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WFF CFC #12544
Over the next few months,
Wildlandfire.com will be upgrading services and introducing new products to
include; Mobile Applications, Mobile Website, Live Weather and Mapping. This is
all part of the transition of ownership to FireWhat, Inc. The transition will be
a very positive move forward for Wildland Firefighters.
Memorial Service for TR Hilton - Paramedic
Not sure how to send this, but wanted to let anyone in the wildland
firefighter community who may have known TR Hilton, about his passing.
TR Hilton was the paramedic advisor for the Region -6 IMS (Incident Medical
Specialist) program. TR has been involved in the Region - 6 IMS program and
wildland firefighter community since 1994.
TR passed away May 9th 2013 after being on life support. TR was on a bicycle
ride the weekend before, riding from John Day to Mount Vernon, Oregon and back,
and was less then a 1/4 mile away from home when he went down unwitnessed with
what was determined to be a sudden cardiac fatal arrhythmia. He was transported
to the Blue Mountain hospital in John Day, Oregon then to St. Charles Medical
Center in Bend by Air Link Helicopter, where he remained in ICU.
A memorial service for TR will be held Friday May 24th 2013 at Grant Union
High School in John Day, Oregon.
Shelby Gales BLM Safety Manager - Fire Operations, will be speaking at the
An account has been set up in his name at Old West Federal Credit Union, and
contributions to support his family can be sent by mail to the following
Old West FCU
650 West Main St.
John Day, OR 97845
TR was also the EMS Coordinator for Grant County and Blue Mountain Hospital
Ambulance, as well as Paramedic/EMT instructor for many other agencies in
Eastern Oregon and beyond. He will be missed greatly.
Friend/Pastor of TR and also an EMT with Region 6 IMS.
Los Padres Hiring:
I'm not sure why nobody is discussing the horrible hiring
practices that have been taking place. I am no longer in CA but I have heard
some bad stories from past employees on how they are being treated this season.
People have been guaranteed jobs then they've been taken away. Moved from out of
state for a certain start date then given three more start dates while living on
their own money. I'm not sure what they can do now but maybe talk to a lawyer?
These are great workers who deserve better. Get it together paper pushers.
re: Comp vs OT
I understand your point of view but I must correct/educate you on a few
* First- to earn comp on an incident YOU as the employee have to approve it
after discussing it with your supervisor.
* Second- the incident DOES pay for it, when you code COMP earned which is TC 32
I believe it goes to the P-code of the incident, when you USE the comp time you
with TC- 64, you use the P-code from the incident once again. Even though the
employee only gets 1 for one on hours, it makes up for it with retirement/time
and grade ext. by keeping them "on the books longer". This works as long as your
not a 26/0. Although even for 26/0's there are still a lot of benefits for some
extra time off in the winter months.
Hope this clarifies a few things
re: Comp vs OT
There are two kinds of comp time, comp for travel which if you
don't use by the end of PP26 (pay period 26) you lose, and regular comp
time which if you don't use by the end of PP 26 you get paid time and a half
for. At least this is how it works in the FS.
So AD you just worked until it was done, like in the private sector? You didn't
worry about it. As a professional I always demanded that they pay me for any
work I did if it was for the FS or in the private sector. I had bills and five
kids to feed, but I'm sure the agency would take any free work that I would do
re: Comp vs OT
It is technically against policy for a federal firefighter to
earn comp time on an incident. The reason behind this is to protect the employee
- fair labor standards requiring paying an employee time and a half for work
performed after 40 hrs. When Comp. Time is earned it is hour for hour, not time
and a half.
But....that does not mean it doesn't happen. I know of many career seasonal
federal firefighters that claim nothing but comp time all summer. They do this
so that they can 'cash' in their time throughout the winter. This not only bank
rolls them with 80 hour pay periods through out their time off, but allows them
to earn: sick leave, annual leave, paid holidays off, time in grade towards
additional steps, etc. This costs the agency a lot of money because the
fire/incident is not paying for these benefits. Additionally I believe there are
some ethical issues regarding earning time in grade, holiday pay etc. when the
employee is on furlough. Continuing on the ethical discussion - most of these
employees claim unemployment since the government isn't offering them a job
until next spring and they are merely getting paid for work already performed.
The best of both, or all three worlds for these employees as long as they are
allowed to do it.
US Fires 2012:
Records maintained by the National Interagency Fire Center
(NIFC) and NASA both indicate that 2012 was an extraordinary year for wildfires
in the United States.
Here's a terrific map showing vegetation and fire intensity based on Modis
satellite imagery, and a brief but informative article from NASA's Earth
Observatory. Thanks to NIFC (NIFC
year to date stats) and wildland firefighters.
US Fires 2012
re: Comp vs OT
OK, this goes back a ways, but at one point comp time was
available instead of overtime, at least for PFTs. You'd think this would be
budget-neutral, but somehow up the food chain, the local unit got dinged for
comp time hours, so line offers were very reluctant to agree to its use.
For the most part, everyone's attitude went along the lines of: you work
until the job is done whether it takes you 40 hours this week or 60. Since our
counterparts in the private sector did much the same thing, we didn't worry
about it. What was irksome was when meetings were scheduled where you'd pretty
much have to travel on nights or weekends and you had no way of recovering that
time (day really if you were going between coasts).
Still out there as an AD
re: Comp vs OT
I guess I am confused or missing something. As a USFS employee
I already have the ability to choose between comp time and OT. We sign an
OT/Comp auth at he beginning of every season and pick whether we want to earn
comp, OT or both. This is for our hard dollar fire accounts (WFHF, WFPR, etc).
This allows the employee to make the decision whether they want the extra cash
or the extra time off. Being a 26/0 with kids and not enough leave built up to
be the use or lose category, I often take comp time so I have more vacation
I know you really can't take comp on a P-code due to the p-code getting shut
down after so many days after the fire closes, or how ever exactly it works, but
we have always been able to choose between the 2 on our normal accounts.
R9 Engine Captain
The Coyote Fire of 1964:
I also remember the Coyote fire of 1964.. I was 11 years old and lived on
Alisos Street just off DeLa Guerra on the lower east side. Some called it the
"lower Riviera", lol..
Anyways a couple of things about that fire. The Coyote Fire ended up at
67,000 acres not 35,000. That fire was my first introduction to wildland fire ..
When it was rolling into town, my dad had me up on the roof of the house with
the garden hose wetting things down. I still remember the embers, smoke and
I remember watching the local news on our old black and white TV set and
seeing stakesides and military deuce and a half's trucking crews to and from the
fire. The Native Crews from New Mexico and Arizona received quite the coverage.
My dad also worked for the Feds.. he was a letter carrier here in town, a job he
had held since his return home to Santa Barbara from Europe in 1946 after WW II
I remember him telling me " whatever you do when you grow up, DO NOT work for
the Forest Service!! That is the only lower paying job than the Post Office!!"
Well fast forward to 1974... and where to I land a job after my 4 years in the
military?? Yep... the Los Prietos (aka Los Padres) Hotshots.. What a great
career I had with the crew and the fire service...
The state of Florida has had this for a long time. Back in the
day we would bank our time (at time and a half) and then use it when we came out
west on assignments. Our bank closes out twice a year, in August (?) and in
February. So when our season gets going March/April we were happy to bank time
since we had a good use for it. It paid us much better to use the leave, and
then come AD and make good Federal money than to take assignments that let us
stay on state-time at our normal pay rate.
But the problem started when some of the guys were on OT for pay, and some
were on OT for Comp. The supervisors would let the Comp guys make time, since it
didn't cost them anything. The Pay guys got mad since they weren't allowed to
bank any pay for cash, and in fact during times that we traditionally made
overtime, the supervisors would twist schedules around just to use the comp
guys. So the pay guys didn't just "not benefit", they had less chances to make
This friction caused the state to make a rule that the supervisor wasn't
supposed to know who was on which program. Of course that meant that the
supervisors had to restrict everyone from earning any time that they couldn't
justify as OT, and so everyone was back where they started, having to justify
any extra hours earned.
So I guess my point is that it really doesn't benefit you to have this comp
bank option. The argument will be that you will be allowed to earn more time
since it will be offset and won't cost the paymasters any money, but eventually
it will be just as restrictive.
The only real benefit will be folks who like long vacations or work a second
"seasonal" job like running snowplows. For these guys they will be able to draw
from another pool and not risk going leave-without pay. And this will only work
out in their favor IF the timing of the bank "closing out" is good for them.
I do think the bank will "close-out" once a year at least, since if it didn't
then someone could build a huge nest-egg of banked time, and when they leave or
retire they would have to be paid for this as "earned time". Expect caps, and
Good Luck with it.
Legislation to change overtime rules
As some may have heard, there is a
proposal for a bill being considered by Republicans in Congress to offer those
who exceed their assigned 40 hr workweek the option of comp time versus OT pay.
Needless to say, compensation for federal wildland firefighters as it relates to
their assigned workweek is akin to trying to put a round peg in a square hole.
Such a change to OT rules could be impractical for occupations such as law
enforcement and firefighting. it is unclear whether the law would extend to the
federal employee workforce.
I'd like to hear from anyone who has any thoughts as to the consequences,
intended or otherwise of such a law and how it could impact federal wildland
firefighters. Obviously we'll be in touch with NFFE who I'm sure will have a
thought or two. I can be reached at
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
The Coyote Fire Blackened 35,000 Acres in 1964
Santa Barbara Burning
I remember this fire well. When I was told it was at Mt Drive and Coyote Rd,
I said it will never go far. The FS station is less than a 1/4 mile away. Three
hours later I was there and changed my mind.
Kind of a weird conversation about LPF MPRD going on, (and plenty of
speculation) so since I work on MPRD, I'll try to clarify. The MPRD district
office is at Chuchupate Ranger Station near Frazier Park. Engine 371 and H-530
are stationed there. The station off of Smokey Bear Road @ I-5 is an ANF station
where ANF E-336 is stationed. This is called Los Alamos Station. Los Alamos
actually sits in the congressional boundary for Los Padres NF but the area
around lake Pyramid including Los Alamos is "administered by Angeles NF". During
the MEL build up, LPF added an engine (E-74) and placed it at Los Alamos. So
there is both an ANF and LPF engine at Los Alamos. Hope that clears it up.
Flying fold-a-tanks via long line (462 K pdf); folding them in such a way as
to remove the "wing effect".
Low Angle Rope Rescue Operations
Track down the Alpine IHC Superintendent , He can assist with your request.
Important Information from NFFE making the rounds:
May 8, 2013 - FEHB for Temp
Seasonal, Firefighters, Fire Support Personnel
Employees should send any questions or comments they may have on this to the
NFFE FSC Communications mailbox (NFFE_FSC_Communications@ nospam fs.fed.us).
FS FEHB Fact Sheet for Temps - Final.doc
FS FEHB Interim Guidance - Final.doc
FS FEHB Identification and Certification Form - Final.doc
FS FEHB Sample Letter to Employee - Final.doc
JHAs and gear lists for Low Angle Rope Operations
Does anyone have any JHAs
and gear lists for Low Angle Rope Operations geared toward wildland fire
operations? Our crew is starting a program to enhance our fireline medical
evacuations (carry outs on slopes, etc). During our refresher we will be going
through a 24-hour basic course, but wanted some JHAs to base ours off.
