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PART 1 Serious Burnover on the Cowiche Mill Rd. Fire.

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Presentation on theme: "PART 1 Serious Burnover on the Cowiche Mill Rd. Fire."— Presentation transcript:

1 PART 1 Serious Burnover on the Cowiche Mill Rd. Fire

2 NWCG Definitions Burnover – A situation where personnel or equipment is caught in an advancing flame front. Entrapment – A situation where personnel are unexpectedly caught in a fire behavior-related, life-threatening position where planned escape routes or safety zones are absent, inadequate, or compromised. An entrapment may or may not include deployment of a fire shelter for its intended purpose. These situations may or may not result in injury. They include "near misses. Near-miss – An unplanned event or series of events that could have resulted in death, injury, occupational illness, or damage to or loss of equipment or property but did not. Fire Shelter Deployment – The removing of a fire shelter from its case and using it as protection against fire.

3 NWCG Definitions Non-Serious Wildland Accident – An unplanned event or series of events that resulted in injury, occupational illness, or damage to equipment or property to a lesser degree defined in a Serious Wildland Fire Accident. Serious Wildland Accident – An unplanned event or series of events that resulted in death, injury, occupational illness, or damage to or loss of equipment or property. For wildland fire operations, a serious accident involves any of the following: One or more fatalities Three or more personnel who are inpatient hospitalized as a direct result of or in support of wildland fire operations. Property or equipment damage of $250,000 or more. Consequences that the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official judges to warrant Serious Accident Investigation.

4 2010 YEAR IN REVIEW DateIncident Name Jurisdiction Location ActivityAgency/Entity of Personnel Involved Type of Accident Number of People 4/7Bradley Ranch Jackson County, NC Initial AttackCounty VFDBurnover 1 Engine and 1 crew transport 3 minor injuries 7/19Cowiche Mill Fire Yakima County West Valley, WA Structure Protection County VFDBurnover Type 1 Engine was destroyed 3 treated for minor injuries 7/28Indian River Florida Division of Forestry Okeechobee Dist. Initial AttackState Forestry Career Burnover 2 dozer/plow units became stuck 3 No injuries 1 shelter deployment 7/28Wheat Stubble Fire Spink County Doland SD Initial AttackCounty VFDBurnover Type 1 Engine caught fire 3 1 FF with 1 st and 2 nd degree burns

5 2010 YEAR IN REVIEW DateIncident Name Jurisdiction Location ActivityAgency/Entity of Personnel Involved Type of Accident Number of People 8/14Davin Place Fire Franklin County Kahlotus, WA Initial AttackFed/USFWS (5) County VFD (2) Entrapment 2 Engines and 1 Pickup 3 1 FF with 2 nd degree burns 10/7Woods Community Fire Newton County, TX Line Construction State ForestryBurnover dozer/plow unit became stuck 1 FF with 2 nd degree burns Source: NWCG Rick Management Committee SAFETY GRAM Fatalities, Entrapments and Serious Accident Summary for 2010

6 WEST VALLEY ENGINE 31 Serious Wildland Accident Engine Burnover 1994 Central State Pumper with Spartan Gladiator Cab Photo Courtesy of West Valley Fire Yakima County Fire District #12

7 West Valley Engine 31 BURNOVER Sunday July 18, at 18:52 (PST) a wildland fire started off Cowiche Mill Rd., Cowiche, WA. The wind carried the fire upslope and it crested the ridge into West Valley. Apparatus from first, second and third alarm as well as State mobilization air support, task forces and strike teams were dispatched.

8 N Cowiche West Valley Summitview Rd. Cowiche Mill Rd.

9 Three West Valley Firefighters from Station 3 were on WV Engine 31 performing structure protection on the north end of Carvo Rd. They were given the assignment to join WV Tender 45 to protect the structure at 433 Carvo Rd. The structure was on the end of a dead end, single lane private road surrounded by heavy brush. West Valley Engine 31 BURNOVER

10 433 Carvo Rd. N

11 While making a sharp turn south into the driveway of the residence, WV Engine 31 met WV Tender 45 facing out and chose to turn around and not proceed into the residence. Conditions near the structure begin to deteriorate as the advancing fire rapidly moved from the northwest towards the structure in very heavy brush. West Valley Engine 31 BURNOVER

12 WV Engine 31 and WV Tender 45 were instructed by the Strike Team Leader to evacuate the area due to the amount of fire and fuels present WV Engine 31, with a backer, made a five- point turn at the entrance of the residence and drove back down the road with WV Tender 45 to follow. West Valley Engine 31 BURNOVER

13 433 Carvo Rd. Advancing Flame Front Path Engine Traveled LEGEND N WV EN 31 WV WT 45

14 Engine 31 was met with heavy fire conditions on both sides of the road. Heat and flames impinged on the engine and smoke reduced the visibility to zero. Engine 31 drifted to the left onto the soft shoulder and travelled 62, corrected and crossed the roadway, drove over a berm, through a barbed-wire fence coming to a stop 12 off on it wheels in high, dense stand of burning sage brush. West Valley Engine 31 BURNOVER

15 Engine 31 caught fire, all three crew members exited out the drivers door, crossed the barbed-wire fence, ran down a two-track road and safely took refuge in a field of mowed down grass until being picked up by a command vehicle. West Valley Engine 31 BURNOVER

