Sunday August 23, 2020 Guerneville CA.
Another forest fire day
Once I got it going and went outside this morning I walked across the road to one of my brother Tom’s houses where he and brother Barry were working on doing some fire prevention around the house. They worked on stuff like that all day. Note the heavy smoke meaning something is going on that might be a bit more serious.
After talking with my brothers I went back to my house and was tending the chickens and sitting in the pen when I heard a truck in the yard.
Neighbor needs some help
It turned out to be a local guy Rick Decarly asking me to do a favor for Andy Strode a dozer operator working on the fire. He was coming over and needed to run his cat up into our property to cut some fire breaks. Rick wanted me to flag the way up the hill for him so he gave me some pink tape and I set to it. Rick left in his white truck but I’d see him later.
Placing the pink tape
I jumped on the dirt bike and rode up the hill land placed the tape for him to follow up the hill. I was going to meet him when he showed up which I thought was going to be real soon.
Didn’t show up
But he didn’t show up and I was wondering where he was as I didn’t want to wait for him all day as I had stuff I wanted to do.
Let’s ride down to the Guerneville fire house
After a bit I decided to ride the dirt bike into Guerneville to see if anyone at the fire department knew what was going on. So off I went knowing there where cops there blocking the road to the fire on Armstrong Woods road where I live.
I rode on to the fire department. There were some guys outside talking so I went up and inquired about Andy and his cat tractor. One of hem turned out to be the boss. They thought he was already out there so I left and went back home to find him. I’ll deal with the cops a bit later.
Fire guys show up
When I got back home I found some guys were there with a fire truck to protect our houses and needed to look around so they knew what to expect at each house. Them coming by meant the fire was getting more serious in our area.
We showed them around and gave them information about things.
I was getting impatient waiting for Andy with his bull dozer as he hadn’t shown yet.
So I had an idea to go back to the fire station and ride up the cemetery hill to a friends that might have Rick Decarly’s phone number.
Sooooooooooooooo, I walked over to the cop car check point and told them I’m heading out and plan to ride my bike up the hill by them and please don’t’ chase me. They were good guys and nice so I got the bike and rode up the hill to John S. But no one was home so I went home again as I know with the fire stuff plans change often as the fire changes.
Headed to the Hermit’s place
I wanted to ride up and check out the hermit’s place and see how the fire was doing coming into the park. I told my brothers I was going and for them to catch the Andy dozer guy if he showed up as I only expected to be up there a little over a half hour so, I’d be back soon.
Park shop maintenance area
I wanted to see if the fire we checked had come down to the maintenance shop over the night and what was going on with it. I could see some park guys spraying water on the grass. I talked with Brandon and he said the fire came down during the night and nothing got burned. There was still some unburned grass that they were hosing down just in case.
So after a chat I hopped on the bike and rode on up the hill to the hermit’s road in.
At his gate
I left and rode out the road some more as I wanted to check on some houses and also try and see what the fire was doing as my house was on the end of the ridge from here.
Checking some houses
A friend had asked that I check on an area called the Hill’s place which I could sorta see from the ridge top except for all the smoke. I could see parts down there not burned and parts burned so I can’t say for sure about the houses, but my guess is they may be still standing as fire trucks would be at them when the fire was there and it’s still possible the fire may burn more down there. Just can’t tell for sure with all the smoke today. But what I’ve seen so far they’ve saved most of the houses in the area where fire has hit.
She also has another house that is a rental that is occupied, well not at the moment. I rode on down to it as it has a very good overlook of some of the fire
This was looking up the road I rode down to the house where I’m parked. Usually the fire guys try to get to each house during the peak time the fire is there to save it and they’ve been mostly saving them.
Checking out the fire
I looked down to see how the fire was doing as this ridge is the one that comes down by my house. It didn’t look good as the smoke on the left was getting hotter and could come down the ridge soon maybe. The smoke on the right is the smoke in the park up on a ridge top and it’s heating up too and even over to the right at the upper Hulbert creek were I was at the Buchanan place.
I rode back to the park maintenance shed to let Brandon a park guy know what I’d seen. The fire had burned down to here and still is a little. You can see the guys putting water on the grass in the back there.
So I told Brandon about the fire getting hotter right above him and it’s moving off to the right of him and around him so he could pass that on to someone.
Big trees get some help
We shot the bull for a bit and I asked him if when he got a chance he could take his water trailer up to where I saw the burning redwoods and give them a shot of water to put the fires out as the trees would really appreciate it. He said he was headed up there as things were mostly done at this spot.
Just as I was ready to leave this fire truck pulls in so I waited a bit to see what they had to say and I told him about the fire up above.
I rode on home down through the park.
Andy is here
When I got home and shut the bike off I could hear a dozer up in the hills so I hopped back on the bike and rode up to find it.
Here’s the guy I wanted to meet up with this morning. Andy Strode who lives down the road but is working for the fire guys at the moment. He’s opening up an old logging skid trail to the top to make a fire line or what’s called a fire break, someplace to help stop the fire.
Put to work
At that time he suggested I go back down and use my bulldozer to clear all the grass and debrie out of our old orchard. I said I’ll get it done.
Rick Decarly who I’d talked with this morning also showed up in his truck.
Why Andy was late
He said sorry Andy didn’t show up sooner this morning because yesterday his buddy Jim turned his dozer over and he showed me pics on his phone.
The dozers used cables to right the turned over dozer and in the process of it all, messed up his night lights.
He was late today as he wanted to get his night lights going as he planned to work all night.
Getting to work
Well now, I needed to get our dozer fueled and put some transmission oil in it to get it ready to go and Tom helped me get the diesel and oil from the house.
It was a long slow dusty process clearing the grass and debrie in the orchard. I worked until it got too dark to see, getting most of it done.
Choppers show up big time
Just as I started to work the dozer the choppers with water drop buckets came in and started hauling water for quite some time but I was on the dozer so couldn’t hear or see them most of the time. I think they were giving support to the guys over at upper Hubert Creek as that was getting to be a hot spot and getting close to some houses down there. I think we’ll be seeing more of them soon.
One never knows what a day will bring in a forest fire. It looks and sounds like things are as heating up and some fire is headed this way and may be here soon. Not to worry, I think we’ll be safe and have a lot of help from the fire guys when it comes.
Turned out to be an adventurous day for a nice one.
It’s almost midnight and I can hear Andy and his dozer has come up working where I was today likely heading home soon, maybe, maybe not as he might have gone back up into the hills where I can’t hear him as he said he was going to work all night.
It’s 12:30 and all is quiet outside and I’m off to bed.