Wildland Firefighting Decision-Making with Chad Costa

It’s getting hotter outside, and that traditionally signals the start of wildland fire season in the U.S.

Nowadays, of course, there’s no real “season” when wildland fires burn. The season can be all year long in some parts of the country.

We won’t argue about the reasons why—suffice it to say, wildland fires are growing bigger and more frequent than in the past.

And, as residents of the northeast U.S. can attest, they are starting to burn in less fire-prone regions.

With that in mind, and considering that this month is the 10th anniversary of the loss of the Granite Mountain Hotshots in Arizona, we’re talking wildland fires.

This time, it’s a sort of primer on decision-making for those fighting fires in the backcountry. And some lessons learned from a guest who’s familiar to those who have listened to Code 3 for a while.

Chad Costa is Assistant Fire Chief for the city of Petaluma, California. He’s had over 20 years of experience working in both urban and wildland firefighting environments, including time at Cal Fire and as an Operations Branch Director for California Interagency Team 1.


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