Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wildland Firefighting

Wow! I just finished my wildfire class I've been taking this week, which finished off the saw work that I've been doing over the past four months. I am so excited to get on a fireline. Standing around these big engines just makes you feel like a six year old with a new Tonka truck toy. These things are incredible! The engine in this photo is 10.5ft tall and when I stood next to it, the tires were up to my collar bones.

Eli Shank with Type3 engine. Photo: Me

The fire department we visited is in Bayfield, which is a town just outside of Durango. Their fire district covers a large section of National Forest and a challanging amount of wilderness urban interface zones. With this being such a rapidly developing community, sub divisions are exploding everywhere and being constructed high up on hills, with beautiful views (south facing), in large numbers (over 500 new homes in one place) and directly on the forest edge. There are poor water sources, limited access roads, and a large number of uninformed people in these areas. As a result, the station we went to is DECKED OUT! They had an incredible amount of engines, and new equipment. It was a great place to go learn new stuff.

Left: 1" Forest Service hose. This stuff is made of cotton!
Below: Brand new Type1 engine. The only way to describe this thing is BADASS. Puts out 1000gal of water a minute! Cost? $601,000
Photos: Me

A lit fusee. These are used to start fire in the field, and drip a fireline onto the ground. They're basically roadflares. Photo: Me

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Blue House!

It snowed last night while we weren't looking. It was real sneaky too. At one a.m. there was no snow, then the snowplow woke me up at five a.m. and there were atleast 4 inches! The roads were plowed well, and driving to work, I only saw one near-accident.

Photo: Evan BlairPosted by Picasa

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Done with conservation corps

I am SO over my job. I enjoyed doing conservation corps, and I enjoyed learning a new skill, meeting new people, seeing new forests, and camping out under the clearest, coldest stars I've ever seen, but I am very ready to go back to Oregon, and SCHOOL! We're officially done with all of the field work, and will spend this week in a classroom getting the theory side of the work we've been doing. This will include fire mitigation practices from what I understand. A retired Forest Service employee (someone who probably specializes in fuels, I'd assume) is running our class.

Then Phil and I will pile into my car and head west! Rachel and I are still looking for somewhere to live in Corvallis. We have a few prospects, but probably will not be able to firm anything up till right after Christmas, since there is so much to do and see when I get home.

Phil and I are packing up to head over to Moab in the morning. We're going to climb a Kor-Ingals route on Castleton Tower as long as it isn't too cold when we get there! I'll take lots of pictures and write another post when we get back.