Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Catching up with the Road

The convoy of fire fighting equipment headed down the mountain included 4-6 hook and ladder trucks, 4-6 red fire trucks, 4-6 green US Forest Service trucks, 2-4 US Forest Service white SUVs, and 2-4 Sheriff's rescue trucks and SUVs. The steady flow of vehicles on the road tonight could not be missed. At the end of the train a flat bed tow truck with a motorcycle on board from a crash near mile marker 8.8. The story stated that Horatio Lopez (age 26) grabbed vegetation and saved himself from plummeting down another 400 feet. This part of the mountain burned during the Morris fire. Perhaps this over-the-side mountain rescue of a crashed motorcyclist warranted the turn out of fire fighters.

Last Wednesday, November 25, 2009 around 9 pm, the turnout at mile marker 11.0 was the base for a campfire that spread to an acre. This turnout which currently houses concrete k-rails for road repair had a dirt built berm along its perimeter. I expected a steep drop at the edge of the berm, however another area of flat hillside surprised me as I stood on the dirt edge. Large enough for a couple of sleeping bags and the spot of the initial campfire before the slope of the hillside took off. The area was marked with yellow tape with the words: "Caution: Fire Department - Do not enter." The ground was littered with broken chards of bottles and many cigarette butts.

It spread over the hillside and firefighters contained the blaze to an acre of damage. The fire conditions were posted as >extreme danger. Fire restrictions are in effect.

Sheriffs patrolled the road tonight and questioned all in parked cars. Time to have a few more inches of rain.

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