Teton Village Fire trains for dangerous wind-driven fire scenario

(Teton Village, Wyo.) - The Teton Village Fire Department has a unique job. Unlike many fire departments, they deal with a dramatically fluctuating population, large hotels (“mid-rise” or “high-rise” structures) and the wild land urban interface. As a result, the department trains for a wide variety of scenarios. Last week, the firefighters trained for wind-driven fire. "Wind-driven fires are a rare but very dangerous fire occurring when a window or door fails during a structure fire and windy conditions feed copious oxygen to already burning fuels within the structure," said 1st Lieutenant, ADO-P and training officer Eric L. Page. "This creates a blow torch effect in the fire room and eventually into other parts of the structure. Research into this type of fire has shown temperatures in hallways in excess of 1,500 degrees F. This is very difficult to manage in high-rise buildings because firefighters cannot access the fire with exterior hose lines (the buildings are too tall) to cool the space from the outside (which is what we would do if this happened to a normal home). With the possibility of the aforementioned 'blowtorching' in the access hallways, fire crews cannot attack the fire from the interior either." According to Page, research by NIST with FDNY and Chicago FD showed that by deploying fire “blankets” to cover the opening from the floor above eliminated the wind-driven effect enough to allow interior operations to extinguish the fire. "The whole evolution is quite complex, combining evacuation, elevator control, building HVAC control, stand pipe operations (the “hydrant” system built into high-rise structures), fire blanket operations, pumping/engineering, support operations, etc.," Page added. In the photos below, a specialty fire blanket is dropped from the 5th floor to cover the 4th floor window where our simulated fire was. "One firefighter captures the tag lines from the blanket on the 3rd floor and makes adjustments to the position of the blanket over the 4th floor window. Additionally, the coordinated stand pipe attack team waits until the blanket is in place to make their move advancing the 2 1/2” hose from the stairwell to the fire room. Finally, the truck engineer must supply the stand pipe with water at the appropriate psi to provide the attack team with the water then need to knock the fire down," Page explained. [image: Inline image 1] [image: Inline image 2] [image: Inline image 3] *[image: Inline image 4]* *[image: Inline image 5]* *All Photos: h/t Teton Village Fire Department / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news