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Thread: Wildfire 2021

  1. #26
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    Super dry with very low humidity here in New England. We're still dry after last year's drought and a rather low snow year didn't help much. Burn bans went into effect here as soon as the snow melted last week. There may be hope for some rain next week.
    Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood.
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    The only reason I ever got involved in the first place was skiing, it would be sad to remove ski bums from the fire world... there some of the best I worked with.
    I heard that Redding Smokejumpers had to request to reclassify some of their 26/0 positions to 18/8 because they were having recruiting and retention problems.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CovertM View Post
    My house is considered PC10 and was a pain in the balls to get insured, you can guess what I have to pay in premiums. Always feared getting dropped and not being able to reinsure.

    Where are you seeing this happen?
    I’m seeing it on the commercial side. No idea on residential. SW and central ID for me. Hearing it in W MT but no first hand knowledge there.

  4. #29
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    Seasonal fire fighters. If we are going to spend money we dont have? That is where we should be spending it. You should make serious money to do that.
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    We already have campfire bans in Socal.
    Why why why does Colorado not do this like right now? With covid tourism looking to be at it's peak this summer, all the newbies that moved to the state and all the visitors wanting to fulfill their outdoorgasm by lighting a fire in the woods....just wait until those afternoon winds kick up every single day like they have been. This summer is gonna suck. We need to keep things simple here with regards to the messaging: No. Fucking. Campfires. Wording like "Stage II Fire Ban" means nothing to the idiots that start big ass fires from having a campfire. We need simple wording and stiffer fines and/or stiffer penalties for those who disregard this! Same goes for cigarette tossers. Mandatory 30 days jail time for violating. Yeah I know, dream on...

  6. #31
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    I believe several Congress folks will be working to include some wildfire type stuff into the federal infrastructure bill, including landscape level ecosystem/forest restoration, infrastructure hardening, and workforce stuff (ie rx burn training programs).

  7. #32
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    It would be really great if there was an incident management team like structure and resources for post wildfire response. From my experience the USFS BAER teams pump out some reports, hand them off and say good luck! This leaves under-resourced and unsavvy locals holding the bag trying to navigate multi-agency coordination and mitigation to the new hazards. It leads to a lot of duplicated efforts and people reinventing the wheel on things that have been done in many other places before.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    I was going to post that things are super crunchy in the northern Midwest. Low snow year, early warmth. There have been a few wind days here where all it would have taken was the right (or “wrong”, I dunno) ignition.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Michigan_Fire

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkgt View Post
    fire season sucks. wild-land firefighters should be a year around job with full fucking bennies.
    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    The only reason I ever got involved in the first place was skiing, it would be sad to remove ski bums from the fire world... there some of the best I worked with.
    Quote Originally Posted by old_newguy View Post
    I heard that Redding Smokejumpers had to request to reclassify some of their 26/0 positions to 18/8 because they were having recruiting and retention problems.
    I’ve thought about this some. First off, the fed agencies (which is what I was familiar with) abused the temporary seasonal hiring by keeping folks on that for years with no bennies or status.

    But the above quotes tell a story as well, and there’s a place for some temp seasonals on fire crews to let them get a taste and to check them out. My thought is that one season as a temporary, and then if they come back/are hired back for a second season, it’s time to give them a conditional appointment greater than 6 months a year, like a 13/13*, 18/8* or a 26/0*, whichever they want, so they qualify for bennies. And classify them as firefighters, instead of technicians like the feds do. It’d be cool if the firefighters got to choose their tour.

    There’s certainly enough work to put them on year-round, but those 13/13 or 18/8 tours will give folks that need it or want it a break after the season and some flexibility to management. My favorite years were when I had a 13/13 and usually worked 8 months, then took time off, but got bennies and status.

    * The number/number refers to the number of 2-week pay periods per year that they’re guaranteed work. OPM rules say you have to work at least 6 months (13 pay periods) per year to get bennies and status.

    And @seano, retirement is awesome. Hang in there.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by knumbskull View Post
    It would be really great if there was an incident management team like structure and resources for post wildfire response. From my experience the USFS BAER teams pump out some reports, hand them off and say good luck! This leaves under-resourced and unsavvy locals holding the bag trying to navigate multi-agency coordination and mitigation to the new hazards. It leads to a lot of duplicated efforts and people reinventing the wheel on things that have been done in many other places before.
    Funding and fed firefighter appointment lengths are all that’s needed to address this.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    I’ve thought about this some. First off, the fed agencies (which is what I was familiar with) abused the temporary seasonal hiring by keeping folks on that for years with no bennies or status.

    But the above quotes tell a story as well, and there’s a place for some temp seasonals on fire crews to let them get a taste and to check them out. My thought is that one season as a temporary, and then if they come back/are hired back for a second season, it’s time to give them a conditional appointment greater than 6 months a year, like a 13/13*, 18/8* or a 26/0*, whichever they want, so they qualify for bennies. And classify them as firefighters, instead of technicians like the feds do.

