January, 2013

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1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

The one that gets you; is the one you don’t see coming.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Trust your training, study hard, push yourself to learn and always remember, the best part of incident response is going home.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Fuel between you and the fire


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Make Your Safety and the Safety of Those around You the foundation of every action you take, every decision you make, every challenge you will face. Become a student of fire and continue to learn and train from that very first day to the final day in the fire fighter's career you have chosen.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Pay attention to the little voice, the knot in your stomach and the hair on the back of your neck. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t right and you should question it.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Don't be afraid to ask the question, because the one you don't ask could have major consequences not only to you but your friends and crew members around you!


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

I tell folks that everyone needs to be their own safety officer because in the effort to protect life and property, you are the number one life and your ass is the number one property!

NW (retired CALFIRE)

1/31 Dear Ab:

Here's a chance for WLF readers to get a real break on the new book "Fire on Earth: An Introduction" (wiley.com/go/scott/fireonearth).

The discount code is good til April.


Marty Alexander, PhD, RPF
Leduc County, Alberta, Canada
1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

You have every opportunity to do the right thing as long as you think your way through the actions.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

When you’re out on the fire line, these are some very important things you should understand. Always work hard and be productive in what you are doing, but never forget to keep a keen eye on what’s going on around you. In the end game, that’s what ultimately helps ensure the safety of not only you, but those you’re working with or around you.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

"Life's tough, wear a helmet, because experience is just knowledge you gained right after you needed it.""

Boo (Texas A&M Forest Service)

1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

1. Do the right thing.
2. A firefighter must have common sense and use it.

One more or VM would be disappointed. "Put the $!#/ fire out."


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Dont be afraid to say (out loud)

'I don't get what you are asking me to do', I am not sure we can safely accomplish this task, we are not ready to go yet........

VM (Ventura Co Fire)

1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

“We are not inventing any new ways to kill you, learn from the past”


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

We are going to put you in harm’s way and ask you to do some dangerous stuff. I trust your ability to use what you have been taught to do the right things while engaging in these dangerous activities. It is cool with me if you do not engage in dangerous tasks if you feel you are not prepared for certain tasks.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

To be a student of the profession and never stop learning.

This is my 10-10-10 rule I talk about to all recruit firefighters.

Your first 10 years be a student of the profession

Your next 10 years try to master what you have learned

Your last 10 years teach your passion and profession of the art of firefighting. In that last 10 years, even though you are the teacher, you will be learning from the new generation of firefighters.

Firefighter negativity: Don't get sucked in

Name: By Tony Vitalie

No matter where you work in the fire service you are sure to find personnel at all ranks who tend to be negative or just can't help but talk bad about the organization, it's leaders or their co-workers.

This can be awkward for you as new hires. It is importance to not allow yourself to get sucked in to this kind of negativity.

Remaining positive and neutral at all times is the best way to assure a happy and successful career and to maintain the best possible relationship with peers, supervisors and subordinates.

Allowing the negative attitudes of others to not affect your attitude is not always easy, but is important not only for yourself but for the betterment of your entire organization because negativity is a cancer that can eat away at an organization and destroy it from the inside out.

Stay positive and always remember 2 things:

  • no person or organization is perfect, and as a firefighter you have the greatest job in the world and
  • there are thousands of men and women who would do anything to be wearing your badge.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

It is only dangerous if you don't know what you are doing -

All of our policies, rules etc. have to do with people without the ability to recognize danger, Situational Awareness and litigation...so wear your gloves.


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Mine would be similar to Chief H’s, keep your head on a swivel and your situational awareness up. Changing conditions and environments require constant SA evaluation


1/31 Re: Lessons Learned:

Mine would actually be a two parter. First you are not immortal. Because you are not immortal, you need to remain situationally aware at all time. Make sure to remove the distractions you may be tempted with when engaged in fire suppression.

You number one goal as a new firefighter, is to have a long and productive career and retire as an older and more seasoned firefighter.


1/31 Lessons Learned:


My compliments. I am working on a project and need your thoughts. It won’t take long; just a simply reply.

If you had the opportunity to tell a new fire fighter just one thing that would keep them safe and sound, what would that be?


1/31 Fulton Hotshots sponsor the WFF fundraiser: Sporting Clay Shoot

Sporting Clay Shoot signup and informational flyer

Hi Ab,

I was wondering if you could get this Signup Flyer up on Theysaid and the Hotlist calendar. I believe it is a worthwhile event and raises a lot of money for the Foundation. If you could get the flyer up, it would help the people running the event a great deal, seeing how so many people use Theysaid It to get good information.



1/30 Jobs:

Region 5 Forest Service Temporary Wildland Firefighter Announcements

Our best to Rita Yates who is retiring tomorrow after almost 39 years of service!

Thank you Rita! And thanks for the info. Ab.

1/29 To: BSB & all on the status of HR 2858,

As much as I'd like to say this bill is flying through Congress, the political realities & hurdles in passing such a comprehensive agenda of reforms in a dysfunctional, mean-spirited Congress can be overwhelming at times. That said, it isn't anything we haven't faced before.