Ab's has my email or maybe you can post on theysaid.
Thanks to Fish:
I worked at Oak Flat back in the days of the Templin Highway
and the Red fire engine. The LPF never had any engines stationed in the ANF but
that was before the days of air tankers and copters.
The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center’s website server went
inoperable for three days this week—Monday through Wednesday.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this gap in our website service may
have caused you.
We’re happy to announce that we’re back up and running—though not at 100
percent capability, we will be soon. Throughout today, we will be making any
additional necessary repairs. If you have any questions please let me know.
Thank You for your patience!
Thanks, Brenda, glad you're back up! We did get some enquiries from
firefighters, but had heard of the USDA Agency-wide slow, intermittent, to no
internet/intranet network access. Simultaneously there was an attack on large
banks... We live in a new world! Ab.
Discussion of bag failure on Next Generation Fire Shelters -- with photos...
Next Generation Fire Shelters, Bag degradation, costs, carrying
Service arrangements for Dan Davidson, the Forest Service firefighter who died
of a medical emergency in NM on May 5th are posted on
Always Remember Dan Davidson.
Services will be held in Martin TN on Saturday. Links to locations are at the
bottom of the Always Remember page.
Dan has a son Tyler Davidson. His fiancé Terrah Eads of Martin TN is
expecting their daughter about July 4. If anyone wishes to contribute to help
with Terrah's expenses, donations can be sent to
Savings Account 504-08453
Routing # 084304243
Checks can be sent snail mail:
First State Bank (attn Nancy Varner for Terrah Eads)
126 University Plaza
Reminder to get your radio's annual Maintenance done so it operates correctly
(handheld and mobile). Especially if you carry your radio in the field and have
to depend on it. The only radios I find that don't need tuning are those that
stay in a desk, the more they are used, the more they need attention. Shots and
Engines, especially heavy iron have the most maintenance needs from vibration
There are several reasons radios need Annual Maintenance; All the King radios
coming from the factory or back from repair have the transmit audio set too low
(TX audio will be too quiet) and need to be adjusted before issuing. There are
changes in the Frequencies almost every year. Wear and tear from being used,
being dropped and vibration are killers. Some radios just have common problems
that need to be checked. In the Forest Service Handbood or Manual there is a
regulation that states that every radio requires Yearly Preventative Maintenance
to make sure it is working before Field Season. (FS Rules have been made to
prevent accidents with some Written in Blood).
I'd make sure the radios have been checked. Recent budgets and manpower
shortages should not affect Safety. Get your yearly check-up, you never know
when your Life might depend on that radio.
FYI EPH/EMH radios are BANNED from Federal Fires for 2013!
Re Smokey Bear Rd
Few corrections to your post... Yes Smokey Bear rd is off the I-5 but it does
not house the Piru engine. It is a joint station with the ANF and the LP... LPF
E-74 Los Alamos from Mt Pinos rd resides there... I forget the ANF engine # .
Additionally the Temescal fire station next to Piru lake is Engine 53 it is the
most eastern Engine on the Ojai Ranger District. Also LPF Engine 54 Sespe, Is in
fact housed by VNC at station 27.
Just thought if clear the air of any confusion
Thanks everyone! And thanks for the call Old LPF.
I'm working at trying to
understand what may be a mistake or an injustice.
RE: Mellie’s question about the Mt. Pinos RD
I am pretty sure it's on the LP, not ANF
In Frazier Park, CA
Mt Pinos RD
Sent from my iPad
Re Smokey Bear Rd
I did some sleuthing. The Smokey Bear Rd is the I-5 off ramp into the Oak Flat
office and GS of the ANF. BUT… it now houses the Piru Canyon (LPF) engine and
also an address for this facility. The mail address is Castaic, CA and both
Forests are sharing the office. I hope this may help to answer her question. The
LPF engine was moved from the Ventura County station at Fillmore due to
increased space needs by VNC.
RE: Mellie’s question about the Mt. Pinos RD
I believe you are going to find it on the LPF web site. Not sure with all the
new ranger districts names, but Mt. Pinos was up by Frazier Park back in the
day, and I'm not sure if they changed the name, but it was Chuchupate (sp?)
Ranger Station by Lake of the Woods and Lockwood Valley Road.
Mt Pinos District, ANF?
Isn't it on the Los Padres?
Mt. Pinos Ranger District
34580 Lockwood Valley Rd.
Frazier Park, CA 93225
Phone: (661) 245-3731
RE: Mellie’s question about the Mt. Pinos RD
Been a long time since I worked
for the FS, but I was stationed on the Mt. Pinos RD which was (is) part of the
Los Padres NF, not the Angeles NF.
However, I see there have been significant infrastructure improvements
Guess I need to take a trip and revisit the old stomping grounds.
Look on LPF site for the Mt. Pinos RD
The Mt Pinos RD is on the LP. The office # is (661) 245-3731
Couldn't find the address in my contact list. Hope this helps.
RE: Mt. Pinos RD
The address given on the LPF map is 34580 Lockwood Valley
Rd., Frazier Park, CA 93225 (about 5 miles west of Frazier Park). That’s on
the 2008 map.
Are you looking for Los Padres, Mt Pinos Ranger Station? Chuchpate Helibase is
at the station and lat long is 34 47 00 119 01 12 , with and address of 34580
Lockwood Valley Rd Frazier CA. Hope that helps.
Does anyone know where the Mt Pinos RD office, Angeles NF is? I don't see it on
Angeles forest offices Anyone know the address?
I'm actually trying to find a lat/lon, but google earth doesn't know how to find
Hwy 138 and 110th W, Angeles National Forest or Interstate 5 and Smokey Bear
Road, SoCal at least not that I can help it find. Am I missing some LA bedroom
community? I don't have a clue!
Any help would be appreciated.
In case you're looking for DOA or FS information on the internet/intranets
and getting error messages, there is some problem with DNS/Internet traffic out
of Washington DC. originally put out by DOA's National Information Technology
Center (NITC). Ab.
STATUS 05/07/2013 08:00
· Multiple Agencies & Users are still reporting “Web Page Not Found” errors.
· Duty Officer reported that all Internet/DNS traffic has been redirected to San
· The UTN team is currently working a Sev1 Critical outage with AT&T
USFS NextGen AirTankers
Text from official USFS news release on Next Generation Airtankers, from USFS
website. As an old, (I mean long-time) militia (I mean not primary fire), USFS
groundpounder, guess I can’t quite cipher how the BAe-146 can be both a
“NextGen” aircraft and a “Legacy” aircraft….. but then, much stranger things
have surely happened and continue to happen every day …..
And Abs, as always, THANK YOU and all involved, for TheySaid, and
Best - STUMPIE
Thank YOU Stumpie! Ab.
USDA Forest Service
USDA Forest Service badge
Contact: Contact: (202) 205-1005; Twitter: @forestservice
U.S. Forest Service issues notice of intent to award “Next Generation”
WASHINGTON, May 6, 2013 -- U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced
today that the Forest Service has issued a notice of intent to award contracts
to five companies to provide a total of seven Next Generation airtankers for
“We are moving ahead to modernize our fleet as part of our overall strategy
to secure the best, safest airtankers available for fighting wildfires across
the country in the years to come,” said Tidwell. “It is critical that we
complete the Next Generation airtanker contracting effort as quickly as possible
as we face the prospect of another challenging wildfire season with a dwindling
legacy airtanker fleet.”
The U.S. Forest Service intends to award exclusive use contracts for Next
Generation airtankers to:
Minden Air Corporation; Minden, Nev., for 1 BAe-146
Aero Air, LLC; Hillsboro, Ore., for 2 MD87s
Aero Flite, Inc.; Kingman, Ariz., for 2 Avro RJ85s
Coulson Aircrane (USA), Inc.; Portland, Ore., for 1 C130Q
10 Tanker Air Carrier, LLC; Adelanto, Calif., for 1 DC-10
These companies were selected because their proposals were determined to
offer the best value to the government based on a technical evaluation of their
airtanker concept, organizational experience and past performance, combined with
pricing. The contracts are for a base period of five years with five one-year
options (a total of 10 years if all contract options are exercised).
The Forest Service is transitioning to the Next Generation airtankers to
replace its aging airtanker fleet. “Legacy” aircraft are those that have been
used as part of the Forest Service aviation program for years, and in some
cases, decades. All of the Next Generation airtankers are turbine powered, can
carry a minimum of 3,000 gallons of retardant and have a cruise speed of at
least 300 knots when fully loaded. The companies that are providing them are
required to comply with stringent safety requirements in their contracts.
The agency is working to bring all seven Next Generation airtankers into
service over the next year. The contracts allow these companies to provide
additional Next Generation airtankers in future years, contingent on funding and
other circumstances, to reach the total of 18 to 28 recommended in the Large
Airtanker Modernization Strategy that the Forest Service submitted to Congress
in February 2012.
The Forest Service issued an initial notice of intent to award contracts for
Next Generation airtankers in June 2012. However, protests that challenged the
announced awards were filed with the Government Accountability Office and
consequently those contracts were not awarded. The list of intended awardees
announced today differs from last year’s intended awardees because each company
was given the opportunity to submit revised proposals, and the Forest Service
based its “best value” determination on those revised proposals.
Large airtankers acquired through legacy exclusive-use contracts will
continue to be part of the Forest Service’s strategy to maintain capability and
response until there are adequate numbers of Next Generation large airtankers.
The agency recently awarded legacy exclusive-use contracts for airtankers to
Minden Air Corporation for one P2V and to Neptune Aviation Services, Inc., of
Missoula, Mont., for six P2Vs and one BAe-146.
In 2013, the Forest Service expects to have available for wildfire
suppression up to 26 airtankers, including seven Next Generation airtankers,
eight Legacy aircraft, up to three Very Large Airtankers through contracts and
eight airtankers through an agreement with the Department of Defense. The agency
will also have up to three water scoopers, dozens of single-engine airtankers
and hundreds of helicopters.
Fire activity during the 2012 wildfire season resulted in about 9.3 million
acres of private, state and federal land burned nationwide, the third highest
amount since at least 1960, the earliest date with reliable records. Significant
fire potential is predicted to be above normal in 2013 in much of the West,
including almost all of Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oregon and Idaho, as
well as parts of Colorado, Utah and Washington.
R3 fatality: Wildland Firefighter Daniel Davidson
From: Jeanne M Higgins -FS
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 12:52 PM
To: FS-pdl r3 all employees
Cc: DeCoster, Tim -FS; Tidwell, Tom -FS; Wagner, Mary -FS; Hubbard, James E -FS;
Harbour, Tom -FS; Weldon, Leslie -FS
Subject: Fallen Wildland Firefighter Daniel Davidson
It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we share the tragic news of the
death of Fallen Wildland Firefighter, Daniel Davidson.
Davidson, age 26, was working on project work near Mayhill, NM, on Sunday
afternoon with two other engine crew members, when he collapsed. CPR was
administered immediately, however when emergency personnel responded with the
Life Flight helicopter, Davidson was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The cause of Daniel Davidson’s death is under investigation.
