Hotlist Forum Link

"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
July, 2013

Home of the Wildland Firefighter
DATE
SUBJECT (Previous Archive: Jun-13)

Return to Archives Page

7/31 24- and 72-Hr. Report N Pueblos Work Capacity Test Fatality are posted on the Hotlist

Always Remember Danny Gomez

My condolences to his family, friends and co-workers. Ab.

7/31 Federal Wildland Firefighter Liability Insurance

Most employees are eligible for agency reimbursement up to half the cost for net costs of about $140.

fedsprotection.com

Enter discount code: FWFSA
7/31 WFF Post: Rockin' Blues Fest in Flagstaff, AZ

Unbelievable response to the event this Saturday at the Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill Park in Flagstaff, AZ! Tickets starting at $19 for Canned Heat, Pat Travers Band, Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter and Ten Years After with proceeds going to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation to support the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Great music for a great cause. See y'all there! For more info click... MORE INFO .

7/31 Some Foresters in trouble

Ab,

Keep in mind the 10, 18 and other printed “Rules” are there to protect the employer first. If it is determined that one or more of those were violated then the employer is usually regarded as being free from any “Wrongful death” claims or future lawsuits. I served on 6 Fire Death investigation Panels. I never saw any of those reports leave us for higher authority review without citing violations of 1 or more of those “Firefighter Safety” that didn’t include something. While it is human to err, it isn’t acceptable when it gets down to a situation like this to an unfeeling higher authority. I’ll bet many are really worried but it is probably wasted energy.

Normbc9

7/30 During an on-going investigation... Sounds like some Foresters are in trouble or should be...

AZ State Forestry Division's Response to Inquiries Surrounding Recent Statements

Ab.

7/30 Good Afternoon,

Here is the Summer Issue of Two More Chains—a special tribute to the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Wildfirelessons.net: Two More Chains Summer 2013.pdf

Take Care,

Brenna
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

7/30 Remembering helicopter pilot Gordon Knight who died in 2002 fighting the Big Elk Fire near the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Strider

7/30 Fed Fire Hiring problems, 2013:

I recently got designated as the union rep. for the AAR with HRM on Fire hiring for 2013. I’ll probably get swamped from what I heard earlier in the year, but I need some examples to bring to their attention during the AAR. I’m not going to research any complaints, that’s a local issue, but maybe we can help make it better for next year or if there are examples that are illegal I can direct you to the correct forum. My address is rangel@fs.fed.us.

Ronald C. Angel
NFFE FSC R1 CVP
208-265-6646
Cell 208-290-7188

7/28 Engine 11

It's 11 years today that Heather, Steve, and John lost their lives in an engine rollover at the Stanza Fire in the Klamath. July 28, 2002. Honor their lives and work safely to stay safe.

Heather's Mom

My best to you, Mother of Heather. Ab.

7/28 Fellow firefighters-

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the Stanza Fire tragedy.

Steve, Heather, John, LNF Engine 11... Gone but never forgotten.

While it is easy to discount driving as another 'Part of the job', it continues to be one of the most dangerous aspects of what we do on a day to day basis. The simplest takeaway lesson... Drive safely brothers and sister.

-Rob

Always Remember Stanza Engine 11: Heather, John and Steve.
7/27 Ab,

I registered and am awaiting permissions. There is a new start on MT-FHA-Firestone Flats. There is a large header column visible from Missoula. The fire is located east of Arlee MT. Helicopters, seats, tankers, Lead and other resources on scene. The KPAX web cam has a good view of smoke.

ktvq.com --cameras missoula eyecam

Weather: Pistol Creek Raws; 78 F, 19RH, wind SW 8 Gust 20
Point 6 RAWS; 65 F, 18 RH, Wind SW 18 Gust 30

Would like to post if possible, however I will be unavailable in a few hrs.

Thank you for all you do for those of us who used to be boots on the ground and now have secondary positions.

CN

7/25 Andrew J. Palmer lost his life in a falling accident. Please remember his story and share the lesson learned. He was 18 years old and this was his first off forest assignment. He did not return home. My thoughts are with all those whose lives have been touched forever.

On July 25, 2008, an Engine from Olympic National Park received a resource order to report to the Iron Complex on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Weaverville, CA. Upon arrival to the Incident Command Post (ICP) on July 23, the crew reported mechanical problems with the engine that required the engine captain to drive the vehicle into Redding, CA for service. The remainder of the engine module stayed at ICP and on July 24, were given a logistical assignment in camp. On July 25, while the engine captain was attempting to obtain a replacement engine from Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, the three crew members were assigned as a Class B falling team to Bravo Division on the Eagle Fire.

Their assignment was to support hand and engine crews during mop-up operations mitigating hazard trees ahead of them along the fireline. At approximately 1350 hours, the crew called for medical assistance for a severely injured firefighter/swamper on their crew.

Emergency medical personnel responded and treated the injured firefighter Andrew J. Palmer. Due to heavy smoke conditions requiring IFR capability, primary helicopter resources were unable to respond to the injured firefighter’s location. Personnel carried Palmer, by litter, to a location where he was hoisted into a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter at approximately 1630 hours. En route to the Redding Municipal Airport, to meet the ambulance, Palmer went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead on arrival at approximately 1706 hours at the Redding Municipal Airport.

To read the whole report please visit: nps.gov

"Remembering Andy Palmer" video from the Lessons Learned Center

Always Remember Andy Palmer
7/24 Making the rounds:

Videos of Willis' comments and answers to reporters' questions as well as the written overview:

Granite Mountain Hotshot co-founder Darrell Willis describes 19-member crew’s last stand on Yarnell Hill

[caveat in the article: Willis provided the most comprehensive overview of what may have occurred, but it is not the official version of events. That won’t come until early September when the state forestry division releases the 60-day critical incident report that is being prepared by an inter-agency team.]

Always Remember the Granite Mountain 19

7/23 Code 3 Driving

Why did it take three weeks to hear about one of our Forest Service employees getting into a wreck going Code 3? Where was a 24 hour or 72 hour report? Are they trying to keep it quiet because it's Chief that was involved?

Just Wondering
7/23 Column Collapse:

While scouting the Antelope fire, we had a close call when a column collapsed on us. This was during a transition between teams when the fire was changing rapidly. Later, we learned that an IMET in base camp was aware of the column but did not report it to anyone on the line. There were a number of resources that were compromised and luckily we had more than 2 ways out. How different would this have been if the IMET was in a "fire service" agency? They are hard to see when you are close to them and they build quickly.

dr. fire

7/23 Greetings,

Please join us for our upcoming webinar titled “Can our forests take the heat? Fire, climate change and tree mortality in the western US,” scheduled for Wednesday, July 31st at 1pm MDT. Phil van Mantgem will describe the results of a study that examined this topic by synthesizing existing information from plot-based prescribed fire monitoring databases across the western United States of America. To register for the webinar go to gotomeeting.com. If you have any questions let me know.

Thanks and Take Care!

Brenna
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
7/23 I thought you may be interested in our t-shirts for your firefighter community.

Thank you.

Yarnell Community Center

By wearing this t-shirt you are supporting the Yarnell Community Center and honoring those who gave their lives to save our community.

"On behalf of the Yarnell region, our solemn gratitude is offered to all emergency response personnel who served in this tragic disaster. Our souls ache for those who gave their lives for us and we will never forget them. They represent and define what is best in us. As deeply as we regret their loss, and with profound respect, we will honor them by not giving up in rebuilding our peaceful town. We will be certain their unimaginable sacrifice was not in vain."

Excerpt from a letter written by Executive Director Scott Shephard, the week of the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Scott Shephard
Executive Director
Yarnell Community Center

7/22 Greetings-

*I’d like to briefly share with you an exciting fire prevention campaign happening in California right now. The “One Less Spark – One Less Wildfire” campaign is an interagency collaborative effort to prevent equipment caused wildfires. I have attached briefing papers to this message; please help us spread the word.*We’re on Facebook: One-Less-Spark-One-Less-Wildfire*

*Thanks!*
Zachary Ellinger
Fire Prevention
Doublehead Ranger District
Modoc National Forest
Tulelake, CA
7/22 Always hardtop lose a young person in our profession and it's always important to remember them.

Smokey307

7/21 Mid-Season Trends of Fatal and Near-Fatal Incidents from the LLC...

Of all incidents so far, 50% are MEDICAL incidents.

Small Mid-Season Trends Flyer from wildfirelessons.net. Some important information and tips.

Began making the rounds on July 15, 2013. Ab.

7/21 I'll be posting theysaid remotely on the Hotlist for the next days. If you email me, I'll post your message there for the time being:

They Said It on the Hotlist.

Messages have now (7/30) been transferred to this forum. Ab.

7/21 Today is the 10-year anniversary of the two fatalities on the Cramer Fire. At 15:24, 10 years ago today, the two heli-rappelers made their final radio transmission. We still have so much to learn from the Cramer Fire, much of which is still relevant today. In the wake of all that has happened so far this season, please keep Jeff Allen and Shane Heath, and their families, in your hearts and your thoughts.

- Kelly Close

Cramer Fire Staff Ride

Always Remember Cramer Fire: Shane and Jeff

7/21 Always Remember, TJ Marovich - 7/21/2009. Peace to TJ's family, the Chester Fly Crew and the Modoc NF fire family.

Always Remember TJ Marovich
7/19 Re: column collapse

Still Out There as an AD

We were trained about what to look for in 1954 and I saw my first one while coming up Sierra Way in San Bernardino responding the Mc Kinley fire as it moved up quickly from Hwy 38 to Santa’s Village. My Pumper Foreman sounded the alarm. Someone organized a big Pumper Stand on the Highway and the fire swept over the top of many engines, some damaged beyond repair. Again I saw it in 1967 in a LPF Fire in Piru Canyon off the Burma Rd. That time I was a Foreman and sounded the alarm. It has been taught to us repeatedly since I was hired years ago. In that case the Forest Service lost an engine and other fire agencies experienced serious damage. Next to us steel oil derricks were failing and falling over. I saw hillside tanks of Crude oil failing too.

Normbc9

7/18 Blue Ridge Hotshots:

As the father of one of the Blue Ridge Hotshots, I want to say how proud I am of this crew. They were there with the Granite Mountain Crew and brought their lookout home safely. They were the ones who found their fallen brothers and stood by their remains until officials and others could make it to the site of the Granite Mountain Crew's final battle. These men avoided the press and all the activity whirling around them these past two weeks. Together as a crew, they mourned in silence away from the noise and bright lights of the public and the press.

It was their honor to attend and participate in the funerals of their fallen brothers.

