Tuesday, April 13, 2010

first fire of the season!!

On Sunday April 11 at 9pm the call came in for a potential wildfire in Plymouth, CT once the fire was found the State wildland fire crew was activated and at 7am Monday morning a crew was assembled from my unit at sleeping giant state park. Our arrival time on the scene of the fire was approximately 9am and on the fireline at 930. when arriving on the line the fire was approximately 100 yards from the scratch line a previous crew had begun.
The fuel type encountered was mostly mountain laurel and mixed hardwoods with some hemlock and white pine mixed in. the terrain was very steep and shallow soils that slid off the rocks underneath making for very tough going. By noon we had made the top of the hill and about a half mile of improved line was cut. Progress improved after noon but the fire behavior began to change to aggressive and unpredictable, at 1pm we had a close call when the fire began to speed up and fire was running up trees. That situation was under control with some fast foot work and some luck. At about 2pm i noticed that the fire was getting very aggressive very fast and told the others on my small crew that i would check the fire line behind us, soon after going back down the trail i heard yelling to run as fast as i can away from the fire since it had just jumped the line and was running very hard. At 230 the call that the west flank was lost came a new plan was made for the remainder of the night. We were able to attack again at 330 and meet up with the other team to control the other side of the mountain since the west flank would be allowed to burn to the river. The east flank was reinforced and a back fire was set at 6pm and the view off the mountain soon after was amazing, i was able to get a picture from the road below of the back fire. The back fire line was about a half mile long up another very steep slope.
UPDATE: total fire acres was 170-180, We will make the national incident list!!