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National Park service releases the Brian Hughes factual report today.

TheBrushSlasher

TheBrushSlasher

I have chainsaws and chainsaw accessories.
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https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw001QYLbqfm--NLsg5Cn6mH


From things I've observed with the beetle kill ponderosa pine while felling them is a lot of them were starting to rot at the Stump. I had one that just stood straight as I pounded stacked wedges in and I noticed one wedge was an inch into the upper part of the cut. I left the wedges for support and moved up ten inches above my prior cuts and took the tree down. The tree felt solid before I made the first cut. This is just my thoughts on what may have lead up to this accident and maybe somebody will learn something from this.
 
rarefish383

rarefish383

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RIP, Brother. I got as far as the picture of the stump. There was no hinge, it had been bore cut through. There was only about an inch of holding wood on each side, and on one side that was bad wood. They said there were no signs of wind that day. A very mild breeze in the canopy, on a tree that tall, could easily blow it back. Loggers often say they don't have time to shoot a tag line up in a tree. A Big Shot could have put a line 40-50 feet up in less than one minute. A tag line could have been pulled through in 2-3 minutes. If that had of been done, there would be no investigation.
 
old CB

old CB

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I think only out of consideration for the sawyer is it not mentioned in the report that this was sawyer error. The photo of the stump just screams sawyer error. To expect a dead snag to fall in the desired direction with only those two small pegs of holding wood is nuts. Yes, you can bore out some of the holding wood, but there was nothing left on that tree, not nearly enough holding wood to serve. The back cut coming in low on one side was a problem, of course, but the wedges could have helped to overcome that if there were only enough wood to hold the tree on the stump till the wedges forced it over. Plus, there's a possibility they misread the lean of the tree. Don't know if they sighted it. I hate criticizing someone else's work, but in this case the proper precautions were not followed.
 

oaky

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they placed the cut off hinge back on the stump they called it a 'pie wedge' in figure 4. yeah he cut far too low below that hinge.. thats too bad.
 
r1stgei

r1stgei

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tragic indeed. you definitely hate to blame the sawyer, the poor kid will live with that for years.... what kind of training did he have or experience before being tasked for that work? sloping back cut, improper hinge placement, undercutting backcut, appears to me as signs of inexperience... the report is definitely an interesting read but I am curious why it appears they do not make any recommendations, or conclusions into basic and root causes to help prevent it from happening again?? .. (unless I missed that) training on proper felling techniques, and also notch placement... sloping downhill using a conventional notch... humbolt it and drop it with the grade... also allot easier to call it from a keyboard without being there... RIP my friend...
 
r1stgei

r1stgei

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https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=572e230e-ada1-9b1c-9d7e-44984aae8321&forceDialog=0&ved=2ahUKEwjDkcz99IriAhVEoZ4KHe-CD7IQFjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw001QYLbqfm--NLsg5Cn6mH


From things I've observed with the beetle kill ponderosa pine while felling them is a lot of them were starting to rot at the Stump. I had one that just stood straight as I pounded stacked wedges in and I noticed one wedge was an inch into the upper part of the cut. I left the wedges for support and moved up ten inches above my prior cuts and took the tree down. The tree felt solid before I made the first cut. This is just my thoughts on what may have lead up to this accident and maybe somebody will learn something from this.
thank you for posting this...
 
Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

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When I worked for the USFS I some times conflicted with so called trained supervisors. And thus I was not always held in highest esteem. The supervisors believe that they have all the training skills that are needed. My opinion about some one who is highly trained and qualified is that they often loose common sense in the process. If Brian was the supervisor in this situation he himself was at fault. Regardless who was at fault this is a tragic loss for all family members and fellow workers. The loss and anguish for the sawyer is equally tragic. The falling of alive or dead trees I consider it a perishable skill that many would explain it as an art. The most blame still has to be laid at Brian. When the tree did not fall according to plan they should have realized there were some serious calculations incorrect and acted upon those assumptions. There were no tag lines when they had the resources to use one. The sawyer only used three wedges which is a serious error. When I encounter a larger tree I will have at least 10 wedges which I often make of limb wood either Pine or Oak. No escape route was planned for Brian. To think that to stand around below a many ton tree without a plan A and plan B is ridiculous. I always told any one working with me that a safe distance was far enough away that they could not be crushed. I never wanted to worry about some one watching me and to worry about a tree that I am cutting at the same time. The great thing about this situation is that people can learn from this and take the lessons learned so that Brian's life will not be wasted in vain. Thanks
 
