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    Default 2 Firefighters Burned

    CRESCENT, Okla. Two Deer Creek firefighters were burned Sunday battling a wind-fueled grass fire that scorched an estimated 2,000 acres in Logan County.

    One firefighter was released from the hospital early Sunday evening and a second was scheduled to be released later, said Logan County Emergency Management Director David Ball.

    The blaze actually began Saturday and rekindled Sunday afternoon as winds shifted.

    Saturday's fire destroyed an abandoned farm house and a barn, but Ball said no structures were lost on Sunday.

    A Deer Creek Fire Department vehicle also was damaged in the blaze, Ball said.

    About 26 separate fire departments in the area responded to the fire, which burned a large swathe about four miles north of Crescent on both sides of Highway 74.

    The fire was mostly under control by 7 p.m. Sunday, Ball said.

    "It's slowed way down, and they're doing hot spots right now," he said. "The forestry department will be here tomorrow with some bulldozers around the perimeter. We don't want this one starting back up."

    Meanwhile, two separate grass fires that started Saturday and flared up again Sunday afternoon in northwest Oklahoma destroyed about 15,000 acres in Woodward and Harper counties, said Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer.

    "We didn't lose any structures or have any injuries, fortunately," Lehenbauer said. "Of course, our crews are pretty exhausted after working non-stop for two straight days."

    The largest fire near Selman in southeast Harper County scorched about 10,000 acres across rugged canyons that made it difficult for firefighters to battle, Lehenbauer said.

    Another blaze north of Mooreland also rekindled on Sunday, and about 5,000 acres were burned over two days, Lehenbauer said.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Last I heard there was some sort of malfunction with the rig they were working on, no more details at this time.
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    It's been that kind of winter brush fire season.

    Been a pretty dry winter with several killing frosts, so things going into mid-January were set up pretty well to burn fast.

    It hit a peak the last 2-3 weeks with us running anywhere from 2 to 5 brush fires a day. Sorta slowed down the last 3 days with a small amount of rain, but this week is forecasted to be dry and windy with temps in the mid- 60's, so things will be fairly dry again here by tomorrow afternoon.

    Weather gurus calling for a pretty dry late winter and early spring so things in north TX, OK and northern LA are likely not going to get easier. We've pushed up our annual brush fire refresher training because of that.

    The light grasses here can run pretty quickly if they get even a light wind behind them. From what I understand, that is type of fuels they were working in at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    It's been that kind of winter brush fire season.

    Been a pretty dry winter with several killing frosts, so things going into mid-January were set up pretty well to burn fast.

    It hit a peak the last 2-3 weeks with us running anywhere from 2 to 5 brush fires a day. Sorta slowed down the last 3 days with a small amount of rain, but this week is forecasted to be dry and windy with temps in the mid- 60's, so things will be fairly dry again here by tomorrow afternoon.

    Weather gurus calling for a pretty dry late winter and early spring so things in north TX, OK and northern LA are likely not going to get easier. We've pushed up our annual brush fire refresher training because of that.

    The light grasses here can run pretty quickly if they get even a light wind behind them. From what I understand, that is type of fuels they were working in at the time.
    this would have been a completely different response had the 2 ffs been burned doing a search of a dwelling.
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    Possibly.

    If you read the article, the brush fires they were fighting were likely threatening structures. Risk a lot to save a lot.

    If they had been conducting a search of a building, my response about their being burned would have been dependent upon the likely risk to life based on the arrival report as well as the likelihood of occupancy. In other words, what was there to gain and what was the likelihood of occupants? What was the known occupancy status of the structure? What were the fire conditions? Was there a reason for them to be in the structure? What was the gain? Did the likelihood of occupancy justify the risk? If there had been a low likelihood of occupancy, then yes, I would be, in my own mind, questioning why they were operating in the structure as the gain would have been minimal. Risk a little to save a little. If the likelihood was high or there were confirmed occupants, there would have been a justifiable need for operating in the structure. Risk a lot to save a lot.

