February, 2014

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2/27 Hey Ab,

Can you please help get word about the Great Basin Wildland Fire Academy Courses / Program. Great Training Opportunity!

Attached is the link to webpage and a flyer they put together. (If you go to the link below, you can find the flyer and more... Ab.)

Perks they are pushing for program:

Quality Classes and very low cost. They have housing onsite available at the college for just over $100 a WEEK. They are offering a number of classes via Distance Learning Projects to many places in Nevada at just cost of tuitions.

Quality Training at very good cost. Huge benefit to any Chief / Training officer to stretch the $$ for the guys on the ground


If you need any other info or have suggestions where to get word out please let me know.



2/27 fire shelter yarnell fire

We are the Turbyfills.

Travis my son was one of the 19… With that being said, we have started a fb page called Yarnell Fire Realities. We are getting a lot of heat from other family members for posting the photos and info but we are committed to change and yes the photos are graphic but they were an epic fail. If you would go to that fb page you will get more information. We have been in discussion with Jim Roth whose brother perished in storm king mtn fire. He has developed a shelter than can withstand direct impingement.

We are making a call to action for change. We are not involved in any of the litigation claims as we believe that is not a fruitful way to go to save our future fire fighters. We invite you to get involved with us if you see value in what we are trying to do..

Thank you

David and Shari Turbyfill

2/26 Yarnell Fire Question - Shelter performance

All shelters have performance limitations. Seems I heard flames impinged directly on the shelters.

Speculation: Likely exceeded the heat specifications. Shelters probably delaminated... regardless of the cost of purchase.


2/26 Yarnell Fire Question - shelters

Its been awhile since I posted to the TheySaid page, but recently I have been looking at what has been coming out in the way of reports and the investigation on the Yarnell Fire Incident where we lost 19 brave Granite Mountain Hotshots last summer.

There has been a lot said about the first initial reports, the issues with seasonal and temporary firefighters not getting full benefits for their families, and the comments about the initial reporting.

In the way of safety for ALL OF US OUT THERE, Wildland and Structural, I have not been able to locate any specific information on how well the new fire shelters held up on this incident. I don't mean to be flippant or macabre in regard to our 19 brothers, but in the mid-2000s there was a push to get the new-model fire shelters (In the Blue Case) put in service over five years, and by now we should all have them.

What I want to know is, how well did the new shelters hold up? Did they last longer than the old shelters, or fall apart faster than the old shelters? I can't find any information on that, and it has me bothered.

I was in San Diego for the Firehouse World 2014 Conference and met with a couple of the Wildland Industry vendors, including the people from Storm King Mountain Technologies, National Firefighter Corp., and Wildfire. I asked if any of them had heard of any reports on the Yarnell Deployment shelters and none had. There were some questions they were asking but no one knew anything.

I understand that there is litigation coming regarding this incident, but the silence on the shelter issue is deafening to me. Looking back at wildland fire history this is the only fatality fire I can think of where the new shelters were used.

These 'new' shelters were touted as being twice as good as the old shelters, and we all bought into them from $89.00 for the old shelters, to over $260.00 for the new ones. Tens of Thousands of firefighters have these new shelters at great expense.

I will be the first to say you should never plan on using the shelter as a planned escape route, but the shelter is there if there is nothing else. I understand that. But I, as a wildland and structure firefighter, want to know how the new shelter held up.

It is understood that the fire conditions that lead to this tragic incident were in the extreme range, but as a firefighter I have the right to know how well the shelter held up, or did not. We all need to know if we have a tool that will work when the time comes, and I have a doubt on the new shelters.

If anyone has information on the shelter performance report of the Yarnell Hill Incident please pass it onto the rest of us. Right now I am considering removing the new shelter from service and going back to the old one. Thanks for all of your attention on this one.


2/25 re: boot situation:


Thanks for your update on the boot situation. Like most every other reform for our firefighters, its remained a no-brainer and head-scratcher to me for years.

The irony is that Dept. of Defense federal firefighters get a boot allowance for boots they normally take off when getting into turnout gear yet federal firefighters from the land management agencies which actually use their boots in the field in the course of their work, don't get a stipend.

Folks, it goes back to the fundamental flaw in the land management agency fire programs: Land Managers with little to no fire experience & expertise or fire management experience are making fire policy and deciding how the billion bucks plus each year is spent.

