Saturday, September 10, 2016

Controlled burn


Nathan and Lloyd went to a controlled burn yesterday. We didn’t have any local wildfires this summer. Fire season in winding down and with the cooler weather, now is a good time to torch off some overgrown range.

We live in such a rural area there are not many official channels to deal with wildfire. The Forest Service allocates out decommissioned military vehicles to rural communities in the hopes that giving the rural fire protection districts (RFPDs) such resources will enable them to stamp out fires when they are small thus negating the need for the Feds to dispatch a bevy of hotshot crews, tankers, cats and helicopters when fires rage out of control. A hummer with a water tank and pump are stationed at the ranch.

The added resources are nice (who wouldn’t want a hummer? ‘Merica!) but all the trucks and tankers in the world won’t stop a fire if there is not a capable crew of people to run them. Our area is filled with families that have been fighting fires at each others' places for decades. All the ranches have their own private equipment and know how and have worked together well without any official structure or command. Now there are more dozers, trucks, tankers and hummers compliments of the RFPD and yet no fires to test them on this summer… Time for a controlled burn!

Once somewhat contained, a fire becomes more of a social event for the community; certainly more exciting than weddings, funerals and birthdays. A good excuse to drink a beer and catch up with the local happenings.