Wildland Fire Safety & Health Reporting Network

SAFENET Event Information
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20170715-0002        [Corrective Actions]
Event Start Date:
07/07/2017 1159
Event Stop Date:
07/07/2017 1245 
Incident Name:
Brian Head
Fire Number:
Local Unit:
Incident Type:
Incident Activity:
Stage of Incident:
Extended Attack
Position Title:
Prep work 
Management Level:
Resources Involved:
2 Dozers, 2 Hotshot crewmembers, 2 safety officers, 2 TFLD's, 2 HEQB 
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Fire Behavior, Communications, Equipment, Environmental, Human Factors
Human Factors:
Decision Making, Leadership, Performance, Situational Awareness  
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.
While prepping Dozer line on(Div. J) on the Brian Head Fire there was mention of a PSD operation that was going to take place. This was going to happen on an adjoining division(Div. I) where they were going to clean up some unburned islands in the burn area. This conversation was held on the (Div .I) Tac channel, which let all the resources operating on that channel know what operations were going on. During this time, I did not witness any burning on (Div. I) but did notice some new smoke on (Div.J). I decided to send two hotshot crewmembers on a UTV to get a closer look at what was going on. Once they arrived they heard the (Div.J) TFLD talking to the helicopter and telling them to not drop any closer to the dozer resources working the indirect line. The PSD helicopter responded that everything was ok and things were doing good. At the time of the PSD operations on (Div J) the control line was still being built by two dozers working uphill and to the south of the PSD operation. The PSD helicopter did another strip just interior of the first strip and then one in the middle of a green pocket in the center of (Div. J) before flying away. Shortly after the PSD ship had left the TFLD made contact with the dozer group and had them start tracking north to a constructed safety zone. As the dozers tracked out they were met by two TFLD's, two safety officers, and two IHC crewmembers. Each group had a UTV making it a total of 3 machines. Around the time they all tied in with each other, the initial wave of wind from a thunderstorm hit causing the fire to actively burn towards the group from the south, southeast. UTV's were staggered in front of and behind the dozers as they made their way out in case they needed to leave a dozer behind to make a faster getaway. The fire gained in intensity and started to move towards the group at a rapid pace giving them a small window to get out. As they pushed on to the safety zone one of the dozers overheated and went down. The operator who had just undergone hip surgery could not walk very well so had to be helped along by the IHC crewmembers to the UTV. The other dozer was able to scratch a quick line around the dozer, but because of fire activity no other operations to safeguard the equipment were done. Once everyone was loaded, they took off to the safety zone where they parked the remaining operational dozer. Everyone continued from there to DP 101, instead of the safety zone due to its size and the fire behavior witnessed.

Predicted weather for the day was an LAL of 6 and possible winds up to 40 MPH over the fire area due to thunderstorms. Before PSD operations you could visibly see cumulus clouds south of the fire area. No communication other than what was heard from the TFLD came across the division on primary air to ground. If another frequency was being heard or utilized for PSD operations, it was never given to the division personnel or in the communication plan in the IAP. No people or equipment were hurt or destroyed during the event, but given the weather, fire behavior from the PSD, and lack of communication an injury or fatality could have easily happened.
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
During this event, I had good communication with my two crewmembers, giving them constant weather and fire behavior updates throughout the situation. I was able to listen and observe their progress to the safety zone. I used this information to insure the safety of my hotshot crew and act as a repeater for communications to the individuals working their way out to the safety zone. Had I been given the proper frequencies, been advised of firing operations, and known the plan for firing operations, I feel this event could have been avoided.

Corrective Actions


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