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It has been almost 2 years since 4/12/20009 when we lost Captian James Harlow and Firefighter Damion Hobbs in Houston Texas ( www.tdi.state.tx.us/reports/fire/documents/fmloddhouston09.pdf ). Nearly 4 years ago on 4/16/2007 we also lost Technician Kyle Wilson with Prince William County Fire ( www.pwcgov.org/vpresentations/fnr/LODDReport.pdf ). On Sunday night here in the Denver area, 2 Arvada Firefighters were burned while searching a single family dwelling during a fire with high wind conditions. (www.9news.com/news/local/article/191914/222/Still-no-cause-for-blaz... )

Wind driven fires are not limited to the wildland or high rise events. These three incidents were at single family dwellings. Unfortunately it is all too often we must perform our duties under adverse conditions and with few exceptions we can’t control an act of nature like the wind. All I ask is that today you take the time to honor these men with training. Review these reports and pictures, discuss indicators of wind conditions and local weather patterns.

These two pictures are from training burns conducted at an acquired hotel in our district. The photographer noted no wind at the ground level. We can see a difference on the 3rd floor at the fire window where the standing breeze is holding fire and then the steam to the building. Identifying and communicating this wind condition on your 360 is potentially life saving.

 

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Comment by Brian Brush on April 7, 2011 at 11:12am

Dave-

Great video and points. The information is nothing new, especially in this group I just feel the timing of a review seems appropriate. Here is a link to an arrival photo of the fire in Arvada on Sunday night.

Arvada CO -  6555 Union Fire
Comment by Dave Stacy on April 7, 2011 at 8:51am

Great photos Brian and glad to see you are supplementing NIST research with your own training experiences.  Here's a video of a 2.5 stry SFD we rolled up to fully involved.  Occupants were home and stated fire in the front living room when they exited.  We arrived on scene approximately 3.5 minutes after the 911 call to this.  Winds were 30-50 mph

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUccvEJtpm8

 

Reading these reports and understanding how wind affects fire ground operations can greatly increase our safety.  Consideration on ventilation plays a huge part during a wind driven fire; crews might not want to take that fire room's window if the wind is hitting that face until that line is definitely in place and making a knock!  And, in the case of the fire I posted, clearly exposures become the #1 priority.

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