s 231

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Engine Boss (Single Resource) S-231 Steve Bacigalupo Umpqua National Forest North Umpqua Ranger District


Course Objectives: At the successful completion of this course trainees will be able to: Perform the tasks of an Engine Boss in making the tactical decisions required to safely suppress a fire.


Objectives: 1. Identify the importance of knowing the capabilities and limitations of your engine. 2. Identify the importance of knowing the capabilities and limitations of assigned personnel. 3. describe the procedures necessary to maintain engine inventory.


A. Engine Capabilities 1. Terrain Considerations. 2. Water capabilities. Pump size Pump type Drafting capabilities Tank size Foam capabilities


3. Maneuverability 4. Ability to get in and out (ingress/egress) of a given situation. 5. Engine suited to stationary vs. mobile attack. Power take off (PTO) pump vs. auxiliary pump. 6. Reliability - old vs. new


B. Crew Capabilities 1. Will assignment exceed the experience level of the crew to safely complete the assignment? Wildland/Urban Interface. Firing operations.


2. Will the condition of your crew compromise safety? Fatigue Sickness Injuries 3. Assess the capabilities of any replacement crew member(s).


C. Tactical Applications 1. Be aware of the situations that exceed engine and crew capability to safely complete an assignment. Ensure the following are applied to your situation. Standard Fire Orders Watch Out Situations LCES


The engine boss must communicate with adjacent resources to identify their capabilities and to coordinate their suppression efforts. 2. Will the condition of other engines and their personal that you work with compromise your safety?


Type 6


Type 3


II. Maintaining Engine Inventory A. Pre-Incident inventory 1. Determine method for maintaining pre-incident engine inventory. 2. A written inventory should be maintained on your engine at all times. Facilitates refurbishing of expended items. Maintains mobility and ability for reassignment.


3. If you have not established a method then do so! B. Maintaining Inventory During Incident Operation 1. Inventory should be maintained and replenished on a daily basis if possible. 2. Utilize supervisor or the chain of command to replenish supplies on incident. 3. Attempt to maintain engine in a state of full readiness.


C. Utilization of Hose and Appliances 1. Engine hose and appliances should be utilized from first responding engine. As additional hose and appliances are needed, strip the second and then the third responding engines as the situation requires. 2. Maintain mobility of engines that don’t need to be striped of inventory. 3. Consider utilizing hose and appliances from first responding engine of agency with jurisdictional responsibility.


4. The key is to maintain mobility of as many engines as possible while still conducting suppression activities. D. Demobilization/Post-Incident Inventory Re-supply. 1. Utilizing a listing of pre-incident inventory, replenish expended engine supplies prior to release if possible. 2. If not, procure appropriate order to replenish at the home unit. Obtain signature of IC or designee (Supply Unit Leader). 3. Always depart an incident ready for reassignment.


Objectives 1. Identify key sources of information necessary to complete tactical assignment. 2. Describe the coordination and communication necessary to accomplish tactical assignment.


The engine boss is responsible for gathering all the information necessary to accomplish their tactical assignment. Once a clear picture of the assignment is known the Engine Boss must then pass this information to their assigned personnel. The information sources include, but are not limited to: Your fireline supervisor. Other engine bosses. Other engine crews. Other members of a task force. Strike team that you may be assigned to.


The Engine Boss’s primary source of information is supervisor briefings. Your briefing on your assignment should come from your immediate supervisor, usually a strike team leader or task force leader. Depending on the size and/or complexity of the incident the engine boss may receive briefings from one or a combination of the following sources:


Incident commander Planning section chief Division group supervisor Task force leader Strike team leader Operations section chief Staging area manager Engine boss being relieved


You are all engine bosses. This is your first operational period. Prepare a response for the following question: What kind of information would you want from your fireline supervisor? Unit 2 Exercise #1


B. The engine boss should also inquire of other incident personnel what their experience is with the current incident, such as: 1. Size of fire 2. Complexity of fire (project or initial attack) 3. Phase of fire (initial attack, suppression and mop-up) 4. Attack methods that have been used. Which have been successful. a. Direct attack b. Indirect attack c. Parallel attack d. Others


5. Fire behavior a. Fuel conditions in the area assigned. b. Weather phenomena of the area. c. Fighting fire where interplay of fuels, weather and topography create special or unusual burning conditions. d. Experience with geographic hazards associated with engine attack. 6. Equipment a. What combinations of resources have been successful. b. Ability to work in coordination with other engines/resources.


