December, 2011

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12/31 Retirements:

Larry Craggs, Division 2 and a Dam good IA Incident commander is working his last day along with
Ron Hienbockle
, BC 22, a Dam good Prevention Chief, on the Plumas NF.

Congratulations on your acceptances to “The Old Boot Society


12/31 Chile: Torres del Paine National Park Wildfire!!

Not too much info on this but it would be nice to head south for the winter!


Links to more articles on Chile's fire on the Hotlist International News. Ab.

12/31 Greetings,
I am a Fire Commissioner in San Rafael and I collect Fire Fighting patches.
I enjoy the the patch images on your web site, and offer this image of an older patch in my collection.
Best Regards,
Stephen Mizroch
San Rafael, California

I added it to the Patches/logos 20 page. Anybody, any idea what year it was from? Ab.

12/29 DOI Job postings ?

Can anyone shed any light on why all of the jobs the DOI is posting are excepted temporary? I know the firefighter jobs have always been temp but Engine Captain, Fuels Module Leader, Lead Range/Forestry Tech. used to be Perm. seasonal. Maybe i am missing something here! They are even flying a FOS position as a temp! Like anyone with an ICT 3 and DIV. are going to apply for a job that last 6 months as a temp. Whats up with that?



12/28 MN-MNS-near Gully in Polk County


This is an item regarding a 750 ac fire in western MN on Monday. Spring will be interesting in MN given the number of fires that have peat burning in them. This winter reminds me of winter 99/00 when we had little snow across the northern plains.

MN DNR urges caution with fires




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From the Abs at wildlandfire.com
Thank you for being part of our lives!

12/24 To the entire staff of “Our Journalist and Heroes” of Wildland Fire,

Enjoy your Christmas and may this coming New Year best your best yet!

Thank you for your work and help, from all of us here.

12/24 From RS

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Lights with Don Campbell singing the message (You Tube3 1/2 min)

12/24 Though these are turbulent times in our business right now, each one of us can find something or someone to be thankful for! As for me and my family this Christmas we will be saying a special prayer at the table for those that we have lost this past year and to be thankful for our health and employment!

I wish all of you the best this Christmas and even though we all don't know one another, we are bonded by our profession our traditions and our will to make the world a better place! May you all find peace and happiness and as we march toward what is looking to be another busy fire season...... Luck!

From our outfit to yours, Merry Christmas!
12/23 Thank you to Yactak for his response to Kathleen Jordan's letter.

When I read her letter my first thought was whether or not she was actually qualified to give such legal advice which could have direct (negative) impacts on the career of an employee. Then I too thought it must have been a sick joke since no one could send out such a naive letter.

I actually ran her letter by a recently retired attorney from the DOJ. His initial response was that the ethically correct response from a federal employee in a supervisory role as well as a DOJ attorney should be for the employee to protect her or himself legally, i.e. seek private legal advice before even thinking of talking to someone. Once you talk it's too late, even if you make an innocent mistake.

However he said this is almost never done. And by the time you are questioned or give a statement to a DOJ attorney you are likely to be part of a complicated interview process which no one should have to face without proper representation by someone who has as their primary goal to support and protect you.

And to reiterate what Yactak said about agency support, this retired attorney stated very clearly that just because you are a USFS employee, you should NOT assume that the agency is obligated to consider you innocent until proven otherwise, nor should you assume that they will place your best interests as a top priority. The agency has a history of not standing behind or supporting employees in serious accidents. Why take the risk? Don't talk to anyone without your own legal representation.

Thank you Yactak & Merry Christmas everyone,

Watch your back and be careful who you trust.

Signed: Not the agency it used to be....
12/23 Mike Rushworth

I was pleased to learn that Mike was honored by the Dalton Hotshots in May and that Mr. Gorman reminded us of his DOD last week. Remembering Mike wasn’t always the case. I joined the Dalton Hotshots in 1966, a scant five years after he died, and his name was never mentioned. After the Loop Fire, I asked around the crew and the district fire management staff if anyone on the crew had ever died on a fire. Yes, someone died several years ago on the Sierra Fire. I have not found anything about the fire situation when he was burned.

These days we always have an incident report and lessons learned. If anyone has any information or links to reports, please send them to AB for posting on the Fallen Heroes page. Like Mr. Gorman, I consider Mike not only a brother but a fellow crewmate. I am glad beyond words that the crew memorialized him. Once we learn how he died and lessons learned, he will not have died in vain but his death will become a living legacy to all firefighters.


Always Remember Mike Rushworth

FS Fallen Heroes 1961

12/23 "Pass The Boot" for Marc Doty, a FS seasonal firefighter battling Hodgkin's lymphoma:  I've checked and this is legit. A little from many can pay big medical bills. Ab.

My husband is a firefighter for the USFS and told me to send this information to you in hopes that you may be able to post something on this website to help a fellow firefighter in need. This firefighter is fighting for his life right now battling Hodgkins Lymphoma, which was discovered after he suffered a fall during his last fire season.

As most of us know, seasonal firefighters with the Forest Service do not receive any medical benefits until they are hired on permanent. This gentleman is currently going through pet scans, chemotherapy, doctors visits, etc with no insurance. Each one of his scans that they do to monitor his therapy costs him $8,000 a piece, yikes! And that's just the cost per scan. That doesn't include any other therapy, surgery, medications, etc.

I personally battled breast cancer 3 years ago and can tell you from experience, the cost of battling any type of cancer is immense, especially if you have no insurance. We were the lucky ones to be insured, but not all firefighters have that luxury. I know that the firefighting brotherhood and their families have always done what it takes to help out another one of our own. I know we are in the midst of the holiday season, but anything anyone can afford to donate will help Marc. Something is better then nothing. Even if it's only $10, it all adds up.

I am attaching 2 links for you to review. One is Marc's Facebook page and the other is the donation site page. I know our family will be logging on to donate to him next. I hope that we can find some others that will be touched by this man and want to make a difference.


Facebook: Themarcdotyfundraiser


12/19 Hiring Pause:

The Pause is lifted. However questions remain due to another vague letter.. Do all temporary positions with a recommendation for person that is "new to the Forest Service", need to go to the ELT for approval?

So Cal Ridges

Date: December 16, 2011
Subject: Hiring Pause Modification
To: Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director and Deputy Chiefs

On July 19, 2011 the Chief issued a “hiring pause”, requiring all GS-1 to GS-13 positions to be submitted for Executive Leadership Team (ELT) approval. The purpose of this pause was to “…allow us to get a sense of what our fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding will be, compare it to our workforce needs, complete a workforce projection for FY2012, and make informed decisions.” A second goal of the pause was to “allow us to take a fresh look at our approach to recruitment and outreach for the skill sets and diversity we need to serve the public and our mission in the 21st century.”

I appreciate the attention that the Regions, Stations and Area, as well as the Washington Office, have given to deciding whether to submit a hiring action for ELT approval. Through your efforts, the hiring pause has been successful; units carefully evaluated their projected funding and workforce needs. In addition, the agency has seen an increase in the diversity of our referral lists.

