"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Home of the Wildland Firefighter
Yarnell Hill Final Report:
To L: I did read the report and found that LCES was
mentioned but not highlighted. I feel that the problems that I had stated with
the decision to move out of the black should have been emphasized more, as LCES
and the 10 Standard Orders were what had lived by during my career (check out
orders 2, 5, 7 and 10). Make no mistake, I don't think blame should be applied
in this situation. There is a difference in applying blame and acknowledging
that mistakes were made. There are 19 dead individuals that prove mistakes were
made. I think exposing what those mistakes were can be very productive and be
done without applying blame.
I have heard statements involving human factors and how the decision making
process can break down during a stressful situation. I agree this could be the
case, but to be honest, it is hard for me to imagine that the crew was that
stressed out after being in the black all day long. On the contrary, I think
there may have been pressure on them to leave that black and engage in
suppression (in their willingness to be effective).
To Mr. S: I know that they had view of the fire while they were moving, but at
some point they lost that view. I believe you may be accurate in your thought
that the perceived urgency of structure protection could have prompted the
decision to move... but we will never know for sure.
Saw a post on TheySaid today about LCES and the Yarnell Hill Fire
investigation report. Anyone who actually reads the report will see that pages
50-57 contain an in-depth discussion of LCES. Thought you might want to point
that out to your readers!
In response to DR's comment on LCES...
DR, your message was my first thought after hearing the crew had left the black
and started towards the Boulder Springs Ranch, but after reading the report I
had to question my initial assessment.
See the section page 30, titled "Granite Mountain Crew Movement, 1605-1642".
While they were moving along the two track road (in the green) they could see
the fire. Its direction of spread appeared to be away form the crew, or parallel
(4th bullet, top of page 37). At this point, they still had eyes on the fire and
it may not have appeared to be an immediate threat.
Once they dropped down from the two track road and started to bush whack through
the chaparral, it's clear they lost sight of the fire. This is also when the
outflow winds hit, changing the fire's rate and direction of spread. At this
point, they may have been operating on outdated knowledge.
After reading the report I found myself asking two questions about the actions
of the crew.
- Yes, the winds drove the fire into the opposite ends of the deployment
bowl, trapping the crew. But, wouldn't they have noticed the winds and
shifting smoke before the flames were visible? If so, why didn't they radio
for an update on its location, and direction/rate of spread?
- Is it possible the culture of crew was more focused on structure
protection than most IHCs? I can't imagine what another hand crew would have
done to help protect the town of Yarnell. By all descriptions, it was not
BTW, I was on the same crew as you. I came on the year after the Dude fire,
and moved on to another path a couple of years later.
Hope you are well, Mr. S.
Below is the link to the 24-Hour Preliminary Report for the Smith's Prairie
Smokejumper Fatality. Please see that it receives wide distribution within your
agency. When available, other investigation documents, specifically the 72-Hour
Report and the final Factual Report will be posted on the Wildland Fire Lessons
Learned Center database for incident reports and lessons learned analyses
[Ab Note: The Lessons learned Center has migrated to a new server and
setup. Unknown if that's the reason, but this link does not work.]
To view this Bulletin go to:
SB - 20130927 - 24hr Smokejumper Fatality.pdf (57 K pdf)
also, sadly, new page:
Always Remember Mark Urban
A reminder about radio programming for Wildfire. This summer I ran across quite
a few people on Incidents not having Air Guard on the last channel in the radio,
this is a major safety infraction. The Users also did not know why it was
important or its use. It is located in the last channel so that in an emergency
(without looking) you can turn the channel knob until it stops and it will be
ready to use on Air Guard. It is monitored at all times by all aircraft on an
National Air Guard - 168.625 MHz - A National Interagency Air Guard frequency
for government aircraft will be used for emergency aviation communications.
Continuous monitoring of this frequency in narrowband mode is mandatory by
agency dispatch centers. Transmitters on this frequency must be equipped with an
encoder on 110.9 Hz. 168.625 is restricted to the following use:
emergency contact and coordination.
· Ground-to-air emergency contact.
· Initial call, recall, and re-direction of aircraft when no other contact
frequency is available
The Senate just approved a "clean" Emergency Spending Bill. Now it goes to the
House. Hopefully Boehner will put the clean bill to the House for a vote that
would avoid midnight government shutdown (and continued checks for our wildland
firefighter and our military families and stability of our economy) and would
insure that the USA pays our bills in spite of any politics.
from the Ab account, making the rounds:
Another Yarnell report due by year-end
A second government report examining the Yarnell Hill Fire, which killed 19
Prescott hotshots, should be completed by year’s end, but the Arizona Division
of Occupational Safety and Health is offering no insight as to what its report
“This is still an ongoing investigation: ADOSH is unable to comment on ongoing
investigations, which can take as long as six months to complete,” agency
spokeswoman Rachel Brockway said in a statement issued Friday.
The agency is responsible for investigating workplace injuries to determine
whether safety rules and regulations were violated. It can issue citations to
employers whose safety violations result in worker injuries or deaths. Fines
range up to $7,000. (Much more at the link...)
Federal firefighters and others (military, etc) do not want a
shutdown of government, regardless of political party. This is an issue that is
relevant to our wildland firefighting force. It important to contact our
representatives, and be a part of the political process on issues relevant to
federal wildland firefighters.
Speaker of the House contact info: 202-225-6205; or 202-225-0600; or
Contact message page
Yarnell Hill Final Report:
Why is the 1000lb gorilla in the room not
identified in the final investigation, or on the "They Said" website?
I was on the Dude Fire in 1990 as foreman of another IHC and Paul Gleason had
said the best way to honor a firefighter who has died is to learn from his
mistakes. I paraphrase of course, but that was the gist of it. He also, as we
all know, developed the LCES as a result of the effect that fire had on him.
The Granite Mtn. Crew was in good black on that fire and after their lookout
reached a "trigger point" to bail, whoever was calling the shots for the crew
decided to leave that safety zone with the whole crew and travel with no posted
lookout across unburned ground, during "trigger point" conditions to another
safety zone that they had not walked to and therefore did not know how long it
would take to get to.
This is what happened way back during the Loop Fire when the El Cariso shots
decided to traverse a "short" section of fire to tie in their line...as opposed
to hiking out the long way and constructing a more indirect route. We know what
happened then in 1967. Paul Gleason was there as well.
Pay and Benefits for Federal Employees
If you can, please email the office of the Speaker of the House and ask him
for a vote on a clean Continuing Resolution that funds the government at current
levels, including sequester cuts. Tell him that due to the commitments of this
job, many Federal Firefighters are one income families. After the CR is
approved, he and his caucus can then sit down and negotiate their number 1
priority of taking health care away from 30 million Americans.
our stance on "fighting" wildfires
We have a discussion going on certain human
caused ignitions and the push to limit these. And ultimately folks on both sides
are sincerely trying to find a path that exposes people to less risk while
maintaining the natural condition of the forests around us. This was on my mind
very much as I sat at my desk this morning, and looked up to see the quote from
John Muir "When you try to change any single thing, you find it hitched to
everything else in the universe."
