Today’s Idaho Statesman investigates the death of a 65-year-old dozer operator who was contracted to help fight a wildfire near Kamiah (click on “Satellite” in upper-right to get nice post-burn imagery of this 2013 fire).
Had the dozer operator been a BLM-employed firefighter, he would have to take and pass an annual fitness test and fill out a health questionnaire. He would also have to have been no more than 57 years old. [Note, as reported by the Statesman, early news reports on his death state he was in his young 50s — slip of the tongue?].
What compelling reasons justify two different fitness & age criteria for wildland firefighters? Are we less concerned about the health and welfare of contracted firefighters?
I had my say in the Statesman article; now it’s your turn.
PS: Here’s the Idaho/BLM fire fatality investigation report.