Because of this success, we are modifying the requirements of the pause. Effectively immediately, you no longer need to submit to the ELT selections which are:

  • Reassignments or promotions of internal GS-1 to GS-13 candidates, or
  • Conversions of current Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) employees to permanent positions

However, we still want to continue to focus on making sure our hiring decisions are in alignment with our budget, and to increase the diversity of our referral lists. In that spirit, I ask that you continue to submit for ELT approval selections which are:

  • Selections of external GS-1 to GS-13 candidates (new to the Forest Service, including transfers from other agencies),
  • Current Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) employees being converted to SCEP positions,
  • New SCEP selections, and
  • New Intern selections (when the Pathways Program is released in April 2012)

Please continue to follow the current process for submitting these selections to the ELT.

/s/ Kathleen Atkinson (for)
Deputy Chief for Business Operations

12/19 From: yactak
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011
Subject: Kathleen Jordan Letter dated December 6, 2011

Someone please tell me that the letter is a bad joke.. really??

Kathleen Jordon wrote:

Several Forest Service employees and former employees have been contacted by two different
private investigators / attorneys who are seeking information about the Iron 44 helicopter accident.
If you are contacted in person or by telephone, please do the following;

1. Tell the person, "I cannot talk to you. I am represented by legal counsel. Tell them to please
contact Douglas Hottle with Department of Justice at (202) 616-2973."

For an agency that is supposedly trying to become an open, learning organization you sure do sound paranoid. As a former employee, I will talk to whom I please. The last person I would want representing me is a lawyer attached to the government. Lets see… Thirty Mile and Cramer come to mind…Not to mention Public Law 107-203

2. Do not answer any questions, provide any documents, or write or sign anything.

Again, FORMER employee is the optimum word here… as stated above, in this country I still have freedom of speech. I will rely on the advice of my private lawyer.. not a government lawyer.

3. Get the name, contact information, and specific lawsuit from anyone who attempts to contact you.

Talk to my lawyer Kathleen

4. Do not respond to electronic messages.

Freedom of speech.. I can respond to texts and emails as I please on my time with my equipment.

5. Do not accept subpoenas.

You have got to be kidding me!

Definition of subpoena: (from Webster’s)

1. A process to cause a witness to appear and give testimony, commanding him to lay aside all pretenses and
excuses, and appear before a court or magistrate therein named, at a time therein mentioned, to testify for the party
named, under a penalty therein mentioned. This is usually called a subpoena ad testificandum.

2. On proof of service of a subpoena upon the witness, and that he, is material, an attachment way be issued
against him for a contempt, if he neglect to attend as commanded.

Lets see.. who am I going to trust… an agency whom I have seen abandon it’s employees when the going gets tough??? Or cooperate with the local Sheriff serving a subpoena and then work with my private lawyer?? No brainer here…

The employee should not respond no matter who contacts the employee. A witness approval process is in
place if the employee believes there is a reason to appear in a court proceeding or provide a statement.
In this case, that is unlikely but it does apply in other situations.

Same answer as above… My lawyer and I will decide who I talk to …

Contact Kathleen Jordan at <snipped phone> or by email at kathleenajordan@ nospam fs.fed.us if
someone attempts to make contact. The back-up contact is Arlen Cravens at <snipped phone> or
acravens@ nospam fs.fed.us.

Please forward this message to employees who were associated with the Iron 44 accident or may be
contacted by these private investigators / attorneys such as information assistants and fire management

Thanks./s/ Kathleen  Kathleen A. Jordan

You lost me at "former" employees. In fact, you lost me at employees.... In fact you lost me at even posting this on www. wildlandfire.com. and "snipping" numbers and email addresses. .... Meaning, it's "IMPORTANT", yet not so important that we might want to actually give the reader the information they need if the mean bad bad bad lawyer contacts them.

This letter, as well as the handling of the other recent fatality fire by the USFS and the continuing mismanagement and unclear, multiple messages and mission has reaffirmed what a wise old guy told me about 20 years ago..

“The Forest Service has no business managing fire and aviation (Emergency Services) in this day and age. They should be cleaning campgrounds and writing Environmental Assessments”….

/s/ yactak
Former Wildland Fire Chief Officer SQF & LPF

Ab snipped the phone numbers. I figured employees and former employees could get those pretty easily. I clarified that in the first posting of Kathleen's email below.

12/19 "If only 60% of us represent a racial or gender diversity, what do the other 40% represent?"

The other 40% also represent diversity. It's unfortunate our agency feels they must continue to compare us. It's like they're purposely trying to drive a wedge. Save your percentages for upper USDA officials. Make sure you tell the staffer who wrote this letter for you it's not a good idea to add these percentages in your annual thank you letter.

Forest Service officials need to remember that it might be a good idea to take a step back with all this, before you happen to, um.... step in it. With technology, instant media, an election year and the ability to reach large numbers of people, you might not want to pick a fight on this subject. You will lose.

12/19 Racial diversity...

The times haven't caught up with reality. There are many, many of us that put "mixed" on our census form. Before that I wrote in "human" race. We're

  • hispanic and white or
  • black and white or
  • native am and white or
  • some other more complicated mixture

Our names and appearance don't give a clue that we're 1/8 or more a non-mainstream-white race. We don't talk about diversity. We don't think about it. We don't use who we happen to be born to as a tweak to get ahead. It's irrelevant to firefighting. We want to be recognized for what we do -not for our grandparent who was hispanic or black or indian or jewish or chinese or tongan.

I do play a pretty mean air guitar around the campfire after a hard day of diggin line. I think my talent for that is a minority genetic thing...

Air Bass Player

12/19 Signed Just Curious,

That is correct. The Apprentice's first day of work must be prior to his/her 37th birthday. This requirement excludes veterans. It took a lawsuit to get this changed for vets. It will take another lawsuit or legislation to get this changed for everyone else.

12/19 Hi Ab,

There was a post from 12/7 by "noname fire" where an excel spreadsheet with preparedness levels were summarized in a variety of ways. Can you find out the source of that data? I may use some of that data in a report but will need to confirm and cite the source.


12/19 Re: Chief Tidwell letter -

If only 60% of us represent a racial or gender diversity, what do the other 40% represent? I thought all races and genders were important?

R9 Engine Captain
12/19 Re: Chief Tidwell letter

What happened to the agency-wide leadership journey?

The wildland firefighting community has worked toward implementing safety, especially since Storm King/South Canyon. When does our FS chief acknowledge that and say thank you and that he's thankful for that and proud of our efforts at lessons-learned and managing risk?

As a groundpounder, I find this statement to be out of touch for wildland firefighters:

"Our agency wide safety journey puts us on course to become a zero-fatality organization."

It promises or implies unreasonable expectations to the line officers that blame us and to the public that blame us.

As long as

  • snags exist and fall,
  • as long as firefighters must get to fires in vehicles ~whether crew buggies, engines, helicopters or sj aircraft,
  • as long as firefighters are human making split second decisions to the best of their training and experience,
  • as long as fire behavior can change on a whim and overrun unsuspecting young firefighters and their managers,
  • etc, anything new none of us has experienced before...

it's unrealistic to expect a zero-fatality organization.

Such a statement without qualifications based on the reality of our high-risk job, sets us up when tragedy strikes. We're set up for getting blamed, it creates a no-lessons learned environment and continues the anti-firefighter and anti-Forest Service blame game.

Excellent morale is driven by trust. I want some TRUST for Christmas, even a little in my stocking.

Christmas Stocking Stuffer

12/19 Making the rounds...