After attending 11 funerals of their fallen Granite Mountain brothers in 4 days, they are now back on the road heading for another fire.
The roar and heat of the next wildfire awaits them. They will face the next fire as they have faced 100s before but with one big difference. They will be without their friends and brothers of their "sister" crew. They must go on alone. But, of course they won't be alone. They will be there with other hotshots and I'm sure they will be watched over by their 19 fallen brothers.

They will march forward like the heroes they and all Hotshots are. The best of the very best!

God bless you my son and sons. I honor you and all of your firefighting brothers and sisters.

You as well as the Yarnell 19 will always be my heroes!

Brian

7/17 Re: column collapse

Maybe it's just a matter of who I'm reading or listening to, but it seems that the idea of "column collapse" really popped up about 15 years ago, but then has not been in circulation as much in the last few years. I'm wondering if the fire behavior gurus are truly seeing this phenomenon (as shown in the 2002 Oregonian illustration) or is the diminishing of a plume coincidental to other physical attributes of a fire? For example, multiple columns can lead to some pretty wild dynamics, as can the convective activity of a thunderstorm or the loss of diurnal heating late in the day. The point is well taken in some of the information circulating recently to have lookouts that can see the entire column; I'm just trying to understand what we're seeing, and why.

Still Out There as an AD

7/17 Re downdraft / column collapse:

In 1985, the Deerlodge and Bitterroot National Forests held their week long smokechaser training at a CCC camp outside of Dillon, MT. Al Crammer was one of the instructors and spent one morning on what they believed happened on the Man Gulch Fire. They strongly believed that the blow up was caused by a down draft. The really old lessons are too often forgotten and then must be relearned at a tragic price.

Steve Hopkins,,,, (Book)

7/17 Wildland Foundation Supporting Carpenter 1 Firefighters article and video of folks we know... (NV-HTF-Carpenter 1: Hotlist thread)

Posted: Jul 12, 2013 3:00 PM PST Updated: Jul 12, 2013 3:00 PM PST
By Lauren Rozyla, Reporter & By Mark Mutchler, Photojournalist

LAS VEGAS -- It's been a tough wildfire season for hotshot crews across the country. They've lost 23 firefighters in the line of duty in just three weeks, including the 19 in Prescott, Ariz.

July 7, 1994 is a date Carpenter 1 fire's incident commander Rich Harvey cannot easily forget (... the day firefighters died on Storm King in Colorado). "That day, 14 firefighters lost their lives," Harvey said.

Those lives lost were a springboard for an organization that would help firefighters and their families for years to come: the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. "If you're supporting them, I guarantee you're supporting us," Harvey said. The foundation gets donated money directly to firefighters and families hurt or killed in the line of duty. (More at the link...)

Nice article. Ab.

7/17 Orange Fire shirts (IMWTK)

In 1963-64 as I recall, there were orange fire shirts available on the Los Padres, , most assuredly by ‘65. They were a tight weave cotton, long sleeve of course, I was also issued an aluminum short brim hard hat (still have it) when I started in the spring of ‘63.

Respectfully,

John (Fuzzy) Feazelle, SBCoFD, Fire Equipment Operator Sup. (HFEO) (ret).1969-2003

I added it to the IMWTK page, thanks. Ab.

7/16 downdraft / column collapse:

AB,

Over the years, I have come to have great respect to down drafts from cumulus clouds among other things. Once, while working a fire just west of Winnemucca, NV, I had the Reno NWS forecaster call me up and asked if I saw the squall line approaching my fire (I had left my cell number with them in the event they saw something anomalous coming my way). I had not but because of their actions, I had about 50 minutes to pull the troops off the line and get them to safety zones and get the incident base tied down as best we could. Well, as predicted, almost to the minute, and while watching the radar, it came over us with winds significant enough to blow over semi-trucks and trailers on I-80 and pretty well rearrange the feeding area at the incident base. Because of these types of events, I have always made it a priority to give the Fire Weather office my cell number if I don’t have an IMET on the incident with me.

A number of years ago, I came across an excellent poster (1,859 K pdf) that had its origins on the Biscuit Fire in Oregon in 2002 and was put together by the Oregonian newspaper along with other contributors. I post it in the briefing area on incidents I am on if there is the possibility of downdraft incidents. It provides an excellent illustration of how cells develop, what to watch for and the implications of their presence. I couldn’t attach it to the thread but have attached it here. All of those that go to the fire line should take a look at it and become familiar with what is in it. It would be an excellent item to brief at the morning tailgate sessions. The bottom line is, if there are cells within 20 miles of where you are, keep an eye on it and plan for a down draft even if it doesn’t occur.

In the meantime, be safe out there.

Cafban

Sources:
Erik Christiansen, fire behavior analyst for US Forest Service and BLM;
Fundamentals of Wildland Firefighting;
Fire Line: The Summer Battles of the West;
Graphics: Derrik Quenzer / The Oregonian 11/4/2002

Fair Use Disclaimer

I remember that one. Nice. Ab.

Hotlist thread

7/16 “Firefighters Coping with the Aftermath of Suicide” is an 11 minute video highlighting the struggles many firefighters face when responding to a suicide call, or in some cases, dealing with the loss of a fellow firefighter who died by suicide. These events can take a tremendous emotional toll on firefighters and this can manifest into a number of serious health issues.

While firefighters are trained to face traumatic events, many times they are unprepared for the unique trauma associated with suicide. “Firefighters Coping with the Aftermath of Suicide” not only serves to raise awareness of this issue among firefighters, it also provides an avenue to encourage frank discussions which help to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues.

To watch Firefighters Coping with the Aftermath of Suicide, please visit YouTube. (11 min)

7/15 PLBs & Firefighters

Ab,

"No contact" is a common phrase used in fireline radio communications.

Normally this is an irritation or inconvenience at worst. But when the message is a life and death matter, we cannot always rely on our BK radios, cell phones or even sat phones, which are rarely left on to receive calls. My suggestion (likely made by many others in the past) is for every hotshot crew (and fireline crew working off the road system for that matter) to have at least (2) Personal Locator Beacons with them at all times, so that they may be alerted to major weather changes by NOAA or other competent weather information system. If the beacon sounds, firefighters contact dispatch asap. If they cannot contact dispatch, the first thing they would do after saying "no contact" is to immediately disengage and retreat to a safe area, if they are not already there. PLBs are light, loud, relatively inexpensive and far more dependable than fire shelters.

Mike McMillan

7/15 Re; The Post from Jeanne Pincha-Tulley

More than occasionally, people tell me "I couldn't do what you do" or "I could never have patience with Congress or the Agencies like you do."

There are many reasons we do what we do at the FWFSA. One of those reasons is Jeanne. Each day I am blessed with the opportunity to do what I can on behalf of people like Jeanne. One of the greatest things about the FWFSA is its diversity. No, not so much the gender part of it but the grade and position part of it.

On any given day we'll receive an application from a seasonal GS-3 in Wyoming and a GS-13 in California or like today our first member from of all places, South Carolina, a GS-7 Engine Captain. And that brings me to another reason why we exist; Engine Captains should be (in my humble opinion) 8s or 9s...it shouldn't matter what region you're in.

Anyway... Our membership includes those occupying all fire positions in all five federal land management agencies. Heck we even have a few "secret" members in the Forest Service' Washington Office who aren't even in FIRE but support what we do. We even have some Cal-Fire members. There are smokejumpers, shots, engine crews, fuels, dispatch, aviation, helitack etc. That is what makes the FWFSA so unique and helps me deal with the dysfunction in DC.

In recent weeks all of you have had to deal with unbelievable loss... and the season is still many months from being over. But folks like Jeanne epitomize our Nation's federal wildland firefighters. Several years ago she commanded a fire here in Idaho. I believe it was called the Castle Rock Fire. To this day, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson praises her for what she did for Idaho continuing to claim that if she had run for Congress in Idaho against him that year she would have won.

It has taken some time but I now believe that both the Forest Service and DOI agencies clearly understand that the diversity of the FWFSA includes the Cream of the Crop of their firefighters. The voices we harness and focus on those in Washington who can effect positive change cannot be challenged or refuted.

Some of you may recall "Black Tuesday" from 2008. A time when another Chief of the Forest Service "had a different opinion" than the FWFSA had about the impact of wildland firefighter retention. Fortunately that day, Congress relied on our firefighter's voices and the volume of information they provided to us which in turn was provided to Congress which ultimately led to $25 million to address retention issues.

In a couple of weeks I will be returning to Washington to meet with Congressional, Administration & Agency representatives as we expect our comprehensive legislation to be re-introduced by the end of the month. Sadly, the reality of such tragedies as that in Arizona and the loss of Luke and others this year is that it increases the interest and awareness of politicians, the press and the public on the issues that face our firefighters and how those issues ultimately affect our Nation's taxpayers.

Another reality is that such interest and awareness wanes rapidly and we all must show our respect for those lost as well as to all of you on the lines by ensuring that awareness and interest turns into action. Thank you Jeanne and all of our members who make my job so humbling.

Casey

Casey Judd
President
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association

7/15 Fuels Treatment in Clarks Valley post Carstens Fire

Hi Ab-

I don’t know how to get the photos into the discussion dealing with the fuels treatment.  Or even if they are needed.

Today I went into Clarks Valley with the land owner.  He has treated a large portion of his property either by logging, mastication or hand work with chipping.  (A ranch of several hundred acres.)

# 54 – Hill behind structures.  This area had been hand thinned and was in direct alignment with where the fire crested the ridge out of Plumbar Creek the first night.  According to officials the fire blew thru here and did not really loose intensity at least 500 feet from the untreated National Forest land.  The fire was burning downhill.  Once it lost momentum, they were able to stop it at a road.

The other photos #’s
# 58,
# 60,
# 62
were taken within the treated area but far enough away from National Forest land that while some trees were killed, much of the fire had dropped to the ground with just occasional torching.

This landowner has been aggressive with both mastication and hand clearing.  The mastication has been to a higher standard than required by the Forest Service and the machinery used has been equipped with a fecon (sp) head.

(On a personal note – The distance it could take for the fire to loose momentum after leaving a non treated area concerns me.  My home is about 500 ft. from untreated National Forest land.  I know the Forest Service does not have the funds to treat all FS areas but I also know that local land owners are not allowed to trespass off their private lands and do the clearing themselves.)

Anyhow – I hope this adds to the discussion.  It’s apparent fuel treatments work, but must be maintained.

RM

Thanks, RM. Good illustrating in photos. Ab.

7/15 Here's a news clip of a recent California S 234 Live Fire Training Class I attended. For once the media got it right!

