To Firefighters: Thanks For Being There

| October 30, 2019

With the ongoing destructive fire season underway in California, and we have at least one of our own likely out in the thick of it – maybe more than one – it seemed to be a good time to look a wildfires and how easy it is to go from a small controlled fire to a roaring dragon that engulfs and consumes everything in its path, with absolutely no mercy to anything or anyone in its way.

The long background of the SoCal fire season is described quite well in this article, a 1996 article about how the SoCal fires got their real start.

There is more here about the current fire season in California, and how “climate”, not a bankrupt PG&E Co., is deemed by the current governor as responsible for the current disaster, which is consuming not just housing but farmlands and vineyards.   The denial of reality in California politicians is appalling:

There is a list of “the 10 worst fires of all time”, but a shorter, more relevant group is here, starting with two wildfires that occurred on the same day, under different conditions:

The Chicago Fire  of 1871 –

While the fire itself did start somehow in the O’Learys’ barn, that poor cow of theirs has been eternally blamed for it, when she probably had little to do with it.

The Peshtigo Marsh fire of 1871 started Oct. 8, same day as the Chicago fire:

Its source and fuel was the trash left behind by lumber company employees, trash such as piles of coarse sawdust and junk wood such as small branches which are unusable in the lumber industry, and also by small fires they had left behind without putting them out. The weather conditions for this disaster were perfect.  The Peshtigo Fire was so intense that it created its own wind, sending burning debris across Green Bay to the peninsula. There is more at this link:

The Big Burn of 1910, which led to developing methods to fight fire in forested areas, was in Montana.

From the article: But the story that would come to define the Big Blowup of 1910 — becoming part of Western mythology and helping to cement federal firefighting policy for the following 90 years — was that of 40-year-old Edward Pulaski.

The forest ranger was leading 35 to 40 firefighters in a retreat from a wall of flames descending upon their position at Placer Creek, 10 miles southwest of Wallace. Unbeknownst to the crew, some townspeople had set a backfire — a last-ditch attempt to clear out fuel and save Wallace from the approaching blaze. As the two fires raced toward them, Pulaski ordered his men into an abandoned mining tunnel and told them all to lie facedown in the mud. As heat and flames lapped at the tunnel’s entrance, Pulaski covered it with blankets and fought the fire with his bare hands, until he blacked out from smoke inhalation like the rest of his crew. – article

The Pulaski tool bears his name:

The Pulaski is a special hand tool used in fighting wildfires[1] which combines an axe and an adze in one head. Similar to a cutter mattock, it has a rigid handle of wood, plastic, or fiberglass. The Pulaski is used for constructing firebreaks, able to both dig soil and chop wood. It is also well adapted for trail construction, and can be used for gardening and other outdoor work for general excavation and digging holes in root-bound or hard soil.

In my area, there is an abundance of woodlands and clear spaces, all sitting on top of very, very ancient dunes that form part of the scoop of the Great Lakes. That’s a  leftover from the creation, advances and retreats of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which began melting when the Wisconsin glacial period ended, sending an incredible volume of water down what is now the Mississippi Valley and eastward along what is now the St. Lawrence Seaway, partly forming the outflow of the St. Laurence and the Hudson River Valley.

The Wisconsin ice sheet was large enough to connect the North American continent to Greenland, while in the west, near Alaska, a string of islands providing stepping stones across the ice from Siberia to North America.  Could anyone hunting for game have walked over here from Siberia? Absolutely. They were doing that as far back as 40,000 years ago, maybe longer.

File:Pleistocene north ice map.jpg

With all the ongoing arguments about which way the planet is going to go, we’re in a solar minimum, have been since 2006 when it first startled NASA’s solar physicists by not coming out of that dormant period as energetically as it normally should. Few sunspots reappeared, and sometimes none. Sunspots denote solar activity; lots of them mean the Sun is busy, busy, busy. Sparse numbers and small size mean it is napping, and zero sunspots mean it’s gone to sleep. And right now the Sun is sleeping; the usual protection we get from its magnetic shield is weakening, and with the Earth’s magnetic field itself also weakening, leading to a switch of the magnetic poles, we’re in a quandary: will the Earth burn up, as AOC and Extinction Rebellion claim? Or are we facing another Maunder Minimum?

But in regard to wildfires in the west and the sources of those devastating events, the contrast between the boneheaded approach to what California does, and the way the Dept. of Natural Resources around here handles potential fire risks, like undergrowth and overgrown woodlands that are fuel sources, is the difference between brain-dead stupid, and the truly smart approach.

And the firefighters out there trying to control the fires in the West deserve our applause and thanks for being there, no matter what.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Bravo Zulu

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The Other Whitey… Hope you are safe.


Keep your head down, and be smart brother TOW!

RGR 4-78

You know what burns my ass….

A waist high grass fire.


Stay safe TOW.


A BIG THANK YOU to our TAH Firefghters and TAH First Responders.

5th/77th FA

A LARGE BIGLY BZ to ALL of the FIRST Responders and the Blaze Battling Delta Whiskeys and Whiskettes, not only on this site but Nationwide. My nephew n law (niece wife former Coastie), serves in the Dakotas in Fire, Rescue, and EMT. Jim works in prairie and mountain/valley fires and has deployed to help nationwide. Wildfire fighting is extremely dangerous work and like it was at the Alamo, sometimes there is no way out.

