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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Finally

The next work period we were assigned to a North East section of the fire. This was one of the more active areas.

The Rim Fire burning at night.

During backfiring firefighters wait for favorable winds and then light a fire that will burn toward the main fire. That means almost all firing operations are done at night when, because of the change in temperature, winds usually flow down canyon.

There was a lot of smoke from the fire giving the forest an almost eerie feeling.

But all that means that in the morning, when temperatures start to rise, the winds will head up canyon and try to push the fire that we started over the fire line. Our job during the day was to prevent this from happening.

Up close this is how a lot of the forest appeared.

In our division we had a couple of type 3 strike teams, a type 6 strike team, a couple of hand crews, water tenders, a hot shot crew out of AZ and quite a bit of heavy equipment.

Staging area.

This beast eats trees.

The day was spent chasing spot fires with hand tools and progressive hose lays. At one point a spot fire started running up the hill faster than we could even hike. There was an "Oh crap" feeling going through most people until a bulldozer operator saved the day. He had taken another fire road and was ahead of the fire. He was able to retard it forward motion while we prevented any lateral spread. About that time the Division Leader called on the radio and said to let it burn. That entire area was slated for burn operations that night.

A hike up a bulldozer trail.

Setting a progressive hose line in place for that nights firing operations

That night we were we shifted gears. We were now on the offensive with the fire. The Hotshot crew started backfiring while we made sure the fire didn't jump. We were able to see some amazing views as the fire spread through the forest. For the most part just the underbrush burned. Every once in a while a dead tree would ignite and put off an amazing show.

The fire put on an amazing show that night.

Some time around 3 in the morning our side of the fire went cold. The Division Leader pulled us back into the staging to use as a reserve unit in case things went wrong else where. We spent the last few hours of our shift there.

Morning breaks...sort of.

Sunrise at the end of our work period. Time for some rest.
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