Firefighters train for wildfires in rural salinas

A live fire element needs to become a required component of certification and qualification for Firing Boss. These S 234 classes are run by local Fire Districts and some hard core old school pros who know what they're doing. More info at California Specialized Rescue website

Captain Joe

7/15 Life and Fire, Homefront relationships:

During the 12 years of my career in fire, I've seen and been part of some amazing things. I've also witnessed and experienced some heartbreaking and traumatic losses on the homefront, for lack of a better word. I've seen good friends lose the people that meant the most to them while on a fire. Worse is to get home after a trying assignment to find the one you trust and depend on most gone. I've seen friends who loved the job forced to walk away from it to save their relationships, marriages, and families. I understand that everyone and every relationship is different, and that there's no magic bullet. However, we spend a lot of time training and talking about how to respond to incidents on the job, but beyond EAPs, there is not much in the way of help or guidance for the people we leave behind, and there isn't much in the way of help or guidance for us, either.

In my experience, these are situations that aren't addressed; they are dangers of the job that are ignored or perhaps aren't recognized. However, they are ugly, painful, and potentially traumatic truths for many of us. A phone call home to say thank you can do wonders, but there are times where it isn't enough. Communication is critical, but there are times when it fails.

Thoughts on any of this? (Apologies for the long post.)

skunk ape

No apologies necessary. You speak the truth. Ab.

7/15 Signing off of a supervisor,

Our qualification system is performance-based.

If you are required to just sign off you supervisor then there are integrity issues.

If your supervisor was a qualified trainee, assigned to an incident, and you were there qualified evaluator than you may sign off tasks that you observed them completing and showing knowledge and competency in their performance during the incident.

Successful performance of all tasks, as observed and recorded by an evaluator, will result in a recommendation to the agency that the trainee be certified in that position.

Successful completion of position tasks and training courses does not guarantee an individual will be qualified to perform in a position. Certification and recertification is a subjective determination each individual agency must make based on task evaluations, position performance evaluations, and their own judgment of the quality of an individual’s experience. The quality of experience should be closely evaluated when making a determination for advancement to the next higher position, to a different position, or for recertification. The quality of experience may relate to the variety of fuel types in which an individual has performed, the size and complexity of the incident or event in terms of personnel, equipment, and operations, and the number of assignments.

There are checks and balances in this system. In the USFS there is a Qualification Review Committee at each Forest (FQRC) and Region (RQRC). Including a line officer representative and providing the opportunity for a Union Official to participate on bargaining units. On my forest the Civil Rights Officer also is a member of the committee. The remainder of the committee is the Forest Fire Chief, Forest Aviation Officer, Forest Fuels Officer, Forest Training Officer, and all of the Division Chiefs. The FQRC recommends certification to the Forest Fire Chief up to Type 2 command and general staff positions. Area Command or Type 1 Command and General Staff position qualifications must go to the RQRC.

Now if you work for a local agency if might be slightly different and check with your training officer.

Integrity in the process is the key here. If you supervisor is pressuring you to sign off tasks you are not comfortable with their ability, or there were not opportunities to complete on a particular assignment then you might want to bring it up to their boss or someone farther up the chain of command.

Sent from my iPad

7/14 Signing off of a supervisor:

Concerned,

I was a temporary GS 5 that was a Ops section Chief, Safety Officer, Type 1 Burn Boss, C certifier so I signed off my supervisor for certain skills. I think it is obvious from the grade I was that I never got any special treatment by doing it. I think Flash- Florida has it right, fire quals are separate from who supervises you back home. You do want to be careful that there everything is transparent and there's no appearance of games being played.

STRANGEL

7/14 Signing off of a supervisor:

The taskbook itself has some information as to who may sign, additionally your agency may have specific guidelines, but a fire qualification generally is a separate issue than who is whose supervisor at home.

To sign off on a position you must be working that position and have that person as a trainee, or be in a leadership position above it, have observed the tasks performed that you are signing for.

To be the FINAL evaluator you must be fully qualified in that position.

I will let the federal guys answer more fully, but I do not believe there is any connection or restriction to signing off for your boss. Of course if you are being pressured to sign off something inappropriately, this is a wholly different issue, and not so much a fire position problem as a supervisor/ employee problem and is better controlled by the local agency than the full NWCG system.

I say that because if he is abusing his position in that way, he is likely abusing it in others.

That's how I understand it.

Flash-Florida

7/14 Private sector firefighting resources and standards? Are standards the same across the country?

If I could be recognized as a Firefighter again,

I have been in the fire service for 15 years, structure and wildland, I chose to take the opportunity our great country offers, free enterprise. Now I am not considered a Firefighter, but a contractor.

  • yearly inspections on engines and personnel
  • vipir inspections on most incidents, to make sure I have proper equipment
  • supply will not give any thing lost on the incident, including items damaged on the incident
  • Incident can take my equipment (hose, nozzles, etc)

What is wrong with the system? We are all in this together, I thought.

Region 2 contractor and proud of it.
 

Ab's email to him:

Other federal, state, local and volunteer firefighters must also adhere to standards and inspections.

R-2 contractor's reply:

not in Region 2 (Rocky Mountain Region)

Any insights, Readers? Map of the regions, Rocky Mountain is in gold. Includes South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. Ab.

Hotlist thread

7/14 Requesting memorial sites.

I am the Arizona State Sponsor for the Tour of Honor and am responsible for finding memorials in Arizona for our riders to visit. I have a list of all the DPS memorials around the state already. I would like a list even if I have to make it, of all the fire fighting memorials in the state. If you can help me with the location of one or more memorials, that would be greatly appreciated. I also need a photo if possible and background information is great too. Here's the AZ Tour of Honor page for this year, including the Rodeo Chediski Fire memorial. Thanks for your help.

Matthew Hogan

7/13 All,

With all of the recent coverage related to the Yarnell Fire tragedy demanding our attention, I wanted to make sure that folks didn't miss something really important that was posted on They Said on July 7. The Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory and the Rocky Mountain Research Station have produced a brilliant video on the dangers of large fire whirls. We tend to think of fire behavior as something that we understand pretty well, but this video does an excellent job of showing how and why large columns can produce erratic and dangerous fire behavior that is outside the norms of what most of us expect.

I've been on several fires in my career that had rotating columns and produced tornadic events that uprooted trees, generated severe fire behavior, etc. I learned a long time ago that it is frequently difficult to tell what the column is doing when you are standing right under it, and that the best perspectives on what the column is doing often come from observers miles away from the fire. We tend to think of positioning lookouts close to the action so they can see what is happening locally, which is important, but I believe that any fire with a well-developed column also needs to have a skilled lookout, or lookouts, positioned far enough away from the fire so they can see the entire column from top to bottom.

I can't think of anything I've seen in recent years that has more important implications for wildland firefighter safety than this video. Viewing and discussing this video should be mandatory for all wildland firefighters. Major kudos to the folks at the Fire Lab and RMRS for a fine piece of work.

Tim Lynch

Deadly Beauty 22 min YouTube from the Wildlandfire Lessons Learned Center. A video about the dangers of fire whirls.

Hotlist thread

7/13 Making the rounds, SENT ORIGINALLY TO HER TEAM MEMBERS:

A few thoughts to help us through

Jeanne Pincha-Tulley
Forest Fire Chief
Tahoe National Forest
Incident Commander, Ca Interagency Incident Management Team 3

TODAY WE MOVE FORWARD

Today is more than the just another day, today is the day we move forward. After the trying times of  the loss of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the individuals lost on other incidents, to our brothers lost in a wide variety of ways – it is difficult to stay focused as the pain, the loss continues to grow with each passing. The season is long this year and we have many more incidents in the offing. Today remember our lost firefighters, and honor their memories by taking care of the living.

Whether you are a fire fighter from federal, state, local or tribal agencies, we, the band of brothers and sisters, know from our rookie year on, that this community of warriors can be counted upon for many things:

  • We are individuals that freely mesh our strengths into a team, time after time.
  • Each of us knows, and should be reminded often, that we have a major part in maintaining our own safety, plus the safety of those standing next to you, each and every incident.
  • We are a force to be counted on. We are united in our goals to keep one another and the public safe while containing a primal element that can and often is unforgiving.
  • We often make miracles happen when we work together. Our collective abilities to focus, draw upon one other’s experience, be situational aware and adaptive are exceptional.
  • We focus our energies to look after our own, help those in trouble and are quick to lend a hand. You insure your own crew is safe and check on adjacent crews to make sure they too are safe. They check on you and yours. We all stop by a stranded vehicle to make sure everyone is ok or simply chat with worried citizens impacted by wildfire. We are, to the individual, a caring, professional band.

Thank you for your service. Year after year, you are who the nation depends upon to save our forests, our communities, keep our water flowing and maintain recreational opportunities found only in our Nation’s forests and wildlands.

When on assignment, be sure to call home. Thank those folks who keep your life stable. They too make sacrifices to support your calling to public service.

Be kind to the local community.

Be safe in your work today and every day.

Be diligent in your professional approach with all that you do for you are an integral part of our Nation’s assets.

Jeanne Pincha-Tulley

7/13 employee signing off for a supervisor...

Hi Ab,

I am trying to find if there is any policy about whether an employee can sign off their supervisor for a fire qual? Is it written down somewhere that I can reference?

Regardless of whether it is written down or not, I am also interested in what our community thinks about this issue. I know my opinion, but I'd like to hear others'.

Thanks.

Concerned

7/13 employee signing off for a supervisor...

Hi Ab,

I am trying to find if there is any policy about whether an employee can sign off their supervisor for a fire qual? Is it written down somewhere that I can reference?

Regardless of whether it is written down or not, I am also interested in what our community thinks about this issue. I know my opinion, but I'd like to hear others'.

Thanks.

Concerned

7/12 Date: Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 5:09 AM
Subject: Scholarship Fund for Granite Mountain Hotshots Families

Yavapai College Foundation Creates Scholarship Fund for Granite Mountain Hotshots Families
18 of the 19 Fallen Hotshots were Yavapai College Alums
DONATE NOW at yc.edu/hotshots

PRESCOTT, Ariz., July 3, 2013 - The Yavapai College Foundation is creating a scholarship fund for the children and spouses of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots team who were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30.

"This is very personal for us," said Steve Walker, YC vice president of advancement and a former fire fighter. "Most of the team members were graduates of our fire science program. We knew them, and we respected them. Now we honor them."

The Granite Mountain Hotshots Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships for the community college education needs of the 19 children and 13 spouses of the fallen fire fighters. People can donate to the scholarship fund online at www.yc.edu/hotshots, by calling the Yavapai College Foundation at 928-776-2025, or by mailing a donation to Yavapai College Foundation, 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott, AZ 86301.

Walker said that two-year scholarships would be available to the family members for enrolling at Yavapai College or whatever college they chose to attend. Yavapai College provides quality higher learning and cultural resources for the diverse populations of Yavapai County. The College offers 76 different programs of study at six campuses in Yavapai County. Many of these programs of study transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

"We intend to provide family members with two-year scholarships," Walker said, "but our hope is that the scholarship fund would grow large enough to allow us to offer four-year scholarships as needed. This is our long-term commitment to these families."

