Category Archives: Wildfire

Stuff in the news 5/26/2015 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme


Other stuff

  • In Arizona, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Flagstaff PD, and the USFS are jointly giving a WoodsWatch class on Wednesday the 27th.
  • UN OCHA has a series of environmental e-courses available on their website
  • Dan Guenthner tweeted about a rebuttal to a WSJ review of the new Outside book on Yarnell. The rebuttal is worth reading and I suspect the book is too. I can’t endorse, having not read it, even started.

Take Smokey Bear’s Fire Prevention Pledge


I just took Smokey’s pledge to:


  • To use caution and common sense before lighting any fire.
  • To understand that any fire I or my friends create could become a wildfire.
  • To understand and practice proper guidelines whenever I or my friends create a fire outdoors.
  • To never, ever leave any fire unattended.
  • To make sure any fire that I or my friends create is properly and completely extinguished before moving on.
  • To properly extinguish and discard of smoking materials.
  • To be aware of my surroundings and be careful when operating equipment during periods of dry or hot weather.
  • To speak up and step in when I see someone in danger of starting a wildfire.

…and I got a downloadable mask (see pic, above). If you don’t want to, I’ll bet you know some little ones who would love to do that!

Train ’em while they’re young.

Therapy Dogs Visit Fire Camp: 7 & 8 August, 2013

Go therapy dogs! @TheRealVOSTCat would go too but he hates riding in the car 🙂

Whiskey Complex, OR 2013

Night security staff with owner/trainer of Boo, a Therapy Dog

photo: Tom Bergland

photo: Tom Bergland

photo: Tom Bergland

photo: Char Rouse

photo: Char Rouse
photo: ALXSw

Wednesday, 7 August, 2013

Today several Therapy Dogs visited the Whiskey Complex ICP: two Bernese Mountain dogs and a Belgian Malinoise. Owners Glenda and Greg Pierce, and Connie Lane drove from Central Oregon to bring some canine cheer to fire camp.

Firefighters and fire support staff welcomed the loveable dogs as they prepare to complete the 14 day fire detail this weekend. As is standard, incident management teams rotate after two weeks to mitigate fatigue from the long hours and continuous work shifts required in incident management.

Therapy dogs are trained and certified to visit with a variety of people and to not react to strange scents and loud noises, among other attributes. The dogs frequently visit community care facilities and hospitals. However…

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Protecting Your Home During a Wildfire

From the FEMA NPM Team:

Wildfires can spread rapidly, with little-to-no warning, often going unnoticed until it is too late. These wildfires, commonly started by human error, quickly ignite and burn through tinder-dry bushes and trees, and unfortunately spread to nearby homes as well.

If you live in a fire-prone area there are various ways that you can help reduce the chance for severe damage to your home and property, by designing and landscaping your home with wildfire safety in mind; selecting materials and plants that can help contain a fire rather than fuel it.

For home design and construction:

  • Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling.
  • Treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking, or trim with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees around your property such as hardwoods, and avoid more flammable pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

For home maintenance and safety:

  • Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove any debris;
  • Install a fire alarm on every floor in your home and test monthly;
  • Have a garden hose long enough to reach your home and any other structures on the property;
  • Ask the power company to remove any branches that are near or on the power lines; and
  • Mow your grass regularly.

A great resource for proper home and property fire prevention planning is The site contains a variety of fire safety and prevention  information designed for residents, property owners, fire departments, community planners, builders, public policy officials, water authorities and architects. To learn about Firewise’s upcoming Wildfire Education conference click here.

Should you be directed to evacuate your home due to a wildfire, follow the instructions of local officials, and be sure to take your battery operated radio, disaster preparedness kit and lock the door behind you when evacuating. If you have time to prepare the home before leaving, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for additional tips.

New Wildland Fire Assessment Program Workshop Available at FRI, August 16

Are you attending Fire-Rescue International in Chicago this year? If so, REGISTER TODAY for the Wildland Fire Assessment Program (WFAP) workshop that will be held on August 16.

WFAP is a joint effort by the U.S. Forest Service and the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide departments with training on how to properly conduct assessments for homes located in the wildland-urban interface. This is the first program targeted to volunteers that specifically prepares a firefighter or a non-emergency department volunteer for how to conduct an assessment and what to look for during an assessment, as well as provides departments with the printed materials they may need to determine how close they are to becoming a fire-adapted community.

This is a four-part, train-the-trainer course that covers the following topics: understanding the wildland-urban interface (WUI) problem, identifying the zones, evaluating the home, and available resources. Students will be able to take the classroom information, along with a toolkit and supplemental resources, back to their respective departments and teach personnel how to properly conduct a home assessment for residents living in the WUI.

