This post uses a video from:
THE SMOKEY GENERATION: A WILDLAND FIRE ORAL HISTORY AND DIGITAL STORYTELLING PROJECT
The Smokey Generation is a website dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories and oral history of wildland fire.
By Travis Dotson
“I still kick myself for this…”
Ever felt that way? We all have. That is called hindsight. When we look back it’s easy to see what we should have done.
How do we take a “bad feeling” into pro-active mode?
“It’s so hard to put your finger on that bad feeling.” Yes.
“Talk about it, get it out in the open…maybe you’re not the only one.” Action.
Be able to say this: “Here’s my worst case scenario for the day and it’s sure going that way right now, maybe it’s time to talk about it.” Bam.
Thank you for the wisdom Dan.
By Travis Dotson
OK – super simple deal here. Go look under your UTV, specifically look between the skid plate and the floorboard. Chances are there is a bunch of grass and sticks and stuff packed in that little space. It’s probably all dried out and primed to ignite – all it needs is a heat source – and we drive these things around in one big heat source.
Grass packed in
Grass by wires
Areas where materiel entered
Don’t think it’s possible? Tell that to the folks who have had it happen to them. Thankfully, some of those folks took pictures and wrote up the event and shared it with us here at the Lessons Learned Center – now we can tell you to go clean your UTV up so it doesn’t catch on fire while you’re driving it!
Here are some quotes from the reports:
“…vegetation lodged between skid plate and underbody ignited, burning a hole through floorboard…”
“Firefighter noticed flames protruding through the floorboard. A shovel with sand and the UTV fire extinguisher were used to suppress the flames.”
“Described as looking ‘like a hay bale,’ the material—packed in tightly—completely filled the compartment.”
“While using a 2016 Polaris 6×6 UTV on a prescribed fire, an accumulation of fine fuels located in an enclosed compartment under the UTV’s floorboard and above the skid plate ignited.”
“This fire melted a four-foot hole in the skid plate and floorboard and caused extensive damage to wiring and the gear selector cable.”
You get the picture – now go check your UTV.
UTV Floorboard Fire RLS 2017
UTV Flammable Debris RLS 2014
UTV Fire SAFENET 2014