Once the higher education needs of the families are met, any additional funds in the Granite Mountain Hotshots Scholarship Fund will be used to provide scholarships for students in the College's fire science program, which is the first fire science degree program in Arizona to be accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. Accreditation allows the college to teach its courses online to a global audience.

The Yavapai College Foundation, established in 1972, pursues excellence, opportunity, and access in education with financial support for students, development support for faculty, and program support for Yavapai College. The Foundation welcomes private donations to bridge the ever-increasing gap between public funding and student needs.

For more information about the Yavapai College Foundation or the Granite Mountain Hotshots Scholarship Fund, contact Paul Kirchgraber, 928-717-7773, paul.kirchgraber@yc.edu.

7/11 WildlandFire.com is huge hit with GIS Geeks:

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd see wildlandfire.com in the midst of 14,000 GIS professionals representing over 130 countries!

blogs.esri.com

It was great having them and the mapping folks loved them.

Tom Patterson
ESRI Wildland Fire Specialist
(909) 793-2853 Ext. 2401

7/10 Ivan Erskine passed away earlier Monday morning from injuries suffered during a swimming accident last week.

Ivan came to the Ashley NF in 1985 and leaves a legacy of caring for the public and the employees on the Forest. Ivan’s caring for the safety of fire personnel has been demonstrated more recently by his involvement in the Utah Wildland Fire Engine Academy, leadership on the Forest Safety committee, and his oversight to assure that safety was integrated into every aspect of the job.

Ivan was also a calming influence on the Forest and his caring for the public and fellow employees was demonstrated by his involvement in activities such as the Ashley Employee Safety and Wellness Program, employee holiday parties, volunteering for various projects, and willingness to work with individuals who needed his help. Ivan spent many years on Incident Management Teams as a Fire Behavior Analyst. His influence and expertise will certainly be missed by many.

Tentative services will be Monday, July 15 at 1300 hrs at the Glines Stake Center on Aggie Blvd. in Vernal, Utah.

Rowdy

So sorry. It's very hard to lose good people like Ivan. Condolences to all his friends, family and the folks he worked with who will miss him acutely. Ab.

7/10 Webinar tomorrow.

Greetings,

Please join us for our upcoming webinar titled "The IMAGINE Prescribed Fire Prioritization Model: A Logistical and Ecological Approach to Management" presented by Reginald Goolsby, at 1pm MDT on Thursday, July 11th, 2013. To register, go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com. If you have any questions, let me know.

Take Care,

Brenna

Brenna MacDowell – Communications Specialist
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
bmacdowell@fs.fed.us

7/10 Ab,

This was part of the National Fire News on NIFC today:

On July 8, a dozer operator died while assigned to the Pardee Fire near Kamiah, Idaho. The firefighting community extends condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

FlashInFlorida

Note from Ab:

Pardee Fire Fatality 24 hour report (115 K pdf)

USFA Memorial Database: Dennis Long

Dennis Long -- Idaho Department of Lands, Maggie Creek Forest Protective District

Incident Description: Heavy Equipment Operator Long became ill while operating a dozer and putting in a fire line during suppression operations on the Pardee fire located between Greer and Kamiah, Idaho, on the east side of the Clearwater River. The dozer boss performed CPR on Long before Life Flight and emergency medical services arrived on scene, where Long was pronounced dead. The nature of fatal injury is still to be reported.

Incident Location: Between Greer and Kamiah, Idaho on the east side of the Clearwater River.

Always Remember Dennis Long

7/10 Our thoughts and best regards are with the families of our fallen, as well as everyone impacted by the 30 mile fire, 7/10/2001. You will not be forgotten, ever.

Firefighters Tom Craven, 30; Devin Weaver, 21; Jessica Johnson, 19; and Karen FitzPatrick, 18, perished while battling the 9,500-acre Thirty Mile wildfire in a rugged area of the North Cascades.

Respectfully,

WFAP

Always Remember our Thirtymile Fallen

7/10 Yarnell Hill 19: From Firefighter Close Calls.com, other Memorial Services, Visitations or arrivals for the 19. Some may change:

Today - July 10, 2013

0730 - Phoenix, Arizona

Arrival of Anthony Rose, Dustin DeFord, and John Percin at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport for travel by charter aircraft, Cutter Aviation, 2902 East Old Tower Road, Phoenix, AZ  85034

1115 - Portland, OR

Arrival of John Percin on charter aircraft in Portland, OR.  Flight arrives at 11:15 p.m. at Atlantic Aviation, 7527 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR

1300 - Los Alamitos, CA

Arrival of Christopher MacKenzie and Kevin Woyjeck at Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, 11206 Lexington Drive, Los Alamitos, CA  90720
.
1515 - Billings, Montana

Arrival on of Dustin DeFord a charter aircraft in Billings, MT.  Flight arrives at 3:15 p.m. at Edwards Jet Center, 1691 Aviation Place, Billings, MT.

1600 - Marana, Arizona

Service for William Warnecke at Marana Mortuary Cemetery, 12146 West Barnett Road, Marana, AZ.  Arrival at Marana Regional Airport at approximately 1500.

2030 - Waukegan, IL

Arrival of Anthony Rose on charter aircraft in Waukegan, IL.  Flight arrives at 8:30 p.m. at Landmark Aviation, 3550 North McAree Road, Waukegan, IL. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

1700-2100 - Zion, IL

Memorial Visitation for Anthony Rose, Congdon Funeral Home, 3012 Sheridan Road, Zion, IL  60099

Saturday, July 13, 2013

1300 - Ekalaka, MT

Service for Dustin DeFord at Carter County High School Gymnasium in 111 W Speelmon Street, 59324

1300 - Tualatin, OR

Community service for John Percin at the Rolling Rock Community Church, 3550 SW Borland Road, Tualatin, OR  97062
2000 - Hemet, CA

Service for Christopher McKenzie at the Ramona Bowl, 27400 Ramona Bowl Road, Hemet, California

Monday, July 15, 2013

1900 - San Ynez, CA

Service for Sean Misner at the San Ynez High School, 2975 East Highway 246,  Santa Ynez, California  93460

Monday or Tuesday - July 15 or 16 (please check local papers)

Service for Kevin Woyjeck at the Crystal Cathedral 2141 Lewis Street, Garden Grove, CA  92480 on 7/16/2013.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cedar City, Utah

Community Celebration of Life Service for Joe Thurston, venue and time TBA.

7/9 Entire Yarnell Memorial Video

On You Tube

E

7/9 From: Harbour, Tom -FS
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2013 01:15 AM Coordinated Universal Time
Subject: Pyne's Op-ed

Worth reading and pondering --

By Steve Pyne Fri Jul 5, 2013 3:33 PM

This time it feels personal.

All day I had noticed a film of smoke, and before dinner I watched to the north as the pall thickened and sky roughened into blue cloud, and wondered if there was a fire there, and if the clouds meant the winds would be squirrely, and if they might affect any burn under way. There was and they did.

The news passes, the mourning goes on. So will the contentious interpretation of what happened, and why, and what we might do about it. It does no dishonor to the fallen to note that we’ve seen this too often before and that little new is likely to emerge beyond the sickening particulars. Still, it’s worth rehearsing the basics.

Over the past 140 years, we have created, by missteps and unintended consequences, a firescape that threatens both our natural habitat and our built landscape. The problem is systematic, the result of how we live on the land. In many respects, it resembles our health care system. Horrors like the Yarnell Hill Fire are part of the usually hidden costs.

We know a lot about the issues. We know we need to replace feral fire with tame fire. We know how to keep houses from burning. We know that we face an ecological insurgency that we can’t carpet bomb out of existence or beat down with summer surges of engines and crews, that we have to control the countryside. We know the scene is spiraling out faster than we can scale up our responses: we would need the equivalent of a new Civilian Conservation Corps program to catch up. Every contributing cause points in the same worsening direction.

The political landscape seems an equal shambles. The fundamental issues are not policies, but politics, and not just inadequate funding but an inability to reach consensus about what we want and how to do it. Disaster fires get hijacked to advance other agendas, too many of which are stalemated.

We’ve lost our middle ground, literally — the middle landscape between the extremes, the wild and the urban, that have defined the American West for the past 50 years. The landscape is polarizing as much as society, splitting between green fire and red. We can’t slow sprawl except by recessions. We can’t reconcile wild and working landscapes. Instead we ask fire crews to plug the gaps. There is little reason to believe that fire casualties in Arizona will jolt the system to self-correct any more than mass killings in Colorado and Connecticut led to gun reform.

Two trends are worth watching. A national cohesive strategy for wildland fire that seeks to reconcile resources with risks is in its final development phase. If it succeeds it will serve as a fire constitution, a messy mechanism by which the hundreds of competing interests might work through the necessary compromises with some political legitimacy. We could move fire management beyond emergency response.

The second is that the agencies may adjust internally. They have learned to declare fire-vulnerable houses indefensible and to refuse to commit crews to some high-risk firescapes with limited values. They are often adopting a big-box model in which they pull back to some defensible barrier and burn out. They may expand the notion of defensibility to include whole communities and landscapes when conditions are extreme — exactly the time the bad fires are likely to rage. At such moments communities would have to rely on their own preparations.

We would move toward a hurricane model of protection. You’re warned. You board up the windows and either leave or stay. The fire blows through. The crews move back and hit hot spots. The community returns. In the case of natural landscapes, the mountain burns over. We try to rebuild more resilient fire regimes out of the aftermath. A troubling prospect, but we’ve lost the chance to get ahead of the burn rate, and the gears of the Cohesive Strategy could easily freeze up when the time comes for real money and decisions.

Once the flame of grief passes, the shouting will begin again. But maybe this time we can make the political personal. We can fix what is within our hands. We can look inside and ask if we are ready to have others pay the price for how we live on the land. We can at least pause and in a moment of silence listen to the still small voice that comes after the fire.

Steve Pyne is a professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University.

Tom Harbour
National Director, Fire & Aviaton Management
US Forest Service

7/8 WFF Post: We will be streaming the memorial tomorrow live at 12pm

Please gather with us at 2049 Airport Way in Boise, ID from 12pm to 2pm to honor and remember the Yarnell Hill 19- Granite Mountain Hotshots. We will be projecting the memorial event live from Prescott in the WFF warehouse.

Please share.

In love and light,
WFF Staff

7/8 Granite Mountain IHC Memorial Book & Program

Our Fallen Brothers (1.7 MB pdf)

7/8 From: Office of the Chief [mailto:Office_of_the_Chief.FSNOTES@mci.fs.fed.us]
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 9:32 AM
To: ALL FS
Subject: 2013 HIRING SEASON FOR FOREST SERVICE

All Employees:

One of our most critical leadership responsibilities is to anticipate obstacles we will confront and adequately position the organization to successfully navigate through them.