    Down this way brush fires can do as much damage as an urban rowhouse or block fire. Just a few years ago they had fires which were doing just that, and current fire conditions are similar to those. They can easily take 5 or 10 structures very quickly. had it been an empty field with no structural issues, the gain in this case would have been minimal as operations should have been defensive in nature. It didn't sound like that was the case here.

    If it does turn out that there were no structures threatened, I would question why they were operating in an offensive mode given the current fire conditions down this way. Risk a little to save a little.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-03-2009 at 09:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Possibly.

    If you read the article, the brush fires they were fighting were likely threatening structures. Risk a lot to save a lot.

    If they had been conducting a search of a building, my response about their being burned would have been dependent upon the likely risk to life based on the arrival report as well as the likelihood of occupancy. In other words, what was there to gain and what was the likelihood of occupants? What was the known occupancy status of the structure? What were the fire conditions? Was there a reason for them to be in the structure? What was the gain? Did the likelihood of occupancy justify the risk? If there had been a low likelihood of occupancy, then yes, I would be, in my own mind, questioning why they were operating in the structure as the gain would have been minimal. Risk a little to save a little. If the likelihood was high or there were confirmed occupants, there would have been a justifiable need for operating in the structure. Risk a lot to save a lot.

    Down this way brush fires can do as much damage as an urban rowhouse or block fire. Just a few years ago they had fires which were doing just that, and current fire conditions are similar to those. They can easily take 5 or 10 structures very quickly. had it been an empty field with no structural issues, the gain in this case would have been minimal as operations should have been defensive in nature. It didn't sound like that was the case here.

    If it does turn out that there were no structures threatened, I would question why they were operating in an offensive mode given the current fire conditions down this way. Risk a little to save a little.

    How aboute evacuating the structures? How do you know they were occupied...or does that not matter in these cases?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    How aboute evacuating the structures? How do you know they were occupied...or does that not matter in these cases?
    Come on now, the sheriff would have told them that the houses were "vacant".

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    I have no idea what thier procedures are in terms of checking and evacuating threatened structures.

    As far as us, if the structure is threatened, we do evacuate them. If the structure is defensible and manpower/water supply permits, we attempt to protect the structure. If it is not deemed defensible, we lack the manpower or water supply or the risk to our members is determined to be too great, we make a decision not to protect the structures.

    It all comes down to a simple risk/benefit analaysis.

    Often in these cases, the sheriffs department will be the ones that conduct searches of structures that are threatened as they have the available manpower. They will deal with the homeowners coordinating any required evacuations at our direction. They will assist the homeowner(s) in securing the structure(s).
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-03-2009 at 11:25 AM.

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    So you are willing to give these guys the benefit of the doubt because of some sort of kindred spirit BS....but yet you know zero facts about anything else that you post on around here, but love to throw guys under the bus. typical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    this would have been a completely different response had the 2 ffs been burned doing a search of a dwelling.
    Extremely unprofessional!!! This post was about an OTJ injury of some fellow firefighters and you are trying to pick a fight with another member on a thread that went 12 pages. Give our brothers and their families some respect and go continue the debate with Lafir.. at the original thread.

    Here is the link to make it easy for you. http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=105534


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    Quote Originally Posted by DixieFire53 View Post
    Extremely unprofessional!!! This post was about an OTJ injury of some fellow firefighters and you are trying to pick a fight with another member on a thread that went 12 pages. Give our brothers and their families some respect and go continue the debate with Lafir.. at the original thread.

    Here is the link to make it easy for you. http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=105534



    lol...wheres the outrage when it happens in the other direction?

