In keeping with this week’s theme of Fire & Renewal, we attacked the upper side of the house along the cul-de-sac side, and met some neighbors. While most gunny-prepper types might associate Defensible Space with a secure perimeter and enfilading fire lanes. Here in The Fire Zone we need to prevent an eruption of destruction not from jackbooted Gov. Thugs fast-roping in, but from some dumbass flicking a cigarette butt into the underbrush and taking out a block or two of houses.
Coming down from Oregon we saw fire after fire, and passed through the small mountain town of Weed. Weed liked to live-up to its name, and I used to think Hippies liked Weed, but it burnt from one end to the other like a poorly rolled spliff. On arrival home we were greeted by the Sand Fire to the south, and more have been popping up all around.
We don’t need that kind of conflagration, and so raked up about twenty 34-gal. leaf-bags of dry tinder consisting mainly of pine-needles and pine-cones that have a remarkable torch-effect. Back-in-the-Day at Church Camp, we held a ceremony at the end of the week where we spoke solemn words and made a vow – and then tossed a pine-cone onto the bonfire. This was before the current lackadaisical approach to “Forest Health” and outright naturism by the current crop of FS managers, and the bonfires were huge. Nowadays with the densely thickened undergrowth and heaps of fuels that date back to about the beginning of the Church-Camp Era, such behavior after 30-plus years of natural neglect would be criminally dangerous.
UPDATE: Friends asked if we were safe. Yes. The Fire went up past Icehouse on the South Fork to Hell Hole reservoir and is kinda trapped up there since when it hits tree-line there’s no more burn-fuels, it’s all granite. If it goes back down towards Georgetown it has to cross the river twice (Middle and North fork) and then runs into the old fire-burn – and there’s less fuel to keep going again.
When was the last time you saw a forest-fire in Switzerland? They have held onto that land for some 2,000 years since the fall of the Roman Empire. They pick up the pine-cone grenades and don’t let the understory fuels build-up. Smart guys.