I would love to provide specific information on TheySaid with respect to the bill and its progress. The sad reality in this business is that when trying to reform long-standing policies of Gov't Agencies, not everyone wants to see you succeed.

The business of advocating for change before Congress is stunningly time-consuming, stressful and expensive. As such, much of the details of our tactics & strategy with respect to moving the bill and the specifics of the hurdles I mentioned must be shared in an intelligent manner.

What I can tell you is that the bill was referred to the House Oversight Committee, Chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). The irony is that Rep. Issa co-sponsored our stand-alone portal to portal compensation bill in 2006... a bill that had no "offsets" or "PAYGO" processes... in other words a detailed explanation of how the bill would be paid for. Now with the partisan acrimony in DC, bills that have a cost factor or which require additional appropriations need to have language that spells out how the provisions of the bill will be paid for.

We've done that for the last 3 versions of the bill while still maintaining that the costs can be absorbed within the confines of current fire budgets...as long as the management of FIRE dollars improves. That's where it gets sticky...when you have folks in the Agency with the power and authority to manage FIRE dollars that, for the most part don't have a lick of fire experience.

What is most important for those who support the bill and support change to do is contact their representative's DC office; ask for the name of the staff person that would handle land management agency or federal wildland firefighter issues; get their name & contact information and start and maintain a dialogue about the bill.

The FWFSA has put together a number of "fact sheets" on the provisions of the bill. I am not going to put those out publicly but if someone wants to contact me and wants copies to share with these staff members we'll go from there. Of course as we complete the re-building of the FWFSA web site these fact sheets will be available in the Member's Area with the express hope that they be used to educate staff and members of Congress.

Each session of Congress presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. I can tell you that we have never had a better dialogue with the USDA and the Forest Service & OPM on the issue of wildland firefighter classification than we do now.

It is hurtful to see so many of our long-time members retire without benefit of seeing all of our goals achieved. However that reinforces our resolve and persistence to keep at the fight no matter how long it takes or, quite frankly what toll it takes on me physically & mentally :) Again I have to stress that while we have had some success over the years for our rather modest size, the more members mean more voices to harness and greater revenue to utilize in new & creative ways.

As always, if anyone has any questions about the bill or membership, I am more than happy to talk your ear off at 208-775-4577 or by email at FWFSAlobby@aol.com  or cjudd@fwfsa.org .

With great respect and sincerity to all of you,

Casey Judd, President
1/28 Subject: Wildland Firefighter Foundation

I am writing this letter to ask for your support towards a jacket I am designing for the Wildland Fire Fighter Foundation. The Jacket will be used to help promote their cause and raise awareness of what they do. The Back of Jacket will have the WWF Logo as the main piece. I will also be including other art that is representative of our work from air support to ground pounders.

In 2004 I sustained injuries while on fire assignment with Bitterroot Hotshots, that have finally caught up with me. I am waiting on my third back surgery. It was declined by the government and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has stepped up to help me fight for my rights as an injured firefighter. I have seen first hand how much the organization cares and that they are there to help all Wildland Firefighters should the need arise. I am donating this jacket to help promote and raise funds for an organization whose soul purpose is to help the families of fallen and injured firefighters.

If you have any patches or pins you would like to be include in jacket please send to address below. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call.

William McMaster

Mail address:
P.O. Box 6481
Boise, Id 83707

Jacket Image 1
Jacket Image 2

Best thoughts to you on the surgery. Ab.

1/27 New name, same old crew... Pleasant Valley IHC --- renamed to ---> Mesa IHC

Congratulations Pat Moore on your name change. The NIHSC and I would like someday to get an updated history from you and your crew. You are one of the only crews in the SW that has not done so….. Blue Ridge is the other.

Thank you to all your other peers that have completed and updated their hotshot history.

Best Regards,


1/26 New name, same old crew... Pleasant Valley IHC --- renamed to ---> Mesa IHC

After much discussion following the move of Pleasant Valley IHC from Young, AZ (Pleasant Valley RD) to Mesa, AZ (Mesa RD), a decision has been made regarding the crew name. The R3 naming convention generally calls for single crews on a forest to be named after the forest, while a forest with multiple crews names them after their district. In order to more accurately reflect where the crew is now stationed, PV has been changed to Mesa IHC.

Patrick Moore
Mesa Hotshots

1/25 Update on Proposed National Saw Policy Directives:

This past June, new draft directives for the National Saw Program (FSM 2358) and saw operations (FSH 6709.11, 22.48) were distributed to Forest Service employees for a 40-day review and comment period. Members of the National Saw Policy Working Group reviewed each comment submitted and discussed how many of the questions, ideas, and concerns expressed could be addressed through revisions to the draft directives. Deliberation on some of the comments led to draft policy revisions.

Prior to issuing a new final Saw Program directive (FSM 2358), the Forest Service must publish notice of a proposed directive in the Federal Register. At that time, the public will have an opportunity to review and submit comments for review by the Agency. While we previously expected that this public comment period would occur in 2013, the Office of Management and Budget recently determined that additional interdepartmental federal review is needed prior to release of the proposed saw policy to the public. As a result, we now estimate that the public comment period will take place in late 2014.

