Happy Camp Fire

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scannerbuff999

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Any info on and freqs on Happy Camp Complex Klamath National Forest fire

any info on and freqs The Happy Camp Complex Klamath National Forest
 

SCPD

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any info on and freqs The Happy Camp Complex Klamath National Forest
Bookmark these two sites:

http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/sitreprt.pdf

InciWeb the Incident Information System: Current Incidents

The first contains data after the required 1800 report goes in, but isn't posted until the next morning. The second is added whenever the fire's management team is able, the incident changes in scope causing evacuations, or changes in scope enough to update it. The acreage figures and situation narrative are more up to date. Some fires management organizations may get overwhelmed and not update the InciWeb site as often as we would like so the information on the National Incident Management Situation Report is current after the day shift ends. It is then posted at around 0500 Boise time. It also contains short narratives of each fire and is quicker to read. The preparedness is also important. 3 is average in the summer, 4 is when more than 2 areas are having large incidents and 5 means the entire country is more or less maxed out with resource shortages that can't be filled.

There are exact definitions of each preparedness level on the NIFC (National Interagency Fire Center) website. The information on the NIFC contains information and links that will provide the reader with pretty much everything a person wants to know about wildland fire.

I've been out on fires during Level 5 and its pretty wild. You know when you are released you will be going to another fire. If you are working a command team position in camp you usually know what fire you are going to a shift or so prior to release. It is likely that incident commanders will keep people on a 14 day on, 2 days R & R, then another week for 21 days of work. Then you have to spend 4 days at your home unit after which you will probably get assigned for another 21 cycle.

I've been on fires on the Happy Camp Ranger District. I wasn't always happy there. Conditions can be real rough there. Steep slopes, temperatures that can reach 105 during the day and smoke inversions that are incredible. In 1987 the sun was not visible for a the entire 18 days I was there and the street lights stayed on 24 hours. The smoke was so thick that you could see it down the hall in the ranger station. People were getting sick and the camp sleeping area looked like the hospital scene from the movie "'Gone with the Wind." People walking around looking like zombies, bleary eyed and coughing. When I returned home I was coughing up black stuff for more than a month. Carbon monoxide levels were very high and most people had headaches for days.

On one assignment there I was working the night shift and an insect flew up an ear and took 3 hours to die. The critter buzzed around and was hitting my ear drum as hard as it could. I went to the clinic in town and no one could see it or get it out. A M.D. came over when I insisted that the thing was still in there. The M.D. could not see it or flush it either and told me it must have escaped. I insisted that more flushing be done. Finally it washed out into the pan under my ear. Everyone that thought I was a bit off, saw that I had myself together. Happy Camp had literally put a bug in my ear!

During one assignment to Happy Camp, six of us from our forest flew to the Siskiyou Country Airport,in the typical small, crowded steel can that we usually flew in when there weren't any crews with us. Since it was during Preparedness Level 5 (PL5) the GACC (North Ops California) and NIFC were having a tough time finding an aircraft to take us home. We waited a long time when a corporate jet shows up in front of the terminal and we knew it wasn't for us. Wrong! We boarded the jet and found huge seats that rotated around, a ton of room and a wet bar. We couldn't drink alcohol, but helped ourselves to soft drinks. We asked the pilot to make a couple of loops around Mt. Shasta and he did so. A bunch of country hicks exposed to luxury we had not and have not since experienced. We were thinking PL5 had its advantages. The word spread of how we got home all around the forest. We returned and went on other assignments after 4 days, but not together.

Hope the links help.
 
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SCPD

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Forgot to address your frequency question. Open the database, click on California, go to the United States Forest Service line in the wide area list. When you get to that page click on the Wiki tab. Scroll down to the Klamath and you will find the channel plan for fire management. I'm still working on the page. The information presented is recent, as of April this year. Some members are providing me with some corrections. Eventually I will make a large submission to get the regular database updated.
 

