Thursday, July 28, 2011

Monument Fire demonstrates a new type of behavior

During the Monument Fire the Type I, Northern Incident Management Team coined a new fire term “blow-outs.” Textbooks on wildland fire have long recognized the term “blow-ups,” but nowhere in these books will you find reference to “blow-outs.” They are not identical fire situations and apparently, blow-outs are reported for the first time during the Monument Fire. Both Cochise County residents and firefighters had an opportunity to witness an apparently unprecedented occurrence that consistently modeled itself over three separate days giving new insight into how wildland fire can behave. One can assume this new term evolved spontaneously on the fire scene by derivation from the existing wild land fire lexicon and as a variant of the term “blow-up.” The term blow-out will now accommodate what was observed and experienced on these three different days during the Monument Fire in Ash, Stump and Miller Canyons in June 2011. Both types of fire situations have several apparent similarities or traits in common. On these occasions, the blow-outs appeared to evolve from what began as blow-up fires. Either fire term can function in the lexicon as a noun but is derivative of several verb senses found in the dictionary: cause to burst with a violent release of energy; make large; burst and release energy as through a violent chemical or physical reaction; and to swell or cause to enlarge. And all cases here seem to apply in this dramatic sense from what was observed from those close-by and afar, be it in the air or on the ground...more

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