- Slides: 24
SCTOQ 2 WILDLAND AWARENESS Considerations for Snohomish County Resources
Contents LCES 10’s / 18’s Common Denominators Working on a hill
Overview The purpose for this training is to give members tools to help them stay safe during brush fire operations. When most of us think about wildland training we think of the big “wildland” fires that we see on the other side of the mountains of on the news. Brush fires in Sno. County most of the timedo not amount to much in way of size and growth development. This however does not mean that Sno. County cannot have a significant event. The weather on the west side of the mountains is such that we are wet momst of the year making the fuel moistures high, relative humidity generally high, and fire growth slow. But every once in a while we do get a stretch of weather that allows for an increase in brush fires.
Overview Con’t. We are fortunate in our area that we generally have a lot of resources and a lot of water, and we can usually arrive on scene very quickly to mitigate the situation. These events are our high risk low frequency situations. I know you are thinking that the brush fires that you have responded to have probablt been small in nature and no big deal. In the recent past in King County there was a large fire where there was a close call and an engine company was almost burned over. This is something that you generally wouldn’t think to happen in our area, but there are many things that affect the fire. Hopefully with training and discussion we can make our members more aware of these situations.
LCES Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, Safety Zones If there is anything that you can get from any wildland training it is LCES. If you have all of these in place there should be no reason on why we should have any issues. When operating on any fire we SHALL have all of these in place
Lookout In most instances the company officer will serve of the lookout. Especially in a single unit response. We all ultimitaly need to watchout for each other but we need to have lookouts. There may need to be multiple lookouts depending on the incident (fire, weather, terrain, etc. ) How many lookouts, and locations of lookouts will need to be determined by the onscene crews (IC, CO’s).
Lookout The lookout should be able to see the crews working and the fire. If crews are working in multiple areas and there is a lookout assigned to the fire and a crew feels that they need a lookout or the lookout cannot see them, then they will need to make sure that they have contact with someone who can see the fire and ensure that there is someone looking out for them.
Lookout The lookout should be evaluating any changes in weather, fire, or anything else that would affect operations and the safety of crews working on the fire.
Communications We need to ensure that we have communications with all members working on a fire. If we are working with SCSO, Forest Service, DNR, we need to ensure that we establish communication with them before they go to work. The same is we are going to assist them. As mentioned before we need to ensure that we have possitive communication with our crews and supervisors, and that if we cannot see the fire we are in contact with someone who can see the fire.
Escape Route We need to ensure that we have an escape route out of the fire to the safety zone. This is true for the small fire on the side of the road or the 5 acre fire in the woods. We need to make sure that we can exit to the escape route and get to the safety zone before the fire can get to us. Escape routes should be marked if needed. When the incident moves the escape routes may/should need to move.
Escape Route We need to have at least two escape routes. When the escape route(s) have been determined this shall be communicated to all members operating on the fire. In a lot of cases the escape route may be back out the way we came in. It may be as simple as going back into the black, or moving to the street. It may seem elementary to establish these and let everyone know but if we do it on small fires we will do it on larger fires as well.
Safety Zones A safety zone is an area the we can escape to the does not require the use of a fire shelter. More information can be found on page 7 of the IRPG (Incident Response Pocket Guide) http: //www. nwcg. gov/pms/pubs/nfes 1077. pdf
Safety Zone Scenario You are in a fire and need to retreat to your safety zone and you are expierencing 50’ flame lengths. What is the size requried of your safety zone assuming no slope and no wind? Answer: Look on page 7 of the IRPG (During the Thirty Mile Fire, they reported having flame lengths at over 200’)
Safety Zone Scenario Flame Height Seperation Distance Area in Acres (firefighters to flames) 10 feet 40 feet 1/10 20 feet 80 feet 1/2 50 feet 200 feet 3 acres 100 feet 400 feet 12 acres 200 feet 800 feet 46 acres
LCES Again if there is anything that we can do on a wildland fire (Brush fire) is to ensure that we have LCES established and in place. In most situations we can go straight to work but at times it may be required and in our best interest to formulate a plan and make sure that we are all on the same page before we engage.
LCES must be established and known to ALL firefighters BEFORE it is needed! • • • Experienced, competent, trusted Enough lookouts at good vantage points Knowledge of crew locations Knowledge of escape and safety locations Knowledge of trigger points Map, weather kit, watch, IAP • • Radio frequencies confirmed Backup procedures and check-in times established Provide updates on any situation Sound alarm early…not late • • More than one escape route Avoid steep uphill escape routes Scouted for loose soils, rocks, vegetation Timed considering slowest person, fatigue & temp. factors Marked for day and/or night Evaluate escape time vs rate of spread Vehicles parked for escape. • • Survivable without fire shelter Back into clean burn Natural features (rocky areas, water, meadow) Constructed sites (LZ, clearcuts, roadways Scouted for size and hazards Upslope Downwind More Heat impact Larger Safety Zone Heavy fuels
10’s and 18’s Another great tool that we have to help out with our situations awareness and our planning is the 10 standard fire orders and the watchout situations. The 10 standard fire orders should be thought about as an order. Meaning that if we have “broken” an order to need to ensure that we fix it and follow the order. The 18’s are the 18 watchout situations. They mean exactly that, WATCHOUT!
10’s 1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts. 2. Know what your fire is doing at all times 3. Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire. 4. Identify escape routes and safety zones, and make them known. 5. Post lookouts when there is possible danger. 6. Be alert! Keep calm! Think Clearly! Act Decisively! 7. Maintain prompt communications with your forces, your supervisor and adjoining f 8. Give clear instructions and be sure they are understood. 9. Maintain control of your forces at all times. 10. Fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety first.
18’s 1. Fire not scouted and sized up 2. On country not seen in daylight 3. Safety zones and escape routes not identified 4. Unfamiliar with weather and local fadctors influencing the fire behavior 5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics and hazards 6. Instructions and assignments not clear 7. No communication link with crewmembers or supervisor 8. Constructing line without safe anchor point 9. Building fireline downhill with fire below 10. Attempting frontal assault on fire 11. Unburned fuel between you and the fire 12. Cannot see main fire; not in contact with someone who can 13. On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below 14. Weather becoming hotter and drier 15. Wind increases and/or changes direction 16. Getting frequent spot fires across line 17. Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult 18. Taking a nap near fireline
10’s and 18’s We should all have IRPG’s in all our apparatus, and those of us that have wildland PPE should all have a copy of an IRPG in all our PPE so that we can review the 10’s and 18’s. We know that we are not going to memorize all of these, this is where situational awareness and common sense need to come into play and our LCES. If we maintain good LCES we will follow, and be aware of our fire orders and watchout situations.
Common Denominators of Fire Behavior on Tragedy Fires There are four major common denominators of fire behavior on fatal and near-fatal fires. 1. Relatively small fires or deceptively quiet areas of larger fires 2. Relatively light fuels, such as grass, herbs and light bruch 3. Unexpected shifts in wind direction or wind speed 4. Fire responds to topographic conditions and runs uphill Alignment of topography and wind during the burning period should be considered a trigger point to reevaluate tactics.
Common Denominators We also need to be aware of the common denomiators of fire behavior on tragedy fire. These are the four most common denominators on tragedy fires. Just because our side of the mountain is wet and we usually have small fires, is not an excuse for complacinency.
Working on a Hillside When working on a hill side we should consider using this checklist. Can be found on page 8 of the IRPG.
The End v There are many safety factors to consider in the wildland environment. These are a few to help keep us aware of our surroundings. Stay Safe!