16 Accident Site 433 Carvo Rd. Area Of Safe Refuge Advancing Flame Front Path Engine Traveled Crew Escape Route LEGEND N WV EN 31 WV WT 45

17 Engine 31 was total loss ($345,000 vehicle and contents) and Tender 45 sustained only minor damage making it safely down the road using its front-mount sweeps to knock down the fire. All three crew members from Engine 31 were treated at a local hospital for smoke inhalation plus: – 1 strained knee – 1 with 2 nd degree burns to the ears. West Valley Engine 31 BURNOVER

18 West Valley Tender 45 Photo Courtesy of West Valley Fire Yakima County Fire District #12

19 Remains of West Valley Engine 31 Photo Courtesy of Mike Harris, SOF3 Southeast Washington IMT

20 Entrance to 433 Carvo Rd. Red pickup is near location and facing the same direction as Tender 45 Entrance to driveway Lieutenant is where Engine 31 backed up and began a 5-point turn Road heading northwest away from residence Final stopping location for Engine 31 Orange flags indicate tire tracks of left wheels NOTE: THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN ON JULY DAY AFTER THE ENGINE 31 BURNOVER.

21 Photo Courtesy of Mike Harris, SOF3 Southeast Washington IMT Indication of how high the brush is were Engine 31 was burned over. 5 6

22 FINDINGS Finding 1 Maintenance records of Engine 31 met agency standards and no mechanical deficiencies contributed to the incident. Finding 2 Driver of Engine 31 is a 2 year member of West Valley Fire and has successfully completed all required NWCG training for Firefighter 2 and EVIP and agency corresponding road driver checklist, and apparatus driver checklist. Officer of Engine 31 is a 10 year member of West Valley Fire and has successfully completed all required NWCG training for Firefighter 2.

23 CAUSES Cause 1 Engine 31 and Tender 45 were assigned to protect a structure that had not been properly sized-up. The following NWCG standards for Firefighter Safety were not adhered to: 18 Watchout Situations Lookout, Communications, Escape Routes and Safety Zones 10 Standard Fire Orders

24 CAUSES (Cont.) Cause 2 The burning of heavy fuel on both sides of the road created a smoke condition that reduced visibility to zero, resulting in Engine 31 running off the road. Cause 3 Narrow single-lane road with embankments on each side left little to no room for turning around or maneuverability.

25 CONTRIBUTING FACTORS Contributing Factor 1 Judgment and Risk Decision Driver and Officer of Engine 31, under the direction of the Strike Team Leader accepted and performed unnecessary risk/hazard by operating the vehicle through very extreme fire conditions to get the crew and engine to safety where the only alternative communicated (by the Strike Team Leader) was to evacuate.

26 CONTRIBUTING FACTOR (cont.) Contributing Factor 2 Supervisory and Organizational Direct supervisors and engine officers need to properly size-up each situation, communicate risks and implement measures to eliminate or reduce risks. The following NWCG firefighter safety standards were not adhered to:

27 Standard Fire Orders Fight fire aggressively but provide for safety first. Ensure instructions are given and understood. Obtain current information on fire status.

28 18 Watchout Situations Safety zones and escape routes not identified. Instructions and assignments not clear. Unburned fuel between you and the fire. Weather is getting hotter and dryer. Wind increases and/or changes direction. Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult.

29 Implement LCES and Know the Inter-Connect Between all Four! Lookouts Communication Escape Routes Safety Zones

30 Urban Interface Watchouts Hot, dry windy conditions. Unburned fuel between you and fire. Fire below your work area or escape route or safety zones. No identified safety zones in work area. Narrow, steep, long roads and driveways. No attempt by personnel to improve fireline or defensible space.

31 CONTRIBUTING FACTOR (cont.) Contributing Factor 3 External Force The wind created a rapidly advancing fire from the northwest and added to the urgency for crews to make a decision to protect the structure and remain in a viable safe area or evacuate. The narrow, dead end one-way road made for hazardous driving in zero visibility conditions. The heavy growth of sage brush on each side of the roadway contributed to the amount of heat and smoke creating hazardous driving conditions.

32 LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT AND DRAW-D DRAW-D presupposes every action on or in response to an incident and represents a level of engagement. Safe and effective firefighting requires a bias for action, realizing every tactical maneuver is predicated on a thoughtful and mindful decision making. In this model; accurate situational awareness, rapid and pinpoint risk identification and mitigation, and effective decision making are essential.

33 Plan on two actions for success when you engage; advance or defend. If that cannot be done safely, your options are reinforcement, or disengage by withdrawing or delaying your actions. USE DRAW-D FOR LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT

34 D efend - hold and improve line. R einforce – add resources necessary to advance or defend. A dvance – Direct or indirect attack or active burnout operations. W ithdraw - Abandon constructed line or established position in a response to fire behavior or other influences adversely effecting the ability to advance or defend. This may or may not include travel along safety routes to safety zones. D elay – Wait for conditions to meet pre-identified triggers necessary to advance or defend.

35 ACKKNOWLEDGEMENTS Cowiche Mill Road Fire Serious Burnover Investigation Team Mike Harris, SOF3 Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team Don Taylor, SOF3 Trainee Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team


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