It’s early may in region 3 (Arizona and New Mexico for all you non-forest service folks) – this is the time of year you usually see big wildfires around here. It’s hot and dry. The season has been unusually slow though, which is strange since region 3 had an extremely dry winter. I was expecting to get the call to go somewhere – like the Coronado in southern Arizona (where temp’s are usually above 90 and erratic winds usually make for some big fires) or the Gila.
So when we found out we were going to go do a prescribed burn up near Hatch I was more than a little surprised. I was shocked when I heard we were only going to be there for 1 shift. Usually when a hotshot crew does a prescribed burn we are there from start to finish not just for a little piece of it. I was told we would be there for black-line operations and they would bring a heli-torch in to light the rest. Black-lining is a process by which a crew will light fire around the edge of a prescribed burn, making a buffer of burned fuels around the perimeter so … READ MORE >