Friday, July 4, 2014

Are you ready?

So, here's the thing.  When fire season is slow, you kind of start thinking you have a normal life.  You get a little lax abut packing your fire bag.  You might start a home renovation project, or rent a fire lookout for a night.  Your friends might see a glimpse of you for once.  You might actually MAKE PLANS.

But inevitably, the day comes along, say on the morning of a holiday when you have decided to go backpacking.  The phone starts ringing.  Crewmembers are needed for a fire crew to California! How many do you have? By the way, do you have a vehicle for them too? Didn't you say you had a guy who could go with the hotshots? Well, they're going too, better round him up.  By the way, do you have any more people for a second crew?

Once all the wandering crewmembers have been found and presumably on their way, it's time to assess your personal readiness, because the next call might be for you (As a supervisor, I believe my crewmembers should go out before I do; not all supervisors feel this way, some leaping at the first assignment every year, leaving their employees sitting glumly at home in the rain).  Here are some of the essential tasks:

1.  Fire bags packed.  Yes, you hound the crew to have theirs ready at the beginning of the season, but there's always more to add.  Hot where you're going? Throw in some shorts for after work.  Possible cell service? Put in a charger or else you'll have to buy one in Fairbanks, Alaska (not that I've ever had to do this, ahem).

2.  Be a bag lady.  Tote everything to work you might need for the next 2 weeks.  You might find yourself in a vehicle headed for California when you thought it would be a normal work day.  Nobody wants to stop by your house on the way.  You need all medications, credit cards, Kindle, etc.

3.  Get your yard and house in some semblance of order.  Water your garden and your trees.  Drain your hot tub.  Cease house projects.  Call the cat sitter, aka the little girl across the street.

4.  Grab any spare moment you have to do something fun.  See friends.  Go hiking.  Today I kayaked madly for a couple hours up a river, so I could float back down.  I gazed at the standup paddleboarders on the river, aka NORMAL PEOPLE who can plan their weekends all summer.

5.  Relax.  Pretty soon you might be fighting your way through poison oak wearing 15 pounds of extra clothes and boots.  It's ok to watch Say Yes to the Dress educational programming once in awhile.

My crewmembers will soon be swarming northern California; there are only a few of us left here.  But we'll be ready (I think).


  1. Sounds ready to me! As well as a nice kayak afternoon. Was it hard rounding up wandering crew members on a holiday?

  2. Glad you are able to get out and enjoy the summer while you can.

  3. Nice photo sexy. Who took it?


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