SAFENET


SAFENET

Wildland Fire Safety & Health Reporting Network

SAFENET Event Information
Create Agency Corrective Action

SAFENET ID:
20170715-0001
Event Start Date:
07/15/2017 1725
Event Stop Date:
 
Incident Name:
Initial Attack - Bitterroot National Forest
Fire Number:
P1EKS4 
State:
Montana
Jurisdiction:
USFS
Local Unit:
Bitterroot National Forest
Incident Type:
Wildland
Incident Activity:
Line, Support, Transport to/from
Stage of Incident:
Initial Attack
Position Title:
Assistant Dispatch Center Manager/Aircraft Dispatcher 
Task:
Initial Attack 
Management Level:
N/A
Resources Involved:
Engines, Helicopters, Personnel 
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Communications, Equipment
Human Factors:
 
Other Factors:
 
Narrative
Describe in detail what happened including the concern or potential issue, the environment (weather, terrain, fire behavior, etc), and the resulting health issue.
The Bitterroot National Forest experienced a large amount of lightning activity over the course of July 14-15, 2017. We had 2 fires staffed, 1 in demob status, and multiple fires being reported as the result of the most recent storm which moved through on the afternoon of the 15th.
While dispatching personnel, engines and aircraft, we experienced major radio issues (on the consoles in the dispatch office) where we were unable to transmit or receive any radio transmissions. Intermittently, we were able to transmit and receive, but not consistently.
We had a helicopter in the air, which was demobing personnel off 1 fire, and multiple starts that we needed to communicate with the helicopter about to prioritize their time after the demob was complete.
The inability to communicate is our major safety issue at this point, specifically having the need for aircraft to respond and not being able to talk to them.
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
Transferred flight following of the aircraft to the district for the fire that was demobing.
Used a base radio to communicate if the aircraft was within the range.
Contact the radio technician immediately.


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