Moving Day!

This morning I begin the process of relocation to beautiful Whidbey Island, Washington. Later this week I begin my new job as Fire Chief with Central Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue.

Coupeville Harbor at Sunrise


As I have been packing and preparing for my move all weekend, I have not had time to develop an in-depth Monday morning post. However, I did run across an interesting video clip a few weeks ago that ties in well with our ongoing effort to develop skill in reading the fire.


On March 27, 2009 the Emerson and Red Oak Fire Departments were dispatched for a residential fire at 901 Lowell Ave in Emerson, IA. First arriving companies observed a fire on Floor 1 and smoke throughout the structure.

The following video clip appears to have been shot early in incident operations as positive pressure ventilation is being implemented.

Download the B-SAHF Worksheet to use as a reminder while watching the video clip.

As you view the video clip, what do the fire behavior indicators (particularly smoke and air track) tell you about the stage of fire development, burning regime, and effectiveness of tactical operations?


In addition to your general observations of B-SAHF indicators while you watched the video the first time, consider the following questions:

  • Watch the video clip again and examine conditions at the inlet between 0:21 and 0:25. What does the presence of smoke (and particularly dark smoke) pushing from the inlet indicate?
  • Continue the video and examine conditions between 1:02 and 1:10. What do you observe at this point? What do smoke and air track conditions indicate now?
  • Continue on and examine conditions closely between 2:28 and 2:48. What does the variation in smoke and air track indicators at different points on the exterior of the structure tell you?

Back on Schedule!

I plan to be back on track with the next post in the series examining nozzle techniques on Thursday, November 12. I have been having an e-mail conversation BC Mike Walker of the Oklahoma City Fire Department regarding nozzle techniques and flashover. Mike is working on a research project regarding “right for reach and left for life”. Interestingly, when I received Mike’s first e-mail, I was in the process of outlining an upcoming blog post on the concept of “Battle Drills” to deal with or escape from conditions such as those resulting from unplanned changes in ventilation (window failure, wind, etc.).

Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE, CFO

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply