Fire Fighting Dangers

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

From a fire fighters perspective, this terrain provides only obstacles as they do their job to contain a spreading wildfire.
It goes beyond controlling a blaze that can make a turn at any second up the steep and very winding canyon walls.
John Arneson, with the Sierra Front Overhead Team, says these fire crews are surrounded by obstacles.
"There's been some rattlesnakes out and about. So, basically it's a heads up type attitude that we're trying to send and carry on to the guys out in the field."
Besides rattlers trying to find a way out as the fire crews work their way in, they also are reminded to look out for large piles of rock... especially where no other rocks are piled.
"There's a lot of mine shafts back in this area and it's just one of those things that we strongly encouraged in the safety meeting just to have a heads up, positive attitude and basically watch each other's back which we do all the time."
Most of this work really does involve constant team work and communication because of the intensive terrain.
Hot shot crews from around the area worked 12-hour shifts in the intense heat, wind and bothersome black flys.
"It's basically a hand crew that go in and cut fire lines with tools, as opposed to a brush engine that goes in and squirts water off it because a lot of the fire is not accessible."
As the first large fire of the season.... most agree planning and communication has made all the difference in containing this fire.


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