South Africa firefighter killed in vehicle accident

From iol Mobile, March 6, 2015:

“Cape Town – A young firefighter from the West Coast District Municipality died on Thursday when the fire truck he drove left the road and plunged down the side of the Dasklip Pass.

Nazeem Davies, 25, from Worcester, was on his way back to the Vredenburg station from the Winterhoek Mountains, near Porterville, where he and his colleagues had helped put out a fire.

West Coast District Municipality spokesman Kallie Willemse said Davies and a colleague, Niklaas Nel, were on their way back to Vreden.

Nel escaped with slight injuries, but the truck hit a large boulder on the way down, which stopped it but crushed the truck to the point where hydraulic jaws had to be used to extricate Davies’ body from the wreck.”

Our sincere condolences go out to the firefighter’s co-workers and family.

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2014 wildland fire incident summary

The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center has released a summary of incidents that occurred on wildland fires in 2014. The document only includes incidents that were reported to the LLC. Unfortunately the LLC does not define the term “incident” but it appears to be a serious injury on a wildland fire, perhaps including serious near misses.

Below we have a few graphic highlights. The complete report can be found HERE.

2014 wildland fire incidents by activity

2014 wildland fire incidents by activity. (click to enlarge)

The chart above represents wildland fire incidents from various agencies that were submitted to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) during 2014. Half of the physical training incidents were Rhabdomyolysis cases.

2014 wildland fire incidents by outcome

2014 wildland fire incidents by outcome (click to enlarge)

wildfire Vehicle rollovers by type of vehicleIt would be interesting to know how many of the rollovers of water tenders, engines, and crew carriers involved vehicles that were over the allowed weight (GVW) or were top-heavy. In other words — were they disasters waiting to happen.

 

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February temperature and precipitation

February Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

According to NOAA’a National Climatic Data Center, during February the average temperature in the contiguous United States was 33.1°F, or 0.7°F below the 20th century average. It was frigid in the east, and much warmer than average in the far west.

February Precipitation Ranks

Last month in the contiguous U.S., average precipitation was 1.70 inch, or 0.43 inch below average.

February climate anomalies

February climate anomalies (click to enlarge)

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NFPA addresses sky lanterns

sky lanterns fire balloons

The National Fire Protection Association has taken on the issue of sky lanterns — what I call fire balloons. These dangerous devices have started dozens of documented fires in the United States and are illegal in at least 25 states. Entire countries have banned them, including Austria, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, Germany and parts of Canada. The National Association of State Fire Marshals adopted a resolution in 2013 urging states to ban the sale and use of the devices.

The other 25 states need to get off their collective asses and ban these damn things.

Articles on Wildfire Today tagged sky lantern.

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Pennsylvania firefighter pleads guilty to arson

Dupont Volunteer Hose CompanyA volunteer firefighter in northeast Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to setting 13 fires in Laflin, Pittston, and Dupont while he was a firefighter with the Dupont Volunteer Hose Company. Six of them were vegetation fires.

Below are excerpts from an article in the Times Leader:

A volunteer firefighter turned serial arsonist must pay tens of thousands in restitution — with more to come — after pleading guilty to charges stemming from a number of 2012 fires.

David Charles Donnora, 25, of Pittston, entered guilty pleas Monday to arson, burglary and burning charges before Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas, court records indicate. He must make more than $20,000 in restitution in connection with two of the blazes, court papers say, but that figure is likely to climb as restitution in at least two other cases remains uncalculated.

Donnora is scheduled to be sentenced April 27.

Donnora confessed to state police during an interview about the Dec. 10 fire at 251 Main Street, Dupont, police say. He was the only firefighter from the Dupont department who did not appear to be interviewed by state police the day after the fire.

He allegedly told police he set the Dec. 10 fire and 12 others because he enjoyed battling them and responded to each one he set.

The fires Donnora allegedly admitted to setting included two Dupont structure fires; two separate fires at the same unoccupied building and a trailer fire in Pittston Township; and six brush fires and a railroad tie fire in Laflin.

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