1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool Imagers at Brush Fires

    We used a Thermal Imager at a brush fire the other week and found some good and bad points to it. Iím wondering if anyone else has found the same.

    It was great for determining the boundaries of the burn. It was dark and the area was heavily overgrown with the fire running low along the ground. It also helped us to find the hot spots, but thatís where it got a little troublesome. The guys were having difficulty determining true hot spots from warm spots. They spent quite a bit of time soaking down areas that really didnít need it and I think it kept us out a lot longer than we normally would have been. That may not sound like a big deal but limited manpower in structural gear in the brush isnít an ideal long term prospect.

    Any ideas or comments? Anyone find the same problem? We donít get a lot of brush work but I think this summer will be a little busier.


    Rob Donnan
    Captain, Metuchen FD
    President, Jersey Fire & Rescue

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    First can I ask what kind of camera are you using? We use the ISG K90 with the Digitek system. We ended up using it on a shed fire that had spread into the woods. Worked very well. Yes I do understand what you are saying about the hot spots, but also use your own judgement. For years we've put brush fires out without thermal cameras. I believe sometimes we rely on this piece of equipment instead of going back to the basics.

    Second I don't know if your dept is full-time or vol. In Maine when we have a grass or brush fire we wear jeans,leather boots, gloves, helmets, long-sleeved cotton shirt or a workshirt(some call them jobshirts). This will also help your guys from becoming overheated so soon and makes it eaiser to move around.

    Be safe

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This last week at the New Meadows fire and the fire above Loveland, the head up displays and roof mounted thermal imagers allowed the rigs to drive through heavy smoke that left roads unpassable to oher units. In addition the rigs were called upon to rescue the crew of a fire truck that was burned over.

    Many of today's imagers have an overlay that is red to incidcate true hot areas. Imagers allow crews to determine which omes are threatened by direct exsposure, flying brands in heavy smoke. Neither would be visible without the camera. Once a situation that endagers a home is observed and video'd CAFS or Gel can be applied.

    Imagers also allow responding crews to avoid oncoming traffic in smoke, read street signs, see through heavy brush and trees, spot downed firefighters, citizens and animals.

    The most important feature is the ability to see where the fire is heading and when it is time to pull out.

  4. #4
    Aerial 131
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I am so glad someone has tried this, I have been waiting for an incident to have this tried out. I suspect that you must use the IRIS in a general sense not for (go put out that single hot spot) but rather the area I am looking at is hot and needs some cooling down.

    As far as turnouts on wildfire, go look at the wildfire forum. There is a forum regarding turnouts for wildfire that may be of use. Don


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We used an imager when we thought the fire was out and ready to go back in service. After viewing through the imager, we found some "spots" that were under the surface of the dirt. We dug up the "spots", and found that there were sapling stumps (stobs) burning. These were quickly extinguished and possibly prevented some flare-ups.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Youmight find interesting that the larget fire in the history of the fire service was a rkindle from the day befores fie. One of the largest most publized fies burning today was a rekindle. Imager anyone?

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