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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


Vehicle Accident Involving Tree-Felling Operations
Big Creek Fire

Background of Incident:

On August 5, 2006, a snag was felled onto a moving U.S. Forest Service vehicle during wildfire suppression efforts on the Big Creek fire. The operator of the vehicle complained of some stiffness and neck pain. He was examined by a doctor and X-rays were taken. The vehicle had substantial damage to the hood and roof, and the windshield was shattered, “raining glass” on the driver. The driver was the only occupant and there was no damage to any other property.

The faller was a certified Class B Faller cutting a 20” snag. The faller was cutting a snag on the uphill side of the road. Upon completion of his face cut, he radioed the road guards on both ends of the road to inform them that he was going to fall the tree onto the road. He called out “falling tree,” and completed cutting the snag. He did not know a vehicle was coming toward his cutting operation.

The driver had just finished assisting another faller approximately 250 feet down the road, got in his truck and was going to a turnaround a short distance up the road (approximately 300 feet). He was going slowly up the road when the tree fell on his truck. The driver did not hear the falling tree radio call and was unaware that a sawyer was cutting the tree down as he traveled north up the road. He had traveled less than 250 feet when the incident occurred.

Potential Causal Factors:

  • The sawyer was sawing without a spotter nearby and was unaware that the vehicle was coming toward his falling operation.

  • The driver did not hear the “falling tree” radio communication with the road guards or know that a tree was being cut as he was driving up the road.

  • The driver was traveling below a large cut bank which could possibly have hid his vehicle from the faller. Also the bank stopped the tree from completely falling on the vehicle. Only a 3” top struck the vehicle.

  • The road guards were not aware a vehicle was moving up the road.

Recommendation/Lessons Learned:

Before beginning work, carefully assess the amount of work needed and the time to complete the work.

Before beginning operations, develop a plan. Discuss the plan and make sure it is understood and reassessed throughout the operational period.

Close roads to all traffic with road guards; allow traffic through only when an “all clear!” is received from ALL fallers.

Emphasize communication with both radio and shouts. Don’t always rely on the radio - IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS, DO A FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION!

When reviewing the area to be snagged do a thorough job – look for catfaces and burned roots on all sides.


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