In the interim, the Deputy Chiefs for National Forest System and Business Operations June 23, 2012 “Forest Service Saw Policy” letter to the field remains in effect. This letter is attached here for your reference. Regions should continue to utilize existing policy found in current Regional supplements and in FSH 6709.11 chap. 22.48 of the Health and Safety Code Handbook. As a reminder, this 2012 letter states that “[T]he current policy, as written within Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 6709.11 is applicable to all saw work by Forest Service employees, volunteers, and partners and will remain as our direction until the new policy is completed.”

Regions and forests are encouraged to continue dialog with affected volunteers and partner organizations and resolve pending issues with training, certification and re-certification. Regions and forests not actively certifying volunteers and partners are encouraged to also begin evaluating their training need and communicating with successful programs to build consistency and success across the National Forest System once the new directives are issued.

The safety of our employees, volunteers, and partners is an important responsibility we all own. Your continued patience and assistance as we move forward with the development of this national saw policy is greatly appreciated. Included below are a few key points that will hopefully assist in communicating with employees and partners about the status of the new saw policy. For additional information or questions, please contact Jonathan Stephens, Stephen Chesterton, or Robert Wetherell, co-leads of the National Saw Policy Working Group.

/s/ Joe
Joe Meade
Director, RHVR

/s/ Leanne
Leanne Marten
Director, WWSR

Key Points:

  • The new proposed Forest Service Manual 2358 – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that the proposed Saw Program policy must undergo additional governmental review outside the agency. Once this review is completed, the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed policy. A Federal Register Notice opening the public comment period is anticipated in late 2014.
  • While the Forest Service is unable to share copies of the proposed policy externally prior to Federal Register Notice publication, some expected components of the proposed policy include the following:
    • The new proposed policy will describe a nationally consistent process for sawyer training and certification for volunteers and partners that work with the Forest Service.
    • The new proposed policy clarifies sawyer and instructor/evaluator requirements for employees, volunteers, and cooperators working under participating agreements.
    • The new proposed policy will be consolidated so there is no division between fire and non-fire use of saws. There will be one saw policy for the Agency.
    • There will be no division within the new policy regarding the two primary tools (chain saw and crosscut saw) except where necessary to address the inherent differences in the tools.
    • The proposed policy provides for partner self-certification by defining consistent standards for training, knowledge and field evaluation.
      The new proposed policy maintains the use of the historic A, B and C Sawyer skill levels.

Your continued patience and support as we work to improve our saw program guidance for all our employees, volunteers, and partners is greatly appreciated.

FS Letter regarding FS Saw Policy (77 K pdf)

1/25 Re: Fire On Ice Fundraiser Huge Success in Minnesota!

Hey Ab-

On January 18th the Minnesota Wildland Firefighting Community descended on Walker, MN for the 3rd Annual Fire On Ice Hockey Tournament and WFF Fundraiser. Hundreds of agency employees, friends, and family members had a great time playing hockey and raising funds. Skate with Smokey Bear was a big hit with the kids and families (see attached photo to be added soon).

The single day total going to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation is $7,000! Last year's event raised about $2,500.

After covering some expenses, the overall amount should grow to about $10,000 with continued donations and sales.

T-shirts and hats still on sale - We have pay pal set up for purchasing Fire On Ice T-shirts.at the website link below or email: mprfire@gmail.com

Taking the title this year was the interagency team "MNICS" - topping teams representing the DOI agencies, MN DNR, and Superior NF.

Readers can also hit the website for pics and more info: wildfireonice.com



Winning Team Attached photo: MN Incident Command System Team and Smokey Bear photo will be added soon.

Great news! Ab.

1/24 HR 2858 status?

Has anyone heard any news on this? Subcommittee discussions?


1/24 Red Flag Warning from NOAA

for the Archives


1/22 Joe Millar's Retirement Party


March 29, 2014, save the date!

1/22 Red Flag Warning / Fire Weather Watch San Francisco Bay Area through tomorrow 3PM:

NWS Forecasts Text

NWS Forecast Office Map

Be safe.


1/20 Race #1 for the WFF:

Hey guys!

On Sunday I ran my first race!!

Here's the link to my experience.2014-01-20 Prairie Dog Half Marathon
Please read. Have the tissues ready. Its an emotional one!

Please share! And encourage people to donate!

Two Little Feet

Nice job! Ab.

1/19 response to BE: fight fire while in Marine Reserves

I was in the Marine Reserves for my first 4 years in fire out of Camp Pendleton, and I was an apprentice for the FS. As a reservist you're entitled to 120 hours of military leave a year. I know some Fire units wont be excited about it but it's federal law that they can't deny you or penalize for attending drills. And it’s a great way to supplement your income!! I say go for it. If you need any help, feel free to email me DCarrera(at)fs.fed.us

David Carrera

1/19 WFF Fundraiser:

Hey AB!

My name is Josh Quinn with Wasatch Helitack. I am writing to you to simply get the word out about an AWESOME fundraiser going down in support of the WFF. It is going down on March 1, 2014 at Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah! Myself and Jason Bullough and many more dedicated volunteers created and built the first annual Wasatch Showdown last year 2013. And this year will be the 2nd annual event.

