When we are dispatched to a fire, we fly out with our saw kit (consisting of a chainsaw, two Pulaskis (ax-hoe combinations), a shovel and misc other gear and tools), our pump kit (consisting of a small pump, 750 feet of hose, two 60 gallon stillwells, and some tools), our overnight gear, spare fuel for the chainsaw and pump, and our personal gear for the day. Upon arrival at a fire, we do a thorough aerial investigation for water sources within pumping distance of the fire and hover exit locations. If no water is found (which is common) one person, usually me (being the new guy) is dropped off with all our gear on a river bank or beach somewhere to fill the stillwells. The others get flown in to the fire while I'm on the beach and find an area where our gear can be dropped off. I load our gear into a net which the helicopter long lines in. The stillwells are flown in shortly thereafter. When all the gear is on the fire, I get flown in. Fires in this area are typically small and can usually be extinguished in less than a day.
Welcome to the long promised webpage of photos from this season's fires. For those who don't know, I got a job on an Initial Attack crew based in Revelstoke. The base in Revelstoke, called the Revelstoke Primary Attack Base has five Initial Attack crews G through K and are named after the phonetic alphabet. The India crew consists of Paul (the crew leader), Tanya, and myself.
Initial Attack crews are responsible for actioning small fires right after they are reported. This means a lot of standby and a lot of finding stuff to do around the base waiting for fires to be reported. Because of the nature of the terrain around Revelstoke, actioning fires involves a lot of helicopter time and working in steep terrain.
Click on the links below to see pictures and read a short description of each fire. To see a map of where these fires were, click here.