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John Morrow
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John Morrow
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PostSat Sep 16, 2017 9:18 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
Chico wrote:
Wonder where he gets the time to make videos. When I was on fire crews we had little slack time.

He's an engine slug this time, and looks to me like their job is to hang around the houses for just in case.  I was kind of wondering the same thing, but I bet they don't have a lot to do if assigned to the building protection group.

Now, now.....
I am pretty sure those engine slugs left a bunch of nicely bucked courtesy rounds from snags that had been within striking distance of Chico's family cabin.  Nice low intensity backing fire surrounded the cabins and is mostly mopped up now.  I never thought it would reach the North Fork.

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostSun Sep 17, 2017 12:32 am 
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Umm, engine slug is or used to be a common term used.  I went to a fire as an engine slug.  Compared to what I'd done as a ground pounder, it was a luxurious way to go.  You could take more comfort stuff because there was room to carry more than the 35 pounds allotted to fire crew folks.  You got to sit down once in a while like when refilling with water.    It was nice to be an engine slug. 

They were there in case.  Nothing wrong with that.

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John Morrow
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John Morrow
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PostSun Sep 17, 2017 5:37 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Umm, engine slug is or used to be a common term used.  I went to a fire as an engine slug.  Compared to what I'd done as a ground pounder, it was a luxurious way to go.  You could take more comfort stuff because there was room to carry more than the 35 pounds allotted to fire crew folks.  You got to sit down once in a while like when refilling with water.    It was nice to be an engine slug. 

They were there in case.  Nothing wrong with that.

Oh yeah, I know.  Apologies if it actually came across serious or defensive.  I am just having fun with that "endearment" too!  Now that I am more than twice the age of most of the kids on a hand crew, I rather enjoy and relate to the Engine much better, myself!  One of my first fires was a 7 mile hike with Chico's brother into Alpine Lakes Wilderness.  No one seems to do that anymore.

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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Chico
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PostSun Sep 17, 2017 10:18 pm 
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John Morrow wrote:
One of my first fires was a 7 mile hike with Chico's brother into Alpine Lakes Wilderness.  No one seems to do that anymore.

I both hiked or was flown close to fires. No super long hikes as I recall though. Certainly not 7 miles. The longest was somewhere in the Lake Wenatchee area but as it's been too long can no longer remember the trail. Was flat though.

Flying was fun as it involved Huey's landing on ridge tops. We'd usually get flown out the same way.

My father in his day worked briefly fighting fires. They'd send two guys (sorry girls but no women on the crews in those days) in with some hand tools who were hopefully able to put out a burning snag.

But life on a hand crew is far different that that of an engine crew. I was briefly on an engine crew after being injured by a rolling rock on a small but dangerous fire (which turned out to have been set by the local DNR crew).

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treeswarper
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PostMon Sep 18, 2017 6:04 am 
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Flying was fun until one of our crew pointed out that we were flying low bid.  Then a helicopter came in with smoke pouring out of the engine while we were waiting to be flown out to the line.  They tinkered with it a bit then told us to get on.  I asked if they were going to test fly it first and got a  snarly, Get ON answer.  A great big guy got on and the old vintage Huey tilted a bit.  We obviously survived but that experience kind of spoiled it for me.

I only went when they were desperate for bodies.  I likes having my own bathroom!

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Mikey
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PostMon Sep 18, 2017 8:16 am 
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Are smoke jumper fire fighters being used anymore?   An undergraduate civil engineering student told me about his fire fighting experiences; I think he was a member of a "Hot Shot Crew".  It is my opinion that the Jolly Mountain fire started fairly near the logging road which goes east from the Rosyln - Salmon la Sac road.  I get the impression that quick response to lightning ignited forest fires may not be in the present "play-book".  I can remember chatting with a veteran USFS guy (Leavenworth area) who told me it was his observation that summer lighting often will strike the same locations and he would drive up a road to a place where he could watch lightening storms pass over the area.
Perhaps the 3 US Forest Service firefighters being killed near Twisp after their vehicle crashed and was likely caught by forest fire flames as they battled a forest fire in August 2015. 
There is a North Cascades Smoke Jumpers base in Washington State.
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treeswarper
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PostMon Sep 18, 2017 9:12 am 
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Yes, the smoke jumpers still exist.  The North Cascades group just survived another threat to close down the Methow Valley base and improvements to their part of the airport are being made.  They should be good for a few more years then another review will probably be done.

