Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I have been contemplating the end of the Olympics last week and am feeling like I was cheated out of them again because of the choices I have made to do Incident Management.

I was really enjoying watching them every night after work and seeing the athletes perform---then came the call to California and we headed out. The news in the papers was way less than satisfactory---I flat missed seeing the athletes perform.

So this is the second Olympics I have missed due to doing incident management. I missed the 2002 Winter Olympics because I was doing Logistics for the Downhill Ski Races---with that I didn't see a single race but I did get to see the news every night and some of the re-runs. Here I just flat missed everything.

Kind of like the family things---I think in the last 39 years I have made a couple of the summer things---guess there is a price to be paid for every choice you make.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


We have come close to getting through with all of the fires around Hayfork. As of right now we will be pulling the plug on them Saturday at noon--we'll go to Redding and go through the typical close out where we discuss the good the bad and the ugly with the forest---then we'll have a team after action review and spend the night in Redding---with those kinds of arrangements it is likely that I will not get home until Monday---maybe---Sunday real late.

It is always fun to have so much certainty in life---good thing all my clothes fit in the bag and all I have to do is l0ad it in the truck. Regardless of all that it will be good to get home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Friday we had two Dozers slip down the fireline near Rat Trap Gap. The Ops guy brought in another dozer to pull them out. During the pull up the lower dozer slid down the hill pulling the one the it was hooked to over the lip of the canyon. They all remained upright and no one was injured but it took three days to get them out. This results in us being extended until Saturday morning.

I thought it was kind of cute though that one of our guys said that we had three cats in the rat trap.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I have to confess that I am basically a coward. I left Inklings with five kids to take care of and went on a vacation alone to fire camp where I was to be responsible for about 1000 people. I went with absolutely NO FEAR---it is way, way, way easier to take care of a fire camp than it is to take care of those five. Thanks Inklings.

I didn't say I was wrong---just that it is easier to be a coward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


We got word today that the powers that be want us to wrap this incident up post haste---we can do that---we will begin right now to get everything we have here gone by Wednesday 8/27. We won't be finished with the work but I guess that doesn't enter into this decision. Someone else will do it. It will be good to get home couple of days earlier than we thought we were going to get there.

In the meantime I hope the heck everyone else is good. See ya all later.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gettin' Bigger

Our fire grew from 64,502 acres to 98,715 acres in the last 24 hours. Not because of any fire runs but because we got assigned another whole complex in addition to what we already had. Turns out to be not a great problem as we were able to completely demobilize one camp yesterday and move everything into ours for today---that is a big deal because the savings from that is over $100,000/day. 'Twas a good decision and with the help of the team we replaced we were able to pull it off without a glitch---we're pretty puffed up about that (both teams)---and the folks on the fire don't even know that it happened.

We have a spike camp at Rat Trap Gap---say that five times very quickly and you'll understand why we call it RAT HOLE. Anyway all ya all that is about all I have going right now but I'll for sure be home before Christmas. It feels pretty good to be here and put to bed ten fires---I love being on this TEAM.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I left home Friday for another bout with the California wildfires. We are currently assigned to the Lime Complex in Hayfork, California. We are also going to take over the Yolla Bolly Complex in Hope, California. That is a lot of fire for us to be dealing with. We will be trying to get everything bottled up and sent back home. Should be a busy assignment. Sometimes I wonder why I would even consider doing this job---then we have our section meeting and I laugh until I cry---then I remember. It is great to have good friends to work with.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Today at work I got my new 24" monitor for my computer---I can read it from clear across the room and I DON'T NEED GLASSSES to do it. It is way nice and a huge improvement over what I have had.


Yesterday I went on a tour with the Federal Highways to look at the next 10 years of projects. Spent all day driving 225 miles through the absolute best areas teh forest has to offer. When I got home I was too tired to park my truck inside the fenced parking area so thiss morning I put it in there before anyone got to work. Tough job---but somebody's gotta do it!!! EAT YOUR HEART OUT

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Here is a picture of a fire column with the shadow from the column on the smoke. The ice cap that is lighter colored in the lower left is the column and it is over 20000 feet high---the shadow not only showed in the sky but it darkened the fire camp just like the sun had set.

Terrible News

Two days ago we had the worst air disaster in the history of wildland firefighting. A Sikorski S-61 crashed with 13 on board. Nine were killed and four are in burn centers in California. Right now the reasons for the crash are unknown---what is known is that nine people are dead---this raises to eleven the deaths we have had this year---that is way, way, way too many. The majority of the fire family doesn't know these people but our hearts are torn because of this loss. Our prayers go out to the families that have lost their loved ones. Here is a picture of why firefighters choose this dangerous occupation.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Here is a picture of the largest Cutthroat Trout I have ever caught---I caught this one by hand---in a fish trap. So much for ETHICS!!!


Just for the record L says I never post pictures---that's because I never take any that anyone else would like to see---so here are a couple my daughter took and texted to her sisters. I think it is the nicest door I have ever had on a home. I love it.


Yesterday we went to court to see where we stood on adoption of the grandkids---the judge---bless his little heart---gave our kids 90 additional days to get their lives straightened out. That is good. I like having the kids around but it is more than I bargained for to be responsible for parenting these little kids.

Just for the record they are getting better and are hanging in there pretty well. They have finally figured out that I am serious as a heart attack when I tell to do something---they have even figured out that they lose if they throw a fit in Church---later in the week they lose privileges---like game boy---TV--anything to do with a screen.