That is why it is so important for all to get involved. Supporting & fighting for this community, whether you are a private contract crew member, local Gov't firefighter, State firefighter or federal wildland firefighter, IS NOT FREE & IS NOT CHEAP.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation relies on donations to do the fine work they do for this community. The NWSA relies on revenue to represent contractors. State & local Gov't firefighters have organizations fighting on their behalf and of course federal wildland firefighters have the FWFSA fighting on their behalf.

I have no illusions of grandeur. I'm confident in saying that it is easier to raise money and give money to a benevolent organization like the Foundation where we see tangible returns on our donation & fundraising investments in real time.

Unfortunately for groups like the FWFSA who do political advocacy, we cannot produce evidence of our efforts on a regular basis. Sadly, politics involves a lot of behind the scenes action. All the thrill of clandestine meetings between politicians who are supposed to oppose each other but meet secretly (yes this really happens) to collaborate on issues. In fact such meetings are on-going now and I cannot even outline them for our members yet!

Recognizing what has been accomplished at various levels for this community in the last 10 years and what could be accomplished if more folks got involved and supported these organizations is remarkable. In fact "wondering's" post the other day about the 52 Club made me smack myself in the head and realize I hadn't sent my contribution in yet.

Think if thousands more federal wildland firefighters joined the FWFSA from all over the Country (we're in 32 states now) what we would be able to accomplish. Those of us who fight for and support this community know there will always be that segment who would rather ride on the coattails of those "paying the freight" and benefit from what successes we produce without spending a dime but that's the nature of the business.

But I caution them as I do all of you. We all know the fiscal struggles most federal wildland firefighters face. Because of that I can guarantee you I make less than every FWFSA member and have no retirement or health benefits.

I know because of the hearts of both Vicki and Burk and their staff they too stress about funding and being able to continue the work they're doing. We all have to be in this together. The FWFSA has attempted to reach out to the NWSA & have collaborated with NFFE to find some common goals and objectives on legislation.

And speaking of legislation, and speaking specifically to federal wildland firefighters and contractors, the fact that there is legislation at all to address your issues within what is probably the most dysfunctional, mean-spirited Congress I have dealt with in 20 years is a significant feat in and of itself. Just imagine if thousands more were willing to part with 71 cents a day (in the case of the FWFSA) to get their issues before the highest levels of government.

Currently there is legislation introduced to reform a number of federal wildland firefighter policies: H.R. 2858 written in its entirety by the FWFSA and introduced by Congresswoman DeGette of Colorado. HR 1066, The Federal Firefighter Fairness Act introduced by Rep. Capps (D-CA) which would establish a presumption that certain cancers are job related. Although this bill has been introduced for many years now and sponsored by the IAFF, I have spoken to the Author's staff to confirm that such a law would apply to federal wildland firefighters as well given the increased exposures they face in the field.

S. 1628, Fallen Wildland Firefighters Fair Compensation Act by Sen. Merkley of Oregon whose office sought help from the FWFSA with technical text changes in the bill. The legislation would extend PSOB to aircrews and contract firefighters.

The development of such legislation and its introduction is the result of tireless work. The comfort, help and healing the Foundation provides to Families of those lost or injured is the result of tireless work. None of us can continue to fight and support you if you don't support us and lend your voices to effect positive change on your behalf.

Each of you out there, especially the feds need to know you can make a difference. After all it is your career we're fighting for.


Casey Judd, President

2/25 Message from Doug Campbell on separating fire danger from fire behavior

Why People have trouble accepting CPS

When first taking the fire courses that the Forest Service required for a red card it seemed to me that a lot of data was offered. To make any sense of it seemed difficult if not impossible.

It was like a large bag of material was dumped out and we were to make sense of it without much help from the instructor.

The CPS set out to change the confusion. CPS sought to simplify the use of relevant information and place other information separately.

CPS separated fire danger data from fire behavior data.
Fire danger factors are things that are conditions that the fire burns under with all the fire behavior variations that the fire displays.

The problem is that this concept was a new paradigm and many people refused to accept the new thinking, not accepting relationships as cause.

Firefighters are required to make predictions of fire behavior and to implement tactics based on their prediction. This requirement requires firefighters to understand when, where and what causes the variations in fire behavior.

CPS teaches what the true causes of variations in the fires behavior need be considered.

