August 12, 2021 – Flagler County Prescribed Fire Program Supervisor Michael Orlando has been assigned to the Monument Fire in Northern California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest, well north of Sacramento.

Resiliency and Resource Stewardship Manager Tim Telfer – Orlando’s supervisor – on Wednesday morning said, “He’s already been reassigned to the Monument Fire for a two-week assignment. He will be on the night shift … securing and defending structures and reinforcing indirect lines.”

The Monument Fire incident webpage said night crews were taking advantage of favorable conditions for a “firing operation.”

“What that means is that they will back-burn between the fire line and the fire itself to clean the fuel from the gap,” Telfer said.  “An indirect line is established a safe distance away from the fire itself. Crews will then burn from that fire line to consume the fuel between the two areas. Back burns are often set at night when temperatures drop, humidity increases, and other weather parameters work in firefighters’ favor.”

Orlando in a message to Telfer said the work is challenging.

“Night shift on this fire is a whole nother [stet] animal,” he said.

Before he left, Orlando said it is an honor to deploy to help firefighters elsewhere in the country protect their residents affected by current wildfires. The experience is valuable, too.

“Being exposed to western fires allows me to better assist back home in the event that we experience fires of that magnitude,” said Orlando, who is tasked with managing prescribed fire operations and wildfire mitigation in Flagler County to protect assets such as Princess Place Preserve. “As the fire environment is changing for many reasons, we are going to need to change the way we look at fires in Florida. Through training and experience we will be able to better prepare and prevent those types of fires.”

Highlighted activity provided by the U.S. Forest Service indicates the fire is 62,490 acres, and is only 3% contained. As of Monday, nearly 700 people had been assigned to the fire – seven hand crews, 68 engines, five helicopters, 11 dozers, two water tenders, and five masticators. Damage assessment crews have confirmed 31 structures have been destroyed, and another damaged.

Media Release: Flagler County. Julie Murphy, MPIO. Lacy Martin, Marketing Media Manager

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