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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


Little Grass Valley Tree Felling Accident

Facilitated Learning Analysis
August 17, 2009
Little Grass Valley Tree Felling Accident FLA cover

US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, Plumas National Forest
Feather River Ranger District

Table of Contents

(Lessons shared from FLA participants)

Facilitated Learning Analysis Team:
Edward Cole
Gerald Spence
Ronald Ashdale
Steven Holdsambeck

Little Grass Valley Tree Felling Accident


On Monday August 17, 2009 employees of the Plumas National Forest Supervisor’s Office and Feather River Ranger District were working on a tree thinning and disposal project in the Little Grass Valley Recreation Area (see Vicinity Map next Page). At approximately 1010, one of the employees cut a small tree that fell and struck another employee. The employee that was hit by the tree was injured and required a Medivac flight to an area hospital. The employee was treated and released but ordered to remain off work pending further medical examinations.

Since there had been other tree felling incidents recently within the Region, the Region expressed concern that this accident could be related to a trend or the result of region-wide systemic issues. This concern led the Region to conduct the accident investigation utilizing the Accident Prevention Analysis process. The Team arrived on the Forest on Tuesday August 18. During the initial review of the incident, the Team recommended that the investigation be handled as a Facilitated Learning Analysis (FLA) as there were not strong signals this accident would reveal larger organizational concerns and seemed unrelated to the other two accidents. Region and Forest concurred and an FLA was initiated. The focus of the FLA is to foster a learning environment by encouraging open sharing of mistakes, errors and avoiding blaming employees who were not reckless. The FLA process is centered on what the employees and managers involved in this accident learned for themselves, and then sharing those lessons with the larger FS community. It is intended that others involved in chainsaws operations will read this report and vicariously learn the same lessons, and thus potentially, prevent a future accident.

This FLA has been made possible by the cooperation and support of the parties involved and the employees of the Feather River Ranger District and the Plumas National Forest. The FLA Team wishes to express our deep appreciation for their willingness and honesty to share their story and the lessons they learned the hard way.

Plumas National Forest, vicinity map - tree felling accident

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