Expertly training the tactical athlete

Professional-level physical training for wildland firefighters and others.

Yesterday the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center’s Facebook page linked to an organization in Jackson, Wyoming that trains tactical athletes, wildland firefighters, and other individuals. The Mountain Tactical Institute has numerous training programs and plans. Their customers can either purchase a written plan, or train in the company’s gym or “sport-specific cycle”. In light of the two recent serious injuries during physical training on the first and second day of the fire season, some of their guiding principles could be applicable in training wildland firefighters, especially those new to the job.

We are not affiliated with the company, but you may be interested in some excerpts from the company’s website:


Strong Swift Durable develops strength and conditioning which transfers to performance and durability on the mountain, battlefield, urban streets, and fire grounds.

All that matters is outside performance.

Our facility in Wyoming is a Strength and Conditioning Laboratory. At any one time we can be working with climbers aiming for Fitz Roy, female soldiers gunning for Ranger School, fire fighters developing a fitness assessment, airmen trying for PJ Selection, professional ultra runners building offseason strength, stock brokers with a GORCUK Challenge on the horizon and teenage girls preparing for soccer season.


FITNESS GOALS OF STRONG SWIFT DURABLE PROGRAMMING

  • High Relative Strength By “Relative Strength” we mean strength per bodyweight. This isn’t a power lifting regimine focused on how much you can lift. Not is it a body building program designed to make you look good. Our strength training is designed to get you as strong as possible without significant weight gain.
  • Rapid Movement Over Ground Sprinting, mid-distance running, hiking uphill under load. We want to get you faster.
  • High Work Capacity for Short/Intense Events We want to replace the pokey V-4 engine in your chest with a high horsepower, V-8.
  • Stamina for multiple events over a long duration. Stamina for a long event. Be able to go long and hard on day 1. Be able to do it again on day 2.
  • Mental Fitness Mental Fitness can be trained, and de-trained, just like physical fitness.
  • Durability It’s hard to stay fit and enjoy outside the gym sports and recreation when you’re hurt. We use strength training, core strength training and focused mobility work to keep our athletes in the gym, on the field, and in the mountains.

  • Embrace and celebrate the fact that soldiers/LE officers/Firefighters are professional athletes.
  • Articulate the responsibility Tactical Athletes have to themselves to be fit for duty – it’s link to survivability.
  • Articulate the responsibility Tactical Athletes have to their families to be fit for duty – their survivability.
  • Articulate the responsibility Tactical Athletes have to their partners and teammates to be fit for duty    tactical performance and survivability.
  • Fitness Improves Everything.

(For the Unit Fitness Leader)

You’ll need at most two types of group programming to get started – an OnRamp training plan to get guys spooled up, and daily training for everyone else.

[…]

Fat tactical athletes aren’t funny. “Legacy” members aren’t “special snowflakes” and experience is no substitute for fitness. No “slow” fires exist for unfit firefighters. No “slow” bullets exist for unfit soldiers and LE officers. Understand the poisonous effect unfit members and a poor fitness culture has on unit morale. Speak with actions and words. Be steadfast and direct, but never righteous or indignant, and never preach. Be a quiet, steadfast, professional.

[…]

No one can force or convince grown adult men and women to fix their diet and start a training program. Don’t let unit commanders force an adult parenting role upon you by sending you unfit, unhealthy members and expecting you to give them self discipline. You can be a resource for diet/training info, offer encouragement, and invite them to join the group onramp or regular training group, but you cannot make them attend or train.

Red Flag Warnings, May 25, 2016

Red Flag Warnings 5-25-2016

The National Weather service has posted Red Flag Warnings for areas in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. The NM/TX border apparently served as an effective barrier to the red flag weather conditions.

The maps were current as of 9:03 a.m. MDT on Wednesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts and maps. For the most current data visit this NWS site.

Burned area in Canada far ahead of average

Acres burned to date in U.S. 46% above average.

The number of hectares burned in Canada this year is far ahead of average.

In the United States the acres burned to date are 46 percent above normal. Statistics from May 20, 2016, the last time the National Interagency Fire Center issued a daily Situation Report, show that 1,551,474 acres had burned, compared to the 10-year to-date average of 1,063,835. Almost two-thirds of that was in the Southern Geographical Area — 955,242. The Rocky Mountain Geographical Area also had a surprisingly high figure — 374,846 acres; but that area includes Kansas, where most of the 397,000-acre Anderson Creek Fire occurred in March.

If you disregard that one huge fire, the total in the U.S. is a lot closer to average. But I’m guessing that some politician somewhere is going to take that 46 percent higher than normal figure and run with it.

These numbers do not include prescribed fires. As of May 20 almost 2 million acres in the U.S. have been visited by prescribed fire.

Burned acres in US May 20, 2016
Burned acres in U.S. as of May 20, 2016. NIFC.

Secretary Jewell announces $10 million for projects to increase wildfire resilience

The funding announced today will support the second year of work for these projects.

Secretary Sally Jewell
Secretary Sally Jewell at the announcement Monday. Photo by Tami A. Heilemann.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced $10 million in funding to help increase the resiliency of critical landscapes across the country to better mitigate the impacts of wildfire and climate change.

The Wildland Fire Resilient Landscapes Program is a new approach to achieve fire resiliency and help restore public lands nationwide through multi-year investments in designated landscapes. Launched last year, the program incorporates goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and Secretarial Order 3336, Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management, and Restoration, by ensuring that projects emphasize a high level of collaboration with partners, landscape-scale planning across multiple jurisdictions, lessen the risk from catastrophic wildfire, and enhance the protection of critical natural resources and watersheds.

“These projects will protect the nation’s diverse landscapes making them more resilient to wildfire for future generations; with help from our partners who also recognize that this challenge is too great for any one organization to tackle on its own,” Secretary Jewell said. “The funding restores iconic landscapes and vital watersheds, reduces fuels and controls invasive species to re-establish native vegetation, while reducing the risks to the public and our firefighters who respond to wildland fires.”

“These projects emphasize collaborative landscape-scale planning to reduce the risk from catastrophic wildfire while enhancing the protection of watersheds and critical culture and natural resources,” said Kris Sarri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget. “The work being done provides valuable insights on making landscapes resilient to wildfire. The benefits of the program are already being realized, and the President’s budget requests $30 million to help us expand this program to more states.”

Continue reading “Secretary Jewell announces $10 million for projects to increase wildfire resilience”

Red Flag Warnings, May 24, 2016

Red Flag Warnings May 24, 2016

The National Weather service has posted Red Flag Warnings or Fire Weather Watches for areas in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Michigan.

The maps were current as of 1:09 p.m. MDT on Tuesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts and maps. For the most current data visit this NWS site.