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20170718-0001        [Corrective Actions]
Event Start Date:
07/17/2017 1630
Event Stop Date:
07/17/2017 1730 
Incident Name:
Mailbox Fire UT-SESPRI-7202
Fire Number:
Local Unit:
San Juan County
Incident Type:
Incident Activity:
Stage of Incident:
Initial Attack
Position Title:
Cutting Saw Line Around Fire. 
Management Level:
Resources Involved:
engine crew memeber acting as sawyer  
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Human Factors:
Other Factors:
Describe in detail what happened including the concern or potential issue, the environment (weather, terrain, fire behavior, etc), and the resulting health issue.
At 1430 on 7/17/17 Engine A spotted a smoke and reported it to dispatch. Engine A responded to the fire location and was initial engine on scene at 1530. Engine B arrived on scene 5 minutes later. After a size up was called in and resources ordered. Engine B ENGB took IC of the fire and Engine A started working on a hose lay with crew members from Engine B. After the hose lay was completed a sawyer from Engine A started cutting fire line around the fire.

At 1630 the saw that the sawyer from Engine A was using sputtered and died. Thinking the saw was empty the sawyer checked the fuel level through the tank. The saws tank appeared to be empty so the sawyer slowly opened the quarter turn style fuel cap to refuel. The saw gas inside the tank immediately began to "geyser" and spray out. The sawyer blocked the majority of the fuel with a gloved hand but the sawyers chaps and pants still became saturated with fuel.

Immediately the sawyer called a crew member from Engine A over to spray his pants, boots, gloves, yellow shirt and saw chaps with water on high pressure from the hose lay. The sawyer also rinsed his hands and face with water trying to remove as fuel as possible. The sawyer then picked up his equipment and made his way off the fire line back to where Engine A and Water Tender C where parked. While hiking back, the sawyer made contact with the IC to inform him of the incident.

At 1645 The sawyer off Engine A removed fuel saturated clothing and hung them on a nearby tree. After changing into clean PPE and insuring there was no injuries sustained from the fuel, the sawyer meet face to face with the IC and IC Trainee and briefed them on the incident.

At 1700, The ENGB off Engine A contacted the agency Duty Officer to inform him of the incident

The weather at the time of the incident was around 85-90 degrees and sunny.
The fire behavior at the time of the incident was actively burning in slash with 4-6 ft. flame lengths and smoldering and creeping in pinyon pine / juniper tree duff layer
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
Actions that were taken to mitigate the safety issue of fuel geyser are as followed:

-The sawyer had all PPE required for chainsaw operations

-The sawyer slowly tried to open and vent the fuel tank

-When the fuel started to spray out the sawyer used a gloved hand to block most of the fuel

-The chainsaw had been placed on the ground when being opened

-The sawyer had moved to a patch of dirt in an unburned finger away from heat and flame before opening the saw fuel tank and refueling

- The sawyer and engine crew member immediately began rinsing the fuel off clothing and equipment

- The sawyer picked his way back to the engines avoiding areas that had heat and flames, and that had been burned

- The sawyer did not return to the fire line until clothing had been dried and changed out

Corrective Actions


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