DOCUMENTS WORTH READING
|Common Errors, 1919
||The Western Firefighters' Manual, 1919 lists the common errors in
firefighting in 1919. Sounds surprisingly like today. Submitted by WP on
06/09/00. Referred to by DF on 02/07/03.
1993 SoCal Wildfire Siege
||AAR, a 94 page pdf file.
1957 Fire Task Force Report to the Chief
||Report of Task Force to Recommend Action to Reduce the Chances of Men
Being Killed by Burning While Fighting Fire.
1977 Fatal and Near-Fatal Forest Fires: The Common Denominators
||Carl Wilson's classic 1977 paper.
Tony Petrilli's witness statement from the South Canyon Fire report
(small 96 K pdf file)
||Tony Petrilli's witness statement from the South Canyon Fire report. May
be used as pre-course reading (along with the IRPG) for S-130/190 classes.
|Stand Down for Safety '94
||Following the 1994 deaths on Storm King Mountain, firefighters were
stood down. These are the things they thought about while they reflected
Firefighter Safety Awareness Study, Phase 1
||A study resulting from the losses at South Canyon / Storm
King in 1994.
A three part study to identify the organizational culture,
leadership, human factors, and other issues impacting firefighter safety
and to set and implement goals for improving safety. Part III,
"Implementing Cultural Changes for Safety" is the roadmap for where we're
Firefighter Safety Awareness Study, Phase 2
Firefighter Safety Awareness Study, Phase 3
|Firefighter Pay, 1998
||Federal Firefighters Overtime Pay Reform Act of 1998.
||Rep. Herger's testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform
and Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Service, 1998.
|Herger Again, 1998
||CA Rep. Herger blasts USFS Region 5 Forest Service Conference 1998.
|Lyle Shook, 1998
||Quotes from Lyle Shook's retirement speech 11/98.
||House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Interior and Related Agencies
questions Dombeck policies.
|Kentucky Fatalities, 1999
||An insightful chronology regarding firefighters deaths in Kentucky,
|Recruitment Problems, 1999
||A perspective regarding the difficulty of recruitment/retention of
quality USFS employees, 04/99.
||Official report on the Sadler Fire fire shelter deployment, near Elko,
Nevada, August 8, 1999 (pdf)
||A paper on wildland firefighters from Tiny, The R5 Fire Pup, 04/05/00.
|Ab Speaks, 2000
||Original Abercrombie tells the story of how and when and why theysaid
||The Report of the fatal burnover on the Kate's Basin fire in Wyoming, 08/11/00.
Putnam on Human Factors
||"Fire Safety Up in Smoke" from the father of Human Factors
Effects in Wildland Firefighting.
|Thomas Addresses Congress, 2000
||Jack Ward Thomas, Chief of the Forest Service, addresses Congress,
|Thomas Addresses Fire, 2000
||Jack Ward Thomas, retired Chief of the Forest Service, addresses the
Fire 2000 Conference in San Diego.
Grande Report pdf
||The Cerro Grande Investigative Report, 02/26/01, in pdf.
||Senate Committee Thirtymile Fire Investigation, 09/26/01.
|Brauneis' "Original Intent"
Ten Standard Fire Orders, 2001
||The logic in the way the Ten Fire Orders were originally conceived - as
directions for engagement and disengagement of the fire... Authored by
|Crew Cohesion, Wildland Fire Transition, and
||A paper that discusses the degree to which crew cohesion or lack thereof
contributed the the 30mile tragedy, 03/07/02 in pdf.
|American Indian Use of Fire in
||A Bibliography, 2002.
|Fire It Up, CDF Budget Issues, 2002
||California's state budget has been cut drastically. This is a discussion
of what shouldn't be cut in CDF Fire. Pay now or pay more later.
|Daley Fire Disengagement, 2001
||A description of timely and prudent action taken in the face of extreme
fire behavior by meteorologist, dispatcher, and fire overhead to get
firefighters to safety.
|Pentagon Journal, Sept '01
||Elizabeth Cavasso, member of CIIMT 3, went to provide support at the
Pentagon following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This is her journal. See
also: the photos.
||In pdf format, 106 pages.