C. Subordinate Briefing After the engine boss has determined their assignment, assigned personnel must be informed of their duties. Clarify the chain of command and give the subordinates a clear idea of how their efforts fit into the suppression effort. When briefing your assigned personnel, it is important to include: Any and all information witch allows them to safely and efficiently accomplish their assigned tasks.


1. Chain of command 2. Safety Standard Fire Orders Watch Out Orders LCES 3. Work assignment: a. Other engines b. Hand crews c. Specialty crews Felling teams Dozer operations Pump teams (portable pumps) firing teams (backfire or burnout)


4. What support is necessary a. Water tenders b. Retardant base c. Routine or emergency maintenance 5. Communications to be used a. Engine to engine b. Engine to overhead c. Engine to aircraft (if appropriate) III. Coordination and Communication It is essential that all fire suppression activities be coordinated and that communications are established and maintained.


A. Establishing Communications What is the importance of establishing and maintaining communications? 1. One of the essential components of LCES 2. Any changes in fire behavior, activities can be monitored 3. Any activities by adjacent forces, divisions/groups that may compromise safety can be monitored. B. Coordination with Adjoining Forces Why is coordination with adjoining forces important during fireline activates?


1. May required to support adjacent forces, divisions/groups. 2. May provide support to other operations on the fire. a. Backfire operations b. Staged for protection of structures, improvements or other critical areas c. Filling stock tanks d. Wetting down helispots or helibases for dust abatement e. Filling helitankers with water or retardant. f. Providing exposure protection to personnel, equipment and structures. g. Supporting and patrolling for other fireline operations.


Objectives 1. Identify four fuel groups and describe expected fire behavior in each. 2. Describe the sizeup elements in a fire situation and determine the tactics to be used before beginning attack.


Each Group will be responsible for one of the following fuel groups: Group 1: Grass Group Group 2: Shrub Group Group 3: Timber Litter Group Group 4: Logging Slash Group Identify and list the following for your assigned fuel group. Rate of spread Reaction to water Mopup time required Duration of heat and flame Best engine utilized Best method of attack (indirect, direct or parallel) Provide examples of areas of the country where this group is a concern.


II.Size-up Elements A. What must be observed and considered when en route to a fire? 1. Fuels and terrain. 2. Fire behavior and potential. 3. Current and predicted weather. 4. Smoke column. 5. Access roads.


5. Parking Will parking obstruct the traffic flow? Will parking problems inhibit your ability to leave (egress) – or access escape routes? Has proximity to oncoming fire been considered? 6. Observe vehicles coming and going – for investigation purposes. B. Arrival on the fire scene 1. Correct tactical decisions always provide for safety first! Fire orders Watch out situations LCES


2. Decisions to be made: How to implement LCES. How to attack the fire (direct, indirect or parallel) Where to attack (rear, flanks or head). Location of control line. Type of control line (width, burnout) Are resources sufficient?


3. Other factors that effect decision making: Size of fire. Fire environment. Location of the fire head. Time of day. Values/resources at risk C. Relay the information 1. Relay information to the local dispatch office, command center, fireline supervisor, ect. 2. This process will help validate what you are thinking.


Group 1. Lookouts Group 2. Communications Group 3. Escape Routes Group 4. Safety Zones For your assigned element of LCES identify: How does this apply to you as a engine boss? What are important considerations? Provide an example of where you may have observed a violation of this principle. What actions would you take to correct this in the future?