Wasatch Showdown is an annual fundraiser that allows fellow firefighters, ski/snowboarders, and especially the general public a chance to honor fallen wildland firefighters. This event involves a ski/snowboard scavenger hunt, music, BBQ, a large item raffle, and after party. All proceeds of the event go directly to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF).

Where: Brighton Ski Resort, Utah
When: Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Timeline of events:
- 0800-0930: Registration
- 1030: Start time for competition. Teams of 2 or more are given name tags indicating their unique team name and a map with designated checkpoints, trails, lifts, start and finish lines. All members of the team must locate and "check in" with a Wasatch Showdown volunteer at each checkpoint. Once the team has visited every checkpoint on the map, all members must cross the finish line. Awards are given to the top three winning teams.
- 1230-1500: BBQ, hang out, purchase raffle tickets, ski/snowboard
- 1530: Raffle, awards and after party

Event cost: $25 per person; and
Discounted Lift Ticket: $55 (if you have a season pass, you don't need this)
Donations are also welcome (participation in the scavenger hunt is not mandatory, you can always volunteer!)

Links to the web site and Facebook page:

I am emailing you to help get participants and sponsors and anyone that wants to come out and have a blast! I have attached the flier as well. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for all the help you do.

Josh Quinn

The Hotlist Calendar would be a good place to post this. I'll look when I get a chance., Ab.

1/19 Fire Hire/eOPF Issues

Hey Ab,

I’ve been trying to get an SF-50 to attach to my R5 firehire application for a few days now and thought I would share what I’ve come up with. We’re supposed to be able to get them via the internet – using the connecthr page (forest service). There should be a link for eOPF on the left side of the screen. After this is where things can go awry.

First – eOPF does not seem to work properly with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Nothing drops down if you click on the A to save. I’m not sure about Safari since I don’t have a Mac. If you’re working with an FS computer, just use the version of Internet Explorer that we’re supposed to use. If you’re on your own computer, you’ll have to use IE, but you’ll also have to add https://eopf.nbc.gov/  to your ‘Compatibility View Settings.’ To do that, find the little gear at the top right, click compatibility view settings, and copy/paste the site (this is for IE 11).

Second – if you click on the eOPF link from connectHR and nothing happens, disable your pop-up blocker. A different window opens up to authenticate, and the browser might ask if you want to allow that page to close (which you do).

Third – once you get into the eOPF/my eOPF, to print one out click on the little A, drop down to view file. Your browser should ask you if you want to open or save the document. If you want to attach it to your app – click save or save as. After you save it, find it and try to open it. If it doesn’t open, redownload it. Click save as, and add .pdf to the name you give it. For some reason it was not adding the extension even when I had adobe pdf file highlighted. Then you should be able to open it and attach it to your app.

I don’t remember having these issues last year, so after I figured it out I thought I’d give all you the secret. Good luck guys!


1/19 Making the rounds, from several sources...

Subject: 2014 IRPG

The 2014 E-version of the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG) is now available

Take note of the medical section and the Medical Incident Report (p108)

I will get the word out as as soon as hard copies are available

Pete Duncan
Fire Operations Risk Management Officer (Acting)
Pacific Southwest Region, USFS

1/18 Wildland Fire Resource Compilation Project

So, I been trying to locate a list of all crew and engine resources in the US. A grand task indeed. After calls to NIFC and other areas, a call to my own FMO yielded a semi-result in the form of wildweb. From there, I decided to attempt to create this list myself.

My intent is to have a searchable list that would enable easier location of certain crew or resource types to speed up the job search process. For example, if I wanted to find all the Fire Use Modules in the US, I could simply go to this spreadsheet or list and locate them based on duty station.

Please check out the attachment for more detailed information and a link to what I have so far. I am wondering if it would be possible to harness the "hive mind" of wildland firefighters on forums to help complete the list, especially the "common unit name" section.


Wildland Fire Resource Compilation Project

Great idea! Lots of work unless many participate.  Readers, when you open the spreadsheet, there are additional tabs at the bottom (Engine, Handcrew, etc) that weren't initially visible on my browser. They're there. Anyone with the link will be able to view and edit the spreadsheet. Nice work, Rand. Ab.

More followup. From Rand:

There should be a first (README), second (Engine) and third (Handcrew) SHEET that you can view and access.

It is open editable, meaning anyone can edit. Any fields that need correcting can be corrected. Obviously, I am still trying to refine things, so there is plenty to do.  

Again, the main focus that other FF should have is to add "common" names to the dispatch coding.  For example, say your crew was categorized as "Misc. handcrew" by my dispatch. This could be changed to "Fuels Module" and the name to "specific location Fuels Module". Anyone with the link will be able to view and edit the SPREADSHEET.

1/18 In Military Reserves, is it possible to be a wildland firefighter?