Example: What do air temperature and humidity cause that changes fire behavior? The readings must tell us something that is important. What?

Consider how air temperature is regulated. The air temperature is a reaction to the earths heating and cooling. So air temperature is a reactive element and not a causative factor. CPS looks at the cause that is the earth and the fuel upon it and how it is heated and cooled.

CPS jumps to the conclusion that heated areas that include forest fuel should be classified as heating or cooling and that heated fuel is more flammable than cool fuel thereby relating fire behavior variants to the temperature of the available fuel.
Air temperature can be relegated to fire danger elements and need not be considered as fire behavior elements.

One by one of the fire elements taught are tested as to cause of fire behavior changes. Some are listed as true cause and others are fire danger elements. The clutter of information is reduced.

Dr. Ball took the argument on and below explained his thinking.


Understanding Fire Behavior

Pretty Cool and Pretty Hot

Is humidity important?

Is humidity unimportant?

Is fuel temperature important?

Is the difference in shaded and sunlit fuel temperatures more important than average fuel temperature?

Look at it this way: The tendency of fuel to dry out is a function of the difference in vapor pressure between the fuel and the air right around the fuel
(= driving force, like a voltage). As the fuel heats up the air around the fuel also warms: the water molecules in the fuel bounce around more (= vapor pressure increase) while the warming air in the fuel microclimate can hold more water because it is hotter. (The amount of water that air can hold [called the saturation vapor pressure] is a curve that has an ever-increasing slope as a function of temperature.) These changes in driving force are poorly indicated by the relative humidity in the ambient air.

Relative humidity = actual vapor pressure in air divided by the saturation vapor pressure at air temperature.

Increasing the temperature of fuel from 77 F to 93 F (∆ 16 F) at least doubles the tendency (100% greater) of fuel to dry out even without considering that the hotter air in the microclimate of sunlit fuels could hold much more water (increased difference between actual and saturation vapor pressure).

That difference is called the vapor pressure deficit.

In contrast, the difference between warming fuel from 77 F to 93 F only gets the fuel 2% closer to the flash point of cellulose 450 C.

That relationship continues to get steeper. Even warming the fuel 80 C only brings fuels 18% closer to flash point, whereas that warming would cause fuels to dry out many tens, if not hundreds of time faster.

So although ambient relative humidity has a tiny effect on fuel moisture, fuel temperature acting through moisture loss is a better candidate to explain increased fuel flammability than does an increase in air temperature or relative humidity alone.

This difference in shaded and sunlit fuel temperatures as compared to average fuel temperature or air temperature is pretty hard to swallow at first glance.

But now apply what you heard above as you answer the question, "Do 1000-hour fuel logs dry from the inside to out or does the outside dry out and the drying move progressively inward???

Does a wet piece of firewood on your campfire have to dry to the center before it burns?

Here is the answer... The sunlit side of a "1000-hr log" acts much closer to a "1 hour" fuel than it does to "1000 hour" fuel.

It is the surface that counts in a fast moving fire.

The shady side of a "10-hour stick" may effectively be a 100-hour fuel.

The fuel moisture of the surface of sunlit fuels, driven to dry out as explained above, is a primary factor in the driving force of a fire’s progression, and explains observations presented by Doug Campbell in the Campbell Prediction System.

J. Timothy Ball, Ph.D.
Fireball Information Technologies, LLC
1240 Fairfield Ave
Reno, NV 89509

I rest my case.

Doug Campbell

pdf download of this above statement Why Some People have trouble accepting CPS

CPS or Campbell Prediction System website and next generation CPS open source software project by Bruce Schubert at emxsys.com

2/24 2nd Annual Wasatch Showdown Fundraiser for the WFF:

Check out an awesome fundraiser for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Its called the Wasatch Showdown wasatchshowdown.com.

This Saturday March 1, 2014 at Brighton Ski Resort, Utah will be a timed ski/snowboard scavenger hunt. The top three winning teams win awards. Following the race will be a BBQ, raffle, silent auction and after party.

We have a great range of prizes including skis, snowboards, headlamps and a gift certificate for whites boots! Come on out and support the Foundation. Also for all you powder hounds its going to be dumping!!

Josh Quinn

2/23 Readers,

If you didn't see it, Marty Alexander and Steven Pyne and several other authors have a new fire book out. Fire on Earth. Skip down to 2/15 to check out the special offer order code for 25% discount and order form to our readers. Good through June, 2014.