And it occurs to me that our efforts and energies would be better spent
reconsidering our stance on "fighting" wildfires. Now, I know folks are
discussing this already, and we can all agree that things would be better if we
did more prescribed burning, and worked hard on other mitigation techniques. But
I don't think nationally we have sold the idea yet. And I think if we want to
see real improvement in firefighter safety, maybe we need to.
Consider the public outcry if I wanted to build a hotel, and in order to fit the
stables and outbuildings I wanted, I decided to move the natural bed of a river.
My plan is to dam up one branch of this river, make it flow 2 miles farther
East. How many permits, inspections, surveys, and plans would I have to file?
And even when I did these things how many lawsuits would I face from the Sierra
Club, The Nature Conservancy, and other groups? The outcry would be that I am
destroying the natural state of things. Likewise, if there were an animal that
was endangered on this land, who would have priority me with my hotel, or the
If I had a 10000 acre valley that I wanted to stop allowing any rain in,
(assuming that I had the means to control the weather), there would be no end to
the criticism I would receive. Everyone would be talking about how keeping out
this natural process will horrifically change the land. And that would just be
due to the obvious changes like the plants dying. It would take years for
scientist to fully understand what other impacts would follow. (Like sinkholes,
landslides, etc.) Everyone can agree how outrageous that effort would be, and
how strongly everyone would fight to keep it from happening. But that is exactly
what we are doing with natural fire.
We have not yet convinced the public that fire is a natural part of the Earth's
ecosystem. And we should. No matter how hard we try to limit sparks or sources
of ignition, fires will still occur. And as long as we are limiting them, they
will be more and more dramatic and dangerous.
So as to new initiatives that are focused on sources of ignitions, I still feel
that it is not the best use of our energies. We should be pushing programs like
Firewise, and prescribed burning that try to work WITH the natural cycle instead
of against it. No matter how you try to stop it, a river will flow. If you dam
it, it will flood around the bank until it finds a path to continue. Fire
belongs in the woods. And no matter how we work against it, it is going to be
there. So my stance is that we should be looking for those efforts that work
with fire and not against it.
Yarnell Hill Final Report
Why they left the safety of the black is the million
dollar question. Unfortunately, and this may well be unprecedented, there are
exactly 19 eyewitnesses to this decision, and none are still with us to answer
the burning question "why". We may truly never know.
Hotlist discussion thread with some excellent observations and comments. Ab.
Yarnell Hill Final Report
Why they left the safety of the black is the million
dollar question. Unfortunately, and this may well be unprecedented, there are
exactly 19 eyewitnesses to this decision, and none are still with us to answer
the burning question "why". We may truly never know.
Hotlist discussion thread with some excellent observations and comments. Ab.
AZ-A1S-Yarnell Hill Report
I haven't had a chance to read through the whole
report and I wasn't going to comment until I did, but I skimmed it and watched
the briefing video. I really don't think they blatantly broke any of the 10&18's
(also bearing in mind that on any given day on a fire we are probably violating
at least one of them). In fact, I think they were following many of them quite
well. They had established escape routes and safety zones, they were constantly
re-evaluating the situation, they had placed a lookout and established trigger
points, and they found a work around for the radio issue. They were fighting
fire aggressively but providing for safety first, just like they were taught to.
I happen to think too much emphasis is put on the "fight fire aggressively"
One thing that was alluded to was that they didn't heed the thunderstorm warning
as much as they should have. Most SAI Reports on burnovers tend to point the
finger at the deceased in the end, and this is actually somewhat different in
that respect. I'm sure they all had been on a fire with thunderstorms before
(like who hasn't?) and they made their decisions based on those past
experiences. This report seems to put more emphasis on asking why they didn't
give this more attention (human factors); rather than saying they simply ignored
it, or that they violated X,Y, and Z of the 10&18's. There's quite a long list
of folks from many Fed, State, and Local agencies, hotshot supes and various
SMEs who were involved in the investigation.
I will take a wagered guess that they left the black because they knew the fire
was picking up in intensity to the point where sheltering in the black was not
an option. The report says that the fire burned through their location at
roughly 2000 degrees. The black doesn't protect you from super heated gases and
I'm guessing they recognized that they needed to get out of there. They were
using their predetermined escape route to a safety zone but it was compromised.
We say "keep one foot in the black" but this only safe under certain conditions,
I'm sure once I read the full report and ponder it some there will be more to
get out of this- but I think the point here is that they did everything by the
book. They just didn't get lucky this time. I think more often than not it is
luck that there are not more burnovers and entrapments. We like to think that
it's because of our various learning tools and safety guidelines... but this was
inevitable for a lot of reasons. I know I've spoken with a lot of people, or
been in situations myself, where we recognized we simply got lucky that that
there was no wind shift, or extreme downdrafts with those afternoon
thunderstorms... or something. We have to accept that we're just simply not
going to win every time, no matter how safe we think we're doing it. You can do
everything right but s**t still happens. The only way to save lives under those
types of conditions is to simply not be there- and think that's what we should
learn from this.
Yarnell Hill Final Report
excerpt: Still puzzled as to why they left the
safety of the black.
Sierra hotshot supt Ken Jordan is retiring
Please please can you post. I'm
trying to get all the information out quickly!!!!
My superintendent is retiring. 40 years on the fire line, most all as a hotshot.
attached flyer (670 K pdf) has all the info .
Thanks for the info! Here's the text that goes with the photo:
Where: Clovis Veterans’ Hall, Clovis CA
When: Sunday, January 19, 2014,
6:00, Dinner served at 7:00 PM
Cost: $25.00 per person
Send money: 1150 3rd St. Clovis CA 93612
RSVP: by December 1, 2013
Also, to share your war stories and pictures of Ken’s 40 seasons on the
fireline please contact Brian Grossman by October 31 at:
RE: Heart of a FireFighter thread...
It is wonderful to see someone from the USFS W/O actually use the term
"Firefighter" when referring to those of us that either are in or have put in a
career with the FS in "Fire"... Seems the FS W/O folks only do that when one of
us gets killed in the line of duty...
Excellent work! Keep it up! Don't let "them" change the title to "Heart of a
Forestry or Range Technician"...
Gary Sinise donation
Gary Sinise (of Forrest Gump fame) is reported to have
donated $60,000 to the Black Hills Colorado area Fire Department to help with
their needs. He is quite active in assisting veterans organizations as well. A
Subject: Yarnell Hill Final Report
Hill Fire Final Report is now available on the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned
website. Click to view the Final Report documents.