I just have a quick question. I'm currently in the Marine Corps Reserve stationed out in Denver, CO and live in Colorado Springs. I was wondering since I have one weekend a month duty training and two weeks of training in the middle of June or July if it was possible to get a job as a wildland firefighter considering I would have those obligations that I can not get out of. Or should I just wait until my military contract is up and pursue a job opportunity then when I don't have to worry about my training. Thank you.


1/18 2014 Fire Budget

I've been hearing about the need to reduce the fire organization due to declining budgets. The numbers are in response to a 5% to 8% decline each year for the next five years. I've seen a proposal to cut 167 FTEs in R1 by 2016 and one in R6 where they cut engine modules, only leaving the GS 7 and GS 6. I don't know how they propose filling in for the worker bees, temporaries? Contractors? They are proposing reducing the organization at the W.O. to 273 positions. Of course most of them are GS 13 and above.

I had seen where two of the three proposed budgets (W.H., Senate, Congress) asked for increases, so I was confused. Now I see the following from one of the regions;


First of all, yesterday the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2014 was posted and it was big news for Fire & Aviation. You can google that yourself and get the 1,300 page document from the interwebs (good reading!). The sections relevant to Fire budgets can be found starting on page 793. Here’s the reader’s digest version:

  • There is an overall increase nationally of about $25 million in hazardous fuels over the 2013 actual appropriations
  • The suppression account increased by $171 million
  • The preparedness account increased by $109 million dollars

We’re fortunate to see roughly + $ 300 million coming into the program nationally although what will actually filter down into regional appropriations remains to be seen. If our fire season and the resulting investments in suppression are similar to what we experienced in 2012 and 2013 we will still exhaust our suppression accounts (we went in the hole between $400 and $500 million in the past two years, requiring the fire transfer exercise) but the increase in suppression dollars would at least alleviate some of that strain, possibly delaying the onset of fire transfer. We are aware that most of the rest of the agency did not experience an increase in other BLIs in 2014. We expect to see our Regional budget within about 4 weeks.

They are also talking about a different way of funding fire overruns, kind of like they used to years ago, where when the budget is used up they appropriate more money rather than taking it from the other functions.

When are they going to look at the way fire funds are spent? They aren't meant for funding Deputy Forest Sups. or Rangers. Fuels money isn't meant to use in IRR projects regardless if the fuels targets are met or not!

This all needs to be discussed using the true numbers, before the drastic cuts take place. Of course this will be of greater consequences to the regions other than R5 since your season now runs year around, but we all need to work together as it affects us all.


1/18 Yarnell Hill

The previous posting of "America Burning: The Yarnell Hill Tragedy" (from the Weather Channel) & the "Wildland Fire Associates Report" (ADOSH Report) add additional perspective in an objective & comprehensive manner. Moreso it seems than the other reports released on the Yarnell Hills Fire.

The Yarnell Hill Fire is another example of the wisdom of immediate aggressive direct air & ground attack by competent forces in sufficient numbers to contain a wildfire ASAP anytime escape potential exists. Sadly, this was not done on the Yarnell Hill Fire and led to the loss of 19 firefighters.

Fuel & ignition reduction fire prevention programs, strict clearance & building code requirements & enforcement, & state of the art remote sensing detection systems including satellites are areas that need further development & implementation. Agency leadership in establishing proper policies & protocols in support of the these principles must take place if future Yarnell  Hill Fire tragedies are to be avoided.

Additional research into the human factors that cause otherwise experienced and competent people to occasionally make disastrous decisions, such as in the Yarnell Hill Fire, is needed.

The 2014 Fire Season ahead could be severe if the current dry weather cycle continues & will be a test of how well agencies adhere to the above principles.

From: Retired USFS

1/18 Book: On Fire, about a career in wildland firefighting and Incident management Team Response

Hi there: I don’t know if this is OK or not, so I’m asking. I would like to post this on your web site. I am a retired NIMO IC. I recently published a book addressing the ups and downs of a 39 plus year federal wildland fire and IMT career. The book contains chapters addressing the Consent Decree, Hispanic Settlement complaint, several assignments that include the 911 Pentagon terrorist attack, Katrina, the 2000 Montana fires, Cerro Grande, what IMTs really do for a living, wildland fire budgets, fire contractors, how to succeed as a federal employee and much more. I think it would be of interest to many wildland firefighters.

People can view the book and read a bit about it at onfirebythomasccable.com.

Thanks for your consideration,

Thomas C. Cable
Former Portland NIMO IC - Retired

Hi Tom, I'll have to get it and read it. You always were a good writer and I've known you to have an interesting perspective. Ab./ Mellie

1/16 NO deployment or burnover on the Colby today. There was a burned civilian (unknown severity) this morning. Please lay the firefighter deployment / burn rumor to rest. Ab.
1/16 Please post this Ab, Thanks, Mellie

2014 Six Rivers Temporary Fire Outreach and Announcement

1/16 Fed Flag warnings over much of socal. Newest fire:


HOTLIST with map

Apparently spotting into areas with structures, now 125 acres. Evacuations in progress. Areas haven't burned since 1960s. Thick veg. Ab.