Thanks, guys. Ab.

2/23 Re: Fire Boots

Fire Committee Chair Joe Duran and Fire Committee members Terra Houska (R2 Local 927) and Brad Widhalm (R3 local 376) have been working on the proposal for reimbursement for fire boots. The Union, through Forest Service Council (FSC) Negotiations Chair Melissa Baumann, served Management with an Article 11 to negotiate this policy. Joe will be the lead on these negotiations. The Union proposal includes all wildland firefighters and militia personnel. (Permanent, permanent-seasonal, and temporary). Those have qualifications that require light, moderate, or arduous fitness ratings on their up-to-date Incident Qualification Card (Red Cards).

Before I retired I had been the NFFE rep. designated to negotiate over the purchase of boots for firefighters by the Forest Service. After the DOI had lost a lawsuit over the same issue FS management had approached us to let us know that out of the kindness of their hearts they were going to give FFs a $100 a year stipend for boots. We told them that's nice but according to Art.27 in the Master Agreement they had agreed to purchase specialized PPE and that in our opinion boots for firefighting fall into this category. We proposed that they give a $400 reimbursement once every four years which works out the same monetarily, but makes it possible for the employee to buy a decent pair of boots and maintain them.

Just before the furlough management indicated that they were good with this proposal, but after the furlough they changed their mind. They have gone back to the $100, but they are proposing for all field-going employees. Since most employees support fire our proposal would cover most employees anyway. As anyone who's worked in the field knows, you can't buy a good pair of boots for $100 especially ones that meet the standard set by NFPA. New employees will try so there'll be the inexperienced that buy the plastic Wal Mart boots. Management needs to honor the agreement they made to purchase specialized PPE.

After I retired, management let NFFE know that the rep I had been negotiating with didn't have any authority to agree to anything. This battle has been going on for over 30 years now and needs to be settled. Management is trying to implement the $100 and NFFE has issued an Art 11 for formal negotiations. There is a huge file from the past that has opinions and cases that support our position. Maybe all of you need to contact your managers and union reps to let them know your feelings. The FS is one of the few agencies that doesn't buy the boots. I spoke to safety reps from OSHA and the Dept. of Labor that support this, but they were told by their supervisors to stay out of it. This is a winner.


2/22 Re: Hardship Transfers?

Hi Ab,

I have no idea how to post on They Said, but I saw the post regarding a hardship transfer. I have been through a hardship transfer and known several other people who have gotten one, so I know how it works. If you can pass my email to the poster I would be glad to impart my information on how to get a hardship transfer.

Thank you for your time,


Forwarded your message. Thanks. Ab.

2/21 Personal Hardship:

Master Agreement Article 42 covers this for Bargaining Unit Employees. You are permitted to be represented by the Union. Read it and know it. Knowledge is power.

guns 'n' hoses

2/20 Vista Grande Hot Shots 40th anniversary Flyer

Would you please post this?

VGHS Reunion Flyer (pdf)


2/20 Hardship Transfers?

Does anybody have any information regarding hardship transfers? I put in for a hardship transfer because of a multitude of family issues that are taking place back home. All of the stress has left me in a daze and I’m scrambling around trying to find ways to get back home so that I get the help that my family needs. So far I’ve called everyone and their Grandmothers; only to have people tell me that I need to get ahold of their great great great grand mother (Or so it seems). Does anybody have any experience with hardships? I’m trying to figure out the best way for me to go about this but it seems that this hardship system is a revolving door.

What exactly does an investigation entail? Who does the investigation? How do you know that your supervisors put in the time and effort to investigate and coordinate with other forests? Is there a reporting process. I was told to contact HRM, but all they did was give me a ticket number and then directed me to my union rep. From my understand, you can’t bring the union into this process until it has already went past the 28 day review period.

Thanks for your time.

Bound and determined

(Enjoy the storm, challenge the wind and overcome the rain. Today's pain is tomorrow's gain.)

2/20 BLM Ranger Tom Sherman Retires

Tom Sherman is retiring from BLM Fire.  Tom started with CDF back in the early 60's.  Tom's dad was Jack Sherman the Corona District Ranger I.

Flyer (pdf)


2/17 Dave Larsen has passed:


Dave Larsen, former Superintendent of the Helena Hotshots and fellow charter member of the 180 Club passed away February 12, 2014.