    This isnt about abandoned buildings, this is about ffs getting hurt at a brush fire. I hope they recover quickly from their injuries. You and I both know they were doing their jobs, Im just sick of the hypocricy expressed by keyboard cowards on this website.
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    DixieFire53, i will give you the benefit of the doubt because you are fairly new here, but before you start to judge nyckftbl, you may want to do a little research on the bigger picture.
    So lafireeducator, what was the life safety risk vs. benefit here that justifies these firefighters being injured? MAY have been protecting POSSIBLY occupied structures from a grass fire?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    DixieFire53, i will give you the benefit of the doubt because you are fairly new here, but before you start to judge nyckftbl, you may want to do a little research on the bigger picture
    Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. That doesn't happed much around this place. I have seen the bigger picture. I have been around since 1999. I just don't post much because most of what I would post has already been posted. No since in beating a dead horse.

    I was not trying to cast any judgment on anyones character, I just thought it was very tacky. The comment seemed to come out of left field. Believe me I don't agree with 99% of what LaFireEducator post so please don't think I am siding with him.
    Last edited by DixieFire53; 02-03-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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    SPFD

    Note the following from my n2nd post on this topic:

    If it does turn out that there were no structures threatened, I would question why they were operating in an offensive mode given the current fire conditions down this way. Risk a little to save a little

    I beleive that covers the situation that you described. If it turns out they were not protecting structures, I stated that I would question why they were operating in an offensive mode given the current fire conditions down this way.

    If it was simply an open field ..... very little risk as there would be very little benefit.

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    Both guys were released in less than 24 hours with relatively minor injuries. The guy that was worse off had around 14% burns to his body. They were part of a group assigned to exposure protection when a combination of quickly changing wind conditions led to them being hit by the fire.



    From what I hear the truck went back out to fight more fire after the guys were taken to the hospital. Lots of departments at that fire, and it took a long time to put it out. They had it out once on Saturday, the fire on Sunday was a rekindle, and I think it burned 20,000 acres all together.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    Both guys were released in less than 24 hours with relatively minor injuries. The guy that was worse off had around 14% burns to his body. They were part of a group assigned to exposure protection when a combination of quickly changing wind conditions led to them being hit by the fire.



    From what I hear the truck went back out to fight more fire after the guys were taken to the hospital. Lots of departments at that fire, and it took a long time to put it out. They had it out once on Saturday, the fire on Sunday was a rekindle, and I think it burned 20,000 acres all together.
    Glad to hear they are ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    SPFD

    Note the following from my n2nd post on this topic:

    If it does turn out that there were no structures threatened, I would question why they were operating in an offensive mode given the current fire conditions down this way. Risk a little to save a little

    I beleive that covers the situation that you described. If it turns out they were not protecting structures, I stated that I would question why they were operating in an offensive mode given the current fire conditions down this way.

    If it was simply an open field ..... very little risk as there would be very little benefit.
    From now on please extend the same courtesy and restraint to every issue that you feel like posting on, not just ones in your backyard.
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    You are the one that somehow dragged the topic of searching structures into a thread about firefighters being burned in a brush fire.

    How the two are connected I have no idea.

    There is a great difference between a risk being taken to protect structures in a brush fire situation and searching buildings that in 9.95 cases out of 10 will be empty.

    The risk/reward is here high in a wind-driven wildland situation. The risk/reward here is extremly low when operating in abandoned structures.

    If you spent any time in this environment, you would understand that.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-03-2009 at 08:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You are the one that somehow dragged the topic of searching structures into a thread about firefighters being burned in a brush fire.

    How the two are connected I have no idea.

    There is a great difference between a risk being taken to protect structures in a brush fire situation and searching buildings that in 9.95 cases out of 10 will be empty.

    The risk/reward is here high in a wind-driven wildland situation. The risk/reward here is extremly low when operating in abandoned structures.

    If you spent any time in this environment, you would understand that.

    You were willing to give these men the benefit of the doubt until the time you heard differently. The point I was trying to make that apparently flew over your head was that there have been numerous times where you have not extended the same courtesy to situations that you knew nothing about, mostly concerning large urban FDs.