Group 1. Fuels Group 2. Topography Group 3. Weather Group 4. Fire Behavior Each group will identify and list the following for their assigned topic: Elements that need to be considered when sizing up your assigned topic. How these factors affect your decision making during engine operations.


Objectives 1. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of direct, parallel and indirect attack in a fire situation. 2. Develop alternative methods to accomplish tasks.


I. Methods of Attack There are three different attack methods used on wildland fires; direct, indirect and parallel. Direct attack Constructing a fireline right on the fire parameter. Keep one foot (or tire) in the black and one in the unburned area.


1. Some advantages of the direct attack method are: If necessary, crews can escape to safety in burned areas. The fire is stopped with least spread and minimum acreage. Full advantage is taken of burned out areas along the control line. Need for burning out is reduced.


2. Some of the disadvantages to the direct attack method are: Personnel subject to heat, smoke and flame. Control line is long and irregular and must follow fire edge. Does not always take advantage of natural fire barriers. Less effective against extremely fast moving hot fires. Potential for reburn


3. Ensure personnel safety Fight fire in fuels consistent with engine capabilities. Use direct attack when possible Attack flank with greatest potential for escape Burn out unburned fuels Use extreme caution during frontal assault Avoid fire path of least resistance (chimneys, chutes and saddles Recognize topography hazards Preserve area of origin Be aware of environmental factors Recognize education and experience.


Pincer-direct attack around a fire in opposite directions by two or more fire control resources.


Direct attack along a part of the fire perimeter by two or more fire control resources. Control resources follow each other (can leap frog)


Critical areas are attacked first, Using the hotspotting technique, then the engines start moving towards each other.


Constructing a fireline parallel to, but further from, the fire perimeter than direct attack, due to fire intensity. May shorten line by cutting across unburned fingers. Intervening strips of fuel are immediately burned out.


C. Indirect Attack Constructing fireline some distance from the fire perimeter. Should be a barrier (natural or constructed) in the fireline construction, if available. Intervening strip is wide and fuels are burned out. Allows for choice of timing for burning out. 1. Advantages of indirect attack are: Permits easer work for crew because of less smoke, heat and flame. May reduce length and irregularity of fire edge and control line. Permits crews to take advantage of natural fire barriers and fuel types. Reduces danger of slopovers.


2. The disadvantages of the indirect attack are. Fire can catch firefighters working in unburned fuel. Fire can out flank and put crew in jeopardy. Increased acreage burned. Burnout operations can cause control problems. Burnout operations must be well coordinated. D. Stationary vs. mobile attack 1. Simple hose lay: A hose lay consisting of consecutively coupled lengths of hose without laterals. The lay is extended by inserting additional lengths of hose in the line between pump and nozzle (utilize instead of live reel in mobile attack).


2. Progressive Hose Lay: A hose lay which double shut off Y’s are inserted in the main line at intervals. Lateral lines are run from Y’s to the edge of the fire. Permits continuous application of water during extension of lay. Utilized during stationary attack when access via engine is not available. Mobile Attack – mobile attack has also been referred to as: Pump and roll Mobile pump Running attack


Mobile Attack


“Inside Out”


4. Situations where mobile attack with engines should not be used? Firefighter safety is jeopardized. Poor fireline access. Terrain is too rough to travel. Long turn around time to water. Frontal attacks with fast flame spread. Attacks on long flame lengths. Fuels to dense to negotiate. E. Utilize A Combination Of Attacks Be flexible, if the direct attack is not working start thinking about going parallel or indirect attack.


DEVLOPE ALTERNATIVES TO YOUR PRIMARY PLAN BASED ON THE POSIBALITY OF BREAKDOWN OR EQUIPMENT FAILURE. When involved In ongoing wildfire suppression activities: What methods do you use to ensure that you engine and equipment are available and operational for your tactical assignment? In the event of an engine or equipment breakdown what are your responsibilities? A. Planning 1. Provide for maintenance. Ensure maintenance schedule is adhered to and the engine is available for required maintenance.


