Sunday, July 8, 2012
Home For a Short Break
I've only been home for a few hours tonight, and really need to devote some time to my family. So for tonight I just wanted to share a few images from my wanderings on the fireline over the last 2 weeks, and to point out some very serious thoughts to you all.
You have no doubt by now turned on the TV and seen countless images of homes burning due to wildfires. This is my first year in my 12 year career that I have witnessed such destruction of human property. True, this has happened before, take California for example where it has happened a few times over the past 10 years. I never made it to those fires. So this year took on new meaning to me, especially as I found myself on the Wood Hollow fire in Sanpete County, Utah where I witnessed the fire make a run on the community of Fairview. What hit home for me was watching friends and family members being evacuated from this peaceful little town. In the end, all was well for Fairview, but not so for nearly 160 homeowners throughout the mountain areas to the north.
In short, a lot of these were caused by innocent people that thought they were being careful. This year one of the worst even some of the older generations of firefighters have seen; record temps, constant wind for the past 2 months, little precipitation, and very dry fuels. Everything out there is ready to burn, and we're seeing fire where we typically haven't in the past. By the time firefighters arrive, even with a 15-20 minute response time, these fires are off to the races. What is an engine with 700 gallons of water going to do against 50' or higher flame lengths on a fire running several miles per hour? Most of our starts have grown to several thousand acres in one day. From 2,000 acres to over 100,000 acres, Utah's fires have been devastating this year. Of course we have seen the same in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico this year.
On a lighter note, I've received some awesome photos from viewers that I hope to get up in the next couple of days. From big fish, big bucks, and some shots of the new little ones out there, we have some great things coming up here on SUH&F. Thanks for your support and understanding as I travel around to provide for my family. Who knows, maybe one day this will be a little more full time and things will only get better here.