From: Jordan, Kathleen
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 01:34 PM
To: FS-pdl r5 shf flt
Cc: Boukidis, Cindi; Heitman, Mandi; Jordan, Kathleen; Douglas.Hottle@usdoj.gov <Douglas.Hottle@usdoj.gov>
Subject: Urgent --- Iron 44 Litigation [Please Forward]

Several Forest Service employees and former employees have been contacted by two different private investigators / attorneys who are seeking information about the Iron 44 helicopter accident. If you are contacted in person or by telephone, please do the following;

1. Tell the person, "I cannot talk to you. I am represented by legal counsel. Tell them to please contact Douglas Hottle with Department of Justice at (202) 616-2973."
2. Do not answer any questions, provide any documents, or write or sign anything.
3. Get the name, contact information, and specific lawsuit from anyone who attempts to contact you.
4. Do not respond to electronic messages.
5. Do not accept subpoenas.

The employee should not respond no matter who contacts the employee. A witness approval process is in place if the employee believes there is a reason to appear in a court proceeding or provide a statement. In this case, that is unlikely but it does apply in other situations.

Contact Kathleen Jordan at <Ab snipped phone; look it up> or by email at kathleenajordan@ nospam fs.fed.us if someone attempts to make contact. The back-up contact is Arlen Cravens at  <Ab snipped phone, look it up> or acravens@ nospam fs.fed.us.

Please forward this message to employees who were associated with the Iron 44 accident or may be contacted by these private investigators / attorneys such as information assistants and fire management personnel. Thanks.

/s/ Kathleen
Kathleen A. Jordan
Shasta-Trinity National Forest

12/19 Apprentice Hiring

Just wondering how many applicants, aside from myself are going to be impacted from the late hiring? How many of you out there are going to be turning 37 in December, January? Although you are 36 at the time of sending in your application you might be 37 when actually called and offered a job,  you will be too old.

Signed Just Curious

12/19 Date: December 19, 2011
Subject: Reflecting on Our Year and Moving Forward
To: All Employees

At the close of another year, it’s fitting to reflect on where we’ve been and what the future holds in store. Thanks to you, we’ve made tremendous strides this year, and I am immensely proud to serve as your Chief.

We have a lot of accomplishments to celebrate. For example, we sustained a vigorous response to a record fire season across our southern tier of states. We have completed more than half of our ARRA projects, providing thousands of jobs, and we have expanded our capacity to restore forests through collaborative efforts. We celebrated another clean audit, continuing our excellence in financial management. In addition, we are poised to finalize a new planning rule, capping 20 years of efforts with a successful collaborative approach.

These accomplishments dovetail with our five broad focus areas:
  • Safety. We have completed safety training for all senior executives, and we are now engaging our entire Forest Service family in transforming our safety culture. Our agency wide safety journey puts us on course to become a zero-fatality organization.
  • Inclusiveness. We are expanding our culture of diversity and inclusiveness. Today, more than 35 percent of our top leadership comes from ethnic minorities, and almost 60 percent represents either racial or gender diversity. Diversity of thought is key to successful organizations, and we have increased collaboration to broaden the circle of conservation, tapping the skills and abilities, the talents and contributions of all Americans in our work.
  • Restoration. We should celebrate the many ways we are restoring the health and resilience of America’s forests and grasslands. Thanks to your efforts, we have greatly enlarged the area restored, increased watershed restoration, and expanded community-based stewardship. In responding to climate change, we are well on our way toward meeting our goal of 100-percent compliance with our Climate Change Roadmap by 2015.
  • Fire. Building on our fire science, we are working with partners to implement our interagency Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. You have continued to suppress 98 percent of our fires during initial attack while reducing unnecessary risk to firefighters, and you have picked up the pace of hazardous fuels treatments to protect communities from wildfires while using fire where appropriate to restore healthy, resilient ecosystems.
  • Communities. Through your outstanding work, 8,550 communities nationwide now have urban/community forestry programs with Forest Service assistance, exceeding our goal for 2015. Your work has also supported social and economic opportunities for rural communities nationwide, including 237,800 recreation-related jobs alone.

I know that concerns remain about agency morale. I continue to meet regularly with my sensing group, and we established a discussion board on the Web to get even more feedback. We have also redeployed human resources professionals to the field, and I want to thank everyone involved for helping to improve the way we deliver services to the field.

The challenges ahead might seem daunting. They include regional drought, loss of open space, the spread of invasive species, severe wildfires and outbreaks of insects and disease, the overarching effects of a changing climate, and a growing demand for recreation opportunities. Our work is certainly cut out for us.

I am confident that we will continue to excel in fulfilling our conservation mission by working together with communities and expanding our collaborative efforts with partners. Today’s Forest Service includes some of the finest professionals I have ever known. I deeply appreciate your commitment to our mission—your dedication to delivering all the benefits that Americans get from their forests and grasslands. You are simply the best, and I am both proud and humbled to serve as your Chief.

I hope your holidays are wonderful and that you take time to celebrate with family and friends. Most importantly, I want you and your family to greet the New Year in safety and health.

Thank you for all you do.

/s/ Thomas L. Tidwell

12/19 For Montana

The Region 5 Regional Fire Ecologist has a good book that may help. It's more of a textbook, and is pricy, but I might be able to ask Neil for a copy for her. If her mom still works for the Forest, anyone that has taken RX-310 (RX-340) INTRODUCTION TO FIRE EFFECTS at WFTC in the past few years should of received a free copy. Worst case I could send her mine.

Fire in Californias Ecosystems by Neil-Sugihara, et al editors

HAve a MErry Christmas.


12/19 For Montana:

Living with Wildfires” – Prevention, Preparation and Recovery by Janet C Arrowwood; 2003, Bradford Publishing Company; ISBN 1-883726-89-1.

This is a good book for Montana to use as a reference. It covers both structural and wildland fire. And it's dedicated to all wildland firefighters.

Fork in the trail

12/19 Abs --

A little Christmas present for all TheySaiders - a poem from an "old-timer", Walter Merrill. Brings back fond memories for me of night shifts past.

And, Abs, a sincere thank you to You, for the year-long gift of Wildlandfire.com and They Said.



( It's been most of a year since the last time, but you've posted some of Walter's gems before, and he approves. The attached Word document is the same as the text below: )


“Retreat” Walter Merrill, USFS, Cherokee National Forest

Back in the beginnin’, it sure looked like we were winnin’,
My adrenalin was runnin’ record high.
Then the wind she started blowin’, and the night sky started glowin’,
And the fire, she started “comin’ through the rye” …..

Ash was flyin’ through the air, burning embers in our hair,
And our Crew Boss said, “I think she’s gonna blow.”
He called the ole’ Div Supe, who was sure to know the scoop,
While we were lookin’ for a safer place to go …..

But we had no thought of dyin’, even though the sparks were flyin’,
This was perhaps the greatest part of all.
We were standin’ and a-lookin’, as the other crews were bookin’,
While there advanced on us a great red burnin’ wall …..

We were wise to all the dangers, as are all good ‘forest rangers”,
As we’re standin’ there in awe among the pines.
We would not accept defeat, ‘though we made a quick retreat,
We were born to travel far and dig those lines …..

