Have You Used Anchor and Hold in a Wildfire Conflagration?
We had a rash of wildfires over the last few years. We lost over 700 homes in San Bernardino, CA alone in 2003. We coined the phrase "Anchor and Hold" during our urban conflagration. It was the only thing that stopped it from running even deeper into the city.
With everything that that burned during 2007, did anyone else out there find themselves switching over to this strategy from "Bump and Run?"
Have You Used Anchor and Hold?? - Urban Conflagration
The "Anchor and Hold" tactic is not really pertaining to forest fires, but rather an urban conflagration. You see, in 2003 and 2007 we had significant wildfires that were fanned by Foehn (Santa Ana's) winds.
Originally Posted by nmfire
The fires started in the foothills and then were pushed into the city's urban areas. A great example of the event is on video here: http://drama911.com/fire-videos/
Traditional urban interface wildland firefighting teaches us to "bump and run". We evaluate structures, and if they appear to be losers, we press on to other neighborhoods and do structure protection.
In an urban interface area, performing "bump and run" to the T, would allow a conflagration to get too far pushed into the city. Our fire started in the foothills, and pushed 30 blocks into neighborhoods. We fought fire for 36 hours straight with few strike teams coming to our aid.
I only pose this Thread question because after American Heat filmed our story, I came across many naysayers in the Fire Service that discredit these tactics. But those that do probably have never been in a full blown conflagration.
Have You Used Anchor & Hold?
In the urban interface areas, the traditional bump and run/structure triage rules still apply. But once the fire has come down off the mountains/foothills and is pushing into established neighborhood or tract homes, we then lay in an anchor point at fire plug and stop the conflagration of houses burning.
Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel
Here is video of what it looked like http://drama911.com/fire-videos/
We drove down many streets where dozens of houses in a row were burning, and basically concentrated our efforts on putting out the last home in line.
Classic wildland firefighting lessons conflict with these tactics, since once a home is on fire, you are supposed to "write it off" or label it a "loser".
When the firestorm of 2003 hit. I was told by many of the old guys that this was a "once in a career fire". But we had another one in our city in 2007.
I know that regionally, things are different for many firefighters, but I was wondering if anyone else out there had ever changed over from the bump and run tactics to an Anchor and Hold approach.
Anchor and Hold Controversy
Thanks for the feedback guys!
Besides a few derogatory comments, I think that this gives us something to think about regarding wildland interface.
I also want to emphasize that once a fire is burning a few blocks into neighborhoods away from the foothills, you are no longer dealing with the interface problem but rather an "Urban Conflagration". So changing your mindset can aid you in modifying your tactics.
Stay safe out there guys. It is all a brotherhood. Please post your experiences, especially if first-hand. Once we open our minds to learn from the experience of others, we can help keep each other safer while still performing stellar as Firefighters.