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Anyone else been a bit busy with these ?  We've been out quite a lot lately, here's the latest, 8 hectares 


4 unimogs, 6 firefighting configured land rovers, and a couple of pumps, 5 hours later damping down, think this about the 3rd or 4th reasonable size this week, and a couple across the border in Hants.

Happy to know that I was responsible for introducing the Mogs into service, without them we'd be losing the battle!

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I'm RDS in the Welsh Valleys and Wholetime in Cardiff, feel like I've been going to work for a rest recently with the Grass / Mountain fires in the Valleys!

Not had as bad as some further up, but been pretty consistent most evenings over the last 2 weeks.

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We have been fairly quiet upto press. Looks like the dry weather has been specifically down on the South and East coast.

I have done  a lot of work with our response and FOG plans and the introduction of new equipment so would like to get the chance to test them out.


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I keep trying Ian :) We have the lead of the CFOA group here in Lancs and he is keen to push offensive burning and further improve our wildfire knowledge so you never know.

But Catalonia is more appealing. He also has the info for the Unimogs but our fleet services seem fixed on Polaris or Haaglunds. 

I am hoping to get down to the UK Wildfire conference in November so might get the chance to meet up with you then.

  • Kudos 1
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Yes, we use the leaf blowers in Manchester. Both our wildfire stations on the outskirts have them and many support stations completed the training a few years ago. 

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6 hours ago, Ian said:

Is anyone apart from Hants using high powered leaf blowers for grass fires etc?

Yes, here in Queensland we have them

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We have 2 based at the 5 wildfire stations now in Lancs. Great piece of kit but they do have limitations and expose wearer to greater risk if nit used correctly that's why Northumberland are holding back on introducing them I believe. 

All wildfire guidance documents refer to firefighting ops from the safe zone ( Burnt area) but this isn't possible with the blowers due to creating spot fires from the embers.

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On 20/04/2017 at 06:16, Ian said:

Is anyone apart from Hants using high powered leaf blowers for grass fires etc?

Used to good effect here over last couple of years.

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I think LFB have had a few 4 pump grass fires recently.... a quarter of a football pitch in the middle of a council estate type of thing. :D:D

Seriously though, we've had a few four pumpers involving some of the common's in the suburbs... We had a handful of large ones in 2013, but (with the exception of us helping at Swinley Forest in May 2011, we haven't had a flat out grass fire season since 2006). I noted my lawn is goig brown in places which is unusual so early on, it hasn't been a particulalry wet winter down here in the SE and it hasn't rained proplerly for weeks now. Maybe my last summer in LFB will be like those I had in 1990, 1995, 2003 , 2005 and 2006?

The thing for us is not the size of them, but the sheer volume. That day in 2006, there were literally dozens of grass fires 3,4, 6 & 8 pump jobs all going at once and we pretty much ran out of Pumps. I was at one in Hornchurch County Park, 3 or 4 different fires all burnt into one. I had just got back from another 8 pump grass fire in Dagenham when my pager informed me of Chris W asking for 3 pumps at the job.... I wolfed a cheese sandwich, jumped in the shower soon to have Mrs D shouting "Pager"

I got out and Chris had now made it 6 so I was on my way. I didn't see Chris for a handover but took the job via handheld radio, looked at the fires moving in different directions. I decided we needed 8 and got someone to make it up. The next two available motors were from Bow and Homerton, both the PL's as the Pumps were already out. The significance was there is about 20 stations between them and where I was, they did get there but we pretty much had it licked with the 6 anyway.

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The thing about grass fires is it doesn't matter how much greenery is nearby, it's the number of little sods who want to torch it that makes you busy.

This is why suburban London can be surprisingly busy in the summer


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Although there has been a significant downturn, successive wet Augusts from 2007 to 2012 seemed to have the effect of a gap in kids learning from the older kids the ‘fun’ of lighting fires.

How the Fire Chiefs like to congratulate themselves for successfully reducing fires. Well, here’s the news, you owe in no particular order; Xbox/PlayStation manufacturers, snowflake parents scared to let their snowflake kids out, drop off in smoking so kids are not witness to lighters and matches being used and any mobile device that all kids seemed to be glued to all of the time now as the world passes them by…. Now if they invented an app to light fires?????

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3 hours ago, Steve said:

Now if they invented an app to light fires?????

I believe there is one called 'tinder', I can only assume that's what it's for...

Such a valid point though Guv. Do you happen to know what year 'guy faulkes procedure' was last inplemented in London?

A lot of things have changed with kids, where I grew up in Manchester you were forever seeing old Rover's and the like being pinched, doing donuts and then being burnt out but we cars being a lot harder to nick these days you tend to find car thieves going for the upmarket stuff.

Back on topic though in my few years in London we have had a couple of grass fires around the Welsh Harp and the like but nothing compared to battering I used to take in Lancashire.. they were very hot, long days!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Out of curiosity what is the "guy faulkes procedure"? 

Also there is a 9 pump forest fire in Perthshire on the go just now dur to the dry conditions, one of many north of the border this last week.

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We've not had any wildfire type incidents but have been fairly busy going to hedge fires, bonfires out of control etc, as they have spread. 

Seems to have gone quiet on that front again now but I reckon it's going to be a dry summer this year ?

Here in H&W we do have some leaf blowers dotted round, for wildfire, but not exactly sure where they are.

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Really kicked off here in the past few days with 161 incidents since 18.00 yesterday including this one. In the first five days of the month there were 221 gorse related incidents, up from 19 last year.

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On 25/04/2017 at 17:44, LiamG said:

Such a valid point though Guv. Do you happen to know what year 'guy faulkes procedure' was last inplemented in London?

I think it was 2013? Can't remember to be honest as it doesn't affect me.

On 04/05/2017 at 23:03, Bm96 said:

Out of curiosity what is the "guy faulkes procedure"? 

Guy Fawkes night procedure was used in LFB due to the high number of bonfire calls attended on Nov 5th. Crews just went around dealing with bonfires without having to send stop messages, they just attended and booked availbale again. To be honest, I think it was more about reducing radio traffic at control than doing anything for the crews. Which back in the far off days before coded stops (before my time) would have meant the radios were full of longish messages, "From Stn O Smith, stop for 15 high street, bonfire, one jet". With many of the then 115 stations attending anywhere from 15-50 bonfire calls on the night would have been a nightmare for the radio operators.

Incidentally, the busiest bonfire night I recall was when I was ADO at Poplar in 2003 and they had 55 calls on their ground with stations from as far away as Knightsbridge in the area. Next door at Bethnal Green had 47 with many others locally seeing 20 plus calls.

All part of our glorious past now.

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