Following Up with Jeff Crandall

It has been an unprecedented year for fire in Colorado. From Fort Collins to Boulder and down to Colorado Springs, it felt like the entire Front Range – if not the entire state – was on fire at one point. We sat down with Southern Rockies Wildland Fire Module Leader Jeff Crandall to get an update on how The Nature Conservancy’s crew is holding up and making a difference.
“Colorado has experienced large fires in the past but this year we’ve had multiple, expansive, high severity fires all burning at the same time in different parts of the state.”

-Jeff Crandall
Southern Rockies Wildland Fire Module

What fires have you been dispatched to so far this season?

Jeff Crandall:

The Module has been to the Fox Fire, Hewlett Fire, Stuart Hole Fire and Little Sand Fire in Colorado; as well as the Arapaho Fire in Wyoming and the Reading Fire in California.

How would you rate these fires?

Jeff Crandall:

That’s tough. They all had their ups and downs and some were brutal at times. The Little Sand Fire was interesting because it gave us a chance to further hone our skills in things like fuel moisture sampling, establishment and monitoring of fire effects plots, and long term planning.

How has this fire season been different than others?

Jeff Crandall:

It’s been a pretty unusual year, maybe even historic. Colorado has experienced large fires in the past but this year we’ve had multiple, expansive, high severity fires all burning at the same time in different parts of the state. As for me and the Module, we’ve barely even left Colorado due to the need here. And that’s definitely not typical for the Module in the past five years.

How’s the crew doing?

Jeff Crandall:

They’re safe and doing great. Now we’re in the full swing of the season and we continue to improve in everything that we do.

Is this year’s crew different than years past?

Jeff Crandall:

This year’s Module is different, but that’s true of any crew, every year. Even if everyone comes back next season, we will be a different crew then, too. This type of group is continually evolving. People adapt, people change. We have to be regimented enough to be ready to work when there is work to be done. And we have to be able to continually think outside of the box to find areas to improve ourselves as a Wildland Fire Module.

Where are you going next?

Jeff Crandall:

Good question! Only Mother Nature knows…

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the season?

Jeff Crandall:

I’m most looking forward to continuing our outstanding safety record, along with the solid work we’ve provided all of our partners. I’m also looking forward to continuing to serve as an ambassador of The Nature Conservancy and all the great work they do in the forest health community. And then to be quite honest, I’m looking forward to some time off!

Help support Jeff and his crew! Your donation helps maintain healthy forests in Colorado and beyond.


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