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'Attack from the black'

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'Attack from the black'


By Edward A. Wright

When fighting fire in flashy fuels like grass, shrubs and brush, always "attack from the black."

Begin suppression from a strong anchor point at the rear or flank of the fire and keep one foot or wheel in the clean burn: the risk of burnover is high in these fast-moving fires.

Firefighters face imminent danger when wind shifts suddenly change fire direction and they are entrapped.

Don't let Situation Awareness (SA) be obscured by adrenalin! Never engage without first carefully assessing the fire and its risks. And there is no shame in pulling back to a safe area and reassessing.

 

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Lt. Edward A. Wright, of the Poulsbo, Wash., Fire Department, is senior officer and lead ICS and NIMS instructor for Kitsap Wildland Team and Bates College in Tacoma, Wash. A responder for more than 30 years, he has served with both municipal fire departments and U.S. federal land management agencies. Lt. Wright holds bachelors degrees in public relations and journalism and currently responds as Task Force Leader, Firing Boss and Incident Commander IV. He is also a specialist in wildland and interface response apparatus and compressed air foam systems. Lt. Wright is also the managing director of Africa Public Safety Trust.


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