Wildland Firefighting
As a teenager, I would see wildland firefighters on TV and comment that it looked like a miserable job, being in the hot sun all day fighting a hot fire. I seemed to keep that attitude into my mid-20’s during college when I was studying forestry. Still, a summer spent working on fire would look good on my resume. In 2002 I got a job on a DNR crew in North Bend. Although we were stationed there, we could be called anywhere in the state of Washington. These pictures are from some of our dispatches to places like Yakima, Spokane and Leavenworth. Because we were an engine crew, we were always close to our extra supplies we kept on the engine. Basically, we could carry extra Gatorade, bigger and better food and always have access to water to cool off if necessary. Because our engines were 4WD and compact, we were usually part of a strike team, a group of engines that waits for an emergency assignment. If we were lucky, we could arrive first on a fire and put it out before other resources were necessary. At other times, we would assist fire line crews as they built a fire line, if the line was near a road we could access. Then there was the dreaded “mop-up” where you just go around looking for hot spots to put out in areas where the fire is pretty much out. During the summer of 2002, we went to three dispatches for 2 week periods each. Back in North Bend, there wasn’t one fire that summer, which isn’t that unusual for the area. It was a good experience overall, I learned a lot about fire, a bit about state funds and too much about my other two crew members.
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Leavenworth deer point fire lake chelan chelan county dnr job Ahtanum Creek helicopter air drop washington dnr deer point fire Air drop Air drop basecamp in Chelan Burn area Ahtanum Creek Ahtanum Creek near Reardan 4th of July Mountain engine crew Lake Chelan Joe helicopter Spokane Dozer basecamp in Chelan fire crew sps Mop up
4th of July Mountain in the path of the fire. Around 11 p.m. the fire went over the top
In the hills east of Spokane
Twenty-five Mile Creek - Lake Chelan
At Antilon Lake & 4th of July Mountain
Manson near Lake Chelan
Leavenworth Heli Base
Water tanker fill-up in wheat field near Reardan
Ahtanum Creek area & Mt. Adams in distance
In the hills east of Spokane
Blue Slide Lookout near Ahtanum Creek
Smoke over basecamp in Chelan
Burn area
Blue Slide Lookout near Ahtanum Creek
Carl in Manson flushing the hose
Joe at Ahtanum Creek
Dozer working the fire
Another shot of the basecamp in Chelan with 4th of July Mountain in the distance
Deer Point Fire blowing up
Air drop
Air drop
Mop up
On the line