During this recent spring hiring season, we fell short of this expectation.

A convergence of changes to our hiring system and authorities—namely transitions to new Pathways internship program and associated functions for the new application process and eRecruit staffing tool—hampered our hiring efforts this year. It led to lags in job offers, confusion over processes and abject frustration. Despite our best attempts, we did not anticipate the full impact these simultaneous events would pose for the agency.

I regret the stress these challenges caused, specifically for local units and human resources specialists who worked under tremendous pressure to overcome these setbacks. Further, I am grateful to those who stepped up, worked overtime and took on Herculean tasks to ensure we hired the workforce we needed.

And it is not over. We still have much to do to complete hiring actions and become proficient in using new tools and processes. As we work to recover from this experience, we will also shift attention toward learning from these events to prevent a repeat in 2014.

In a series of upcoming after-action learning sessions, we will dissect the events that led to the hiring break-down and learn from them. We plan to engage field employees and human resources specialists to understand what occurred, adjust and chart a path forward. I expect full partnership between hiring managers, leaders and technical specialists—working together to examine processes and missteps so we find solutions. As we move ahead, I expect us to apply these lessons to new challenges that are most assuredly coming over the horizon. This learning model has served us well in improving our safety record, creating a culture of inclusion and changing our land management focus—I expect no different in this circumstance.

We have proven many times our ability to convene a vast collection of talents and skills to help us adapt to changing needs for services and evolving conditions of natural resources. We will rely on that same collection of talents and innovation to successfully confront changes in administrative and technology functions, as well. In short, we all have a role to play in improving these functions so integral to mission delivery. I appreciate your continued service and resilience as we move beyond this difficult period. I look forward to the progress we will make together.

Chief Tidwell

7/8

Photo of the t-shirt a PIO was wearing yesterday during the procession...

Ab.

7/7 Deadly Beauty 22 min YouTube from the Wildlandfire Lessons Learned Center. A video about the dangers of fire whirls.

Published on Jun 27, 2013

7/7 The live video of the procession went as far as Prescott and ended 5 minutes ago. Ab.
7/7 Would it be possible for you to post this message for all of the firefighters to see. Its my dream and I wrote it for all of the firefighters. Thanks.

My dream is to be a Wildland Firefighter.
To be places where a few people have been.
To do what a few brave lucky people have done.
To save and protect where I live and hope to die someday

To be covered from head to foot in sweat and ash.
To be part of a crew that has unity and respect,
And to know if the situation goes bad on the fire front that they will have my back.

I want to be able to see that my hard work makes a difference
and an impact on the fire years to come.
To be able to stand beside a wall of flames and not turn away.

I want to be able to say, yeah I did that.
It was the best thing I have ever done,
And I will gladly do it again.

Thank you to all of the men and women who put the lives on the line to protect our nations grasslands and forests from Wildland Fires. I hope to join you all next summer on the line. For all of you that has been lost you will never be forgotten. Thank you for looking out for everyone from up there.

Rachael Hiddleston

7/7 The procession has resumed, approaching Prescott, now with a serious police officers' motorcycle escort. Ab.
7/7 CNN just showed some live video of hundreds of people lining the roadway and streets in Phoenix, AZ in anticipation of the 19 hearses leaving the Medical Examiners Office.

Live Coverage ABC15.com

Update on the ceremony announced on the live feed. There will be no inside seating available for the general public. I heard from Vicki that there will be huge television monitor to view the ceremony outside Tims Toyota Center.

Ab.

7/7 This eloquent poem written and copyrighted by the FWFSA's own Family Member Trish Huston in 2002, wife of our Senior VP and Superintendent of the Laguna Hotshots Jim Huston, bears reprinting. It was recently read by the Mayor of Prescott.

The Hotshot's Prayer

Sent in by Trish and posted below...

Jim and I'm sure other FWFSA members will be in attendance at the memorial this coming week. Unfortunately our President Casey Judd cannot make the trip as he is preparing for an end of the month trip to DC in anticipation of the FWFSA's comprehensive legislation being introduced.

We continue with our thoughts and prayers for those lost, those they left behind, all of you on the fire lines and of course to the Angels at the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and the many who have come to their aid this past week.

With all of our deepest affection, admiration and respect for all of you in this incredible community,

The Federal Wildland Fire Service Association

7/7 Hotshot's Prayer

A few years ago, I wrote this poem. I could only find a Firemans Prayer for structure firefighting. So being the wife of a HOTSHOT, I wrote this poem. I never thought it'd ever be seen other than from my Wildland FF Wives blog. This past week my prayer has been read and seen by many. I have been contacted by many media venues and other people for permission to use my prayer. I am okay with it being used, however, I wish that any proceeds that are made from anything from use of this prayer, go to benefit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Unless, you contact me otherwise.

The Hotshot's Prayer

When I am called to duty, Lord
To fight the roaring blaze,
Please keep me safe and strong
I may be here for days.

Be with my fellow crewmembers,
as we hike up to the top.
Help us cut enough line,
For this blaze to stop.

Let my skills and hands
be firm and quick.
Let me find those safety zones,
as we hit and lick.

For if this day on the line,
I should lose my life,
Lord, bless my Hotshot Crew,
my children and my WIFE.

~~ Patricia Huston, IHC Wife ~~
copyright 2002

7/7 Article with photo of Christopher Douglas of Temecula, the CAL FIRE Engineer killed 2 days ago.

Firefighter Struck, Killed Responding to Crash

He looks like a wonderful man. Sorry we all lost him. Ab.

7/7 For the upcoming memorial and procession-goers:

Firefighters can camp at Watson Lake Campground, Prescott AZ. An agreement has been made, first come, first served, holds about 400. Has showers. Is beautiful. If it gets crowded, some camping is allowed on the outskirts.

Vicki says we want to show them what wildland firefighters are about -- please leave it as clean and pristine as you find it.

Ab adds: Haul your own trash away if we're overloading the receptacles. Make Vicki proud!

Google the location or perhaps someone who knows the area can chime in.

Ab.

7/6 Wildland Firefighter Statue at the Boise Airport is going to AZ

I just talked with Burk at the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. He had an interesting day, to say the least! Creating a vision, MASTERFUL! He gave me the blow-by-blow description. AMAZING! Here's the photo page for the Wildland Firefighter Statue Memorial Dedication May 2, 2005, 8 years ago. Specifically the photo of the statue. It's BIG and HEAVY and BEAUTIFUL! Ab.

Boise to send local firefighter statue to Arizona

BOISE -- On June 30th, 19 firefighters lost their lives fighting a wildfire in Arizona. And now, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has decided to give a piece of Boise to the community of Prescott. That gift will be the statue currently standing at the Boise Airport.

It stands 9.5 feet tall, weighs 1,300 pounds, and was put there 10 years ago to recognize all wildland firefighters. But in just a few days it will stand in Prescott, Arizona, to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. ... More at the link!

7/6 Places for firefighters to camp for the memorial service:

Vicki has gotten an open space for 300 firefighters to pitch their tents. This is in addition to the indoor location that was arranged for the 300 hotshots.

She's working on getting permission to use a stadium as well and should have that information and the locations by tonight or tomorrow morning.

Vicki:

"There are so many wonderful people here in so much pain. All of these are OURS. There are so many wonderful people doing good, heart-felt stuff to help, even while they're in pain.

There are so many things happening here and needing doing that we're not humanly able to do all the coordination. I believe the good wishes and prayers really help. Thanks for those, Everyone. Please keep them coming."

[Aside: The only time/place Vicki and I seem to be able to catch up by phone is in the ladies room. Her ladies room, not mine (chuckle). And I occasionally have to prod her not to nod off. I just asked her about the male voices I suddenly began to hear, she said she has hotshots mopping up the bathrooms. New meaning for mop shots? I think she was kidding but you never know with her! Although it occasionally seems inappropriate, humor is a good way of reducing stress (and in the bathroom). So excuse me if not professional... (grin) or if you overhear us talking in the ladies room.]

Mellie

7/6 ESCORT ROUTE for Yarnell 19 from PHOENIX TO PRESCOTT CHANGED!

I-17 to Carefree Hwy then west

THEY WILL BE RETURNING HOME THRU YARNELL ON HWY 89.

I don't have the rest of the connections in from of me. Please verify the rest of the connections!!

Paul Williams

Here's the site to find that info and more: yarnellfallenfirefighters.com/  Nice update to the site. New info flowing in. Ab.

The Fallen Granite Mountain hotshots will be coming home from Phoenix to Prescott at 10 AM Sunday in 19 hearses; UPDATE: Escort route from Phoenix to Prescott Valley – Sunday July 7, 2013

7/6 Someone had posted a response about the Yarnell Fire that included a link to the Cliff Mass Weather blog that appears to have been removed.

If so, why ? I thought it presented a good case for awareness even on the individual level if not crew level given the electronics available today.

Not trying to stir anything up, but I learned from that post and plan on using it for educational purposes (not blame).

In a conversation with my son ( Forest Service Engineer ) about the post and weather, he immediately said it sounded like Storm King.

Just curious if removed or if I kept looking in the wrong place.

jrb

In addition to Storm King (7/6/1994), the Dude Fire (6/26/1990) also was related to weather and winds (thunderstorm). I don't know about comments removed. It wasn't here. However, it is our policy to refrain from internet discussion or speculation on causes until all the facts are in from the Serious Accident Investigation, which is underway. As far as the Hotlist goes, I can find no server record of deletions on the AZ-A1S-Yarnell Hill fire thread or the Yarnell Hill Fatality thread. I did see the Cliff Mass Weather Blog when it first came out. It's still there. But please, let's not speculate until the investigators' job is done. Our 19 firefighters and their families deserve the courtesy. Ab.

7/5 The generous fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies donated over $100,000 dollars last night during the game. Donations are being accepted throughout the weekend during the 3-game series. The Diamondbacks organization is going to match the contributions up to $200,000.

Thank You!

Brad Widhalm
Engineer Engine 18 Tonto NF

7/5 Hats off to the AZ Diamond Backs wearing the #19 on their jerseys for tonight's home game.

Class act, total class act.