1/15 Dear Strider and Ab,

I opened up "They Said" yesterday looking for something else and was completely surprised to see your entry addressed to our family. I spent time today reading about the incident last Father's Day and I applaud all of you for integrating the Dutch Creek Protocols and having this incredible success on the Big Meadows Medevac 2013. It has taken dedicated efforts by many to develop and implement these standards and the result is wonderful. May this success encourage everyone in the industry to reach for the goal of rescue within the 'Golden Hour".

To your continued success,

Janet Palmer
Andy's mom

1/14 Vicki and her staff at WFF always amaze me with all the thought and caring that goes on around WFF. They were buried with tons of work last year but still always seam to find time to do little things for supporters of the cause. I was extremely surprised today to receive my 2014 11year membership pin along with another 52 club patch AND a New Purple Ribbon Decal and a New Lifetime Membership Pin. Was not expecting such a small little treat to cheer up the day. Thanks ALL at WFF!


1/14 California:

CA-RRU-Mission involves only 2 acres of grass at this time but 7-10 structures that are complete loses.

Hotlist CA-RRU-Mission

1/14 Making the rounds...

Subject: Legalized recreational marijuana in CO...

There have been many recent discussions in the region related to the new laws in CO and how they affect, or don’t, federal employees. The attachments have been sent to all USFS employees in the region, as well as one of them from what is known as the Colorado Federal Executive Board - which is the execs of all fed agencies in CO – to all other fed employees. Essentially they all describe the requirements of Executive Order 12564, Drug-free Federal Workplace.

Shane Greer
Assistant Director for Risk Management & Workforce Development
Fire & Aviation Management
Rocky Mountain Region, USFS

FS WO Letter: Clarification to Drug Testing Policy for Recreational Marijuana Use (6 K pdf)

Colorado Exec Message: Reminder of Drug-Free Federal Workplace Requirements (36 K pdf)

1/14 Request for nominations and ICAP Database Population for all 2014 California IMT Members

Due Date: January 29, 2014

2014 CWCG Team Announcements (1,475 K pdf)

2014 CA IMT Operating Guidelines (93 K pdf)

1/13 Ab,

Here's an incident everyone should review. Big Meadow Medevac (2013) that took place last season -- June 2013. Here's the Inciweb News Release.

It is a success story made possible by the Dutch Creek Medical Protocols put in place after Andy Palmer's death in 2008.

There are 8 debriefing youtube videos from the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center that will load and play as a playlist or you can play them one by one. They are worth watching, thinking about and discussing.

Here's the LLC's page with the links to the videos: Big Meadow Medevac 2013

Nice work hotshots, EMTs, paramedics, team. Thank you for being prepared, working together so cohesively, and continuing to think ahead of the curve to save a life. We should all strive to get one AED for each hotshot crew.


Dear Palmers,

The death of your son and brother Andy has changed how wildland fire prepares for and responds to medical emergencies. We will continue to miss Andy. His death has not been in vain although it still was and is such a tragic loss.

Best wishes to you and your family. I wish we could have known then what we know now and saved Andy. I'm glad some of the lessons have changed how we prepare and train.



1/13 Abs – Please see the attached documents, if you have not already received them from other sources.

Seems to me that both the Schoolhouse ATV Learning Review Report, and the USFS-WO Correspondence Cover Letter are important.

Note that there is a YouTube video link on page 11 of the report.

And ABs, as always, THANK YOU for what you do for our wildland fire community.

Best wishes for a safe and successful 2014.


Thanks Stumpie! I also added the Review Report and correspondence to the Always Remember Token Adams page. Ab.

1/10 Hi to All:

Just a reminder:

The www.FWFSA.org website remains under (I hope I can say this) "reconstructive surgery" with a main page but no process for making application to the Association and no "Member's Area" as of yet. We have lost our web manager but are currently reviewing proposals to rebuild the site and make it more interactive and mobile.

In the meantime if someone would like information on joining or if any member has any question on anything, please feel free to contact me directly at either FWFSAlobby@aol.com or cjudd@fwfsa.org or by phone at 208-775-4577.

We are working to get the website up and running as quickly as possible but also want to make sure we do it right.

Thanks for your patience.

Casey Judd, President
Federal Wildland Fire Service Assn.

1/7 Making the rounds:

Subject: Acting Regional Fire and Aviation Director

Today we said farewell to our colleague and Regional Fire Director, Joe Millar. After 38 years of public service he is moving on to new adventures. On behalf of the entire Regional Forester Team, I want to express our appreciation for the leadership Joe provided to the region and the Forest Service. He has accomplished so much during his tenure in this position. It’s has been an honor to serve with him and he will be missed. Even though today is his last official day, we will celebrate Joe’s retirement together on March 29th in Benicia. More details will be coming on this celebration and I hope you will be able to join us.

While we work through the process of filling the Regional Fire Director position more permanently, Jeff Power will take on the responsibilities of Acting Regional Fire Director for up to 120 days effective January 26th. He and Deputy Director Shawna Legarza will together provide regional leadership for Fire and Aviation. Jeff is currently the Regional Aviation Officer and he has spent the last four years providing leadership and technical oversight to the Regional Aviation Program. Over Jeff’s career of 36 years, he has accumulated extensive knowledge and experience in Fire and Aviation Program Management including Regional Helicopter Operations Specialist, Division Chief on the Inyo NF and Helicopter Superintendent with the Park Service. He has worked extensively with our Forests, the National Office, cooperators, and many stake holders.

