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  1. #1051
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    Oct 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Star View Post
    Not a bummer for the GS-9s who get to leave the office and work for a GS-4 Squad Boss and GS-5 Crew Boss and make 120 hours of overtime for the tour.
    The GS-9+ fire crews that get sent to Australia are my personal favorite.

    And yes, the 1039 hour seasonal employee thing is still out there, alive and well.

  2. #1052
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    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by char_ View Post
    R6 IHC's are basically done as well. I imagine they could extend the tours of the permanent seasonals and combine crews to form a smaller number of IHC or Type 2 IA crews. R5 year round staffing might need to a be a model more regions look at moving forward.

    I believe one of the NIMO teams was contingency planning for this and the college departures at the national level this summer.
    Agree that year round (or maybe 9 month) staffing is the way to go in R2 and R5. I dunno....maybe we should allow people to get permanent status and benefits for putting thier life, health and relationships on the line to save the lives and property of others for $12-$20 per hour. While we're at it, maybe we should pay them more than $12-$20 per hour.

  3. #1053
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    Dec 2005
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    It’s always been kind of sad for me to see temp seasonals that liked the work and were good at it move on to something else because of finances and benefits. There might be some of those here on TRG.

    And yeah, permanent status could really help people that were having health and/or relationship problems...and there’re a lot of those.

  4. #1054
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    Sep 2005
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    PRB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I read tonight (not confirmed) that the Greenbriar burned down.
    FWIW, this appears to have been just a rumor, I cannot find any confirmation.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  5. #1055
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    just outside the bubble
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    1,200
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/n...d=FSEPRD831612

    FS land closure along front range
    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. –Ernest Hemingway

  6. #1056
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    449
    On the staffing stuff:

    At the start of this season, temps were told that they could work up to 1700 something hours instead of 1039. I don't know if that was related to covid or if that will continue into the future. I call bullshit on working someone that long and calling them a temp still. The 1039 long term temp employee thing is BS to begin with.

    R5 at least is actively trying to get to an 80 percent permanent firefighting workforce. Made up of 26/0 and 18/8. Rumor is other regions are moving this way as well, though probably with 13/13s mostly.

    As meadowskipper said, a move to a mostly permanent, more year round workforce would be a massive change. One I support and think needs to happen. But without changes in scheduling, one I see causing more burnout. At least some of those hotshot crews who laid off temps at 150 days vs 180 did it for good reasons beyond lack of funding:

    At 1000 plus hours of OT and continuous 14 day assignments for 5-6 months, it's likely a crew is no longer physically or mentally capable of safely performing at the standards of an IHC. That's my personal experience along with plenty of co-workers experiences. Pushing things later one year, maybe not a huge deal. Year in and year out, different story.

    Personal lives have been neglected to non-existent since the spring. Once again, one year here and there that personal lives need to be put on the back burner for another few weeks, probably not a deal breaker. Year after year after year, for entire careers, gonna lose alot of good people.

    So, my ideas for having a more permanent fire work force:

    Do away with temp positions. After 12 months of work-approx two seasons- everyone, regardless of qualifications or GS level, gets a permanent seasonal position with all the benefits that includes.

    Stagger module start dates. This already happens somewhat- Southwest crews usually start earlier because their fire season starts earlier. But it needs done all around. From what I can tell, in most years, this would provide enough resources.

    If staggering resources isn't feasible and year round staffing is needed(in most places I don't think it is), some bigger things have to change. Instead of 14 days on/2 days r&r, something like 14 days work/7 days off I think would be needed (if you're on an assignment). Physically, no one's recovering for shit on 2 days off. Mentally, six months spent with basically no outside life is tough enough.

    For those who don't know some terms:

    1039/temp employees: 1039 hours is the maximum base hours an employee can work and still be called a temp. 1039 hours is one hour short of six months of forty hour per week base hours. Overtime doesn't count in this equation, a few years I've gotten more overtime hours than base hours.

    26/0, 18/8, 13/13: The number of pay period a permanent employee is guaranteed to work/ the number they could have off. A 26/0 is year round, 18/8 is about 8 months working/4 months off. 13/13, 6 months on 6 months off.

  7. #1057
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    18
    East Troublesome Fire is approaching 30,000 acres. It crossed highway 125 around 3pm today. The far eastern part of the fire is just south of Little Gravel Mtn. Would post pics, but can not. We need moisture! Really hope the Sunday storm does not dud.

