It was November, and I still had temporary employees hanging on, somewhere in Colorado. "They might want us to extend," one said hopefully, while the other hoped to be done, seeing visions of hunting season passing him by. Our vehicles had yet to go to the shop for their annual inspections. The pilot of one of our helicopters, out in Idaho, watched the weather closely, worried he would get stuck somewhere by a snowstorm.
What was going on? I shouldn't have been surprised. Like all the other weird things that happened in 2020, a fire season that just wouldn't quit should have been pretty normal. While it was pretty slow at our home base, the crew spent most of the summer all over the country on fires. It rained, and they kept going. It even snowed, and then the fires came back to life. Would it ever end?
Finally the last two employees straggled in. A truck appeared to haul off the extra office trailer we had rented for the summer. We shoveled snow and winterized the chainsaws. A flurry of paperwork ensued, and the seasonal workers were on their way, to ski or travel or work somewhere else. It was finally over.
My crew successfully avoided covid-19, despite some scares when their roommates and friends came down with it. Nobody got injured. They all mostly got along, and everyone made it home safely. Now it's time for the sigh of relief and the slowing down that comes with the approach of winter. My fire season 33 is in the books. Like all of them, it was definitely one to remember.
|You might be cool, but you'll never be Marilyn Monroe getting out of a helicopter cool. I use this as my online meetings avatar.|