Indians Fire A Zaca Fire Redux?

The Indians Fire burning in the Ventana Wilderness and Fort Hunter Liggett was 50% contained at 41,000 acres but is now at 35% containment according to the updated ICS-209 report.

Recall the Zaca Fire when the fire command lost it after nearly pinching it off at 35,000 acres? As I recall it was the same ICS team, CIIMT2 in control when the fire squeezed through a small pass and exploded to the S/E claiming another 200,000 acres before it was stopped in Ventura County.

So far 9 firefighters have been injured on the Indians Fire,at least 3 of the injuries were the result of a burnover that required hospitalization of at least one firefighter.

Now that the fire is firmly established in a Wilderness designated area don’t look for this to be a priority. Like the Zaca, and countless other such fires including the Marble-Cone Fire that burned 177,000 acres in 1977 (only miles from the Indians Fire scene) the Forest Service will milk this baby for awhile.

Example; from the ICS-209 tonight

Given the current constraints, when will the chosen management strategy succeed?

A projected date will be provided upon the completion of long term strategy planning.”

It’s understandable they want to pad the budgets, it’s cultural within the Forest Service but my thoughts anymore are with the younger firefighters who really believe they are there to put the fire out. Firefighter retention within the Forest Service is a big problem. Forest Service firefighters are bolting to Cal Fire, not only for pay and better hours but to actually fight fire instead of babysitting dead divisions on prolonged events.

Draw your own conclusions. Follow the Indians Fire at Inciweb.

More information from the Incident 209 (via email and NIFC pdf)


*The incident remains under unified command with CIIMT2 (Molumby, IC), Cal Fire (Hutchinson, IC), and Fort Hunter Liggett (Crum, IC). Long range strategic plans continue to be developed. Perimeter calculations are based on the primary control line. The correction to the number of residences destroyed in blk. 25 is due further assessment performed during todays operational period.

Short Location Description (in reference to nearest town):

*Ventana Wilderness, West of Fort Hunter Liggett

Start Date


Expected Containment Date:

(None specified)

Today’s observed fire behavior (leave blank for non-fire events):

Primarily backing with some moderate slope runs. Single and group tree torching were observed.

Actions planned for next operational period:

Continue indirect line construction. Prepare for future firing operations. Patrol and hold line. provide structure protection.

Total personnel assigned:

2,400 +

Image, Rapidfire