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.