#73, It Could Happen to You

While reading some blogs and webpages for people effected by the latest round of devastating wildfires, it occured to me that everyone is incredibly stressed right now. Homeowners have had to flee for their lives, leaving pets and all their worldly possessions. Once evacuated they’re not allowed to re-enter their neighborhood. Now away from their home, they have to live in someone else’s home or camp out. School, mail delivery, jobs… its all up in the air while you don’t even know if your home is still ok or if it is a pile of ash. That’s a horrible thought.

The firefighters too are dealing with stress. Some of them may have left their homes as well while not knowing if they’ve survived the fire storms. Additionally, firefighters are dealing with great stressors while they fight the fire. Short of sleep, long arduous days, frustrations of not having enough resources to fight the fire, problems associated with their tasks, etc. The list goes on and their frustrations have to be kept under control.

Keep in mind that the same firefighters working so hard today have probably been at it for months now. Federal firefighters move from one part of the country to another as the fire season evolves. Those hotshot crews in Arizona in April are now in California in late August and September. The engine and crew firefighters have been working more than 16 hours a day for months now. They may get a couple days off every two weeks, but they’re under a lot of stress too.

Please share this story with your friends and family, especially if they’re anywhere near a fire.

Episode 73, It Could Happen to You, BobbieOnFire.com August 24, 2021

#44 – Bulldozer Pool Hopping

Bulldozer Pool Hopping

Back in the mid 1980s, I got a fire assignment to take a strike team of type 1 engines (city fire engines) to southern California (from Arizona) for a large wildfire that was burning into a city. This was my dream. I always thought that southern California wildires were the most challenging and exciting to fight. Over the 45 years of my career I fought many fires in California and throughout the US but California fires are often very unique. Any large incident is going to have it’s complexities and the more influences on a fire, the more complex it gets. Politics, fire behavior, fuels, wildland-urban interface, etc etc. The complexities in southern California are endless. Fast foward about 20 years… Today’s story takes place in 2003 and I was involves a simple assignment I was given on another large California fire. I was told to take 6 bulldozers and build a fireline behind an affluent subdivision and prepare to burn out the fireline in preparation of the main fire coming down the mountain. Seems like a simple straightforward assignment. But nothing ever turns out to be that simple or straight forward. Listen to what happens but keep in mind what can happen to your at your job. Remember, have realistic expectations and be flexible at work. You just never know what might happen.

Episode 44, Bulldozer Pool Hopping, June 12, 2020, BobbieOnFire.com