Backfires and Burnouts: Questions for the Wildland Guys
I'm on a small VFD in Oklahoma. We do quite a bit of wildland, but certainly not on the level of the federal guys or you folks out west. Think more along the lines of grass fires and woods (not forest) fires.
We had a spectacular ice storm about 15 months ago, and the deadfall from that is going to be plagueing us for years.
Already this season we'd had fires move into the woods that are nearly impossible to walk through, much less cut a line through with our standard equipment, which is leafblowers, rakes, shovels and a hoseline if it will reach from the truck. The fact is that we're getting into more and more situations where it's just unrealistic to put crews into the woods.
Here's the question.....what your standards or policies on setting backfires or burnouts? Techniques, staffing, communication, whatever.
Our only official policy is that backfires and burnouts are performed only if all crews are accounted for and after consultation with command. I'd like something a little more substantial to work with.
Any advice welcome!