ABOUT

We strive to fill a recognized gap in available information and training on safe and effective use of heavy equipment in forest and wildfire management.  We have seen generational changes in forest and fire management practices -for better, and for worse- that compel us to share our collective knowledge and experience in mechanized equipment operations.  Our approach is to encourage positive field practices and to solve problems, regardless of one’s affiliation with private, non-profit or government organization.

Our online project aims to complement the efforts of the wildfire community, with minimal duplication.  Whenever possible, we credit available work of others by web links and project references.  Information, services and materials found here are not solely directed at agencies, although we acknowledge the significant role of government in managing public lands on behalf of citizens.

TEAMWORK

Obie O’Brien and Val Jaffe initiated this online project in the Fall of 2016 to offer their combined experience and focus on improving forest and wildfire management practices.  Several colleagues and collaborators, including Jim Steele and Kevin Erickson,  join us to share field and office lessons learned in using heavy equipment in forestry and fire operations.

Kevin

Kevin

Regional/National Fire Equipment Specialist, USFS (retired), Hot Shot and Smokejumper Firefighter, Job Corp Trades Instructor. Hamilton, Montana.

Obie

Obie

Forest Operations Engineering, Helena, Montana.Heavy Equipment Technical Specialist (HETS), trainer, Engineer, Forester, technical writer, road warrior. Specializes in timber harvesting systems, logging safety, forest road planning and the use of mechanized forestry equipment in forest fire suppression, fuels reduction and post-fire site rehabilitation.

Val

Val

Technical Writer, Project Manager, GIS and forestry focus. Interdisciplinary Masters in Forest Management/Forest Science/Geography, Oregon State University, 1986. Employed 18 years in natural resource information and management for agencies and private industry. Owner/Manager for 15 years, Tea Gardens Technology LLC, Helena, Montana.

Jim

Jim

Jocko Consulting, Arlee,
Montana - wildland fire services, emergency response, wildfire origin and cause investigations and reviews, fire ecology; Consulting Forester; Heavy Equipment Technical Specialist (HETS); Volunteer Fire Department Captain. Timber Sales Forester; Silviculturalist; Contract Administrator; Fuels Manager; Fire Management Officer; Training Specialist- Northern Rockies Training Center; Structure firefighter.