We held our heads up high, as the hours went slowly by,
We were plannin’ all along a new attack.
We would punch a new line in, with aggression and a grin,
It would be a whole new game when we got back …..

What would all the others say, ‘cause we lost our line today ?
It would mean a lot more work for all the rest.
Would they call us names and such ? Well, I doubt that very much,
They would know that through it all we done our best …..

We’ve all learned the same old rules; in different places, different schools,
And what we learned we use ‘most every day.
When we launch our new attack, we will watch each other’s backs,
So with confidence we go our merry way …..

As we march back into camp, on a morning cold and damp,
We can see Division A has grown a lot.
As the Day Shift marches by, towards the column in the sky,
We can hear ‘em say, “looks like she’s getting’ hot.”

We each sip a cup of mud, just to loosen up our blood,
And we have a plate of toast and scrambled eggs.
Then we take a little shower, ‘though it’s early in the hour,
‘Cause the black and grime is creepin’ up our legs …..

Then before we hit the sack, we all talk of goin’ back.
We’ll be rested and we’ll have a brand new plan.
When the Crew Boss says, “It’s time,” we will hustle up in line,
And you’ll see a smile on each and every man …...

Perhaps tonight will be the same, when we get back in the game,
We live to face the danger one more day.
We face the dawn as day is breakin’, and never mourn the chance not taken
We just saddle up and travel on our way.
12/19 History of taskbooks in NWCG


I suggest Bill G contact Mark Jones (NIFC) about any questions relating to taskbook history. He was very helpful answering my questions related to the same topic last year. Two important documents relating to the topic are:

"The Final Proposal to the National Wildland Fire Coordinating Group For Modifications to the Wildland Fire Training and Qualifications Systems: Executive Summary Submitted by the Training and ICS Working teams." (1991) This document illustrates the deficient amount of experience based training (minimum standards needed to complete trainee position). The direct mitigation to this problem was the creation of standardized taskbooks. The document also identifies the need to remove duplicate training in "S" courses and "I" courses present at the time.

"America Burning Revisited" FEMA 1987. Page 28 of this document identifies the lack of training standards available to non-federal (rural) agencies working within the wildland fire program.

I was not able to contact any members of the NWCG board that served in the early 1990's. I would be very interested to hear their perspectives on the need to use taskbooks as experience based education.

Please feel free to mail this directly to Bill G or post on they said

Brian Austin
Logan IHC

12/18 Have a great Christmas.

Flash Mob - Deck the Halls


12/18 Montana's Project:

Hi Ab,

I was hoping that your audience might be able to help me out. My name is Montana Greeno. My dad was a wildland firefighter who was a LODD in 2005. To honor his memory and to help out the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, I will be organizing a "Fill The Boot" event next year as part of my senior project. The proceeds will be used to start a scholarship program to help out those families who have children that are graduating and are planning on attending college. As a requirement of my senior project, I must also write a research paper that relates to my theme. My paper is comparing structural firefighting to wildland firefighting and why I feel that wildland firefighting is more beneficial to the environment, the ecosystem and to people in general. What I am looking for are some suggestions for books or any other type of materials that may help me out with my argument. I have already read "America Burning Recommissioned" and "A Test of Adversity and Strength: Wildland Fire in the National Park System".

Any help that anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated. I am looking forward to spreading the word about the Foundation so that every family can get the help that our family received. With any luck, I will be able to raise some money for the foundation and get an A on my project at the same time! You can email me at: MontanaMcRae@ remove-spacer yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing from the firefighters.

Montana Greeno
daughter of John Greeno

12/17 Station GAO report

A lot of this may already be on the site. However I could not find anything as detailed.


Station GAO Report  (5,519K pdf)

12/16 Passing of Don Growt, from Sammie

Yakima County WA Fire District #5

It is with great sorrow that we learned of the passing of a dear friend and dedicated member of our team, Don Growt. Don was a very active member with White Swan Station 1 serving as a Lieutenant up until his retirement on December 1st. After becoming very ill, he had chosen to move to Spokane to be with his family during his final days. At Don's request, there will be no services, but this spring his family will scatter his ashes in the area he enjoyed to hunt. The family also plans to attend the district's yearly banquet to receive Don's retirement plaque. Please keep Don and his family in your thoughts and prayers!

12/16 Apprentice Announcement:

AB, I know many have been waiting for this so I have attached the R5 apprentice announcement. If someone applied earlier this year they need to reapply to be considered. I have copied the pertinent info for those that may not be able to open the document link. Good Luck all.

tnfielden (as always you can print preceding name)


U.S. FOREST SERVICE – Region 5 (California)
Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program
Application Period: December 16, 2011 through January 16, 2012

Veterans are encouraged to apply on the Avue web site under the Demo Authority (DP) where Veterans Preference is applied to eligible applicants. You must submit a DD-214 if you are claiming Veteran’s Preference. An age waiver may be granted to eligible Veterans who can meet the arduous physical standards of the position. Veteran applicants may qualify for funding under the GI Bill.

Duties: Serves on a crew performing duties in fire suppression and/or fire prevention. Performs prescribed burning crew duties in order to reduce fuel hazards and disease, while protecting wildlife. Assists fire dispatch by operating radios, telephones, and other equipment that is used to exchange information for fire weather information or other suppression related activities. Lays fire hose in the use of water to control fire. Moves dirt, chops brush, and fells small trees to build fire line using various hand tools such as an axe, shovel, Pulaski, and McLeod to control spreading wildland fire and/or to prepare lines prior to controlled burning. Chops, carries, and piles logging slash. Searches out and extinguishes burning materials by moving dirt, applying water by hose or backpack pump. Patrols fire line to locate and extinguish sparks, flare-ups, and hot spots that may threaten loss of control of the fire. Cleans, reconditions, and stores simple fire tools and equipment. When not engaged in fire suppression or training activities, Forestry Technicians perform basic duties in support of fire, timber, silviculture, recreation, wilderness, or research programs, projects, or activities. These duties may include road, trail, station, recreational facilities maintenance, visitor contacts and other duties as assigned.

The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region (California) Fire and Aviation Management program requires talented people working safely together to be successful. Wildland firefighters work in a variety of specialized positions, including fire engine crews, fuels management, hand crews, helitack, interagency hotshot crews,  and patrol and prevention technicians. Crews often travel throughout California and other areas across the country performing fire suppression and other incident activities.

Vacancy Announcement (VA) #: 12-R5-WFAP-345DP will be open December 16, 2011 through January 17, 2012. This Demo (DP) announcement will be open to temporary government employees (summer firefighters), Veterans, members of the general public and current Federal employees. This is the only announcement number for the California WFAP. To easily locate the announcement in Avue; sign up, log in, click on the red Job Search button, then click on Search by Filters, locate the Vacancy Announcement box and enter: 12-R5-WFAP-345DP click Add, then click on Find Jobs. To apply for the Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program (WFAP) GS-462-3/4/5 you must submit the on line application no later than January 17, 2012, to be considered for these positions.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Apply through the AVUE Digital Services on-line application system – https://www.avuedigitalservices.com//usfa/applicant.phpl You may also access the vacancy announcements through USAJOBS – http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/ - and note, you will be redirected to apply through the AVUE website. Specific information about the position can be found under the listing “Position Description” at both the AVUE and USAJOBS websites. PLEASE READ VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT COMPLETELY AS IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Check out the “Community” link and the “Wildland Firefighting” discussion for helpful hints from the Avue Home page. Veterans can find help in identifying and articulating military skills on Avue in the Career Portfolio > My Career Experience MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) and select the military filter. Applicants may select up to 9 specific Forests/locations where you would be willing to accept a job offer. There may not be a second offer at a more desirable location. All applicants are encouraged to attach a list in the “Additional Information” block of up to 9 preferred Avue cities in priority order – in addition to selecting from the Avue drop down menu. Specific duty locations have been consolidated under the National Forest Headquarter location. The nature of the WFAP may require a selectee to move to different duty locations to gain expertise and complete program requirements across the Forest.

