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lightning strike

Started by CB FIRE, October 02, 2017, 08:21:31 PM

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Greetings and thank you for accepting me as a member. Some background. I have no forestry background of any kind, but have a special interest in the communication process when  hand crews, performing other work, are on the scene or nearby a spot fire started by lightning. I need to know and follow the notification process. This would be in a designated Wilderness. I am on the road quite a bit so I don't respond quickly you know the reason why. Also I will apologize in advance for my ignorance on this topic, but I am a very quick study. Question, What does a hand crew do, when working on an unrelated project, in a designated Wilderness, when an unreported spot fire starts in their vacinity? Also, if you folks know of a better forum to field this question or better topic to post under please let me know.


Welcome!  i can not help with your question.  There are probably others that will come along to help.


Samandothers, Thank you for considering this topic. I notice it has been read 48 times. Very interested in getting on top of the process. CB FIRE

Chuck White

Welcome to the Forestry Forum, CB FIRE!

Where-abouts are you located?
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Another welcome and I'll follow this discussion.
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Im guessing the lack of response is due to the specialization of that line of work.   Ive never even seen a wilderness area much less worked a forestfire in one.  Perhaps a firefighting forum might get you more info.  Good question, im curious myself.   Ive always done my best to rake out a gap that the fire cant jump.  Have put out 5 small forest fires in my life.  Mostly from kids with cigarettes near a house i used to own.
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Sorry for delay in responding. I am located in Oregon 2014. Transplant from California via Colorado in 1963. A tough topic but trying to get answers even though specialized. Folks, thanks for your interest. CB

Ron Scott

The hand crew would normally put the fire out as the first responders with hand tools with the least impact on the designated Wilderness. They would then report their action to the nearest Ranger Station responsible for the management of designated Wilderness area. 


Ron Scott, thank you for your reply. Do you believe there would be a different procedure IF the hand crews were certified private contract hand crews? Thanks CB FIRE


I'd be interested in what is behind  the "need to know" for this information. An interesting question. I could certainly point you to people you could talk to. Oh look, here is one now. ;)
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Hello CB and welcome to the forum. There are a lot of variables here, but I'll try to answer based on what I think you're asking...

If the new start is very small and a crew happens to see it, it's likely they'd just put it out and let the landowning agency know about it like Ron indicated. This happens with small spot fires.

Wilderness areas, however, are often in steep terrain without road access, so it's unlikely that a crew would happen to be "working nearby." 

If a fire team is assigned on other fires in the area, they may be responsible for initial attack (new starts) within their fire area.  Once the new start is reported the incident management team would decide what type of resources to put on it. This would be the same if it's an agency crew or contract resource... they would receive direction from the team. 

If a fire team is not in the area, the land managing agency such as USFS is responsible for initial attack within their protection area. Their dispatch would direct resources.

I see your userid is CB Fire... are you a contractor or agency employee? If so, what are your quals?
If I know that I might be able to better answer your question.


In most cases a contract crew would need to request an incident commander  (IC) from the agency dispatch.  They would probably start initial attack if accessible,  but contract crews typically support a larger fire organization instead of providing IA on their own. 
I'm not sure if that answers your question.

Ron Scott

Designated Wilderness is legislated by Congress and each such Wilderness Area has a defined Management Plan which includes fire suppression and how it is to be carried out within reason to protect the wilderness attributes of the area. A lightning strike might be handled as a management fire unless determined to be a wildfire needing a different reaction.

As stated the IC manages the fire and the fire teams fight it accordingly. Helishots (which I use to be one in southern CA during the 1970's) and smokejumpers are used for initial attack in the remote mountain areas. 


About the only "unrelated work" I can think of in a wilderness area would be trail clearing in Oregon, perhaps some backcountry invasive species control in other states. Trail work could be contract or volunteer labor. If under contract to the gov't. that crew/company is at the disposable of the agency if requested, the big word if. Not sure if I would undertake initial attack on my own initiative. Notification is probably more important than trying to fight it.  And I am curious also as to the "need to know". Perhaps you had property affected by a fire that came out of the wilderness (Sisters, Brookings, this year) and are looking to place blame?  Just throwing that out there. A very tough go if that is the case. Maybe you could enlighten us. 


Quote from: BradMarks on October 09, 2017, 01:49:20 PM
. Perhaps you had property affected by a fire that came out of the wilderness (Sisters, Brookings, this year) and are looking to place blame?  Just throwing that out there. A very tough go if that is the case. Maybe you could enlighten us.

Good point,  CB Fire could be after the Chetco Bar fire out of Brookings ...
I spent just under 2 weeks there this summer.... Real pretty area,  and the citizens were very welcoming of the firefighters in the area.

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