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And it burns, burns, burns

“Engine 742, get out of there!!” Brandon shouted into the radio even as he stretched his long legs in a sprint towards the thirty-foot flames. An old growth ponderosa pine was torching out next to the engine; fire roared through its upper branches, orange tongues licking the sky. Our favorable westerly winds had shifted […]

Finally, FIRE

The heat was oppressive. The sun shone down unimpeded, hit the black, ashy ridge top, and bounced back up through our feet and into our faces. Ninety degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, but my crew was walking through the part of the forest where the fire had burned the hottest, nuking the trees into crisp, […]

The Construction of a Wildland Firefighter

White's 10-inch, lace-to-toe Smokejumpers, men's size 5.

Welcome to the new Susan. From hippie world traveler to burly, smoke-breathing firefighter. Instead of hugging trees, now I’m wishing they’d catch on fire so I could save them and start getting some of that legendary overtime and hazard pay. It’s not a natural transition; it’s taken […]