2. Plan ahead so a particular area can be covered by another recourse or engine in the event of a breakdown or failure. 3. Work with backup help whenever engine or equipment breakdowns will jeopardize the safety of your crew and you. B. Alternative Methods to Accomplish Assigned Tasks. 1. Use hand tools. 2. Use backpack pumps. 3. Use of spare pumps. 4. Work with other engine crews to accomplish assigned tasks. 5. Request assistance to accomplish assigned tasks.


C. Responsibilities of the Engine Boss in the Event of the Engine or Equipment Breakdown. 1. Keep your supervisor informed. 2. Revaluate safety concerns. 3. Keep assigned personal informed of any changes in the tactical assignment. 4. Keep adjacent forces informed. Unit 4 - Exercise #1


Unit 4 – Exercise #1 Solution 1. What contingencies did you have in place prior to initiating fire suppression activities? 2. What do you do? Established communications with necessary personnel. Establish emergency procedures. LCES have been provided. Sizeup the situation. Ensure communications are established. Alert other fireline personnel. Ensure safety zones are established and known to all. Determine mechanical problem and rectify if possible.


EACH GROUP IS TO PROVIDE… A solution for all four handouts based on the following: Best method of attack. Placement of resources. Advantages, disadvantages and safety concerns. Unit 4 Exercise #2


Objectives 1. Recognize the wildland/urban interface watchout conditions or situations. 2. Identify personnel safety concerns in wildland/urban interface fires.


With the increased firefighting activities in the urban interface, wildland firefighters must become aware of a new fire environment. Structure defense is an unfamiliar role to most wildland firefighters. Firefighters tend to place themselves at greater risk when battling wildland fires in an effort to save homes. Remember: Safety of life is most important and must be adhered to by the use of the Firefighting Orders, Watch out Situations and the use of LCES!


Structures exposed to wildland fire in the urban interface can and should be considered as another fuel type. Sizeup and tactics should be based on fuels, weather and topography, just as those criteria would be applied to a wildland fire! II. Wildland/urban Interface Considerations Engine crews are commonly utilized to protect structures during wildfire incidents. Crews that are not familiar with operations in the wildland/urban interface should not be assigned structural protection duties.


A. Triage Sorting and setting priorities for structures requiring protection from wildfires. B. Five Factors That Affect Triage Decisions: 1. Firefighter safety 2. Structure 3. Surrounding fuels Fire behavior Available resources C. Triage categories 1. Needs “little or no protection” for now. 2. Needs “protection” but “savable” 3. “indefensible”


D. When is it time to withdraw? No simple rule will tell you when to try, or at what time to abandon, a structure defense effort. If any of these apply, then the attempt to save that structure deserves careful consideration before continuing. 1. You can not safely remain at the structure and/or your escape route could become unusable. Your safety is in jeopardy! 2. The fire is making significant runs (not just isolated flair-ups) in the standing live fuels; e.g. brush or tree crowns and the structure is within one or two flame lengths of fuels.


3. Spot fires are igniting around the structure or on the roof and beginning to grow faster than you can put them out. 4. Your water supply will not allow you continue firefighting until the threat subsides. 5. The roof is more than ¼ involved in windy conditions and other structures are threatened or involved. 6. Interior rooms are involved and windows are broken, in windy conditions and other structures are threatened or involved.


III. The Watch Out Situations For The Urban Interface Wooden construction and Wood Shake Roofs. These types of structures are easy targets for firebrands and burning fuel adjacent to structures. Most wooden structures are not treated with flame-resistant compounds. The fireline intensity is usually high, therefore radiant heat preheats the structure until it reaches combustion temperatures. Openings in buildings provide entry points for fire and fire brands


1. Check eaves, roof, roof vents and decks for smoldering embers or hidden flames. 2. Remove any combustible furniture or objects from decks, patios, or other areas where they could ignite and spread fire to the structure. Place them in a pile on the lawn or other safe out of the way area. 3. Follow agency policy on entering and removing valuables from threatened structures. 4. Do not enter the interior of any structure, create an opening, or attempt to ventilate a structure that appears to be or to have been on fire unless you are properly trained, equipped and have agency approval for such action.