CacaoBoy

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If Brian was the supervisor in this situation he himself was at fault. . . . When the tree did not fall according to plan they should have realized there were some serious calculations incorrect and acted upon those assumptions.
Hate to blame the guy, but he ultimately was responsible, and there were multiple warning signs that the plan was not working. Even with the other errors, he would not have been killed had he confirmed the direction of fall before taking off on his planned escape route. Lack of situational awareness can be deadly.
 
r1stgei

r1stgei

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When I worked for the USFS I some times conflicted with so called trained supervisors. And thus I was not always held in highest esteem. The supervisors believe that they have all the training skills that are needed. My opinion about some one who is highly trained and qualified is that they often loose common sense in the process. If Brian was the supervisor in this situation he himself was at fault. Regardless who was at fault this is a tragic loss for all family members and fellow workers. The loss and anguish for the sawyer is equally tragic. The falling of alive or dead trees I consider it a perishable skill that many would explain it as an art. The most blame still has to be laid at Brian. When the tree did not fall according to plan they should have realized there were some serious calculations incorrect and acted upon those assumptions. There were no tag lines when they had the resources to use one. The sawyer only used three wedges which is a serious error. When I encounter a larger tree I will have at least 10 wedges which I often make of limb wood either Pine or Oak. No escape route was planned for Brian. To think that to stand around below a many ton tree without a plan A and plan B is ridiculous. I always told any one working with me that a safe distance was far enough away that they could not be crushed. I never wanted to worry about some one watching me and to worry about a tree that I am cutting at the same time. The great thing about this situation is that people can learn from this and take the lessons learned so that Brian's life will not be wasted in vain. Thanks
Excellent post , Well said
 
mbrick

mbrick

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Thanks for posting the report, I read through in entirety. Ted Jenkins provided good analysis. I think Brian and the sawyer were both working on something they did not have adequate experience for.

I read through incidents like this to try and learn from them.
-It was a 57" DBH, 107 foot tall ponderosa.
-I have not worked on big trees like this but 3x 8" wedges doesn't seem like nearly enough, especially looking at the placement locations. Need more lift than that on a tree of this size, and it was dead?
-They removed far too much holding wood to control the fall direction.
-The back cut was placed below the face cut and also sloped downard.
-If it fell 145 degrees from the intended lay, which was with the lean, maybe they misjudged the lean?

Here are a few images from the report:
Face cut.JPG
Face cut 2.JPG
 
SeMoTony

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RIP, Brother. I got as far as the picture of the stump. There was no hinge, it had been bore cut through. There was only about an inch of holding wood on each side, and on one side that was bad wood. They said there were no signs of wind that day. A very mild breeze in the canopy, on a tree that tall, could easily blow it back. Loggers often say they don't have time to shoot a tag line up in a tree. A Big Shot could have put a line 40-50 feet up in less than one minute. A tag line could have been pulled through in 2-3 minutes. If that had of been done, there would be no investigation.
Thanks Joe, the connection woodn't make for me to read. The stump pic speaks loud. My interest includes a tree claimed to be 20 feet from the blowed out top. Diameter is called out as 60" to 72" . I was invited to mill after we drop it. Mostly due to my 6 foot bar. 1st thing I ordered was 12 stackable 10 inch: 20191223_213419.jpg they inter lock, we will also have his loader to push, but Murphy can show up in spite of any safety efforts . This rascal will be met Thursday morning I believe as I'm sharping new Oregon semi-skip chisel of 213 dl length. We have succeeded staying out of this thread.
 
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