
  • Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) integration - Much progress has been made to integrate the services provided by the OSFM into CAL FIRE, but I believe there are still efficiencies to be realized by integrating those services down to the unit level.
  • Relationship with the Governor's Office - Governor Schwarzenegger has been very supportive of public safety and CAL FIRE. I hope my successor will have the good fortune to enjoy a similar relationship with the incoming administration. I encourage the department's leadership to take a proactive approach in building a rapport with the new governor and their staff.
  • Relationships with legislators - It is imperative we reinvigorate the Key Contact Program which is intended to empower unit staff to engage legislators, and pursue opportunities for the Director and Headquarters staff to meet with legislators. Maintaining open lines of communication is essential in providing the protection outlined in our mission statement to the citizens of the state of California.
  • Relationship with labor - It's important to sustain the relationship between the department and CDF Firefighters. By minimizing our differences and maximizing our common areas of concern, we have been able to focus on accomplishing the department's mission. Mutual respect and having to agree to disagree on some issues have been key to maintaining productive interaction.
  • Grant coordination - Our department needs to have a coordinated approach to grant acquisition and administration. A grants unit needs to be developed within the department that coordinates the availability, pursuit and administration of grants.
  • Maintain strong centralized policy and decentralized decision-making - Each of our Unit Chiefs have responsibilities tantamount to any other large fire department chief in this country. In fact, many of them bear the responsibilities of multiple fire chiefs. The Region Chiefs should be the guardians of how we operate. In coordination with our program managers, they must insist on compliance with policy; policy which they must have a voice in establishing or changing.
  • Every employee of CAL FIRE should be allowed an avenue to bring about change. I encourage anyone with an idea to work through your chain of command and bring it to the newly formed Management Council. Every rank has the ability to contribute to the direction of our department.
  • Fire Protection Resource Allocation - Last, but certainly not least, we need to take a fresh look at the way we allocate our fire protection resources in California. The complexities of this state have changed, as have the challenges of serving and safeguarding the people and protecting the property and natural resources of this state. A comprehensive review of our capabilities is overdue.

This list is in no way comprehensive or in order of priority, rather it's intended as a message to the future leaders of CAL FIRE who are tasked with taking this department forward.

Change is inevitable and we all must be prepared to adapt. Last month I shard with you my wife's declining health, which coupled with the vagaries that accompany change, mean that today is my last day as an employee of the State of California. Tomorrow I will be retired.

There may have been a day I didn't want to come to work, but I can't remember that day. That includes this morning. What makes today different is that I will be driving home from work for the last time, and have chosen to do so in my work uniform; a uniform that I have worn proudly for nearly 40 years.

I can't begin to express my gratitude to all who have supported me. It has been very fulfilling to work with the teams with which I have been blessed. That is the primary reason I can go on to another chapter of my life knowing I leave CAL FIRE in good hands.

Del Walters

The November 2010 "Message from the Chief" has been posted on the CAL FIRE
Internet at Executive Chief Monthly Memo 

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Retirement of CAL FIRE Director Del Walters

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement on the retirement of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Director Del Walters:

"Del Walters has dutifully served the people of California for nearly 40 years at CAL FIRE and there is no doubt that his outstanding leadership during some of our most intense disasters saved lives," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Del has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the people of California during his career of service, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors."

California Secretary for Natural Resources Agency Lester A. Snow today designated Chief Ken Pimlott as acting director of CAL FIRE.

The memo below is sent on behalf of Secretary Snow.

Dear Colleagues,

Several weeks ago Del Walters announced his intention to retire to respond to family needs. That day has come. CAL FIRE Director Del Walters will step down today and retire after nearly 40 years of dedicated service to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Chief Walters is a fantastic person, who through a sense of steady calm, balanced command and unwavering leadership has guided CAL FIRE through some challenging and difficult times. Be it fighting some of the state's most significant fire sieges, saving countless lives and protecting property to the not so easy management of political activity in the field and here in Sacramento, he's done it all with grace and good humor. We wish Del, Janet and the entire Walters family well.

Effective at the close of business today, I am appointing CAL FIRE's Deputy Director of Fire protection Ken Pimlott as CAL Fire's acting director. Please afford him all the support and consideration possible to ensure a smooth transition.


From all of us: Thanks for your service, Chief. Ab.

11/1 High-resolution, Structure Threatened photo needed.

Let me preface this request by saying that this is a worthy cause and we don't have many WUI photos of suitable resolution for a project like this.

Community, my suggestion to Jenny is that firefighters could send their WUI (Wildland Urban Interface) fire photos directly to her.

Jenny agreed enthusiastically that this could be a week-long competition and we could feature a small version of the winning photo at the end, if the winner wished to have his/her winning photo displayed.

Having your photo on 6 billboards sounds pretty awesome to me.

Contact Jenny at JLZeltvay@ (nospam) co.josephine.or.us  (Take out the nospam in parentheses and the spaces.) Ab.

Hi Ab,

We are trying to find a Wildland Urban Interface fire photo showing structures threatened to use on wildfire billboards to be placed in six locations in Josephine County, Oregon. Attached please find a rough draft of the billboard using one photo from wildlandfire.com. If permission is granted, is it possible I could be mailed a higher resolution of the photo so it will show up better on the billboard?

Thanks very much!

Josephine County Emergency Management/Search & Rescue
JLZeltvay@ (nospam) co.josephine.or.us

10/31 A number of older photos mid '80's on, from Karl Elze, Sr.

Thanks Karl. I posted them on Airtankers 35, Engines 28, and Equipment 18 photo pages. Ab.

10/31 Have attached a picture of the Cachagua Terra Torch (New Generation Torch) doing a burn for BLM in Fresno County.


Nice. I put it on Equipment 18 photo page. Ab.

10/31 Ab, here are some cool pics from the OR-RSF-Oak Flat Fire, August 2010. LP

Thanks, I put them on Handcrews 27 and Handcrews 28 photo pages. Nice flames. Ab.

10/31 Little Tujunga Reunion, 2010: Attached are pictures of Little Tujunga Hot Shot Reunion, October 23, 2010. I am sure there are members of that crew that would like to see them. There were several crew members that planners were not able to contact. Larry Sall gave permission for you to post.

Thank you, Gordon Rowley

Message with the photos:
Here are some pictures Jimmy Smith's kid took at the reunion. There's a big group picture then he breaks it down into the individual pictures of each year starting with 1970. I'm sorry some of you couldn't make it. It was worth every second.

What a motley collection. Looks like a fun reunion. I posted crew photos on the Handcrews 28 photo page. There were 4 photos that had older members, no year was specified on the photos. They are not currently posted. If anyone would like to see those, contact Ab.

The 4 logo cake photos are posted on the Logo 19 photo page.

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