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					Hazard Tree Safety

     “Up The Ante”
           and
  “An Interactive Study”
          Presented To:

   International
Wildland Firefighter
   Safety Summit
      Toronto, Ontario
       November 18, 2003


      Paul Chamberlin
Interagency Fire Operations Safety

       Aerial Fire Depot
      Missoula, Montana
            Recent Events
 Bitterroot National Forest
 Kentucky, Plumas Hotshot
 Missionary Ridge Fire
 Inyo National Forest
 Helena Hot Shot- 30 Mile Fire
 2001 Northern Rockies, 3 trees hit 4
  people in 6weeks
 2003 Broken ankle, broken neck, and one
  tree injured 3 people
 Several other injuries and many close calls
  nationwide
In the Northern Rockies, these
 situations were well managed
 In the Northern Rockies, these
  situations were well managed
 Experienced   and dedicated
  supervisors
 Crews well briefed

 Were looking for snags

 The snags involved were just missed!
Even when properly
managed, we are still
 having problems
Even when properly
managed, we are still
 having problems
  -Forest health issues are
      not soon going away
  -We have hundreds of
      thousands of acres of
      burned forests
Even when properly
managed, we are still
 having problems
  -Therefore what we are
     doing is inadequate
  -We must ‘Up The Ante’
     for snag and hazard
     tree safety
            Guiding Thoughts
 Driving  along parked cars
 Drifting into the oncoming lane

 We recognize indicators with
  ingrained knowledge
 We need a tool chest full of
  mitigations
          Guiding Thoughts
 Query the Workforce
 Consolidate Their Ideas

 Get the Word Out
       “Up the Ante” a Process
   Each Unit to review existing rules and
    guidelines.

   Each individual „Gut Check‟

   Group „Brainstorm‟ new ideas
    – E-mail findings to central address


   At each unit, prepare a Tree Hazards
    briefing for incoming resources.
    Getting There- a Process
 Line officers to demonstrate strong,
  visible and active leadership
 Achieve employee focus and buy-in

 2 hour sessions on each unit

 Product of each session gathered
  centrally
  – Ideas and suggestions gleaned for
    common threads and new ideas
             Program Goals
 All   functions
  – Trails
  – Fire
  – Timber
  – Researchers
  – Engineers
  – Contractors
  – Public
          Program Goals
 Allfunctions
 Raised Awareness, Mental
  Engagement, Ownership, Buy-in,
  Strong Leadership
 Well known indicators of tree
  structural defects
 Effective mitigations throughout
 Reinvigorate 1993 National Snag
  Hazard Report
          Current Status
 NWCG   FAST 2002 National Emphasis
  Topic
 Northern Rockies OSHA Mitigation

 R-1 Safety and Health Leadership
  Team annual emphasis topic
 NRCG says go

 USFS National Fire Safety Council
  support for all USFS fire folks
   Success is achieved when:
      concise, and achievable
 Wise,
 concepts become part of the culture
   Success is achieved when:
 Wise,  concise, and achievable
  concepts become part of the culture
 These concepts become regular
  briefing elements and are found in
  common language, in manuals and
  guidebooks
   Success is achieved when:
 Wise,  concise, and achievable
  concepts become part of the culture
 These concepts become regular
  briefing elements and are found in
  common language, in manuals and
  guidebooks
 Conscious and deliberate procedures
  and behaviors end tragic hazard tree
  accidents
        Find “Up the Ante”
      and “Interactive Study”
          on the Internet


www.fs.fed.us/r1/forest_range/
 hazard_trees/home.htm
        Find “Up the Ante”
      and “Interactive Study”
          on the Internet

–“Up the Ante” overview / instructions
– Winter 2003 Progress Report
–“Hazard Trees- An Interactive Study”
– 1993 National Snag Hazard Report
– A Growing Library for Tree Hazards
     “An Interactive Study”

Combines:
   + Findings from “Up the Ante”
   + Kim Johnson’s “Potential
       Green Tree Hazards”
   + Interdisciplinary Committee
Hazard Tree Awareness

 An Interactive Study of
 Hazard Tree Indicators
   Hazard Tree Awareness


  Presented with a sincere
    concern for your safety,
              by
Northern Rockies Federal Land
    Management Agencies.
   Interactive Discussion
Throughout this program, discuss each
   example as a risk to:
  1. Someone walking or driving by.

  2. A short term camp or work site.

  3. A permanent camp site, or facility.
Interactive Discussion
 Throughout this program, discuss each
    example as a risk to:
   1. Someone walking or driving by.

   2. A short term camp or work site.

   3. A permanent camp site, or facility.



Where a significant risk exists:
 1. Describe appropriate options.
  2. Describe events that will change
     the risk level.
                 Tree Basics
   Anything that causes stress on a tree will
    weaken it.

   Tree Stresses are Cumulative and Inter-
    related.

   The structural integrity of a tree is affected
    when these stresses result in damage and
    or decay.

