We received the following message from Bill Coates, Acting Superintendent of the Davidson River Initial Attack Crew (above), who referred to a photo that we posted on November 18 taken in 1923. We reposted that photo down below. Click on it to see a larger version.
“The first photo featured on your post of old firefighting photos is one that we also encountered in some archives a while ago, identified as the Davidson River Fire Crew. In 2008 the US Forest Service and Schenck Job Corps in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina teamed up to create the Davidson River Initial Attack Crew, an advanced fire management training program for Job Corps graduates. Today that crew trains and places approximately 15 students per year, and provides training opportunities to 8-12 agency overhead detailers. We help Region 8 forests accomplish their prescribed fire targets and typically burn between 30,000 and 60,000 acres annually, in addition to wildfire response. I’ve attached a photo [above] of today’s crew from a day we recently spent volunteering at Veteran’s Healing Farm (veteranshealingfarm.org). John Mahshie, who runs the farm, is on the far right.
Bill Coates, Acting Superintendent, Davidson River IA*
Fighting wildfires has changed in some ways over the last 100 years. We have firefighting aircraft, chain saws, better modes of transportation, and better pumps, but we’re still fighting fire with sharpened pieces of metal attached to the ends of sticks.
Weather.com assembled a collection of 82 photos that gives us an idea what it must have been like fighting wildfires and structure fires a hundred years ago. Here are a couple of examples — you can see the rest HERE.
Firefighters in the 1950s were cautioned in this film about what NOT to do, and advised to use the “modern method of fireline organization. Every man is working. Loafing is reduced to the absolute minimum”.
Some of the principles explained in the film are still valid today.
It is divided into Part 1 (above) and Part 2 (below).