Dave Larson Photo and Obituary

RIP Dave.

W.T. Foley

Sad news. So unexpected! Thanks for sharing, Tim. Great loss. Ab.

2/15 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 (25% off) and order form (1,700 K pdf) is good through June, 2014.


Marty Alexander, PhD, RPF
Leduc County, Alberta, Canada

2/14 True North announces 2014 FDIC Scholarship

Seattle, WA (February 13, 2014) – True North, a leading manufacturer of quality bags, backpacks and fire resistant clothing, is pleased to announce the 2014 FDIC Scholarship. The scholarships will allow a firefighter to attend classes and Hands-On-Training (H.O.T.) at FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference) 2014 in Indianapolis on April 7-12.

In these especially difficult times with budgets being cut to the bone it’s critical that firefighters continue to get the training to stay safe and ensure the safety of others. In that spirit True North is offering its 2014 FDIC Scholarship which will be awarded to a firefighter who demonstrates the best qualities of the fire service. The scholarship will include up to 16 hours of H.O.T Evolutions and/or Workshops, classroom training and general sessions and exhibits. It will also include a five night hotel stay in downtown Indianapolis.

Please go to truenorthgear.com/ about/true-north-fdic-scholarship  to fill out an application or nominate a firefighter. Applications are due by March 1, 2014 and the scholarship winner will be announced that week.

The most enduring gift is the gift of knowledge - the tool you can never lose and never wear out.

Lidia Lesniewska
Marketing Coordinator
True North Gear

Thanks Lidia. Ab.

2/14 Ab,

I was just checking out the WWF 52 club site and was sorry to see only 240 members sign for this year. The majority of these were from one Dept. (way to go Ventura). I know it is early in the year and all but ............ really only 240?


I suppose it's possible some donors haven't been entered yet. Also likely people and organizations (Gold Members) sign up when they rack up some $$ on fires, which we haven't had many of yet this year. Lifetime Members often send in a donation every year. I understand your question, Wondering, but the year is young and the donations will come. Please donate, everyone! Ab.

2/13 from NFFE Forest Service Council

Legislative News - Update and Reminder for Leg Week - February 13, 2014

Please share the following updates with your Bargaining Unit Employees (BUEs).


On October 28, 2009, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 was signed. Why is that important today? The provision that unused sick leave shall be used for purposes of computation of the FERS annuity was included in this act.

As of January 1, 2014, 100% of your unused sick leave can be used for your annuity computation upon your retirement. Before this law was passed, for employees in the FERS retirement system, unused sick leave just disappeared—POOF! The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) lobbied for this on Capitol Hill on your behalf and won this benefit for you. NFFE continues to fight for you on Capitol Hill today and every day.

This week NFFE National Vice President Mark Davis is attending meetings with Congressional staffers regarding the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, currently HR 533 and S1120. You may find out more about this bill on the Forest Service Council (FSC) Legislative Committee web page - www.nffe-fsc.org/ committees/legislative /temp-hire.php.

REMINDER: Nominations for 2014 the IAMAW and NFFE Legislative Conference Washington, DC, May 12-16, 2014 (Legislative Week) are due February 28, 2014! Remember to get them in

/s/ Debbie Kaufman (for) Lisa Wolfe, Chair
NFFE FSC Legislative Committee

2/12 Forest Service: Chief's Letter of Intent: 2014 Fire Management

Chief Tidwell's Letter of Intent

Ten Questions Risk Decision Framework

Forest Service 2014 Wildland Fire Risk Management Protocols

2/11 Arkansas Forestry officials:

Missing plane found; pilot did not survive

The 12-day search for a missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot and his plane ended Tuesday, with the commission confirming that both the plane and the pilot have been located. The plane was found by a Civil Air Patrol plane in Montgomery County north of Glenwood at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday, and Arkansas State Police confirmed the plane is that of the missing pilot... (More at the link..)

Always Remember Jake Harrell

2/11 On Sunday I ran race #2 of 2014 for Two Little Feet.

I honored 9 guys killed in the Iron 44 fire.
Here's my experience.
Ralston Creek Half Marathon

Please share!

Ashley Powell
Two Little Feet for the Fallen
Two Little Feet on Facebook
"Running for heroes who answered the call."

Thanks! Ab.