Photos here at wildlandfire.com.
Thirtymile Report Errata
||pdf file of changes made after the report was submitted by the
||Hastings-Cantwell Bill, H. R. 3971, June 24.2002
||A tribute to Tom, Karen, Devin and Jessica created for the opening of
the Thirtymile Memorial at the one year anniversary of their deaths. In
pdf format, 621 KB.
from the Thirtymile (training)
||Lesson suggestions from MTDC with accessible information including
Thirtymile staff ride
||Thirtymile staff ride on the Fire Leadership website.
|John Watt's Letter to the BRP on Aerial
||Following a number of air tanker accidents in 2001 and 2002, the Blue
Ribbon Panel was convened to look into and make recommendations on how to
deal with the aging air tanker fleet. John provided info to the panel and
allowed us to post his letter. Here's the
page BRP Report itself (1.2MB pdf file).
Published in early Dec '02; [earlier from the AT Pilot's Board:
Tony Kern on the Air Tanker Situation & John Watt's Reply]
Goodell's "Better Way" Fire Orders, 2002 188K pdf
||Craig Goddell's dynamic way of thinking about the 10 Standard Fire
Orders with description of how they apply to changing fire environment;
also a discussion of the Situations that Shout Watchout that may be in
conflict with some individual Orders. Take a look back at Brauneis'
"Original Intent" Fire Orders above.
|Guy Pence on Competitive
||Written to benefit the retention of the National Forest System, to keep
professional land managers at all levels in the Forest Service, and to
bring out the problems associated with competitive sourcing.
|Dan Fiorito's Hotshots and
Prescribed Fire 04/18/03
||Tasking hotshots to tackle prescribed fire projects is too much to ask.
This article was printed in Wildland Firefighter Magazine and is
posted here at the request of the author.
like the Swiss Cheese Model
Hugh Carson on
Accident Investigation 07/26/03
||Specifically on a model like the "Swiss Cheese" Model of Accident
Investigation (NB, Henry Reason's work stresses correcting the latent
systemic holes in the Swiss Cheese; human factors, well you can work on
those with training, but don't plan to avoid accidents at the last step)
like the Swiss Cheese Model
The Human Factors Analysis and Classification System–HFACS, 2000
||DOT, FAA, AM commissioned report (1242 K pdf) describes the logic behind the
Swiss Cheese Model of accident causation and creates the HFACS. Report
written by Scott Shappell and Doug Wiegmann, based on Reason's work on human
like the Swiss Cheese
Investigation Guide, 2003
||USFS Accident Investigation Guide (3400 K pdf) contains aspects of the Swiss Cheese Model.
How and Why?
|| A commentary to remind us by "Another CDF BC"
as it Relates to Firefighter Safety: Seven Key Points for Discussion
||Discussion points presented by Martin Alexander, recipient of the 2003
International Award for Fire Safety.
& Vision Statements - Revealing Firefighter Ethics
||Unless you know a wildland firefighter's ethics, how do you know their
attitude toward safety? How do you gauge their situational awareness or
understand how their leadership skills might come into play?
Did All the ICs Go?
||An Opinion by Jeff Blackwood, following the Cramer Fire. 03/10/04
|Fire Prediction using the
Fire Signature Prediction Method - Focus on Cramer
||Hard questions from Mellie; Doug Campbell replies.
|Another Way to Prevent a
Reoccurrence - Cramer
(link near the bottom of the page)
|A powerpoint on solving the Cramer Fire Incident using Doug Campbell's Fire
Signature Prediction Method. The Fire Signature Prediction method is a
logical method for looking at current and expected fire behavior that allows
groundpounders to determine safe firefighting tactics. Includes similarities
between Cramer and South Canyon. 3/04. or download
|Comparing the deadly
Cramer Fire and South Canyon Fires with the Dillon Fire (where all went
home) (large ppt file
||Powerpoint demonstration of the Fire Signature Prediction method used
Compliments of Doug Campbell.
- using wind, slope and solar preheat and recognizing when these
Forces are In Alignment / Out of Alignment,
- how to Time Tag a tactic,
- set a Trigger Point, and
- use Tracks on your map
- in conjunction with LCES.
