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Colorado Firecamp - wildland firefighter training

Apply on-line now for Colorado Firecamp's upcoming S-212 Wildland Fire Chain Saws classes:

  • March 7-10, 2024
  • April 11-14, 2024
  • May 2-5, 2024
  • May 30-June 2, 2024
  • June 20-23, 2024
  • July 11-14, 2024
  • August 1-4, 2024
  • August 22-25, 2024

Cost: $750 includes tuition, books, meals & lodging.

What to Bring to Class

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

MTDC Chain Saw Training

Felling Boss Training

Little Grass Valley Tree Felling Accident FLA — August, 2009

Freeman Reservoir tree felling fatality, 72-hour report & OSHA citation — June, 2009

Storm Mountain Ranch tree felling accident, OSHA citation — May, 2009

Andrew Palmer Fatality, Dutch Creek Incident, — June, 2008

OSHA citations

Volusia County Tree Felling Fatality
Scene Pictures — November, 2007

Big Creek Fire Accident — August, 2006

NWCG Hazard Tree and Tree Felling Task Group — link to hazard tree safety information

USFS Region 2 letter to Sen. Udall, re: S-212 cutting area — June, 2009

CSFS Faller Qualification Guidelines — May, 2006

USFS Region 2 Chainsaw Policy — February, 2005

S-235 Felling Boss Training, Issue Paper #12 — January, 1996

Wildland Fire Chain Saw Glossary — S-212 Pre-course work



General Information:

On July 22, 2008, EM [Engine Module 701] was dispatched to the Iron Complex, Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Junction City, California. EM departed from Port Angeles, Washington and arrived at the Iron Complex Incident Command Post (ICP) the evening of July 23rd. Due to mechanical problems developed en route to the incident, CAPT [Supervisory Forestry Technician, Olympic National Park, USNPS] took the engine to Redding, California to be repaired on the morning of July 24th. EM-CAPT [Engine Module 701 minus Captain] worked in camp. On the morning of July 25, 2008, EM-CAPT were assigned to Division B of the Eagle Fire as a falling module. The assignment was to work in support of crews and engines during mop-up operations clearing hazard trees.

Relevant Qualifications:

CAPT: Crew Boss (CRWB), Engine Boss (ENGB), Felling Boss (FELB), C Faller (FALC)
Qualified: First Aid/CPR, 6/12/08
Falling Experience: Qualified FALC, 1999

FC1: [Andrew “Andy” Palmer, Forestry Aide (Fire), Olympic National Park, USNPS]
Fire Fighter Type 2 (FFT2), A Faller (FALA)
Falling Experience: FALA task book issued June 25, 2008 and completed June 28, 2008

FC2: [Forestry Technician (Fire), Olympic National Park, USNPS]
Fire Fighter Type 1 (FFT1), CRWB Trainee (t), ENGB (t), B Faller (FALB)
Qualified: First Aid/CPR, 6/12/08
Falling Experience: FALB task book issued July1, 2005 and completed July 21, 2006

FC3: [Forestry Aide (Fire), Olympic National Park, USNPS]
Qualified: First Aid/CPR, 6/12/08
Falling Experience: FALB task book issued June 1, 2008 and completed July 08, 2008

Felling Equipment:

The following felling equipment that has been verified to have been on site with EM-CAPT

Stihl Chainsaws
- Model MS-460 with a 32” bar and semi-skip round filed chisel chain.
- Model MS-440 with a 28” bar and semi-skip round filed chisel chain.
2- Saw chaps
1- Falling axe 2 lb. w/ 11” handle
1- Fallers pouch w/ 3-12” wedges and 2-8” wedges.
1- Dolmar style saw gas / bar oil container.

While it appears that all required PPE was present and available, it is unknown to what extent the required PPE for felling operations was utilized by the crew members.

Sequence of events:

  • See Exhibit 3A part 2 for a site diagram.

  • Following the morning operational briefing of July 25th, EM-CAPT were identified as an “unassigned” resource. FC1 and FC2 talked with OBDt [Operations Branch Director (trainee), CA IMT 4] and were told that EM-CAPT would be assigned as a falling module to Division B of the Eagle Fire (one of the fires in the Iron Complex).
    (Statement: OBDt [E-12] )

  • At the division break out, DIVB [Division B Supervisor, CA IMT Team 4] assigned EM-CAPT to TFLDt.[Task Force Leader (trainee), DIV B, CA Team 4]
    (Statements: DIVB [E-7], [E-8])

  • The TFLDt assigned EM-CAPT to work the area east from DP [Drop Point] 17 down the dozer line toward Dutch Creek Road removing hazard trees in front of the handcrews.
    (Statement: TFLDt [E-21])

  • After receiving the assignment, EM-CAPT loaded equipment in a minivan obtained the previous day from Ground Support and traveled to DP 17.

  • From DP 17, EM-CAPT worked their way down the dozer line, felling an undetermined number of trees, until reaching a point approximately 3280 feet from DP 17.

  • At this point a decision was made to fall a ponderosa pine (Tree 1) that was 36.7” in diameter, (C class tree) and approximately 125’ in height. Down slope from Tree 1 was a 54” sugar pine (Tree 2) that had an uphill lean and a large catface on the uphill side. Between Tree 1 and Tree 2 there was a 21” approximately 95’ -110’ tall Douglas fir (Tree 3).

  • Tree 1 was felled downslope. The multiple undercuts present caused Tree 1 to fall 20-40 degrees to the right of its intended lay. In the process of falling, it appears that Tree 1 contacted Tree 3, breaking the top out. As Tree 1 continued to fall, it may have made contact with Tree 2. It was either this contact with Tree 1, or the vibration from Tree 1 hitting the ground, that caused an approximately 120’ section of the severely weakened Tree 2 to break off 16’ from the ground and fall upslope.

  • When this section of Tree 2 hit the ground it broke into at least five pieces. It was one of these sections that impacted FC1 causing severe injuries.

<<< continue reading—Dutch Creek Incident Investigation Report
Appendix C, Chain Saw Technical Report, Technical Assessment of Accident Site >>>


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