    I dont know the situation down there, so I didnt comment on whether these members were taking the appropriate risk. The only thing I can do is wish them well, and hope that members will eventually learn from the situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    I dont know the situation down there, so I didnt comment on whether these members were taking the appropriate risk. The only thing I can do is wish them well, and hope that members will eventually learn from the situation.

    You would think this would be a common sense approach by everyone on these forums, yet it isn't.


    I'm glad they are going to be fine.

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    Deer Creek firefighters escape flames with tale to tell
    Mark Schlachtenhaufen
    The Edmond Sun

    EDMOND Sunday was a rather average midwinter afternoon: Clear, sunny skies, a nice day, Deer Creek Firefighter Michael Montgomery said.

    Today, he is thankful to have survived the suddenly harrowing day with only "minor" burns.

    Shortly after lunch, Deer Creek's fire department received a call about a grass fire. It began on Saturday and rekindled on Sunday morning, forcing Crescent fire officials to call in mutual aid assistance to once again try and stop the blaze from destroying more land and homes. One home was destroyed Saturday in the blaze that ultimately scorched about 2,000 acres.

    Montgomery and Deer Creek Capt. Kelly Lewis got into a 2008 Ford brush pumper and drove to the location, 5.5 miles north of Crescent off the east side of State Highway 74.

    The fire started from a controlled burn that had gotten out of control Saturday due to strong southwesterly winds, said Eric Harlow, assistant Deer Creek fire chief. Firefighters had the fire under control Saturday night, but early Sunday a cold front moved through, causing the winds to shift around to the northeast, Harlow said.

    "This caused the fire to regain its intensity and move back the opposite direction over unburned lands," Harlow said.

    Montgomery and Lewis went to the head of the fire and coordinated with brush pumper trucks from other fire departments. Montgomery said initially, the flames were small, nothing ominous.

    However, they were moving "pretty rapidly."

    Montgomery said large piles of cedar trees in the area made the fire difficult to fight.

    "You'd get one put out, and then see another go up," he said.

    After refilling their water supply on the other side of S.H. 74, their attention was drawn to a large wall of flames threatening a metal barn, Montgomery said. They returned to the fire and positioned their truck so its rear was facing the flames.

    Moments later, in a matter of seconds, more intense wind fanned the flames, which came upon the truck and the firefighters. The flames were 20-30 feet tall, Montgomery recalled, and they were moving faster than expected.

    While Lewis was heading to the driver's side, the flames got him, Montgomery said. Yet, Lewis had the strength to get in the truck and get the firefighters out of harm's way, Montgomery said.

    "I knew we were going to get out," Montgomery said. "Death never crossed my mind. How badly I was going to be burned did."

    Montgomery said he wanted to return to the fray, but was ordered to keep away.

    "I didn't want to go in the first place," Montgomery said. "I wanted to stay and fight the fire."

    Lewis sustained first- and second-degree burns to his arms, hands, face and neck. Montgomery escaped with burns to his face, thanks to his bunker gear, he said. Both were taken to Integris Baptist Burn Center, treated and released later that evening.

    Montgomery said Lewis' actions driving them away from the flames while suffering from his burns speak for themselves. Lewis, expected to be out for at least 2-3 weeks, requested privacy.

    Montgomery said he wanted to thank the firefighters and others who sprayed water on them and cared for their burns.

    Fire crews from as far away as Hennessey, Pond Creek and Okarche assisted local crews in the blaze, Harlow said. Logan County District 2 assisted with a bulldozer and road grader. The Logan County Chapter of the American Red Cross provide fire crews with refreshments and rehabilitation.

    By 10 p.m. Sunday night, the fire was once again under control.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You are the one that somehow dragged the topic of searching structures into a thread about firefighters being burned in a brush fire.

    How the two are connected I have no idea.

    There is a great difference between a risk being taken to protect structures in a brush fire situation and searching buildings that in 9.95 cases out of 10 will be empty.

    The risk/reward is here high in a wind-driven wildland situation. The risk/reward here is extremly low when operating in abandoned structures.

