“The most essential element of successful wildland firefighting is competent and confident leadership.”
...It has the power of tiger and can be trained like a well behaved dog. Plus, it makes my job a lot easier and entertaining...
Considering that the pine beetle epidemic has spread through Rocky Mountain National Park, there majority of the 50 acres being treated are dead or dying trees.
...My best training days were the nine day detail with the Alpine Hotshots to the Duckett Fire near Westcliffe, Colorado, and the two week trip with the module to Chiricahau National Monument and Fort Bowie National Historic Site in southern Arizona...
We continue with everyday business. Then we learn that we have a resource order to begin project work in Big Bend National Park, way down south in Texas. I was excited and nervous again. My first roll with the shots!
Just 19 years old, graduated from high school, pretty clueless about fire, and I’m walking into Superintendent Paul Cerda’s office, having recently been allowed to join the Alpine Hotshots, one of the most respected fire crews in the country.
Recently I was asked "If this was your last day, and you were never going to return to the hotshots or fire, what would you tell your kids were your greatest experiences and lessons?"
My eyes were burning to the point where I could barely open them, my lungs were on fire, and I just wanted to get out of there. Then Lucas, a fellow crewmember, came over and began a conversation with me. We laughed and talked strategy on minimizing the amount of smoke exposure so that our eyes wouldn't burn so bad. Talking periodically while holding made everything go by much faster. But more importantly, it made me realize that what I was doing was bigger than me, as an individual.
I now sense that I am walking through a red hot office with the colors and smell of fire rather than a place with just off white walls and a dull gray rug.
Acronyms and more acronyms, the fire and Incident Command System (ICS) communities are loaded with acronyms.