Wildland Fire Safety & Health Reporting Network

SAFENET Event Information
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20170721-0001        [Corrective Actions]
Event Start Date:
07/17/2017 1800
Event Stop Date:
07/18/2017 0030 
Incident Name:
Oil Well Fire
Fire Number:
Local Unit:
Kittridge Canyon, White Rock Subdivision
Incident Type:
Incident Activity:
Stage of Incident:
Initial Attack, Other
Position Title:
Structure Protection 
Management Level:
Resources Involved:
Type 4 Wildand Engine, Type 1 and Type 3 Structure Engine, Command Truck  
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Equipment, Environmental, Human Factors
Human Factors:
Decision Making, Leadership, Risk Assessment  
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.
After being reassigned from Alpha Division to Structure Group on the Oil Well Fire, our engine travel to the White Rock Subdivision to tie in and be briefed by the Structure Group Division Supervisor.
After some communication difficulty our engine was able to meet face to face with Structure Group Division Supervisor and was briefed on the situation and objectives as well. We assigned to patrol the White Rock Subdivision and perform point protection as needed when/if structures were threatened with any fire creeping around in yards or ditches. The main fire had already passed through the neighborhood and the fire activity around the neighborhood was minimal.
Our engine found a specific structure to protect with fire creeping in the properties front ditch, I instructed the engine operator to have the engine staged at the edge of the driveway on the road we drove in on which would allow us to pull hardline as needed to protect the structure which was about 50-75 feet away from the engine. After sizing up the main structure (single wide trailer style home), one large structure/shed farthest to the East, then several smaller shed structures, several vehicles, and also a 5th wheel style RV behind two of the sheds. The structures started to the East side of the property proceeding to the West on the Northern edge of the property line.
I determined that it was safe to engage in point protection. On the East side of the property there was a pile of tires (8-15) that were fully engulfed along with a creosote type frame. It was 50-75' from the main structure and had potential to compromise the home. Another hazard was a 500 gallon propane tank 10' from the home which posed a threat to the home but also our engine crew for engaging with structure protection. We were downwind from the tires and creosote frame that was burning but the smoke was 100' from the engine
An Nevada Division of Forestry type 4 wildland engine (NDF) arrived on scene and approached the property we had been at from another property from the North and began to engage with the pile of tires and creosote frame. The Structure Group Division arrived on scene and redirected the engine to another assignment.
After about an hour to hour and a half of being on scene, the fire from the tires and creosote had caused the farthest East structure to become compromised with fire and was engulfed shortly after. The fire then creeped into the next structure to the West and that structure was soon too compromised with fire. I radioed the Structure Group Division Supervisor of the events occurring and requested additional support. The NDF type 4 wildland engine that was on scene prior had returned per my request to Structure Group Division Supervisor. I asked the engine boss to pull an additional hardline to help support our operation and begin to spray down the home to prevent any embers from catching on the house. Shortly after they began to spray down the roof of the home, a small explosion occurred in the structure/shed directly across from the home. I was attempting to keep the vehicle next to the structure that had become involved cool enough where the tires would not become involved and the vehicle as well.
Immediately following the moderate explosion in the structure/shed I verbally announced to the NDF type 4 wildland engine that my crew was disengaging from the compromised structure/shed. The NDF type 4 wildland engine continued to engage in the structure by spraying water onto structure and the Structure Group Division Supervisor arrived on scene within minutes of the small explosion and my engine's disengagement. I informed the Structure Group Division Supervisor that my engine would not engage with the compromised structure but would be willing to defend the home from any fire that occurred in the surrounding yard. He requested we support the NDF engine by direct filling their tank which I agreed to and did. The Structure Group Division Supervisor requested additional support which did not arrive for 10-20 minutes. The NDF type 4 wildland engine still continued to engage with the compromised structure. None of the NDF type 4 wildland engine had structure PPE nor SCBA PPE as well. Multiple smaller explosions occurred while our engine filled the NDF engine.
Our engine then left scene to go fill off a tender that was staged a few blocks away near the I80 underpass headed to Oscino, NV. The requested structure engine and tactical tender arrived on scene as we were filling our engine and we returned to the scene. The Structure Group Division Supervisor left the scene and we began to patrol the neighborhood for several hours. The Structure Group Division Supervisor drove up in his command truck and then requested we put out several piles of debris. I asked directions into the yard and the only entrance to the yard would be downwind and also would have to engage downwind as well. We were able to approach the pile of unknown debris (appeared to be mostly wood) and was able to spray from 25-30' away from the pile without being affected by smoke. We did not touch the pile and used foam as well. Prior to engaging in those piles Division Zulu drove past and informed me of briefing time at 0600 at the Oscino exit gravel pit and then departed.
After 30 min of spraying down the pile, we began to patrol again and patrolled for another 1-1.5 hours. I noticed that there were no engines besides a Elko Country type 4 wildland engine and Elko Country structure engine was there besides our own. I then decided to have our engine go to where the tenders were staged to top off and attempt to contact Structure Group Division Supervisor for information about end of shift and if any other tasks/objectives were established. When our engine arrived at the tender staging area, the Elko Country structure engine was there and I tied in with the Captain to see if he knew any information regarding the end of shift. He then he did not know any information and that the Structure Group Division Supervisor had left scene without a briefing with the Elko Country structure engine. I informed them of the time and place for briefing along with that ICP would be located in the same as well. The Elko County type 4 engine arrived at the staging area along with a contract engine.
We all decided to head to ICP at 0000. We arrived at ICP shortly after around 0015 on 07/18/2017

Safety Concerns:
* NDF type 4 wildland engine engaging in structure suppression without
proper PPE
* NDF type 4 wildland engine continuing to engaging in structure suppression
after moderate
explosion occurred along with unknown hazmat burning in shed/structure and
smaller explosions continued to occur while direct filling NDF type 4
wildland engine
* Structure Group Division Supervisor arriving on scene and not having NDF
engine disengage from structure fire
* Structure Group Division Supervisor leaving division without any notice,
debriefing, or information regarding ICP or end of shift
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
The actions I took to mitigate the unsafe events were

* Remain in a position to stay out of the downwind hazardous smoke with engine
position and while engaging in structure protection and debris pile
* Disengaging from structure protection immediately after moderate explosion
occurred in the shed and small explosions continuing while on scene at the
road by our engine
* Suggesting different assignment while on scene of structure protection
within Structure Group Division
* Ensuring our engine had ingress and egress at all times
* Communication with other resources on scene to discern information for
reassessing situation and determining best course of action for remainder of

Corrective Actions


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