A Crew Sawyer's View - This is a personal story of the moments leading up to a shelter deployment, the moments spent in the shelter, and insights on life after a deployment.
Reality set in quickly as I tore the plastic on my fire shelter. There was no longer any hesitation, no stigmas to worry about, this was survival. I remember saying “I will see you on the other side” to my partners as I fumbled with unfolding my shelter.
The following thoughts and observations are derived from my own perspective that is based on 25 seasons filled with two shelter deployments, plenty of near misses, getting hit with branches because I was mesmerized by how awesome falling a burning snag is, falling asleep while driving, falling out on hikes (because I suck at hiking, smoke too much). Oh yeah, as well as one divorce and four or five failed relationships.
Here are more numbers from the 2019 fire year.
These two categories often generate much discussion in refresher courses.
Each year the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center analyzes and summarizes reported incidents to create an Incident Review Summary. Each summary includes exercises to aid crew leaders and instructors with facilitation. (Pro-tip: Do the exercises.)
How a firefighter successfully prepared for a burnover and used his fire shelter for himself-- and two civilians.
The topic is Scouting and Lookouts. What follows is a simple list of related resources. The intent is that you will use them to conduct a training session of some sort.
By Travis Dotson How exactly do we Honor the Fallen? It's a tough question because it has a thousand right answers. One of the most important ways to honor is to learn. We are always in danger of squandering the bitter opportunity that tragedy affords us. This video is a glimpse of what so many of … Continue reading Honor The Fallen
The following is an excerpt from the Sheep Creek Burnover Report The Sheep Creek Fire occurred on August 18, 2018. A helicopter crash in a remote area near Battle Mountain, Nevada ignited a wildfire, resulting in a burnover of a Type 4 engine on a Search and Rescue mission responding to the helicopter crash. The … Continue reading Crash and Burn
By Travis Dotson You should read this one. It's straight up scary. We've talked about this before, how normal ops can get sketchy in a second. Here it is. Real-deal run for your life type stuff. First fire of the season. First shift. Just scouting a road. Just serving as Lookout. Normal ops. Watch this: … Continue reading When You Have to Run