So ya want to be a Wildfire Photographer…Do you!

THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SURVIVE!

ONLY RULE!

DO NOT BE STUPID AND PUT YOURSELF AND OTHERS AT RISK!

 

Wildland Safety Gear:

  1. $14.50 Wildland Gloves
  2. $70.00 Nomex Shirt*
  3. $70.00 Nomex Pants*
  4. $25.00 Wildland helmet Model FH911C
  5. (n/a) Wildland helmet assembly
  6. $23.00 Goggles
  7. $109.00 Fire Shelter (No Norair Lancs/Plastics, Metor Plastics or Cecile units)
  8. $20.00 Wildland  Nomex hood
  9. $44.95 Web Gear (holds two canteens* Not included, fire shelter and fanny pack)
  10. $20.00 Two canteens
  11. $150.00 Boots

Total: $546.45 per team member (COST MAY BE HIGHER)

Standards for Fire Survival

“Watch Out Situation” 

  1. Fire not scouted and sized up
  2. In country not seen daylight
  3. Safety zones and escape routes not identified
  4. Unfamiliar with weather and local factors influencing fire behavior
  5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics and hazards
  6. Instructions and assignments not clear
  7. No communication link with crew members or supervisor
  8. Constructing fireline without safe anchor point
  9. Building fireline downhill with fire below
  10. Attempting frontal assault on fire
  11. Unburned fuel between you and the fire
  12. Cannot see main fire, not in contact with anyone who can see main fire
  13. On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below
  14. Weather getting hotter and drier
  15. Wind increases and/or changes direction
  16. Getting frequent spot fires across line
  17. Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult
  18. Taking a nap near the fireline

 

Snag Safety

 

Environmental conditions that increase snag hazards:

  1. Strong winds
  2. Night operations
  3. Steep slopes
  4. Diseased or bug-kill areas

Hazard tree indicators:

  1. Trees have been burning for an extended period
  2. High risk tree species (rot and shallow root system)
  3. Numerous down trees
  4. Dead or broken tops and limbs overhead
  5. Accumulation of down limbs
  6. Absence of needles, bark or limbs
  7. Leaning or hung-up trees

 

Safety Zone Guidelines

  1. Avoid locations that are downward from the fire.
  2. Avoid locations that are in chimneys, saddles or narrow canyons
  3. Avoid locations that require a steep uphill escape route (greater than 50%)
  4. Take advantage of heat barriers such as lee side of ridges, large rocks, or solid structures
  5. Burn out safety zones prior to flame front approach

For radiant heat only, the distance of separation between the firefighter and the flames must be at least four times the maximum flame height.  This distance must be maintained on all sides, if the fire has the ability to burn completely around the safety zone.

EXAMPE: Ten foot high flames equals forty feet of safety from firefighter to flame approx. 1/10 of and acre (One acre is approximately the size of a football field or exactly 208 feet x 208 feet.)

Burn Injury Treatment:

  1. Remove person from heat source, extinguish with water.
  2. Provide basic first air

First Degree – Affected skin’s outer layer. Redness, mild swelling, tenderness, mild to moderate pain.

Second Degree – Extends through entire outer layer and into inner layer of skin.  Blisters, swelling, weeping of fluids and severe pain.

Third Degree – Extends through all skin layers and into underlying fat, muscle, bone, Discoloration (charred white or cherry red), leathery, parchment-like, dry appearance. Pain is absent.

“ RULE OF NINE” for determining area of burn:

Head 9%

Back/Front Torso 18%

Right/Left arm 9%

Right/Left leg 9%

  1. Cut away burned clothing. DO NOT cut away clothing stuck to burned skin.
  2. Apply cool, clear water over burned area. DO NOT soak person or use cold water and ice packs. This encourages hypothermia.
  3. Cover burned area with sterile dressing, moisten with saline solution, and apply dry dressing on top.
  4. For severe burns or burns covering large area of body-wrap in clean, sterile sheet followed by plastic sheet. Place inside sleeping bag or cover with insulated blanket.
  5. Avoid hypothermia and overheating
  6. Monitor airway, breathing and circulation (ABCs) and keep burned areas moist.

Last Resort Survival:

Escape if you can:

 

  1. Drop any gear not needed for fire shelter deployment
  2. You might be able to hold fire shelter as a heat shield as you move.
  3. In LIGHT FUELS you may be able to move back through the flames into the burned area.
  4. If you are on the flank of the fire, try to get below the fire.
  5. Consider vehicles or helicopters for escape

Find a survivable area:

 

  1. Stay out of hazardous terrain features
  2. Use bodies of water that are more than two feet deep
  3. In LIGHT FULES you may be able to light an escape fire
  4. In other fuels, you may be able to light a backfire
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About oneheartonemind

Photojournalist,Picture Editor and Martial Artist View all posts by oneheartonemind

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