    There’s certainly enough work to put them on year-round, but those 13/13 or 18/8 tours will give folks that need it or want it a break after the season and some flexibility to management. My favorite years were when I had a 13/13 and usually worked 8 months, then took time off, but got bennies and status.

    * The number/number refers to the number of 2-week pay periods per year that they’re guaranteed work. OPM rules say you have to work at least 6 months (13 pay periods) per year to get bennies and status.

    And @seano, retirement is awesome. Hang in there.
    It’s an interesting dynamic because there is a lot of noise being made about federal firefighters mental health, work life balance and financial challenges. Sort of reminiscent of the mid to late 2000’s when CALFIRE was poaching USFS left and right for better pay and benefits.

    On the other hand, there is certainly a younger portion of the workforce that is fine working a years worth of hours in 6-7 months and then going to do something else. It stops working as soon as getting married and having kids enters the equation IMO.

    Can you imagine being on a 26/0 IHC? Maybe it would lend itself to longer breaks between fire assignments for more down time or something, but that doesn’t seem to be the way things are heading.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_newguy View Post
    ...but that doesn’t seem to be the way things are heading.
    I wonder if Deb Haaland is open to discussion on this?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    I wonder if Deb Haaland is open to discussion on this?
    I mean that there aren’t enough resources in peak season as it is, so I doubt anyone is going to be taking an extended break as a matter of policy anytime soon.

    It does seem like some revisitation of the 14 days on 2 days off policy might be smart from a resource burnout perspective. Like 3 tours and you get 5 days off or something.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_newguy View Post
    I mean that there aren’t enough resources in peak season as it is, so I doubt anyone is going to be taking an extended break as a matter of policy anytime soon.

    It does seem like some revisitation of the 14 days on 2 days off policy might be smart from a resource burnout perspective. Like 3 tours and you get 5 days off or something.
    I think it’s the extended seasons that are hurting folks - 1200 hours of overtime is pretty much a norm for IHCs now - brutal. Some recognition of that, good appointments early on, and allowing crew supes to extend breaks if needed would be a start.

    Back in the 80s, before the 14 day assignment/2 day off thing I worked a few 30 day stretches. Ouch.

    There were a lot fewer IHCs then, but the weather wasn’t quite as weird.

  15. #40
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    I was a temp GS-7 in 1988 w 10 years of wildland firefighting(hotshots and engines) and BS Forestry and couldn't even sniff a 13/13. My last fire was Yellowstone that year. I missed out on all the rest of the fun.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless Sinner View Post
    I was a temp GS-7 in 1988 w 10 years of wildland firefighting(hotshots and engines) and BS Forestry and couldn't even sniff a 13/13. My last fire was Yellowstone that year. I missed out on all the rest of the fun.
    See? That sucks so much.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    See? That sucks so much.
    It was brutal, didn't ski, didn't hunt, and had to do 30 years on the rockpile as punishment.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless Sinner View Post
    It was brutal, didn't ski, didn't hunt, and had to do 30 years on the rockpile as punishment.
    Whoa, hard to believe Ystone was over 30 years ago.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_newguy View Post
    It’s an interesting dynamic because there is a lot of noise being made about federal firefighters mental health, work life balance and financial challenges. Sort of reminiscent of the mid to late 2000’s when CALFIRE was poaching USFS left and right for better pay and benefits.

    On the other hand, there is certainly a younger portion of the workforce that is fine working a years worth of hours in 6-7 months and then going to do something else. It stops working as soon as getting married and having kids enters the equation IMO.

    Can you imagine being on a 26/0 IHC? Maybe it would lend itself to longer breaks between fire assignments for more down time or something, but that doesn’t seem to be the way things are heading.
    Look at how the Oil rig crews are managed. Seems like they have struck a balance
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  20. #45
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    Silver lining?? Drought: Less fuel - earlier season but shorter?
    Yes, I'm an optimist.

    Could possibly be a pollyanna.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB View Post
    Silver lining?? Drought: Less fuel - earlier season but shorter?
    Yes, I'm an optimist.

    Could possibly be a pollyanna.
    The way that generally works is droughts can bring lighter fire seasons to grasslands and deserts, but heavier fire seasons to timbered country. Less rain, less grass, but brush and forest floor litter gets drier and burns harder and of course the trees are drier and stressed and the crowns and stems ignite easier and burn harder. Convection-born embers cause spot fires more easily too.

  22. #47
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  23. #48
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    Along that same line, San Jose State scientists find the lowest moisture content ever recorded in the Santa Cruz Mtn chaparral
    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/amp/f...e-16087019.php

    Couldn’t even find new growth on the plants...
    Check Out Ullr's Mobile Avalanche Safety Tools for iOS and Android
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    Whoa, hard to believe Ystone was over 30 years ago.
    My mom drove me through there the year after. I was 12, it affected me, 7 years later I started digging line.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    My mom drove me through there the year after. I was 12, it affected me, 7 years later I started digging line.
    Heh. It affected me too. I’d gotten my ass kicked for weeks on fires in AK before I went down and gotten my ass kicked for weeks on fires in MT/WY.

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