Dutch Flat Entrapment

[The 2023 Summer Issue of Two More Chains invited its readers to study several fires that they may not recall—or maybe never even heard of. This short summary of the “Dutch Flat Entrapment” incident was one of these writeups that originally appeared in that Two More Chains issue.]

While this is a captivating story, it is difficult to read because it is so heavily redacted. It’s good to remind ourselves how our reporting culture has shifted over time.

The Basics

A Type 2 Incident Management Team is assigned a complex of fires in Nevada. On day three of the assignment, the Incident Commander, 2 Ops Chiefs, an Ops trainee, and a DIVS meet near one of the main values at risk (a mine).

At this meeting it becomes clear that they need to take immediate action to protect the mine. They implement an impromptu firing operation. During the firing operation a fire whirl forms, causing an entrapment with burn injuries. 

One Recommendation from this Report

(Remember, this is from 1996)

“The Agency Administrators Guide to Critical Incident Management (NFES 1356) should be utilized when there is a serious accident or injury. In addition, a peer counselor or health professional should be brought in to evaluate the need for Critical Incident Stress Debriefing when a serious accident occurs on a prescribed fire, wildfire, or aviation operation. This evaluation should be accomplished within 24 hours of the accident or incident.”

They also recommend having holding resources on scene for future firing operations.


To see the Fiddlers Island Road Burnout Report:


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