  8. #1058
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    Dec 2009
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    ECO
    Posts
    5,136
    Getting whiplash trying to keep track of all these fires.

  9. #1059
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    YetiMan
    Posts
    11,775
    Quote Originally Posted by claymond View Post
    On the staffing stuff:

    At the start of this season, temps were told that they could work up to 1700 something hours instead of 1039. I don't know if that was related to covid or if that will continue into the future. I call bullshit on working someone that long and calling them a temp still. The 1039 long term temp employee thing is BS to begin with.

    R5 at least is actively trying to get to an 80 percent permanent firefighting workforce. Made up of 26/0 and 18/8. Rumor is other regions are moving this way as well, though probably with 13/13s mostly.

    As meadowskipper said, a move to a mostly permanent, more year round workforce would be a massive change. One I support and think needs to happen. But without changes in scheduling, one I see causing more burnout. At least some of those hotshot crews who laid off temps at 150 days vs 180 did it for good reasons beyond lack of funding:

    At 1000 plus hours of OT and continuous 14 day assignments for 5-6 months, it's likely a crew is no longer physically or mentally capable of safely performing at the standards of an IHC. That's my personal experience along with plenty of co-workers experiences. Pushing things later one year, maybe not a huge deal. Year in and year out, different story.

    Personal lives have been neglected to non-existent since the spring. Once again, one year here and there that personal lives need to be put on the back burner for another few weeks, probably not a deal breaker. Year after year after year, for entire careers, gonna lose alot of good people.

    So, my ideas for having a more permanent fire work force:

    Do away with temp positions. After 12 months of work-approx two seasons- everyone, regardless of qualifications or GS level, gets a permanent seasonal position with all the benefits that includes.

    Stagger module start dates. This already happens somewhat- Southwest crews usually start earlier because their fire season starts earlier. But it needs done all around. From what I can tell, in most years, this would provide enough resources.

    If staggering resources isn't feasible and year round staffing is needed(in most places I don't think it is), some bigger things have to change. Instead of 14 days on/2 days r&r, something like 14 days work/7 days off I think would be needed (if you're on an assignment). Physically, no one's recovering for shit on 2 days off. Mentally, six months spent with basically no outside life is tough enough.

    For those who don't know some terms:

    1039/temp employees: 1039 hours is the maximum base hours an employee can work and still be called a temp. 1039 hours is one hour short of six months of forty hour per week base hours. Overtime doesn't count in this equation, a few years I've gotten more overtime hours than base hours.

    26/0, 18/8, 13/13: The number of pay period a permanent employee is guaranteed to work/ the number they could have off. A 26/0 is year round, 18/8 is about 8 months working/4 months off. 13/13, 6 months on 6 months off.
    In the day, on national helitack we had 9 personnel. 3 pods of 3. We staffed the ship on incidents with 6. The first week you’re with one pod of 3, then that one rotates out and you work your second week with the other pod, then you rotate home and get base 8s or take leave or do local IA or whatever for a week at home. It was a really good system you could scale up for a shot crew. You get your fire time, you can kinda keep your household together a bit more...would recommend.

  10. #1060
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    Sep 2005
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    PRB
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    Quote Originally Posted by d-root View Post
    East Troublesome Fire is approaching 30,000 acres. It crossed highway 125 around 3pm today. The far eastern part of the fire is just south of Little Gravel Mtn. Would post pics, but can not. We need moisture! Really hope the Sunday storm does not dud.
    Seeing lots of shit on Facebook that there's a decent chance Grand Lake is gone by morning.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  11. #1061
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    Dec 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    In the day, on national helitack we had 9 personnel. 3 pods of 3. We staffed the ship on incidents with 6. The first week you’re with one pod of 3, then that one rotates out and you work your second week with the other pod, then you rotate home and get base 8s or take leave or do local IA or whatever for a week at home. It was a really good system you could scale up for a shot crew. You get your fire time, you can kinda keep your household together a bit more...would recommend.
    Good system. Combine that with decent base pay for the down time and that’s how you staff a fire program with professionals.