M@2X4

7/5 Ab-
Below is the text of the Directors updated message to the field. The update provides his identity as his family members have been notified. I am sure the fire family also wants to know their fallen brother.
Redd
~~~~~

FW: Message from Chief Pimlott - Update
Executive@CALFIRE
Sent: Friday, July 05, 2013 3:11 PM

I would like to share with you that our fallen colleague has been identified as Fire Apparatus Engineer/Paramedic Christopher Douglas, age 41 of Temecula, an eight year veteran of CAL FIRE. Christopher's family has been notified. I will keep you updated on future memorial services as they are determined. Please continue to keep Christopher's wife Amy, his son Sammy, his extended family and his coworkers in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with this painful loss.

Ken Pimlott
Director
CAL FIRE

7/5 Dear Ab,

The following article appeared this evening (06/05/13) in the Arizona Daily Star. Please post where (and if) appropriate. I don't have a Hotlist account; my husband does but he's on the Dean Peak Fire.

Thank you!
Lorena B.

Fallen firefighter benefit concert in Tucson, Sunday July 7, 2013 see the azstarnet.com for the rest.

A benefit concert for the families of the 19 firefighters killed battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in central Arizona will take place at the Fox Tucson Theatre Sunday evening. Five Way Street, The Presidio Boys, Crystal Stark and Robert Shaw and The Lonely Street Band will perform sets in a program arranged by Shaw's Lonely Street Productions.

7/5 Vicki Minor (Wildland Firefighter Foundation) is working on an outdoor place for firefighters to camp.

Mellie

7/5 72-Hour Preliminary Report for the Yarnell Hill Fire fatalities

Below is the link to the 72-Hour Preliminary Report for the Yarnell Hill Fire fatalities. Please see that it receives wide distribution within your agency. When available, other investigation documents and the final Factual Report will be posted on the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center database for incident reports and lessons learned analyses.

To view this Bulletin go to:

72 Hour Preliminary Report Yarnell Hill Fire.pdf

To view all Bulletins go to: NIFC Safety Alerts - bulletins.html

7/5 Blue Ridge Hotshots:

My hat is off to the Blue Ridge Hotshots for taking care of our Fallen.

Thank you for a job well done under the most extreme circumstances.

Duty, Respect, Honor in the most unwanted situation.

Retired BDF

7/5 I am saddened to report that one of our Fire Apparatus Engineers was fatally injured this morning while responding to a traffic collision in the Riverside Unit on the I-10 freeway. Region Chief Dale Hutchinson is at the scene and Riverside Unit Chief John Hawkins is at the hospital and both are in constant communication with me as they work to get the family all the support they will need in the wake of this tragedy. I will share further updates with you after all family notifications are made.

Please keep our employee, the family and the crew in your thoughts and prayers. It is critical that as we deal with this difficult news, we stay focused on the job at hand.

Ken Pimlott
Director
CAL FIRE

Condolences, to family, friends and co-workers; so sad to hear. Please everyone, be careful as you travel and as you fight fires whether wildland, structural or respond all-risk. WE ALL NEED YOU ALL to go and come home safely to your families. Ab.

7/5 I heard from Vicki (Director of the WFF) this morning. She's in Prescott AZ. There are several things she wants our wildland firefighting community to know:
  • She's so proud of our wildland forces that are in Prescott.
  • Everyone is is a situation they've never been in before, personally and organizationally.
  • Helping organizations are intermingled intimately with other helping organizations and working side-by-side.
  • There's lots of bonding going on between the IAFF the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and the local supporters and the NIMO team that's planning the service. There are individuals doing CISM and helping in other ways (many more than I can list here.) She said all are united for the 19 firefighters and their families and for the seamless offering of services and help. She said everyone has worked on behalf of fallen firefighters before and the knowledge all organizations has shared and what they have learned from each other is priceless. Everyone that's there has gotten better and better care and there's better and better response.

In talking for a while, I learned the following interesting bits of news:

  • There's a Texas company that has donated to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation the unlimited use of a Boeing 737 for transport of out-of-state family members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
  • A wildland engine crew in Colorado was helping evacuate Colorado residents from a flood on July 1. The woman evacuee who answered the door was distraught and crying. They discovered that she'd just found out her son was a Granite Mountain Hotshot who had died on the Yarnell Hill Fire and she was losing everything else to the flood. The crew got her an airline ticket to Arizona and contacted Burk at the WFF who immediately sent her a check. Wow, small world, amazing brotherhood, thank god for our WFF safety net.
  • The 19 twelve-inch statues (or more) given to firefighter families will not be ready for the service. Later when they come from the foundry, they will be sent to the families.

Mellie
no doubt more to come... hang in there everyone.

7/5 Condolences...

My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of the fallen Yarnell Hill wildland firefighters and to the whole wildland firefighting community. I am a fire mom and my son, was working that fire on site with the Air Operations and I know has been deeply affected by this incident. His wife also has been affected as she is the Dispatch Manager of the Prescott Fire Center. We have the greatest respect and admiration for these fallen hero’s and the entire wildland fire community. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are fighting fires BE SAFE! My heart breaks for all who have been affected by this. I will keep everyone in my daily prayers and thoughts. My husband and I were just in Prescott and at the Prescott fire center during the Doce fire.

Fire Mom since 1992.

7/5 Fundraiser idea:

I have an idea that I wanted to share with everyone. So, my kids did a triathlon back in April. The YMCA in Glendale, AZ had a free 6 week training session for all the kids that were going to participate in the triathlon. I took them to all the trainings and watched them compete in April in Tempe, AZ. As I watched them go through the course and being the proud parent that I am, I thought that I would train and compete in a Triathlon myself. I had the motivation to do one just to see if I actually could complete it. Now, after the tragedy in Yarnell, I have a new motivation.

I know many of the wildland community, as well as many others, do these types of activities in the off-season to stay fit for their professions, or just to live a healthy lifestyle. Whether it be a Mudder run, Ironman, Marathon, Ragnar, or any other competition, my thought is that we can have some sort of a donation sheet when we do these activities with all the proceeds going to either the WFF or the 100club of Arizona, to help the families of the Granite Mountain Shots.

My idea is just in its infancy, and I have no experience in doing this, but just thought it would be a good way to have some extra motivation for your off-season activities.

Brad Widhalm-Tonto National Forest.

7/5 Memorial Service Update

The Memorial Service (not the funeral) will be on Tuesday July 9th from 11 am to 1 pm at the Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

There will be seating for 6,000 attendees with overflow outside. There will be audio and video feeds for all. Further information will be announced in the near future.

yarnellfallenfirefighters.com/

Bill Arsenault
Gem Co. Fire Dist. 1/ Gem Co. EMS

7/5 A box hauler for the WFF has been found. Thanks! Ab.
7/5 FFT Camping in Prescott for Services

Robert-

There are several FS camp grounds close to Prescott, including one at Granite Basin Lake, about 10 min from town. However, the Doce Fire closures may still be in effect for those areas. Check the Prescott National Forest Website for others.

azfirebum

7/4 FFT Camping in Prescott for Services

Afternoon Ab,

Do you know if there is any organizational process of places for FF's to lay out a bedroll in Prescott this next week for those of us attending the services? The nearest hotels are in Phoenix and I know of numerous that are wanting just to locate a place to lay their bedrolls. I know I am one to push the limits sometimes, but could we perhaps find a school or park field that they would let us sleep at?

Robert

I'm sure we'll hear something soon regarding firefighter attendees. Ab.

7/4 Memorial Service for the Yarnell Hill 19

July 9, 11 AM
at the Toyota Center (3201 Main Street)
in Prescott Valley, AZ.

The Fallen Granite Mountain hotshots will be coming home via the highway from Phoenix to Prescott at 10 AM Sunday in 19 hearses.

I added a map to the bottom of  Always Remember the Yarnell Hill 19

7/3 Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Began yesterday,

Arizona State Forestry Division Press Release from yesterday

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: July 2, 2013
Contact: Carrie Dennett, Fire Information Officer 602-399-3078

Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Begins Tuesday (yesterday)

PHOENIX, Ariz. – An official investigation into the deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots killed June 30 in the Yarnell Hill Fire is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The independent investigation will be led by Florida State Forester Jim Karels. Mike Dudley, Acting Director of Cooperative Forestry for the USDA Forest Service, will be the secondary team lead.

Other entities participating in the investigation include the U.S. Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center, the Missoula Fire Department, and the Bureau of Land Management, and Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Team members are technical specialist and fire behavior analysts.

The local liaisons to the nine-member Yarnell Hill Investigation Team are Arizona State Forester Scott Hunt and Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo.

The last of the team members will arrive in Phoenix later today (yesterday) for an in-briefing from the Arizona State Forester.

As part of the investigation, the team will review Sunday's weather conditions, fire department records, radio logs and any other evidence that may help determine how to prevent a similar tragedy in the future.

“We are confident that the investigative team will find lessons to be learned from this tragedy,” Hunt said. “We have a responsibility to those lost and their loved ones, as well as to current and future wildland firefighters, to understand what happened as completely as possible.”

The team will release updates from its investigation later this week.

7/3 THIS REQUEST HAS BEEN FILLED. Someone is moving the boxes. THANKS! Ab.

The WFF is looking for someone who can haul a few boxes from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (Boise) to Prescott by Monday morning.

Call Burk 208-424-1111

Thanks to anyone who can make that happen!

Ab.

(It's hard to make short notice arrangements over the 4th of July weekend.)

7/3 Prescott's sadness

Ab,

Here in Prescott AZ, the home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the sense of loss is profound and widespread. This isn't something where people say, "Gee, that's too bad, what's for dinner?" Instead the loss of these men is a pervasive thing deeply affecting the ordinary citizens of our whole tri-city community. Normally smiling faces in the grocery store are long and sad-eyed. Strangers on the street choke back tears. The feeling of loss goes entirely beyond the firefighting community and hangs heavily on everyone. Those of us who are not firefighters are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of those of you who are. God bless you all.

Diane

7/3 The Secretary of Agriculture has directed that U.S. Flags be flown at half-staff sunrise 3 July 2013 thru sunset 9 July 2013 in honor of the 19 firefighters killed in the line of duty in Yarnell Hill, Arizona.

DR 5160 (excerpt)

4. AUTHORITIES FOR HALF-STAFFING THE FLAGS

a. The President of the United States, the Governor of a State, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia may order the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff to honor the death of a national, state or District of Columbia figure, or in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces who died while serving on active duty.

b. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to direct that the U. S. flag be flown at half-staff on occasions other than those specified in Proclamation No. 3044, March 1, 1954, as amended by Proclamation No. 3948, December 12, 1969, at Agriculture-controlled facilities operated by USDA under the building delegations program for which the General Services Administration (GSA) has delegated this authority.

7/3  Hello everyone,