Not all locations anticipate hiring Apprentices at this time. Apply to locations that you would accept a job offer.

Selections for Apprentice positions will be made the week of February 20, 2012
To receive additional assistance in understanding the hiring process, contact the California Region 5, Fire Recruiter, Rita Yates at (530) 621-5288, Cell (707) 334-1394, or Email ryates@fs.fed.us

12/15 The Forest Service hiring pause is rumored to be lifted soon. This means that the ELT do not need to approve the filling of lower graded GS positions. We might still see some restrictions. Should hear more soon.

A Forest Service cap on travel expenditures continues for Emergency Responders. Our nations Emergency Responders are not exempted from this cap. Unlike the traveling exploits of the RLT, Biologists, and other miscellaneous employees, Emergency Responders are required to travel to build qualifications so they can better support local, regional and national emergencies, and to be able to compete for the next promotional level.

Caps on awards are coming soon. NFFE's negotiations on the 2006 performance elements restructuring and performance based reward system is about to get thrown out the window when the Chief creates these award caps. During good faith negotiations, NFFE supported a monetary performance award system that allowed employees to seek outstanding performance with the knowledge that the employee was required to be rewarded for this level of performance. Award caps alter previously negotiated award and performance processes and can be considered an unfair labor practice.

Happy Holidays.........

Date: December 14, 2011
Subject: Regional Forester 2011 Holiday Letter
To: All Region 5 Employees

As the holiday season approaches and I reflect back over the past year, I want to thank you for all that you have done. Through your efforts, we've made great strides in advancing ecological restoration efforts, making safety a core value for all employees, and continuing to serve the public and local communities. I continue to feel inspired, humbled, and fortunate for working in Region 5 with such a dedicated group of employees.

We have made significant advancements in the area of ecological restoration through projects including fuels treatments, habitat and meadow restoration, eradication of invasive species and trail maintenance. But just as important, we are changing how we talk about the value of the work we do. More and more people connect ecological restoration with water, habitat protection, and recreation opportunities. We also understand the importance of looking at a landscape level and taking an all lands approach in achieving ecological restoration goals.

Over the last year, we continued to focus on making safety a core value of the Forest Service; including reaching 7,000 employees in the region through 269 engagement sessions. Remember, no job is more important than doing the job safely, so please make sure you continue to be safe as you celebrate the holiday season with family and friends.

We continue to play a major role in sustaining local communities. Last year, over 30 million visitors hiked, camped, fished, or enjoyed other recreation experiences on National Forests in California. These visitors spent over $2 billion and helped sustain about 38,000 jobs. Ecological restoration efforts continue to produce jobs and economic benefits, both locally and throughout the region -- in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands. We estimated that last year clean water, biomass and other energy, recreation, and other benefits we call ecosystem services were valued at over $20 billion. While we still have much to do to help sustain these communities where you live and work, I feel like we’re on the right path.

On behalf of the Regional Leadership Team, I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. I hope you enjoy the holiday season with family and friends, and wish you all the best for the new year. Have a safe and happy season.

/s/ Randy Moore
Regional Forester
12/15 Abs

The Lakeview BLM will soon be advertising some fire jobs on a Type II IA crew based in Klamath Falls Oregon. So any interested Vets should keep an eye out for this. More to come….


12/15 Can anyone tell me the particulars on Kevin Reese's death. He was a smoke jumper for the Boise Hotshots.
This relates to my son's death - Thomas D. Marovich, Jr. of T.J.

Thank you,

Thomas D. Marovich, Sr.

Kevin died of brain cancer in 1998. Ab.

12/15 Here's what we know regarding the crash of the 9/18/1975 Lightning Recon flight on the SQF that killed 3.

We still need the name of the pilot.


If anyone knows a better site, please speak up.

Thanks for your help, everyone.

Here's the link to the Chuck Watson's Lead Plane Always Remember record. Date was 8/12/88.


It's great to have the help of people that know the area and remember the fires. Thank you, thank you.

Warthog sent in some info and a question... Anyone know the details on the engine rollover death of
Ron Whitmire in Region 6, Willamette NF, duty station -Blue River RD- in 1980


12/14 Rollover engine - death of Ron Whitmire Sept 4, 1980, Willamette NF:


On my way out-the-door too soon and while reviewing old journals, I re-discovered a fftr who died in a tragic engine rollover in Sept 1980. I was on his ranger district and, sadly, the recognition at the time was you could attend his funeral. I'd like to have his name added to various fftr memorials, but lack specific info on what happened. Investigative reports (FS LE&I who did the accident report) were destroyed long ago. So as not to leave any rock unturned, I hope someone who visits the forum may have info.

His name was Ron Whitmire and his duty station was the Blue River RD, Willamette NF.

If anyone has knowledge or suggestions for sites to check (I've exhausted Google, Bing, et.al) please let me know.
(Abs - you can forward my e-mail, if needed.)


12/14 Havilah Fire


Can you let Mellie know that fire happened 9 miles south of Lake Isabella near the Havilah Guard station on the Cal-Bodfish Rd where the road to Breckenridge Mtn takes off. It is on the fire history map they were using. Also good to hear Jack is still wandering the fire world. Remember when he was the FMO On the Hume Lake RD SQF

Hope this helps


12/14 SQF aircraft crash and dozer rollover

Responding to Mellie’s request. I checked the map and the Havilah Fire was not listed. That fire was a Class E fire and was located south and a little east of Lake Isabella and it started near the small town of Havilah and burned to the south up towards Breckenridge Lookout.

The August 12 th date that Mellie had on the lead plane crash was correct and it was also the date that the dozer rolled off the hill. I was the IC on that fire.

As near as I can remember the Recon 13 crash was in August of 1975.

Jack Lee

12/14 ab,

I was on that fire from the being, it was located between the town of Havilah and Piute store (Caliente/Bodfish road) towards walker basin. I worked in the Bakersfield BLM Equipment Group, Gary C was my supervisor. I was working the watertender in walker basin at the helibase.I got on shift at 0600 started hearing radio traffic around 830 or 900 about dozer acc happening. (KRN dozer were with BLM dozer) Those guys really help him out, all the credit to them.

On another day I saw the tankers pretreating the south ridge off breckenridge road (big fed tankers). The lead plane was heading north mid-slope and went over a spur ridge and didnt come up ( thought it to be strange ) then about 10 mins later, saw black smoke, kind that comes from a structure fire puts up. I found out later it was lead plane.

