Wildland Firefighting:

Preparedness Review for the Bureau of Land Management


A bee sting lays low a wildland firefighter in the Mojave Desert of St. George, Utah — or did it? This mock fire attack was part of the Arizona Strip District’s fire preparedness review at the start of the wildland fire season in the American Southwest.

Working and traveling with the Bureau of Land Management’s fire preparedness review team brought me to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, 110-degree heat in Yuma, Arizona, and some pretty spectacular landscapes.

But the main purpose of the project was to capture the work of the Bureau’s Fire Preparedness Review Team: their mock fire exercises, equipment reviews, remote stations and helitack operations, and fuels management programs.



KINGMAN, AZ – MAY 15: Wildland firefighters from the Colorado River District wait for radio communications while attacking a mock fire in the desert east of Kingman, Arizona. The exercise was part of the 2022 Arizona Fire Preparedness Review in Kingman, Arizona on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Photo by Suzanne Allman, contract photographer for BLM



The picture of the “injured” firefighter was taken as part of one of these mock exercises in the Mojave Desert in the southwest corner of Utah. Firefighters of the Arizona Strip District practiced responding to environmental hazards — among them, the allergic reaction to a bee sting that required treatment, evacuation and calls for an airlift.

The ten-day photography project encompassed the Districts of the Arizona Strip, Colorado River and Phoenix area; we drove through desert, canyon, chaparal, and those gorgeous, butterscotch-scented Ponderosa pine forests.



A wildland firefighter deploys a hose to fight a mock fire in the desert east of Kingman, Arizona. Photo by Suzanne Allman, contract photographer for BLM



This project is part of a three-year blanket purchase agreement with the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, to provide photo and video coverage of the BLM’s fire program on public lands.



A team of wildland firefighters from Kingman sets out with flappers, pulaskis and other tools to attack a mock fire in the desert east of Kingman, Arizona. Photo by Suzanne Allman, contract photographer for BLM



Environmental services photography assignments share a common thread. Whether they’re regulatory-driven initiatives, or projects designed to raise the profile of an agency, or to educate citizens about a particular problem or issue, these projects work to gain local support for community-based solutions.




With the rocky peaks of the Hualapai Mountains as a backdrop, firefighters use a brushcutter to trim fuels on a fuel break surrounding the community of Pine Lake, south of Kingman, Arizona on Monday, May 16 2022. Photo by Suzanne Allman, contract photographer for BLM.

The Virgin River flows between red rock canyon walls in the Bureau of Land Management’s Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area. Photo by Suzanne Allman, contract photographer for BLM

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Challenging terrain, geography and environments are a personal specialty.  Capture the energy of your team at work, on training and field exercises, with heavy equipment or in challenging environmental conditions. These photos can be used again and again: in annual reports, your socials, on office walls and other marketing deliverables.  -Suzanne


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