We have attached the Information Notice Website for Granite Mountain IHC "Fallen 19". It includes memorial service information, financial services notices of whom to contribute to, and other pertinent information.

yarnellfallenfirefighters.com

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is in absolute need financially for this terrible tragedy. Rob Palmer, the brother of Andy Palmer who died on Dutch Creek 2008, and I have joined forces are trying to get the word out to raise additional funds for them to provide that extremely needed financial assistance for the families.

We ask that you send this email as appropriate to your contacts.

Bill Arsenault

Direct link to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation giving page. Bill, no memorial service information was attached or provided, at least not yet.... Ab.

7/3 from CNN Remembering the firefighters killed in the Arizona blaze

Photos of all with a brief bio of each. Well done! What a loss! Ab.

Wildland Firefighter Foundation: Giving

7/3 There have been many questions. This was making the rounds in the southeast fire circles yesterday. Most of this we've heard in bits and pieces. The bullet points make the salient points. (I snipped the last paragraph with names.)

From: a Region 8 FS fire manager
Sent: Monday, July 01, 2013 5:48 PM
Subject: R3 update

Just got off the regional conference call regarding accidents.

  • Yarnell Hill is a STATE fire and under AZ state jurisdiction
  • The Granite Mountain crew was constructing a safety zone when the wind shifted
  • All 19 there deployed their shelters
  • The lone survivor was the lookout so in a different location
  • The Blue Ridge Hotshots were working near and so secured the scene
  • A road had to be constructed into the accident site in order to remove the bodies
  • The bodies were removed this morning with honor and dignity
  • Many of the crew members were former federal hotshots
  • The lone survivor was taken under the wing of the Blue Ridge Hotshots and provided emotional support until they could get him/her to a critical incident management team
  • R3 USFS is assisting with putting a SAIT together with assistance from CALFire. Fire shelter experts from MTDC are part of the team.
  • A NIMO team has been ordered to handle memorial

As you all know, even though Granite Mtn was a state crew, they trained locally with the Prescott IHC and all were close to many other R3 IHCs. Assistance is being provided to the Prescott FD, the Prescott NF, and folks on the fire.

I’ll share more as I get it. There’s a lot of noise on social media and official media, but take everything with a grain of salt.

7/3 Ab - Thought the community might enjoy this message from the Salt Lake Tribune this AM. Credit to Pat Bagley

FMO Wife

Thank you. I was very touched by this cartoon published at this time of loss. My thanks to Pat Bagley for the insight offered in this wry thank you. Masterful! Ab.

7/2 19 REASONS:

19 reasons to be nice!

19 reasons to never quit!

19 reasons to make a difference!

19 reasons to change the future!

19 reasons to stand together!

19 reasons to support one another!

19 reasons to NEVER EVER FORGET!

Greater love hath no one than this, that they would lay down their life for that of a friend! John 15:13

Keep in the fight, stay vigilant, see you on the line!

Signed: Rolling Thunder

7/2 Hey Ab,

Been a long time... This latest incident has brought me out of the old gold mine. I am devastated to hear about this loss, having lost co-workers on engine 57 in 2006 I know the feeling that these brave men's friends and family are experiencing. I want to send my most sincere condolences to the family of the fallen. I am at a total loss ......... Sadness overwhelming.

Miner moe (Formerly) Fedfire

7/2 National Firefighter Operational Safety Stand-down Tomorrow

From: Office of the Chief (Forest Service)
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 14:48
To: ALL FS
Subject: Chief's Reflective Period (NMAC - Operational Pause)

The 2013 fire season is well underway and is likely to continue at a high intensity level for several more months. I request all USDA Forest Service wildland fire personnel observe a reflective period, or an Operational Pause, on Wednesday, July 3. Further, I encourage all employees to pause in their work day and conduct a reflection or pause. During the pause, the following questions should be included in the conversation, these questions are familiar because they originate from the five (5) practices of our agency Safety Journey :

How confident are we that the proposed work is worth the risk?

  • How do we do this work safely?
  • How safe am I now?
  • What are we learning?
  • How consistent is my behavior with our agreements? – we’ve agreed as employees to evaluate the potential benefits of proposed work tasks relative to the associated risk; discuss possible risks before engaging in work tasks; speak out about any situation that looks or feels unsafe; share information about observed hazards and near misses and identify approaches to work that do not fit the work environment so they can be improved.

There are additional key questions which are common in the interagency fire environment which lead to thoughtful reflections. We ask that all fire managers, fire personnel, and all employees take the time to thoughtfully engage in discussion. We thank all firefighters and support personnel for all their efforts, and ask for a constant focus on managing risk appropriately so that everyone returns home safely after their assignment.

Chief Tidwell

7/2 National Firefighter Operational Safety Stand-down Tomorrow

NMAC Operational Pause

National Interagency Fire Center
3833 S. Development Avenue
Boise, Idaho 83705

July 2, 2013

To: Geographic Area Coordination Centers
From: National Multi Agency Coordinating Group
Subject: July 3, 2013 Operational Pause in Remembrance

The wildland fire community, and the nation, deeply mourn the loss of nineteen firefighters from Prescott Fire Department's Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew. Even as we mourn this tragic loss we must also remember and honor the other firefighters who have perished in the line of duty on other wildland fires this year.

The 2013 fire season is well underway and is likely to continue at a high intensity level for several more months. With that in mind, NMAC requests that all wildland fire personnel in the United States observe an Operational Pause in Remembrance on the morning of Wednesday, July 3.

As we remember our fallen, we must also consider those who survive and the challenges they face in dealing with the magnitude of such a loss. Agency leaders must make available the kinds of counseling and peer support that can help employees work through their emotions. The goal is to reduce the potential long-term impacts that are sometimes a consequence of normal human reactions to tragedy. Some wounds cut deeper, and take longer to heal, than others.

An operational pause is also a time for thoughtful reflection about risk (see “Resources” below). It is a time-out from daily operations – even while committed to an incident. It is a time to focus exclusively on the kind of work we do, our operational environment and the hazards we encounter there, how we assess risk, and the risk mitigations that can be employed to reduce risk to acceptable levels. It is a time to recognize the implications of the fact that in the hazardous wildland fire environment, risk can never be reduced to zero even with the best mitigation measures in place. It is a time to reflect on the fact that we can always take an operational pause to consider these things, even during high-tempo operations.

We ask that all fire managers and fire personnel take the time to thoughtfully take an Operational Pause in Remembrance. And we thank all firefighters and support personnel for their efforts.

/s / John Segar
Chair, NMAC

Resources:
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), Page 1 (pdf)
Redbook, Chapter 7 Safety (pdf)

7/2 National Firefighter Safety Stand-down Tomorrow

from FirefighterCloseCalls.com on behalf of The Secret List

All,

Before you read the below, check out this interview with one of the survivors of the Arizona 19 Fire, Juliann Ashcraft, wife of FF Andy Ashcraft, RIP:

FIRE SERVICE STAND DOWN:

The fire service is standing down tomorrow-in California, but naturally, it's not limited to them exclusively. The recent loss of nineteen courageous firefighters from Arizona is a grounding reminder of the dangers faced by firefighters every day. While we mourn the loss of our fallen, it is imperative that each of us take this opportunity to review the basic wildland fire safety principles that help protect California's firefighters.

As we head into a very hot and dry Fourth of July holiday weekend, a coalition of California Fire Service partners is coming together to announce a Safety Stand Down for July 3, 2013. Fire departments across California are being urged to stand down Wednesday from routine, non-emergency duties to review basic safety-related training and standard operating procedures.

Although the request from the California Fire Service is not an order, the stand-down call is designed to bring awareness of safety messages for the fire service that can get lost in the course of performing daily operations and responding to medical and routine calls. We stand together with the hope that every department and every member will join with us for the Safety Stand Down on July 3rd to continue to make safety our number one priority. Safety is everyone's responsibility; together we can help ensure that everyone goes home at the end of his or her shift.

HERE are resources and information on the Causes of Entrapment, Situation Awareness

HERE is EVERY Wildland LODD Report from NIOSH

HERE is a letter from the California Fire Service Coalition

7/2 yo!

HAPPY 79th BIRTHDAY to Doug Campbell!

Mellie

7/2 Services and Procession.

If they are planning a formal procession, we would like to send an engine down from Nevada. Can you please inform us of any plans?

Thanks
Mo

7/2 Ab -

In response to "Still out there as AD," I can provide just a couple of insights. I was contacted mid-day yesterday to be the FBAN on the investigation team. This Team is at the state level, though the feds are helping identify people to fill the various roles on the team. I was unable to take the assignment due to new job duties, and after going through the Cramer experience 10 years ago, I was truly torn. By afternoon I learned they had filled the FBAN role with someone I have worked with many times over the years, who I respect deeply, and who I know will do an outstanding job. Given communications I had with a couple of folks yesterday, I suspect the investigation team will start to come together this evening and really hit the ground running tomorrow.

Please keep these 19 firefighters, and their families, co-workers and friends, in your thoughts. This is a difficult time for all, a time when the term "fire community" really hits home. And do what you can to spread the word about the Wildland Firefighter Foundation!

Respectfully,
Kelly Close (FBAN)
Ft. Collins, CO

Thanks, Kelly. Ab.

7/2 Question?

I have not seen anything official yet? Has anyone else?

Is the Forest Service going to lower their flags to half-mast?

Will the Forest Service Employees wear a mourning band over their badge?

Thanks,

Proponent of "you will not stand alone"

7/2 Re: PSOB

Ron, I'm sure the Foundation will be all over that. One of the Foundation's loving beneficiaries, Lori Greeno has been a champion to ensure aviation folks become eligible for PSOB and we have been in close contact with Sen. Merkley's (OR) office about proposed amendments to the PSOB to include said aviators and private contractors.

One of the problems we have encountered with PSOB is the failure of the Justice Department which administers the program to notify both employers and employees of changes to the program. We've had at least one FWFSA member denied benefits as a beneficiary because neither his Father's employer or the employee were aware of changes made back in 2008 to the program that added additional burdens to process.

Fortunately more recently additional changes may now remedy that situation but we are still actively trying to get language in Merkley's bill that will spell out the procedures the DOJ must adhere to so as to ensure both Public Safety Officer and their employees are aware of all the programs requirements.

Casey Judd
President
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
208-775-4577

7/2 Current FBAN and LTANS,

Good Morning guys. I am an LTAN trainee, BHAV, and GSAN. Last year I had a chance to go out as a mentee, and it was awesome. What was unexpected was the tutoring I received from the other coworkers in that section of the fire camp. I knew my mentor was going to share with me, and I would look to him for knowledge, but other FBANS took time with me, and LTANS, and even a "regional" resource came by the fire camp and the team members offered some insight and advice. I really benefitted from that trip.

So firstly, a belated thank you to all of those folks, Tim S., Colorado Tim, Sue, John K., and a bunch of others that a year later I can't put names to.

