Firefighter in the Field: The Role of Lookouts in Observing and Monitoring Forest Health

Firefighter in the Field: The Role of Lookouts in Observing and Monitoring Forest Health

By: Trina The idea of living in the boreal forest at a fly-in fire tower for five months is unfathomable for many people – and rightfully so. As a rookie lookout observer, I wasn’t sure what to expect last April when I nervously loaded up my boxes of food and belongings into the helicopter. Was […]

Firefighter in the Field: The Other Side of Wildland Firefighting

Firefighter in the Field: The Other Side of Wildland Firefighting

By: Natalie, Helitack Member, Calgary Forest Area We talk a lot about battling wildfires and the long days on the fireline. What about the other side of being a wildland firefighter? When we are not chasing down smoke calls, what else are we doing? Let me tell you about all the projects we have on the […]

Firefighter in the Field: Making an Impact

Firefighter in the Field: Making an Impact

By: Josh Fort McMurray was the most high-profile wildfire I have ever been a part of. I first heard about the fire back in May when I was still in Type I Helitack training. Along with everyone else in training, I could not help but feel helpless as the wildfire continued on and through Fort […]

Firefighter in the Field: An Office in the Sky

Firefighter in the Field: An Office in the Sky

By: Trina Some joke that a veteran lookout observer can wake up in the morning, step outside their cabin, take one long look up at the sky, and feel in their bones what kind of fire day it’s going to be. Of the 127 lookout observers in Alberta, the majority have at least a few […]

Firefighter in the Field: My First Fire Season

Firefighter in the Field: My First Fire Season

By: Mary Schidlowsky, Grande Prairie Unit Crew In 2012, the Grande Prairie Unit Crew was established; the first 20 person Unit Crew in the province was formed after the devastating Slave Lake wildfires of 2011. Our group is structured to fight wildfire across the province, to be a self-sustained action crew and work long hours […]