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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Demobilization And Reassignment

The morning of our 5th day we found out we were leaving the Plumas Complex Lightning Fires. To do this we have to go through a process we call demobilization. To get through "demobe" we have to do a complete inventory of the engine. Mechanics go through the rig to make sure everything works. If there is any damage to the vehicle while on the fire it is documented. At the end we have to go through a car wash to make sure we don't carry an invasive plant like the star thistle to another part of the state (which is amusing since it's already everywhere).

Once cleared of the incident our strike team had to travel to Susanville. One of the other engines in our strike team had had a blow out and had to travel 2 hours to get 4 new tires. We were all hoping to get assigned to another fire raging somewhere in the state. Just as we arrived in Susanville we found out we were headed to the Rim Fire.

Here are some random pictures from the Plumas County Lightning Complex.

The fire was still crawling around.
A lone pine tree torches off.

An OES engine parked in town.
Sunset from base camp.

We left Susanville and headed down 395 toward Reno and Carson City. The air quality in both cities was horrible. A little girl at the gas station where we fueled up asked us to put the fire out so the smoke would go away.

From there we dropped down the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the town of Tuolumne. We arrived just after midnight. Tuolumne would be our base camp for the rest of our deployment.
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