A few years back, I was flying around with a political appointee who many of us used to work for. We were visiting some large, complex incidents, talking to the ICs and our jurisdictional partners. It wasn’t my favorite kind of duty, but once I worked at the Regional Office, that was my typical day. Listen in to a short conversation I had with this gentleman that day. That conversation was both frustrating and greatly disappointing for me.
The future of wildland fire management is really complex and unknown. But we know it’s only going to get worse. What are we going to do differently? You know the famous saying that Einstein is supposed to have said that goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results?”
Ever get that feeling during fire season? Fire after fire, year after year we say, “if I have one more shift I can catch this one.” Or, “we just need 2 more shot crews to hook this thing. It happens on almost every extended attack fire. It really is insane. Year after year we’re repeating the same actions and getting the same results.
Fires are getting bigger, more homes are burning, we’re spending more money and more firefighters are dying… but we’re not really making any substantive changes. Seems like insanity to me because there no political will to do anything substantially different. Listen to this episode and see what you think. You future leaders are going to have to fix what me and the rest of my generation couldn’t.