Davidson, a U.S. Army veteran had served two tours in Afghanistan with the 10th
Mountain Infantry Division.
Following his tour in the Army, Davidson became a crew member of Engine 621 on
the Sacramento Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest.
Our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of
Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
Deputy Regional Forester
Vehicle accident on CA-VNC-Springs Fire on May 3rd involving R3 employee:
From: "Schuler, Nick@CALFIRE"
Date: May 3, 2013, 10:13:06 PM PDT
Subject: Vehicle accident on Springs Fire
Tonight strike team 6634C (leader) from AZ-TNF was involved in a moderate
traffic collision while coming off the line. The collision resulted in injury to
the strike team leader and one civilian both transported to pleasant valley
SOF Rick Griggs will be responsible for the IWI and Rick does not believe a
SART is needed.
Performance by professionals in difficult circumstances:
I know it was early but none of us were caught by the Red Flag appearances so
early. BUT… we all had a chance to see the best out there doing what they were
trained to do. Being safe, being aggressive, knowing what the fire is doing at
all times and most of all watching the weather signals constantly. A well earned
break just arrived but remember. This isn’t even the middle of May yet! We
really haven’t even got started yet! My prayer (yep, I pray every day) is that
all of our wild land firefighters will come home safe after every assignment.
But doing that this season is going to be a difficult task. My kudos those who
kept many communities safe in this first blast. More to come. Stay tuned.
Other lightning trackers... on the Links Page
With regard to I Zone (now WUI). Firescope has adopted the new CAL FIRE Wildland
Urban Interface guidelines. Most agencies in California will be adopting across
the board. I'm unsure what mutual aide issues you are attempting to address. We
have the most robust M.A. system in the world. The Summit (Banning) and Springs
(Ventura) fires we experienced last week can attest to that.
With regard to the Esperanza tragedy. There were many challenges everyone from
the IC to the FF1 on the ground experienced that day. Jurisdictional authority
(who's chunk of dirt did it belong too) would have many absolutely no difference
in the outcome.
We are seeing fire season 2013 showing its hand, and it looks like a stacked
deck against us. We need add an extra measure of safety and make decisions with
the intent of survival in a worst case scenario. Deceased Firefighters don't
come back. Real Estate signs and newly framed homes always do. Remember this
when setting up for Structure Defense on a residence.
As a Chief Officer or Company Officer, if the residence you're setting up on has
a great view, this should shout watch out!! Lastly, no matter who has
jurisdiction, no matter what agency gives you an assignment, you always have the
right to refuse an order if you feel it is unsafe. How to do this is clearly
outlined in the IRPG. It is everyone's responsibility (IC to FF1) to see that we
all come home to our families.
CAL FIRE Jake
This quote in the linked article just busts me up!! “There are four branches of
government,” he reportedly snarled, “the executive, legislative, judicial and
the Gawd-damn U.S. Forest Service.”
Don't mess with the Forest Service
Haw Haw Haw! and good job, National Association of Forest Service
Making the rounds on another norcal forest -- the Mendocino National Forest --
originally the message came from the forest's Fuels Planner.
Here are the BIs and ERCs for the last 20
years (average) compared to this year alone. As if we couldn’t tell already.
Anyways, share with your folks if you like. This e-mail is for area 170 (front
country). Daly (fuels planner)
Energy Release Component
Lightning Forecast for norcal
Wildland Firefighting Community:
As our thoughts and prayers are with all of
you on the fires lines of fires typically seen in October, we want all of you to
know that despite the dysfunction in Washington, there are those preparing to
demonstrate their respect for you and pride in you and what you do.
Likely by early summer, a comprehensive wildland firefighter bill will once
again be introduced in Congress in an effort to reform archaic pay & personnel
policies and provide our Nation's federal wildland firefighters with
recognition, pay & working conditions they have deserved for far too long while
at the same time providing our Nation's taxpayers with a more effective and
efficient federal wildfire response.
The FWFSA and members of Congress are currently crafting the final language.
Additionally, with the many new faces in Congress, our new partner and former
Congressman and former Chair of the Natural Resources Committee and his firm are
working not only on a schedule of visits with key Congressional members for us
once the bill is introduced but they also continue to work with OPM and the
Agencies to find administrative solutions.
All of this takes an immense amount of time, effort and money. That said we must
continue to build our membership and convince those considering membership that
it is a great investment in their future; that they do in fact have a say in the
future of their career and they can in fact participate in an endeavor that will
make their careers a more prosperous and rewarding one.
There are still some in Washington who have arbitrarily placed a target on the
backs of the federal workforce. One such Senator has recently complained about
standby time and other activities surrounding federal employees that he
obviously is ignorant of and must be educated. Educating these members of
Congress requires a geographically diverse membership. So if you are a valued
member, please share with your coworkers what we are trying to do on their
behalf and encourage them to participate. If you have questions about joining or
what specific reforms we are pursuing, please feel free to contact me any time
either by email directly at email@example.com
or by phone at 208-775-4577. I offer this with the caveat that most of our
members are aware of...I don't have an "off" button when it comes to federal
wildland firefighter issues and what I think they deserve.
I also want to thank those who participated in the Wildland Firefighter
Foundation's fundraiser at McClellan last week for their warm welcome of the
former Congressman. Stay safe and please know that there are those busting their
tails on your behalf as you bust yours on the fire lines. God Bless you All.
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
Re: social media for notifications:
Many don't know that the USFS is behind BLM and DOI agencies in the use of
social media. FS only just allowed Forests and Districts to use Twitter for
official use, and Facebook is NOT allowed for official use. People have gotten
in trouble for trying to use it that way. The Honor Guard had to get W.O.
Permission from the Chief of the FS to have a Facebook page. I agree it is time
to get inboard with social media, but for now, be very careful unless you have
been authorized by Washington Office level for this kind of use.
As many regular readers and participants know, we have major fires burning in
California, even at this early date. Increasingly there are wildfires burning
across the western states. For you who are finding this website for the first
time, please visit our
WILDLANDFIRE HOTLIST forum for the most recent crowd-sourced
firefighting community information.
Thanks to all Wildland Firefighters,
Incident Management Teams, Dispatchers, Public Information Officers, and other
support staff -- on forests and state ranger units and in local firefighting
communities -- for the good work you're doing. If you've come to help from out
of the region, thank you. Please be safe!
Carry on -- safely --. Ab.
mb's Social Media as a Prescribed Fire Notification Tool & Smokey's Perspective
mb: if you are not already using an established
public notification system, your best bet is to ask people how they want to
receive info. You are likely to find a pretty big age divide between those who
would love to receive messages via Twitter versus those who'd rather get an
email. A small percentage won't want any electronic communication, and I can
almost guarantee that's where your complaints will come from: "We had no idea
they were going to fire this thing off!" You could reduce the work load by using
a platform that lets you hit multiple methods at once, say a blog that
automatically feeds out to Facebook and Twitter. Then you can use a more
traditional method to hit those who'd rather a call or letter. Just make sure
the message is exactly the same. You might also check on legal requirements for
Smokey307: thanks for your perspective on Esperanza. I think
you are right, especially about the interface issues.
Still Out there as an AD
Some norcal fire season trend graphs 1993-2013 for the Six Rivers National
Forest: Amazing! Dry lightning is
predicted almost every day next week.
Energy Release Component
1000 hr Fuel Moisture
We had fires in Willow Creek (Hwy 299, Humboldt Co), Pecuan (Hwy 96, n of
Hoopa) and there was a fire inland near Stringtown (near Redding CA) in the last
It's not just socal that has the early season. All you new firefighters who
have been hired, be safe!
Memorializing Paul Gleason:
I wanted to share what was done here at Dalton to
memorialize Paul Gleason. This project was spearheaded by Branden Davis and was
dedicated on our 60th anniversary. We are proud of our rich history, and we have
had many great leaders contributing, and Paul is one of them. There were many
many stories shared and many were about Paul.
Training is something we have taken very seriously. Which is why we dedicated
our training room to Paul Gleason.
training room plaque ||
close up of the text
Have a safe season,
Thanks, Scott. Ab.
There have been a lot of significant fires over the last 10
years but I think the most defining fire has to be the Esperanza Fire. An entire
engine company was lost.
- We need to learn how to handle fires in the I-zone more
- We need to address mutual aid issues and responsibilities.
- Fire managers
have to be very clear what they want. For example, did the Bat Chief ask or tell
E-57 to move from the Octagon House? Who had responsibility for the fire when
E-57 burned? I believe it was CALFire. I think we are just beginning to
understand the lessons from the Esperanza Fire.
I think significant fires are those where lives were lost such as Loop, South
Canyon, Cramer, 30 Mile, and others that don’t come immediately to mind. Others
would be significant loss of watershed such as the Station Fire and loss of
property such as the Oakland Hills Fire.
Social Media as a Prescribed Fire Notification Tool
I'm curious as to how parks, forests and individual districts may be using
social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) to keep their neighbors informed of
prescribed fires and wildfire events.
Also, is anyone using any mass notification systems like Nixle or Send Word Now?
AND, is anyone also sending notifications for contractors or neighboring
agencies that don't have the means to spread the word themselves?
Looking at possibly establishing a "clearing house" for prescribed fire info in
an area that doesn't have lots of wildfire, but does have lots of smaller
Hello Valued WLF.com Users,
Yesterday we experienced a high level of activity in Region 5. As most of you
are aware, Wildlandfire.com is in the process of building a new website and
moving all servers to more of an Enterprise solution, so yesterday's slowdown
will not occur.
This is all part of Wildlandfire.com transition of ownership. To dispel any
rumors, the website is not going to change drastically, or even have sections
removed. The main difference you will notice is speed, function, tools, and a
much more positive user interface.
Fire Season hit unexpectedly, and as I am sure most of you are in the same boat,
we are ramping up on our efforts to support the Fire Service. On a side note, I
am sitting at the So Cal Fire Warden and Foresters 83rd Annual Safety
Conference, and the winds are blowing like it is October.
Please, stay safe out there!
Hotlist is poppin'... Ab.
Idaho Gives- A one day annual event during May 2nd to benefit Idaho NonProfits
Please share/forward to your contacts and help us promote this
Help us make Idaho aware that the Wildland Firefighter Foundation is based
here through Idaho Gives TODAY ONLY. On this one day, Idahoans come
together for a day of giving to support the nonprofits in communities across our
state. From midnight -11:59pm a share of every dollar raised by Idaho nonprofits
will be matched with funds from the Idaho Gives award pool. In addition, the top
five organizations with the most unique donors (nonprofits are divided by size)
will receive bonus grants of $3,000, $1,000, $500, $250, and $250 respectively.
The homepage is
The Wildland Firefighter Foundation giving page is
Please share and promote this today. And support the WFF, giving levels for
all income brackets available. Everything helps. Thank you!
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
The Spring 2013 Issue of Two More Chains has arrived!
We hope you enjoy.