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Only if it is L.A. County. They are on contract to them so LACoFD has say on where they go.
Isn't that fortunate! The L.A. Country Board of Supervisors can't shove those things down the federal agency's throats. The last time I spoke to someone from L.A. County Fire they were quite angry about politicians prescribing what apparatus they should be using to fight fire. If I was the I.C. on an incident I would rather live with the longer turn around time for retardant. The Pooper Scooper just drops water and not as accurately as helos can.

Some of the helo pilots I worked with on several fires could drop water right down on the spot I pointed my shovel handle at. One pilot dropped on a very hot burning snag that looked like it would be tough to cut down because of the heat and flame inside of it. Once cut down it would have taken more than 24 hours to get it cold to the touch. I told the pilot where the drop should be centered, the location where the water would flow down inside the snag. He hit it exactly as I asked. We didn't even have to cut it down and the water penetrated well enough to put the whole thing out.

A Pooper Scooper can't do that. The one thing it can do is impress politicians and convince the public that this is the best thing for fire ever. The media shows footage of them dropping water on a pile of lumber and knocking it down or putting it out. The pile of lumber is on flat ground with no obstructions around it. The fuel and the location of fire in a fire environment rarely matches those conditions. A sage brush fire in the flat areas of Nevada maybe, but a large enough water body isn't going to be close by. The advantage of retardant is the evaporation rate of it is slow due to its viscosity. It even retards fire when its dry. The Pooper can't do that. It can drop retardant, but it has to reload just like any other tanker. Prior to scooping water again the tanks and exterior of the plane has to go through a time and labor intensive cleaning. Putting residual retardant into a water body is a huge no, no.

I haven't talked with someone with LA County in the recent past, so I wonder what they think of them now. At the time I did you didn't dare mention the Martin-Mars. The reaction was about 10 times worse. I'd like to talk with someone who has been "boots on the ground" fighting a fire and observing how helpful they are or aren't.
 
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SCPD

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If your in the area of the Happy Camp Fire and want to monitor the fire, here's the IAP communication plan from 8/31 to 9/1
Thanks for the info. After the NIFC system was put together and for 20 years or more after, the repeaters did not operate with tones. I don't recall when I saw the first NIFC menu about using tones on the command repeaters, maybe 10-15 years ago. The memo stated that Tones 1-4 would be used. I think the memo said you don't have to use tones, but you can if interference is experienced. On the comm plan you posted I see that Tone 10 is being used. I wonder what the current direction is concerning tone use on the NIFC system is?

Of more importance perhaps is the this incidents assigned Command 2 and 3 correspond to NIFC commands 1 and 8. The other two 173.0625 and 172.5500 don't correspond to anything we've seen before. I wonder if they were drawn from the unassigned federal frequency pool and given a one time authorization for this incident only. Either that or some new commands have been added to the NIFC plan. I would guess they come from the unassigned pool.

Another observation is that the 3 R5 tacs are being used. Almost every comm plan I see for a California fire shows these frequencies in use. Region 3 (AZ and NM) assigned 3 new frequencies this year to be used for initial attack only, stating that the eventual use of the NIFC tacs was going to be for "National Incidents Only" R5 has had their 3 regional tacs for many years, but there are so many large fires here that the R5 tacs show up on comm plans more often than not. I wonder if R5 will be getting another 3 tacs for initial attack only. Region 2 (CO WY SD) and Region 4 (UT NV ID south) have had their 3 tacs for a couple of years now as do a few BLM State Offices with Utah, Idaho and New Mexico that I know for sure.

If you have access to more of these, I would like to see them. I can learn a lot from them and sometimes new direction shows up.
 

scottyhetzel

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CALCORD

If your in the area of the Happy Camp Fire and want to monitor the fire, here's the IAP communication plan from 8/31 to 9/1
CALCORD has a RX p.l. of 156.7 now...however most are monitoring companies are leaving it CSQ due to not everyone on the same page. I have a thread on this running currently. Is all about details...
 

norcalscan

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Of more importance perhaps is the this incidents assigned Command 2 and 3 correspond to NIFC commands 1 and 8. The other two 173.0625 and 172.5500 don't correspond to anything we've seen before. I wonder if they were drawn from the unassigned federal frequency pool and given a one time authorization for this incident only. Either that or some new commands have been added to the NIFC plan. I would guess they come from the unassigned pool.
yeah those "Cmd 1 and 4" certainly are out of the federal pool. The 172.550 has popped up a few other places as NIFC Command 37, including the King Fire now. Haven't seen 173.0625 anywhere on my chicken scratch notes of years past.