Secondly, in that same idea, if you are a current FBAN, or LTAN, please pm me if you would be willing to take on a mentee this year. I need all the help I can get! And this year we have a couple more folks from Florida who are also qualified to go as mentees.

We can come out as BHAV, GSAN, or some of us are actual trainees as FBAN or LTAN.

Thank you so much!

Flashinflorida

If anyone is willing to help and not registered to the hotlist so unable to PM, I'd be happy to pass your message on to Flash. Ab.

7/2 Sole survivor

I was watching the news last night and started thinking about the sole survivor and what he must be going through. I can't imagine the survivor's guilt he must be enduring in addition to the loss of his / our brothers. I hope somehow he can be made aware of that fact that we are very thankful that he did survive, whatever the chain of events that led to him shuttling the vehicles, we are grateful that the 20th family is not grieving. I'm not sure of how to reach out and support him, but I am sure he does need support and to know we are grateful he is still with us and we are there for him.

Charlie R

Charlie and all, one of our wlf community members saw the same need you described and sought out a group that was founded by the sole survivor from the war in Afghanistan. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF) has the necessary information to network or help. Thanks for your good thoughts and supportive comments.

Lt Col Dave Grossman, a green beret warrior and psychologist who taught at West Point, in one of his talks, said that survivors including family member survivors -- of which we have many among wildland firefighters -- their first thought is "Thank god it wasn't me." "Or my family" possibly even "or my agency" and then the guilt sets in. These are natural thoughts of human beings, even good, empathic ones. Dave said no one ever tells people these things, nor do they say it's likely you'll crap your pants or pee on yourself. He said it is important for these things to be told so people don't feel they're alone or crazy and so they will not be ashamed. It's equally important for discussions to occur that help each of our survivors, both in private with few people and in larger groups.

Great thanks for your concerns, Charlie.

Great thanks to those that support the WFF financially and go the extra mile to network to help our stressed survivors of many years. Ab.

7/2 Members of the wildland firefighter community are spokespeople for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation:

Hi AB!

Fork hit it right on the head. We ALL need to be spokespeople for the foundation.

I am now, with the foundations blessing, the unofficial spokesperson in Northern California. I have already had the opportunity to spread the compassion through radio and tv interviews and I will be speaking to our local Kiwanis club tomorrow.

I encourage anyone who has the time to get out in your community, visit the business owners, service clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Elks etc.. and talk about the foundation and the good work that they do. In addition to your 52 Club monetary donation, consider donating 52 hours of your time reaching out to your community.

Christina

7/2 Members of the wildland firefighter community are spokespeople for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation:

Anyone who talks to the media about our lost brothers should provide this sound bite:

"If you want to know what compassion is, and you really care - please donate an hour of your pay to the Wild land Firefighter Foundation."

IF we all could do this than the Foundation can do its work. Please give from the heart. This is an unprecedented event in many ways.

Home insurers and insurees: They died protecting your homes and community / there is not a single amount of money in the world that will make them whole again.

Please donate - the Foundation cannot do it without all of our help!

"forkinthetrail"

7/2 It appears that no 24-hour report has been given on the Yarnell tragedy, nor has any news been released about an investigation team. Does anyone have any information on this? Will the process be different with Arizona being the lead agency on the fire and the crew being from a city department? About the ONLY good thing that can come out of this tragedy is a further understanding about how we can prevent anything like this situation from happening again. May the God of all love be with the families and close coworkers; you have been in my thoughts and prayers constantly.

Still Our There as an AD

7/2 I was standing in my driveway last night watching the flames from the Cyanco fire lighting up the underside of the clouds, feeling heartsick and helpless. So very many hurting families tonight, and no words, no words at all that can even touch their pain.

Please, let’s do whatever we can to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.

Nerd on the Fireline
(long absent)

7/2 Ab,

Making the rounds in the MT newspapers ...

Ekalaka, Alaska firefighter among the dead in Arizona

Still mind numb over this.
Thanks for all you do.

LG

7/2 Ab, please post:

This is a reminder that all Forest Service jobs are posted on the U.S. Government’s official website for employment opportunities at usajobs.gov. You must apply through usajobs.gov to be considered for positions in the Forest Service that you are interested in.

7/2 Dear Ab:

We feel the pain as if they were our very own.

Marty Alexander, Alberta, Canada

7/2 To the families, and coworkers of the 19 hotshots in Arizona, my heartfelt condolences. There are no words to express my sympathy, and empathy.

Anyone in this brotherhood who has lost will agree that unless you have been there and experienced it, there is just no explaining the ache.

I am so sorry for what you guys are going through. Please remember that you are part of a larger family, and many of us do understand what losing a coworker, friend or family member is like. We do care, and you are not alone in this grief.

Flash

7/1 Remembering MAFFS 7.

My best our aviators families. Ab.

7/1 So sorry

Ab,

My heart is breaking over the loss of 19 of our very finest. I haven't posted here in a very long time, but wanted to offer my heartfelt condolences to all the families and friends of those fallen ... and to everyone in the fire family. I posted the below note on our blog this morning. I hope it gathers a few more contributions.

I was sitting in a Lakeside fire station the last time I was feeling like this. On October 26, 2006, the radio crackled with news that five USFS firefighters had been burned over during the Esperanza Fire. Such things happen so quickly. Second guessing by those who weren’t there happens just as fast.

There will be many things said about why it all happened, fingers will be pointed, and sometimes things will be stated as fact when they aren’t.

What matters most right now is care for the families involved. The fire service does that well, but helping hands are always welcome. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation would be a good place to offer yours.

wffoundation.org

jimhart
californiachaparral: The loss of 19 wildland firefighters

7/1 PSOB:

I hope someone lets the families of the fallen firefighters know about the Public Safety Officers Relief Act of 1976 through the DOJ. It won't help with the pain of their loss, but it may help with the financial situation some may find themselves in. It covers firefighters, LEOs, and other first responders.

Please be careful out there, it's early in the season.

Ron Angel
NFFE R1 C.V.P.

7/1 The City of Prescott released the names of the fallen. I put them on the Always Remember page and here.

The Fallen:

Andrew Ashcraft - age 29
Robert Caldwell - age 23
Travis Carter - age 31
Dustin Deford - age 24
Christopher MacKenzie - age 30
Eric Marsh - age 43
Grant McKee - age 21
Sean Misner - age 26
Scott Norris - age 28
Wade Parker - age 22
John Percin - age 24
Anthony Rose - age 23
Jesse Steed - age 36
Joe Thurston - age 32
Travis Turbyfill - age 27
William Warneke - age 25
Clayton Whitted - age 28
Kevin Woyjeck - age 21
Garret Zuppiger - age 27

Ah, so sad.

Ab.

7/1 Don’t worry about the media. In fact avoid them like the plague.

I worked in media relations for several years. What they want are “sound bites.” Spend some time developing them if you will be interviewed. One good sound bite punches up the briefest possible information, is short, says nothing specific, and do not commit the agency to anything. Before you let them interview you, remember, 1`) They don’t want to listen to you explain, 2) The will splice and edit what you say so it sounds like what they want to hear from you, 3) You may only see a 30 second slot after they finish editing you and it won’t exactly be what you said 4) Avoid the media.

smokey307

I've known some good reporters throughout my life. Can't paint all of them with the same brush, in my experience. Ab.

7/1 Ab... and firefighter friends,

There are no words that can state how hard it must be to lose a whole crew/family at once. Their families will need lots of support in this sad time. The WFF was low on funds prior to the loss of Smokejumper Luke Sheehy, I'm sure after his memorial the funds are still very low for such a large task that is at hand now.

When I learned of the Granite Mountain HS crew loss this morning the first thing I did was to sign into my account at WFF to make a donation....... but my login password has an issue. After several attempts today to get into my account I finally gave up and called. Their IT guy has to fix my account so I just made a donation over the phone.

While doing this though, I remembered our old friend Larry Anderson, so I made a 52 club donation for Granite Mt. in Memory of Larry Anderson, another of our fallen that left life way too early. Larry would be the first in line to donate or do something for this lost crew. I'm donating to the 52 Club for a fire fighter that no longer can, yet would have if he were still around.

REMEMBER those close friends today -- by giving a gift in their name to the 52 club -- and help support the families of the Granite Mt. HS.

Jim Ott - ret USFS, Plumas NF

7/1 This came in from a wildland firefighter community member who suggests we send this to every media outlet that's posting stories about our fallen wildland firefighters. Ab.

I saw your article this morning on the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives on the Yarnell Hill Fire yesterday.

Please get the word out that the only organization that is out there to help the families of the fallen wildland firefighters is the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF) wffoundation.org. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.

It has been already a busy season for the WFF and they are short of money from what I'm hearing. They are already in AZ. They are our only safety net. Please spread the word about the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in your next article.

Sent from my iPad

This relates to this question and reply on the HOTLIST

PS!

Burk Minor -- Wildland Firefighter Foundation -- just called. Tom Brokhaw wants to do a story on the WFF tonight. Burk says he's also looking for someone who would be willing to speak who is a survivor of a burnover.

If any survivor is willing to do that, please contact me or the WFF. We have only a several hour window (if that) to set this up. Burk is in Arizona and I'll pass any info to him or Vicki.

Ab.

7/1 Yesterday's tragedy has such eerie similarities to the Dude Fire, I can't imagine what Paul would have made of it. I recently heard a wildland fire leader argue that a goal of "zero firefighter fatalities" should not be adopted because it was "unrealistic."

A very sad event indeed.

Karen Miranda Gleason
wife of the late Paul Gleason

PS

Response to Don Will on They Said 6/29

Yes, I can confirm the marker at the Japanese Gardens is indeed in commemoration of Paul Gleason, the former Zig Zag IHC superintendent. This was one of his favorite places to visit in Portland. I believe there is an overlook where Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainer, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Baker can all be seen.

Karen

7/1 Dear Ab,

Once again we are grief-stricken for the loss of our brethren in AZ. While we all wait on the edge of our seat to discover the lessons learned from this tragedy, here’s something positive that those still in the fire service can do: Hold an impromptu fire shelter drill. When everyone is properly deployed, have someone count off to 19 (if you have access to the names of those lost, even better). During this time, take a look around. This is the last view the veteran crew had while they tried to wait it out. I’m certain the individuals had thoughts of their loved ones at this point, some probably said prayers. The best thing you can do to honor the Granite Mountain 19? Train well and often; fight hard; go home safely, every time. God speed and peace be with your souls, brothers. We will never forget your sacrifice.

Exjefe

7/1 Its been a long time since I've written in. But I just wanted to say how very sorry I am to hear about the tragedy. Thinking of all of you at this time.

GISgirl

Thanks for the message V. We've missed you... Ab.

Home TheySaid Photos Hotlist Books Links Jobs Archives Help Email

Site Map Privacy/Disclaimer Notice
Copyright 2013 FWI. All rights reserved.