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David Sparks Ph.d Forest Fire Fighter
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: February 14, 2019

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With the forest fire epidemic we have experienced in the last few years, I thought I would call Chad Walker who works for the forest service as a firefighter. “I work on the heli-fighting crew, the aerial attack crew, we are available for the initial attack on fires and any kind of large fire support that is needed throughout the nation. So you’re here in Idaho and you get a call that there is a fire in Flagstaff for example and you guys would get involved with that? Yeah. How do you mobilize? We will send half-hour crew on the helicopter and we will chase with our support vehicles that we have. Then how do you attack the fire? In years past we have had issues with our repelling stuff and for the last two years we have stood down on  repelling out of the type III platforms that we use which is the smaller helicopters that the forest service has, they have only used medium-sized aircraft for the last two years but in years past we have been a  repel crew so we are waiting for standardization to happen before we can actually resume repel procedures. So now we just look for a good landing zone pretty close to the fire and then we hike in. So when you get to the fire what happens? To start with the chainsaws and making a fire line? Yes we will do a size up and give that information back to headquarters, give them a list of things that we will need for the next 48 hours.

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