In reading news reports and watching the videos available online from the various news links I'm beginning to believe that there is a high probability that perhaps a sudden or sustained wind gust may have been a contributing factor in this most recent Houston tragedy. Click here to read more
By all accounts this was a well conducted proactive fire fight the type of firefighting America expects and quite frankly Huston expects from its professional firefighters. The subject of wind driven flames fronts is currently under much study by NIST, underwriters laboratory, and other scientific institutions who have an interest in our profession.
We must always remember that tactically wind and topography are critical pieces of our Fireground decision making. One of the most effective uses of an exterior Fireground command position is to observe weather and wind direction.
Although this is not yet confirmed reading the reports by citizens and video claiming embers had traveled 3 to 4 blocks leads me to believe we may be looking at a wind driven flame front which claimed the lives of Capt. James Harlow, 50, and rookie firefighter Damion Hobbs, 30. Our deepest sympathies and regrets go out to the family and friends of these two brave men and we honor firefighter Hobbs service to our country at this time as well.