5. Dangerous structure fire situations: The following characteristics may indicate a backdraft or smoke explosion condition. Remain a safe distance away from these structures. Black or dark smoke leaves the building in puffs or intervals (looks like it’s breathing). Dark smoke stained windows (intact) with muffled sounds heard from the inside of the structure. Closed structure appears to have an interior fire but there are not openings for the smoke and heat you see to escape and little or no open flame visible inside. Black smoke pushing out low openings like cracks in walls, bottoms of doorways, or other low to the ground locations.


Poor Access and Narrow, Congested One-Way Roads. There are numerous problems associated with the use of roads in the wildland/urban interface. Road bed material often is made of loose gravel, loosely compacted rock base material and sand, decomposed granite, or clay. These road beds can deteriorate creating road hazards delay departure (egress) threaten your safety. 2. Road width Narrow and winding roads become obscured during smoky conditions. Driving becomes dangerous because the driver is not able to see the edge of the road or oncoming traffic. A narrow road creates congestion by vehicles not being able to pass


A good safety practice would be to secure the road by controlling traffic at each end with personal that have common communications and capabilities. 3. Position on slope. Roads built in the middle or upper slopes are exposed to convection and radiant heat. 4. Fuel Canopy Beware of fuel ladders across roads. Light fuels into heavy fuels (grass into doghair thicket) Brush into logging slash (jackpots) Dead and down woody fuels (red slash) Fuel accumulations and concentrations can jeopardize your safety by blocking your egress. Flame lengths can be high, indicating and increasing fireline intensity.


5. Adjacent fuels Beware of you fire environment such as: Fuel types Fuel density Fuel height Fuel size Fuel moisture along the roadway. When burning, these fuels could block your escape route. However, they may serve to your advantage for burning out along the road to secure a safety zone. Roads in the wildland/urban interface often: Are private roads with one way in and out. Are between 16 and 20 feet wide, often times can be less than 16 feet wide. Have a road grade between 10 and 20 percent.


Are dead end roads or cul-de-sacs. Have driveways that may not be accessible or provide poor access for fire vehicles. Create difficult vehicle departure (egress). Do not allow vehicles to block your departure (egress) Inadequate Water Supply 1. The amount of water available is always a critical factor. It must be evaluated for, reliability, flow and total amount available. 2. The flow from area hydrants will probably stop or will have severely reduced pressures due to the great demand placed on them.


3. DO NOT rely on hydrants as your sole water source. Locate and identify additional water sources like swimming pools, ponds, ect. Conceder water tenders if available. 4. Know your usable water tank capacity and pump capability. Steep inclines will affect them. 5. Do not waste water. Do not wet down roofs or ground fuels in advance of the fire front. Timing of water use is critical. 6. DO NOT pass up the opportunity to top off your water tank (garden hose). 7. ALWAYS keep the last 100 gallons of water for the protection of your engine and personnel.


Natural Fuels 30 Feet or Closer to Structures Fuels that are next to or beneath the structure (downslope) create a ladder. Closed canopy can have ladder fuels. This creates a situation where structure survivability is low and presents a high risk to firefighter safety. 1. No safety zone for structure or personnel and do not have the ability to establish a safety zone. Lack of defensible space. 2. Pre-position engine(s) and/or vehicle(s) down hill or facing out the driveway for easy egress. 3. A Common practice by residents is to stack highly flammable firewood next to structures.


