I am looking for some new ideas for articles in the "Structural Wildland Interzone" (SWI)
column that I write for FIREHOUSE Magazine.
Your input and suggestions will be appreciated.
DFC Bob Winston
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Thread: NEW IDEAS
01-21-1999, 09:39 AM #1SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
01-21-1999, 02:25 PM #2iwood51Firehouse.com Guest
Can you be a little more specific in what you are looking for? Equipment, firefighting techniques, hazards, etc.
01-21-1999, 02:50 PM #3FDNYresqu3Firehouse.com Guest
People love first hand reports. Tell us how you deal with the interface in Boston. Small departments worship big cities. Weapons, tactics, and triaging
01-21-1999, 07:08 PM #4SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
Look up FIREHOUSE, February, 1998, the SWI column on page 86 for the answer to your question. It tells how the Boston FD handles SWI fires and tells about the new BFU's that we use.
01-21-1999, 07:11 PM #5SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
Yes. All of that and more. I have written nearly 75 articles dedicated to wildland and Structural Wildland Interzone Fire. So, I'm looking for fresh ideas relative to the above. Thanks for the reply.
01-23-1999, 12:52 AM #6HarrisFirehouse.com Guest
Chief, As a firefighter in SW Colorado yours and others SWI articles always catch my eye, and I am grateful for the techniques that I have learned and am always interested in new ideas.But as a carpenter I am continually astounded by the general lack of concern on the part of the building community and homeowners over the placement of developments and the homes within them. The fire service keeps coming up with new definitions for the different Interface characterists(classic,occluded ,intermix etc)but these provide little relief when homes are burning.My question for you,as I have no good answer, is how do we as the fire service educate the building community about SWI. How do we provide them with the knowledge we have of the dangers of placement of a home and make an impact when they and the homeowner decide that the top of a south facing ridge amid Gamble Oak is the best house site. The Ca fires brought much attention to building const-shake roofs etc,but time has watered(no pun intended) the effects. What little concern I have seen from builders has been passing at best,and as these areas grow we are backed further into a corner trying to save property that was doomed when it was a sparkle in an architect's eye. It's hard not to be alarmist when you're part of both the problem and the solution but are not able to effect change. So that would be my idea for future articles,providing a convincing argument for at least the homeowner who would do anything to not have to aknowledge the risk they take when building in these conditions. Thanks much, keep up the great work.
01-23-1999, 11:55 AM #7SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
First, thanks for the thoughtful and thought-provoking comments and story idea.
I have been to different areas of the great yet highly combustible State of Colorado. The Front Range and its "Red Zone" are prime examples of severe SWI fire problems that you wrote about. Some years ago I was given a tour by the Fire Chief of Parker, CO, of a subdivision where all of the homes were built with wood shake roofs. The roofs were a part of a "protective" covenant and if a roof were to be replaced for any reason, it had to be with the same wood shakes. Since then, some significant advances related to fire-safe design in the Interzone have been promulgated in areas of Colorado. However, more education of the general public, builders, developers and local government officials about fire-safe building designs and fire-wise landscaping is critical in these times of growth. The educational materials and the fire people are all right there in Colorado to help you. Contact your local USFS office;
the Fire Chiefs of Parker & the Cherryvale FPD; the Wildland Fire Coordinator of the City of Boulder FD. These people are some of the leaders in SWI fire protection in Colorado and can help you, directly. Also, try the NFPA's FIRE-WISE web site at:
As a carpenter/builder and a Firefighter, you might attempt to enlighten your clients with some of the information that can be obtained from the above suggested resources. One person can make a difference in his/her little corner of the world.
Thanks and be safe out there!
01-24-1999, 03:21 AM #8BjFirehouse.com Guest
How about a in-depth article about hand-crews, like a hot shot crew... how each person on the crew is assigned to jobs(chain saws, hand tools, etc) different hand crews...like the inmate crews of California, the federal hot-shot crews from around the US, the American Indian crews, Eskimo crews... I don't think that FF's from across the nation, when the see the cover January 1999 issue of Firehouse understand what the purpose of a 20 person hand crew is, and how effective these crews are.
don't tell someone how to do something, tell them what to do and they will suprise you with their ingenuity
01-24-1999, 08:27 AM #9SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the idea. And it is a good one. A couple of months ago I contacted the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), Boise, Idaho, and spoke with a Native American Wildland Firefighter about me producing an article depicting an all female Native American hand crew and other Native American crews. The approval was given by BIA to do this. I am scheduled to go to the New Mexico/Arizona area sometime in May or June and document these unique hand crews. The article should be published in late summer or early fall in FIREHOUSE. Also, FYI, LIFE Magazine is supposed to come out with a similar article this spring.
01-25-1999, 12:19 PM #10Captain HickmanFirehouse.com Guest
What about visiting with some of the fire fighters and departments where SWI has happened? What lessons were learned? Any changes in operations, apparatus, equipment, and PPE's? I know and watched some Florida fire fighters in full turnouts running from an incident where they had no business being in, in the first place. Did they learn anything? And to the land owners...Did they learn anything? In 1997, Florida started in the process of reduction of under growth in the area of Palm Coast Community, when the residents started to complain about the smoke and smell, the program was stoped by a request of the land owners. Then everthing broke loose...What are their, the residents, thoughts now?
[This message has been edited by Captain Hickman (edited 01-25-99).]
01-26-1999, 09:02 AM #11SWIDFCWINSFirehouse.com Guest
Good thought! I have been in contact with the PIO from the Florida Division of Forestry and with the President of the Florida Fire Chief's Association regarding this idea for a follow up to the Florida Fire Siege of '98.I've been planning on producing an article for FH that will document lessons learned and taking a look at Florida one year after the fires. I am hoping to have this important article published in the July issue.
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