2/11 Re: Keith Lemmons

I'm gratified that Keith's memory is helping keep firefighters safe today. I worked with Keith in the early 1983 fire season when I was detailed to the Alaska Fire Service as (what was then called) an "Air Service Manager". He was very experienced in helitack operations in Alaska and well respected amongst his peers. As the fire season heated up in the lower 48, I went back to my hotshot crew on the Sequoia and he detailed to the Carson City District. I was shocked to learn of his death through a newspaper article a month or so later. He is not forgotten.

Joe Hill

2/10 Latest R5 Class B drivers policy

There is something going on in ca regarding if a class b commercial is the new standard for operating a fire truck. I think they have taken the firefighter endorsement off of the license and replaced it with a code 50 on the back. I am not on an engine but do have a full commercial class B endorsement. When I took my physical a few weeks ago, I found out they no longer use the green medical card AND I had to undergo a physical and written questionnaire for sleep apnea.


2/10 Keith Lemmons

I added the Mound House Staff Ride to Keith Lemmons' Always Remember page. Keith died in 1983. Thanks for remembering and continuing to spotlight what our fallen may teach us. Ab.

Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program (WFLDP): Mound House Staff Ride - Remembering Keith Lemmons

also: Always Remember 1983 08/27 NV Keith Lemmons

2/9 Fire Followers: Dazzling display of plants to follow California wildfires

SanGabriel Valley Tribune

Act one of a Southern California wildfire features walls of flames, flying embers, dense smoke and charred rubble. Most residents aren’t aware of the drama’s delayed second act starring fire followers. These can be dormant wildflowers resurrecting as rudimentary stalks, popping up from black ash and turning into show-stopping pallets of purples, fuchsias and yellows. Or they can be opportunistic black-backed woodpeckers, house wrens and flycatchers feasting on a fresh array of insects, or furry-tailed mule deer grazing on new-growth grasses sprung by a suddenly cleared understory. In short, the natural ecology... (More at the link...)

2/9 More Disney fun : "Planes: Fire & Rescue" coming to theaters summer 2014!

Trailer - Courage on YouTube

2/8 NWS Sacramento: This Storm vs The Drought

Thought we would share a great visual that shows the expected precipitation of this weekend's storm compared to the cumulative water deficit as we continue our third dry year. See attached drought-bucket.jpg.

Rain between now and Monday will be substantial, and in any other 'normal' year would add significantly to our water supply. Based on recent conditions this storm will help, but not do much to decrease our existing deficit. As dry as things have been, a large portion of this weekend's expected rainfall will go to saturating the parched soils. The ground must be saturated before significant runoff will begin.

Also attached is a graphical 5 day cumulative forecast precipitation image, and two graphics showing our current precipitation conditions for the Northern Sierra 8 Station Precipitation Index and the San Joaquin 5 Station Precipitation Index.

Monitor NWS Sacramento Facebook, Twitter and Weather.gov for further updates.

2/8 From Firescribe:

NPR (blog)

Technology Tracks Crews Through The Fog Of Wildfire

For crews fighting wildfires, the ability to get accurate information quickly is crucial. A breakdown in communication was one factor in a fire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona last year, and in the deaths of two Florida firefighters in Arizona ...


2/8 Article in the media about Brendan at the WFF:

Brendan McDonough takes Wildfire Job in Boise at the WFF

If anyone has frequent flyer miles, Brendan needs to get back to AZ periodically to see his little daughter.

Contact the WFF: contact info here:

www.wffoundation.org/ or
info (at) wffoundation.org
vicki (at) wffoundation.org

Thanks, community!

2/8 Re: Question - Spike out?


Any crew can spike out, some do not want to. I have even seen Cal-fire hand crews spike out, takes a bit more work because you have to have CDC there, but having them around and up all night can prevent nocturnal visits from bears to your spike camp. The big issue I have seen with spike is logistical support, some teams will not spike crews regardless of the reason if they cannot support the crews logistically, which is OK they are looking out for the well being of the crews.

Been there done that

2/8 Re: Question - Spike out?


Break your question/s down a little bit more so it's more clear.

I'm not sure where to start?


2/7 Great news!

Brendan McDonough is working for the WFF -- Vicki, Burk, all wildland firefighters, all of us -- at the WFF in Boise.


2/7 Question - Spike out?

Are type 1 hand crews the only ones who can spike out. Is there regulations in place on who can and can't? Not talking about an organized spike camp. But more of a RON due to activity and or logistics?


