Water tender close call

water tender near miss
Photo from the report.

A water tender working on the Soberanes Fire south of Monterey, California last month had a very close call. While driving on a dirt road the right-rear tires slipped off the edge of the road as the soft dirt gave way. Luckily it did not continue sliding or roll down the steep slope.

A dozer and a Rapid Extraction Module responded, and after stabilizing the large truck, the dozer began to pull it out using a tow strap and for backup, a chain, both connected at the same time. As the strap stretched, some of the stress was transferred to the chain. Since the driver, who was in the truck to steer and maintain control after it was pulled out, had not yet let the clutch out, the chain quickly snapped. But they eventually extracted the truck using the tow strap.

The video below shows it being pulled out.

The Rapid Extraction Module probably didn’t anticipate they’d be assisting with THAT type of extraction. An article on Wildfire Today from September of 2015 has more information about what they normally do.

More details about this recent incident are in the Rapid Lessons Sharing report.

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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.