What can we do about the problem of rolling

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What can we do about the problem of rolling firebrands? Well, firefighters have found that cup trenches are generally effective. The steeper the slope, the deeper the cup trench, It's still advisable to patrol these areas frequently, as some firebrands may evade capture. We have discussed a number of threats or hazards to firelines which require precautionary measures to insure their security. Exercise 1 on page 13 also deals with fireline hazards. You should be able to recognize the impacts of fire behavior on line construction. Please read the instructions; then do this exercise. When you have finished, return to the text. You should have checked your answers for exercise 1 with those on page 26. On page 14, exercise 2 relates to both fireline location and standards. This should provide a good review of materials presented up to this time. Please read the instructions and do the exercise. The next portion of this unit will concentrate on planning attack on wildfires. Fire attack methods generally fall into one of two broad categories. See item E on page 16 and note the following: First is direct attack. This is a method of suppression in which the fire perimeter or burning edge is treated by wetting, cooling, smothering, or chemically quenching the fire, or by mechanically separating the fire from unburned fuel. Direct attack if possible, most often is the best policy, as fewer acres may be burned and less fireline needs to be constructed.
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The second is indirect attack. This is a method of suppression in which the control line is located away from the fire's edge, perhaps a considerable distance, to take advantage of natural firebreaks or favorable breaks in fuels and topography, and the intervening fuel is burned out or backfired. We're going to consider various attack methods that fall into one or the other category. First let's look at an indirect attack method that is well known, but seldom used. This is the backfire. Figure 11 illustrates backfiring from a ridgetop, which is one of the better locations to place a control line. Backfires are used to slow the advance of a hot running head of a fire and to reduce the heat energy at the control lines. Remember that this attack is always indirect; control lines are selected on the firefighters' terms; timing and experience are very important when starting the draft fire; and the strategic decision to backfire is usually made at the command level. When direct attack on the head of the fire is not feasible, backfiring might be a consideration. Backfiring can be dangerous and is sometimes done in desperation; however, it is a viable suppression tactic that is sometimes necessary to stop a fire. Planning and carrying out a backfire require the best fire weather and fire behavior inputs you can acquire.
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  • Spring '04
  • MIchealJenkins
  • Combustion, fuel, Wildfire, fireline, firelines

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