2/7 Re Lessons Learned:

As Paul Gleason said, “be a student of fire”.

Understand that our operational environment includes fire but also a complex human element which adds a multifaceted component of danger, friction and uncertainty.

Know yourself, try to understand how you fit into the organization, and don’t be a jerk.


2/7 Thanks to everyone who's working so hard to find pilot Jake Harrell.


Hotlist thread with updates. Ab.

2/5 Day 5: Search for Missing Forestry Pilot

ODEN, AR - More than 200 people were involved today by land and air in trying to bring home missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot Jake Harrell, who disappeared on Jan. 31 while looking for wildfires. Fifteen aircraft were committed to the search, nine of them from the Civil Air Patrol, four AFC planes, a State Police Helicopter, and two National Guard helicopters. Some 75 hours alone were flown by aircraft on Monday, not including hours flown by the National Guard. At a staging area in Oden, a crew was on standby Wednesday afternoon waiting for searchers up in the air to spot something they would then locate from the ground. The search got a break from the snow and ice coming down and that's good news for the search efforts in mountainous Western Arkansas terrain. It's the site of day 5 of the search for Harrell, 34. As planes and helicopters look from above, teams from...

More at the link above...

Fair use disclaimer

2/4 Pilot Scouting Arkansas Forest Fires Goes Missing

Feb. 02--As 13 wildfires ripped across Arkansas on Friday, state forestry pilot Jacob Thomas Harrell took a small plane out to look for additional hot spots.

Late Saturday, search crews still had not found any sign of either Harrell or the single-engine Cessna 210 Centurion since his last radio call more than 30 hours earlier. "We are going to be here until we find Jake," State Forester Joe Fox said in a statement released Saturday evening. "Tonight and tomorrow's efforts are already planned and we are aggressively covering as much ground as quickly and safely as possible." more at the link...

If anyone hears more, please let us know. Ab.

2/4 Race week is here!

And Running for the Fallen is up!

Take a look.

Honor these men.

Thank you for your continued support.

Two Little Feet

2/3 Re: Lessons Learned

Fire Chiefs,

The best way to protect your young firefighters is to make hard decisions about what fires will be suppressed. You can't beat the base rate. SA, LCES, 18, 10. Designed to help us sleep at night doing a dangerous job.


2/2 Re: Lessons Learned:

Here are a couple more

This one was said by someone and I can’t remember who: Know your history or you are bound to repeat it.

This one is from a retired CDF guy: All fatality fires have one thing in common, unburned fuel between you and the fire.


2/2 CPS Answer to the Yarnell fire

By Doug Campbell

How to read a fire.

Consider the level of fire danger indicators that are extreme.

At the onset of the Yarnell fire the fire was observed to be backing, burning down hill at night.

Q. What is the fire telling you?

A. The fire is burning out of alignment with slope, wind and without solar preheat.

But it is moving. What are the implications of that fact? The fire will keep spreading.

Next question: Will it get worse or easier?

Daytime arrives solar preheating begins. The fire will get more active and will eventually get to a trigger point where it will get into alignment and make a run.

Mark the trigger point on your map or point the locations out to inform your crew.

If the wind that is predicted impacts the fire it will become over the threshold of control and dangerous. This affects the viability of the escape route and safety area. Better have a plan for that situation.

The tactical decision is next: Extreme fire danger and wind direction and velocity change predicted. The fire will change from a topography ruled fire to a wind driven event. Spotting will occur and add to the danger.

Stay direct on the edge of the fire where you have the safety of a burned out area or disengage and go to a safe area.

Without this logic the firefighters are at a major disadvantage.

If you are killed you will become heroes. The guys that do it right are forgotten. It is your choice.

Best Regards,
Doug Campbell

Thanks Doug. Ab.

2/2 Come join us at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, Nevada if you need to take some Wildland classes for college and your agency credit. Fully accredited with NFPA, NWCG and FEMA instructors. Call 775-798-5555 or surf our website. THANKS for supporting TMCC.


2/2 Re: Lessons Learned

Stay at home. Seriously, if you want to be safe.

Gristle McThornbody

2/1 Re: Lessons Learned

Be aware always. Stick to the time-proven BASICS.


2/1 Re: Lessons Learned

Well said folks.

Old Fire Guy

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