If you have trouble downloading this, do it early in the morning
and/or find a broadband computer. Ab.
Should Support Their ICs
||An Opinion by SteveM on why the Federal Fire Agencies should support the
Incident Commanders, 4/7/04, civil suits? ability to discipline their own?
jury of your peers?
|Similarities of Fatality Fires,
Observations of Payne, 04/04
||Some of the key similarities of three fatality fires: South Canyon,
Thirtymile, and Cramer.
Twenty firefighters lost their lives on these fires in the last decade. ppt
is also available, check the
Finger Pointing re AT Contract Cancellations
||With regard to the cancellation of 33 large AirTanker contracts
following the NTSB Report by the Forest Service in May, 2004
Safety Protocol Review SoCal Fire Siege, 2003
||A review of whether and how safety guidelines resulting from fatality
fires (most recently the Cramer Fire) were followed in the SoCal
Firestorm of 2003.
SoCal Firestorm 2003, Lessons Learned
|From fuels, interagency cooperation, command and control, evacuation,
work/rest, strategy and tactics. Interesting read. Formerly posted
|Drinking on Fires
||This topic comes up on theysaid rather routinely so we're including TC's
points here for reference. Ab.
|Docs on the
Cramer Fatality Investigation, 2003
||Posted at the Colorado Firecamp Website. FS and OSHA investigations,
including the Management Evaluation Report, and the un-redacted Findings
section and Appendix E from the Factual Report; the OSHA investigation
citations and the USFS response. The OIG report is not available to the
Process Involving the OIG Investigation
||With Reference to the Cramer Fire Fatalities, 2003. Researched by
Aftragstaktik, or Commander's Intent a paper
||A paper related to doctrinal change.
Nuttall Fire Shelter Deployment After
Action Review (234 K pdf file)
||Coronado National Forest, 7/2/04 (pdf file) Also
Nuttall Fire Shelter Fact Sheet (pdf file);
Deployment Site (pdf file);
deployment review (2121 K pdf file). important for lessons learned
Waterfall Fire Staging Area Burnover '04
(HUGE 9.833 MB pdf file)
72 hr report 7/14/04 (77K pdf file)
Lessons learned powerpoint is by Pete Anderson, NV State Forester-Firewarden,
Carson City NV
Burned engine 1 picture;
Burned engine 2 picture;
KOLO TV article (or
||Of the changing the accountability level in fatality incidents, by DC.
Stimulated by discussion of the Cramer Incident. From 12/3/04 theysaid.
Cramer: Accountability and Legal Outfall
||From theysaid 12/2/04. A dissertation on responsibility and
accountability on the Cramer Incident, the changing litigious scene and
Agency Support, by Misery Whip.
Factors, Large Organizations & Accountability
||From theysaid 12/13/04. An exposť by Misery Whip on the Cramer Incident. Two
more docs along the same thread:
Accountability 3 and
John Wendt On Fire
||Reflections on a FS Fire Career: What was expected in the beginning and What's
expected now. Centralizing fire is one suggestion for dealing with the
burgeoning expectations placed on fire managers that can make fighting fire
Thoughts in Times of
||Thoughts on Cramer, the professional wildland firefighter, the
rule-bound system of so-called accountability, commander's intent (a better
way), and ...district rangers and forest supervisors more and more at risk
for criminal negligence when fires kill people. Mellie et al. 12/13/04.
Aftragstaktik, also known as Commander's Intent
||Commander's Expressed Intent (mission type orders) to accomplish a task
in the face of complexity and uncertainty. Some other good readings listed
a Professional Firefighter Series
||Why a clearly designated professional wildland firefighter series makes
more sense than IFPM's Series 0401, and tech series 462 and 455. Dozer, 1/6/05.
|Forest Service Fire Organization
||Unreasonable Expectations? A Systemic Organizational Problem that Impacts Safety?
Mellie's review of forest structure and how it might impact firefighter
safety, from theysaid 2/8/05.