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
From MtEddy on the
Here is the official link to the Google Drive Document:
Arizona State Forestry Division Yarnell Hill Report
Please give this a thorough read through and help spread the word of the report.
I will be posting this to Facebook page and twitter as well!
Loss of a good man.
Death of SJ Mark Urban:
To the Overwhelmed Wildland Fire Community,
I need to get air miles donated so we can help get Mark's friends to Boise to be
with his family and jumper family.
Call, text, or email the following:
Your phone number
Your amount of points
Also any hotels points
Thanks you for helping with this labor of love.
Death of SJ Mark Urban:
Bad news. SMJ fatality today. I was Dave Liston's rookie trainer and was there
when he died in AK in 2000 -- jumped the load prior to his jump. I can't believe
that this happened after all the changes that were implemented after Dave's
fatality. I'm speechless...
Condolences to his crew, other coworkers, friends and family... Ab.
from the hotlist:
Death of SJ Mark Urban:
OMG, not again:
ktbv.com NIFC Boise smokejumper dies after parachute malfunction
BOISE -- A Boise BLM smokejumper died on Friday, in a parachuting
accident near the town of Prairie. The National Interagency Fire Center said
it was related to some sort of failure with his parachute system, but they
don't yet know exactly what the problem was.
40-year-old Mark Urban of Boise worked at the Great Basin Smokejumper Base
in Boise. The accident was reported near Prairie, about 45 miles east of
Boise. (more at the link)
idahostatesman.com - Boise
BLM smokejumper killed in accident friday
A Boise BLM smokejumper died Friday afternoon in a training accident near
Prairie, about 45 miles east of Boise.
Mark T. Urban, 40, was killed after his parachute failed to properly deploy
during a training jump.
A serious accident investigation team is being assembled in Boise and will
begin their work over the weekend, said National Interagency Fire Center
spokesperson Don Smurthwaite. (more at the link)
Rest in peace, my brother.
Re: Guns and wildfire:
I still feel that the quote that gunfire is the source of 20% of human caused
fire is an exaggeration at best. I know I am biased to defend shooting, but I
still think it is not as large an issue as was made out in the first post. In
the conditions that would make gunfire a huge danger, other human causes would
also dramatically increase, so it wouldn't make a huge leap in percentage, as
all human causes would increase
Further, we are still attacking the trigger, or the spark and not addressing the
larger issue which is the fact that our woods need to burn. If you remove the
gunfire, you will still get starts from other human causes because... people
are in the woods. And if you restrict the other sources you will still get fires
because it is the natural order of things.
Instead of focusing on side elements like what starts a devastating fire, let's
focus on why the fire is so devastating, and get more active prescribe burning.
I could actually get on board if that was the goal here. But I think instead, we
are focusing on this one human cause because it also suits other agendas and
At the end of the day I am thankful for your passion, and desire to mitigate the
danger of wildfire, but I think you are focusing on a tree and missing the
*And I hate the quote that "if it prevents 1 fire it will be worth it." That
type of sentiment is thrown around on a lot of arguments "if it saves one
Bulldozing the forest en-mass would prevent this too, but hardly worth it right?
Sometimes the juice is NOT worth the squeeze because it is either too high a
cost or simply because you are not dealing with a simple enough equation.
I respect the fact that your posts in this area are full of well intended
passion, but I simply do not agree that the problem is as large as was asserted.
20% of human caused fire was stated in the first post. What study or reference
may we have to see how this was concluded? Thanks for the discussion.
JG (original poster who replied, no moniker signed on this one)
Heart of a Firefighter teaser video making the rounds:
Subject: Heart of a
Firefighter teaser video
I’ve been working with USDA Photographers to produce a 5-8 minute video on
Wildland Firefighters. They went out this summer on a few fires and got some
great video and interviews from firefighters and we are in the process of
creating a video called” The Heart of a Firefighter”. The Heart of a Firefighter
video will show what we do as USFS firefighters and also the drive and passion
of the people that fight fire.
Attached is a link to the two minute teaser. Feel free to share it far and
USFS Washington Office
Fire and Aviation Management
Disaster and Emergency Operations Branch
Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Report coming out tomorrow at 10AM, AZ time
You are someone we feel is able to help with the release of the Yarnell Hill
Fire Serious Accident Investigation Report on the June 30, 2103 deaths of the 19
Granite Mountain Hotshots in Arizona.
We will be using a new social media tool called Thunderclap (thunderclap.it).
Once the report is released on September 28, 2013 10:00am, Arizona Standard
Time, this tool allows us to utilize other people’s Facebook and Twitter
accounts to push out the link to the report, nationally, all at one time - like
a Thunderclap! To make this work, we need people to know about the campaign we
have built on the Thunderclap website and we hope you will be willing to get
involved and let people know via your email lists and social media sites.
This link, thndr.it/1h02FPX, will
take you and others directly to the campaign page. Our hope is that you will
post/email this Thunderclap link to your contacts. We encourage you to go to
Thunderclap and sign up as a supporter with your personal or organizational
Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Supporters are asked to sign up with their Facebook/Twitter username/password to
allow Thunderclap to post the campaign message. Thunderclap cannot see your
We hope you will find time to share this link with others and post support for
our campaign to your social media sites.
The Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Report RolloutTeam
Guns and Fires
First ever comment on this site. I just had to add my two
cents to the topic.
CJ and FINV are absolutely correct. Among my duties on fire is FINV here in WA.
I have never been involved with a hunter's gunfire starting a fire, but
"target" shooting? Absolutely. From tracer rounds to exploding targets. I
think promoting the every spark mindset could be very helpful.
For FINV the process IS a methodical scientific process of elimination combined
with burn indicators. I can say when you are able to narrow down to a very
small area (several square feet) which then only has evidence of bullet strikes,
or the actual tracer round (did this on a 10 acre fire), the conclusions are
pretty clear. Also, and this is some speculation, but tv shows such at "top
shot" are creating an "explosion" of excitement for exploding targets. I now
see hyped up marketing at the local sport shop for these targets, and despite
the claims, they do start fires and I've determined the cause and origin for
Mostly in western Washington we are the "asbestos forest" but there are times
when even we dip down to some lower moisture levels. LOTS of "target shooting"
happens here, but we get a break with moisture most of the time. This also
leads to complacency during dry periods. No doubt about it in my experience -
this activity causes fire starts.
Some prevention work in this area is the right way to go.
Thanks for your post. Ab.
I've started an article on Fireline rehab for the Rim fire,
including before and after photos. This important work doesn't see much press.
Rim had over 150 miles of dozer lines which left untreated would cause
enormous resource damage. I have interviews with key people including DIVS,
TFLD, READ , and heavy equip operators. At one point I had 5 excavators, 4
dozers, 3 crews, 2 engines and a grapple skidder in our task force.
