Grass fire tactics and safety

In a comment regarding the earlier article about the fires in Logan County, Oklahoma, Dick suggested some videos that shed light on the subject of fighting fire in grass —  “Attack from the Black” and “Oh, it’s just a Grass Fire”. We found those videos.

The first one, below, is “Attack from the Black”, which covers the tactics and safety of suppressing grass fires. Produced by the Texas Forest Service, it is actually a series of six videos, with each one being one to seven minutes long. It was uploaded to YouTube in 2011. If you play the one below, it will automatically keep transitioning to the next until you have watched all six.

The next video is “Oh, it’s just a Grass Fire”, uploaded by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center in 2011. Here is how it is described:

Because grass fires often burn in short, light fuels, some firefighters may tend to encounter them with their “guard down”—without taking adequate safety precautions. Using lessons learned from actual grass fire incidents, this video illustrates why such a mindset can have disastrous outcomes. Don’t believe it? Hear a severely burned firefighter explain what he now wants you to always remember.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Grass fire tactics and safety”

  1. Thank you for posting these. It may be somewhat old hat to those here that are in the business, though reinforcement never hurts, As an interested non-firefighter engineer I find this kind of material very, very interesting to help me understand how family and friends that are in the business think and operate.

  2. Grass fires have probably killed more fire fighters than any other type of wild land fire. Every fire fighter should put that in their brain resource bank (BRB), daily. Where will I be the most productive (people-improved property); assess the risk/gain. Will I burn-up my-butt or destroying equipment if something unexpected happens? Don’t be in a hurry, some times it takes a few minutes or longer to figure the best and safest approach. Another brain resource bank that should be “branded” into your head. Will I be up S…t Creek IF the engine quits, stuck, run out of water, terrain slightly changing, why can I breath freely now (wind change) what I’m doing is not working, and of course the old barb wire around the drive line. I sure we can think of many others, 1964 mobile attack, Merced Co. Ca. going well, and then the world turned brown, grass fire/smoke obscuring a wooden septic tank. Somewhere out there is a road or river? (Maybe that last sentence doesn’t apply to Texas?)


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