Let her rip, I’m sure all the few mining companies would appreciate the brush eradication and chase some invasive crop farmers out


Nothing in there worth getting anyone hurt for, thick brush and minimal access


Love seeing the VMP/let-er-rip comments. Not every place is the right place to back off and let them do their thing, but when an opportunity arises, we have got to push the pro-fire/resource-benefit message. Most of our leadership has been failing us on this topic for 100 years.


Those decisions do not exist in a vacuum, some amount of common sense needs to be applied- and not from a computer screen. What are the current and expected conditions, what are the fuel conditions and what will the outcome be under the current conditions.
Yes- that area has few impacts to infrastructure, but without established dozer lines, the exercise remains the same as an initial attack- buying time to build a bigger box.


Of course. We’ve got the collective experience to make the decisions, and we have never had more information available to inform the decision-makers. Yet we seem to be getting farther and farther away from being able to make it happen. The amount of money we spend on retardant for this fire today could buy 5x as many acres of that land as the fire will burn.


That’s what they did on the Garza fire a few years ago when it got on to a big chunk of private cattle grazing land.


You beat me to it


Are BC’s even in their position long enough to really get to know their battalion any more? Getting to know their battalion in the sense of where you can back off during a situation like this and into a VMP mode. With so much upward mobility for the past 15-20 years, I really doubt it This is also the reason there are no longer the 3000 acre control burns in the SRA ‘back country’.


For this particular fire, they have an excellent BC as DIV A with extensive knowledge of this area.


I would have to agree. With many of the 30 something year old BC’s coming up the food chain with less than 5 years of captain time, I do believe the term ‘normalization of deviance’ comes to mind… at least for me…
As a safety, I’ve had more than enough opportunities to give an ‘emergency’ lecture to a less than experienced BC regarding tactics, strategies, and fire behavior.

Stay safe and stay hydrated my friends. It’s about to get real nutty out there.


That they do.


The execution of normal VMP and using wildfire to meet these needs are a very slippery slope. Before I retired recently, VMP projects, either burning or vegetation modification, took at least 12 to 18 months for approval. Then expect a lawsuit from one of the extremist environmental groups. That along with getting landowner approval in SRA when multiple properties are involved gets very labor intensive. VMP is not what it used to be folks.
Let anyone hear that we are letting a wildfire burn for VMP purposes and let the games begin. It is a little different when you protect private tax paying property vs federal land that the govt owns. Make no mistake, there are ways to adjust suppression tactics, but careful consideration must be made.


CEQA anyone?

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Well said, firedog1, speaking to the state side of the house in trying to manage wildfires for something other than suppression. Complicated to the extreme.

And then sometimes fires just decide their own fate for a bit, as this fire appears to be doing.

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Sadly the E-Fund can’t be used for VMP’s due to the numerous reasons stated. The Garza in 2017 was the exception to the rule. Single property owner, draw down of resources, difficult access, environmental concerns(naturally occurring asbestos) Having spent the last 28 seasons doing this as a living in one form or fashion, it seems all the old is new again. However in 2020, with everything going on, Common Sense is not nearly as COMMON as it should/could/or needs to be.

Stay safe everyone


Affirm. It’s just not happening. VMP should stand for ‘Vegetation Management Promises’. No offense to the people who have sat in the seat at each unit, but California hasn’t had a meaningful VMP program in the last 20 years, and the jury is still out on the current reboot. It just hasn’t been supported by CAL FIRE at any sort of meaningful scale. I’m not suggesting we remake a broken government program in the middle of a going fire. But I feel we - as fire experts - have a responsibility to teach the leaders and public what we know about where and when indirect tactics can achieve the most cost-effective and beneficial outcomes. So I will bring the topic up every time I see a fire where it could be a reality.


Remake the program in the middle of fire season. Do it. We’re already remaking Crews program And yes teach leaders and public , Only if they WANT to listen and understand. New motto. 2020 What’s Next.


This has been forecast for a long time and not enough succession planning has been done across the board it seems. I know that to be true with my own dept and can see it elsewhere. Classes don’t equal experience and we’re coming towards the end of the baby-boomer retirement era. There’s gonna be a lot of young folks out there that promoted to fill fill the holes because there wasn’t much choice. Now more then ever we need the tutorage of the guys retiring out to pass along their knowledge and unfortunately with the new CICCS a lot of those folks will be removed from teams.


This is like the “who is better Joe Montana or Tom Brady” conversation.
Remember that " CAL FIRE’s" VMP program is conducted on private ground… so its just not that easy as it is for federal agencies to do burn projects. With that, the last decade has exhibited extreme weather that has led to extreme burning conditions, even in the traditional " off season". A VMP is meant to be a targeted project to clear a certain type, species or coverage of vegetation. If we are looking to slick everything off- well then yes “let them rip” in July- see the Reading Fire for how that goes…
There is a stark contrast between backing off and building a larger box and conducting a “VMP” two separate programs and pots of money.
With regard to the argument about the lack of experience… I have worked for CF for 28 years. I will tell you that the firefighters that we have now have gained an unparalleled amount of experience in the last decade. There has never been a time in the history of the fire service in California ( except maybe when FIRESCOPE was formed) where firefighters have been exposed to more dynamic, complex and challenging incidents that required them to find out of the box solutions. They have access to tools and information that people did not have even 10 years ago. To be honest- I would take a 30 y/o BC who began their career in 2010 than someone who has spent 30 years trapped in a antiquated paradigm…
Speaking of paradigms- it is easy to throw rocks when you do not work for a government agency and understand the physical, financial and political limitations that are placed on us…


Here are some photos in the vicinity of the Mineral Fire. How big a fire is too big? If this land historically burned every 20-40 years, did this landscape commonly have really a few really large fires, or were there many small ones?