Sent from my iPhone
Rim Fire (and other fires) rehab issues and actions: Hotlist General Discussion
This is an important topic. Please contribute on the hotlist if possible.
Re: Gunfire as a major source of wildfire???
Ask anyone who works in Lytle Creek Canyon or Bee Canyon on the CA-BDF or Steele
Peak or the Old Banning Idyllwild Road in CA-RRU. Gunfire starts fires every
year, sometimes weekly. I have been to two shooter-caused fires this week, the
Sierra in BDF and the Gilman in RRU. The Morgan in SCU was shooter-caused. What
more do you need to know?
Guns and fire
first I must say that all shooters are not hunters or sportsman.
FLASH your first line "I heartily disagree that there is much correlation
between shooting and wildfires." How much is required? 1 bullet in 10,000 in 1
million . ??
Can you find out how many bullets are sold a week in the US
Line 2 yes shooters drag very nicely built STEEL targets to dry grassy fields
and shoot away. They shoot at fire extinguishers , propane bottles, paint can,
bottles filled with flammable stuff, old cars, giant rocks , small rocks,
There are targets supported by rebar driven in the ground to prop up the target.
This one started a fire 57 feet away from the target, Quoting shooter " I was
just firing off 10 rounds before church and the fire happened just like that"
SKS in the back yard. 90 acres in about 20 minutes. this man is a believer!
Flash as "as an outdoors man and avid shooter". you are the guy I need to spread
Real shooters: say they are sportsman, drag a 50 inch flat screen (yes) into the
dry pine needles and shoot away with a 22 long rifle , 44 mag, a black powder
slug something, SKS, a 30-06, and a mac 10 all in the back of one Durango, 2
guys and a girl.
One fire caused by shooting at a fire extinguisher, a fire started on the
hillside beyond the Target perfectly lined up from shooter to target to fire 800
one fire, shooting a Barret 50 Cal at a rock the size of a car. That Rock looked
like a moon scape. Arrived to investigate. I ask the "bystanders" if the saw
anything. Why yes we were shooting at that rock and the fire started right in
front of it. We did it "never thought it would start a fire" . 1300 feet away
400 acres in 1 hour
Guns vs campfires since 1910 fires have been attacked aggressively, a bear with
a hat has told the world only you can prevent wild fires and showed you how to
be careful with a campfire and a match.
This has a pretty straight forward connection. A well spread message.
Bullets and fire this is new research spawned by anecdotal observations. How
many bullets are fired for each campfire built? Does each bullet get a bucket of
water poured on it where it hits.
back to " one spark one fire " prevention this is whats important. Firefighters
DIE every year.
Flash even you acknowledge the slim chance that a bullet may cause a fire. So
knowing that when a fire occurs that requires firefighters to come and go in
harms way and one of them dies is it an accident, or are YOU negligent?
For a long time shooting related fires have been dismissed as accidental. This
will change. Catalytic converters on cars start fires. your are negligent if you
do it. you Can be held responsible for the costs of suppression or injuries or
deaths related to that action.
Regional yes for sure. I work in the Great Basin. That bullets can cause fire is
beyond a doubt. Read the report it takes a very fertile fuel bed, the right
conditions. It happens
This is the first public forum I have soapboxed with. My hope is to prevent just
one fatality with this knowledge. I ask all of my fire fighting family to be as
imagintive as they can to have this awareness spread.
How many years of denial that smoking caused death by saying the study is
ongoing. This subject does not need more study. The information is clear. There
will disention that this is an infringement on 2 amendement rights. I do not
want that. I want every fire fighter to come home.
El Cariso Hotshots Disbanded
I read this article earlier on
wildfire today. Pretty sad, and unfortunate to hear, however I wasn't sure
if it had been discussed recently on the forum, or if it was too much of a
sensitive issue to post a new topic on, or if it was one of those don't ask
don't tell things as I'm sure there are some pretty emotional feelings toward
the decision. I'm sure there are several reasons it may have been disbanded and
that is why I hesitated to start a thread, although it was news to me, it may
have been common knowledge elsewhere. Anyhow, here is the link, and if you see
it appropriate, maybe it can go on they said or the wlfhotlist for discussion.
these guys were a top notch crew with a lot of history and nostalgia to go with
they're fantastic work ethic and attitude. gonna miss seeing them on the line
till it gets resolved. Lets hope its temporary as stated.
Wildfires from shooting
I beg to differ with your opinion due to being witness
to several fires caused by shooting. Speaking of non-organized shooting areas,
some of the many targets that are popular are old electronics, old appliances,
old furniture, old vehicles, heck old-anything is hauled to the forest and used
as a target. Apparently the shooters like the “ding” sound it makes when it hits
the metal. So until the metal scrappers haul the metal off to the recyclers we
stand the chance of more fires from this cause.
USFS S-61 Helicopter Accident 2008
Forwarded message making the rounds... The
entire text is not republished here because it would violate copyright. If
someone has the link to the article, please send it in. Ab.
A very good friend of mine and many CAL FIRE pilots and ground firefighters
was on that accident helicopter. Jim Ramage had worked for CAL FIRE as a
contract pilot, State CAL FIRE pilot and Manager of the CAL FIRE Helicopter
Program. Jim had 20+ years with CAL FIRE. Our outstanding helicopter program
success can be attributed to Jim Ramage, Bob Fisher, Art Trask, Chris Boyd and
many other great pilots , aviation maintenance technicians and great support
from the from office. Jim had retired from CAL FIRE and went over to the USFS to
help them with their helicopter program and was just weeks away from retiring
from the USFS.
The accident had many causes and today the Director of Maintenance for Carson
Helicopters plead guilty on several felony counts.
(Reuters) - A former aircraft maintenance director has pleaded guilty to
misleading the U.S. Forest Service to help his company win a $20 million
contract in a case linked to the deadliest helicopter crash involving
on-duty firefighters in U.S. history. The 2008 incident near Weaverville, in
Northern California, killed seven firefighters on board the helicopter as
well as the pilot and a U.S. Forest Service official.
Levi Phillips, 46, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of conspiring to
defraud the Forest Service by creating false weight, balance and performance
information for firefighting helicopters while he was employed as head of
maintenance for Oregon-based Carson Helicopters Inc, according to court
As part of a plea deal entered in U.S. District Court in Medford, Oregon,
Phillips will testify against the company's vice president, Steven Metheny.
Prosecutors say Metheny led the defrauding scheme. Phillips, an Oregon
resident, faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 14. <snipped
rest of article>
God be with you Jim.
fair use disclaimer
Always Remember Jim Rammage / Iron 44
Re bullets make wildfires:
With all respect to Finney and friends, I heartily
disagree that there is much correlation between shooting and wildfires.