  12. #1062
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    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    5,992
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Seeing lots of shit on Facebook that there's a decent chance Grand Lake is gone by morning.
    Jeezus - 125K acres this morning. At this point, the entire northern Front Range is on fire/burned, practically speaking.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #1063
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    Apr 2006
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    The East Troublesome Fire (near Grand Lake) spread 20 miles west to east yesterday through heavy timber, growing by more than 100k acres in a day. That is unbelievable fire behavior.

    There was a single Hotshot crew from California and only three contract hand crews assigned to the fire as of yesterday. The lack of resources is insane and if the general public was aware I think they would be furious. Overall, there are less than 300 people assigned to a now 125k acre fire that is making monumental runs through heavy timber, burning homes and threatening entire towns. What. the. fuck.

  14. #1064
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    1,534
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevo View Post
    The East Troublesome Fire (near Grand Lake) spread 20 miles west to east yesterday through heavy timber, growing by more than 100k acres in a day. That is unbelievable fire behavior.

    There was a single Hotshot crew from California and only three contract hand crews assigned to the fire as of yesterday. The lack of resources is insane and if the general public was aware I think they would be furious. Overall, there are less than 300 people assigned to a now 125k acre fire that is making monumental runs through heavy timber, burning homes and threatening entire towns. What. the. fuck.
    Sounds like it may have gone over the top.

    https://wildfiretoday.com/

  15. #1065
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    Dec 2003
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    funland
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    4,902
    ^^^ holy smokes. any notions that the un-wooded crests of mountain ranges are a sufficient fire break have been dispelled this fire season.

  16. #1066
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    Apr 2006
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    It may well merge with the Cameron Peak fire if it keeps going.

    This is now the biggest fire in Rocky Mountain National Park history. Estes is in danger of being overrun and Alpine IHC and presumably most/all other seasonal fire personnel in RMNP have been laid off for the year.

  17. #1067
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    Apr 2006
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    Movin' On
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    2,580
    Listening in on radio traffic here- https://m.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/32274

    RMNP is closed, rangers are working to evacuate all people still in the backcountry.

  18. #1068
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Southeast New York
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    7,902
    Holy crap! This sux

  19. #1069
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    Oct 2003
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    Where the diamonds turn to coal
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    7,008
    The truly unbelievable part is how late in the fall it is (regarding the Colorado fires).
    I remember a bottomless freedom...

  20. #1070
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    PNW
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  21. #1071
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    Dec 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevo View Post
    The East Troublesome Fire (near Grand Lake) spread 20 miles west to east yesterday through heavy timber, growing by more than 100k acres in a day. That is unbelievable... The lack of resources is insane and if the general public was aware I think they would be furious. Overall, there are less than 300 people assigned to a now 125k acre fire that is making monumental runs through heavy timber, burning homes and threatening entire towns. What. the. fuck.
    Much the same here in New Mexico. The Luna fire is +10k acres, and been burning for a few days, but there are only 4 hand crews on it. By now, I think the only fed hotshot crews still on are from California. https://nmfireinfo.com/2020/10/22/lu...te-10-22-2020/

    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    The truly unbelievable part is how late in the fall it is (regarding the Colorado fires).
    It’s crazy, and the same in NM.

  22. #1072
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    In the swamp
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    8,027

    2020 Wildfire Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Star View Post
    ^^^ holy smokes. any notions that the un-wooded crests of mountain ranges are a sufficient fire break have been dispelled this fire season.
    Seriously. I would have thought the continuous alpine continental divide all above 12,000’ would have kept it on the west side.

  23. #1073
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    the rock SE IDAHO
    Posts
    206
    I sent a type 4 from idaho to new mexico on OCTOBER 22. This one crazy year large fire, COVID insanity and a fire season that does not end. Not a lot of moisture coming in the basin in the future..


    Lots of good thoughts on how we should manage in the future. Budget will drive it all. We are/have lost many good fed folks going to city/county/state because we pay on a scale from the old days.

    GS 8 Captain does not work year make 50 or 60 grand after all the time and quals to get to GS-8 with overtime and on call 24/7

    Rookie city with high school degree or GED starts at 50 for rookie school and then has a schedule that is set for the next 12 months

    Shit needs to change

  24. #1074
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    Sep 2005
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    PRB
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    24,134
    Parts of Estes Park have been evac'ed.

    Snow due on Sunday. But it may be too late.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  25. #1075
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    United States of Aburdistan
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    6,923
    Reports of the fire spread slowing down near Mt Wuh.

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