In 2004, the Unaweep Wildland Fire Module (WFM) became the first BLM
module in the nation. Unaweep obtained its national resource certification
in August 2004. Unaweep WFM is a specialized resource whose primary
mission is the implementation of multiple management objective incidents,
suppression incidents, hazardous fuels reduction, and prescribed
Fuels reduction and prescribed fire work includes, but not limited
to, project design & layout, site preparation, project implementation,
and project monitoring.
Wildland fire modules
are a unique resource due to the monitoring and technology focused
Modules provide expertise in observing and collecting
information about the fire such as weather, fire behavior, and smoke
data. Data collected by modules is used by fire managers to predict wildfire
spread, map growth, and document fire effects. WFM’s are logistically
self-sufficient resource with a full complement of gear to work and cook
in backcountry conditions.
Duties of Crew
Unaweep WFM supports multiple management objective incidents with typical
handcrew operations (fireline construction, burnouts, etc). What
makes wildland fire modules unique is the capacity to use a wide
range of monitoring activities and the specialized equipment and
these activities. Unaweep utilizes multiple computer programs to
create products to assist fire managers during incidents. Assignments
for the module are different on each incident depending on the situation.
When not assigned to MMO incidents,
the module actively participates in the Upper Colorado River Fire Management
Unit fuels management program.
Project work consists of prescribed fire implementation, stand thinning
projects, prescribed burn prep work, project monitoring and fuels planning.
Wildland fire modules often work in rough remote country while on wildfires.
It is not uncommon to be hiking between 6-12 miles a day on fires.
The work is physically demanding with work shifts lasting up to 16
hours. Crewmembers should expect extremely hot, smoky, dirty, and dusty
work conditions. WFM’s spend the majority of the summer camped
in tents in the backcountry. The majority of the fire assignments are
fourteen days in duration. Six to eight assignments per season is the
average, so crewmembers should expect limited free time throughout
the fire season.
While on assignment, evenings usually consist of organizing and inputting
data collected on the fireline into the computers. While some of the
crewmembers are inputting data, the remaining crewmembers are preparing
dinner for the crew. Crewmembers rotate duties in the evenings between
computer work and cooking.
Due to the physically demanding aspects of this job, a high level of
fitness is expected of all crewmembers. Unaweep WFM maintains a rigorous
physical training (PT) program consisting of weight training, 3-6
mile runs, and routine field exercises consisting of hiking and digging
line in full gear.
All crewmembers are required to pass a physical fitness test measured
by the pack test. The test requires individuals to carry a 45lb pack
over a flat, three mile course in 45 minutes or less. Crewmembers are
expected to show up on their first day of work in good physical condition.
Unaweep strives to be one of the top modules in the country. We have
a strong work ethic in every aspect of the job. This includes traditional
suppression operations and a commitment to keeping current with advancements
in technology applications. While on assignment, we cater to the
host unit to provide the best support possible regardless of the
Due to the majority of the fire season being spent on assignments away
from the home unit, Unaweep crewmembers must be flexible and focus on
teamwork. Crewmembers not only work together, but eat, rest, and travel
as one unit. Unaweep takes pride in providing a highly skilled, cohesive
resource to assist and support the implementation of a variety of fire
on the Taylor MMO incident, Gila
Ferris Mtn MMO Rawlins, WY
2004 Unaweep Crew
2005 Unaweep Crew
2006 Unaweep Crew
2007 Unaweep Crew
2008 Unaweep Crew
2009 Unaweep Crew
2010 Unaweep Crew