Two Hollows Fire burns over 2,000 acres in south Mississippi

Mississippi Fire Feb 28 2020 MFC photo
Two Hollows Fire Feb. 29, 2020. MFC photo.

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.

Two Hollows Fire
Two Hollows Fire Feb. 29, 2020. MFC photo.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Mississippi Fire Feb 29 2020 MFC photo
Two Hollows Fire Feb. 29, 2020. MFC photo.

If you are having trouble playing the video below, you can view it at YouTube.

NWCG changes standards for crews and dozers

Rose Fire Lake Elsinore CA
A dozer constructs fireline on the Rose Fire near Lake Elsinore, California, July 31, 2017 Photo by Jeff Zimmerman.

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.

CREWS
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:

Permanent supervision:
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.

DOZERS
There were major changes for dozers. The horsepower was increased for all types, a fourth type was added, and minimum base weights were established.

New requirements dozers
New requirements for dozers, December, 2019. NWCG.

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.

AIR TANKERS
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 NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Resource Typing can be accessed here.

How to configure a Heavy Equipment Task Force

As used in the Northern Rockies

(Above: screenshot from the video below)

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:

  • Feller buncher
  • Rubber tired skidder
  • Type 2 Dozer
  • Drop tank skidgen or pumper cat
  • Transport trucks
  • 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.

Heavy equipment operators train for firefighting in Mississippi

Mississippi Equipment Operator Training firefighting
Photo: Mississippi Forestry Commission

Earlier this year Mississippi Forestry Commission technicians took part in a heavy equipment academy to learn safe practices and proper techniques when they suppress wildfires.

Mississippi Equipment Operator Training firefighting
Photo: Mississippi Forestry Commission
Mississippi Equipment Operator Training firefighting
Photo: Mississippi Forestry Commission

Dozer operator killed on prescribed fire in northwest Florida

The operator was working for a prescribed fire contractor

Gonzalez, Florida prescribed fire Map showing the area around Gonzalez, Florida. The red and yellow dots represent heat detected by a satellite on March 21 and 22, 2019.

A man operating a dozer was killed October 9 while working on a prescribed fire in northwest Florida.

Daryl Bradley Holland, 38, was pronounced dead at the scene of the project that was being conducted east of Gonzalez, Florida about 25 air miles northwest of Eglin Air Force Base, and 12 miles north of Pensacola.

Below is an excerpt from an article at NorthEscambia.com:

“He got off in an attempt to remove a tree or large limb lodged in the tracks,” Maj. Andrew Hobbs said Monday afternoon. “The bulldozer wasn’t all the way out of gear. When it was un-jammed, the bulldozer lurched forward.”

Holland was working for HHH Construction of NWF, which was a subcontractor of Munroe Forest & Wildlife Management on the burn, according to Nathalie Bowers, public information officer for the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority.

The prescribed fire occurred on land administered by the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), a government organization. Their plan, in a March 6 press release, was to conduct the 940-acre burn in the vicinity of the Central Water Reclamation Facility March 7 through March 9.  A “burn-certified contractor” was scheduled to conduct the burn operations as part of ECUA’s management plan for the ecological restoration of forest lands at the site. The property is in the Gonzalez community mostly south of Becks Lake Road, west of the Escambia River.

The map at the top of this article shows heat detected by a satellite in the area described on March 21 and 22.  Heat from the burn operation March 7 through 9 would not show up on the map.

Below is an announcement about the project the ECUA posted on Facebook on March 6.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and coworkers of Mr. Holland.

ECUA prescribed fire announcement

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Brent. Typos or errors, report them HERE.

CAL FIRE receives new dozer and transport

CAL FIRE dozer and transport
New dozer and transport for the Nevada Yuba Placer Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. CAL FIRE photo.

The Nevada Yuba Placer Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection recently received a large piece of fire suppression equipment. (Back in the old days we would lovingly refer to them as a Big Yellow McLeod.)

Here is how it is described by the agency:


CAL FIRE NEU took possession of a new 2018 D6N Caterpillar Dozer and 2019 International HX Series Transport.

The dozer has been modified with an extended track frame which helps with climbing and side hill performance. The engine compartment is configured with a 75 gallon water fire suppression system that can be activated by the operator for fires within the dozer. For operator safety the cab has a pressurized filtration environmental cab system and complete roll over protection system. An advanced lighting package will increase night time vision and allow safer operation under dusty and dark conditions.

The dozer and transport both have the CAL FIRE Automatic Vehicle Location System which operates from radio, satellite, and cellular.

CAL FIRE dozer and transport
New dozer and transport for the Nevada Yuba Placer Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. CAL FIRE photo.

The transport is has a Cummins X15 Performance motor that produces 605 Horse Power and 2050 lb-ft Torque. It is mounted to an 18 speed transmission.

Both Pieces of equipment will service the entire state but are based out of the Nevada City CAL FIRE Station.

One of the two operators assigned to this equipment will be Joe Kennedy recently made famous by videos showing his heroic efforts saving citizens at the Camp Fire in Paradise.

The other operator is Shawn Entz who is a fourth generation Nevada County resident who has over 20 years logging and firefighting in California.


If anyone has a link to the videos referred to above, let us know in a comment.