Ash Pits are Hazardous to Firefighters

Ash pits have been a continuous safety concern for wildland firefighters working in Alaska during the months of August and September. These ash pits can be difficult to identify. Some are hot and have caused numerous burn injuries to firefighters on the Deshka Landing, Swan Lake and McKinley fires.

Listen to the Deshka Fire safety officer who explains the ash pit hazards and ways to mitigate them. An Oregon firefighter talks about his experience and how he was burned when he stepped into a hot ash pit. Also, two McKenzie River crew members show us how the Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC) works.

Deshka Landing Fire Statistics:
Acreage: 1,318 Containment: 95%
Personnel: 189 Start Date: 08/17/2019

Northwest Team 10 Incident Commander Al Lawson would like to personally thank West Lakes Fire Department Assistant Chief James Keel for allowing the Deshka Fire personnel to borrow the TIC. This kind gesture further provides for the safety of firefighters by giving them infrared capabilities to more easily locate and extinguish hot spots while avoiding ash pits. Thanks Chief Keel!

The video was produced by Deshkas PIOs with help from McKinley PIOs. The title is pretty obvious, but due to the number of burn injuries from ash pits this August and September in Alaska we made a safety video. Hopefully this can serve as a tool for increased awareness when the duff burns deeply. Thanks for watching.

Categories: AK Fire Info

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