Tuesday August 25, 2020 Guerneville CA.
Forest fire day making progress
I thought I better get up early today as I wasn’t sure what would happen today. I didn’t feel like getting up but I did at 8:30 which is real early for me as I’m a late night owl.
I took care of the chickens and heard some guys talking at my gate so went out to see what was going on.
They need to get a dozer up on the ridge by my house
These guys were trying to figure out how to get a dozer up on the ridge that starts at the right of this picture. They wanted to get a dozer up on the ridge where the fire was slowly burning in the park as there was no way to stop it at the top yet as no one was up there.
I chatted with them and told them what I know and they left to try to enter where they wanted to go through the park and I didn’t see those guys again.
A ride to check things out
After getting something to eat I decided to go check on the guys and see if they found the road they were looking for so I jumped on the dirt bike and rode into the park. Right away I ran into some fire trucks along the road.
I was stopped by a guy at the bottom of the hill in the park coming down from Pond Farm. He said to wait as 6 trucks were coming down the narrow road and here’s the first truck. Lots of smoke in the park.
I wanted to check out the road to the hermits as some fire was burning up the ridge there. It’s the ridge that comes down to my house so it was of concern to me.
Big log across the bridge
Fire in the park
At the park parking lot at the entrance I looked for a guy I knew in the park to tell him about the log so they could get someone to cut it out.
Big shot and it’s an emergency
Once I talked with him a well dressed park ranger approached me. He was a captain for the state parks. He was very nice but said he didn’t like motorcycles running around in his park. And did I know it was illegal for me to run around in the evacuated area. Yes I said, but it’s an emergency which supersedes most laws for the moment which pretty much shut him up. In an emergency common sense prevails most laws and everyone does whatever is needed until the emergency is over.
I went home and ate and then I wanted to check where the fires were hot today so I wanted to ride up to Bald Mountain to have a look as it’s higher than most places and without tress so one can see out pretty good.
But first I stopped at Roberts house as it’s also a good lookout spot which over looks the Hulbert creek area which comes out at Guernewood Park.
Things didn’t look to bad down in the Hulbert creek area. There was lots of smoke but it wasn’t bellowing which was good.
Top of Bald Mountain
I headed up to Bald Mountain to check out the smoke areas.
There were several places out there where the fire is hot. The ones on the left are going up the ridge in the park that comes down by my house. The one in the middle is above the park theater which I was also keeping an eye on.
Headed down the hill
On the way out of the Lutrell ranch I ran into these guys so I stopped to see if they needed directions to somewhere. They said they were going to the East Austin creek area so they confirmed where the road was. I heard later in the day that one of the trucks broke an axil which they were still trying to get out after dark.
Log still there
Head fire guy
I noticed this little rig and went on over. It was the main commander of CAL Fire ,the guy my brother Barry guided around yesterday.
They can’t get up to the ridge top
My brother Tom said they are trying to get to our ridge top by way of the Hill Ranch which I knew didn’t have a road up and was real steep going up to the ridge so I didn’t think they would make it up to the ridge top from there. He said they weren’t getting up and were coming back down so I headed up to the hill ranch to see what I might do to help with that problem as I knew a way to get up there and they needed to do it quickly to stop a park fire from jumping over the ridge top.
As I started up the road past the orchard I could hear a dozer coming out and then I saw a Cal Fire guy come out and he went over to his truck so I went over to talk with him to see what was up.
Another way up
He said they couldn’t get the dozer up the hill and were gong to try another spot so I told him about going through my place and going up the ridge road I cleaned off yesterday and invited him to come have a look. I said follow me down the road to my place and I’ll show you what you need to know.
I showed him the entrance to my place and suggested we take his truck up the hill to check out the road so he knows what it was like and he could make up his mind about the dozer getting up there. They wanted up that ridge pretty bad as one of the park fires was burning up to the ridge top.
We got out and walked at the end of the road.