Two More Chains - Spring 2013 (pdf download)
Take care, Brenna
Previous issues of Two More Chains at wildfirelessons.net archives
Brenna MacDowell – Communications Specialist
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
I am hearing reports like this poetic one:
The Sacramento Valley is blowing
like none other right now. And smoke fills the air breaks like the season is
Nice, be safe!
Found the video online.
It's a zip file (76 mb) that unpacks as a .mpg video.
Great Video! Never seen firewhirls like this shows.
Many thanks, Bill. Ab.
Sent you the contact info for the video of the Johnson Fire, UT taken in
Maybe the video could get shared with the
Lessons Learned Center as well.
Sad news: passing of Anthony Ricci
Story about deployment (with photo) and surfing
His funeral is on Friday in San Jose, CA.
Condolences to his family, his crew, his girlfriend and all in the
wildland fire community who knew and loved him.. Ab.
GLEASON as coming from this not so hot shot
I'm not surprised Paul has lots of
Hot Shot friends. I'm one of his Not So Hot Shot friends.
I found this site today, and found I had lost a friend. I lost touch with him in
the mid eighties. I never had to go through the Flaming Jaws of Hell of a
wildfire. I would follow Paul in.
I was one of his off season climbing buddies in Southern California and later in
Oregon. I saw a lot of a side of him when we were just plain having fun. One
stint, we went climbing or bouldering almost every afternoon together for three
months. Then working on one arm, one finger front levers on his rings. He was a
deep guy. Paul and Phil, his hard climbing Yang brother, talked about removing
all ego from rock climbing. Not naming climbs, not rating them for hardness, not
telling people what you knew. Not putting your name on it. Very Zen sometimes.
Paul was, oh, so good a climber. In the truly elite of bouldering for a few
years when I knew him. Hunkered down in the wind, smoking, arguing cosmology,
mathematics, and Calabi-Yau manifolds. He saved my butt more than once. Deep
I'd bet it was summer of 1969 when we talked about the Forest Service project he
was doing incorporating thoughts from the Sun Tzu work "The Art of War". He
crawled on the dirt explaining with a stick and drew a big chunk of it out right
there in the dirt. He was fired up to work on the project, something he saw as
revolutionary, while being anxious of the very conventional environment. I
laughed like hell with him when he told me how well it was finally received.
Cro-Magnon strength in a Guru Hot Shot. He had an unforgettable chuckle. Like I
said, (outside of what to do when we left a bar) I'd trust my life on his
decisions, skill, and strength. You knew, and lost, the same guy. He lived,
fully lived. He truly left me with a better life for knowing him. No sorrow.
I hear you laughin' Paul, I'll be right over...
CA Fire Weather 2013 - Red Flag
NWS LA/OXN just issued Red Flag for Wed 5am to Thur 5pm
||Extreme fire behavior video
If it is the fire i'am thinking of, the fire
was named Toms Tornado (well thats what my tshirts say), Suwyns IMT2 team was on
that fire, as was I. i filled an order as a strike team ldr. an went to that
fire, the whole hill side had alot of understory an there was lil smokes
everywhere we decided to light it off with a ping pong machine and... ummm ya as
u saw in the video it lit off nicely... lol i had purchased two shirts from that
fire an still have them today, i believe that fire was in 2004 an yes it was on
fishlakeNF. The firewhirl came off the ridge an we could see trees being ripped
out of the ground, an the resources i had chased smokes from the fire whirl on
that flat for three days. it was actually an awesome fire, an if i remember
correctly we had to sanitize every resource on that DIV an the end of every
shift cuz of the fish disease that was in the creek, there was a large air show
as well on that DIV.
another engine slug
well here is the first correction...l ol sorry ppl i
did a little internet digging an went through some old files an found my
taskbook, the fires actual name was the Johnson Fire an it was in 2002.
The CAL FIRE Firefighter Matt Will Memorial sign that was destroyed in a
traffic accident recently has been replaced at the same location on Hwy. 156,
San Benito County, Calif.
||Extreme fire behavior video
In response to the inquiry about the extreme
fire behavior video, this was a fire on the
Fish Lake NF in September, maybe
2006? The name of the fire escapes me, and I am not sure if the footage is
available online. It was a late season fire, and the extreme behavior belies the
fact that temperatures and humidity were moderate.
Ab added the link to the Fish Lake NF website.
Thought this might interest you:
Reservists ready for wildland fire season
Thanks, -S. Ab.
||What happened to Chips, the Bobcat kitten rescued last August?
Rescued bobcat Chips returns to natural habitat
We hired 6 vets on our district alone doing a VRA hire. It is
easy and simple. For temps it was a no brainer. All that was needed was a DD-214
and a resume. Cut a 52 and viola, you have your new temp! I did look at their
resumes to see what kind of experience they had so we knew whether to hire them
as a 3 or a 4. After the debacle of the Pathways program (we finally got 4 of
them approved, but 3 of them had accepted other positions because it took so
long), the VRA hiring was a breath of fresh air.
Thank you to all our veterans who have served our country. I am glad that we
were able to pay you back! I'm looking forward to meeting all of you.
Sent from my iPad
||CA-ENF Star fire video 9/01
My name is Rush Alexander. NorCal2 DMOB. retired 06. LG CA-SAC. Just
converted tapes to CDs. Have a CD of the Star Fire memorial for 9/11. Love to
share it with the world. My videos are unedited. They are bad. But this is FS
history. I would like to share w/ everyone. No copyright. Just share w/ the
world. Send me your mail address. I'll send you a copy. & please share w/
Forget PC. God Bless America. Out.
Sent from my iPhone
Thanks, Rush. I'd like to see it. Go NorCal2! Amazing days you had in that
Hells Hole area! Ab./Mellie
||Great article on things to come in wildland fire:
This was just published
in Wildfire and Fire Chief magazines:
Information Technology and Work Managing Fires
My only comment is the transceiver being used to transmit data by Philip
Kacerik is HUGE! We started
a thread on the hotlist years ago describing the Inmarsat BGAN terminal
which has been in use worldwide on many disasters where there is no Internet
connectivity or cell towers. The one I’ve used during the Queensland floods,
Australia and Deepwater Horizon Incident in the Gulf of Mexico permits a dozen
computers, cell-phones or PDAs to connect to the Internet through Wi-FI and not
only does it transmit/receive data but also serves as a SatPhone for voice
communications. They also make a smaller unit that can be carried in a fire pack
that can be used with a single device. The attached photos shows how we were
able to provide near real-time mapping from literally IN the Gulf of
Mexico. These portable units are easy to set up just point it south… unless
you’re on an Australia bushfire, then point it north… it even has a built in
compass and emits a loud audio tone when you have the greatest signal strength I
believe I was sending updates to Ab in one of the attached pics.
Tom Patterson | Wildland Fire Specialist | Esri
I added them to the
Equipment 19 photo page. Thanks, Tom. I always knew where you were! Ab.
I've been searching for an app that will keep me informed of
fires in my area (Santee). Can you recommend one?
One is being developed as I type... It will be awesome! Ab.
||Extreme fire behavior video?
I'm looking for a piece of footage of extreme
fire behavior that was shown to my crew last season during our spring S-290
training. It lasted about ten minutes; it seemed to have been filmed in Utah or
a similar area, I believe by a Hotshot crewmember. It's shot from a road looking
across a long field of sagebrush into hillsides filled with conifers. I can't
remember much about the fire behavior pictured, other than that it was truly
extreme -- amazing firewhirls, intense spotting, the wind throwing entire
trees as firebrands, and otherwise a great example of what fire can do under the
right conditions. I also remember that at one point a moose emerges from the
woods and is running full-speed across the sage, and the videographer is
conflicted about whether to film the animal or the fire.
Anyone know what I'm talking about? Anyone know if this video is publicly
available online? Much appreciated!
||Re T cards:
Here's a fire center research document on
T cards from 1977 (403 K pdf)
||End of an Era...
Later to Rick Cowell... an icon in Region 5.....There is a
lot to complain about with the Forest Service in California, But Cowboy makes up
for all its faults single handed. ...I never worked for him, but always saw his
impact on every fire that we were on together.... Every time my hotshot crew was
working around Hobart we'd work a little harder just because they'd raise the
bar so much.... Rick you're the man, probably one of the best Hotshot Supts ever.
We're all going to have to pick up a little more of the slack with you not
around this summer... Have a good retirement thanks for all you've contributed
over the years.
||Rick Cowell's retirement
What a great party. It took two days and 250
people to send Rick out in true Hotshot style. Numerous past and present Supt's
were in attendance from crews all over California. Old friends, Lot's of laughs,
memories, and story telling over campfires. Great BBQ food, cold beer, and one
happy Rick Cowell. He introduced his large family and claimed the Klamath River
is the center of the earth. Who can argue that!!
What a ride, Cowboy!! Thank you.
||Hiring military vets
I just used the VRA authority to hire someone and it was easier than any
other hiring I've ever done. It did take finding the right HR person to get me
the straight scoop on it. Resume and DD 215, a vacant position, and a SF-52
initiated by the employer was all it took. Good luck.
||Rick Cowell's retirement
Today, 4/27/13 is Rick Cowell's retirement party at Bullards Bar. Starts at
1100 with a 3 mile run, then festivities at 1300 to whoknowswhen. 27 years on
the Tahoe (Hobart) Hotshots. Another legend, finishing a tremendous career.
Congrats to Rick! Ab.
||Hiring military vets
I was just notified that a lot of Military Veterans didnt even show up on
Referral Lists this Fire Hire, I was just told that it was a bug in the new
system. I was told that once the investigation is done (if they even conduct
one) that someone is going to be in a lot of trouble. Thats great and all, but
what about us Military Veterans that didnt get a job offer because of this?
I have VRA eligibility and called some Forests and was told that they didnt
want to hire VRA because of the hassle or were told not to hire VRA candidates
and just fly the announcement. Isnt that illegal? What I really thought was
funny is one of my apps did get through and ASC said I was unqualified, but the
funny thing is that it was for the grade and position I last held. Maybe this is
There were also a number of non-vets that had the same problems with not
showing up on the referral lists. We'll see what the outcome is. I haven't heard
of an investigation. It is a new system for the FS but already used by the DOI.
Anyone know the full story? Ab.
Saw this page on the web
Minds Wan to Know (IMWTK) and thought I'd try submitting a question.
I'm preparing training for our Bureau in the use of ICS 219 Resource (T) Cards.
Can you advise the history of the use of T card use in wildland firefighting?
I've found some history on the use of T-cards for logistics and transportation
efforts in the military in WW II and Korea, but no mention of when the use of
T-cards started in the fire service. I'm retired from the fire service (urban
and suburban 25+ yrs) but do not know the historical beginnings of the use of
||Photo of Faller from Mellie
The fella standing on the stump is CAL FIRE SKU Fire Captain Pat Bailey. Hell of
a fireman and a good cutter.
Thanks for the confirmation. Be safe out there. Ab.
||Webinar next Tuesday: The Use of Wood Mulch to Reduce Post-fire Erosion Risk
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013, Pete Robichaud will be presenting a webinar
titled “After the Smoke Clears: The Use of Wood Mulch to Reduce Post-fire
Erosion Risk” at 1pm MDT. To sign up to attend go to
Thanks and Take Care!
