Three members of a helitack crew are overrun by fire inside the meadow that serves as their helispot. Only two of the firefighters have fire shelters.
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.)
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
By Persephone Whelan So there I was, snuggled on the couch in the early morning hours with my 3-year-old, sipping coffee, idly flipping through Facebook when a Hotchkiss Fire District video of the Horse Park Fire came under my thumb. I thought, “Wow. That’s some interesting fire behavior. Wonder what the story is there.” Then … Continue reading Are Your “Slides” Blinding You?
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
Redding IHC Crewmember – 2016 The South Canyon Staff Ride was without a doubt one of the most influential experiences of my wildland fire career. It is one thing to sit in a classroom and learn about a tragedy fire from PowerPoints and write-ups. However, talking to the individuals involved, putting yourself in their shoes, … Continue reading Engrained into My Thoughts and Actions
Redding IHC Crewmember – 2016 There are a number of aspects I consider key in becoming a proficient, knowledgeable, and accomplished wildland firefighter. Some help with professionalism or presentation, others focus on safety or cohesion. The list is as long as it is diverse. Some of the more beneficial skills are those that directly relate … Continue reading Finest Learning Experience of My Life
Redding IHC Crewmember - 2015 The South Canyon Staff Ride, as well as any other staff ride, is a tool every firefighter can benefit from. I feel it’s a valuable experience that should be mandatory. What you get out of a staff ride is so much more than what you get from any book, case … Continue reading Should Be Mandatory
Redding IHC Crewmember – 2016 Being a Redding Hotshot is an incredible training opportunity. That is the priority reason that I endeavored to become one. I am now into July of the 2016 fire season. I have performed training now as a firing boss (t) and as a crew boss (t). I have received a … Continue reading The Beating Heart Within Us
Redding IHC Crewmember - 2013 Participating in the Redding IHC South Canyon Staff Ride was a definitive moment of my career both in fire and with the U.S. Forest Service. In spite of all that has changed after the South Canyon Fire and over the past two decades, firefighter fatalities continue to occur every year. … Continue reading This Has Been Me Before