History, Politics And Current Affairs

Opinions expressed here are personal views of contributors and do not necessarily represent the companies, organizations or governments they work for. Nor do they necessarily represent those of the Board Administration.
It is currently Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:41 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:10 pm
Posts: 431
Special called out to the mountains north of Tucson the other month. Cabin homeowner in small mountaintop village of Summerhaven dumps out ashes from porch BBQ onto the ground below, not knowing they haven't fully cooled yet. Ignites scrap wood next to home and spreads rapidly to light brush adjacent the cabin, then to moderate fuels, spreading rapidly uphill and towards other cabins. Initial response of 1 Type 3 engine which called for immediate backup. Second due units of 1 Type 1 engine, 2 Type 6 engines, 2 Type 2 water tenders, and 1 Type 3 helicopter. The Type 6 engines were necessary due to access to some cabins being steep/narrow dirt/rock roads with severe switchbacks that the Type 1/3 engines and the tenders couldn't negotiate.

Our company's Type 6 was assigned along with the other Type 6 as structure protection for cabins, and to redirect the fire's western flank with hose lines and brush clearing, keeping it moving uphill and away from the cabins. Secondary mission was direct protection of cabins if the winds pushed the fire west. Was able to contain to 5 acres overall, but could've been worse. The village of Summerhaven was destroyed in 2003 during the Aspen fire which burned 85,000 acres, and has never been fully rebuilt.

When it comes to wildland fire, we're caught between a rock and a hard place. Fallout from the 1950s/60s/70s and early 80s where we exercised aggressive suppression of any and all forest fires that popped up, hitting them hard and getting them out. Without a similar aggressive controlled burn program, brush/trees/scrub all continued to pile up over the decades finally resulting in the Yellowstone fire of 1988 that burned 1 million + acres. Ecologically speaking, the forest needs to burn, it's a natural occurrence and we haven't managed that well.....mainly by not allowing it to happen, and not having a plan B for making up for it.

Now, we're even further stuck. With the rise of urban interface in the mid-1970s, with more and more people wanting to build homes in and amongst the forest, controlled/prescribed burning opportunities are fewer and fewer due to the risk. So now its incumbent upon the homeowners to create their own defensible space around their homes, and even that is no guarantee if their home is further surrounded by heavy vegetation and fuels, with their homes really just becoming fuel itself for the fire.


Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:10 pm
Posts: 431
Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group