This fire had alot of things go wrong on it (costly)

old SQF fireman

12/14 Bill G,

Task Books in the USFS, at least, started to be used in 1994 in Wildland fire. I remember going to Montana as a CRWB trainee to Libby that season, and the Training Officer at Fire camp asked me where my Task Book was, and I said "My what?". They gave me one, we called the home unit, and after explaining what it was, Initiated it, and When I brought it home at the end of the assignment, they had to figure out what to do with it. Other Agencies started to use them earlier and later than 1994.


12/14 Jack or anyone else that knows the SQF area,

Was the Havilah Fire a 381 acre fire that burned between Pilot's Knob and Hwy 178 (the Isabella -Walker Pass Rd)? That's the only fire I can find in 1988 that might fit the SQF parameters. I do not know socal, so location is a bit of a  crapshoot for me.

I used this historical fires search utility, clicked 1980-89


Aside from that, I made the Chuck Watson's Lead Plane Always Remember page with the info we have so far. Date was 8/12/88.



12/14 In response to Bill B:

Ab ~~

In response to the question pertaining to the aircraft crash on the SQF...this happened in 1975. It was a lightning recon flight. The aircraft was owned by Porterville Aviation and I can’t remember the pilot’s name but the other two passengers were Jeanette Margot who was the observer and Simm Bornt (sp?) off the Hot Springs RD. It went down just south of Sheep Mountain on the Tule River RD.

The dozer accident was in 1988 on the Havilah Fire. The dozer operator was BLM employee Gary C. Very seriously injured but survived.

The aircraft accident on the same incident was that of a USFS Barron lead plane with Chuck Watkins as the pilot.

Ab, this is what I remembered. I was on the Sequoia at the time of all these incidents. Post what info you want, not sure if it is ok to post names but that’s what I remember.

Jack Lee

Thanks Jack. Do you remember any month and day dates? Ab.

12/14 Date: Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 7:27 PM
Subject: Passing of Terry Haney

RIP my friend! You will be missed but you are in a much better place now!

Norm Silver


To All,

Emergency management lost a legend this week. Terry Haney passed away on Saturday, 12/10/11, after a year-long struggle with cancer. He was a friend and colleague to many of us in emergency management.

Terry will best be remembered for his influence on the development of the Incident Command System (ICS) in CA. In the 1970's he was a part of the original task force as an advisor to help develop and write what would become the doctrine of ICS as we know it. In the early 1990's, he wrote the standard federal ICS training curriculum under contract with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). I had the privilege of meeting him around that time and see some of his his original ICS training drafts for NWCG.

Terry went on to write the training curriculum (ACI) for the CA Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). I sat on the SEMS committee with him in the mid-nineties as the ACI was developed.

Terry was a ardent supporter of the CalEMA mission and a frequent adjunct instructor for CSTI. He was a wealth of knowledge in the classroom on the history of the development of ICS. His insights regarding ICS helped explain why and how ICS evolved as it did. His quiet, distinguished manner won over even the most vocal critics. He continued to be an adjunct instructor for CSTI until his health prevented it.

Please keep his wife Ellie, and the family in your thoughts and prayers. He will be missed.

Rob Gandy

12/13 Good info on Iron 44 crash and the NTSB story:

It is sad to see the NTSB misleading the families of the fallen.

See link for some interesting points and facts.

Families Speak Out On NTSB Findings of Oregon Helicopter Crash


12/13 We recovered the jeep and a felon (10 yrs in prison now) after a high speed chase led by tips for forest service people,
& craigslist thanks so much!!!

Livin' The Dream...

Good news! Ab.

12/13 From a firefighter friend, long time theysaider, family of longtime theysaiders and to benefit her sister who is also a wildland firefighter. I'm not establishing a precedent for searching for every stolen vehicle, just helping a friend and firefighting community family. Ab.

> So I didnt know if this would be a ok thing to post on hot list or they said but I am desperate! My sister's Jeep was stolen from her college dorm parking lot Humboldt University. The police think it may be on its way up the Klamath River...6 Rivers and Klamath Forests, as it is a Jeep Wrangler they said its most likely dumped in the woods on those forests and they dont have the man power to search. She is also a Wildland firefighter (it runs in our blood) and she had just spent her first big fire check (texas IA) on a lift for it...if you think this is ok I can provide a description, picture and plate # so folks can help another firefighter out. Its a rotten thing for Christmas.
> Thank you
> Livin' The Dream...

Ab reply:

Yeah, do that. Have you all alerted the Highway Patrol?

Her reply:

Yes chp and local cops were notified last night... here's a pic of the jeep and a close-up of the fire sticker and plate description.

Its a

  • 1989 green Jeep wrangler, (Photo)
  • New soft top,
  • 4 inch lift,
  • new 10 ply big mud tires,
  • stick shift,
  • locking metal center counsel,
  • 4 cylinder engine.
  • California plate # (removed it)
  • there's a red fire helmet sticker to the right of the license plate that reads "Los Padres Nat Forest" (Photo) The red tape is large. The red Los Padres sticker is small and round.
  • Vin# (removed it).

There was a possible sighting in Fortuna CA.

I just know fire and resource folks are on dirt roads waaay more than Law Enforcement and hopefully someone sees it!! Shes a young college kid who works fire in the summer and its just so sad especially at Christmas.

Thank you so much AB
Livin' The Dream...

Everyone in NorCal, please put on your eyes. I sent the info to a couple of Trinity County friends... Ab.

12/13 Entrapment Report


SR-8 Incident Investigation (3,126 K pdf)

12/13 I am looking for any and all reports relating to a rappeller's fall in 2010. This is whether the rappeller was injured or died as a result of the fall.

Thank you.

Thomas D. Marovich, Sr.

Feel free to search on this site. I believe I posted all of the 2010 reports. Ab.

12/12 Bill G.,

This link will help.  Then click on "Position Qualifications".

Outreach for apprentice hiring should be out by the end of this month.

noname fire

12/12 Re aircraft crash on the SQF:

In reference to "Bill B's" post yesterday about the aircraft crash on the SQF. It would have been 75 or 76, I left the forest after that.

The young lady on board was a dispatcher, I don't recall her name or the name of the other people on board.

I do recall the "negative survivors" transmission back to dispatch. I think Joe Juarez was the dispatcher on duty when that came, not 100% sure.

Perhaps an "old" Sequoia helitack or dispatch person can shed some light on this.


12/12 Hi Ab,

We just wanted to remind everyone that we have really nice fleece vests and softshell coats for last minute gifts ~ we can ship them quickly for the wildland firefighter on your Christmas list! Also, remember your 52 Club membership is per calendar year, the New Year is coming and your membership will need to be renewed. We can help you with that too!

Happy Holidays!
Melissa Brandt
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Office (208) 336-2996

Everyone get in your 52 Club Donation! Thanks Melissa! Ab.

12/12 Do you have any information on the history of the use of Task Books in Wildland Firefighting?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Bill G
12/11 What's going on with the apprenticeship hiring for 2012?


12/10 Ab, Howdy...

Seeing posts on They Said regarding adding fallen firefighters from some years ago, prompted me to look on the Fallen Firefighters web-site for 2 incidents that I am aware of, but didn't see in the listings.

