July 07, 2010

Shiraz for Smokey

Other than the Medano and Parkdale fires--both too far away for my little department to become involved with--it has been a quiet summer.

But now the thunderstorms are coming, and I got my first fire call about five o'clock this evening.

Smoke up the canyon at mile marker 20.

We rolled both of our trucks. T. picked me up in the brush truck, and we started up the highway. Mile marker 21--nothing. Mile marker 20--windows down to smell smoke, looking up the steep mountainsides--nothing.

We drove the brush truck, lights flashing, through an informal camping area, where there was indeed smoke hanging over campfires, no doubt alarming the campers, but saw nothing unusual.

It turned out that the smoke was much higher up the mountain than we were looking, by the time we learned its location. And a Forest Service guy arrived to say that their crew was coming. Given that the smoke was (a) on national forest, (b) not likely to threaten any homes, and (c) wa-ay up there in the thick timber on a north-facing slope, we were happy to load the shovels, fire rakes, etc back in the brush truck and go home.

Supper was waiting, and I toasted Smokey Bear in cheap Australian shiraz.

Meanwhile, there is a hazmat class this weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to do HAZMAT training - the annual 8-hour update, supervisor class, and confined space entry and rescue. The key was to present the information needed in an interesting and accessible way that scared attendees (at least those new to the field) enough to realize that not paying attention could kill them. Or worse yet, kill someone else.