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Local Staff Ride Archive

Stand 4 - West Flank Fireline (the Stump)

While standing on the West Flank Fireline your vision is obscured by the dense Gamble Oak beginning to grow back to pre-1994 conditions.

The arrival of the second half of the Prineville Hotshot Crew was delayed due to competing priorities for bucket drops from the helicopter. Visibility during line construction was limited due to the tall Gamble Oak brush.

On July 6th between 11:30 and 13:00, two flare-ups occurred on the west flank which forced the group of smokejumpers to momentarily retreat up the fireline toward the top of the ridge. Several of the smokejumpers discussed their concerns about the safety of building the fireline downhill. After a water drop from the helicopter cooled the flare-up, the smokejumpers proceeded back down the fireline; the tree that flared up was cut down leaving the stump as identified as Stand 4.

The second half of the Prineville Hotshot Crew remained on the ridge to work spot fires along the ridge. The Incident Commander, Jumper-in-Charge, and Hotshot Superintendent discussed strategy and fire behavior. At mid-day the winds were observed to be about 6 to10 m.p.h. out of the southwest. Helicopter bucket drops were being used below the fireline on the west flank to help contain some areas that were heating up. The decision was made to continue building line down the west flank.

From Stand 3 the trail drops down into West Drainage and climbs up the opposite side to Zero Point Ridge. Going south from Zero Point the trail is the West Flank Fireline, follow the trail down through fatality sites until you see the marker for The Stump.

Smokejumpers and part of the Prineville Hotshot Crew on the West Flank Fireline, surrounded by thick Gamble Oak on the slope of Storm King Mountain. Photo by Tony Petrilli, U.S. Forest Service.