Wildland (or, why I don't want to be a firefighter in California)

Yes, that's right. In D.C., of all places, two engine companies and a truck company extinguished about a half-acre of burning foliage in Southeast Washington earlier this year. Okay, so it wasn't actual wildland firefighting—but it's about as close as we'll get in an urban environment.

There's a big grouping of trees located behind a recreation center that is used more often than not as a dumping ground for stolen automobiles (which then usually end up on fire). Burned out car parts and chunks of rubber are everywhere. When Engine 32 responded for smoke in the area, I'm sure that's what they were expecting; it was surprising, I'm sure, to find out that the woods themselves were on fire this time.

Even just the small amount of shoveling, raking, and cutting that we had to do was pretty exhausting. That wildland stuff is for the birds; tell the guys out west that they can keep it. I'll take hydrants and hoselines over Pulaskis and shovels, thank you.



  • Will says:

    Was the DCFD brush unit dispatched? I've always found that somewhat amusing there was one (or was as of a year ago).

    • raisingladders says:

      There is still one in service at Engine 7′s quarters, yes. But no, they weren’t dispatched. (Hey, I just work here, I don’t make these decisions, haha.)

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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic

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