    Very elementary – the scientific names of
    insects and disease agents are not needed.
 Looking for the
   Indicators
   Indicators of tree
    structural issues

Changing conditions and
  changing risk levels.

Assessment tools to help
     ascertain risk.
        Objective:
Looking for the Indicators

      in the Crown,
       on the Bole,
at the Roots and Tree Base,
 and Changing Conditions.
          Crown Indicators
•Structural Characteristics observed in the
Crown.
                                              I            Bole Indicators
Dead Tops


                                              N
Broken Tops
Fire Damage                                       •Indicators of Butt, Stem and Bole
Forks                                             Defects:
Defective and Hanging Limbs
Leaning Trees                                              –Decay


                                              D
Crown Indicators of Root Defect                            –Swelling
Loss of needles / leaves, thinning crowns                  –Cracks and Splits
Discoloration
stress cone / seed crop                                    –Fire Scars


                                              I
                                                           –Burned out bole




                                              C
                                              A
   Root and Tree Base Indicators
                                              T
        •Observed at the base of the
        tree
                   –Basil Resin Flow          O          Changed Condition
                   –Mushrooms


                                              R
                   –Butt Rots
                   –Wind Throw
                   –Burned root


                                              S
                   –Water
                   –Soil Erosion
                   –Fire Damage
                   –Compaction
                   –Sprung Roots
             Crown Indicators
   Structural Characteristics observed in
    the Crown.
    –   Dead Tops
    –   Broken Tops
    –   Fire Damage
    –   Forks
    –   Defective and Hanging Limbs
    –   Leaning Trees
   Crown Indicators of Root Defect
    – Loss of needles / leaves, thinning crowns
    – Discoloration
    – stress cone / seed crop
       Structural Characteristics - Crown




   Dead Trees and Broken Tops
Structural Characteristics - Crown




                 Forks
       Structural Characteristics - Crown




   Fire Damage to
    Crown of Tree
       Structural Characteristics - Crown


   Witches Brooms
    are an example of
    defective limbs.
   Heavy snow,
    wind, or other
    conditions can
    cause these limbs
    to break and fall
Structural Characteristics - Crown




                   Dead branches
Structural Characteristics - Crown

                 Long standing leaning
                   trees have grown a
                   vertical top
                  Developed re-enforced
                   root systems to
                   compensate
                  Are less of a hazard
                   than….
Structural Characteristics - Crown

              …. recent leaning trees
         Crown Indicators of Root Defect




   Loss of needles/leaves, thinning crowns, dieback
Crown Indicators of Root Defect




           Stress cone
            Bole Indicators
 Indicators   of Butt, Stem and Bole
 Defects:
  – Decay
  – Swelling
  – Cracks and Splits
  – Fire Scars
  – Burned out bole
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects




   Decay - Rots
     Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects




   Decay - Conks
     Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects




   Bole swellings
      Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects




   Cracks and Splits - Lightning
     Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects




   Cracks and Splits - Windshake
    Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects




            Cracks and Splits – Frost
    Cracks
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects

              Fire Scars
 Indicators of Butt,
Stem, Bole Defects




    Burned bole of
     tree, adjacent to
     road
Root and Tree Base Indicators
   Observed at the base of the tree
    –   Basil Resin Flow
    –   Mushrooms
    –   Butt Rots
    –   Wind Throw
    –   Fire Damage
    –   Burned root
    –   Water
    –   Soil Erosion
    –   Compaction
    –   Sprung Roots
            Indicators of Root Defects




   Basil Resin Flow
         Indicators of Root Defects




   Mushrooms
          Indicators of Root Defects




   Butt Rots
Indicators of Root Defects




                      Wind-throw
           Indicators of Root Defects




   Fire Damage
Indicators of Root Defects




         Burned
          Root
                     Guy’s Summer Vacation 2003
I just got back from two vacations. I took a few pictures so I thought
                  I would share them with everybody.
  The last vacation was 2 weeks of elk hunting in Colorado with my
    bow. Hiking around at 11,500 feet was fun but exhausting. I
                     survived and so did all the elk.
   The first vacation was a little different. I took two weeks of annual leave to go to
 Montana with the Forest Service to be a Safety Officer. I was assigned to the Ball Fire
near Glacier National Park. Everything was going fine until I heard the “Rocky Boy #20”
crew boss call “Medical Emergency- Clear the Tac Channel !!” Being the S.O. assigned
                         to that division, I hustled over to find:
I left the medical stuff to the EMT’s and began my investigation of the incident.
It didn’t take long to find out that a tree had fallen on Carl. The Forest Service
  calls these trees “snags” and by western standards this was a small ”snag”.
It had burned through at the base and fallen without

                 warning or noise.
Indicators of Root Defects




         Burned
          Root
Carl the firefighter was hit on the back of the head and knocked down

