Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wildland Firefighting

Wow! I just finished my wildfire class I've been taking this week, which finished off the saw work that I've been doing over the past four months. I am so excited to get on a fireline. Standing around these big engines just makes you feel like a six year old with a new Tonka truck toy. These things are incredible! The engine in this photo is 10.5ft tall and when I stood next to it, the tires were up to my collar bones.

Eli Shank with Type3 engine. Photo: Me

The fire department we visited is in Bayfield, which is a town just outside of Durango. Their fire district covers a large section of National Forest and a challanging amount of wilderness urban interface zones. With this being such a rapidly developing community, sub divisions are exploding everywhere and being constructed high up on hills, with beautiful views (south facing), in large numbers (over 500 new homes in one place) and directly on the forest edge. There are poor water sources, limited access roads, and a large number of uninformed people in these areas. As a result, the station we went to is DECKED OUT! They had an incredible amount of engines, and new equipment. It was a great place to go learn new stuff.

Left: 1" Forest Service hose. This stuff is made of cotton!
Below: Brand new Type1 engine. The only way to describe this thing is BADASS. Puts out 1000gal of water a minute! Cost? $601,000
Photos: Me

A lit fusee. These are used to start fire in the field, and drip a fireline onto the ground. They're basically roadflares. Photo: Me


Josh said...

A side note to this engine thing - when I was working for the Forest Service I was involved in designing the new Engine Garages they needed to house these enormous trucks. They simply wouldn't not fit into the standard oversized garage bays.

Ian said...

are you ever coming back to Corvallis? We miss you!!! :) Sorry we missed you in Moab, Everyone was under the impression you were going to be along on the trip for a few days.