Forest Service Accepts Thirtymile Fire Action Plan

USA: Forest Service Accepts Thirtymile Fire Action Plan

Source: Environmental News Service, 23 October 2001


WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Forest Service has issued a new plan to improve firefighter safety and coordination during wildfires. U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth accepted the 31 point Accident Prevention Action Plan on the Thirtymile Fire on Monday and again expressed his condolences to the families. 
“We must prevent tragedies like this one from occurring in the future,” said Bosworth. “The Forest Service will work closely with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and our interagency wildland firefighting partners to ensure that proposed changes in management and policies are made to improve firefighter safety and reduce risks.” 
The Thirtymile Fire killed four firefighters on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest on July 10, 2001. The four were Tom Craven, Karen FitzPatrick, Jessica Johnson and Devin Weaver. The Accident Prevention Action Plan was based on the Thirtymile Fire Accident Investigation Team’s report and the Management Evaluation Report developed by the Thirtymile Fire Board of Review. The review board, chaired by Tom Thompson, deputy chief, National Forest System, detailed action items for each recommendation. Some of the key actions items include: emphasizing situational awareness; transitioning from initial to extended attack; addressing chronic fatigue issues; and strengthening fire leadership and accountability. Other changes or recommendations may result when a separate Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration investigation is completed. 
“The deaths of these firefighters were preventable,” Bosworth said. “Although firefighting is a dangerous vocation, there are standing orders and preventive measures which can be taken to reduce the likelihood of this tragedy happening again. The Forest Service is committed to doing everything possible to improve the
safety of these unsung heroes.” 
The Prevention Action Plan is available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/fire 


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