I think the basic premise of the study involved shooting at a steel plate.
Seldom do hunters impact anything hard enough to create the friction/ shearing
that would cause this type of reaction.
Most shooting ranges are landscaped and mowed to the point that it is a
I am willing to concede that it is possible in an area where ranges are less
common, where shooters go to the woods to train, maybe then this could happen.
But speaking as an outdoorsman and avid shooter, Seldom would I lug a steel
target on such an outing.
Now, if you were making the case that outdoorsmen were careless with campfires
while on hunting trips, or while out practicing in the woods, I might be more
inclined to agree.
And, I can understand that some issues may be regional in nature. It is possible
that this is simply not a problem on the Eastern part of the country.
But I do not thing that the experiment to see if bullet splatter off of heavy
steel CAN start fires proves that this is any significant cause of the fires I
respond to. just my opinion, and offered for debate and discussion.
Can you please post the following flyer for those EMTs, AEMT, EMT-P, EMTF, AEMF,
EMPF followers who would like to access some continuing education for their EMS
This conference is not only for paramedics, but all levels of EMS provider.
There will be vendor exhibits, skills verifications for those that need so, and
all content is CECBEMS approved for 27 hrs of National Registry eligible CEUs.
Please share appropriately.
2013 Paramedic Refresher.pdf
There is also a EMT Refresher hosted by the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection
November 2013 EMT Refresher Flyer.pdf
Inciweb on CA-ANF-Madre
Azusa brush fire grows to 190 acres, officials say
Evacuation orders issued for several homes in Azusa brush fire
Hotlist: Initial Attack
WLF Map, the link is in the initial IA Post.
With heart felt respect and deep appreciation to all WFFs, we
wanted to share a few online sites/links related to Prescott's long-term and
on-going commitment to Defensible Space:
Carrying on a firewise legacy prescott ponders future fire safety goals.phpl
Facebook: Prescott Area Wildfire Expo 2013
And, available grant money is funding a small fuels management crew for now, in
the wake of the tragic loss of our 19 fallen GMHS:
With the 2002 Indian Fire, and the June 18, 2013, Doce Fire, in our recent history, our community
continues to partner to help manage fuels and create more defensible space.
Signed with respect and much appreciation,
Prescott, AZ Residents
Thanks, residents. Ab.
Don't Thank Us, Help Us.
Spot on Sir.
If your setting up for Structure Defense (new WUI term) on a structure with a
great view. Question if you should be there.
You and your crew should remember, dead firefighters never come back. Real
Estate signs and wood frame construction does.
My organizations executive management has sworn that we will no longer hurt or
kill ourselves over inanimate objects. Regardless of the political consequences
we have been told to recognize situations where home and landowners have taken
little or no effort to help us, help them. We are moving on, to a time and place
on the fire line where we can engage tactically with a high probability of
success. We stress agility in movement.
Below is the link to the IAFC and a PDF of our new WUI guidelines. I hope it
offers some alternatives to traditional tactics that will be helpful.
We are getting into Santa Ana wind season in So. Cal. Keep one foot in the burn
and the wind to your back.
iafc.org: Tactical Standards for Operation in the WUI.pdf
CAL FIRE Jake
Wildfire caused by shooting
I am a wild land fire investigator. More than 20
years. The following study supports what anecdotal conclusions have come in that
time. Shooters cause fires with bullets. An evaluation of human caused fires
showed that more than 20% of the fires were caused by shooting. That is 4 times
more than campfire, smokers or equipment use, each.
What needs to be done !!!?
This information needs to be shared as widely as possible.
Gun safety courses, shooting media, vendors for guns and ammo, banners next to
the ones that encourage defensible space, by fire safe councils, local
government postings of restricted shooting areas, NRA publications/ website,
shooting clubs, youtube.
WHY? because it is such a preventable ignition with a modest effort. When
shooters know about this potential they will modify where and when they shoot.
The same way shooters do to prevent bodily harm. Choose a safe area for
preventing injury and FIRE.
No one wants to be responsible for hurting some one when they shoot. Now they
must think about the fire they will cause. Will it burn homes? Will it ruin
sport by destroying hunting areas. Will it take the life of a fireman?
I am just barely able to email. I hope others can spread this however it will
fs.fed.us /rm/pubs/ rmrs_rp104.pdf
RS-RP-104: A study of ignition by rifle bullet.
Citation: Finney, Mark A.; Maynard, Trevor B.; McAllister, Sara S.; Grob,
Ian J. 2013. A study of ignition by rifle bullets. Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-104.
Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky
Mountain Research Station. 31 p.
Abstract: Experiments were conducted to examine the potential for rifle
bullets to ignite organic matter after impacting a hard surface. The tests
were performed using a variety of common cartridges (7.62x51, 7.62x39,
7.62x54R, and 5.56x45) and bullet materials (steel core, lead core, solid
copper, steel jacket, and copper jacket). Bullets were fired at a steel
plate that deflected fragments downward into a collection box containing
oven-dried peat moss. We found that bullets could reliably cause ignitions,
specifically those containing steel components (core or jacket) and those
made of solid copper. Lead core-copper jacketed bullets caused one ignition
in these tests. Ignitions of peat also occurred with a small set of tests
using solid copper bullets and a granite target. Thermal infra-red video and
temperature sensitive paints suggested that the temperature of bullet
fragments could exceed 800°C. Bullet fragments collected from a water tank
were larger for solid copper and steel core/jacketed bullets than for lead
core bullets, which also facilitate ignition. Physical processes are
reviewed with the conclusion that kinetic energy of bullets is transformed
to thermal energy by plastic deformation and fracturing of bullets because
of the high-strain rates during impact. Fragments cool rapidly but can
ignite organic matter, particularly fine material, if very dry and close to
the impact site.
Making the rounds:
News Release: Fire Season ends Tuesday 9/24 on ODF-Protected
lands in Southwest Oregon
Several days of rain across the southwest Oregon region has brought fire
season to an end effective Tuesday, Sept. 24, on Oregon Department of
Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The public regulated
use fire danger level drops to “low” (green) after midnight tonight, and all
public and industrial fire prevention regulations will be lifted.
It was a busy summer for firefighters across southwest Oregon. Crews
responded to more than 330 fires, 126 of which were caused by lightning. More
than 43,000 acres of forestland burned on the district, much of it in the Big
Windy and Douglas complexes in northern Josephine County. People caused more
than 200 fires this fire season, which started June 3, and human-caused fires
burned nearly 800 acres. Lightning caused the summer’s biggest wildfires.
Southwest Oregon residents are urged to use caution when burning debris this
fall. Many structural fire protection districts require a permit to burn piled
debris or to use burn barrels, and both counties issue daily air quality
advisories. Call your county’s open burning line before burning to find out
whether open burning is allowed. In Jackson County, the number to call is (xxx)
776-7007. In Josephine County, call (xxx) 476-9663.
