Sunday, July 6, 2008


Chris does Wildland Fire Fighting at this time of year. Most of what he has been doing locally this year has been on a volunteer and short-term basis. He did do a three day (two night) duty at the Nash Ranch fire near Gurney, CO about a week ago. But, yesterday he got called up to go National (paid). He flew out just after noon yesterday to Reno for a fire that is in California, two hours west of Reno. The name of the fire is Canyon Complex and he is specifically in the Feather River area. He will head up the Communications. This is a task very familiar to him! The order to fill this “Critical Need” came specifically in his name! We theorize it may be from the time he spent at the BIG Hayman Fire in Colorado a few years back.

He will be gone for two weeks. They told him that the fire season in California will probably last the next 4 months, and he could work it if he is available.

HE IS VERY SAFE! He called late last night and said he is all set up at the area where they are operating the Communications. It is a small agricultural college called Feather River College. He says it is a great set up, and he has 7 or 8 guys working under him. They are quite a ways from the fire and have 6 or so repeaters set up. The Comm Center is set up in the Preschool area of the college. I said “PREschool??” I thought, ”Those crazy Aggies are nutty everywhere you go!” (apologies to any Aggies out there.) This must be the place:

We thought it was very interesting that the ticket person at the airline never checked his ID, and changed his ticket name (misspelled) without question, and he got his checked bag through without issue, even though it was a few pounds over weight! Maybe having a ticket issued to you for fire fighting gives special security privileges?

Daybefore yesterday, the fire was 15,000 acres and 60% contained.

The incident report is here:
They need to do an update.

There is more info (including maps) here:

May was really quiet early last evening, and when I went to find her, I found her sitting on the couch crying her little eyes out. She misses her Daddy SOOOOOOoooooooo much. She had a hard time getting to sleep, which is very unlike her. She finally fell asleep a little after ten. Poor baby. The 3 girls and I made a paper chain with one link for each day Daddy will be away, and a special final link for them to tear off WITH him the day he comes home. This is really a good tool for helping children get a feel for the passage of time when waiting for something important. They tear away one link each day and watch it get shorter till Daddy is home.

This made me think back to when May was little and Chris just started fighting wildfires. That picture at the top of this post is her when she was 2 years old, wearing her Daddy's new fire boots.

Here are some shots of Irene and May playing with some of his gear when May had "dress like a hero" day at school in the fall of 2007:

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