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!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Yesterday I turned in all my wildland fire gear - all of it. I turned in my flight helmet, flight suit, and gloves as well as the fire shelters and pants and shirts and red pack. Everyone was shocked to see all of the stuff turned in. I may do fire in the future but if I do I will have to pick up new gear.

It has been 39 years since I picked up my first set of clothes to fight a fire to the south of Enterprise, Utah. My job that day was defending a guard station from a fire coming from the south - I was left there alone with no vehicle - that relates to no escape zone. It turned out OK and I was able to keep the fire out of the guard station yard with a lot of work and some fear - but I swore at that time that I would never allow another person on a fire I was on to be put in that position. I have made sure everyone could get away if they needed to.

Well that went a different place than I thought it was going but it feels good to me that I was never associated with a fireline fatality in a leadership position. When I was just starting out I witnessed several fatalities that should never have happened that would not have if people would have paid attention. One of these was a man being run over and killed by an engine while he was sleeping in his rule from that experience was....There are only two rules... 1. No parking in the sleeping area and 2. No sleeping in the parking area We had another fatality just like the one I mentioned earlier this fire season.

Guess my College History Professor was right - he said the only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history!!!


Amber said...

wow that is a milestone, I bet that felt weird and good and sad all at the same time! That IS something you should be proud of that you kept your teams safe and returned them all to their families over all those years!

Delirious said...

Wow, this really makes your retirement seem more real.... How do you feel about that?

Dee Ice Hole said...

Quite frankly that is one of the toughest things I have done in my life---it kind of defines that I am no longer in charge.