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20190803-0001        [Corrective Actions]
Event Start Date:
08/03/2019 1200
Event Stop Date:
Incident Name:
Mosquito Lakes camp ground hazard tree removal
Fire Number:
Local Unit:
CA-STF-Calavares RD
Incident Type:
Prescribed/Fuels Treatment
Incident Activity:
Stage of Incident:
Position Title:
Felling hazard tree 
Management Level:
Resources Involved:
Engine Crew 322 
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Human 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.
I sized up a hazard tree in the Mosquito Lakes camp ground on the Stanislaus National Forest and decided the best lay was across the road due to tight canopy and infrastructure in the way of other lay options. In order to fell it on my intended lay a 15-20'x 10" green and healthy Lodge Pole tree would need to be felled in the same lay as the hazard tree. The main factors on my mind regarding the smaller Lodge Pole was this, the lean was slighting opposite of the lay, minor limb entanglement, and very little room for error due to the 10" DBH (Diameter at Breast Height). I had good escape routes and chose to place my cuts closer to the ground to gain more leverage.

I made it known I was starting to cut. I had road and trail guards in place. I took out a small undercut to allow plenty of room for wedging and made sure it was gunned correctly. I shut off my saw and I yelled "back cut". I then restarted my saw and cut a couple inches into my back cut, then re-positioned so that I could bore through the heart to allow room for the 8" rifled wedge to be pounded through. In the boring cut I pivoted the saw side to side about 1" to either side to make adequate room for the wedge and my saw so that I could avoid cutting the wedge and avoid kickback with the tip of the saw during the final quarter cuts. I inserted the wedge and set it to where it was solid and secure. The tree stood up some with the placement of the wedge. I quarter cut my off side (bumping the wedge with the tip of my bar causing minor kickback) leaving adequate hinge wood and then proceeded to set the wedge deeper. The tree stood up more and was now committed to the lay that I had predetermined, all was going according to plan. I began cutting my last quarter and bumped the wedge with the tip of my bar causing minor kick back, I re-positioned and again hit the wedge this time at near full chain speed causing a violent kickback which caused the bar to jerk rearward and ran the top of my bar into my chaps just below my left knee. I Realized what happened, that I had cut my chaps. I did a self assessment to make sure that I was not injured. after I established that I was not hurt, I put on another set of chaps and proceeded to finish felling the tree. After completing my onside cut the strong fibers remaining on the hinge held the tree up but with two hits on the wedge it fell to my intended lay.

My supervisor was near by watching, and I informed him exactly of what and how it happened. We discussed the event and it was decided that we would return a later date to finish the hazard trees in the camp ground.
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
The corrections I will make is better tip control, and gripping the handle on top of the power head rather than the side given that there is little kickback control while gripping the side handles, in this particular situation I would have had to take a knee in order to have proper control if gripping the saw on the top of the power head. Another alternative would have been to place my cuts higher to allow a more secure and kickback resistant grip on the top of the power head.

Corrective Actions


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