For more information about wildland fire prevention, contact your local
Oregon Dept. of Forestry unit office:
• Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd: (xxx) 664-3328
• Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr: (xxx) 474-3152
Fire danger regulations are also posted online at
Fire Prevention Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
I'm posting this because we do need to learn from our losses, however, let's
wait for the report to come out. If residents and communities would make their
homes Firewise, it certainly would help. Ab.
What happened in Yarnell, AZ has to change wildland
firefighting. Since that horrible day I have waited for some explanation as to
how this could happen, and the Outside article is a plausible explanation.
Our culture must change. "Structure Protection" as a concept needs to be
abolished. For years we have said that "structures are just another kind of
fuel" but that statement has not changed the fact that when structures are
threatened we act differently.
The Mountain Fire this year was my first opportunity to see the town of
Idyllwild. After the loss of BDF E-57 and Granite Mountain IHC, seeing a town so
hopelessly indefensible from wildfire was almost offensive to me. I thought,
"When will firefighters again die trying to save this firetrap?" We have known
about places like Idyllwild, and Malibu Canyon, and the CO Front Range, etc.
etc. etc. for decades and we still demand nothing of landowners and try to act
heroically to save threatened property. This MUST change.
Don't Thank Us, Help Us
Impact of state computer problem grows wider, delaying unemployment checks
for about 185,000 Californians - Capitol and California
This will eventually
affect those among our ranks who will have to depend on this. In my opinion the
fault is system wide and due to outdated systems being “Serviced” by incompetent
technicians. Meanwhile those in need go without.
ICS 201 iPad Discussion
Some of you have contacted me directly about InciNotes Exclusive First Of Its
Kind ICS 201 iPad. Here’s the latest, we are close to releasing InciNotes™
Version 1.1, which will have some new exciting features to assist ICT3’s with
Transfer Incidents from one iPad to a nearby iPad also running InciNotes
- Download Spot Forecast Requests and view them any time
- Set an assignment for multiple resources with just one touch
- New section for Management Objectives
- Improved Objectives, Plans, and Hazards User Interface
- Many, many other small improvements
InciNotes™ takes you the through a step by step process of ICS 201 documentation
and allows you to document “Clear Leaders Intent” for your incident.
If you have any more questions contact me at incinotes.com for more information
Thanks for sharing
InciNotes™ Co Founder
Nice job, Will, and much needed. Ab.
Making the rounds in an email trail:
Sharing Health & Safety Officers. As we
appreciate October and Santa Anta season to still come this is a very important
message. BE WELL. Michelle
Region 5 Forester on management of firefighter fatigue (59 K doc)
Subject: Fire Suppression Activity Fatigue Management
To: Forest Supervisors and Directors
As anticipated by the Chief, fire management in 2013 has provided many
challenges. We have shared in the tragic loss of too many firefighters and
suffered too many close calls.
Since early spring our crews, fire managers and Agency Administrators’ have
been fighting fire at home and assisting others across the country. Many forests
within California have been actively engaged in fighting fire since early June.
During this difficult time we have maintained a remarkable initial and extended
attack success rate. Please thank our firefighters and those who support them
for their dedication in the service of our mission and their fellow citizens.
I expect us to continue to successfully manage fire while fully evaluating
risks with a broad perspective and consideration for the people we serve and
landscapes we protect. Success continues to be defined as safely achieving
reasonable objectives with the least firefighter exposure necessary, while
enhancing stakeholder support for our management.
Our success is, however, dependent upon us ensuring our most valuable
resources; our employees are fit for duty. This requires us all to be keenly
aware of fatigue within our workforce and to skillfully address fatigue
management for ourselves and our employees.
Forest Supervisors have the authority to mitigate risk for employees and grant
administrative leave for additional time off when fireline and support personnel
require more than the standard two-days off in fourteen. The duration of
assignments and back-to-back assignments for crews, overhead and support
personnel can make it difficult to get restorative rest. I ask that you also
consider other assignments such as refit and refurbish days as a means to
provide necessary time for resources to prepare for new assignments.
I ask that all Forest Supervisors and Directors be personally engaged in
assisting their employees assess fatigue and authorize additional time off
between assignments where warranted. You have my support to take appropriate
action to ensure you and our employees are well rested and prepared to continue
to safely accomplish the important work of fire management. It appears we may
have a lot of fire season to go. Please continue to position us and our
employees for success.
/s/ Jeanne Wade Evan (for)
Before i climb up on a stump - i'd like to express my thanks to all that work
behind the scenes to create/foster and contribute to this forum - while some of
the posts are baffling and downright frustrating at times, the majority of what
is written and expressed is fantastic and thought provoking... Thank you!
On 9/17/13 a statement was posted that contained the following;
"Despite their dedication, temporary seasonals are not eligible to
compete for permanent jobs like other federal employees. In many instances,
they are ineligible to apply at all. This bureaucratic barrier does nothing
but increase training costs, kill efficiency, and deny temporary seasonals
the fair shot at permanent jobs they are highly qualified to perform."
It is my opinion that this statement is not entirely accurate and is a bit
misleading. Let me explain.
Each year the US Forest Service, US Bureau of Land Management and to a much
lesser extent National Park Service & Fish and Wildlife Service, advertise and
fill Wildland Firefighter Apprentice positions from the temporary seasonal ranks
you speak of. In fact, those temporary seasonals combine to make the largest
pool of applicants, and as a result fill the majority (well over 80%) of
apprentice positions across our country each time a round of hiring takes place.
ALL hired Apprentices occupy permanent positions of varying tours of duty. Some
are 13/13 (permanent seasonal) and others are 26/0 (permanent full-time).
Again, more of my opinion here;
It's our temporary seasonal wildlife biologists, timber markers, archeologists,
and recreation technicians that truly face an even larger "wall" to climb just
to get a foot in the door. The windows of opportunity for these folks to gain
that 13/13 tour are very much shorter and less frequent than they are for other
temporary seasonals. And keep in mind a bunch of these troops annually fill in
on engines, crews, and are very active militia members with collateral expertise
and ICS skills. I realize that these individuals comprise the other roughly 40%
who are not primary fire - nevertheless, they have the same aspirations,
desires, reasons to be permanent federal employees, but they have far less
Seeking a Just Culture...
Tell Congress: Temporary Seasonal Employees Deserve a Fair Shot at Permanent
Year after year, thousands of temporary seasonal employees join the land
management agency rolls to work for their country. Many perform these roles for
years, even decades, on end. Despite their dedication, temporary seasonals are
not eligible to compete for permanent jobs like other federal employees. In many
instances, they are ineligible to apply at all. This bureaucratic barrier does
nothing but increase training costs, kill efficiency, and deny temporary
seasonals the fair shot at permanent jobs they are highly qualified to perform.
