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Hazard Tree Safety “Up The Ante” and “An Interactive Study”

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Presentation on theme: "Hazard Tree Safety “Up The Ante” and “An Interactive Study”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hazard Tree Safety “Up The Ante” and “An Interactive Study”

2 Presented To: International Wildland Firefighter Safety Summit Toronto, Ontario November 18, 2003 Paul Chamberlin Interagency Fire Operations Safety Aerial Fire Depot Missoula, Montana

3 Recent Events  Bitterroot National Forest  Kentucky, Plumas Hotshot  Missionary Ridge Fire  Inyo National Forest  Helena Hot Shot- 30 Mile Fire  2001 Northern Rockies, 3 trees hit 4 people in 6weeks  2003 Broken ankle, broken neck, and one tree injured 3 people  Several other injuries and many close calls nationwide

4 In the Northern Rockies, these situations were well managed

5  Experienced and dedicated supervisors  Crews well briefed  Were looking for snags  The snags involved were just missed!

6 Even when properly managed, we are still having problems

7 -Forest health issues are not soon going away -We have hundreds of thousands of acres of burned forests

8 Even when properly managed, we are still having problems -Therefore what we are doing is inadequate -We must ‘Up The Ante’ for snag and hazard tree safety

9 Guiding Thoughts  Driving along parked cars  Drifting into the oncoming lane  We recognize indicators with ingrained knowledge  We need a tool chest full of mitigations

10 Guiding Thoughts Guiding Thoughts  Query the Workforce  Consolidate Their Ideas  Get the Word Out

11 “Up the Ante” a Process “Up the Ante” a Process  Each Unit to review existing rules and guidelines.  Each individual ‘Gut Check’  Group ‘Brainstorm’ new ideas –E-mail findings to central address  At each unit, prepare a Tree Hazards briefing for incoming resources.

12 Getting There- a Process  Line officers to demonstrate strong, visible and active leadership  Achieve employee focus and buy-in  2 hour sessions on each unit  Product of each session gathered centrally –Ideas and suggestions gleaned for common threads and new ideas

13 Program Goals  All functions –Trails –Fire –Timber –Researchers –Engineers –Contractors –Public

14 Program Goals  All functions  Raised Awareness, Mental Engagement, Ownership, Buy-in, Strong Leadership  Well known indicators of tree structural defects  Effective mitigations throughout  Reinvigorate 1993 National Snag Hazard Report

15 Current Status  NWCG FAST 2002 National Emphasis Topic  Northern Rockies OSHA Mitigation  R-1 Safety and Health Leadership Team annual emphasis topic  NRCG says go  USFS National Fire Safety Council support for all USFS fire folks

16 Success is achieved when:  Wise, concise, and achievable concepts become part of the culture

17 Success is achieved when:  Wise, concise, and achievable concepts become part of the culture  These concepts become regular briefing elements and are found in common language, in manuals and guidebooks

18 Success is achieved when:  Wise, concise, and achievable concepts become part of the culture  These concepts become regular briefing elements and are found in common language, in manuals and guidebooks  Conscious and deliberate procedures and behaviors end tragic hazard tree accidents

19 Find “Up the Ante” and “Interactive Study” on the Internet  www.fs.fed.us/r1/forest_range/ hazard_trees/home.htm

20 Find “Up the Ante” and “Interactive Study” on the Internet –“Up the Ante” overview / instructions – Winter 2003 Progress Report –“Hazard Trees- An Interactive Study” – 1993 National Snag Hazard Report – A Growing Library for Tree Hazards

21 “An Interactive Study” Combines: + Findings from “Up the Ante” + Kim Johnson’s “Potential Green Tree Hazards” + Interdisciplinary Committee “An Interactive Study” Combines: + Findings from “Up the Ante” + Kim Johnson’s “Potential Green Tree Hazards” + Interdisciplinary Committee

22 Hazard Tree Awareness An Interactive Study of Hazard Tree Indicators

23 Hazard Tree Awareness Presented with a sincere concern for your safety, by by Northern Rockies Federal Land Management Agencies.

24 Interactive Discussion Throughout this program, discuss each example as a risk to: 1. Someone walking or driving by. 2. A short term camp or work site. 3. A permanent camp site, or facility.

25 Interactive Discussion Throughout this program, discuss each example as a risk to: 1. Someone walking or driving by. 2. A short term camp or work site. 3. A permanent camp site, or facility. Where a significant risk exists: 1. Describe appropriate options. 2.Describe events that will change the risk level.