Brenna MacDowell – Communications Specialist
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
Hey Ab and all,
I was able to find the episodes with Riggles' and Ab's help.
Survival... episode #1 (youtube)
those lives... episode #2 (youtube)
You NEED to watch these...You NEED to push leadership to get on board with
current medical practices.
Until next time....stay safe
Risk Management is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You...
Thanks, Bill R and Bill A. Crowd sourcing. Ab.
||re West, TX:
The West VFD lost a considerable amount of their equipment in
the explosion, and the Texas A&M Forest Service is coordinating with outside
agencies that want to help. Equipment of all kinds (from engines down to SCBAs,
hoses, ladders, nozzles and fittings) is being processed through the Helping
Hands grant program. Anyone interested in helping this department can contact
TFS at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or they can call the Emergency Services Grants Division at (979) 458-5540.
What is going on in region five? I've heard from colleagues that
many seasonal returnees are being hired late this season and some have been
offered jobs then took them away. I an no longer living in CA but we need to
take care of these boys, what's going on?
As you all begin to prepare for Fire Season 2013, I would like you to ask
yourself, "Am I prepared to care for myself and my coworkers if something goes
If you are relying on someone else on the crew to be your medical provider, what
happens if they are the one injured by a tree, cut by a saw or Pulaski, or
become incapacitated because of illness. Do you know what to do, how to do it,
and where to find the appropriate medical equipment and supplies to care for
your crew's medical provider?
I have attached an absolutely awesome web-link to a documentary done by Dr.
Michael Mosley. He is a physician out of the UK who went to Afghanistan and
followed the boots on the ground regarding the medical care that has been
provided to soldiers in combat. Unfortunately, I cannot get it to open the video
link, however there is also other great stuff from his postings that I have also
attached including how they (the Brits) make sure for every 4 people in a team
one of them is trained to do moderate medical care (EMT/Combat Medic style). He
also talks about some amazing ideas out there regarding the "Platinum 10" vs the
old Golden Hour" as well as using Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
Platinum 10 minutes of care
Progesterone for TBI
I hope this helps provide you all some more information in regards to Caring for
On a more personal note:
Folks, this will be the first time in a long time that I do not go out on large
wildland fires to fight fire or provide medical care to you all (since 1994).
No, I am not deploying to some far away land.
I have decided to accept a Senior Paramedic position with an EMS agency in the
local area that has also decided to work on a consolidation of EMS and Fire
services for their community. I could not be more excited about this awesome
opportunity and the big picture plan that it offers its citizens as well as my
own professional future growth. I could not be more excited to work with the
Fire Chief/EMS Agency Administrator and have enjoyed the conversations he and I
have had to make this goal become a reality. The people of the EMS, Fire, and
Law Enforcement community in that county could not be more exited to work with
me and I could not be more excited to work with them. Some of them are former
EMT students that I taught over ten years ago.
Often times over the last several years I have wondered, questioned, and been
bewildered by the fact that I could not seem to secure a more fixed position
within the wildland fire community and agencies as a true Wildland Fire EMS
Development Specialist. I have talked with buddies of mine that are IHC Supts,
district FOSs, FMOs, and other higher level FAM personnel on how to make a go of
it with places and people who truly need this. Often I have heard, "something
bigger out there for ya Billy". Now I know what that is. While I will miss
sleeping on the ground for months on end, living in hotels, eating MREs, sharing
a smile and a laugh with my buddies on some remote chunk of line, popping the
occasionally knarely blister, or making the medical unit bobsled team... the
thing I will miss most is simply meeting and hanging out with you all in some of
the most beautiful places on earth.
My family could not be more excited... well maybe. With a wife, two teenage sons
who are in every sport possible, two Labs, three chickens, and three acres, I am
sure it will be an adjustment for all. Especially the three chickens and two
dogs (Molly will now have to sleep on her pad and not my side of the bed.... and
the chickens will have to be in the coop more so they stop crapping on my
freaking sidewalk and driveway.)
I hope to see you all again in the future as the system I will be working in
grows to meet the fire and ems needs of others. I will continue to support you
all from the sidelines as best as possible with continued medical article
posting and I still have on-going projects with medical care videos for wildland
fire, Pulse Check (bimonthly IAWF WILDFIRE magazine), and supporting federal law
enforcement as there is still a significant portion of federal land within the
county as we also have MOUs with LEO agencies.
Until then, be safe, have a great fire season, and remember... Risk Management
is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You. (I am going to copyright that
saying,,, so nobody take it: -)
"Risk Management is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You."
Thanks, Bill, glad to hear your good news! Your informative posts here are
invaluable in saving lives! Don't be a stranger. Ab.
||Re West, TX:
Get hold of them directly.
West Fire Dept. | City of West
I’m a dispatcher in Calif and keep hearing rumors on the web that the West,
TX fire dept lost much equipment and some of the station (not to mention the
terrible loss of life) in the fire there this week. Any way you can think of to
||Thanks guys, it's not Chris.
||The picture is of a CDF (CALFIRE) Captain B from Deadwood Camp in Siskiyou
County. I am certain it’s Pat A.
The photograph of the faller is Fire Captain Pat Bailey. Pat was the
Leader of ST9262G with the Deadwood Camp crews and a "C" faller. He told me he
cut down a whole bunch of trees on the complex.
||Photo of Faller posted 4-21-2013
The guy in the photo is wearing the old CDF patch on his shoulder. Think it is a
Fire Captain from Cal Fire San Diego but cant say for sure. Who knows if he fell
the tree or not. Looks like the kind of tree a professional faller would tackle.
||faller on a stump in a norcal photo?
I was poking around looking for a
photo that shows our norcal extreme mountains terrain and I came across photos
from 2006 by the Northern AZ Team on the Klamath NF, Titus Fire (part of the
Happy Camp Complex). I know Hwy 96 through Hoopa, Orleans and Happy Camp, so I
was recognizing landmark bridges, etc.
I found this photo of a faller:
Northern Arizona Team faller photo
Does anyone know if this is Chris Seelye by chance, without his pipe? It's
hard for me to tell without a higher resolution photo. Chris used to fell those
HUGE hazard trees. Here's a
photo of Chris from the Goff fire in 2012 (click the thumbnail under Photo
credit Fillmore). This would be 6 years after the Titus Fire, before Chris'
death. Chris' daughters grew up here in norcal near me. If it is Chris, I'm sure
they'd like to see it.
Thanks for any help,
I am pleased to announce that the former Congressman the FWFSA has teamed up
with in an effort to navigate the dysfunction in Congress will be attending the
WFF's fundraiser next week in Sacramento at McClellan as our guest.
Since he did more for federal wildland firefighters than anyone in Congress to
date, this will be a great opportunity for him to learn more about the wildland
firefighting community and for some of our members to get to know him as well.
I'm certainly looking forward to a great night for the Foundation.
McClellan Fundraiser info on the Hotlist Calendar
||Original Ab or New Ab or Just Plain Ab,
I know things are changing with
WildlandFire.Com. This is just a short note to thank you for all you have done
to keep the wildland fire community best informed. There is no other forum, real
or virtual, that keeps the community as well informed. Every day, morning and
evening, I check your various web pages. I have benefitted from your forum.
What you have provided with your commitment to excellence will never be
forgotten or dismissed. We cannot even estimate in numerics how many lives you
have saved or how many young, aspiring FF's you have helped find job placement
or how many of us old dawgs have been best informed because of your efforts or
all of the rest that you have done.
Please understand I cannot in easy words thank you enough. Best wishes. As I
frequently tell our FF's, take care, be safe, have fun and live the FF dream...
John R. Hawkins, Unit & Fire Chief
CAL FIRE & Riverside County Fire Department
Thanks, John, and thanks for your help through the years. Carry on.
Ab/Mellie Coriell and Original Ab/Steve Myers.
||Defining Fire(s) and lessons learned?
Over the years, specific, defining
fires have contributed to changes in training, practices and wildland fire
doctrine. So, over the last 10 years, what do you think was that defining fire?
What's the fire that you would really want your crew to know and understand so
the same mistakes aren't repeated?
Still Out There as an AD
||Headline says so much...
got him!': Boston bombing suspect captured alive
Carry on, Ab.
||Boston Marathon Bombing
One MIT police officer was killed as he sat in his
cruiser last night. A car jacking of another vehicle occurred.
Re Suspects in the Boston bombing who are brothers.
One suspect is dead, the FBI (police, military SWAT, etc) powers-that-be know
where the second suspect is. Boston and 5 communities surrounding it are on
shelter-in-place orders. Two more persons from the home where the two suspect
brothers live are in custody.
Watch your TV for news.
||Boston Marathon Bombing
FBI releases photos and video of the 2 bombing suspects, supposedly on
fbi.gov but I don't see them there.
I found them
fbi.gov Updates on Investigation into Multiple Explosions in Boston
Here's an article with the photos:
Here Are the Boston Bombing 'Suspects' — Photos and Video, but FBI Needs Help
Video on YouTube:
The guy with the black ball cap followed by the guy with the turned-around white
||Red Flag Wind advisory
from the NWS:
Southwest Cal: Moderate Santa Ana wind event with low humidity.
also for SW Texas
(Austin, San Antonio) with higher humidity.
Prayers for our West, TX brothers, sisters and citizens.
||TX Industrial Explosion
Condolences to firefighters, families and friends in Texas. Looks pretty
Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Rescuers Searching for Survivors, Missing
Heads up about a new avian flu virus: H7N9, that could go pandemic. This
watching as fire season with firecamp approaches. Key is if it is transmitted
human to human.
of CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Prevention)
H7N9 sickens 5 more in China; family cluster suspected
Apr 17, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – The number of people infected with H7N9
influenza in China grew by five today, with Shanghai and Zhejiang province
reporting fresh cases, and news reports described an H7N9 family cluster
apparently linked to one of the outbreak's first confirmed cases.
The five new cases announced today are all in adults. Three are seniors, two
are younger adults, and all are hospitalized, according to official and
The family cluster of infections is reportedly connected to an 87-year-old
man from Shanghai whose illness and death were announced on Mar 31 when
China first revealed the detection of the novel virus and the first three
known human cases. At the time... (More at the link...)
||Good afternoon members of the wildland fire community:
Last week I sent
you a notice that author John Maclean would be on our radio show, FEDtalk, to
discuss his new book, The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder, and the Agony of Engine
57. The interview with Mr. Maclean has now been posted online, and we hope that
you will share it with your networks. The show can be accessed by clicking
Thank you, and please let me know if you have any questions or would like
Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C. | Attorneys at Law
1100 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 463-8400 | Fax: (202) 833-8082
www.shawbransford.com | email@example.com
Hi Jason. No email came into the Ab account. Given that this is a mass
mailing, it likely went into the spam filter, which can collect more than 200
spams a day, more if it's tax time. That's where I found this message. Next time
if you put theysaid in the subject line I might notice it there. Ab.
||Boston Marathon Bombing Incident
Best thoughts and prayers for the
Condolences thread on the hotlist if anyone wishes to contribute.
