Prescribed fire photos

Prescribed fire, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Prescribed fire, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore near Ogden Dunes in northwest Indiana, NPS photo.
Prescribed fire, Kaibab NF
Prescribed fire, Kaibab National Forest, Arizona, “Wrd Mccracken CP”, November 13, 2013 Inciweb photo
Tunnel Hill Prescribed fire
Tunnel Hill Prescribed fire, Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado, November 14, 2013. USFS photo.

Semi truck goes airborne before crash

There are a couple of four-letter words in the audio of this video. The driver of the airborne semi truck in this video (which was captured by the driver in the other truck, from whose perspective you’re watching the video) told police he swerved to avoid another vehicle that had drifted into his lane. His truck then left the interstate, went up an embankment at an overpass, then struck the guardrail on the cross street, ripping off the saddle fuel tanks, spilling fuel that caught fire. The driver suffered some minor facial and head injuries and his seven-year-old son, a passenger in his semi, suffered only a few scratches.

The accident occurred in Indiana near Interstate 74 and U.S. 421.

Red Flag Warnings, April 6, 2013

wildfire Red Flag Warnings, 4-6-2013

Red Flag Warnings for enhanced wildfire danger have been issued by the National Weather Service for areas in New Mexico, Kentucky, Indiana, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

The NWS predicts there will be a Critical Risk for wildfire danger in New Mexico and western Texas for the next few days.

Critical fire weather
Critical fire weather April 7-13, 2013


The Red Flag Warning map above was current as of 9 a.m. MT on Saturday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts. For the most current data, visit this NWS site.

USFS-NPS joint wildfire training in Indiana

Indiana Dunes and Midewin Hotshots
Midewin Interagency Hotshot Crew and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Fire Management Staff

National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service fire crews recently got together in Indiana for annual wildfire refresher training. The following information is provided by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore:


Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Fire Management and Midewin Interagency Hotshot Crew recently conducted several joint training exercises in preparation for the 2013 Fire Season.

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, the home unit for Midewin IHC, and Indiana Dunes have a shared fire history going back over ten years. Being only about an hour’s drive apart has been a big benefit to both programs.

Both units have shared resources for prescribed fires in the spring and fall. The engines from Indiana Dunes often travel to Midewin for fire support and the IHC overhead have traveled to Indiana to fill key overhead positions on prescribed fires.

Since 2010, the two fire programs have been conducting joint Annual Fire Refreshers for their full-time fire staffs. Having firefighters from two agencies and two different resource types (hand crews and engine modules) has provided for good sharing of information, skills and experiences. These joint refreshers then provide an additional source of information as the two crews then provide annual refreshers to the rest of their home unit’s staff and at other outlying units.

This year that joint refresher training extended to the Hotshot crew’s required 2 week annual training. On March 15, the entire Midewin IHC traveled to Indiana Dunes for a day of training facilitated by the fire staff of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The day started with a physical training session in the dunes along Lake Michigan. After PT, the IHC had a question and answer session with Indiana Dunes AFMO MaryEllen Whitenack. This classroom talk gave the newer IHC firefighters a different point of view on fire management, leadership and how to succeed in their career. The Hotshot crew tries to have someone in a leadership or program management role at each unit they go to speak to their crew as part of a season long professional development program.

After their talk on leadership, the Hotshots reviewed a Facilitated Learning Analysis of a tree falling incident that had recently occurred at Indiana Dunes. The crew was able to visit the area where a tree had fallen on a member of the Indiana Dunes fire staff while working on a resource management project in February. The Cowles Bog Tree Accident provided the Hotshots with a chance to introduce crewmembers from the west to the dangers of falling operations in the east. An open discussion about cutting and falling safety and emergency plans for fires and project work followed.

In the afternoon the IHC broke down into Squads to conduct break-out sessions with the Indiana Dunes staff. Sessions included a team-building exercise based around a mock airplane crash on a desert island and how to survive with limited items and a skill session on backboarding and carrying out an injured firefighter from the woods.Packaging a victim


A third break-out station consisted of a crewmember using a handheld radio to communicate with other crew members on a UTV. The UTV driver and passenger were blindfolded and had to be guided thru a series of traffic cones over the radio.

Blindfolded ATV operator
A blindfolded ATV operator! What could possibly go wrong? (kidding)

The training day concluded with a session on Type 6 and Type 3 engine operations. Hotshots were introduced to the tools, techniques and procedures unique to engine operations in an urban national park.

This year’s pre-season training for the two unique yet distinctly mid-western fire crews has set the stage for many years of continued co-operation on the fireline and in the training room.

(end of news release)

**** has an article and photos about a recent prescribed fire conducted in the National Lakeshore.


Thanks go out to Dan and Micah

Indiana: firefighter injured by falling tree

Cowles Bog Incident
Cowles Bog Incident. NPS Photo

A firefighter working for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in northwest Indiana was injured February 7 when a tree uprooted and fell while he was operating a chain saw, limbing or bucking another tree. Here is an excerpt from the 72-hour report:

…An initial estimate of accident tree was 7.5” DBH and approximately 50 – 60 feet tall. Firefighter A was bent over cutting when he was struck across the shoulders by the tree, knocking him to the ground. The force of the impact drove his face onto the motor housing of thechainsaw. His injuries included a severely broken nose, fractured right eye orbit and fractured T-1 vertebrae. Despite his injuries, he had the presence of mind to shut the chainsaw off to prevent further injury. Firefighter A is an experienced sawyer; he was wearing proper safety gear to include eye and ear protection, as well as a hard hat and chaps. Firefighter A was also working with a partner (Firefighter B) and was able to call out to him for help. Examination of the hard hat shows no indication that it was not contacted by the tree. An initial investigation revealed that the accident tree was poorly rooted into soft soil. Winds were calm at the time of the accident and the soil was thawing after recent freezing rain and snow.

Local EMS resources responded to the scene and transported Firefighter A to the local Regional Hospital. Firefighter A was treated for his injuries, which included plastic surgery to repair his facial injuries. Firefighter A was released from the hospital and did not stay overnight. At this time there is a safety stand-down for the project until a more thorough assessment is completed.

Water tender rollover kills firefighter

A water tender responding to a vegetation fire Sunday night near Fort Wayne, Indiana rolled over, killing the driver who was believed to be the only person in the truck. The firefighter, who has not been identified, lost control while turning at an intersection. The Washington Township Fire Department truck rolled over several times taking out three utility poles. Live electrical wires at the scene prevented firefighters from accessing the wreckage until the power had been shut off. Photos show extensive damage to the water tender.

Washington Township FD water tender
A Water Tender from the Washington Township Fire Department. Photo from their Facebook page.

The Washington Township FD’s Facebook page said the county coroner will be releasing the individual’s name following positive identification later on Monday.

Fatal wrecks involving water tenders (or “tankers”) are so common that the Centers For Disease Control issued a bulletin in 2001 through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health warning of the danger. Here is how NIOSH described the hazard:


“Mobile water supply vehicles, known as tankers or tenders, are widely used to transport water to areas beyond a water supply system or where the water supply is inadequate. Incidents involving motor vehicles account for approximately 20% of U.S. fire fighter deaths each year; cases involving tankers are the most prevalent of these motor vehicle incidents. During 1977–1999, 73 deaths occurred in 63 crashes involving tankers. Of those deaths, 54 occurred in 49 crashes in which tankers rolled over (no collision), and 8 occurred in 6 crashes in which the tankers left the road (no collision). The other cases involved collision with another vehicle (10 deaths in 7 crashes) and collision with stationary object(s) (1 death) [NFPA 2000].

Tanker drivers may not be fully aware that tanker trucks are more difficult to control than passenger vehicles. A tanker truck requires a much greater distance to stop. Tankers weigh substantially more, and their air brake systems take more time to activate than the hydraulic/mechanical brake systems on smaller passenger cars. The effect is influenced by the amount of water the tanker is hauling and whether the tanker is baffled.”