5. Fire could make several runs at any structure. Extreme Fire Behavior A fire that burns with an intensity far out of proportion to apparent burning conditions. It will multiply its rate of energy output many times in a short period of time . These fires have been responsible for major losses of life and property within the wildland/urban interface. Extreme fire behavior can exist under the following conditions: 1. Fuels are dry and plentiful. 2. The atmosphere is either unstable or previously unstable for some hours and possibly days, prior to the fire.


3. The wind speed of the free air usually is greater than 18 MPH, at an elevation equal to, or not much above, the elevation of the fire. Note: A few dangerous and erratic fires have occurred when the wind speed was not especially high. 4. Some effects of extreme fire behavior are: Long and short distance spotting Fire whirlwinds 5. The extreme fire behavior will create a complex fire situation. Factors that create safety hazards and limit the effectiveness of firefighting resources are: Safe paths of departure for personnel may be in jeopardy. The risk of being out flanked. The use of air attack becomes unlikely.


Gusty and erratic winds will effect effectiveness. Peak burning conditions may not yet arrived. The overpowering temptation to hurry of the flanks. Keep mobile and flexible in your firefighting efforts. You should not commit yourself or other resources to become fixed at a single water source. Do not allow other vehicles to block your escape routes. Strong Winds Mostly a tactical problem to firefighting resources. 1. Causes fire to increase rate of spread. The head and flanks will become too active. Ground, aerial fuels and canopy will be involved resulting in burning of these fuels in stages and cycles.


Unburned islands of fuel will remain. 2. The angle of the flame in relation to fuel is closer. 3. Velocity supplies oxygen to fire; caries sparks and burning fuel ahead of fire to start spot fires (spotting). 4. Wind driven fires have minimal backing spread rates. 5. Wind driven fires have an elliptical shape with narrow head and often devolve fingers. Complexity increases when the fire develops two heads or more. 6. Creates a draft situation on one or both flanks. Need to Evacuate Public The basic reason to evacuate:


To guarantee residents a safe and orderly egress from a fire threatened area, prior to the arrival of the fire front. This allows fire personnel to concentrate on fire operations and personal safety. Considerations: 1. Evacuation is controversial. Law enforcement agencies are disinclined to force residents to evacuate. During initial attack minimal lead time creates of a fear flight than an orderly evacuation. 2. During large fire scenarios with a command structure. Contingency plans are prepared before evacuations. The incident management team holds briefings about the fire situation for the general public.


Structures located in chimneys, box or narrow canyons, Saddles or on Steep Slopes in flashy Fuels. Home sites with a view are structures that have the lowest survivability and the highest safety risk to firefighting personnel. 1. Structures are a path of least resistance for heat and smoke. 2. Box or narrow canyons: Wind direction normally follows direction of the canyon. Radiant heat transfer from one slope to another is great. Fire easily spots across the canyon. 3. Steep slopes in flashy fuels.


Accelerated rate of spread due to increased heat transfer through radiation and convection. Spot fires can out flank the main fire. Burning materials can roll downhill. A no win situation. Because of the nature of topography and the potential for erratic fire behavior, fire suppression personnel are put in multiple Watch Out Situations. The high safety risk and chance of firefighter entrapment creates a lack of defensible space. 4. Personnel safety concerns: Chances of entrapment are extremely high. Departures (egress) becomes a problem. High rates of spread. Gusty erratic winds, spotting


Lack of safety zones. Fire can make several runs at structures. Bridge Load Limits 1. Fire vehicles may exceed the weight limits of many rural bridges. 2. Construction of the bridge may be wooden beams and cross members, weakened by environmental conditions and age. 3. Bridge width may not be adequate.


3. During evacuations remaining law enforcement personnel may lack the training and personal protective equipment for firefighting. Brief them or place a firefighter with them with communications Do not place law enforcement personnel in extreme fire situations. Bridge Load Limits 1. Fire vehicles may exceed the weight limits of many rural bridges. 2. Construction of the bridge may be wooden beams and cross members, weakened by environmental conditions and age.

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