The weather is awful: up to 70° F. yesterday or more, and wind, wind, and more wind. A grass fire at Fort Carson (started in a training area, hmmmm) burned more than 6,000 acres yesterday and is still going. I went ahead and dressed today in jeans and a shirt that I could wear to a fire, if the call comes, since my official fire-resistant green pants and yellow shirt are on order.
The trouble is that a call did come on Monday afternoon via the telephone tree, and I did not know whether to do or not (nor did the caller). Not only was I short on the “correct” gear, but I have not yet had the wild-fire-fighting training session—it is scheduled for this weekend. That will give me the “red card,” making me legit for wild-land fires on federal land. (But I know already what a shovel and a pulaski are for!)
So I did not go out on that particular grass fire, but I now know that I could have gone, since it was on private land. I called T., the asst. fire chief, on Tuesday morning and learned that distinction. So I feel like a bit of a fake, like I dodged doing what I should have done, although T. was mellow about it.
The down side of being in this tiny volunteer department is that training, etc., just sort of happens. The “red card” training is actually sponsored by the Florence VFD, although our people are welcome and the department will pay the $65 tuition. Having spent the last 19 years working in university bureaucracy, I have to adapt to this more apprenticeship mode.
Yesterday (Tuesday) I filled my canteen and made sure what gear I have was all in order. The wind howled around the house all day. When the telephone did ring, I grabbed it breathlessly, only to have it be some CU-Boulder student “dialing for dollars” in a fund-raiser aimed at alumni.