Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wildfire news, January 29

Water powered jet pack

A new way to use fire hose.

Montana: Man sentenced for starting fire

Chad Truscott, 20, was ordered to pay $763,000 in restitution for starting a fire near Helena, Montana in 2007 with a homemade firework. After being originally charged with felony criminal endangerment he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of negligent arson. The fire burned 44 acres, destroyed two vacant homes, and required the evacuation of about 500 residents.

Mr. Truscott's homemade firework consisted of a pipe welded to a steel plate. Inside the pipe was flash powder from dismantled fireworks with newspaper stuffed on top of the flash powder.

The judge ordered Mr. Truscott, who is in college, to work full-time during the summer in order to begin paying the restitution.

Video of close call on vehicle fire

It looks like these firefighters did everything right. However, something, a piece of the front bumper or a portion of a tire, explodes off of this burning Volvo in Florida.


Anonymous said...

this is my county fire dept. this is actually one of the better companies in the county, sad to say not everyone pays enough attention to those sorts of things

Bill Gabbert said...

Every firefighter who responds to vehicle fires should see this video. That object flew about 70-100 feet. When you think about the possibilities, it's scary as hell. On the YouTube site, "imstretch" wrote this comment about the video:

"We had a fireman in Brisbane killed when a tire from a forklift on fire blew off, went literally through the open drivers door through the cabin and hit the fireman who was standing next to the open passengers front door."

Anonymous said...

In 1992, I wrote a safety gram following an accident involving "5 mph" shock absorbing bumpers on Volvo cars. After speaking with Volvo, they let out the info that their bumpers were rated at "10 mph".

In this incident, a BLM wildland fire engine crew, while in full structural PPE, was suppressing a vehicle fire that was directly threatening the vegetation.

The BLM crew followed proper attack procedures and it kept them safe.

While attacking the fire, one of the bumpers shock absorbing struts failed, sending the bumper from the far right shoulder into the center median of the freeway at a 45 degree angle.

Unbeknown to us, during the initial bumper separation, one remaining strut was intact on the vehicle and released several seconds later traveling over 140 feet, bouncing once, before hitting a CALTRANS employee in the leg causing a fracture.

If you must suppress vehicle fires to protect the wildland, it is all about proper training, proper PPE, and keeping up on changing vehicle hazards.

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