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Thread: Fires

  1. #1
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Fires

    Washington fires are horrible. HOPE folks there are well and survive the disaster. Hoping for much rain there, but it looks dismal. Washington is home to many BMW Folk and BEST Regards to all in the line of fire. I live about 2 days away, not sure what we can do to help, if anything. Pray a lot. I have a Firefighter Daughter and see her face, after some of her stories. Washington needs our attention! Randy

  2. #2
    Geoxman
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    +1!

    And, add to that the 300K+ acres that are currently burning in Northern CA. If we don't get a "C" change in forest management, this situation will get worse each and every year. There is over 200K acres burning in the footprint of a year 2000 fire (Plumas/Lassen). We have to get the overload of fuels out of our forests! These unnatural fuel loads make it next to impossible to stop these fires because they burn so intensely.

  3. #3
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Washington fires are horrible. HOPE folks there are well and survive the disaster. Hoping for much rain there, but it looks dismal. Washington is home to many BMW Folk and BEST Regards to all in the line of fire. I live about 2 days away, not sure what we can do to help, if anything. Pray a lot. I have a Firefighter Daughter and see her face, after some of her stories. Washington needs our attention! Randy
    Randy,

    Yeah, the Washington fires are horrible, as are the ones in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and California. As a retired fire service guy I watch the news and follow the NIFC reports every summer. Driving home from the Mid-West this week through much of Wyoming and Idaho the visibility was down as low as 2 or 3 miles in some spots. Actually our Washington fires aren't as big as some of the others, think we have somewhere in the vicinity of 35,000 acres now...but places like Idaho have 200,000+, the one big fire in Northern Nevada/Southern Oregon is approaching 500,000 acres. Don't recall what's going on in Montana, but on my drive towards Chicago week before last I heard one report saying they had 16 active large fires and a lot of small ones as well. Wildland firefighting is a really tough occupation, particularly in weather conditions this summer.

    Thanks for the good wishes for the fire crews...
    Bill Johnston

  4. #4
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Many indeed!

    I guess the one getting most attention is Washington, as it threatens the most lately, according to news I heard. Ellensburg and the like. I rode through Idaho a few years back and took notice of all the fires then. Did not know about the big wilderness fires all about other regions this year. The national weather folk say its a "majority" of states this year in drought conditions, so WATCH out. Its DRY. They also say its a likely very WET/SNOWY Winter approaching. We know how that works? Randy PS; I do have family working the NCal fires. Cal Fire.

  5. #5
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Threat to Ellensburg is now pretty minimal, and it's surrounded by flat country and roads separating it from the main fire. Problem now is keeping it from getting into more diseased/dead timber areas around Blewett Pass and to the north. Appears to be a little better weather for firefighting today...

    I spent 16 years with NDF in Reno/Tahoe region before moving to the Everwet State, made several mutual aid responses to fires in NorCal as well, primarily into Sierra, Plumas, and Alturas counties. Had some good times and it was rewarding career path...but frankly glad I don't have to that anymore...good luck to your family members.

    Cheers...
    Bill Johnston

  6. #6
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Thanks:)

    They need it! I have a Daughter(Dana) and SonIN Law(Drew), both Firefighters/Paramedics CalFire., He is working the NCal fires right now, NO TIME off for some time now. CalFire hires no Paramedics, so they are separate, stressed(away) from their P'Medic job right now. Dana(CalFire Engineer) is still at work as a P'Medic, CalFire did not activate her. She's on standby for local backup. Thanks for the input, as i started the Washington worries and the worries have been much closer to home in NCal of late. Thank goodness, Ellensburg and Washington got some handle on it up there. I read my history and Ellensburg burned to the ground decades, decades ago. NCal has many worries this evening and beyond, 1000s of homeowners have been evacuated or told to be on alert to do so. Ugly up there. Randy

  7. #7
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    It's going to be hard to reverse a century worth of aggressive firefighting. I worked my way through college and eventually secured a position as a professional forester. I did some prescribed burning in one of my management areas, but only after taking about a year to convince the State Forester that is was safe...and that it was a good idea. (And of course after having a couple of years to get started as a professional forester, and new governor got elected and the forester positions were mostly eliminated. Ended up back on the fire management end of things as a battalion chief. Had a good career and enjoyed the heck with all of it.)

    Prescribed burns aren't really new, but it's not an exact science either, so there's always some risk. But with the buildup of "flashy" fuels, the widespread poor health of a lot of timber, and perhaps changing climates, it will be tough but necessary part of fire "management" for the future.