26 Tree Basics  Anything that causes stress on a tree will weaken it.  Tree Stresses are Cumulative and Inter- related.  The structural integrity of a tree is affected when these stresses result in damage and or decay.  Very elementary – the scientific names of insects and disease agents are not needed.

27 Objective: Looking for the Indicators Indicators of tree structural issues Changing conditions and changing risk levels. Assessment tools to help ascertain risk.

28 Objective: Looking for the Indicators in the Crown, on the Bole, at the Roots and Tree Base, and Changing Conditions.

29 Structural Characteristics observed in the Crown. Dead Tops Broken Tops Fire Damage Forks Defective and Hanging Limbs Leaning Trees Crown Indicators of Root Defect Loss of needles / leaves, thinning crowns Discoloration stress cone / seed cropStructural Characteristics observed in the Crown. Dead Tops Broken Tops Fire Damage Forks Defective and Hanging Limbs Leaning Trees Crown Indicators of Root Defect Loss of needles / leaves, thinning crowns Discoloration stress cone / seed crop Root and Tree Base Indicators Crown Indicators Observed at the base of the tree –Basil Resin Flow –Mushrooms –Butt Rots –Wind Throw –Burned root –Water –Soil Erosion –Fire Damage –Compaction –Sprung Roots Changed Condition Bole Indicators Indicators of Butt, Stem and Bole Defects: –Decay –Swelling –Cracks and Splits –Fire Scars –Burned out bole INDICATORSINDICATORS

30 Crown Indicators  Structural Characteristics observed in the Crown. –Dead Tops –Broken Tops –Fire Damage –Forks –Defective and Hanging Limbs –Leaning Trees  Crown Indicators of Root Defect –Loss of needles / leaves, thinning crowns –Discoloration –stress cone / seed crop 

31 Structural Characteristics - Crown  Dead Trees and Broken Tops

32 Structural Characteristics - Crown Forks Forks

33 Structural Characteristics - Crown  Fire Damage to Crown of Tree

34 Structural Characteristics - Crown  Witches Brooms are an example of defective limbs.  Heavy snow, wind, or other conditions can cause these limbs to break and fall

35 Structural Characteristics - Crown Dead branches Dead branches

36 Structural Characteristics - Crown Long standing leaning trees have grown a vertical top  Developed re-enforced root systems to compensate  Are less of a hazard than….

37 Structural Characteristics - Crown …. recent leaning trees

38 Crown Indicators of Root Defect  Loss of needles/leaves, thinning crowns, dieback

39 Crown Indicators of Root Defect  Stress cone

40 Bole Indicators  Indicators of Butt, Stem and Bole Defects: –Decay –Swelling –Cracks and Splits –Fire Scars –Burned out bole

41 Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects  Decay - Rots

42 Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects  Decay - Conks

43 Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects  Bole swellings

44 Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects  Cracks and Splits - Lightning

45 Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects  Cracks and Splits - Windshake

46 Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects  Cracks and Splits – Frost Cracks

47

48 Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects  Burned bole of tree, adjacent to road

49 Root and Tree Base Indicators  Observed at the base of the tree –Basil Resin Flow –Mushrooms –Butt Rots –Wind Throw –Fire Damage –Burned root –Water –Soil Erosion –Compaction –Sprung Roots

50 Indicators of Root Defects  Basil Resin Flow

51 Indicators of Root Defects  Mushrooms

52 Indicators of Root Defects  Butt Rots

53 Indicators of Root Defects Wind-throw

54  Fire Damage

55 Indicators of Root Defects  Burned Root

56 Guy’s Summer Vacation 2003 I just got back from two vacations. I took a few pictures so I thought I would share them with everybody. The last vacation was 2 weeks of elk hunting in Colorado with my bow. Hiking around at 11,500 feet was fun but exhausting. I survived and so did all the elk.

57 The first vacation was a little different. I took two weeks of annual leave to go to Montana with the Forest Service to be a Safety Officer. I was assigned to the Ball Fire near Glacier National Park. Everything was going fine until I heard the “Rocky Boy #20” crew boss call “Medical Emergency- Clear the Tac Channel !!” Being the S.O. assigned to that division, I hustled over to find:

58 I left the medical stuff to the EMT’s and began my investigation of the incident. It didn’t take long to find out that a tree had fallen on Carl. The Forest Service calls these trees “snags” and by western standards this was a small ”snag”.

59 It had burned through at the base and fallen without warning or noise.

60 Indicators of Root Defects  Burned Root

61 Carl the firefighter was hit on the back of the head and knocked down into the ashes. Carl the firefighter was hit on the back of the head and knocked down into the ashes.

