The sun is glistening, the snow is bitching and the flowers are dancing. Spring is here and its time to get your wildland gear front and ready. It’s already shaping up to be a dry year, walking in the woods it was easy to find slash and needles dry enough to ignite (this time last year we had over three feet of snow on the ground).
Inspect your webbing. Make sure your straps still fit and that all your attachments are still in place on your webbing. Pour out that stale water, clean those canteens and get some fresh water in them. Test your webbing tools such as your hose clamp, that they are functioning properly. Inspect your fire shelter, make sure it doesn’t house a family of mice and that you can locate it and grab it quickly off your webbing. Also be sure to have any personal items ready to go and spare batteries (that are full) for flashlights, radios, GPS, etc.
Look over your PPE’s for any holes, excessive wear or melted candy bars in the pockets. Confirm you have hearing and eye protection readily available in your pockets, its always good to carry extras for others. Wash your goggle’s lens. Check your boot strings and soles, not a bad idea to put some insoles in for extra comfort and support. Get that incident response pocket guide out and re-familiarize it with yourself.
Go through your wildland fire response vehicles and assure you know where all the tools live, show new members where they are. Check to make sure all the tools have been properly maintained. See how many hose packs you have and how much hose the engine has. Make sure you can fit the crews structure gear on board for any fire you might have to turn and start structure protection on. Also a good time to stock fresh drinking water, MREs, protein bars, etc. on the engine.
Finally, get yourself mentally prepared. Look over your training notes, retake Basic 32 or any other wildland classes that you feel you have forgotten. Wildland season is here and it can be an extented season. Don’t let a wildland fire catch you off guard.