Week 3

 

On June fourth the team arrived at a barn to have an introduction to the Sulphur Ranger District on the Arapaho National Forest. This served as the first opportunity that the team had to meet the people we would be working with. We arrived in high spirits and got to know the forest service employees and got a general understanding of what the forest service’s goal were for the summer. At the end of the day we left in good spirits and cooked out for dinner. After dinner we prepared our three Stihl chainsaws for the S212 Wild land Fire Chainsaw course, that we were to attend in Salida Colorado, put on by Colorado Fire Camp. Our first day was spent in the classroom, and to get to know our saws better, where corps member Andrew Novak learnt how to set the throttle for the elevation to ensure that the saws would run at there best ability. The next day we finished classroom work, and team leader Tim Gurnett who was going for his B-Faller went to go cut down some trees so the team could get practice at bucking and limbing. While Tim was doing that corps member Ben Henry who was going to try to open up a B-task book that was developed by the BLM, and for his B-Saw certification which would enable him to supervise crews of A-Fallers and be able to understand the principles to cut and operate at a B-faller level but doesn’t have the time to operate on a fire-line, led the group in instructions on how to properly dismantle the saw into it’s various parts and ensure that there was nothing wrong with them, as well as what to clean after a day of heavy cutting. Along the way Paul Dobmeyer and Eric Spangle discovered that the bearing in there chainsaw clutch was no good, due to a previous operator cutting there chaps. Once all the problems were fixed and the weather co-operated the crews rolled out to the field. Corps member Ben Henry started by falling a cottonwood, that required two different back cuts due to the fact that the saw’s bar wasn’t big enough to cut through the diameter of the tree, once fallen he bucked and limbed it, starting to demonstrate that ability that he can cut at, while the other corps members started to learn to buck and limb, Ben cut down two more trees at a B level and Tim fell one more, Paul worked with the instructor and fell a snag, and the rest of the crew practiced bucking and limbing for the rest of the day, providing everyone roughly three hours worth of cutting on the Seventh of June. At 0815 the crew loaded up and headed to the field to start practicing and possibly qualifying for their sawyer certifications. We got split into three different groups. Tim Gurnett nailed three B level trees and received his B-faller, Ben Henry cut down two B-level trees and got his task book opened and his B-Saw, the rest of the corps members who had no previous chainsaw experience successfully got their A’s. During the saw training we also took our pack test, to finally get red-carded, the whole team completed the ardous test which is three miles in forty five minutes with a forty five pound pack on, in less than forty three minutes. Upon completion of saw school we drove back to Granby.