Please join me in congratulating Jeff on this assignment.

Jeanne Wade Evans

1/7 !!Ken Jordan's Retirement Party!!

If you haven't RSVP it's not to late

Jan.19,2014 @1600
Clovis Veterans Hall
Clovis Ca

25$ a person, make checks payable ASAP and send to:
Brian Grossman
1150 3rd st.
Clovis CA 93612

If you haven't RSVP'd yet please do so at kenjordanretirement@yahoo.com

For questions please call 559-321-4182

Hope to see everyone there, to celebrate Ken's 40 years of service on the fire line.

1/7 Abs-

Nice work on the new site. Don't know if you've seen this video yet. Pretty good stuff.

Waldo Canyon, Black Forest and how wildfires are changing in Colorado and the American West

Not sure on the Fair Use stuff but it would be great to see it shared.



No problemo with sharing a link like that. Ab.

1/6 Thanks to the WFF and the fire community:

I just finished my Butter Toffee, my gift from the Foundation in memory of my son Matt Taylor. There is something special about being remembered at this time of year.

Thanks again!

Sarah Larson

Those sweet touches of our Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Priceless. Matt's daughter must be growing like a weed. Time flies... Ab.

1/5 Truck painting request for info:


That is a 1940's era International truck. 1 1/2 to 2 ton vintage, and would have been used as a fuel truck, just looking at the tank package, and the Flammable signage on the front bumper. Nice painting though.


1/5 RE: RadioReference

They are back online. Seems like I had a few sites not working lately.

BTW At some point, Radio Reference became Broadcastify, or one bought the other or something. So if you ever try www.radioreference.com and it doesn't work, try www.broadcastify.com and see if that comes up.

Either way, if you are trying to hear the "live" feeds, then you will end up on Broadcastify's site.


1/4 Radio Reference.com

Do you know what happened to this site? Was working a few days ago, but now gone.
Thanks in advance for any info you may know.


1/4 Here is the latest update for the CA-LNF-Campellville Incident.

U.S. Forest Service, Lassen National Forest
For Immediate Release
Contact: Heidi Perry at (530) 252-6604
Web: www.fs.usda.gov/lassen

Fire crews make progress on Campbell Fire in Ishi Wilderness
Public reminded to use extreme caution with outdoor fires

SUSANVILLE, Calif., Jan. 4, 2014 – Hand crews and air resources continue working to contain a wildfire in the Ishi Wilderness, north of Campbellville in Tehama County.

As of 10:00 a.m. this morning, the Campbell Fire is approximately 220 acres and 35% contained. About 360 personnel from the Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and the Bureau of Land Management and a half dozen air craft are assigned to the Fire. Full containment is anticipated on Sunday, January 5.

No structures are threatened or have been damaged and no evacuations are planned. More crews have arrived this morning, which will help reach the containment date and keep the fire out of Deer Creek. The fire remains in rugged country, making progress slow. Fire officials have checked the spread on the south side, protecting the community of Campbellville.

The Campbell Fire was first reported at approximately 8:00 p.m. on January 2, 2014. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Fire officials are asking the public to stay out of the fire area so as not to hinder firefighting efforts in this rugged country with narrow roads.
They would also like to remind the public to be extremely careful with any use of fire outdoors due to existing drought conditions and higher than normal temperatures.

Information may be obtained by calling the Fire Information Line at the Susanville Interagency Fire Center at 530-252-6450 or by visiting the InciWeb website at inciweb.nwcg.gov/

1/4 Wildland Firefighter Foundation fundraiser:

Would you please post our fundraiser website?


Thanks for all you do ABS!


Third year raising $$ for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Nice. Don't ya'll freeze your bippies off up there! and ... If anyone asks you to lick something, DON'T DO IT! Ab.

1/4 In response to Not quite retired yet…. and HJ.

I'm not sure what "South Zone" has to do with tour changes but I work on the ANF and the only tour changes that I know of is a postponing of a work plan that was communicated months ago and the postponing was communicated 14-17 days in advance.

No pre-approved leave that I am aware of has been cancelled except for those that voluntarily came in off leave to help staff. I think staffing needs are based on a condition... not a calendar date. I think if someone has an individual grievance they should take it up the chain of command and not cast aspersions.

HJ - I'm not too sure where your spouse was an AFMO, but i would bet it was in a place with a shorter fire season and less expectations of your workforce by your public and elected officials.

1/4 Re: Fed up family member of a wildland firefighter in southern California...

Not quite retired yet, and HJ

Here's the link. The Master Agreement Article 18 work schedules (pdf)

Not quite retired yet, you covered it, the first half at least. The second half identifies emergencies and unforeseen situations. This of course isn't a permanent change in the TOD (tour of duty). Only temporary, like 24 hour staffing. Also you don’t need a weatherman to know it has been dry in Southern California. According to Bonnie Bartling, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service, it’s been the driest calendar year since 1877. Only a precious 3.05 inches of rain fell on downtown Los Angeles since January 1 of 2013. A normal year would deliver 14.93 inches, and 2012 saw 8.15.