    If you spent any time in this environment, you would understand that.
    And if you spent any time in the urban enviornment, you would understand that the term "vacant" or "abandoned" has very little accuracy.

    In this country, what is the percentage of grass fires that result in civilian fatalities?

    I would be certain that it is significantly lower than the percentage of allegedly vacant building fires that result in civilian fatalities.

    Despite what the sheriff tells you.....

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    And if you spent any time in the urban enviornment, you would understand that the term "vacant" or "abandoned" has very little accuracy.

    In this country, what is the percentage of grass fires that result in civilian fatalities?

    I would be certain that it is significantly lower than the percentage of allegedly vacant building fires that result in civilian fatalities
    .

    That's your environment. And quite honestly, how accurate those terms are in those environments don't make a damn bit of difference to me. I have never argued that.

    In my environment, they are very accurate terms, and that's all that matters to me. I'm not in the urban environment. What happens there has absolutely no bearing on how we do business in the rural environoment. It's honestly that simple.

    There were folks that attempted to tell me how important their urban experiences were and how our operations were wrong because it didn't match what they were seeing in the cities. We don't need into buy into that urban "we got to search everything" b******t because that ain't the reality here. And never will be.

    As far as the difference between deaths in vacants and deaths in brush fires, when you present some data, we'll discuss it. That data will exclude folks that were already dead before they were dumped in the vacants, of course.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-04-2009 at 09:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And if you spent any time in the urban enviornment, you would understand that the term "vacant" or "abandoned" has very little accuracy.

    In this country, what is the percentage of grass fires that result in civilian fatalities?

    I would be certain that it is significantly lower than the percentage of allegedly vacant building fires that result in civilian fatalities
    .

    That's your environment. And quite honestly, how accurate those terms are in those environments don't make a damn bit of difference to me. I have never argued that.

    In my environment, they are very accurate terms, and that's all that matters to me. I'm not in the urban environment. What happens there has absolutely no bearing on how we do business in the rural environoment. It's honestly that simple.

    There were folks that attempted to tell me how important their urban experiences were and how our operations were wrong because it didn't match what they were seeing in the cities. We don't need into buy into that urban "we got to search everything" b******t because that ain't the reality here. And never will be.

    As far as the difference between deaths in vacants and deaths in brush fires, when you present some data, we'll discuss it. That data will exclude folks that were already dead before they were dumped in the vacants, of course.

    Do you have data on how many civilians were killed in grass fires?

    It is you that stated that the risk/reward is "high" during a "grass fire" and the risk reward in a "vacant" building is low .

    So I just want to know how you are making that claim...unless you value homes more than lives. And quite honestly, based on several things you have said in the past, I am starting to truly believe you do.

    I can assure you that in my city, there has never been a civilian death that resulted from a "grass fire", but there have been plenty of civilians found within allegedly vacant or abandoned buildings. So where I am speaking from, the risk/reward corollary that you speak of is reversed and would make searching these buildings anything but...how did you say it...."bullsh*t".

    The problem I think many of us have with your logis is quite simple:

    When you make sweeping generalizations about what is safe and acceptable and what isn't, you never take into account that most of us don't operate in the rural south and that the structures, life hazards and demographics that many of us deal with make for a much different fire problem than you probably encounter.

    But every time you are challenged on what it is that YOU do, you throw geogpraphy out as an acceptable limitation to what you can and cannot do and then try to broadly define what it is that everyone else should be doing based on that.

    You can't make the argument both ways. It just isn't logical. So if there is something that you want to do and you want to defend it based soley on YOUR geograhpy or YOUR vacant building situation or YOUR demographics or YOUR driving conditions then allow others the same liberties in defending their tactics as they are speaking from THEIR perspective.
    Last edited by jakesdad; 02-04-2009 at 10:13 PM.

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    jakes ..

    The risk/reward is high only if there are civilians on a very consistent basis in those abandoned structures.

    Here there are not. Never have been. Risk/reward is amazingly low.

