Mike Rowe honors wildland firefighters

His Facebook show traveled to Prescott, Arizona, which was the home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots

Above: The trailhead at Granite Mountain Memorial State Park May 19, 2017 before the modification featured in the program.

In the most recent episode of Mike Rowe’s Facebook series, “Returning the Favor” (below), he honors wildland firefighters as he spends time in Prescott, Arizona. The 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished in the Yarnell Hill Fire south of the city in 2013 were based in Prescott. Mr. Rowe talks with Deborah Pfingston and Roxanne Preston, co-founders of The Wildland Firefighter Guardian Institute, and reveals an improvement at the state park that honors the crew.

Ms. Pfingston’s son, Andrew Ashcraft, and Ms. Preston’s husband, William Warneke, were killed in the fire.

I don’t know when the show was filmed, and I won’t spoil the reveal at the end, but the change made at the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park was not there when I visited the park in May of 2017.

Video of Dirty Jobs segment on prescribed fire

Earlier we told you about the segment on the TV show Dirty Jobs that featured prescribed burning in the Everglades of south Florida. We now have the 10-minute video of that program.

The part where the air boat becomes stuck near the fire is at 4:00 minutes.

Just before the end, at 10:08 is where Gerry Barnes of the National Interagency Fire Center (according to a description of the video on YouTube, see below) accidentally discharges a flare launcher into an air boat containing at least 4-5 people.

Here is the description of the video that is on YouTube:

In this episode of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe heads off to the Florida Everglades to help combat non-native, invasive species in the marshlands with Jon Wallace the Prescribed Fire Specialist at the Arthur R. Marshall, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and along with Miranda Stuart of the Prescribed Fire Training Center and Gerry Barnes of the National Interagency Fire Center they utilize the “Pyro-Shot” hand launcher and the new “Green Dragon™” automated Dragon Egg™ launcher to burn off approximately 6000 acres at the Loxahatchee NWR.

Prescribed fire to be on Dirty Jobs (updated)

UPDATED 10-26-2010 (scroll down)

Jon Wallace and Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs
Jon Wallace of the USF&WS poses with Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs. Prescribed fire smoke is in the background. Photo: Dragon Fire Ignition Products

Prescribed fire in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge will be featured in the Tuesday, October 26 episode of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe traveled to the Everglades to battle invasive species using machetes, poisons, and prescribed fire.

Mike Rowe Dirty Jobs
Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs. Photo: USF&WS

The trailer for the episode on the Discovery Channel emphasizes girdling and poisoning invasive melaleuca trees, but we know that Mike Rowe also got involved in a prescribed fire. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service firefighters used a “Green Dragon” device for ignition, which fires a new generation of ignition spheres sold by SEI Industries called Dragon Eggs, smaller than earlier versions of the spheres. We wrote about this new device back in March.

We’ll have to wait and see how much of the prescribed fire footage ends up in the Dirty Jobs episode. Check your local listings for what time Tuesday night it will be shown.

More information about the filming is on the USF&WS site.


UPDATED 10-26-2010 @ 9:05 p.m. MT

Did anyone see the program? It looked like everyone had a good time filming the prescribed fire portion (there was lots of laughter throughout) UNTIL a person identified in the program as “Jim” “Gerry” accidentally discharged a FireQuick flare launcher within a crowd of people on an air boat. Here is a photo I took off a television at the moment of discharge; you can see the flame coming out of the launcher. Gerry is in the curiously red shirt.

flare launcher accidental firing

It is not obvious in the photo, but “Gerry” and the 4-5 others were in an air boat at the time. It appears that the flare launcher was loaded with a large “Stubby” flare which looked like it landed in the boat. Talk about a NEAR MISS! As far as we know, there were no injuries, however the woman closest to the launcher said “Ow” as she held her left ear.

In September of 2009 Wildfire Today wrote about another incident with a flare launcher that resulted in an injury. That post also has photos of the flare launcher and the flares.

UPDATE November 1 @ 10:00 a.m.

A video of this 10-minute segment is HERE. According the description of the video on YouTube, “Gerry” is “Gerry Barnes of the National Interagency Fire Center”. The telephone directory for NIFC lists a “Gerald Barnes” who is a Fuels Program Analyst for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.