In the Forest Service, roughly 60% of seasonal temps are wildland
This link allows you to send letters to your Congressional representatives
asking them to support the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, a no-cost,
bipartisan bill to give these employees the hiring and promotion opportunities
send letters to your Congressional representatives
Mark Davis, Vice-President
National Federation of Federal Employees
SoloEMT – you have several options. One, as you mentioned,
is to join a volunteer fire or EMS agency that will provide your CE and patient
Services Recert Info has all the
details, but you can recert by getting your required refresher and CE hours,
which are not just available through employers – a local community college that
has EMT classes may let you audit them for hours (perhaps for a cost), a local
EMS or fire agency may let you attend theirs even if you don’t work for them,
etc. You can also recert via examination, if you don’t have the hours but are
able to pass the exam again. In terms of working for an EMS provider, they also
say “or have performed the duties of an EMS provider” for six months. If you
function as an EMT for your crew, that may qualify. You’d have to get their
signature, but even though BLM isn’t an EMS agency per se, if you’re doing that
job for them, it should qualify as long as you’re actually doing patient care.
If you have further questions, contact NREMT and they’ll help you work through
Airtankers: Air Spray signs contract with CalFire
There are several P-3’s
(or the civilian equal L-188) ready to fly. Many are already on missions as air
tankers on the North American continent.
I was wondering how everyone gets their recert. for EMT; since I work for the
BLM I don't get CE's nor do I work for an EMS based program (required for
National Reg). Not sure what the easiest way to get my National Reg recert is
or how everyone on here does it. Thought about joining a vol. fire dept this
winter anyway..maybe that will help?
Strange Fire Names - Hotlist|
Remember when...? Hotlist
Weather patterns and fire activity - Hotlist
How astrophysics affects weather / climate
Several people have sent this link in including CAL FIRE Jake and M@2X4.
Would Firefighting Planes Have Helped Doomed Firemen?
Transcript of beginning of video:
We think of firefighting we most often think in the -- boots on the ground
heading in neighboring buildings are perilous terrain to save lives and
extinguish flames. But for the biggest -- the ones that threaten entire
communities and swaths of land. Help -- to come from the air as well. (more at
Re Osha Fines and PPE:
I cant speak to the OSHA fines, but from a Forest Service contracting
perspective, if a private contractor arrived at an incident without proper PPE
and/or new generation fire shelter (if they are required to furnish their own),
they would be considered noncompliant with the terms of their
agreement/contract. This may trigger administrative considerations, such as
rejection, reduced travel payment, suspension, etc. Most VIPR agreements require
the contactor to arrive with proper PPE and shelters and, in fact, explicitly
prohibit loaning or exchanging at the incident. So from a compliance
perspective, even loaning PPR/shelters would be considered non-compliant.
Supervisory Contract Specialist
Region 6 Fire & Aviation Contracting Team
Calif. wildfire more destructive than thought (CA-SHU-Clover)|
REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Crews assessing the damage from a wildfire
in Northern California have now determined that 68 homes were destroyed, up from
the earlier tally of 37, a fire official said on Thursday.
The count of outbuildings destroyed by the Clover Fire in Shasta County also
went up from 74 to 128. Additionally, five homes were damaged, one more than
previously thought,... (More at the link above, including photos.)
Hotlist CA-SHU-Clover- IA, now in Continuing
Hotlist CA-SHU-Clover- Questions and Discussion
||Re Fire Shelters:
It depends... Basically as an employer, you are tasked
with performing a risk assessment of duties performed by your employees. The
selection of controls (PEE, SOP's, Engine equipment etc.) Is based on your risk
and lowering the risk to an acceptable level as determined by the employer.
So the question of old vs. new shelters is the cart in front of the horse...
Your risk assessment and your acceptance of risk will result in your
specification for a shelter.
Your Dept. may be well served to use the nationally recognized standards that
everyone else is using... There was a change to the new style for a reason.
Injuries... In the absence of a risk assessment, the Department leadership is
libel for suits, as there is a lack of due diligence. Search for CA Labor code
6423 also know as "Be a Manager, go to jail"
Lastly, if you have injuries, one of the questions is why? Was PPE lacking,
training lacking? Your employment must be free of recognized hazards. Since fire
is hazardous, what did you do to reduce/prevent risk?
Fines and the cost of non compliance are the wrong question, sure, budgets play
into implementation timelines, but the issue of fines should play a back seat to
the safety of your team.
||I've been photographing wildfires for years as a staff photographer at
National Geographic. I always wondered what it was like to be in the middle of a
crown fire so we built FireCam, a specially designed housing that will protect a
still and video camera from fire. We put together a video of the footage here:
Surrounded by fire
I thought your readers might find it interesting.
Thanks, Mark. Ab.
||This morning around 7:00 AM, we received notice that the Hotlist website was
being hijacked to be redirected to another website that contained information
about the Syrian Army. As soon as we found out about it, we had our team quickly
resolve the issue, and direct traffic back to The Hotlist. The hackers were able
to gain access to the backend of wlfhotlist.com's server and redirect traffic to
their website. We found the issue immediately, and were able to block entrance
from this happening again, and from outsiders gaining access to vital server
We do not have any evidence of any information being taken from the website as
far as sensitive information goes. We have required that all registered users
reset their passwords. When you first log in to the Hotlist, you will be
prompted to change you password.
We want to assure that everyone's privacy is our top priority. We do not sell,
nor use your information for any reason, and we especially will not allow any
outsiders to have access to it either. If you have questions about what has
happened, or need assistance you can contact
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call to our
office at 530-235-4419.
Thank you for your patience!
-The Wildlandfire.com Team-
||Good thoughts for the Klump family.
When lost Kellie in 2007, we lost a fine person. Mellie|
||Osha Fines and PPE:
I have a question to the wildland community out there
regarding proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). I am looking for some
facts or experiences that can help me solve a PPE problem.
First, does anyone know what the OSHA or Cal-OSHA fines would be if a
government operated engine (federal, state or local) were to respond to a
wildland fire and the proper PPE was not on the apparatus, either lack of
Wildland PPE or Fire Shelters?
The older fire shelters have been retired some time ago, but what if some
agencies are still using them for front-line wildland firefighting.
What are the fines if a private fire contractor were found to not have the
proper PPE or the newer Fire Shelter?
||Sadly, Capt. Token Adams was found deceased
Hotlist thread for Condolences.
Sad... condolences... Ab.
I'm posting remotely again. Send me an email and I'll post it on the
Hotlist Theysaid. Thanks!
Hotshots vital in many ways, experts say; crew helped Prescott become the leader
in national Firewise efforts|
PRESCOTT - On the fateful late afternoon of
June 28 when lightning ignited the now-infamous Yarnell Hill wildfire 20 miles
south of Prescott, lightning also sparked a relatively unknown blaze on the
outskirts of Prescott called the West Spruce wildfire.
