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, September 30, 2010

More Arm Chair Quarterbacking

This map is only one day and 4,500 acres out of date but it shows most of the fire activity since I have been gone to a little fire of my own (about 1150 acres). The fire is now over 44,000 acres and growing a little every day. I believe they have made a new decision on it to put the fire out on the south end. If they get that part of the fire put down I think this one is history---yeah I know I said that earlier but this time I think it's over. From my perspective that would be a good move and would put this fire into the books of the Forest as the most effective management fire ever.

They are moving the fire camp to Beaver Monday since that is where the majority of the work that remains to be done is located. They did a really effective burn out near the I-70/I-15 Junction yesterday and I think that is shut down cold today. The rest of the fire along the west facing ridge (facing I-15) is hanging up on a prescribed burn that was done by about three years ago. I don't think it is possible for this fire to chew through that as there isn't enough fuel yet to sustain a good fire.

Monday, September 20, 2010


After today I'll probably have to put the map on in two halves---barely got North Creek on tonight and a lot of that burned today---we'll see how the new team does.

This is a picture of North Creek burning that I stole off my wife's facebook---thanks to whoever posted it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Here is the latest progression map of the Twitchell Canyon fire just before the third red flag warning day in a row. I understand it has hit the Interstate at Fish Creek and is rapidly approaching it at Shingle Creek. If you can't read the map Fish Creek is the one with the big blob of red North of the light blue and Shingle Creek is the one that is all dark green just to the left of Fish Creek. They will both be black by morning if the information I am getting is correct.

Here is what the sun looked like from the North corner of our yard after the fire started making it's run today.

Right now they are predicting another red flag warning day for tomorrow with the potential for thunder storms. It's not my call, and I am not involved in any way, but I think we will see them move into the full suppression mode tomorrow. Time will tell but I think everything identified to be burned has now been burned.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Here is an updated map of the Twitchell Canyon fire. When I was just starting to fight fires we had great base maps that you could see the contour lines and read all the drainages, peaks and points of interest onto which we penciled the estimated fire with all our great technology we have maps with the precise location of the fire perimeter but the only way you can tell where it's located is by using a GPS unit. That's not totally true but the team in charge of this fire could use a better base and then you wouldn't have to see my crayon writing identifying the streams and peaks. Guess I'm just too old to learn new tricks but it is possible to have it both ways---just takes a little effort---which is apparently too much to ask. I guess this is my blog and if I choose to use it to bitch about something that really makes me mad then I get to do that---so there ya go.

Proof positive that the squeeky wheel gets the grease.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Here is a picture taken about 1400 on 9/14/2010 of the Twitchell Canyon fire taking out the entire Trail Canyon drainage. It was pretty cool to watch it move to the west a couple of hundred yards at a time. This picture was taken from I-70 about half a mile west of the Fish Creek bridge. I think this is the first time Inklings has seen a fire progress up a drainage just like you would predict it would. I certainly didn't expect to see this fire get up and run again---guess we can all learn something---I did today.

These next shots were taken between 1600 and 1700 on 9/14/2010. All of the earlier spot fires were fully engaged at that time.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Went south yesterday and stopped by my brother's house to see how the construction was coming. The walls were up and the workers were inside getting ready to install the roof. They are working hard to get it enclosed before winter. Time will tell on that.

Front shot

Back shot


I have had a lot to say about the quality of the maps on Incinet for this incident and today I went to camp and bitched about them and they cleaned them up---here is a copy of what is there now. I hate that they do everything in shades of red since I am red/green color blind but I can see most of this one.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Newest map 9/8/2010---10,607 acres---a very good resource burn. Now they can put the Bonneville cutthroat trout into Fish Creek and not worry so much about a devastating fire. Will be a couple of years but that will happen.

Look at the straight line of spot fires generated when the winds blew the column sideways---if you look at the other picture of the smoke you can see they are in a straight line just where the column leaned over.


We took a little trip yesterday to watch the Twitchell Canyon Fire burn. It is doing a great job by getting rid of a lot of fuel that needs to be burned out. It also got onto private lands for about 50 total acres which they are putting out as I write. A new team took over the fire yesterday and spent most of the day getting oriented and taking care of the spots on private lands. Not sure what they are doing today but the fire isn't doing anything.

I wrote earlier that I thought the fire had gobbled up everything it could get when it made the run Sunday when it had the high winds behind it---Monday it just cleaned up what was already on fire. Today there isn't even any smoke showing but there is still a lot of fire out there. I believe that if there had been enough fuel to sustain a run the fire would have kept going Sunday instead of hanging up where it is. I've been on a lot of them and I think this one is finished---it just isn't out yet. Pretty risky to say tht with all the firefighters reading my blog but that is my $0.02---the Type 3 Team coulda held it---they were on the right track and just needed a little break from Mother Nature---which they got yesterday and today---it always looks bleak when the fire is up and running.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I spent five days last week on the Boise Complex of fires. When I left home there were 70 fires we were going to be responsible for. That in and of itself is insanity. By the time I arrived there was another team ordered for the fires on the south and another team for the fires on the north east---that left us with one major fire and 14 minor ones. That reduction in numbers was good because it got it to where you could keep track of what was going on where.

We had a couple of pretty good burning periods where our biggest fire grew and got a little scary because it got quite close to the structures. But the crews did good and with a burnout they were able to shut it down from going east and really pretty much shut it down---AND THEN IT RAINED, AND RAINED AND RAINED. Three nights in a row it rained---my tent leaked---and I punctured my queen size air matress---and the fires went out with some help from the crews so I came home and cleaned up my gear. I haven't repacked it yet but it is all in a pile in the bedroom on top of the two packs it goes back into.

I have put myself back up as available Nationally so I may just get one more chance to go out before fall gets here in full force. Ya gotta love it to do this time after time after time after time---I love getting to see all of my old friends when I go to these but I also like the adrenaline rush I get when I am in the heat of battle working a fire. OR MAYBE YOU HAVE TO BE CRAZY TO DO IT!!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


The new back patio (which the house never had) is now poured and ready for the roof to be put on. that'll be a long time coming.

The floor of the new addition is in place and sealed---the walls will start up pretty soon now.