Forest Service Fire Organization: Facts, Issues, Suggestions
||A Safer Option? Centralization of Fire within Forests by "Concerned for
the Future", from theysaid 2/8/05.
||Fact Sheet comparing existing fed firefighter pay with portal to portal
Wildland Firefighter -
|What academic courses a professional wildland firefighter might need. Does not
fulfill the Biology 0401 Series requirement, from theysaid 3/7/05.
Legal Deep Survival
||In the face of too many expectations, too many checklists, and the FS
failure to back up its employees, from theysaid 3/8/05.
||Incompetence & Self-Awareness of Competence, by "Competent, I think"...
from theysaid, by SteveM, 3/14/05.
Fire Behavior vs. Human Behavior: Why the Lessons from
Cramer Matter (755 K pdf file)
||Kelly Close's paper, presented at the IAWF Human Factors Conference,
Missoula MT, 4/26/05. Adds insight and lessons learned.
Minutes at H-2 – Linear Decision Making in an Exponential Fire Environment
||Kelly Close paper, adds insight and lessons learned on the
Cramer Fire. 3363 K pdf file; large,
Novato Fire Department Report on the Cedar Fatality
||5900K very large pdf file. Came out May, 2004.
CDF Cedar Fire Fatality Report
||2750K pdf file. Came out 5/24/05. Discussed on
Theysaid starting 5/25/05. Cedar
Suppression: Foundational Doctrine (in html)
||Results of the Pulaski Conference Doctrinal Review, June 2005. Here's
the draft in pdf with photos
Fire Suppression: Foundational Doctrine (huge
pdf). Also, go here for a link to the FS
streaming video of the process.
Report (LARGE 5.95 MB pdf file, 183 pages) For easier pieces, the CDF
site has broken it down.
Greensheet/72hr USFS Report plus Map 1,
Summary (5 pages)
Site has broken the Tuolumne Fire Report down into parts for easier
Article from Fire
Engineering (Note: based only on minimal information released.)
Rivera Mesa Fire (doc file)
||June 18, 2006, Las Vegas, New
Mexico, Santa Fe Interagency Hotshot Crew
Balls Canyon NearMiss, Peer Review
||June 27th, 2006, HumboldtToiyabe National Forest near Cold Springs, NV. This
document is a Peer Review, which bridges the gap between After Action
Reviews and Investigations. Discussion of the rationale for a Peer Review is
presented in addition to review of the incident.
72 Hr Report Sawtooth Complex
Entrapments, 3 Incidents
||July 11, 2006, Wildland Fire Entrapment, Minor Burn Injuries and Smoke
Inhalation, Fire Engine Damage, Command Vehicle Damage; Southern CA; Joint
investigation: BLM, San Bernardino Co Fire, CDF
Venus Entrapment, Peer Review (1,327 K pdf file)
||July 24, 2006, Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming.
New York Peak 72 Hour Report
||July 25, 2006 Eldorado Hotshots were hit by a firewhirl on
the New York Peak Fire near Winnemucca NV. 3 were burned, 2 seriously.
New York Peak Factual Report (3076 K
||7/25/06, Eldorado IHC was hit by a firewhirl on the New York Peak Fire
Mudd Fire Deployment/Burnover
||August 26,2006, Wildland Fire Deployment, Elko, Nevada. Bakersfield BLM
engine crew. 2 firefighters were burned over and burned.
What Was He Thinking?
Decision Making and Judging
|137K doc file. Researched and written by Mike Johns, Assistant US
Attorney and Senior Litigation Counsel and former wildland
firefighter. This is a "brief summary of concerns about and solutions to
inherent problems associated with decision making and judgment. This paper
was prepared for the Serious Accident Investigation course." Discussed on
Roadmap to a Just Culture
Enhancing the Safety Environment
|546K pdf file. Please read the copyright information. This paper
is prepared by: GAIN Working Group E, Flight Ops/ATC Ops Safety Information
Sharing, September 2004. It was prepared by the worldwide aviation
community to improve aviation safety, but the principles are relevant to
safety in our wildland fire learning environment. Ab.
Map of Esperanza Site with Risks
||10/26/06 Wind driven fire blows the flames into the fuel in front of the advancing line of fire.
