Arizona: more about the Frye Mesa fire

On May 22 we wrote about the Frye Mesa fire, the result of an escaped prescribed fire on the Coronado National Forest south of Safford, Arizona that eventually burned 3,100 unplanned acres. Today an editorial in the Eastern Arizona Courier blasted the US Forest Service for lighting the prescribed fire on a day when the National Weather Service had issued a red flag warning for Graham County.

Bill Turner of the NWS was quoted as saying:

“We strongly discouraged them from starting it. We had red-flag criteria everywhere.”

The NWS reported that a few hours after the fire escaped, the temperature was 102 degrees, the RH was 11%, and the wind speed was 22 mph.


Photo, May 21, by David Peters, BLM

Montana: two firefighters struck by lightning

Two firefighters working on a prescribed fire on the Flathead National Forest were struck by lightning Thursday. They were on on the Tally Lake Ranger District when lighting struck some trees near where they were working. The firefighters, a 25-year old woman and a 29-year old man are members of a Hot Shot crew. Both were both transported to hospitals, the woman by helicopter and the man by ambulance. They are listed in stable condition.

Thanks to Dick M. for the tip.

BLM firefighters honored as heroes

This involves the crash of single engine air tanker 458 on July 17, 2007.

Associated Press – May 28, 2008 7:44 PM ET

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Five federal firefighters from Nevada and four from Montana have been recognized as heroes for their courageous rescue of a pilot whose air tanker crashed in the path of a quickly advancing wildfire south of Winnemucca last summer.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne recently presented them with the department’s prestigious valor award in recognition of the bravery and decisive action taken by the members of the Bureau of Land Management fire crew members based in Winnemucca and Lewiston, Mont.

The July 17 rescue occurred after a large lightning storm ignited the 8,000-acre Barrel Springs Fire.

The pilot of a single engine air tanker crashed while trying to make a strategic retardant drop so the crews cleared a buffer and scrambled to slow the fire’s advance toward the plane. They grabbed the disoriented pilot, removed him from the crash site and helped him remove his fuel-soaked clothes.

As they drove away, the flames consumed the plane.

Kempthorne presented the awards at a ceremony in Washington on May 13 to Mike Hendrickson, Lester McDonald, Mike Sperry, Scott Brandt, Mike McMaster and Andrew Snyder of Nevada, and Andrew Rishavy, Andrea Robinson, Scott Meneely and Steven Spellberg of Montana.

Cabela's employee discount for firefighters

Cabela’s is offering an employee’s discount to firefighters and law enforcement officers June 2-4. It is only valid in their stores, not catalog or Internet orders. Here is a link to a 4.7 MB flyer. More details from their web site:

Hometown Heroes Sales Event
Cabela’s Retail is hosting an Appreciation Day for all Emergency Response team members, Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Military and Veterans. Stop in and receive Employee Discount with valid identification. Cabela’s appreciates all that you do! Certain restrictions do apply* Contact Store Event Coordinator for more information.

*During regular store hours, must show valid identification, Exclusions include but are not limited to Boats, Firearms, Ammunition, ATV’s, Trailers, Gift Cards, Gift Certificates, Licenses and certain other items. Discount can not be combined with any other offer and is on regular priced merchandise only.

Rumor has it that the employee discount varies from 0-25%, depending on the item.

10th Wildland Fire Safety Summit

The International Association of Wildland Fire announced today their preliminary plans for a Wildland Fire Safety Summit next year. For this 10th conference in the series, they are still negotiating with a venue, but it is expected to be in Phoenix, April 28-30, 2009. Dick Mangan will be the IC or Chair.

Major emphasis areas for the Safety Summit will include:

1. 10 years after the Tri-Data Study: what is different?
2. Aviation Safety on Wildfire Operations;
3. Issues in Wildfire Safety around the World;
4. Safety in the emerging Wildland-Urban Interface.
5. New research in Wildland Fighter Safety practices, training and equipment
6. Firefighter Health and Fitness

If you would like to help put the conference together, contact Dick Mangan at:
blackbull at

They will issue a call for papers later.