And btw commiefornia, as Ex pointed out, take a lesson from other areas; ie. firebreaks, controlled burns, maintain your power lines, and most importantly, CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!

Great post Mi’Lady, Love the Historical linkys.

Perry Gaskill

The next time there’s a hurricane in Alabama, I plan to give a smug lecture on how all those people shouldn’t live someplace threatened by hurricanes, and they all should CLEAN UP YOUR MESS! But I’ll probably leave out kissing Ex-PH2’s ass.



I think you mean Tornados?

Only time Alabama gets Hurricanes is when they beat Auburn.



Perry Gaskill

Is that a threat, or is it a promise, Ex?

5th/77th FA

Perry, Here in God’s Country we survived Hurricane/Tornado Sherman. Took 100 years to recover, but every storm since then has been mox nix. IMHO the best things to come out of Alabama have been, a damn good football team (RTR), Gulf Coast Shrimps, and Gnrl “Fightin’ Joe” Wheeler.

Georgia Power Company along with the EMCs do an outstanding job of maintaining the power lines so they are not breaking and they keep the right of ways trimmed from branches and the debris is not left to feed fires. Georgia Forestry keeps fire breaks and does controlled burns to stop a fire and mitigate any excess fuel. Loggers are not allowed to their their mess laying around after a timberring operation.

Niece and nephew in law are in Sodom by The Bay San Fran Gomorohfornia. They and the children cannot take walks on the streets or go play in some of the parks for the fecal matter, needles, and other trash that needs cleaning up. One of my mentored boys in San Diego has had to move several times due to fires and is constantly dealing with brownouts and illegal immigrant caused crime.

And another thing, if any ass should be kissed it’ll be Ex’s. You know she can cook…Right?

Toxic Deplorable Racist B Woodman

Listened to Rush this AM, he was saying that the Kalifornication fires are not the fault of PG&E, they are the fault of the Kali Enviro Watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) and the DildoCratic controlled Kali Gubberment.
They are SOOOOOO environmentally (un)conscious, that they will not allow PG&E to clear the tree limbs, debris and underbrush away from the power lines.
Not having been there, seen that, or involved locally with Kali, I don’t know how true that all is, but let’s put it this way; I trust Mr Limbaugh’s unofficial statements more that I trust any Kali gubberment official statement.

The Other Whitey

I’m prepositioned for the current wind event. Haven’t spent much time up north this year, but I’ve still only had two days off this month. Hopefully I’m still married whenever I do go home…

Anyway, California is rather schizo when it comes to wildland fire. In fireline operations, we’re generally pretty dialed. As dicked up as this state is, we’ve gotten pretty damn good at wildland firefighting over the last 100 years. Our Automatic Aid system works well, making every resource statewide available for any incident in the state, regardless of what patch is on the door. The ICS system is universally utilized by federal, state, county, and local agencies, allowing us to set up operations seamlessly, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries or size of the incident.

Where we fall short is in prevention and land management. We know *how* to do it right, but what we can and can’t do in this aspect is dictated by politics. In California lately, that means tree-hugging retards and the democrat assbags who pander to them. Last year served as something of a wake-up call for the latter, so this year has seen a dramatic increase in VMP (fuels reduction) projects, but at this point we’re trying to catch up from decades of mismanagement. In any case, it’s likely just a matter of time before they revert back to pandering. As it is, they’ve been talking out both sides of their ass on the matter, OKing more VMP stuff on the one hand and claiming global warming crap on the other.

For what it’s worth, every firefighter I know is signing the petition to recall Newsom, even the handful who vote for democrats.


Well, good luck on the fires and the marriage TOW.. (I’m guessing those overtime checks might help smooth things over, I know they would with my wife…lol)

The Other Whitey

Yeah, she wants an SUV next spring!

Perry Gaskill

Newsom is actually facing two recall petitions, not just one.

My own view is that there’s a good chance he’ll be recalled, and it won’t necessarily be just for wildfires, but also for the following three reasons:

The games with the electric grid are exactly what got Gov. Gray Davis fired in 2003. People don’t like having electricity cut off for a week when California has some of the highest rates in the country. There has also been no indication that current problems with the grid are going to get any better. In addition, Newsom is facing the pesky matter of having accepted a $208,000 campaign contribution from PG&E before the last election.

Californians have voted for the death penalty at least twice, and it’s now the law. So what did Newsom do as one of his first acts in office? He unilaterally declared a death penalty moratorium with no approval from either the voters or the legislature.

A proposition that would have implemented statewide rent control was defeated by voters in 2018. Since Newsom and the Democrats in Sacramento apparently don’t give a rusty rat about what voters actually want, it was no surprise when Newsom signed a new statewide rent-control measure last month. Ostensibly, the rent control measure is to protect renters and bring housing costs down. Something which might feel good, but ignores basic laws of supply and demand.


Rule by diktat.

And those on the left have the gall to call us fascists…

Bill R.

Although I would hate to see anyone killed in the fires, I am of the opinion let it burn. California has been warned time and time again about this. Maybe Lebron can get the Chinese to rebuild his house.