Spotfires introduce radiant heat in the fuel in advance of the line of fire. Under high
fire danger conditions, the spot fires become can so numerous and preheating fuel so
intense that the area seems to ignite all at once. This situation is one of these with the
potential for area ignition. The burn pattern signature seems to indicate this is what happened.
The fire and observations of the fire behavior are the ground truth. The fire models
are ill equipped to account for all the variations in this scenario. Doug
Esperanza Green Sheet (559K doc)
(1509 K pdf file)
Labeled Contour Map (665 K pdf file)
(82 K pdf file)
Site Map Detail
(320 K pdf file)
|72 hour report on the 5 burnover fatalities of Engine 57 on the Esperanza
Fire, 10/26/06; also 24 hour Report:
Esperanza Blue Sheet (91K pdf)
||Theysaid posts relating to the criminal incitement of Ellreese Daniels,
Incident Commander, for decisions and actions on the 30 Mile Fire.
30 Mile: Hindsight Bias & Conflicting
||Analysis by Misery Whip rebuts the contention that Ellreese was
lying. December 31, 2006
2006 Fire Season – What Went Wrong and How Do We Learn From It? (3481K
||pdf of a powerpoint keynote presentation delivered by Assistant U.S.
Attorney Mike Johns at the Wildland Urban Interface Conference in Reno Feb,
30 Mile Charges
||70 page pdf file Charges brought by the DOJ against Ellreese Daniels
more than 5 years after the burnover and deaths on the 30mile fire.
Rod Altig on 30 Mile Criminal
||30 Mile Criminal Prosecution, an Agency Slippery Slope, January
Chief Snell on Issues Re: 30 Mile
||R6 FAM Chief Snell's White Paper on Issues surrounding 30 Mile Criminal
Online Survey Results of 30 Mile
Criminal Prosecution (removed from their server)
||in News Releases section. A survey of 3,362 firefighters (2/07)
shows that 36% of the full-time wildland firefighters surveyed will make
themselves less available to be assigned to wildland fires as a direct
result of manslaughter charges filed recently against a firefighter in
Washington state. [The next fire season 25-33% let their red cards lapse or
did not take assignments.]
Esperanza Investigation Report (pdf
files in downloadable pieces)
||At the CAL FIRE site.
Esperanza Action Plan (23k
||The FS chief's response for what will be done to mitigate the findings
of the Esperanza Report.
ESPERANZA FACTUAL REPORT ANALYSIS
September 10, 2007
Seltzner Perspective on Esperanza
|Corrections and Clarifications made to the official Esperanza
Investigation Report by firefighters that were on the ground. Report from
firefighters on the ground.
A perspective worth reading.
|What Was He Thinking? (4854K doc file)
||by Mike Johns, Assistant U.S. Attorney
The Human Factors Context to help in assessing the
Esperanza Report; also important in decisions involving judgment.
Misery Whip's Critique
of the Esperanza Report & Action Plan
||Thoughtful evaluation, taken from Theysaid discussion 6/6/07.
Halsey on Fire Suppression, Science, and Richard Minnich.
||In response to a June 16,2007 San Bernardino County Sun news article "Forests Need to Burn".
Rick is Director of the California
Shari Downhill on The Media
||Good tips on what to expect and how to work with the Media.
| Fed OSHA Report on
||Came out on 7/19/07 (290 K pdf file)
|Q's Perspective on Forest Service 1.5 Years after Retirement
||I was recently asked my perspective of the Forest Service since my
retirement a year and a half ago. Without being a “side line quarter-back,”
what would I change? ... What Q thinks...
Complex Accident Prevention Analysis
||APA - Formerly called "Peer Review" (huge 8,241K pdf file); In
the spirit of Lessons Learned.
Pie chart: Cause of death of Federal FF from 1990-2006
||(3,927 K pdf file) from the NWCG Safety and Health Working Team: Federal
Employees by Cause of Death 1990-2006 (73 employees) 29 or 39.7% died from
Table of Data
Wildland Firefighter Fatalities in the United States: 1990–2006 (5838
K pdf file); A publication of the NWCG Safety and Health Working Team,
PMS 841, August 2007
Research on Recruitment, Retention and Pay
||A problem in California and other Wildland Urban Interface areas with
extremely high cost of living.
