As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, time is neutral. It ticks by inexorably whether we are moved to act or not. The challenges we see ahead of us in our organizations, whether our organization is a crew or a fire program or a fire agency, can seem vast like those sky islands of the Arizona desert. It seems unfair by comparison, but the actions of people are almost always familiarly and stiflingly small. And yet that is the scale where we live and most often have the freedom to act.
I find it useful to learn how thoroughly everything we do had to be theorized, experimented with, before they were adopted -- down to the way we dig fireline. To me there is freedom knowing that everything we do is a choice, that we can experiment to do it better, down to these core fundamentals. Assignment length? Prescribed fire risk tolerance? PPE technology? Fire crew size? Nothing is set in stone.
I just read an RLS about a scalding injury from the suction hose blowing off of a Mark-3 pump. I had a similar incident in 2003. At the time, it seemed to me like a freak occurrence. However, after looking through the various reports in the LLC’s IRDB, I now think this type of pump incident may not be quite as rare as I had assumed.
While dropping gelled gasoline to ignite the burn, the pilot flying the mission noticed a person in yellow and green below him, inside the ignition unit.
Visit the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Incident Review Database to check out these stories about when firing devices either caught on fire at an unintended time in an unintended location, or when the wrong tool was used for the wrong purpose.
During the firing operation a fire whirl forms, causing an entrapment with burn injuries.
Located in the Fiddlers Island dip site was an alligator and her four hatchlings. This mother alligator was starting to lose her fear of humans.
This event happened on a fire you may have heard of, the Coal Canyon Fire. This incident is not the fatality that occurred during initial attack on August 11, but a firing operation resulting in a very close call on August 12.
The jumpers reported that winds instantly increased to over 50 miles per hour. Debris “as big as softballs” and embers rained down around them. Dense smoke enveloped them.
Kelly Woods and Travis Dotson discuss incidents featured in the latest issue of Two More Chains, the quarterly publication produced at the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center. Each of the incidents featured involves firing operations.