BY DAVID W. DODSONThe current trend to get “back to the basics” of structural firefighting is indeed refreshing in a firefighting world that includes the challenges of providing public education, specialized rescue services, EMS, hazardous materials, and weapons of mass destruction/homeland security response. One of the “basics” gaining headway is the ability to “read smoke” to help predict fire behavior within a structure. The ability to read smoke has been around for many decades-the fire officers handling America’s fire epidemic in the 1970s became quite proficient at the skill. Unfortunately, these sound tacticians felt that the ability to rea...

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