Back when hair was high, I worked for the Boise National Forest in the downtown office – clerk or something, inputting data and other information. One task was inputting financial data on firefighters who were employed throughout the fire season. I was stunned at the amount of money they made. However, there was this: They were working 16 hours or more a day, and more consecutive days. Not just one or two, but of a week or longer. It’s a physically strenuous job. When Nance still had River City Coffee, there was a barista who was also a firefighter for the BLM. She was in excellent physical shape and in fact, in April of this year, was already working fires up above Idaho City and out by Emmett. Fires don’t just happen in the summer between June and August.
The InciWeb site really does have great information. For those interested you can click on ‘incident’, ‘unit’ or ‘state’ and get specific info that’s updated daily, containing such stuff as the total # of personnel, type of fuels involved, and fire behavior (creeping and smoldering was observed). I noticed this morning on CNN that there was finally mention of the Idaho fires. Why? Because of the number of overall acreage involved – 30 seconds at the most was spent if it was that long. Stage I fire restrictions are in effect until …. oops- were until Friday. Now it’s Stage II. No “building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or wood burning stoves; . . . no smoking; or operating vehicles off road.”
“The extreme seriousness of our present situation and the long term outlook of dry summer weather prompted the implementation of these stronger Fire Restrictions,” said Dick Smith, Boise National Forest Supervisor. “With multiple large fires currently burning in the SW Idaho area, our suppression resources are stretched thin, and any new fire will be a challenge to suppress quickly. (Stage II)
Today, while we were chasing the baby through the fountain spray at Ann Morrison, my daughter relayed an area of the hillside near their place just off Hill Road was scorched. It was attributed to the someone tossing a cigarette butt as there hasn’t been any lightning or such down here.
But ya know what – gas at Costco is down to $2.89/gallon!