Centrifugal pump pointed out the ANF has been doing their job! Kudos CP! I'm sure the other Forests have been doing the same as well. If we want to be recognized as Firefighters we need to act like it and stop whining!

Let's start this year off in the right direction. "If you aren't in over your head how do you know how tall you are?" T.S. Elliot

T. S. Eliot

1/4 Notice:

Not Quite Retired Yet

You're correct on the shift change, Article 18 2 d, ten working days written notice in the MA.

I've got a question for the group on staffing level. In the old days when they figured staffing level for an area that was in extreme fire danger they only counted federal FF. An example is I went to Michigan in '98 because they were in extreme and the staffing level was 42 FFs. They only had 22 on the district.

I was told by our DRF that they now count all resources, to include state, volunteer fire depts, contract resources, etc... Sure lowers the need for federal FFs. Is this what they are doing in R5?

P.S. Retiring on the 11th.

1/3 Need help identifying a fire vehicle:

I'm trying to identify the model type and year of the attached fire truck/water carrier vehicle that I photographed in Payson, Arizona in 2005. It was sitting next to an old abandoned fire station on the main drag. The second photo is a painting I did of the truck this summer. Anything you can tell me about it I'd appreciate it.

Thank you.

Barb Hurley Peterson, Peoria, AZ


Nice painting. Ab.

1/3 Wildland Firefighter Foundation Fundraiser:

Hello again!

I'll be running this month in honor of 4 of our fallen brothers!
Please take a minute to read and remember them. Say a special prayer for their family. Celebrate them!

running for the fallen- january edition

Thank you!
Two Little Feet

PS: Have YOU donated yet?

Thanks for fundraising. Ab.

1/3 HJ,

You wrote

To: "Sign me living the dream"; Apparently this is within approximately your first 5 yrs; come back to me after 15 yrs in SoCal, even if your paychecks are 'phatter' then the feds.

Just so were clear this is my 20th year And I will stand by what I said. If your husband cant handle the job maybe its time for him to look for a new career. According to your logic we would need a a two week notice to work any extended staffing. Sorry this isn’t going to happen. Again this is the nature of the job, We always have unpredictable schedules, and we don’t work a 9 to 5.

Living the dream

1/3 Re: Fed up family member of a wildland firefighter in southern California...

HJ, in answer to your challenge below I am not sure how south zone is doing this. According to the master agreement (I don’t remember which article) you have to give an employee (bargaining unit member which is everyone one in fire but a GS-11 is) 10 days notice of a tour change. So we give our employees a letter 10 to 14 days in advance stating a tour change unless some unforeseen event happens that could cause the tour change to happen sooner, but I don’t see how they are giving their employees the notice unless every two or three weeks they re-issue a letter or some other notification stating these tour changes could happen.

Not quite retired yet….

1/2 Re: Fed up family member of a wildland firefighter in southern California...

Generally speaking, I agree HJ that there are probably a few situations out there that are less than ideal with regards to following proper standards, and folks that are being called into work instead of taking their requested leave.

But to be frank, I believe the situation we are in is nothing short of extraordinary and will require a response and level of commitment from our personnel in order to meet the challenge.

Here on the ANF, fire management has surprised me and been willing to make the resources available to ensure that modules are fully staffed and ready to respond to fire. Personnel are being offered overtime, and 24 hour staffing has been implemented as weather and other factors warrant. As a result, we have been ready to meet the needs of our dynamic fire environment, and personally I think the local communities and our fire department cooperators have noticed and appreciate our presence.

Nobody's leave has been cancelled yet, but people are making sacrifices to make ends meet. We are managing our employees within our engines and crews to ensure that time with family and proper rest is being given out where needed. We are taking care of our people, and meeting our mission. This is our forest at its finest if you ask me, and I'm proud of the people I've been barracks'ed up with!

Centrifugal Pump

1/1 To: "Sign me living the dream";
Apparently this is within approximately your first 5 yrs; come back to me after 15 yrs in SoCal, even if your paychecks are 'phatter' then the feds.

To: "RM";
The days of working on the station w/the family within 500 yrds are no longer present here; we wish that was the case.

To: "Rtn";
Sorry to hear about the repeated family issues, but glad to hear about the preferred Christmas dinner as opposed to the 'Phat' CalFire check...$ doesn't buy happiness or Time and you know better then most apparently how valuable that time is!

Again I pose the question which I am challenged to find an answer....many networks are being explored with this question across the nation here, so let's put our thinking caps on and provide advice and insight for those who need it'; under what authority can management require employees to work 24 hrs continuously, and under what authority can they change schedules without adequate 2 weeks notice??? The person with the most accurate and quick answer wins a 'Starbucks' giftcard. (I'll send it to u Abe to forward on to the winner). Come on people, thinking caps and training manuals!!!




HAPPY  NEW  YEAR !    2014 !

May we all bring our dreams to reality.

In Trust of Vision. Ab.

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