Congrats to all the agencies using the Incident Command System and working
together based on Interagency Agreements to streamline and enhance the
investigative response. I am very proud of our brothers and sisters who are
"doing their jobs". Ab.
||Boston Marathon Explosions
2 Explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon, according to CNN; apparently
at least 4 people are down and being given aid by first responder Boston
Fire/EMS in view of the CNN producer who is reporting from the scene. Ab.
||Thanks for 10th Anniversary of the Lucky Peak Challenge, Boise ID AND
The New Mexico Interagency Wildfire Awareness Week Fun Run and WFF Fundraiser!
Many thanks to
Chad and Sara Fisher for bringing everyone together in celebration of the 10th
Anniversary Lucky Peak Challenge, another successful WFF fundraiser, gathering,
and memorial climb in memory of Roger Roth and others who have fallen or been
injured fighting wildland fires. I heard it was a chilly/windy one, but plenty
of warmth and spirit at the BBQ to make up for it! Wish we could have been
Thank you to Karen Takai (Sandia Ranger District) and the others that helped
organize the New Mexico Interagency Wildfire Awareness Week Fun Run and WFF
Fundraiser! Your support will help us continue to: provide immediate travel
assistance to get an injured firefighter's family to their firefighter's bedside
and assist with expenses for families while their firefighter is recovering,
help an injured firefighter meet their financial needs until they receive
benefits, or are able to go back to work, and network crews and families with
information and support after an injury or fatality. We value our role in being
the funnel to pass on financial assistance, ongoing emotional support, and
recognition efforts to our fallen and injured wildland firefighters. Our efforts
would not be possible without you! Thank you!
PS added later: Heartfelt condolences from all of us at the WFF to the people
of Boston, families and friends and those who were injured and killed in the
||Below is the link to the 24 Hour Report for the Driving Accident at Merritt
Island Wildlife Refuge. Please see that it receives wide distribution within
your agency. When available, other investigation documents, specifically the 72
Hour Report and the final Factual Report will be posted on the Wildland Fire
Lessons Learned Center database for incident reports and lessons learned
Learned Incident Lookup).
To view this this Bulletin go to:
Merritt Island Complex.pdf (pdf download from NIFC's Safety
||Matt Will's Memorial Highway sign was destroyed by an "errant driver".
Got this in the Always Remember email account. I don't know the replacement
process, but it seems the driver's insurance should pay for a replacement.
Always Remember Matt Will for reference and a photo of the sign before it
was hit and destroyed.
Hotlist thread on the replacement
I have bum news, the friend that took the photo of Matt’s Memorial sign called
me and stated an errant driver took out the sign and posts (destroyed) in an
accident. At least the photo was captured. I am trying to find out what the
replacement process would be, the sign was paid for with private donations.
||Making the rounds in R5:
Aetna recently released a report on the success of
their Employee Healthy Lifestyle Coaching Program.
Happy Monday everyone. I just had to share this with all of you as you know I
have been going through Duke Integrative Medicine processional Health Coaching
program along with Bequi Livingston, & Jim Saveland and with my clients it has
been truly amazing.
Aetna recently released a report on the success of their Employee Healthy
Lifestyle Coaching Program:
They previously worked with Duke to test a Mindfulness-Based, Mind-Body
Another affirmation of the value of our Mindfulness-Based IHC training
program. Take a look.
Healthy Lifestyle Coaching
Be WELL! Be proactive… it is not just all about learning after, but how we
show up, up front and care for our employees and provide the structure for
resiliency & optimal health & Well-Being.
Pacific Southwest Region Occupational Health & Safety Manager
This past year I was made painfully aware that many people within the federal
land management agencies, at the regional levels (and in Public Affairs), have
very little knowledge of what actually happens day-in and day-out at the large
and very busy air centers and airtanker bases, such as the Grand Junction
Interagency Air Center. They only seem to know the results, either good or bad.
And as has been my motto and goal throughout my career as a public school
educator, school administrator, wildland firefighter, Fire Prevention
Technician, Public Affairs Officer/Information Officer and tour guide in Nepal:
Using any available means, reach out to the public and while you have their
attention... inform them as best as possible.
And that's my intention with this blog. Find it and follow it at:
This could be a very interesting season. Be safe.
This doesn't surprise me as they always cut from the bottom up. It's
popular to rant about cutting government, but nobody says how. Whenever they do
across the board cuts, the agency does it from the bottom up. After all, the
ones with the power to pick the cuts aren't going to cut themselves or their
friends they work with so that leaves the field. We all know that the work that
still has to be done can be done by contractors even though studies have shown
it costs 2 to 4 times as much.
Years ago when I came from the state to the FS, the first thing I saw when I
entered the fire shop was an article on the bulletin board that said Reagan cuts
10,000 federal fire jobs. Since he's their hero we know that this is the
approach todays Republicans are going to take, although Obama didn't do us any
favors with his budget proposal.
Please let's refrain from politics unless it's specifically fire-related.
We each have our own opinions and preferences. Thanks, Ab.
As a former 5th District VP for the California Professional Firefighters (the
5th district covering all federal firefighters in CA) I think it critical for
the Vandenburg crew members to know what, if anything, the current 5th District
VP of the CPF and the current 16th District VP of the International Association
of Fire Fighters did on their behalf to prevent this cut.
We remain keenly aware that agencies will use the sequester as an excuse for the
delay in hiring seasonal wildland firefighters and continue to manipulate FIRE
preparedness dollars to fund non-fire positions and projects which in turn will
increase the risks to the health & safety of our firefighters and those they
protect and ultimately increase the cost of suppression.
Those of you on the LP need to support the Vandenburg crew and communicate to
the Congressional representatives that surround Vandenburg and raise the issue
with the RO & WO (we will follow up as well) that this is a serious action with
serious consequences for the safety of our firefighters and their constituency.
This is not a "Chicken Little" response. It is a clear vicious cycle that occurs
each season. Preparedness dollars are misused resulting in a reduction of
inherently less expensive federal resources in place pursuant to the National
Fire plan to keep fires and less costly. As the season bears down, the Agencies
have no alternative but to fill in the missing gaps with expensive non-federal
resources that needlessly increase the cost of suppression.
These gaps may, in many instances, continue for some time increasing the risks
to the firefighters and Public. While we have gotten the acknowledgement of many
in Congress that they understand these dynamics, it is an entirely different
matter to get them to do something about it. As is typical, it will take a
catastrophic event before they wake up and take some kind of action. In the
meantime the Agencies will throw the dice and hope the season isn't a disastrous
one that results in Public outcry, Congressional hearings etc.So much for MEL!
||Vandenberg Hotshots laid off:
Major Bummer!!! Wonder if the FS is gonna
start The "Massacre" again any time soon...Things just keep getting better all
the time...(insert sarcasm)
Vandenberg Hot Shot Crew Members To Be Laid Off
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.- Central Coast News has learned 14
Vandenberg Hot Shot crew members will soon by out of a job. According to
officials, a full hot shot crew is 21 members and 14 employees will be let go.
Last year, crew members were sent to help fight fires in Colorado and Wyoming.
Central Coast News reached out to officials from the Vandenberg Air Force Base
for comment, but as of Friday evening we have not received a call back.
Fair use disclaimer
||Interagency Dispatch Optimization Improvement Pilot Project (IDOPP) final
The IDOPP final report that was completed in January is finally released to
the public. While I'm still going through it, the glaring fault I see in the
dispatch assessment is the complexity rating of ECCs.
How does anyone who has a clue believe that ANCC (Angeles ECC) and SIFC
(Susanville Interagency ECC) are moderate complexity ECCs? How can any third
tier ECC in California be assessed as anything but high? Considering the busiest
centers as the high-water mark disvalues the complexity of the rest of the ECCs.
Maybe those ECCs have a workload that is too heavy? It is a flawed assessment
and it undermines the rest the recommendations, which is too bad because some of
the recommendations are very good.
I feared this contrived conclusion when I heard a key IDOPP committee member
refer to R5's current high complexity ECC assessment as a "Quintinism" in order
to undermine the Region's current established decision. This biased assessment
also opens up the possibility of downgrades of ECC staff on top of everything
else. If this exercise was really about optimization and not consolidation,
IDOPP would have evaluated and recommended splitting some of the large centers
so they can provide optimal service. Consolidation does not equal optimization
no matter how you phrase it.
Forest Service Management Efficiency Assessments
11. Interagency Dispatch Optimization Improvement Pilot Project (IDOPP)
||Dear TheySaid and TheyWillTell EveryoneTheyKnowToHelpGetTheWordOutPlease,
Last day to register for the WFF Memorial Fundraiser is approaching:
The Deadline is April 17th. THAT'S ONLY 3 BUSINESS DAYS AWAY! Event is on April
All wishing to attend must pre-pay at:
If you are a family member of a fallen wildland firefighter and are attending,
please let the Foundation know, as we want to insure all families members
receive (Hawaiian) leis.
Where? McClellan, CA at Lionsgate Restaurant Club Ballroom. We will be
remembering those who lost their lives fighting wildland fires from the air and
on the ground.
Cost? Admission is $50.00 per person, includes dinner, non-alcoholic drinks and
live entertainment by “Hawaiian Dancers" Aloha Polynesia!
Goodies? There will be a silent auction and you may win great prizes from our
raffle contest. You're encouraged to bring an auction item from your company or
Theme? Hawaiian attire or not, wear what you want………
Event starts at 1730 (that's 5:30pm) and goes until....
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Ab and Fire Folks,
OK, this horse is being resurrected so we can all beat it once again. Can
someone please explain to me what is LEGAL and ILLEGAL in the diversity
hiring practices. I have heard that it is LEGAL to hire diversity based on a
particular region's demographics. However I have heard that it is ILLEGAL to
hire diversity based on the entire country's demographics. For example, and
this a real life one to boot, the demographics in Southwest Montana look
NOTHING like those say in Southern California--- or even the USA, for that
matter. Yet I am hearing that folks in these areas are expected to churn out
diversity applicants nonetheless. Some are saying that they have to match
their workforce to look like the country--- well sorry but some parts of
this country (say Montana) just don't "look" like the rest of the country, so
why then are USFS people expected to hire folks who: a.) don't live in the
area/region, and b.) would have no real interest in living there even if
given the opportunity? Why are local, quality, highly skilled and
experienced applicants being pushed aside in order to meet some unrealistic
diversity quota? Also, why is it so dam* important that the USFS hire
diversity? This is the FOREST SERVICE, an agency that should be made up of
PROFESSIONALS, you know people who have experience working and living in the
woods, people who have FORESTRY degrees and RESOURCE MANAGEMENT degrees
--- its not some government outfit that just exists to give everyone a
chance --- give me a break. If candidates who fit this bill also happens to
be diversity then great!!! If not, well sorry you don't qualify, come back
when you do!!! I think I need to start looking at the private sector; this
agency really is spiraling down into a big ball of pc irrelevancy.
It sounds to me like the referral list you were on expired. Its only good for so
many days and if they don't request to extend it, it will expire and they will
need to pull a new one and then start the leveling process all over again.
