Friday, August 14, 2009
Well, I'm home now. I got home this afternoon. I went to the Umpqua National Forest in western Oregon. This is the 3rd time I've been to that forest, once in 2002, last year, then this year. Those three experiences have taught me that I hate that forest. Here's why: That place is about 1,000 times as steep as it needs to be. I'm serious, I think it's the steepest place I've ever been. Northern California is pretty steep, but the Umpqua is steeper. The second fire I went to we parked on the road then hiked down to the fire. We dropped 500 feet in .18 miles, worked on the fire all day, then had to hike back out. Sometimes it's fun to hike on really steep fires, but when you take three steps forward then slide back 2.9 steps cause the dirt is all loose it ceases to be fun. One of the fires they had to leave 4 foot tall stumps in the middle of the fireline so you could grab onto something while you pulled yourself up the hill. Ri-goshdarn-diculous. Other than that it was a pretty fun fire. It was 38 small-medium sized fires scattered over about 40 square miles. It rained the first two days I was there, then they kept trying to stick me in staging to wait for new fires, but I'm pretty good at finding work for myself in some capacity, so I only had to sit in staging for 2 days instead of 7 like they had planned. Oh yeah, the best part of the fire was when I got offered a new job the day I got there. I accepted the Assistant Fire Management Officer job in Republic. It's the job I've been doing for a year, but now they'll start paying me for it, which will be nice, I'll be a GS-8 for about 8 months which is about a $1.20 an hour raise, then I'll be a GS-9 after that, which is another at least $1.00 raise. Hooray me!! The only downside is that we'll be staying in Republic for a while now. Hope everybody's doing well. See ya.