Local News

Fire lines still dangerous despite break in weather

Fire lines still dangerous despite break in weather

CHELAN, Wash. - The Carlton Complex fire is now the biggest wildfire in Washington's history, and even though the fire was fairly calm on Tuesday there are still many dangers facing fire fighters.

On a day like Tuesday, when the fire has calmed and temps are cooler, crews have to make as much progress as possible. For crews in the Black Canyon that means fighting the fire direct, which puts them right on the fires edge.

"You gotta look at the big box picture sometimes if its going to keep cranking you gotta get out in front of it," said Abby Bolt, a supervisor in the Black Canyon area.

Fighting direct is dangerous but it is the best tactic to use. It can cut down the time it takes to contain the fire by several days, and less time working at an incident means less injuries.

Crew leaders say more injuries happen later in the day after firefighters have been working for several hours.

"When fatigue starts to set in later in the day," said Bolt. "Heat exhaustion is another main concern so on a cool day like today I feel better about that."

Another main concern for firefighter injuries are falling trees. On many trees, the top looks untouched by flames, but the bottom has been completely burned out.

"Having trees fall down and hit someone that's always a large concern," said Bolt. "So on a day like today when it feels like things have calmed down we want people to be diligent of that."

If there are injuries crew leaders always make sure there is a clear path to get in and out to help those firefighters.