There are not the people available that there used to be to go check out every lightning strike.  And yes, lightning fires may be allowed to burn, but that strategy might change what with the out of control ones that have not respected wilderness boundary lines, or with folks not liking the smoke.  Memories are short.  We shall see.

There are also smoke jumpers in Missoula, Redding and Redmond along with some in Alaska and maybe McCall, ID.  Not sure if the last one is still in existence.

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John Morrow
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PostMon Sep 18, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Mikey wrote:
It is my opinion that the Jolly Mountain fire started fairly near the logging road which goes east from the Rosyln - Salmon la Sac road.  I get the impression that quick response to lightning ignited forest fires may not be in the present "play-book".

Actually, there were multiple lightning strikes in the area of Jolly Mtn that day:  on Yellow Hill, Elbow Peak and Malcolm Mtn.  Of those, 3 were successfully suppressed by rappellers (another form of aerial resource like smokejumpers).  Jolly grew to 100 acres quite rapidly and there was a real lack of safety zones for a fire that size and on very challenging ground.  It was spotting considerably which left too much unburnt fuel between fires.  I'd estimate it was 2.5 miles of hiking from the closest driveable road. But to get to the main fire there would have been fire below the crew on foot since access was the ridgeline Sasse Ridge Trail.

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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radka
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radka
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PostTue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Anybody has updates on the situation after the rains the past few days? Any idea whether the Teanaway Road might open this fall at all? I am hopeful that all this rain is bringing the end of the fire season!

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RandyHiker
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PostSat Oct 14, 2017 10:34 am 
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Help replant areas burned by the Jolly Mtn fire

http://www.washingtonnature.org/volunteer-events/centralcascadestreeplanting
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Chico
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 1:49 pm 
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Fire burn intensity survey map (pdf).

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puzzlr
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puzzlr
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Chico, thanks for that burn severity map. It's interesting to overlay it on Google Earth to get a better feel for where the fire went. Of the more popular hikes, these are the ones that seem to be the most affected:

1) Most of Hex Mountain, except for the first part of the road section
2) All of the road and trail sections up to Sasse Mountain, including the Howson Creek trail (if you can even find it)
3) The road approach and trail to Jolly Mountain, but mostly on the right (south) side of the ridge
4) The west side of Jolly Mountain to Elbow Peak, including Humerous Hill
5) All of the road and trail sections up to Yellow Hill, and from there to Elbow Peak
6) All of Tarzan Butte and Teanaway Butte except possibly the valley bottom along Jungle Creek
7) Johnson Peak, but not Malcom

I'm looking forward to seeing some photos from hikers next season to see the effects along the trails. I attended a talk on the causes and management of wild fires in Roslyn a while back and the main point was that a "natural" forest landscape is patchy from more frequent smaller fires that don't spread as well. The suggestion is that this fire may have restored some of that natural patchiness to the Teanaway forest.

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Chico
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 4:32 pm 
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I can tell you in walking up and down some of the slopes in the north fork that there were pockets of dense timber, full of fuel ready to burn. All the pine pitch too and inches if not feet of duff.

Yes, patchy forests are good, what they used to be like but we let them get out of hand.

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HermitThrush
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PostSat Oct 28, 2017 2:28 pm 
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Thank heaven it didn't push north and hit Waptus. That's one of the best stands of timber I've ever seen anywhere. And the area leading up to it is just asking to get burned, between Salmon la Sac and the first contact with Waptus Creek.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSat Oct 28, 2017 4:50 pm 
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With respect to Salmon La Sac, did the fire get close to the gravel road that runs to fish lake?

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