Dozers in Parks, Yellowstone History

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The train of thought differs across park to park by the Superintendents, but they have been used numerous times, especially out west.
The Big Meadow fire~~ Yosemite Rx (google it) was a pretty bold lesson learned for some fire managers and responsible parties in regards to having the ability or authority to engage at key trigger points.

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@CALFIREBC

What’s the consensus of the pros in this group about the risk to Susanville (particularly west edge) in light of the forecast? Also, anyone up for knocking out a few bullet points about the why behind the what of no iron, limited use of retardant in a designated wilderness area (and I assume National Park), etc. I’m sure there is strong rationale. I’d just like to be more educated about it. Thanks so much.

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The whole point of wilderness and National parks is to be left untouched for the most part by man and machine. Just admired while leaving little impact.
I realize that sounds stupid when park’s have roadways through them. But that’s just the easiest way to sum it up. So they often try to limit dozer and retardant use under normal circumstances. That being said these aren’t normal circumstances so hopefully they will allow use of any and everything available to help slow/stop this thing regardless if it’s in the park or forest wilderness area. Hope that helps…

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I believe they took a dozer through the Bucks Lake Wilderness over Spanish Peak. I have also heard that some or the ridges in the Bucks Lake Wilderness are pink now. Hopefully they pull out all the stops.

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I believe that Wilderness is to be left untouched by man- trails are ok, but managed by primitive tools: crosscut saw, hand tools and transportation by stock use. No mechanical or modern methods used. Parks are to display and interpret the wonders of the area for the public. At this point though, if I were the manager, I would pull out all the stops and get these fires put to bed; then argue the inevitable lawsuits and go about restoration later.

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I believe it is up to the park Superintendent to make that call. As it is up to the Forest Supervisor to make the call for a wilderness within a NF.

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Hopefully the lessons of Yellowstone have not been forgotten…

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Long winded but talks about a YNP Fire Dozer staged at scene but unable or delayed to authorize its use once needed.

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My first reply seems to have got misdirected after the topic move… anyway I had posted:
“I have hiked a number of areas burned by the 2012 Reading Fire in Lassen Park starting the year after the fire to see how it recovers afterward. I have never seen a dozer line nor do I see any signs of one on sat view so I am thinking none were used and that was pretty large, like 20-something… Google to the rescue, 28,000 acres.” I’ll add there are various discussions in Facebooks groups with some comments saying they don’t fight fires in a wilderness or national park and of course that does not apply as an absolute rule, people misunderstand or assume way too much. They may be thinking of the no iron rule you brought up.

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Ironic thing about the Reading Fire and all the upset it caused would be if it helped us contain this one.
Regarding dozers in the wilderness for this fire, how are dozers working out anywhere else right now?

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100 feet of bare earth vs current conditions? Ya, Mother Nature must be thinking “aww, look at them try, silly humans”

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TRUE.
When I told my son I was clearing the land behind me* with a McLeod to get 100 feet of clearance, he asked what a true distance might be. Smart-alecky me said, “really about a mile”.

*“Old Lady and the McLeod” cleared 1/4 acre by hand just because I didn’t think the owners would let me move in with them if MY house burned.

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Are dozer lines more effective as the landscape transitions out of trees and into brush or so these conditions still send embers > 100’ in brush? I’m learning so much from all everyone’s responses. Thanks!

Dozers are a great tool when used at the right time. (As with every other tool in the tool box). If you have a fire spotting a mile ahead of itself because of the wind…your containment line should be at minimum a mile wide, and still probably not big enough. Dozer lines also fail when they aren’t supported with hose lines, crews, retardant and every other tool that can and should be used given the current situation. Every situation is different and requires different strategies and tactics. There isn’t ever one right answer for every fire.

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FS sup can authorize chainsaws and helicopters in the wilderness. Dozer use is authorized by the Regional Forester

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I remember Forest Supervisor Dick Henry authorizing CDF to use both helicopters and chainsaws in the Thousand Lake Wilderness Area. When one of the helitack captains (I believe it may have been Darrell Kelley) asked, “What the hell are we supposed to do in there?” he got Dick’s answer. I think that may have been in 1987.

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Here’s a good thread to revisit today with Dozers, National Parks and decision making. Cheers

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Ive talked with some personal I know up there due to the dead and down then mono winds knock down dozers may be slower then the crews