Fw: Soldiers continue fire-line work
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From: ArmyLINK News Story <armylinknews_sender@...>
To: ARMYLINKNEWS-L@... <ARMYLINKNEWS-L@...>
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000 5:49 AM
Subject: Soldiers continue fire-line work
>Content-Length: 2974challenge: constructing a dirt path with axes, picks, and other basic
> Text Version
>by Russ Goemaere and Daniel Hobson
> NINEMILE COMPLEX, Mont. (Army News Service, Aug. 28, 2000) --The
fire-fighting hand tools up part of a steep Montana hillside that's more
than three times taller than the Empire State Building in New York.
> Soldiers from Team Warhorse of Task Force Lumberjack the day risingto the challenge in an effort to curb the spread of a complex of fires that
have burned more than 21,000 acres in the Ninemile area of western Montana.
> "These guys do the best fire-fighting work, real Type I hotshotwork," said Mark Nunez, the advisor for Strike Team Warhorse. Nunez, based
out of Los Padres National Forest in Calif., is a professional firefighter
with 12 years of experience and knows good firefighters when he sees them.
> He said the soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division out of FortHood, Texas, have attained Type I standing in just two short weeks of fire
fighting at the Upper Ninemile Fire Complex.
> Under the leadership of an expert fire-fighting veteran like Nunez,Team Warhorse -- comprised of men ranging in age from 19 to 38 -- finished
the three-day job of constructing a five-foot wide dirt path up the
5,100-foot-tall hill in one day. The path is called a fire line and its
purpose is to stop the spread of fire.
> "We put this path in by hand in one day and it definitely was anall day job," said Spc. Aaron Weaner, a medic with Team Warhorse. With ease,
the soldiers went from wearing the Army's camouflage battle fatigues to
wearing the uniform of firefighters: bright yellow Nomex shirts and green
> "The soldiers have done a great job," Nunez said. "They've handledfour-feet flames. They have called in water drops. They have seen the whole
gambit of fighting wildfires."
> "I guess we're just doing what we can to suppress the fires," saidSpc. Tyronne Moore, a fuel handler hailing from Norfolk, Va. "I'm looking
forward to completing the mission here; then we can go back to Fort Hood
where I can go back to my usual duties."
> Normal duties here include mop-up operations with pick tools andwater, constructing fire lines through the forest, and operating water
hoses. As they fight the fire, the soldiers carry around 35 to 40 pounds of
tools and equipment, including close to a gallon of water.
> The majority of Lumberjack soldiers are normally in combat arms andthey're used to hard manual labor. According to Nunez the soldiers were
easily turned into firefighters.
> "The teamwork is already there for these Army guys," he said. "Iwould like to work with these guys every year if I could.
> Team Warhorse and the other teams of the task force are scheduledto remain in Montana until mid-September.
> (Editor's note: Russ Goemaere and Daniel Hobson are with the 19thPublic Affairs Detachment in Montana.)
> Link to original news item: