Video of Dirty Jobs segment on prescribed fire

Earlier we told you about the segment on the TV show Dirty Jobs that featured prescribed burning in the Everglades of south Florida. We now have the 10-minute video of that program.

The part where the air boat becomes stuck near the fire is at 4:00 minutes.

Just before the end, at 10:08 is where Gerry Barnes of the National Interagency Fire Center (according to a description of the video on YouTube, see below) accidentally discharges a flare launcher into an air boat containing at least 4-5 people.

Here is the description of the video that is on YouTube:

In this episode of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe heads off to the Florida Everglades to help combat non-native, invasive species in the marshlands with Jon Wallace the Prescribed Fire Specialist at the Arthur R. Marshall, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and along with Miranda Stuart of the Prescribed Fire Training Center and Gerry Barnes of the National Interagency Fire Center they utilize the “Pyro-Shot” hand launcher and the new “Green Dragon™” automated Dragon Egg™ launcher to burn off approximately 6000 acres at the Loxahatchee NWR.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

17 thoughts on “Video of Dirty Jobs segment on prescribed fire”

  1. Too bad for Gerry. He’s a great guy with an excellent skillset in GIS / mapping; didn’t know he did prescribed burns, too. Interesting how they didn’t air any explanation or apology from Gerry. I’m sure he didn’t just walk away from the situation without addressing it.

  2. I know there was more footage than that. But is that really the image we want the public to see of prescribed fire? Looked like a bunch of cowboys out there.

  3. I was so disappointed and about the presentation, safety and professionalism this fire crew showed showed. We didn’t do a good job telling our story about the wildland fire program.

  4. What a bunch of idiots! This is NOT representative of Federal RX fire programs and of the PROFESSIONAL Federal wildland firefighters.

  5. Unbelievable. It is unfortunate that these people are representing all fire fighters on national television. The scenes of shooting the stubby launcher are incredibly unsafe. This Gerry better start updating his resume.

  6. I had worked with the fire staff from the Loxahatchee NWR in years past and they were then a professional, safety oriented and
    hard working group.

    The opening header was describing Everglades National Park, I do not recall Loxahatchee being that big.

    Interior requires PFDs (life jackets) to be worn on all agency water ctaft and that includes airboats. The airboats appeared to be overloaded.

    Ignition from airboats is on the higher end of the risk scale. It’s only done in a few places and to have a loose flare or ignition device end up in the bottom of the boat next to a large fuel tank and other things is not good. It can be done but under much more controled conditions. Like any ignition operation it needs careful planning, good control and trained operators. The photo crew needs to be on another boat.

    To discharge the flare gun near a person, even with a blank is just down right foolish and dangerous.

    Mr. Wallace’s attempts at humor turned the whole thing into a very unsafe event. It appeared the crew of Dirty Jobs was in control of the event, not the burn boss.

  7. How on earth are we going to explain this away to the American public that already thinks we spend to much money. We look like fools. The briefing was a joke, nobody was wearing any of the required PPE’s. I think that the Burn Boss needs his quals removed and make an appology to the entire fire community.

  8. I agree there needs to be an appology from all agency that were involved in the filming of this episode. I believe there were three agencies involved and those reading this blog know who they are.

  9. I can’t believe how embarassing that is for our RX programs. Seems like the leader was some yahoo off the street who didn’t take safety or professionalism to task. I can’t believe the female crewmember continued to allow and particapated in the “balls” comments. Shame on the host to start that, but shame on the crew to accept that tone. I will be sure to steer my family away from the show when this airs so I don’t have explain why there are idiots like this in wildland fire MANAGEMENT!!!

  10. Overall, I think the DOI blew it. What could have been a great opportunity to demonstrate the safety and cost effectiveness of Rx burning was lost.

    An on site Safety Officer and Public Information Officer could have turned this into a more positive episode.

  11. Folks, you really missed the entire purpose of this show. It was an outreach show and this show reached many non-traditional visitors of the public lands. A very positive message got sent out on the importance of managing the natural resaources in our wildlands and this show illustrated different tools of the trade. This was a reality show and not a documentary. The entire footage was not shown. Anybody that has been involved in TV production knows that only the sensationalized highlights are taken out and then aired for entertainment. My hats off to the Agency for a job well done!

    P.S. You folks should not throw so many stones. It is much easier to be a “Monday morning” quarterback than to particpate in the game.

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