When requesting a referral list, one can select a specific area or town where a
particular crews station (district) is and, there is a 50 mile radius, too. On
my forest we pulled both! On our district we had over 900 applicants to level.
This took five weeks with 1-3 people. We had four vacancies! You don't have to
request the 50 mile radius, too, but our forest supervisor does his own thing,
and might even be pressured to do so?
I personally want to hire a good veteran. They deserve it! They were told when
they signed up and returned home they'd be offered a job. I have some great
veterans working for me now and have had some great ones that have moved on. I
have had some that couldn't cut it either!
I'm glad you had a spot to go back to!
Hotshots and Helicopters
Get a permanent position. That would help things a lot, not to mention the
benefits of intermittent status during the winter and training. That aside, the
folks that told you that you had a job made some mistakes, because they must
clear the vets off a hiring list before offering anyone else a position. (If
your story is true.) It is a big mess this year with the integration of eRecruit,
Temp Hiring, Lotus Notes (thought we got rid of that), and USAjobs. You are not
the only one, maybe ask the question, "Why did you offer me a job before
clearing the Vets?" on second thought, don't ask, if you ever want a chance to
work there again. Just shoot for that PSE position
R5 Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement -- Diversity
Communication from Randy Moore, Regional Forester (30 K pdf)
The president is proposing $74 million for improving the FS wildland aviation
fleet. See pg. 68.
White House Budget
Thanks from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation:
"A big thanks goes out to
Darla Theisen, Anne Connor, Rebecca Metcalf, and others at the AK Division of
Forestry, Alaska Fire Service, and USFS in AK who organized another successful
fundraiser for the WFF at their 2013 Dispatch Workshop! We appreciate your
support! Thank you!"
Reply regarding NJ SEATs:
In 1995 I was on the Sunrise Fire on Long Island, New York which utilized 7
Ag Cats and two helicopters (State of NY and Maine) to help fight that fire. The
Ag Cats all had reciprocating engines back then and did a great job for us.
Given the proximity to wealthy communities and WUI concerns, this fire became
political very quickly. President Clinton's office, in addition to FEMA and
other state and local officials, were on hand to 'help' with the coordination
efforts. You may remember that high level DC officials ordered two C-130's to
assist. It quickly became clear that the aircraft we had on site were adequate
to contain the fire since the winds that initially pushed the blaze had
subsided. Given the politics at work though, the C-130 order stood.
Unfortunately, due to a top level ordering snafu, the aircraft and support
personnel were about 24 hours behind schedule. Numerous media outlets were
onsite waiting for the airshow. Given the potential political fallout from the
President's office, they were directed to drop water (not retardant) on the
environmentally sensitive land where the fire was now being mopped up.
It was one of the more interesting fires I've been on politics wise. Here's a
link for the Downstown Aero story including info by Walt Darren at airtanker.org:
Downstown Aero, Vineland NJ -- oldest surviving airtanker operator
Interesting. Nice piece. Ab.
Fire history maps?
Do u guys have a link that shows fire history maps for
areas u might be going to?
Sent from my iPhone
Not yet, but as I understand it, that feature will be coming. Ab.
Heat related illness and the consumption of energy drinks
Good info in the heat illness prevention pocket guide and some interesting
recommendations. (Safety Advisory: Heat Illness Prevention Pocket Guide
In addition, I have noticed what I perceive to be an increased trend in heat
related illness in those with less experience related to energy drink
consumption and believe this is an issue worth discussing.
I would be interested to see what the data would show if we tracked energy
drinks as a contributing factor to heat related illness in SHIPS for the FS or
by other means.
Any nutritionalists out there with facts worth sharing during upcoming
refreshers related to energy drink consumption?
Any safety officers out there with thoughts on tracking nutrition/hydration
as a contributing factor to heat related illness?
Anyone out there with a lesson learned/near miss experience related to energy
drinks to share?
USDA does about-face, won’t jettison Forest Service’s shield logo
A plan to drop a recognizable logo in this part of the country — the Forest
Service’s iconic shield — generated so much outrage among the agency’s retirees
that the idea has been dropped. (Read the rest at the link.)
Re Resignation Memo from Under Secretary Harris Sherman:
Wow, 4 whole years!
Pretty lengthy resignation letter for such a short tenure.
To be fair, that is twice as long as Sarah Palin lasted as Alaska's governor
before she resigned.
Harris, we hardly knew ye.
FS Memo making the rounds this morning and passed on to R5 via the Public
Affairs and Communications director, Sherry R; It's the same message
circulating last week from the FS Retirees group. Ab.
Subject: Guidance on
Forest Service shield
Good morning, colleagues. Per USDA, we are cleared at all levels to provide only
the following comment when queried about the FS shield. If we get further
guidance, we will let you know.
FYI… this is likely ALL that they will say on the topic at USDA as well.
"The US Forest Service shield is exempted from the One USDA branding directive."
Oh and here's another offering mentioned by Sherry that looks interesting:
Green Fire is coming to PBS stations across the nation beginning
in April. Click on
greenfiremovie.com to check the listings in your area.
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time
Fires in New Jersey:
New Jersey - Bi-Plane SEAT! NJ's warming weather prompts caution on wildfires
Click on the link on the
for the photo and various articles.
Has anyone seen a biplane acting as an airtanker before?
Trampus Haskvitz Golf Tourney
Dear Wildland Fire Community,
The 2nd Annual Trampus Haskvitz Golf Tournament is coming up and I'd like
everyone in the wildland community to pause a moment and consider attending this
year. The Haskvitz family strength is amazing. Last year, they were able to pick
each other up out of the dust and organize the inaugural event only months after
the tragic fire that took Trampus' life. We have seen here at the WFF that each
family grieves differently, and this family grabbed their grief by the bullhorns
and pulled together to remember and honor Trampus with such fierce beauty.
Please share with our wildland fire community, and if anyone can make the 2nd
Annual Trampus Golf Tourney this year in South Dakota, they should go. Its
another great chance to be surrounded by wonderful people as the Haskvitz's.
In love and light,
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
This information is also posted on the Hotlist Calendar. Sounds like a
wonderful opportunity to gather, to play and to remember Trampus. Ab.
Resignation Memo from Under Secretary Harris Sherman
April 8, 2013
Dear Forest Service Family:
I want you to know that today I have tendered to the President my resignation as
Under Secretary for Natural Resources & the Environment at USDA. As you know, I
am a Westerner at heart and, after four years, I am feeling a strong “tug” from
that direction, particularly from my family in Colorado and California. Although
this has been a difficult decision for me, I think it is a good time to make a
transition. My plan is to remain at USDA until May 8, 2013 to assist in the
I cannot tell you what a rare privilege and honor it has been working with you
on so many critical fronts and knowing how much we have accomplished. I marvel
that in the face of declining budgets, record fires and temperatures, and
challenging forest health conditions, we have achieved so much.
Think about the following successes during the past four years:
--A new National Planning Rule that sets the framework for all future
--Conservation of vast landscapes and watersheds across our national forests as
part of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.
--Accelerated restoration of millions of acres within national forests to combat
bark beetles, invasive species, and address climate variations which in turn
will reduce the threat of wildfire.
--New public/private partnerships with water utilities, electric utilities,
recreation interests, ski resorts, major corporations, and NGOs to assist in
forest and watershed restoration.
--Expanded recreation opportunities across national forests and ski areas.
--Protection of Native American sacred sites and comprehensive consultation with
--Creation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to work with partners
to connect thousands of young people to the outdoors through targeted
internships and career opportunities.
--Collaborative efforts with diverse stakeholders reaching consensus on forest
restoration, resulting in fewer appeals and less litigation.
--Streamlining the Forest Service permitting and environmental review systems,
thereby reducing costs, eliminating inefficiencies, and improving environmental
This is in addition to the great work we do every day to protect communities
from catastrophic wildfires, support state and private forest landowners,
conduct critical forest research, manage and conserve our natural resources, and
connect millions of people to our public lands.
These are only a few of the many milestones reached by the Forest Service — all
of which are a testament to why the Forest Service has continued to be critical
to the Nation’s future.
While these jobs are about policies, programs, and the good work we are doing in
communities, they are also about our relationship to each other within the
agency. The Forest Service is a special place: rarely will you see more
talented, hardworking people at every level. The Forest Service has a
well-deserved, proud reputation. Wherever I have traveled these past four years,
I have heard of our good deeds, extra effort, and exceptional results. You have
every reason to take pride in your role and contribution to caring for the land
and serving people.
While I will miss all of you, I know our public and private forests are in good
hands and that you will devote your talents and energies to the work ahead. I
wish all of you good fortune, health, and success in the years ahead.
Safety Advisory: Heat Illness Prevention Pocket Guide
Below is the link to access this document:
To view this Advisory go to:
To view all Advisories go to:
looking for photos or video of the Viejas Fire January 3, 2001
My name is Ian Hay and I was a fire fighter with La Cima Camp in Julian Ca I
was with Crew 3 On the Viejas fire. I was wondering if you had any of those
pictures or any videos of the news that day? I was one of the ones that got
smoke inhalation and was interviewed by the news. I am looking for some Pictures
from that Fire. I took a bunch myself with a disposable but they have all since
been lost. I'm hopeful you might be able to point me in the right direction.
Thank you for your time have a great day.
Several days ago on the hotlist, Firescribe posted a link to an article about
the FS being at odds with OSHA on the Steep Corner Incident in Idaho in which
Anne Veseth died.
Here's the beginning of the AP article:
GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) — The US Forest Service is contesting a citation issued
against it by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the
death of a 20-year-old Forest Service firefighter last summer. OSHA spokeswoman
Deanne Amaden told the Lewiston Tribune in a story published Friday that the two
agencies are negotiating after each conducted investigations and reached
separate conclusions. Anne Veseth of Moscow died Aug. 12 after being struck and
killed by a falling tree...
Mellie, what is the status of your "Always Remember" project ?
Is there a place where we can access a list of fatalities that have occurred
over the years ?
Still working on it as time allows. It's here:
If you hover your pointer over the Incident Lists in the menu bar,
different options will drop down: by Date, by Cause, by
Employer, and All Incidents. If you click on All Incidents,
you'll get all the incidents we have done at this time (20 incidents by 25 pages
or so). If you want to see all in one list, you can find the Display # option
and click All. There should be about 478 incidents right now, ordered
by date, going back to 1871. It's easy to filter by last name, by year,
by 2-letter state abbreviation, or by day of the year (xx/xx)
if you want to know who died on that day -- who's also included in the database
Today is April 6. Filter on 04/06 and you'll find the anniversary of the
burnover deaths of
Kevin Smith and Ken Allen on the Island Fork Fire in Kentucky and the heart
attack death of
John Murphy in Massachusetts. Both incidents have NIOSH Reports.
I haven't had time to go through all records to correct the USFA links.
They changed their system some months ago and it's a huge, time-consuming
job to correct the records.
If anyone has a person to add, I need the name and a death date or at
least a month and year and any other information you can find. Thanks,
FS vs USDA logo
Someone just has toooo much time on their hands thinking about stuff like this.
The agency has been loosing its core values for some time and it's this kinda
stuff that shows it.
