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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hurry Up And Wait....And Wait

It was just after midnight when we arrived at the newly forming secondary base camp (the main base camp was located in Groveland) at the Rim Fire. This camp was located in the town of Tuolumne. Our strike team leaders went to check us in and to see if we had an immediate assignment. We took the time to stretch our legs and check out the surroundings. We managed to find a map from the power company that showed what the fire was 24 hours earlier.

The header from bast camp.

About 30 minutes later we received word that we would be bedding down for the night. We parked next to several other strike teams all centered around a park. The 22 of us found a spot and laid out our sleeping bags. The thing I remember most was that we were sleeping next to a homeless man and his shopping cart. Really random.

This was what town looked like that first morning. That's not fog, it's smoke.

We awoke the next morning well before the sun was up. We made our way to the chow tent for breakfast. Mmmmhhhhmmmm, camp food (for the record that last sentence couldn't be dripping with more sarcasm). We also got our radios programmed. It was a fairly typical morning.

Engines and crews from all over the state and country.

A couple of the many pieces of heavy equipment at the fire.

An hour later our strike team leaders came back from the briefing with our assignment for the next 12 hours.

Rim Fire maps and assignments.

Sit tight and wait.

Poised and ready to work....really just fighting boredom.

The beginnings of base camp.

We staged all that day in the base camp. One of the guys on another crew had bought a football. We tossed it around for almost 20 minutes before someone told us to stop. The rest of the day was spent trying to fight off boredom.

That night we slept in the dirt behind our rig. We were now on day 2 without a shower and laundry was become a critical issue. The next day would prove to be a better one.

To be continued....
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