2008 Retention Draft
||22 p. draft following a week long meeting of Fire
Professionals,12/10/07; no action resulted...
R5 Module Configuration
||If R5 were staffed at levels budgeted by Congress, these are the
resources we'd expect on each of the R5 Forests.
R5 Forest Unit Identifiers
FWFSA Response to the FS Recruitment & Retention Analysis
||(112 K doc file); FS Recruitment & Retention Analysis was presented at
the Senate Hearing on Appropriations on 4/1/08, Black Tuesday.
VIDEO: Doug Campbell using CPS on the '88 Fayette Fire (WY)
||Historical 1/2 hr footage showing the fireground logic of the Campbell
Prediction System, now called the Fire Signature Prediction Method
Fire Organization & Firefighter Retention
||Exposť by "Never Forget Black Tuesday". Pertinent,
meaty, a strong argument for reorganization, 5/24/08.
The Art of Wildland Firefighting (3425 K doc file download)
||by Doug Campbell and Bruce Schubert lays out the logic and vocabulary of
Doug's "Campbell Prediction System" (also known as "The Fire Signature
Prediction System"). This paper describes Doug's body of work, the only
fire behavior training in which you can find a distillation of and a focus
on the "old firefighting wisdom" of the past for groundpounders of the
present. It's truly valuable training, a "force multiplier" for safety. Part
science and part art, it provides terminology to communicate tactics based
on what the fire is telling you, given wind, slope and solar preheating of
Trainer Will Spyrison's comments. Documentation of European
EU Training Plan;
Countries using CPS;
The AAR Process - Army (138 K ppt file)
||Major R. L. Kennedy (2002); The After Action Review Process: intent, key
elements and the application of the process to training and operations;
Organizational Learning Tools and quick table:
From AAR to SAI. The AAR focuses on what was done correctly,
incorrectly, and how to do better next time around.
Australian Bushfire Management: a case study in wisdom versus folly
||The issues leading up to Black Saturday. (66 K pdf file) It is
one person's view, Roger Underwood's, and was a talk that he recently
delivered to the Stretton Group (of influential business leaders etc) in
Melbourne. Underwood is a forester with 50 yr
experience in bushfire management and bushfire science. He's worked as a
firefighter, a district and regional manager, a research manager and senior
government administrator. He is Chairman of The Bushfire Front, an
independent professional group promoting best practice in bushfire
management. Sent by Alan Thompson, New Zealand.
Wildland Fire Risk Management 2009 (482 K pdf file)
||Based on data through 2008; graphs, charts, fatality and accident trends
The True Cost of
Wildfire in the Western US (2864K pdf file, 17p)
||Western Forestry Leadership Coalition: examines the data from six large
wildland fires across the west to explore beyond the costs of suppression to
give a more accurate telling of the cost to communities and the environment
form large wildland fires.
Comments on the FS Redesign
||From theysaid 6/19/09
Fire Behavior Tuneup for Structural Firefighters
||A review of Doug Campbell's method of wildland fire prediction (1/22/10)
Campbell Prediction System Language: Glossary of Terms
||For those who need a print copy, here is a very large (6,519 K doc
Campbell Prediction System Language: Glossary of Terms. (please do
not download unless you need it in print; has imbedded google language
Doug says: "The use of the CPS language was
to promote communication of fire behavior potential. A language promotes
clear thinking and situational awareness. Describing a fire situation is an
important safety factor. Without language thoughts and unease about
situations on the fireline cannot be communicated. Practice describing fire
scenes to gain experience using the language, or create some phrases of your
own. Without some method of describing the changes in fire behavior safe
practices are compromised." Doug Campbell, 2010
2010 Accident Prevention Analysis Guide
(411 K pdf file)
||5th edition (draft) of the APA guide. (Five Years of pushing Just
CPS Prescribed Fire Book (711K pdf file)
||Doug's latest book on fire behavior and Rx.
||There may be more documents, please see the Site Map.