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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Nevada Fire Investigation-Findings

    Are we doomed to keep repeating mistakes of the past??

    RENO, Nev. (AP) - Inadequate briefings, radio problems,
    "freelancing" supervisors and confusion over who was in charge
    led to 21 firefighters being trapped and two people burned by a
    Nevada wildfire, a report said Wednesday.
    Firefighters and their supervisors broke a number of rules in
    the initial attack on the Waterfall fire that destroyed 17 homes
    and burned nearly 8,000 acres near Carson City in July, an
    interagency investigation found.
    The most serious breach of policy on the narrow canyon road
    where a fire engine operator and a television reporter were burned
    July 14 was a violation of the first rule of firefighting.
    "Safety was not the first priority," according to the accident
    investigation team and a board of review convened by the Nevada
    Division of Forestry, Carson City Fire Department and U.S. Forest
    Service.
    The danger could have been minimized if fire crews and their
    bosses had followed standard procedures before the wind-whipped
    blaze raced through a canyon, the report said. Firefighters were
    forced to scramble for safety as pine trees exploded into flames
    along Kings Canyon Road.
    Personnel on the road "were not advised about the buildup of
    fire activity south of their location nor the fire front spreading
    toward them," the investigation determined.
    The danger multiplied because vehicles had been parked
    improperly in the road - some facing the wrong direction, others
    without keys in the ignition for a fast getaway, as is standard.
    The injured firefighter was burned when a crew was trapped as
    the blaze leapfrogged its position and destroyed a fire engine.
    Reporter John Tyson of KOLO-TV in Reno, who attempted to walk away
    from the area, suffered minor burns on his hands and face.
    Though neither was seriously injured, an investigation is
    required in any burnover.
    Among the key findings in the report issued Wednesday:
    - Fire briefings were inconsistent and in some cases incomplete
    - Communication was not maintained with supervisors and
    adjoining forces
    - Radio frequencies were overloaded
    - Several firefighters assigned didn't know who the incident
    commanders were
    - Firefighters were at the site without full protective gear
    during the burnover
    - Unassigned firefighters and administrators, news reporters and
    civilians were on Kings Canyon Road without approval and/or escorts
    - Firefighters and supervisors recognized safety hazards with
    congestion on the road, yet took no effective action
    The report notes that the evacuation of hundreds of residents
    went smoothly and no residents were harmed in the fire that burned
    on the edge of Carson City and destroyed more homes than any Nevada
    wildfire in two decades.
    The fire, which burned for a week, was started by an illegal
    campfire.
    Among other things, the review board recommended federal, state
    and local fire agencies in Nevada and California reach an
    "immediate short-term agreement for a single incident commander"
    in responding to such fires.
    "Some unassigned `freelancing' fire management supervisors
    entered the fire and started giving tactical direction and
    assignments to resources without the knowledge or approval of
    operations overhead," the investigative team's report said.
    "These actions created confusion among firefighters about who
    was in charge. ... (and) may have contributed to untimely delays
    for disengagement."
    The board also called for a review of all firefighters involved
    to determine their training and qualifications and to consider
    decertification of any who responded to the fire without required
    protective equipment.
    The board report urged the Sierra Front Interagency Fire
    agencies to review past problems with burnovers under their
    jurisdiction, including three incidents in recent years.
    State and federal officials said they would move quickly to
    adopt the recommendations.
    "The Forest Service is committed to working with our wildland
    fire partners to make changes in the way we fight wildfires,
    improve safety and prevent accidents," said Bob Vaught, supervisor
    of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest,
    Peter Anderson, Nevada's state forester and fire warden, praised
    the review process.
    "Obviously, we are going to have more fires and we need to be
    prepared," he said. "I just thank God nobody else was hurt and
    the few injuries we had were very minor.
    "It's very difficult to fight fire in a subdivision," he said.
    He agreed officials should have done a better job of restricting
    access to the road.
    "I wouldn't single out the media. We had landowners on their
    riding lawnmowers, all sorts of different folks."

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


  2. #2
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Yup...

    I can promise you with all certainy, Northern Nevada is bound
    to burn again and it will look like clowns running the
    operation.

    They have numerous volunteer "kindoms" there that do not
    recognize ICS nor an IC or their directions. It is a
    free for all.

    Little to no standards of training.

    Problems are bound to happen again.

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