burn or let burn

#1

Continuing the discussion from CA-KNF-Kidd and Kidder 2:

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#2

It’s ALL gonna burn eventually.

#3

Yep and if your around it enough you know that when it wants to burn it will no matter if you line 200 engines, 60 dozers, 2,000 FF, and an Antonov An-225 Mriya is dropping retardant in front of it. However, when it lays down man(kind) can be effective in holding it in place. However, when conditions are right for burning it will do as it pleases. Humm, many fires lay down at night and rip during the day. So maybe your largest firefighting force (effort) should be when it lays down. I think that is at night. At least that was the philosophy in the '70s (that’s 1970s upstart) when I started.

Antonov An-225 Mriya

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#4

HAVE YOU SEEN A PERSON GO OFF A ONE HUNDRED FOOT CLIFF…AT NIGHT. PLEASE CONSIDER THAT THERE ARE A GREAT MORE DANGEROUS AT NIGHT. YES WHEN IT IS COOLER AND SOMETIMES THE FIRES LAY DOWN AT NIGHT. THERE ARE ALOT OF DANGERS TO BE CONSIDERED. HAVING WITNESSED THIS, JUST WAY THE DANGERS OF TERIEGNED UNSEEN IN THE DAY VS. THE NIGHT. ASK WHY AIRCRAFT WILLNOT NORMALLY GO INTO DIPS OR AREAS NOT SEEN IN THE DAY. YES WORK PRODUCTIVITY WILL OR CAN BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AT NIGHT BUT WITH A RISK.

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#5

Have you ever seen a crew carrier hit broadside by an on coming vehicle doing 50mph in broad daylight? Fire fighting is inherently risky. My first wildfire season was on the San Bernardino NF and that is where I learned to fight fire at night. The other option is to send your resources out in the daylight so they can find a safe place to sit and watch the fire burn. Then return to camp while a scant night crew goes out to patrol.

Safer yet, when the fire is gobbling up ground like there is no tomorrow don’t even call in resources. Leave them home until conditions are such that they can be productive. One will have to have some resources to protect life and property of course. And there may be limited opportunities in some areas to be productive. I definitely include the air resources to the leave them on the ground group. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are wasted on aircraft dropping where no one is around to take advantage of the drop. I once asked air attack if he really thought those 2 heavy helicopters were going to stop the fire’s advance. He admitted he did not think so. I requested those helos be put on the ground until conditions changed and I would let him know when that was. Flying is inherently risky. I bet if we sat and talked we would not be that far apart. Sorry you had to witness someone falling off a 100 foot cliff. It can happen in broad daylight as well.

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#6

I do not believe we are on the same page. I was a very aggressive fireman. that’s what my first badge said i was and no matter the title I always tried to fight the good (aggressive) attack. we are 180 out on this subject. the lad that died, died in what we were doing and yes it could have happened in daylight. but you can not compare daylight firefighting to night…different animals most of the time. backing off is and always be a consideration. but to say those Helios were ineffective is not the whole story. Yes fire eats thru retardant and water drops, but it does slow the fire spread to various degrees. this gave us the ground crews time. it also gave us coverage for drops if we needed them (which happens quickly) to be already in the air and able to respond more quickly than coming from a shut down at a helio base.
I am old school. yes there are times for building bigger boxes for safety; and at times to reduce fire loading, thinning, rx, etc. but if you have followed this year, you will have seen that almost all fires have been attacked on the ia very aggressively across the board (all agencies) safely and effectively (my compliments to all for your work…you can be proud for it).
as for western states. there times (opportunities) to build a bigger box, but for the most part, go after them when they are small and hit them even harder when they are bigger.
be safe but have fun

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#7
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#8

let us never to forget the talanlets of air resources. night or day, they are there for the ground folks doing the work. my greatest thanks to all the pilots that have saved my ass in the past, military and on the fire line. it is always a group endeavour. everybody is one in the assault against the monster…

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#9

IA and extended attack, 2 different animals. I ran IA for 30 of my 37 fire seasons. The last 4 as BC or above. Hit 'um hard and keep 'um small is good advice. Never get into a situation where oops is an unacceptable response.

There is far more in play this year than good aggressive IA. To propose less would be to say that years past IA failed because they were not aggressive enough.

All the respect in the world for those pilots and ground crews that keep things running. Lord knows they have flown me to the tops of many mountains. Keep them in the air if needed. When your facing a 3 mile wide running crown fire, all resources have been told to withdraw to safe locations and 2 helicopters are dropping water on spot fires 1/2 mile ahead of the running crown fire, is that cost effective use of that resource? When a VLAT drops 3/4 of a mile of retardant in an area where no people will set foot for 3 days is that wise use of that resource? I remember those actions every April 15th. And if I can draw a conclusion that you work/worked for LA county, April 15 hits you much harder than it hits me.

Is fire to be respected? Absolutely. Is driving to be respected? Absolutely. Is flying inherently risky? No doubt. But we fight fire, we drive and we fly. Is being in the woods after dark inherently risky? Yes. To be respected? Absolutely. We take precautions when we fight fire, drive and fly. Working in the dark requires many of the same precautions and some unique ones.

Draw a bigger box if weather, topography and fuels (wt&f) require it, but not because it is dark. When wf&t are in your favor do not lose the opportunity to be productive simply because it is dark outside.

There are many reasons we do not catch fires in the first 3 days. I propose one of those reasons is we put down incoming resources at 2400 so they will be available for day shift the following day when the fire is running and gunning and no size fire fighting force in the world can stop it. But last night there was a chance of establishing good solid lines so aircraft could support those ground forces in holding those lines the next day. Yes, I am fully aware of work rest guidelines, the need for structure protection the following day shift, day and night shifts require skilled and experienced crews that are in short supply, where do you sleep those night shift personnel and the need for the Plans section to develop 2 shift plans a day? None of these are good reasons to avoid a well staffed night shift. I gotta say it. Staffing a night shift with resources on a 24 hour shift is not staffing the night shift (unless of course they are actively engaged in protection of life and some property). Why don’t those 24 hour shifts have to meet work rest guidelines? Being off for 24 hours does not prepare the individual for working another 24 hour shift.

Same page or not, nice sharing with you. I will not convince many and have said my peace and will take note of responses, bye on this thread.

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#10

we agree to disagree on some things, but we are on the same page when it comes to safety of pilots and ground forces. nice talk. you take care.

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