62

63 Note the round hole above his left ear where a limb stub entered.

64 Carl was conscious but dazed. He was carried down the mountain on a stretcher and medivaced to a Kalispell, MT hospital.

65  Carl was in good enough shape to be sent to his home hospital two days after the accident.  What I learned on my summer vacation: Keep that plastic hat on your head, it could save your life too!!  Thanks To: Guy Slayden Tallapoosa County Manager Alabama Forestry Commission

66 Indicators of Root Defects  Water Erosion

67 Indicators of Root Defects  Soil Erosion

68 Indicators of Root Defects  Compaction

69 Indicators of Root Defects Sprung Roots Sprung Roots

70 Changed Condition

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77 Change Condition Root Rot Pockets

78 Change Condition Beetle Infestation

79 Changed Condition Beetle Infestation Examples of beetle attacks on selected trees. Beetles in and of themselves do not cause structural defects. However, beetles do bring in decay fungi that over time may cause additional defects in the tree..

80 Changed Condition Lightning

81 Change Condition Thunderstorms & Wind

82 Change Condition Tornados

83 Changed condition Blow-down

84

85 Changed Condition Vegetation Management

86 Hindsight is 20/20. This was an actual close call, no one was hurt.

87 What were the indicators?

88 When do you think this tree will fall? Would you bet your life on it?

89 What does this scene indicate?

90 What’s wrong with this picture?

91 Assessment Tools Recognize an indicator, then as appropriate, check it out further.

92 Assessment Tools: Checking Further Objective: Participants will learn 5 basic assessment tools to ascertain risk level. Evaluate External Factors Thump Dig at the Roots Chip at the Bark Bore

93 Assessment Tools: Checking Further All of these techniques require field practice and experience to become proficient.

94 Assessment Tools: Evaluate External Factors Lean Wind Widow Makers Rot Pockets Burnt or Damaged Soils and Roots Eroded Soil Soggy Soil Adjacent Leaners

95 Assessment Tools: Thumping Striking the bole with a solid object, usually the back of an axe, will produce a revealing tone. Practice thumping trees and then fell or bore to confirm suspicion. In time, and with good coaching, one will become quite proficient at predicting a tree bole’s condition.

96 Assessment Tools: Dig at the Roots Digging around the roots will reveal important information. If the roots are really bad, you will know it. However, if you see good roots at the base of the tree this doesn’t tell you if there are bad roots…the bad roots may be further away from the tree or in the tap root. - Rotten - Rotten - Green and Solid - Dead and Solid - Burned Off or Damaged

97 Assessment Tools: Chip at the Bark When the roots prove to be sound, and we remain curious about what afflicts this tree, chipping at the bark with and axe or saw may reveal fungus or insect infestation.

98 Assessment Tools: Bore Using the tip of a chainsaw, a drill, or an increment bore, burrow into the into the interior of the bole and assess the wood. The nature of the chips, and the resistance to the cutting action will reveal the condition of interior wood.

99 Summary  Be Aware –Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around  Develop a curious mind and check things out.  Seek out local and site specific information.  Mitigate hazards –Avoid or Eliminate –Do Not Walk Under the Lean

100 Conclusion What did you learn? Indicators of tree structural issues Changing conditions and changing risk levels. Assessment tools to help ascertain risk.

101 Acknowledgements Kim Johnson, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest, and Paul Chamberlin, USDI, Fish and Wildlife Service, thank the following individuals for their slides and contributions: Kim Johnson, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest, and Paul Chamberlin, USDI, Fish and Wildlife Service, thank the following individuals for their slides and contributions: –Marcus Jackson, USDA Forest Service, Region 1 –Blakey Lockman, USDA Forest Service, Region 1 –Ken Gibson, USDA Forest Service, Region 1 –RC Carroll, USDA Forest Service, Lolo National Forest –Todd Wilson, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest –Winston Rall, USDA Forest Service, Region 6 –Charlie Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest –Thomas Thompson, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest –Keith Woods, USDA Forest Service, Aerial Fire Depot

102 Acknowledgements The Following Publications were used as information and photograph sources: -Hagle, Tunnock, Gibson, and Gilligan, 1987, Field Guide to Disease and Insect Pests of Idaho and Montana, R1-89-54 -Harvey and Hessburg, 1992, Long Range Planning for Developed Sites in the Pacific Northwest, FPM-TP039- 92 -USDA, Forest Service, R6, Disease Management Notes -USDA, Forest Service, R6, Disease Management Notes -USDA, Forest Service, R1, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Idaho Department of Lands, Forest Insect and Diseases Identification and Management

103 THANK YOU Comments?Questions? www.fs.fed.us/r1/forest_range /hazard_trees/home.htm


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