Back when we were developing the Region 5 web and National web site, this new
branding logo was part of the action at that time. The big issue..... the
pushers of the New USDA brand really were not part of the old guard. Not really
part of the boots on the ground force that formed and held the agency together.
Cool simplistic designs are good and their designers have their place in life,
but not when it comes at a cost of removing a 100+ year piece of history. What
are the heads of the agency thinking???
The Shield was something I wore proudly and was always well received by all
those visitors to the forest (with the exception of a few). It was even a cool
thing to show those kids in the classrooms, pointing out that there was a tree
on the badge making us caretakers of the forest and their lands.
That's my two cents worth...
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour Changes
Since it's a violation of the MA you'll probably have to file a grievance so you
should get a hold of your union rep. I told your R5 C.V.P. Barry McDonald and
the chair of the NFFE Fire Committee Joe Duran if your local rep. needs some
direction they can probably help.
NFFE R1 C.V.P.
FS vs USDA logo
This may be old news by now but the USDA has apparently relented on its
"head-scratching" plan to eliminate the Forest Service shield and other logos.
I'm not sure how the powers that be thought such a move would improve the
Agency's ranking among places to work in the federal government; or help fill in
the chasm that continues to exist between the Agency leadership and those in the
field; or be cost-effective in the era of the sequestration but the plan
certainly ranks up there with the beauties offered over the years.
Hmmm, now would be a great time for the USDA to finally recognize that it
employs professional wildland firefighters and classify them as such!
And if I might, a word about Lance Cross and his family's loss. Lance is the 2nd
FWFSA family member to lose a child in 2013. Mike Alarid being the first. I grew
up with Lance and his brothers Kevin and Matt in Hawaii where we lived just a
few houses from each other. Our families spent an inordinate amount of time
together and I was shocked to learn he had followed a similar path in life and
became a federal wildland firefighter. After over 40 years we reconnected at the
Castle Rock Fire in Idaho several years ago.
As with Mike, I know our FWFSA Family and all those who know Lance and his
family have their thoughts and prayers with Mike & Lance as they deal with an
unfathomable loss. Much Aloha Lance.
Our best to Mike's and Lance's families as well. Ab.
FS vs USDA logo
Re: FS logo replaced with USDA?
The article dated today (April 4th) says the USFS logo/shield has been exempted
from the new USDA logo regulations. Given my strong feelings of mistrust of the
USDA, I think all FS employees still need to maintain good S.A. for another
sneak attack from our "parent" department.
USFS badge dodges bullet
Great news! Ab.
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour Changes
Good luck. I was actually charged by ASC/NFC when I coded it the correct way. I
had to pay it back, which meant that I received phone calls from a payment
person during my off-tour time. I was confused and pissed because everyone else
on the fire (also FS) did not have to pay it back (and I checked). I complained,
even wrote a note to the newly (and worthless in my opinion) deputy chief of
business operations at ASC and she never even responded. I tried contacting my
union rep, but after not receiving a response from him (and consequently my
quitting the union), I gave up. If you figure out a solution please let me know.
I had to pay back a nice chunk of change - and I was working hard for it the
It may not be enough to tip the deficit in our favor, but it was a lot for me.
FS Owes Me
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour changes
Thanks for the reply... Sooooo... For all us folks for the last few years who
have been told it is not overtime.... how do we go about getting what is owed to
us... Mass audits from ASC?? Mass corrected time sheets??? Contact our Union
Making the rounds... FS logo replaced with USDA?
The new standards for the USDA logo were making the rounds on 3/28/2013.
"The use of agency and staff logos in Signature Lockups is being
phased out and replaced with a signature model that features only the USDA
symbol." from page 7 of the Standards.
Here's the link to the standards:
USDA Logo visual standards guide (1,346 K pdf). Ab.
Photos of Historical FS Logos from MOC4546 on
Photos 6 and a few on Logos 7.
Why Is USDA Stripping the Forest Service of its Pine Tree Logo? (opinion)
As official badges go, the Forest Service's is pretty plain --
but very much to the point. At its center, a lone pine tree splits the letters U
and S, letters that serve doubly to denote the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, organizations whose names are emblazoned across the
top and bottom of the shield. It is a deft, clean, legible, and
historic symbol, having been the agency's central logo since its
establishment in 1905.
For many current and past
employees, it is also a badge of honor, a reflection of their deep and abiding
attachment to their one-time or present-day roles as stewards of America's
national forests. So you'll understand if they get a little testy when someone
proposes to mess with this sign of their lifelong devotion to the public good...
More at the link...
Attempted Murder on the Potomac (editorial)
On January 8 of this year, Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, quietly put a
gun to the head of the 108-year-old U.S. Forest Service and pulled the trigger.
But if he thought he could kill the venerable agency that easily, he was wrong.
More on the Attempted Murder on the Potomac in a moment, but first some
background from the crime scene.
The U.S. Forest Service has been the designated caretaker of the nation's
193-million-acre federal forest estate since its creation in 1905. It is the
brainchild of two of this country's greatest conservationists, President Teddy
Roosevelt and the much revered Gifford Pinchot, who was the agency's first chief
and its principal architect. Their goal was to transfer the last of the nation's
public domain timberland into forest reserves - national forests - for their
conservation and use by the American people...
More at the link...
83rd Annual Wildland Fire Safety Conference, Southern California Association of
Foresters and Fire Wardens
The Southern California Association of Foresters
and Fire Wardens is hosting its annual wildland fire safety conference at the
Irvine Outdoor Education Center in Yorba Linda, Ca on May 2-3, 2013. The
association is made up of federal, state and local government fire
professionals, including So Cal Edison, who come together to present and discuss
issues related to the challenges we all face. Featured this year are noted
wildland fire author John Maclean and Risk Management expert Gordon Graham. For
more information on the Association and Conference attendance, please visit our
website at scaffw.org .
We hope to see you there.
Southern California Association of Foresters and Fire Wardens
Making the rounds:
NM Congressman Steve Pearce Releases Fire Report
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eric Layer
PEARCE RELEASES FIRE REPORT
Ruidoso, NM (April 2, 2013) – Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce released a
report he requested last summer on recent fires in New Mexico.
“Today’s report is a step toward the transparent, locally-driven approach
to forest management that New Mexico needs,” said Pearce. “New Mexicans have
expressed anger and frustration over the handling of recent fires, which
needlessly cost hundreds of millions of dollars, destroyed hundreds of
thousands of acres of habitat, and killed countless plants and animals. By
understanding thoroughly what has gone wrong with fire management in past
summers, we can work to improve our fire prevention and forestry policies,
The report was sponsored by the National Institute for the Elimination of
Catastrophic Wildfire, and authored by Bill Derr, who retired as special agent
in charge of the California Region for the US Forest Service. The report, which
was completed at no cost to taxpayers, details what went wrong with the
suppression efforts of the Whitewater-Baldy Complex and Little Bear Fires last
summer. It recommends that the Forest Service manage our nation’s forests in
accordance with the Organic Act of 1897, review the National Fire Policy,
calculate the total cost of wildfires beyond suppression, and that Congress
should reform the Equal Access to Justice Act to prevent special interest groups
from dictating forestry policy in an unscientific manner at taxpayer expense.
The full text of the report is available
Rod Duff, a member of the 1952 Oak Grove Hotshots, passed away on March 30 after
a short illness. Rod lived a full life that included wildland firefighting for
the USFS and CDF, working as a Disney Imagineer, owning an animation company,
and serving as an interpretive ranger at Bodie State Park in retirement. He was
an 19th century mining and railroading expert, a lifetime Land Rover enthusiast,
a model railroader and a member of the Bodie Chapter of E Clampus Vitas. Rod
considered his time as a hotshot one of the highlights of his life, and
thoroughly enjoyed himself at the Oak Grove Hotshot reunion in 2012.
will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 6, at Joshua Memorial Park, 808 East
Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA.
Condolences can be sent to Rod’s wife Cindy Kline at 7229 West Columbia Way,
Quartz Hill, CA 93536.
Best thoughts and prayers for family and friends. Ab.
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour changes
Read the Master Agreement Article 28 section 4 a. it says “ This means that
initial attack hours worked after midnight until the individual’s regularly
scheduled tour of duty begins will be considered overtime.”
Ronald C. Angel
NFFE FSC R1 CVP
Facilitating Treatment of Traumatic Injuries- Clarification
letter being commented upon- as your readers have noted the letter states:
After on-site medical response, initial medical stabilization, and
evaluation are completed, the decision to refer the employee to a regional
burn center is made only by the attending physician. WC benefits may be
denied in the event the employee is transported to a burn center without a
referral from the attending physician.
As it turns out, we have had patients with relatively minor injuries (small
hand burns treated with salve, then released) transported to burn centers via
life flight. Thus the need for a clearer protocol. A life flight EMT/Paramedic
could make the call in the field to proceed directly to a burn center after
conferring (via radio) with the “attending physician”. The letter does not
preclude a burn victim from being taken directly to a burn center, if necessary.
The letter (which was developed with assistance from a licensed EMT Union
representative) allows the flexibility to provide every patient with the
appropriate necessary care and burn patients may be transported immediately from
the field to a burn center if directed by the attending physician (via radio) to
the attending life flight EMT/paramedic.
J Lenise Lago
Deputy Chief, Business Operations
USDA Forest Service
Thanks for the clarification. Ab.
This season's hiring has been an epic tale of failures. And now this???
On my unit (no names here), we pulled a GS-4 cert with over 350+ names and were
directed to select a dozen 'random' candidates to rate. Where is the sense in
Fairness? We were told to look for strong diversity candidates.
Equality? We were also to look for 'locals' as best possible.
Experience/quals/etc? Thats up to the rating system...
Despite all the talk of federal 'transparency', it seems thats all it was...
I've never felt so conflicted over my agency's hiring policies. I couldn't sleep
a wink last night. Anyone else receiving this kind of direction? I'm open to PMs
for help, I'm sure Abs will forward on.
- Anonymous in R5
I know there has been a lot of fuss about this new hiring system not working
out too good for folks. I have really been hearing a lot of it. I can tell you
from first hand experience that I did not find one problem with it and actually
thought it was better and easier than Avue. I literally had to turn down jobs.
So I know it works. I am guessing that people not being to familiar with the
system made errors of some sort on there applications and this is the main
reason for the troubles. Ok so with all that being said here are some tips for
using e recruit.
- Make sure you up load your own resume a word document for example. If
you use there resume builder the format will be all screwed up.
- attach EVERYTHING you can if there is a spot for it. ( SF-50, OF-306,
IQCS, etc )
Now when you write your own resume, you have to include certain key words.
You can easily look at the job description and see what kind of key words you
need to include in your work history description. (JUST key words. write your
own description ) You also need to give dates of how long you worked at what
grade. This is very important now. My understanding is it is up to you now to
prove and reflect that you have the experience and time in grade on your resume.
Avue made it easier in that sense.
Moral of the story do your homework put together a top notch application.
Take your time on it. (the more info you put the better.) Do exactly what it
asks. Have some one who knows what they are looking at check and double check it
before you submit it. I know its a little too late now, but hopefully this can
- Pond bear