And I'm a bit frustrated that the COML for that 205 did not use the proper names for those 4 Command channels. That's a safety no-no.
 

scannerbuff999

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i also have can you add to this
166.3125 Command 13*
167.9875 Command 20
165.4500 Command 26
165.0125 Command 27
169.36250 Command 19
 

norcalscan

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i also have can you add to this
166.3125 Command 13*
167.9875 Command 20
165.4500 Command 26
165.0125 Command 27
169.36250 Command 19
Thanks - except for cmd19, those are from my scancal.org website. :) The kids have kept me at a fast pace of life so the website doesn't have the latest stuff for this season. Someday soon I'll sit down and clean it all up.
 

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yeah those "Cmd 1 and 4" certainly are out of the federal pool. The 172.550 has popped up a few other places as NIFC Command 37, including the King Fire now. Haven't seen 173.0625 anywhere on my chicken scratch notes of years past.

And I'm a bit frustrated that the COML for that 205 did not use the proper names for those 4 Command channels. That's a safety no-no.
I would politely disagree that the comm plan has a safety no no. I've been on some very large fires with 9 weeks of work on three fires that exceeded 150,000 acres. The most notable of those was the North Fork fire at Yellowstone National Park and on the Targhee National Forest in 1988 as it was approximately 500,000 acres. All of these large fires involved a multiple command repeaters set up and linked by 400 MHz frequencies. The North Fork Fire had two command nets each with more than one repeater. One net was for use on the east side and one on the west side. The line between the two was defined by assigning nets by Branches.

There was only one group of 14 channels in the Kings I was issued during my career. Radios now have enough to have the NIFC command frequencies pre programmed. In that case, if the only frequencies being used were the command nets, then I would agree with you. But the way groups are programmed for use on home units may not be convenient for use on an extended attack fire. The home unit group programming may pair up certain tac frequencies with corresponding command frequencies in groups that are usually used for the initial attack or the first portion of the extended attack period. During this period it is typical to have one or more mutual aid agencies on scene. Frequencies of those agencies might be included in the same groups command and tactical frequencies are located. These groups may not pair up the commands and tacticals in the same way they are used on incidents away from the home unit. Using the home unit groups could involve an incident pairing up of a tactical frequency located in one group with a command frequency pair in another group as programmed in the home unit radios. Switching between groups requires at least one more step and doing so is not practical or effective. Division supervisors have to do this the most as they are members of the command structure, but also supervise the tactical resources on the division, who are all assigned a tac channel. Division Sups need to be able to scan both channels and if they are in separate groups I don't believe it is possible to do so.

As a result at least one group is left empty and reserved for cloning at large incident scenes. Cloning is absolutely required when the fire uses frequencies from the unassigned/unused federal frequency pool as no one has them in memory. The comm plan is installed and the command repeaters are numbered to match the order they are in on the comm plan. The frequencies are not as important as the channel assignments and the temporary names they are given. People use the cloned channel plan to when referring to the frequencies they switch to by channel number rather than by name, and if they do use the name they use the names on the comm plan. Since the command frequencies are all linked together and temporary use frequencies could be used, it is less confusing to label them "Commands" 1 through whatever number of frequency pairs being used. I've not come across a comm plan that doesn't have the commands at the top of the channel order. Thus Command 1 corresponds to channel 1 on cloned radios. Given radios are cloned to match the comm plan exactly as written, no one is confused that Command 2 on their radio is actually NIFC Command 1. No one really looks at the frequencies being used, they just use the channel numbers and maybe the name shown on the comm plan, which is easier and less confusing.

The comm plan shown above is identical with those I saw on incidents during my career and since. This includes using incident assigned names for frequencies, irrespective of their NIFC system name. On some fires I've seen the tactical channels numbered 1-4 with no correlation to NIFC names.