    Washington fires are going okay today, at least they were the last time I checked this morning.
    Bill Johnston

  8. #8
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Agreed;

    I see your avatar and the S bike, nice. Ya still got it? They are getting rare. I live very near two parks, Yosemite and Sequoia NPs. I'm in between the two. We get fires here and the Bombers/Choppers are here in minutes it seems. Gotta love the efforts involved in fighting fires. My family is there too, as a FF Parent, having two of my children at it. Love all you FF guys/gals. I know the homeowners that get affected every year are grateful and many live in harms way and lose this battle. Tears flow. Hope for much rain soon. Randy

  9. #9
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    And that avatar has a bit of a back story too. Taken during an uncontrolled wildfire in the Olympic NP, about 12 miles due west of us. That's why the color is somewhat orange looking from the smoky sky...it seemed fitting for me and my bike.

    This summer marks the 49th year that I've been riding bikes...this S is definitely a KEEPER!

    FYI, the Taylor Bridge fire suppression effort near Ellensburg/Cle Elum is going pretty well today, last report was 46% contained, and full containment expected tomorrow. Thanks to the change in weather, it's cooler, and humidity is up...even a bit of rainfall in the area...so it's lookin' good.

    Hope the California firefighters can get a handle soon on that big one east of Redding. Some of my favorite country getting scorched there...

    Cheers!
    Last edited by SeabeckS; 08-22-2012 at 05:03 AM. Reason: spelling
    Bill Johnston

  10. #10
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    We're about same;

    Age, that is, as this is my 40th anniversary on a BMW. My first being a 1972 R75/5and all 40 years a Beemer in the shed. . Rode the earliest Japanese bikes before that, one HD Dresser, the real saddle days on springs. That HD saved my life one day, as a lady driving a MGB in the small town I lived in, struck me from behind at a red light(1967). She never slowed or even saw the light. IF NOT for that hardy, very sturdy HD frame and rear wheel, I'd be maybe paralized today. That HD beast took all the force of that MGB, I walked away. My only ever accident with an auto to this day. Thanks for the continued reports on Washington and even if so, we are the only 2 at it here! Once its in your blood, fighting fires stays in the blood. Be well, ride safe. Maybe meet up in Salem next year, as I attend all the National Rallies. Your S will easy to pic out. Randy

  11. #11
    Rally Rat Sue's Avatar
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    My daughter has been fighting the Barry Point Fire in Southern Oregon/northern California for two+ weeks. She just timed out and returned home to Klamath Falls for rest, and oh yes ... rest.

    She's flying back to Wisconsin tomorrow night for a visit. Not soon enough for this worried mom.
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  12. #12
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    @Randy, yeah, we do have somethings in common, we've both survived! I started riding Honda scramblers, then a succesion of other Japanese bikes, Ducatis for 10 years, then my first Beemer in 2004 (an 1150R). Had one really fast bike, a race prepped GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica...but I'd not trade my S for any of those earlier bikes.

    Heard late last night that the Taylor Bridge fire was 90% contained, so things are cooling down finally on that one. Hope it stays that way...

    I've never made it to a Rally, but am entertaining plans to attend the one in Salem, I have stamina issues, but that one is definitely in range... See you there!


    @Sue, best wishes for your daughter...takes special people to do that sort of hard firefighting work! Hope she has a good visit back home!

    Cheers to All!
    Bill Johnston

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    The smoke from the California fires is coming over here pretty badly. The forest fuel mismanagement goes with the game mismanagement; scrawny inbred doe deer herds in northern California.
    Always look at the bright side; all this air pollution makes for sunsets almost as gorgeous as the ones in SoCal when all the auto pollution gets blown over the ocean.

  14. #14
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jforgo View Post
    The smoke from the California fires is coming over here pretty badly. The forest fuel mismanagement goes with the game mismanagement; scrawny inbred doe deer herds in northern California.
    Always look at the bright side; all this air pollution makes for sunsets almost as gorgeous as the ones in SoCal when all the auto pollution gets blown over the ocean.
    Smoke from the fires is widespread, and nasty stuff. Central and western Montana are a ways away from any of the in-the-news biggies. But after a couple of days riding in hazy air my lungs became inflamed and congested. I wound up at the hospital in Libby, Montana really unable to breath well enough to ride out of the mess. Medicine is nice. Bikes are stored. We bought a car and drove east to get out of it. Back for bikes later - either to haul them home or when the air and my lungs can coexist while I'm riding.

    Be careful out there.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  15. #15
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear of your difficulties Paul, but the air is definitely nasty. On our road trip back from Chicago last week the area around Jackson Hole was so smoky we couldn't see the Tetons. And with AC running on recirculate the stench was still penetrating our Avalon. Didn't see many bikes around, but did wonder how it would be to have to breath that stuff all day long in the saddle.

    Hope you're doing much better!

    (Spent 26 years in the fire service, and never failed to be amazed when some of my colleagues would come off the fire line after a 12 to 16 hours shift...and light up a cigarette...LOL)

    Take care...
    Bill Johnston

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