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Archive for September, 2009

Looking back on my posts this summer I noticed that I failed to post about one of the best days of the summer.  While in Grand Junction I had a mandatory day off (they make us take a day off every 21 days).  Wally, another jumper happened to have the day off as well.  We got a hold of ex Boise smokejumper Ryan Jordan who lives in GJ now and we all three went to hang out on the Colorado river in Ryan’s jet boat.  We grabbed a case of Tecate and some fishing rods and hit the water.  Despite knowing that I’d be hanging out all day on the water in 100 degree weather, I neglected to apply sunscreen so I ended up with a brutal sunburn but aside from that it was a great day off.

Out on the river

Out on the river

hiking around on the shore

hiking around on the shore

Found an old holding pen

Found an old holding pen

thirsty catfish

thirsty catfish

parked in a cove for some fishing and swimming

parked in a cove for some fishing and swimming

found some good cliffs to jump from

found some good cliffs to jump from

Ryan J getting some hangtime

Ryan J getting some hangtime

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Finally!  A fire call!  The call came in about 4pm on Thursday.  For a few days it had been pretty quiet around here and there wasn’t any lightning forecast for the day so it came as a surprise.   The fire was near Price, UT.  As it turned out it was a lightning strike from several days prior, it just had been smoldering around until some wind came up and started to fan the flames.  This fire was pretty straight forward… we jumped it, put line around it and mopped up until late that night.  The next day we mopped up some more with the help of a few helicopter drops, and had the thing cold by 4pm, 24hrs after we got the call, now that’s efficient firefighting.  That’s the reason that we can justify our program, our job.  Had they taken extra time to have crews of people walk up to the fire from the nearest road, the fire could have been too large to contain right away and may have burned down into the community below.  The most critical thing is getting to the fire as quickly as possible and attack it while it is as small as possible.  When the fire was out we got a helicopter ride to the Price airport and waited for our plane to come pick us up and fly us back to Spanish Fork.  Easy as that.

flying to the fire

Perfect fire!  Small but not too small, good jump spot and beautiful scenery!

Perfect fire! Small but not too small, good jump spot and beautiful scenery!

Once we hit the ground we were very busy.  We had to assemble our tools and hustle to cut saw line, dig fire line and try to contain the fire quickly because the wind was blowing and causing the fire to really take off.  After several hours we were able to get the flames knocked down and the fire contained but unfortunately in the chaos I didn’t get the opportunity to take any photos.  So, the ones I got were from the next day during the “mop-up” phase.  They aren’t as glorious as pics with fire in them but it gives you an idea of what it was like…

The fire slowed its progress once it hit the aspen

The fire slowed it's progress once it hit the aspen

It ended being about 2.5 acres

It ended being about 2.5 acres

Helicopter bucket drop- helps out a lot getting 50 gallons at a time

Helicopter bucket drop- helps out a lot getting 50 gallons at a time

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