    Even when i was up north for the first 25 years of my career, in the communities I served in, the numbers simply didn't justify interior ops in abandoned or vacant structures. The statistics in those areas didn't justify it. Math. Cold and analytical. Plain and simple. Likelihoods and probabilities. If the math didn't justify it, I didn't do it or i would work the change the system so we didn't do it anymore. And that was true for a lot of the crap that we do . The math didn't justify it.

    I would be curious what is the percentage of times that you encounter civilians in abandoned structures. 2%? 5%? 10%?

    Unless it's significantly higher than that, I would still classify your reward as extremly low and the risk as exceedingly high.

    But as I said, and have said many times before, the firefighters you bury performing operations in these structures is your choice and YOUR problem, not mine. It's your choice and it's your men that pay the price, not mine. So it really doesn't affect me one way or the other. You are the ones that have to justify to yourselves, and the widows and children. So again, it's not my problem.

    And I really don't care either. I have very little kinship with urban firefighters and for the most part, they have very little kinship with rural firefighters. It is two different worlds. I care about talking sense into the rural boys who simply have no need to operate, and often don't have the training or experience to operate in abandoned structures, but may be influenced to do so with no real reward by the crap the urban boys are spewing out to them. It is those rural boys I give a damn about and try to protect.

    We choose not to take those risks because the reward simply isn't there. It's really that simple.

    As far as brush fires, in northern LA, northern TX and OK, they represent a significant threat to the rural population. In some places and/or under some conditions, they represent THE major threat to the rural population. So we act accordingly and when fuel and weather conditions allow. We take offensive actions when property is involved. But we operate within a set of pretty defined guidelines as far as defensible space and water supply when we make choices about protecting structures. In the 6 years I have been here we have yet to send anyone to the hospital from a brush fire, so the SOPs we have developed must be working out pretty well.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-05-2009 at 08:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    jakes ..

    The risk/reward is high only if there are civilians on a very consistent basis in those abandoned structures.

    Here there are not. Never have been. Risk/reward is amazingly low.

    I would be curious what is the percentage of times that you encounter civilians in abandoned structures. 2%? 5%? 10%?

    Unless it's significantly higher than that, I would still classify your reward as extremly low and the risk as exceedingly high.

    But as I said, and have said many times before, the firefighters you bury performing operations in these structures is YOUR problem, not mine. It's your choice and it's your men that pay the price, not mine. So it really doesn't affect me one way or the other. You are the ones that have to justify to yourselves, and the widows and children. So again, it's not my problem.

    We choose not to take those risks because the reward simply isn't there. It's really that simple.

    As far as brush fires, in northern LA, northern TX and OK, they represent a significant threat to the rural population. In some places and/or under some conditions, they represent THE major threat to the rural population. So we act accordingly and when fuel and weather conditions allow. We take offensive actions when property is involved. But we operate within a set of pretty defined guidelines as far as defensible space and water supply when we make choices about protecting structures. In the 6 years I have been here we have yet to send anyone to the hospital from a brush fire, so the SOPs we have developed must be working out pretty well.
    I will ask you again, what percentage of "grass fires" result in a loss of civilian lives?

    If the chances or finding someone within a vacant building sits at 1%, then that risk is worth taking in the eyes of most firefighters in most departments. Buildings with fire conditions that allow a search get searched. Conversely, if you don't want to search them, perhaps you should find another calling. There are many other things to do with your time.

    But please spare us the rhetoric about sending "our" firefighters to the hospital or injuring "our" men. Does a civilian inside a vacant building deserve to die simply because he is inside a vacant building while you justify placing people in harms way over "burning grass"?

    You place very little value on human life, other then your own of course.

    And you are actually trying to make a case that saving structures is a higher "reward" for the risk than searching for occupants. I have been to the south. Believe it or not, the people down there are every bit as valuable as in other parts of the country.

    Just ask the sheriff. Or does he also like to choose who is worth looking for and who isn't?

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