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Keeping it Fresh: Fire Behaviour Safety Messages During Extended Fire Situations

Keeping it Fresh: Fire Behaviour Safety Messages During Extended Fire Situations

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Keeping it Fresh: Fire Behaviour Safety Messages During Extended Fire Situations

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Keeping it Fresh: Fire Behaviour Safety Messages During Extended Fire Situations Wildland Fire Safety Summit Toronto, Ontario

  2. Introduction • Extended fire situations • 1998 – B.C. August • 2000 – Montana – July - September • 2002 – Alberta - June • 2003 – B.C. – July - September

  3. SMALL FIRE Fire observations Info from other firefighters Info from Management Unit LARGE FIRE Fire observations Info from other firefighters Incident Action Plan Radio broadcasts Incident Briefings Information to Firefighters INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

  4. Communication Problems • Desensitization • Repetition • Unreported prediction errors • Technical jargon

  5. Desensitization • Def’n: noun a reduction in sensitivity to something, esp. through repeated exposure • Examples: • Gas price goes over 80¢ for a week or two - 69¢ seems very reasonable • Forest fuel conditions reach and stay at extreme levels for an extended period

  6. Desensitization

  7. August 2 Satellite Pic. McClure Strawberry Hills Kootenay NP Lost Creek Farewell Complex Flathead

  8. Repetition • Similar fire behaviour and safety concerns on subsequent days. • Easiest thing is to leave predictions and safety messages the same. • If you picked up a newspaper and two days in a row, it contained the same articles, would you buy it the third day? • Need to reword information, emphasize what is important.

  9. Repetition • Similar fire behaviour and safety concerns on subsequent days. • Easiest thing is to leave predictions and safety messages the same. • If you picked up a newspaper and two days in a row, it contained the same articles, would you buy it the third day? • Need to reword information, emphasize what is important.

  10. Unreported Prediction Errors • Daily, fire behaviour is predicted and appropriate safety messages are developed. • Sometimes, the fire behaviour doesn’t occur for a variety of reasons, usually weather. • It is important to verify why the fire behaviour did not occur and report back to firefighters why it didn’t. This improves credibility and understanding.

  11. Technical Jargon • The BUI has reached 250 at many stations or, the ERC is in the 95 percentile. • All coarse fuels have dried to the point that they will ignite and continue to burn. • HFI of 6000 kW/m in C-4 fuels. • Expect extreme intensities in immature jack pine with flame lengths of 3-4 meters.

  12. Fire Behaviour Analysts • Someone who can concentrate on fire behaviour predictions and observations and related safety issues. • Trained in communications techniques around fire behaviour and safety related issues.

  13. Conclusion • The longer an extreme situation continues, the harder it is to put out a fire behaviour related safety message that will be heeded. • It is important to get the message out in a usable and fresh form to catch the attention of firefighters to help ensure their safety.