|The Bosworth Fire Trencher being demonstrated in the Black Hills National Forest in 1939.|
New improvements are being constructed in the never-ending fight to prevent or quickly control forest fires. Equipment, such as the Bosworth fire trencher, is being developed. This is a small machine which is guided by an operator and motored by a marine engine. The motor propels a series of steel lugs which kick out dirt and debris and speedily clear a fire trail down to mineral soil.This tiller-type tool might have worked in the Black Hills, where many slopes are not too steep and you do not have any type of inter-rooted scrub oaks to contend with, just nice, straight-trunked ponderosa pines. How well it handled rocks I do not know.
In 1939, Dad was just out of forestry school at Fort Collins and engaged in his ill-fated attempt to become an Army Air Corps pilot at Randolph Field, San Antonio. A year later he was back into forestry—were he still alive, I would have asked him if he ever had encountered the Bosworth Fire Trencher. Probably not, I suspect.
I like the way that the operator is dressed: hat, leather jacket, twill trousers—classic. What Indiana Jones was imitating.