  • I was in the CDF Tulare RU Command Center from June 1974 to May 1978. Somewhere in that time span I remember a USFS SQF lightning reconnaissance fixed-wing aircraft going down somewhere on the SQF generally east of Visalia/Porterville, maybe in the Great Western divide area or Domeland Wilderness. Three souls onboard, I remember one passenger being a young female, possibly a clerk type person who wouldn't have ordinarily been on the recon flight.
  • Later, while a CDF engine captain on an SQF fire in the vicinity of Havilah, a lead plane crashed after peaking during an unusual, long, steep ascent. This was the same incident where a BLM John Deere Dozer took several tumbles end-over-end and side-over-side. The dozer operator survived, but was quite bruised from the safety harness keeping him in place.

At the moment, that's about as much detail I can bring to the surface. If these can be added to the list of fallen firefighters, maybe enough details can be posted by others who would remember these incidents and research date and investigation.

Bill B

12/8 Remembering Mike Rushworth:

On December 8th 1961 we lost one of our Brothers. His name was Mike and he was a Dalton Hotshot. We remember him like we remember so many like him. He was young, kind, loving, hardworking, and very passionate about life. I know this because last summer I was very fortunate to visit his family in Vermont. Vicki Minor from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation who joined me, met his mother, brother, cousins, and family and good friends. Vicki and I presented his mother and family a United States flag and a Wildland Firefighter statue from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. I feel like I know Mike personally from hearing all of the stories about him while I was there. This of course is something that is very difficult to prepare for but, Mike's family and friends were warm and welcoming for Vicki and me. The experience was an emotional overload and incredible, and is something I will never forget.

Scott Gorman, Dalton Hotshot

Always Remember link
Memorial: 2011 anniversary photo is on Mike's page.

12/8 Hi All,

I got the following two messages from Rick Messier and we thought we'd post them here in case they jogged anyone's memory. Mellie


I was going thru the aircraft related list and found no mention of the copter crash and deaths that occurred on this fire.  I believe I mentioned this fire to Mellie or may have seen info about this crash on this site.  Not sure, may just be missing it. 

As I recall, this was a lightning caused fire that ended up burning across and on both sides of the Kern River in the area of Grasshopper Flat and Hell for Sure (which was aptly named).

Our group worked out of a fire camp in Willow Meadow and we spent a lot of time in the Angora Mtn. area.

Part of the time they parachuted supplies in to us and we had to cut down trees to retrieve much of it.

Our group went in from Lone Pine and came out in Porterville.


second email

In looking at results of the Lessons Learned Database inquiry list it shows 3 fatalities but I could find no other info.  They don't know the date, 1/1/61 is a placeholder.

Number of People:
Shelters Available:
Shelters Deployed:
Sequoia NF

Helicopter Accident
Aircraft Accident
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Not Applicable

I have been under the impression the copter ran out of fuel, but that may just have been speculation by folks on the fire.  I do know it was a small ship and had shuttled us in from the airstrip at Tunnel Meadows.  (I was a crew boss on an Angeles Sector team and we worked with one of the Black Eagle crews out of Porterville.  They were hard workers.  In 1970 I worked with them again in Malibu- at that time I had left the FS was working for LAC.)

LLC Inquiry Utility: http://iirdb.wildfirelessons.net/main/Reviews.aspx
12/8 Greetings from the Western Region for the Cohesive Strategy.

We are completing Phase II of our efforts and again want to express our gratitude for all you hard work and feedback. At this time we are asking for “stakeholder” feedback on the Western Assessment and have specifically focused on the objectives, sub-objectives, actions and broad policy questions. If you have previously provided feedback for the Western Assessment, here is you opportunity to see how we used your information and our desire to keep hearing from you. Please go to the following site: http://sites.nemac.org/westcohesivefire/updates/ for a complete update (See December 5, 2011), the complete report with appendices and we’d love to hear from folks. Also please share with any others that may want to provide us feedback on the Western Assessment.

Happy Holidays folks,

Joe Stutler

12/8 FWFSA:

Talk About Succession Planning...

As many know, the poor economy has raised its ugly head in the federal wildland firefighting community and the FWFSA had to unfortunately cancel its membership conference. One of the actions that would have taken place was the election of Officers and the expansion of the Board of Directors (Regional Directors) to more accurately reflect the geographic growth of the Association as well as the growth within our DOI membership.

As a result of the conference being canceled the Board took action to fill several vacancies. Additionally, in the coming weeks the Board will solicit interest from members in key areas across the country to continue serving on the Board.

The Board unanimously appointed our advocate Casey Judd as President of the FWFSA. Casey has been a dues paying member of the FWFSA since he was asked to come on Board and help us in 2003 and has probably invested more time and energy into the FWFSA than anyone to date. This will provide Casey with the authority and responsibility to ensure Board business is conducted promptly and day to day decisions are made in a timely manner.

Mr. Jim Huston is now the Senior Vice President and Mr. Scott Lucas the Assistant Vice President. Ms. Micheline Escalante will assume the duties as Secretary-Treasurer.

Additionally we are excited that a retiree has offered to communicate with our growing retiree base to ascertain whether there are issues the Association can address on behalf of its retirees. We will announce that position after the first of the year.

The Board will also be appointing several members to positions of Regional Director in coming weeks in addition to the outreach for said Directors from Forest Service Regions 2,3,4,6,8 and 9 and DOI agencies. Mr. Huston and Mr. Lucas will concurrently serve as Regional Directors for Southern California and Northern California respectively.

As you all know, the anti-federal employee sentiment in Washington DC will demand an aggressive response and a concerted "educational" effort by the FWFSA and hopefully federal employee unions during this upcoming election year. We are hopeful the changes to our Board and its expansion will better serve our members in 29 states and serve to improve our efforts to achieve the goals and objectives our federal wildland firefighters have deserved for so long.

Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the FWFSA by phone at 208-775-4577 or by using the contact form on our web site at www.fwfsa.org.

The FWFSA Board

Nice. Congrats to Casey and the new board and thanks for your service. Ab.

12/8 A Long Overdue Policy Change to Recognize the Sovereignty of Tribal Governments

Didn’t know if anyone may be interested..


Long Overdue Policy Change to Recognize the Sovereignty of Tribal Governments

Thanks, Hickman.

12/7 FW: 2012 Forest Service Temporary Firefighter Recruitment

From: Yates, Rita
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 11:46 AM
Cc: FS-pdl r5 recruiters; FS-pdl r5 fcros; Yates, Rita
Subject: 2012 Forest Service Temporary Firefighter Recruitment

This is the latest news I've heard for 2012 Temporary Hiring process from the National Temporary Employment Team. Please find the attachments - the Temporary Recruitment Bulletin and the list of all of the OCR (Open Continuous Recruitment) Vacancy Announcement numbers.

" We do not have a listing of NEW OCR's specifically for 2012. We are using the existing OCR's that are open and available. These are the same OCR's that were used for the 2011 Temporary Employment Hiring Season. The "REL2" just means that we did a "Release #2" last season for that OCR. Again… we have not updated or changed anything as of yet for 2012. We are operating Business as Usual. If and When we do update our OCR's, we will communicate that nationally." " We will be keeping the current OCRs that are open and that we used last year for this hiring season until further notice."

Please let me know if you would like to be removed from this mailing list. Best of luck.