I was able to keep up with him on the flats but once we reached the steep part he was pulling way ahead of me so I said I’d wait for him where I was. No use killing myself trying to keep out with the guy.
It’s a go
Good in the hills
It turned out this guy was a good steep hill operator and replaced a guy that was not. Not everyone can run a dozer in these steep hills.
After a bit I took the dirt bike up the trail to see what he’d done.
The going was rough as he went through fast to get up the ridge to were he had to block the fire.
I rode up his trail and think I fell over three or four times as the going was slow. I was usually stopped when the bike fell over because I couldn’t keep it from falling over.
I couldn’t get up the steep hill he went up on my bike but knew he made it to where he needed to be to install some fire breaks.
Park fire by the theater
So I went back into the park by the theater where I heard on their radios that it was heating up.
Met up with Strode’s dozer
Just a little ways in I found two dozers parked ,one was Andy Strode’s with Jim operating, a local guy so I stopped to talk. They said they were sent down to get out of the smoke as the fire heated up and was cresting the ridge where they were working. We shot the bull until their radio said it was clear to come back up the hill. I took off before they did to get up and see what was going on in the hot spot and this is what greeted me. The hot fire had peaked on the ridge top and was now calmed down enough to find out what it did as far as crossing their fire break just up ahead. I rode over to the fire truck on the left to see what was going on.
Fire jumped the ridge
I asked one guy how the road was up ahead and he said he didn’t know as he hadn’t been up there yet so I said I’d check it out so I rode into the smoke. About a 100 yards past his truck I could see the fire had jumped their fire break and was burning of the side of the hill.
Dozer’s coming back
I rode back and told the guys with the fire truck and they went over to check it out so I started on back down the road when I ran into the two dozer operators coming back up the hill to the fire. That’s Strode’s dozer with Jim operating it with another guy behind.
Dozer’s back for the night
Just before dark we heard a big dozer on the road near our houses so Tom and I went over to check out what’s happening. They were going to take it up the hill by the old Armstrong house to clean off the road there. It was the same dozer I helped up the hill earlier so I talked with the guy about what he did up there.
Environmental laws out of whack
There was a head guy there from Santa Rosa. He had some time so we had quite a chat about what’s been going on. He said our help was much appreciated and we talked about the fire and what the causes and problems the state has about fire control as things are all out of whack because of all the bad environmental laws which don’t let land owners make and fix there fire roads without great expense and rules and fines that prevent land owners from doing much for prevention.
Environmental laws are to blame
I could go on and on about the problems the environmental people have created to cause the state to burn.
Lightning started this big fire but the county and state environmental laws caused this big fire to burn large sections of forest because all the bad rules prevent land owners maintaining the fire roads.
All for nothing
I’ll just say the last 50 years of environmental laws of stopping all fire road maintenance was just all for nothing. In the last three days most all those old fire roads were opened up so the current laws were for nothing .
We have two choices, Manage or Burn
Think about it. We have two choices. If we don’t manage the forests than the only alternative is to let the forests burn which seems a total shame to waste our only renewable resource. If we don’t start managing our forests properly, it means we want them to burn. There’s no in between. Manage or burn. That’s it.
Get in bed with the loggers
And really the only way we can afford to manage the forests is to get in bed with the loggers as that’s the only way we can afford to do it.
We need pulp mills so clean up stuff can be chipped so money can be made to afford t do this huge task. And forests need to be logged to thin out the trees and make money to also afford this huge task. The Northern states are already doing this, like Oregon and Idaho and Washington.
California is not doing this so guess what. It’s going to burn big time and bad environmental laws are the cause of all the big fires going on these days.
Have it your way
Have it your way eh. That’s the big picture of this fire problem we are experiencing. The fire guys knew this but the public and politicians don’t seem to get it so we’ll pay dearly.
This fire in our area is looking good
I think this fire is almost under control in this area from what I see and hopefully this area will open back up soon.
Nice day, and it was a great adventure helping out the fire guys.