The Staging Area for off-topic comments, May 6, 2022

CAL FIRE Wildfire Preparedness Week
Staging area at CAL FIRE Wildfire Preparedness Week event in Monterey, May 2022. CAL FIRE photo. (One of these is not like the others.)

This weekend we are continuing something we began last week. Borrowing an idea from The War Zone, this post can serve as the beginning of an open thread where our readers can talk about issues that we have, or have not, gotten into yet. This is literally an off-topic thread.

The usual rules about commenting apply. And in light of some recent articles, remember, no personal attacks.

So let’s enjoy a wide-ranging debate!

(Oh, and send us pics  of staging areas. Date, location, and photographer’s name would be nice.)

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please keep in mind our commenting ground rules before you post a comment.

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.

24 thoughts on “The Staging Area for off-topic comments, May 6, 2022”

    1. My fire shelter was manufactured in 2006 and a notice came out that they don’t perform as well as newer manufactured shelters.

      My fire management asked for which one’s don’t meet spec but didn’t indicate there were replacements available. My shelter is older than my Forest Service career and I am in the 8 hour leave category. At least it is newer than the Mark 3 pumps we got.

  1. A bear that needs to be poked. It’s all politics bro. Firefighters and fire shelters become important after a disaster. Then it’s we need to support our heroes. I think the current resident in the White House said something about that in AZ. About nine years ago. Blah blah blah

  2. When was the last time we talked about fire fighter nutrition? Anything going on on that front. All the food sucks, going to die of heart disease from camp food long before the fire or smoke gets me…

    1. Bart
      Even some of those cater wagons are better than McDonald’s.

      I am sure there vegan type meals being provide…ammi right?

      Some MREs are even getting better

      But ..you’re right …more needs to be addressed by MDTC and whatnot

      1. Good ole MRD, shout out to the PV engine that showed up to the gang of red there. RIP Nac Summit. Man I wish I could have stayed with the FS, damn having a family and needing to be home at least 4 hours a week haha.

    2. Eh, I’ll push back against this a little. Damn near nothing in nutrition science is well-established in any actionable sense, and in addition to theoretical long-term health/wellness outcomes you need to make something that people will actually eat when they’re beat and need the calories, and often you need to make something that will travel at least a little bit, and in the case of MREs travel a lot. And depending on where you are you may need to supply your guys out of the local fire cache and supplement with a little country store, or the catering outfit may need to source its stuff from the nearest grocery store, etc. etc. Given the demands that the logistics system operates under, I think it’s doing okay.

      I will say, it would be nice to have First Strike rations as the cache standard issue instead of MREs. Better calorie-to-weight ratio for contingency line rations, gets rid of all the s*** guys don’t eat anyway, taste as good or better imo.

  3. *PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US PAY US is all that needs to be said at this point……Fed, contractor, state….no matters. You want us here…..pay us… quit dragging feet….PAY US.. .vacation and virtual meeting time is done…make s*** happen…just like they expect us to do. Make…..s***….happen.

    And before “Old DHRS” wants time chime in with their outdated opinion….GFYS.. stay retired and in the shadows.. you didn’t do anything for us before….and nobody cares what you think now.

    1. You had me 100% until your last disrespectful comment. Maybe you need to get some rest.

  4. Question? I have read Canada doesn’t issue shelters. First, is that true? Then, Why not? I don’t have one. The dept. will not buy them. How does this relate to the getting better shelters? Is there a sense that they are a band aid for poor strategy and tactics? Money really never is a problem for other “safety” gear? Ideas?

    1. I scanned an article from a quick Google search so take it for what that is work.
      The CBC article gave 2 primary reasons that Canadians do not use fire shelters:
      1. The areas are too completely forested to find deployment spots. No open ground.
      2. They don’t believe that they put firefighters in situations where they would need fire shelters.

  5. Why are secondary firefighters not included in the stipend? My husband has been doing fire for 22 years, finally decided to get a patrol job, still does fire and run fires, but is now ineligible? It’s total bull s***

    1. Where did you hear that? I heard that fuels/prevention/patrol positions are included. It was in a “Fire Chat Friday” with BLM Assistant Fire Director Grant Beebe.

    2. That’s totally inaccurate. AFMO’s and FMO’s are secondary fire and they are going to get it.

  6. I want to ask when 2IA NCC crews are going to start getting any kind of credit for work they do? Agency folks have so much disdain for them. They are doing the same job supporting communities and protecting natural resources.
    I think it’s time for the Forest Setvice to take a good look at the relationship between contractors and Fed/State employees. Sometimes this clouded relationship seriously hinders safety and operational responsibility on the line.

    1. I give them a nod. How do you envision the credit you’re asking for?

      One of my friend’s once told me the two biggest a–holes on earth are hotshots and surfers… People are proud and competitive of what they do. I think it’s ok if healthy but I agree that it can be bad for relationships like you said.

      I can say I’m always grateful for a good crew/engine/dozer/etc when I get one as a DO or a DIVS. Bad apples exist and harms reputations too.

      Could be jealousy of the high pay too?

      1. I suppose the “credit” I’m seeking is agency acknowledgement. All season long they are out there putting in the same if not more hours as agency folks. NCC’s typically take assignments all year long in multiple regions where as shot crews and agency 2I crews have to time out or go as modules with very limited capabilities. I see NCC’s treated as 2nd class firefighters. Made to stand to the side at briefings for fires they helped catch. Or casually blown off for good work on divisions with kudos only given to the agency resources. It’s a strange feeling to have when treated in these ways. As if some agency leadership have a blind eye to their “contract” resources.
        Sure makes it hard to help new young firefighters feel like they are doing well when the agency leadership throws a blanket on their crew.

        Just some thoughts as an upcoming crew boss.

  7. I’m sick of losing friends. How do we actually address suicide?

    I’ve lost two now. Had a plan myself in a bad spot some years back… I’ve heard that from others too. WTF. Glad I realized it was better for my family to stick around.

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