It was on the dangerous southwest side of the city, a few miles... (More at
||Here's the latest update on the missing firefighter on Inciweb from this
morning at 1000 hrs: I'm posting the text... (I'm getting a number of questions
Incident: Holiday Incident Search and Rescue
Released: 10 hrs. ago
Holiday Incident - Search Continues for Missing Firefighter
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - The search for Jemez Ranger District
(Santa Fe National Forest) wildland firefighter, Token Adams, was hampered
again yesterday by heavy afternoon rains. The steep, rugged, dense terrain
has also challenged efforts despite the over 250 personnel involved in the
search. The terrain in the vicinity of the search is described as extreme
topography with steep uphill and downhill trails and sheer cliffs.
Despite the NM Search and Rescue grid pattern being used by the professional and
dedicated personnel on the incident, search efforts have not been successful.
Personnel are using GPS as part of this grid pattern and are being asked to
report their locations hourly. Searchers will focus today on determining that
certain areas have been fully searched.
Token, the engine captain on a Jemez Ranger District engine has been missing
for four days. The last communication from Token was received on Friday
afternoon from Holiday Mesa. He and other firefighters from the Ranger
District were responding to a smoke report and searching for the 25-acre
School House Fire located near School House Mesa.
Weather predictions for today and tonight are for a 60% chance of showers and
thunderstorms which will once again affect both air and ground operations.
The Southwest Incident Management Type 1 Team, Incident Commander Joe Reinarz,
will assume command of search efforts as part of a unified command along with
multiple Federal, State, County and local agencies, on Wednesday morning at 6:00
The family continues to ask that their privacy be respected during this
Please direct all information requests to the Holiday Incident Information
Center at the Jemez Ranger District (575) 829-3535. Holiday Incident information
is also being posted to
||HR 2858- Classification as Wildland Firefighters
I've had the pleasure of sharing emails with Lindon before and appreciate his
commentary and his passion as well as that of so many others. But I again have
to reiterate that while we sincerely appreciate the interest and awareness the
legislation has raised, if it were not for the men & women from all five land
management agencies and from all fire positions from entry-level to FMO who "pay
the freight" by being honored dues-paying members of the FWFSA, this bill would
If not for these same men & women, Congress would have far less understanding of
the issues facing our wildland firefighters. If not for these men & women, some
of whom have been members for 10, some even 20 years, those of you who routinely
use code 1121 would not be able to do so as it took the revenue of those men &
women to help pay for the effort to eliminate the OT Pay Cap so many years ago.
I am reminded each and every day that the potential for membership in the FWFSA
across the Nation is enormous. However only a fraction of our Nation's federal
wildland firefighters have made the commitment to support the FWFSA through
You all read and hear stories about how 'big money" buys politics. With even
House races costing millions of dollars, it is a sad reality that money is an
absolute requirement of any organization hoping to advocate before Congress and
to seek access to its members and secure their support. What the FWFSA has
accomplished over the last decade is, for its modest size, remarkable. However
as I've said before we compete each and every day with other organizations for
that access and support, most of whom have far greater revenue and resources
than we do.
The committee to which this bill was referred has a membership whose majority of
members represent areas East of the Mississippi and thus have far less
understanding of wildland firefighter issues or how those issues affect our
taxpayers and even less understanding of how the land management agencies manage
their fire programs and utilize fire dollars.
In order to educate those members of Congress in such committees, it is
imperative that the FWFSA have members from those districts to help facilitate
our access. In the last 5-6 years, the number of DOI employees joining the FWFSA
has increased dramatically. At the same time while we increase membership, we
also lose revenue to retirements and those simply leaving the federal system.
Folks, writing a bill and getting it introduced in Congress isn't free.
Educating Congress isn't free. Yet some think $10 a pay day is too much to
invest in their own future even though passage of this legislation would result
in an enormous return on that investment. I guarantee that without the FWFSA and
those who support it, there will be no legislation, there will be no efforts to
effect change both legislatively and administratively and there will be no one
to push the agencies into recognizing you for who you are and what you do.
I apologize if this sounds self-serving but maybe it's time for a reality check.
The fact is that greater revenue allows for greater diversity of tactics and
strategy to achieve our goals. And, quite frankly, it is unfair to those who are
supporting the FWFSA to know that so many others who aren't supporting it will
also benefit from our efforts without "paying the freight."
There is strength in numbers and also we've had a modicum of success over the
years, think of what could be accomplished if we had a louder voice across the
Nation. We'd be honored to have you visit our website at
www.fwfsa.org and join to
make an investment in your future.
||Admin Leave for Labor Day
R9 Engine Captain
In 28 years of service I never saw Admin leave granted by the Gov for Labor Day,
but there were several times during the end of the year use or loose leave
periods for a lot of permanent employees where Admin was granted Thanksgiving
and Christmas. I always just scheduled an extra day off to cover the time rather
than donating the time to the Government. Everyone had to change their time
sheets from leave coding to Admin leave coding whenever this happened. Tells me
that there must be something in the books somewhere about what's good for one is
good for all.
||Lolo Creek Complex article for Greg Poncin:
Greetings from Lolo, MT:
Would you be able to email this link to Greg Poncin, Northern Rockies Type 1
IMT? It's been posted at InciWeb as an additional link at the Lolo Creek
Complex fire, but that's no guarantee that the right people will see it. No
big deal if you can't, but figured it was worth a try.
Gratitude for those who worked Lolo Creek Complex
Nice. Would someone please get this to Greg and his team? Ab.
||Pay Reform Legislation: H.R. 2858 the Wildland Firefighter Protection Act
This editorial is dead on. It's from yubanet.com. The word needs to be
spread. Please post...
Lindon Pronto: I am a Federal Wildland Firefighter, Not a Forestry Technician
||Firefighter missing for 3 days on the Santa Fe NF:
Photo of Token Adams and article
Search resumes for firefighter missing in forest in northern New Mexico
AP. JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. —
Crews were back on the ground on Monday searching for a Forest Service
firefighter who vanished in the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico
on Friday while sizing up a wildfire’s perimeter on an ATV.
Forest Service spokeswoman Karen Takai said 100 searchers were scouring mesas
and canyons amid heavy timber, brush and grass for 41-year-old Token Adams in
the area of Jemez (HAY’-mus) Springs.
Search resumes for firefighter missing in forest in northern New Mexico
He failed to return to a pre-arranged meeting point Friday afternoon with two
other firefighters who were also riding ATVs around the 25-acre wildfire
southeast of Fenton Lake. Forest Service spokesman John Helmich said the
lightning-started wildfire was fully contained late Friday. More at the link...