Class Information
 August 16, 2013
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Hyatt McCormick (rooms are connected to McCormick Place)
Room: Grant Park B

Register for this class at Attendance is limited to 30 students. Questions? Email Lori Moon at

Visit for more information about WFAP.

Local encounters 7/20/2013

I have mentioned Hillside Market and its cafe in one of my Stuff in the News posts and hadn’t gotten around to blogging about it. Yesterday, I was catching up on some social media stuff in what I refer to as “my office” there.

Alcove at Hillside Market

Alcove at Hillside Market

Regina Ress happened in for her shift as barista in the café, when I was in yesterday.


Regina Ress at Oasis Café

If you haven’t met Regina, you ought to (all the ladies over there are wonderful, though). She is a storyteller from Lower Manhattan and here in Santa Fe. She does storytelling events at Hillside and has a CD of stories available there (or online), as well. She was also kind enough to mention me in a blog post the other day, and came over to tell me about it. Fun to see VOSTing mentioned in a totally out of the ordinary context:

Our “children’s corner” has morphed into a comfortable table-for-two semi-private space. As I write this, a woman who volunteers coordinating information for firefighters is bent over her laptop in there, working with teams dealing with the many wild fires in the region.  She said to me that the café is a real “refuge.”

It is true – the café is a refuge. It’s pretty quiet, with an indoor fountain and a lovely courtyard outside.

Courtyard at Hillside Market

Courtyard at Hillside Market

If you live in the Santa Fe area or are passing through for a visit, it’s a great place to stop and have a cup of coffee (regular or snobby available) and do some shopping for items by local artists. Pretty much all the stuff you see in the pictures is for sale. There’s also a greenhouse, where they are going to grow local food and Oasis Café is soon to be Vista Café with restaurant food.

Also be sure to check out the events calendar, that has yoga classes, writing workshops, and other happenings. And they don’t mind if you just hang out and have coffee. This place actually WANTS to be a community hub. This is what the 285 corridor needs. I’m rooting for them. I hope you will, too!

Old Smokey Bear is back with a better message than ever!


Trying to fit in with the various trends of our nation, Smokey Bear has changed over the years. He tries to be hip with these changes, but he’s still Smokey and now he’s back to his original self, well, sort of…

Since 1944, Smokey Bear has been American’s icon for wildfire prevention. Despite the campaign’s success over the years, wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical issues affecting our country, and Smokey’s message is as relevant today as it was in 1944.

Smokey has always made a statement, such as, “Only you can prevent wildfires.” But now, he’s taking a different approach to educating all ages. This approach is a hug from him when you prevent a fire. Who doesn’t want a hug from Smokey?

The venerable bear is now less an authority figure than a model of positive reinforcement who embraces people who show they know how to…

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Fire Prevention: It’s So Hot – Be Cool


Lots of good info here!

Hotlinks from poster:

Local wildland firefighter wives help raise funds for fallen and injured firefighters

NOTE: To my knowledge, the 100% donation to WFF goes until the end of the day on July 2nd. After that time please refer to the subsequent blog post, Helping the WFF to contribute directly to Wildland Firefighters Foundation. Thanks



As fire season heats up, a group of spouses and partners of wildland firefighters came together to raise money for fallen and injured firefighters. To accomplish this, a Teespring t-shirt campaign has been created to benefit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s fallen and injured grant fund.

As a group of over 100 wives and partners of wildland firefighters from around the country, with support and approval from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, we are celebrating a “wild kind of love,” showing our support by selling shirts and sweatshirts. We are asking our local communities to help us support those that answer the call when local forests and grasslands are burning. Many people who love and support wildland firefighters may not be aware of ways to show that love and support. If you are one of those people, or just someone who appreciates these men and women who risk their lives, consider wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Not to be left out, children who love wildland firefighters can now show their support every day, with a “wild child” t-shirt. This shirt was recently added by popular demand and is already a huge success.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from shirt sales will go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s Fallen and Injured Grant fund. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation has approved this fundraiser and the purple ribbon symbolizing the fire families’ commitment to wildland firefighters is proudly displayed on the sleeve. There are several options available in both t-shirt and sweatshirts, so please take the time to check them out.

To purchase a t-shirt or sweatshirt, go to and This campaign ends July 2, 2013. For more information about the Wildland Firefighter Foundation or to contribute monetarily, please visit

Stuff in the news 6/30/2013 – Wildfires

Fire Danger Level Meme

“…the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is working on a kinder and gentler approach. Though some people are calling it “Whopper Junior,” the BLM pointedly is not. In a preliminary planning document released this month, the BLM’s state director, Jerome E. Perez, said the new approach will be based on what the public wants, science, the law and on the goals of healthy forests, not board feet of timber.”