The hardest part of installing long hose lays in rugged terrain is hauling the hose, and it is usually uphill. When the plans called for 16,000 feet of hose to be installed on the Dixie Fire it just took two engine crews and some ingenuity to get it done. They enlisted the help of dozer E2085 from Paula and sons Earthwork.
The CAL FIRE crews were Lassen Modoc engines E2271 and E2251.
One day in the not too distant future it will become routine to haul hose with drones.
To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Dixie Fire, including the most recent, click here.
A week-long class aimed at training forest rangers and technicians to use heavy equipment to fight wildfires
Earlier this month 16 employees from the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) took part in the agency’s Heavy Equipment Academy (HEA).
“Training is a huge part of what we do at the Mississippi Forestry Commission,” said Russell Bozeman, Mississippi State Forester. “Responding to wildfires is dangerous and the Heavy Equipment Academy gives our employees the real-world training they need to safely and effectively suppress wildfires in the state.”
During the HEA, students participate in two days of classroom instruction followed by three days of field work at the MFC’s HEA training site in Raymond. Students learned how to properly plow a firelane with a bulldozer, how to use a bulldozer to shape slopes, and how to properly “recover” a bulldozer that gets bogged down in mud.
“This real-world training gives our employees the experience and confidence they need to perform their wildfire suppression duties when called upon,” Mr. Bozeman said.
The Two Hollows Fire burned about 2,200 acres of industrial timber land in Pearl River County, Mississippi, approximately nine miles southeast of Poplarville. Jason Scott of the Mississippi Forestry Commission said 22 homes and 18 outbuildings were threatened but all were saved. The MFC responded with 19 employees, one fixed wing aircraft, seven bulldozers, and one drone. Multiple VFDs also responded with six engines and one water tender.
The fire was reported Saturday night, February 28. It took 12 hours to contain, and the Mississippi Forestry Commission monitored the fire for an additional 48 hours.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Over the last five years the National Wildfire Coordinating Group has made revisions to the standards for hand crews and dozers
The NWCG establishes standards for the capabilities of firefighting aircraft, crews, and equipment. For example, a Type 1 Engine must carry 1,200 feet of 2.5″ hose and have a pump capability of 1,000 gallons per minute, while a Type 6 Engine needs to have 300 feet of 1.5″ hose and a 50 GPM pump.
There were a handful of changes made to the standards that were published in 2014.
The number of personnel on a Type 1 Crew was increased from 18 to 20, to 18 to 22. There were a couple of new position qualification requirements for leadership on crews. The new standard:
Superintendent: TFLD, ICT4, FIRB
Asst. Supt.: STCR or TFLD and CRWB and ICT4
3 Squad Leaders: CRWB and ICT5
2 Senior Firefighters: FFT1
In 2014 Type 1 Crews only had to have three “agency-qualified” sawyers. Now there must be four certified Intermediate Fallers (FAL2) and 50 percent of the crew needs to be qualified as Basic Faller (FAL3).
The number of programmable radios on a Type 1 Crew was increased from five to eight.
There were major changes for dozers. The horsepower was increased for all types, a fourth type was added, and minimum base weights were established.
UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS
This category was added to account for the sudden increase during the last two years in the number of UAS, or drones, now being used on many types of incidents. More information is at Fire Aviation.
An additional type of air tanker has been added since 2014 — the Very Large Air Tanker which is required to have a capacity of at least 8,000 gallons.
I did not notice any significant changes in the requirements for helicopters, engines, water tenders, or Type 2 crews.
The Northern Rockies Coordinating Group worked with the Montana Logging Association to create this video to educate fire managers about the concept and configuration of Heavy Equipment Task Forces used on timber fires in the Northern Rockies Geographic Area.
The task forces can be configured with the following pieces of equipment:
Rubber tired skidder
Type 2 Dozer
Drop tank skidgen or pumper cat
Optional: excavator, boom-mounted masticator, or a second feller buncher
The first 8 minutes and 15 seconds covers how the task forces are organized and fit into the incident management organization. The rest goes into detail about the capabilities of each category of equipment.
The anonymous producer, director, editor, and videographer obviously put a great deal of work into creating this video, using dozens and dozens of clips that clearly illustrate everything mentioned in the narrative. They should get the credit they deserve.
(If the embedded video does not appear above it may be because the Northern Rockies Geographic Area file was moved. If that happens and you know the new location, let us know.)
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Eric. Typos or errors, report them HERE.