I've used the command channels several times on fires and this is how I remember the procedures used. It was necessary to use adjacent division's tac channels to coordinate with other hand crews or other resource kinds. The procedure most often used was to was to refer to the tac channels as "Division J tac," "channel 11" and rarely as "R5 Tac 5" per the comm plan shown above.

This is the case on extended attack fires where all the radios are cloned to the same program.

Now in the case of fires involving mutual aid resources where an incident management team has yet to assume command and before a NIFC radio cache system is set up, the various agencies have to use frequencies referred to by name as they are almost always in different locations in differing agency radios. If this is the situation I agree with you. Frequency use related traffic is supposed to follow a format of stating a frequency's name followed by the numbers. Example "air to ground forty one, 1-6-7 decimal 4-7-5-0."

To avoid confusion agencies in southern California often duplicate the most frequently used group of neighboring jurisdictions and include them verbatim in their radios. A friend of mine came to visit several years ago, he was working on the Angeles at the time and he brought the handheld issued to him so I could take a good long look at how it was set up. There was a group for each of the other National Forests in southern California. The groups were named "San Berdo," "Cleveland" and "Los Padres." They may have been named using the 3 letter identifier, with groups named "BDF," "CNF" and "LPF." I don't remember which. Given the different configurations of mutual aid responses there isn't enough memory in radios to accommodate enough groups in the same manner. In this case the scenario in the last paragraph is presented and this is where your comment is absolutely valid.
 
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SCPD

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I would politely disagree that the comm plan has a safety no no.

No one really looks at the frequencies being used, they just use the channel numbers and maybe the name shown on the comm plan, which is easier and less confusing.

The comm plan shown above is identical with those I saw on incidents during my career and since. This includes using incident assigned names for frequencies, irrespective of their NIFC system name. On some fires I've seen the tactical channels numbered 1-4 with no correlation to NIFC names.

.
After thinking about this for a couple of days I stand corrected for the portions of my post as shown above. norcalscan is correct when he called a portion of the comm plan as a safety no no. Frequency use and radios in aircraft got me to think about this more. I don't believe the radios in all the incident aircraft are cloned to be incident specific. The logistics of doing so would prevent this. Aircraft used can change during one shift and the aircraft assigned to a fire can change during one shift and especially from day to day. These aircraft are often from different air bases and landing to get a radio cloned would be difficult and greatly affect the the timeliness of their response.

Sometimes I mix the memories of my career in the order they occurred. I started working for the Forest Service when crystal radios were in use. They didn't have the capacity to include the NIFC (then called BIFC) system and I don't remember if one existed. I was working on crews then, moved up to being a squad leader and did not have access to the shift plan or go to briefings. The crew boss did and those at my level did not.

An extended attack required the use of NIFC caches of dozens or 100 plus handhelds. We just referred to the channel number and didn't know what frequency were using. Frequency use labels were not programmed as LCD screens weren't on radios.. The forest and district FMO's had "air net" (now called Air Guard) in their radios and it was a possible additional frequency assigned to a fire. As ground pounders the only frequency we used on our home unit, other than our forest net was called "crew net" and sometimes "R5 crew net." It was the only tactical I knew of prior to 1983 or so, which changed when we were first issued Kings. We then received a channel, channel use label and frequency list. I'm not sure of when the NIFC system was developed, but my impression was this occurred in the late 70's and possibly in the early 80's.

I don't think we ever had command frequencies issued from the NIFC as all command traffic was conducted on the local park and forest nets. It really wasn't adequate and the heavy traffic on each frequency made things difficult. The fire season in California in 1977 made that painfully obvious. I think the development of the NIFC system resulted from the findings of the 1970 California fire season and the development of ICS that resulted. R5 was the first to start using the new frequency assignments. It took a lot of time for those of us in different USFS regions to get radios with more frequencies in them, which occurred in the 1983-1985 period when Kings were issued.

Sorry about the mixed up time frames norcalscan. Many of my memories are consolidating into big lumps and it is sometimes hard to pull one out.by itself. The time period of memories isn't obvious at first for those memories.
 
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