Skip to main content

tv   Reel America Initial Attack - Fire - 1979  CSPAN  October 6, 2020 7:11pm-7:30pm EDT

7:11 pm
to apply for statehood in the united states. that is going to call its own controversy. that does it. enjoy your weekend. i will see you on monday.
7:12 pm
continued whether the possibility of thunderstorms. >> there has been some cloud buildup in your area this afternoon. ♪ ♪ >> with winds from the northeast expected to reach up to 35 miles per hour in southern california -- (music)
7:13 pm
>> california's summer and fall months are traditionally a time for vacations, time for traveling and camping in the great outdoors. a time to seek quiet shade on a mountainside. and a time for fires. the wild land area is teamed with people. people smoking, cooking. ramping and playing. and some even working. ground vegetation has been dehydrated weeks of hot sun with little or no rainfall. inevitably, there will be fires.
7:14 pm
some caused by natural phenomenon such as lightning strikes, but most caused by human beings. california's fire protection problems are unique among the 50 states and probably among the worst in the world. it is the most populous state in the union, with a network of roads affording access to most wildland areas. it has the widest variety of topography. nearly any can be duplicated in california in some season of the year. heavy winter rain and spring snow melt foster the growth of ground cover, and then abruptly, months of much sunshine and little moisture. vegetation dries to the
7:15 pm
consistency of gunpowder and the fire season is upon us. the hazard is further augmented, usually in september, by strong, drying winds. the problem is particularly acute in southern california, where the santa ana's boston in three or four-day cycles fees can reach up to 70 miles per hour and any spark is a potential holocaust. small wonder that wild land fire protection agency statewide responds to more than 40,000 alarms per year. fortunately, very few of this number ever grows to more than ten acres in size. that they do not is due to a coordinated system of detection and elimination among fire e. jean sees, providing fast and initial attacks by grounder air forces, or both when required. we wildland fire protection in
7:16 pm
california is service by the california department of forestry. additionally, reciprocal, or usual aid agreements are with nearly all city and county fire departments. the main objective is for the necessary men and equipment to be on hand when i ever and wherever needed. the initial attack forces may vary wildly from one crew to several engines, bulldozers, and air tankers. this is probably initial attack in its most basic form. one man with one back pump. the fireman was on route somewhere on business when he spotted the fire in its first stage and took prompt and effective action. if he had judge the fire beyond his capabilities, he would've
7:17 pm
reported this and more forces would've been quickly underway. fire reports reached the dispatcher in the emergency command center from any number of sources, often from private citizens living in or traveling through an area adjacent to the fires origin. we both the u.s. for service and others maintain look outs in high-risk areas throughout the states. , they are often used in high-risk areas. or whether there has been recently action. the concept of an initial attack is the dispatch of a preplanned level of forces necessary to contain a fire without significant increase in the for several hours. and both controllers are
7:18 pm
suspected to be there by 10 am the following day. the dispatcher receiving the initial report has to determine the extent of the attack force with response cards. this is a symptom of in-depth information, three years of experience with fire control for any given area. within seconds after pinpointing the location of the reported fire, the dispatcher pulls the proper card and knows immediately what forces to dispatch. there are numerous variables in any fire situation, but the cards evaluate most of them. the type of terrain and accessibility to it, the type of fuel in the area, the burning index for that particular day, whether hot, dry and windy, or cool and
7:19 pm
cloudy. even resources and the threatened area are considered, whetherprime timber, homes, or open range and brush, or watershed. obviously this was not a fire that could be handled by a man with a back pump, or even controlled at the initial attack stage. the primary problem was one of steep inaccessible terrain, making an approach by fire engines impossible and making it time-consuming and dangerous. air attack was the best solution to slowing down the fire until ground personnel could fight their way in for final control.
7:20 pm
although the fire burned three days, no lives or homes were lost. (music) >> dispatch, 1440.
7:21 pm
what is the cross street? can i have your name and call back number? >> would you dispatch the helicopter? >> seminal and sunshine respond. >> order 5416 18, initial attack.
7:22 pm
grass fire, 1441 hrs. >> 5484, 5492, and 5469. grass fire cross street henderson. dispatch area c-7. 1442. >> new order number, 541618.
7:23 pm
♪ ♪ >> this blaze started not through malice, merely
7:24 pm
inattention and carelessness on the part of the operator. any internal combustion engine, large or small, is a hazard in a dry, grassy area. spark arrestors are a must under these conditions. because of early detection followed by prompt attack meant the fire was put out in an hour at minimal cost. the achievement of any worthwhile project requires someone in charge at the working level. in the case of a fire, it is a fire boss. an initial attack circumstances, it is usually the station fire captain who assumes this responsibility. long-range fire suppression strategy may be planned in air-conditioned offices hundreds of miles away.
7:25 pm
but the infantry commander -- but the fire boss must meet the enemy face-to-face and make immediate decisions as to the best method of attack. the first site of a fire from several miles away may yield clues the color and density of smoke may indicate the type of fuel-burning. and the direction of the wind. upon arrival at the scene, several quick decisions must be made. one of the first and most important is whether the fire can be controlled with the men and equipment on the scene, or are additional forces necessary? if more help is needed, the time to ask is right then, not several hours later after the fire has spread beyond initial attack containment stage. >> montevista, 5372, we are 1097 off of highway 94. about 25 acres of moderate
7:26 pm
brush going up, the moderate rate of spread. request additional crew and a dozer. >> having quickly evaluated the behavior of the fire, both present and probable future, the fire boss has decided what additional forces are necessary. now, as to the best method of attack, it is desirable of course to launch a direct assault with water on the flames on the perimeter. if this can be done safely, well and good. time will be saved. often, however, the steepness of the terrain and the heat of the fire on the perimeter make it impractical and dangerous to approach directly. in such cases, the fire boss will probably create a break by removing the fuel in a belt around the perimeter. here, crews and bulldozers are the most valuable firefighting tools. natural barriers such as roads
7:27 pm
or small bodies of water can also be usefully incorporated into the fire break. once the break is completed, it must be carefully controlled until the fire is completely out. burning fuel may blow away and start a new fire. the whole process would have to begin all over again. rarely will fire situations be identical, but the fire boss, in addition to having gone through training, can anticipate the behavior of any given fire according to the weather and fuel conditions. this kind of experience is further backed up by a network of detection, communication and coordination with other fire protection agencies. additionally, fire prevention and education programs are
7:28 pm
constantly being implemented at every age level and occupation. without all of this, existence in suburbia might be a day-to-day challenge. the recorded statistics following a fire are not very exciting. they might read something like this -- excalibur found, grafton county, 1978, area burned, 22,000 acres, timber and watershed. damages estimated at $6.5 million. cost of suppression, $2.7 million. probable cause, lightning. those five short lines reveal little of the thousands of man-hours spent in training and preparing. dust, exhaustion and sometimes
7:29 pm
outright terror is faced by men on the fire lines. men in fire protection agencies deeply cherish two phases in the work. the second is the fire that is contained in the initial attack phase. the first is a fire that is never started. (music) >> hello, folks. i am smokey bear with a message for you.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on