10,000-foot hose lay on the Thomas Fire in SoCal

Thomas Fire hose lay

@EliasonMike of the Santa Barbara Fire Department uploaded these photos to Twitter December 13:

#ThomasFire-Five engines and 2 Dozers from the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept are in the process of clearing a fire break and laying 10 THOUSAND feet of hose across a canyon from atop Camino Cielo down to Gibraltar to make a stand should the fire move that direction.

Thomas Fire hose lay

Thomas Fire hose lay

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+

15 thoughts on “10,000-foot hose lay on the Thomas Fire in SoCal”

    1. I’m assuming it’s what we call Forestry Hose here, canvas lined with teflon and non restrictive couplings. The difference in friction loss is amazing and there will be pumps every so often in the line.

    2. This was actually tried on the marble cone fire in the 1970’s if I remember right it was a 3000 foot hose lay on similar terrain and it failed friction loss along with many other problems. They even tried staging pumps at strategic spots along the hose lay. The hose lay was actually dropped in by helicopter. I remember how disappointed and frustrated they were. We were also disappointed because our engine crew along with about five others spent many days dragging that hose out of there. I know the forest service studied it for awhile after that fire and I always wondered if they were ever able to make something like that work new kinds or different hose and fittings and configurations. Don’t remember a lot about it but I do remember ours was inch and a half single lined cotton jacketed standard hose. Very interesting subject for study of young firefighters now and then.

  1. Is it really worth it? Timber fire in August with interior burning for months, maybe? Two miles of marginally successful hose lay. What about the other forty miles of line? Of course I have to remember this is the Los Padres. A great forest for busy work.

  2. Did the same thing on the Panorama Fire.
    Also, on a fire in Lytle Creek one year, our strike team made 2, 5000+ ft hoselays in one day. Stripped all five engines twice. When it seems like nobody lays hose anymore, good to see.

  3. Those hose lay on division mike on the sobranes from the look out all way down to the div break was pretty awsome.

  4. If the elevation drop is 2,000′ from Camino Cielo then the static pressure in the hose will be 880 psi
    Can it really handle that pressure ?

    1. Interesting!
      Back in the day, I worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources on 4-person helitack crews. The program is known for putting out long hoselines with water pushed by Mark 3 power pumps. With a single pump, 3000 feet was common. Granted, the Boreal forest does not have the elevation issues that other areas must deal with.
      A determined crew supported by a helicopter can lay lots of pipe. It was a badge of honour for us. Even the retrieval process could go pretty quick.
      Over the years, I have also had the pleasure to work long hoselines in British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, and Oregon.
      Water works! While 100 pounds of psi from a half inch tip is awesome, even a dribble and a handtool is better than nothing.

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