Rita Yates
Wildland Firefighter Recruitment Liaison Specialist
Region 5, Regional Office, Civil Rights Staff

2011 Temporary Employment Open Continuous Recruitment Announcements (352 K doc)

U.S. Forest Service – Region 5 (California), Forestry Aid and Forestry Technicians, Temporary Wildland Firefighter, 2012 Fire Season (41 K pdf)
Apply Now – Contact Captains ASAP – Job Offers may be made in January and February, Updated 12/05/11

12/7 Predictive Services Reports

I’m a little bit puzzled, can anyone help?

The last two years NICC has been listing a lot less fires on the daily IMSR (incident management situation report). It seems that only suppression fires get listed. However in the small print it cites a number of fires being managed or multiple objectives and usually this number is much higher than the number of suppression fires that are listed with narratives. Why is this?

Is the abbreviated version of the IMSR written to conserve space for large fire reporting, or is it being written to downplay the role of fires being managed for multiple objectives with the goal of managing for resource benefits? Wouldn’t it make more sense to illustrate to the end users of the report the number of acres that are being treated by fire, with fire, to accomplish resource benefits?

Which also begs the question, how does NICC separate out their End of Year statistics for: 1) suppression only fires, and 2) fires managed for multiple objectives? In the past the annual report would list suppression fires, prescribed fires, and WFU (wildland fire use) fires and acres.

Is NICC missing something by not reporting out the number of fires and acres affected that are being managed for multiple objectives?

Wouldn’t this be a good statistic to compile over time to view trends in how effective new fire management policy / procedure direction can be?

Anyone out there able to help? It seems the NICC management staff would be up on this /

PS: I really did like the predictive services reports. They share a lot of information useful for fire ecologists and resource management specialists. Can the year end summary reports that note historical highs and lows be reformatted to include the current methodology for fire mensuration?

Signed – just curious….

Ab note: mensuration = The act, process, or art of measuring; Measurement, measuring, measure activity - any specific behavior (thefreedictionary.com)

12/7 Predictive Services Reports

Thanks, folks! The student thanks you too!

Another question...

Is there any spreadsheet or document that shows acres burned for resource benefit separate from suppression acres? That info must be available in someone's database.

On the Big Bar Complex in 1999 in the Trinities, a lot of burning out was done with ping-pong balls and drip torch, for the most part with good outcomes for the environment. It was a matter of using the fire that was already burning remotely in the wilderness for resource benefit -- wasn't going to go out until the rains came anyway. The Biscuit Fire, 2002, in Oregon was managed in a similar fashion. It would be helpful to be able to track those acres burned for something other than suppression.



12/7 Predictive Services Reports

Mellie may be interested in this spread sheet too.

Preparedness Levels xls Spread Sheet (582 K xls download)

Noname fire

12/6 Predictive Services Reports

Mellie, I think this is what you want, just came out:

www.predictiveservices.nifc: Monthly Seasonal Outlook (pdf)

I had it bookmarked.


12/6 Gee, I feel like I'm asking too many questions, except this one is for a student friend and because I'm interested. I feel brain dead. Maybe not using the right search terms...

Does anyone have the most recent 2011 NICC Predictive Services Report for the end of the year or last quarter? or a link to it where I can download it? It's the one that has drought and La nina and El nino and suppression acres burned and acres managed for resource benefit and and high and low acreage years and trends? I have looked on the NICC website.

I could greatly use any help.

Mellie, wearing my academic hat...

12/5 Thanks VA.

I added the info and named the incident to commemorate Merrin Rodgers.

Thanks also to Joe Stutler and Jim for sending in the reports and google topography for Inaja.

Thanks to rjm for making the road trip to the roadside memorial and taking pics and gps-ing the site. I believe I got that page up-to-date, too.

Thanks, All!


12/5 Ab,

This is in reply to mellie's post on 12/5 about a fatal helicopter accident on the Lost Fire on the BHF on 8/19/88. The individual's name who was killed was Merrin Rodgers. He was newly hired by the BLM Wyoming. They were changing batteries in the repeater for the fire. During take-off from the repeater site, the tail rotor drive shaft coupling broke at the transmission. Mellie can check this information at the Memorial Page at the Wyoming Fire Academy site. Any questions, email me. Long time lurker and Retired WY BLM Helitack Crew Supervisor. Keep up the good work you guys and gals.


12/5 This came in to Always Remember, I replied below and Brandon requested it be posted at theysaid and on the hotlist with his email address. Thanks to anyone out there who was stationed in Orleans CA that season and knew David Perrine.



Message from Brandon:

Years ago there was a firefighter by the name of David Perrine who was tragically killed on July 26,1978 in an accident en route to a fire. David was my father's best friend growing up in Lancaster, New York. I was hoping you might be able to help me with finding a photo or plaque of David from when he was a firefighter with the Orleans Fire Department. I would like to give my dad something to remember his best friend by for the holidays as I know he greatly misses David and thinks of him daily. If you could please help me or point me in the right direction as to whom might be able to help me with this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

Happy Holidays,
Brandon Miller


Hi Brandon,

I see you're speaking of the Orleans CA Engine.

Always Remember Orleans Engine

That was a US Forest Service engine stationed at Orleans, CA in 1978. It's my neck-of-the-woods -- our home is in the Trinities and the accident occurred on my birthday. I know Mad River Hospital in Arcata, which is where the surviving firefighters were taken.

As far as photos, it would probably be very hard to find any, but you never know. Firefighters were and are seasonal and often came from other parts of the country to fight fire. They often parted at the end of the season. I know how hard it was for the news archive researchers and Hotshots and others to go back and try to get any formal information on that tragic accident. Paper records tend to get misplaced or destroyed. Finding photos is even more problematic.

That said, it's worth a try. I will get your request posted on theysaid if that's OK with you and ask around.

One book that your dad might like to read and look at that would give him the flavor of what David did is Fire Line, Summer Battles of the West by Michael Theole. Fantastic book, great pictures, wonderful descriptions, the kind of book that's nice to have on a coffee table and come back to over and over again to read different parts.

Let me know if it's OK to post your request and my response on theysaid and the hotlist. I will not submit your last name unless you want me to.


12/5 Thanks to everyone who helped, I finished correcting all the USFA Memorial Database links, broken when they changed their site. That was a job. Hope that does not happen too often.

On another note:
I have finished a number of Forest Service contracted aviation LODDs from 1974 through 2002. The FS Aviation Fatality Review of those years does not include Dept of Interior aviation fatalities (BLM, NPS, FWS, BIA), only FS. I've got to say, of the fed agencies, the FS has good records for the most part. Names are not associated with accidents, but the investigations seem to be fairly complete on facts and thoughtful probable cause with the intention of learning lessons.

There is one incident,

1988 08/19 WY Aerospatiale Lama BLM Radio Tech
WLF Always Remember Aerospatiale Lama Unknown Name 

This is a FS-contracted helicopter crash -- Cloud Peak Wilderness, Bighorn National Forest -- WY in which a BLM radio tech died after being ejected from the helicopter due to seat belt failure.

I haven't been able to find his name. Did anyone know him? I'd like to remember him or the incident. 1988 is not so long ago.

Thanks for any help.

12/1 Status of Forest Service Temp Hiring OCRs:

No new one for 2012 hiring season, using the current ones that are open until further notice. Inform your folks they
can use the current list for their outreach or recruitment notices. Same numbers as last year. What could be easier?

12/1 CA IMT nomination letter - message on the HOTLIST
12/1 Hotlist

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