D. Douglas Dent – RIP

D Douglas Dent
D Douglas Dent
D. Douglas Dent. Photo credit, Jim Tomaselli, Del Rosa Hotshots, USFS

Following the passing of Doug Erskine on Wednesday, another icon in the world of wildland fire has died. D. Douglas Dent succumbed to a stroke Thursday night.

Mr. Dent was not a firefighter, but taught hundreds of them how to safely fall, limb, and buck trees. He instructed classes in person, many of them in California, and produced a series of 11 instructional videos. The videos were very well done, but expensive at $260 each. However he was THE expert on the subject and deserved to be compensated for his expertise. Below is an excerpt from an email that was sent today to a mailing list of scores of people within the U.S. Forest Service:


“…Doug was employed in Region 5 during 1987 by Rusty Witwer to help us develop our chainsaw program. Doug continued to be committed to us till this day, Doug was scheduled for a certification next month on the San Bernardino. Our current chainsaw program, procedures and policy were all developed with Doug’s help. Doug often told me how much it meant to him have the opportunity to pass on his knowledge to the Forest Service employees. Doug did not need to provide the training he gave us for money, he did it because he felt obligated to. He felt he was giving back the talent God gave him. Doug was committed to our safety. I saw it time and time again as he would stand under a tree with our employees holding onto their belt to make sure they would not get away from him by escaping the wrong direction. I witnessed many times when Doug would wrestle someone to a safety zone, my fondest memory of this was a course on the San Bernardino when he pinned a man twice his weight and size behind a tree (the safety zone) until it was safe to leave that refuge…”

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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.

One thought on “D. Douglas Dent – RIP”

  1. 260 per expensive??

    Try some of the textbooks CD’s, DVD’s, textbooks, Sectional maps subscriptions and other thing pilots and mechanics have to buy for their profession.

    MR Dent, bless his heart, gave those agencies and pros a DEAL at 260 per

    AND there are not many folks currently in the systems that come nearly as close in leadership and teaching skills in the NR field like this guy


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