                          into the ashes.
Note the round hole above his left ear where a limb stub
                       entered.
Carl was conscious but dazed. He was carried down the
mountain on a stretcher and medivaced to a Kalispell, MT
                        hospital.
 Carl was in good enough shape to be sent
  to his home hospital two days after the
  accident.
 What I learned on my summer vacation:
  Keep that plastic hat on your head, it
  could save your life too!!
 Thanks To:
       Guy Slayden
       Tallapoosa County Manager
       Alabama Forestry Commission
           Indicators of Root Defects




   Water Erosion
              Indicators of Root Defects




    Soil
    Erosion
         Indicators of Root Defects




   Compaction
Indicators of Root Defects




                     Sprung Roots
Changed Condition
Changed
Condition
Changed Condition
Changed Condition
Changed
Condition
Changed
Condition
Changed
Condition
Change Condition
  Root Rot Pockets
Change Condition
 Beetle Infestation
                       Changed Condition
                         Beetle Infestation




Examples of beetle attacks on selected trees.
Beetles in and of themselves do not cause structural defects.
However, beetles do bring in decay fungi that over time may cause additional
defects in the tree.

.
Changed Condition
    Lightning
Change Condition
Thunderstorms & Wind
Change Condition
    Tornados
Changed condition
    Blow-down
Changed condition
    Blow-down
 Changed Condition
Vegetation Management
           Hindsight is 20/20.
This was an actual close call, no one was hurt.
What were the indicators?
When do you
think this tree
   will fall?

Would you bet
your life on it?
What does this scene indicate?
What’s wrong with this picture?
Assessment
   Tools

Recognize an indicator,
  then as appropriate,
  check it out further.
Assessment Tools:
 Checking Further
 Objective: Participants will
 learn 5 basic assessment
tools to ascertain risk level.
     Evaluate External Factors
              Thump
         Dig at the Roots
         Chip at the Bark
               Bore
Assessment Tools:
   Checking Further
 All of these techniques require field
 practice and experience to become
              proficient.
      Assessment Tools:
Evaluate External Factors
  Lean
  Wind
  Widow Makers
  Rot Pockets
  Burnt or Damaged Soils and Roots
  Eroded Soil
  Soggy Soil
  Adjacent Leaners
Assessment Tools:
                 Thumping
Striking the bole with a solid object, usually the back
of an axe, will produce a revealing tone.
Practice thumping trees and then fell or bore to
confirm suspicion.
In time, and with good coaching, one will become quite
proficient at predicting a tree bole’s condition.
     Assessment Tools:
        Dig at the Roots
Digging around the roots will reveal
important information. If the roots are
really bad, you will know it. However, if
you see good roots at the base of the tree
this doesn‟t tell you if there are bad
roots…the bad roots may be further away
from the tree or in the tap root.
       - Rotten
      - Green and Solid
      - Dead and Solid
      - Burned Off or Damaged
  Assessment Tools:
  Chip at the Bark

 When the roots prove to
be sound, and we remain
curious about what afflicts
 this tree, chipping at the
bark with and axe or saw
   may reveal fungus or
     insect infestation.
       Assessment Tools:
                   Bore

Using the tip of a chainsaw, a drill, or an
increment bore, burrow into the into the interior
of the bole and assess the wood.

The nature of the chips, and the resistance to
the cutting action will reveal the condition of
interior wood.
                 Summary
   Be Aware
    – Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around


   Develop a curious mind and check things
    out.

   Seek out local and site specific
    information.

   Mitigate hazards
    – Avoid or Eliminate
    – Do Not Walk Under the Lean
    Conclusion
 What did you learn?
   Indicators of tree
    structural issues

Changing conditions and
  changing risk levels.

Assessment tools to help
     ascertain risk.
            Acknowledgements
Kim Johnson, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot
National Forest, and Paul Chamberlin, USDI, Fish
and Wildlife Service, thank the following individuals
for their slides and contributions:
–   Marcus Jackson, USDA Forest Service, Region 1
–   Blakey Lockman, USDA Forest Service, Region 1
–   Ken Gibson, USDA Forest Service, Region 1
–   RC Carroll, USDA Forest Service, Lolo National Forest
–   Todd Wilson, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National
    Forest
–   Winston Rall, USDA Forest Service, Region 6
–   Charlie Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot National
    Forest
–   Thomas Thompson, USDA Forest Service, Bitterroot
    National Forest
–   Keith Woods, USDA Forest Service, Aerial Fire Depot
            Acknowledgements
The Following Publications were used as information and
  photograph sources:
  -Hagle, Tunnock, Gibson, and Gilligan, 1987, Field
  Guide to Disease and Insect Pests of Idaho and
  Montana, R1-89-54
  -Harvey and Hessburg, 1992, Long Range Planning for
  Developed Sites in the Pacific Northwest, FPM-TP039-
  92
  -USDA, Forest Service, R6, Disease Management
  Notes
  -USDA, Forest Service, R1, Montana Department of
  Natural Resources and Conservation, and Idaho
  Department of Lands, Forest Insect and Diseases
  Identification and Management
        THANK YOU
          Comments?
          Questions?



www.fs.fed.us/r1/forest_range
 /hazard_trees/home.htm

				
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