Yarnell Trip and Burn Prep

The Yarnell Fire was a wildfire near Yarnell, AZ ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013. On June 30, it overran and killed 19 firefighters with the Prescott Fire Department’s interagency Granite Mountain Hotshots. The wildfire was fully contained by July 10, 2013.  The Veterans Fire Crew on the Prescott NF were allowed to take a trip to the Yarnell Fire with fire staff that were at the fire on June 30th.  We walked the same path that Granite Mountain Hotshots took on June 30th.   
The purpose of a fireline is to cut off the supply of fuels from a fire. The width of a fireline is generally accomplished by clearing and scraping. Brush, trees, and logs must be removed by clearing a strip wide enough to prevent the flames, radiation or convective heat or any combination of the three from igniting fuel across the fireline. All flammable material must be removed by scraping to mineral soil a strip wide enough to prevent fire from spreading through roots and other ground fuel across the fireline. A scraped strip is placed on the outside (side away from the fire) of the cleared strip. The line should be cleared down to mineral soil with no debris within the line. When constructing a line for a prescribed burn it is also important to clear the area of excess fuels. A chain saw is used to clear an area to either side of the fire line. Timber near the line is not cut down but rather trimmed. Fallen timber is bucked and trees against the fireline are limbed. Many factors will determine the location of fireline and may incorporate man-made or natural features including: parking lots, roads, rock beds, rivers, or streams.
The Veterans Fire Corps for the Prescott National Forest constructed approximately 3 miles of fireline in preparation for prescribed burns this week. Burn Prep The VFC spent a total of one week prepping prescribed burn units.  The crew constructed approximately 3 miles of handline for containment lines for prescribed burns.  The VFC swamped for Crew 2 Sawyers.  The two crews constructed a saw line around the Wolf Creek prescribed burn unit.  The VFC spent 3 days prepping three burn units for the Ranch RX.  The VFC used a variety of tools to construct hand line around these three units.  The VFC used McLeods and Pulaskis to dig handline through a rocky drainages .  The VFC also used leaf blowers and weed trimmers to construct handline around three 100+ acre burn units.