5021 Verdugo Way, Ste 105-301, Camarillo, CA. 93012
Offce: (310) 710-2624 • Fax: (805) 504-9530
email@example.com • www.hotshield.com
My face & lungs need protection in my line of work.
I was tired of choking on ash & smoke and getting peppered with burning embers.
I GOT THE BEST...I GOT A HOT SHIELD!
percent to 50 percent of the USFS’s annual budget. These costs are predicted to
increase to 67 percent by 2025. To manage the rising costs of fire suppression,
the USFS has reduced forest restoration
projects designed to decrease the threat
of wildfires, resulting in a vicious cycle
of increased wildfire risk. 7 A solution proposed to Congress is to classify wildfires
as natural disasters so that the USFS can
receive emergency funds for these catastrophic events without reducing funding
for prevention or restoration.
Third-Generation Fire Shelter
Not only do hotshots have little pro-
tection from escaped fires, but also they
don’t have RI Ts standing by for rescue.
Their only protection is their education,
training, fire-resistant clothing, and fire
shelter. The second-generation fire shelter
approved by the USFS has been stan-
dard equipment for wildland firefighters
since 2002. According to the USFS, these
shelters have a capacity to withstand ap-
proximately 500°F. That’s the temperature
at which the weakest component of the
shelter, the adhesive that binds the inner
and outer layer, starts to fail. Once the
adhesive fails, the outer layer can easily
be removed by wind. Additionally, the foil
outer layer disintegrates at about 1,300°F.
North Carolina State University is currently working under a Federal Emergency
Management Agency grant to produce a
more effective fire shelter. The university’s
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources is working closely with the
College of Textiles, Textile Protection,
and Comfort Center ( T-PACC) on the
project. The team feels confident that they
can produce a third-generation fire shelter
that will have the ability to prevent another loss like the Granite Mountain Hotshots. NASA’s Langley Research Center is
simultaneously working with the USFS to
produce the third-generation fire shelter.
The goal is for the USFS to select a better
fire shelter in 2018.
Making Future Hotshots Safer
Improved shelter technology is an
obvious direction for preventing future loss
of life to wildland firefighters. However,
McDonough fears that better equipment
will result in firefighters taking more
risks and pushing deeper into fires. ( 4)
Instead, he advocates for equipment that
will benefit wildland firefighters in other
ways, such as a locator that continuously
transmits the hotshot’s location. According
to McDonough, an incident management
team sitting remotely would be able to have
an up-to-the-second visual of every hotshot
while also keeping an eye on the fire and
changing weather conditions. With eyes on
the crews as well as the conditions, they
could more quickly warn endangered fire-
fighters and notify nearby pilots who could
drop retardant to assist them.
Before deploying their shelters, the
Granite Mountain Hotshot crew called
for an air attack. However, because of
poor radio communications, the pilot was
unable to copy their radio traffic or locate
the crew in time to provide protection.
Satellite emergency notification devices
(SENDs), which use satellite signals when
there is no cellular service, might have
saved these firefighters. SENDs also have
an SOS button that allows a firefighter