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Hazard Tree Safety

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Title: Hazard Tree Safety


1
Hazard Tree Safety
Up The Anteand An Interactive Study
2
Presented ToInternational Wildland Firefighter
Safety Summit
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • November 18, 2003
  • Paul Chamberlin
  • Interagency Fire Operations Safety
  • Aerial Fire Depot
  • Missoula, Montana

3
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

4
In the Northern Rockies, these situations were
well managed
5
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!

6
Even when properly managed, we are still having
problems
7
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

8
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

9
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

10
Guiding Thoughts
  • Query the Workforce
  • Consolidate Their Ideas
  • Get the Word Out

11
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.

12
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

13
Program Goals
  • All functions
  • Trails
  • Fire
  • Timber
  • Researchers
  • Engineers
  • Contractors
  • Public

14
Program Goals
  • All functions
  • 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

15
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

16
Success is achieved when
  • Wise, concise, and achievable concepts become
    part of the culture

17
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

18
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

19
Find Up the Ante and Interactive Study on
the Internet
  • www.fs.fed.us/r1/forest_range/hazard_trees/home.ht
    m

20
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

21
An Interactive StudyCombines
Findings from Up the Ante Kim Johnsons
Potential Green Tree Hazards
Interdisciplinary Committee
22
Hazard Tree Awareness
  • An Interactive Study of
  • Hazard Tree Indicators

23
Hazard Tree Awareness
  • Presented with a sincere concern for your safety,
  • by
  • Northern Rockies Federal Land Management Agencies.

24
Interactive Discussion
  • Throughout this program, discuss each example as
    a risk to
  • Someone walking or driving by.
  • A short term camp or work site.
  • A permanent camp site, or facility.

25
Interactive Discussion
  • Throughout this program, discuss each example as
    a risk to
  • Someone walking or driving by.
  • A short term camp or work site.
  • A permanent camp site, or facility.
  • Where a significant risk exists
  • Describe appropriate options.
  • Describe events that will change the risk level.

26
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.

27
Objective Looking for the Indicators
  • Indicators of tree
  • structural issues
  • Changing conditions and changing risk levels.
  • Assessment tools to help ascertain risk.

28
Objective Looking for the Indicators
  • in the Crown,
  • on the Bole,
  • at the Roots and Tree Base,
  • and Changing Conditions.

29
Structural Characteristics observed in the
Crown.Dead TopsBroken TopsFire
DamageForksDefective and Hanging LimbsLeaning
TreesCrown Indicators of Root DefectLoss of
needles / leaves, thinning crowns
Discolorationstress cone / seed crop
Crown Indicators
I N D I C A T O R S
Bole Indicators
  • Indicators of Butt, Stem and Bole Defects
  • Decay
  • Swelling
  • Cracks and Splits
  • Fire Scars
  • Burned out bole

Root and Tree Base Indicators
  • Observed at the base of the tree
  • Basil Resin Flow
  • Mushrooms
  • Butt Rots
  • Wind Throw
  • Burned root
  • Water
  • Soil Erosion
  • Fire Damage
  • Compaction
  • Sprung Roots

Changed Condition
30
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

31
Structural Characteristics - Crown
  • Dead Trees and Broken Tops

32
Structural Characteristics - Crown
  • Forks

33
Structural Characteristics - Crown
  • Fire Damage to Crown of Tree

34
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

35
Structural Characteristics - Crown
  • Dead branches

36
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.

37
Structural Characteristics - Crown
  • . recent leaning trees

38
Crown Indicators of Root Defect
  • Loss of needles/leaves, thinning crowns, dieback

39
Crown Indicators of Root Defect
  • Stress cone

40
Bole Indicators
  • Indicators of Butt, Stem and Bole Defects
  • Decay
  • Swelling
  • Cracks and Splits
  • Fire Scars
  • Burned out bole

41
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects
  • Decay - Rots

42
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects
  • Decay - Conks

43
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects
  • Bole swellings

44
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects
  • Cracks and Splits - Lightning

45
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects
  • Cracks and Splits - Windshake

46
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects
  • Cracks and Splits Frost Cracks

47
(No Transcript)
48
Indicators of Butt, Stem, Bole Defects
  • Burned bole of tree, adjacent to road

49
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

50
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Basil Resin Flow

51
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Mushrooms

52
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Butt Rots

53
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Wind-throw

54
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Fire Damage

55
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Burned Root

56
Guys Summer Vacation 2003I 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.
57
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
58
I left the medical stuff to the EMTs and began
my investigation of the incident. It didnt 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.
59
It had burned through at the base and fallen
without warning or noise.
60
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Burned Root

61
Carl the firefighter was hit on the back of the
head and knocked down into the ashes.
62
(No Transcript)
63
Note the round hole above his left ear where a
limb stub entered.
64
Carl was conscious but dazed. He was carried
down the mountain on a stretcher and medivaced to
a Kalispell, MT hospital.
65
  • 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

66
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Water Erosion

67
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Soil Erosion

68
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Compaction

69
Indicators of Root Defects
  • Sprung Roots

70
Changed Condition
71
ChangedCondition
72
Changed Condition
73
Changed Condition
74
Changed Condition
75
Changed Condition
76
Changed Condition
77
Change Condition Root Rot Pockets
78
Change Condition Beetle Infestation
79
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. .
80
Changed Condition Lightning
81
Change ConditionThunderstorms Wind
82
Change ConditionTornados
83
Changed condition Blow-down
84
Changed condition Blow-down
85
Changed Condition Vegetation Management
86
Hindsight is 20/20.This was an actual close
call, no one was hurt.
87
What were the indicators?
88
When do you think this tree will fall? Would
you bet your life on it?
89
What does this scene indicate?
90
Whats wrong with this picture?
91
AssessmentTools
  • Recognize an indicator, then as appropriate,
    check it out further.

92
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
93
Assessment Tools Checking Further
All of these techniques require field practice
and experience to become proficient.
94
Assessment ToolsEvaluate External Factors
Lean Wind Widow Makers Rot Pockets Burnt or
Damaged Soils and Roots Eroded Soil Soggy
Soil Adjacent Leaners
95
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 boles condition.
96
Assessment ToolsDig 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 doesnt tell you if
    there are bad rootsthe 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


97
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.

98
Assessment ToolsBore

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.
99
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

100
Conclusion What did you learn?
  • Indicators of tree
  • structural issues
  • Changing conditions and changing risk levels.
  • Assessment tools to help ascertain risk.

101
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

102
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

103
THANK YOU
  • Comments?
  • Questions?
  • www.fs.fed.us/r1/forest_range/hazard_trees/home.ht
    m
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