Mario Villalobos

Couture Fire

Turns out, if I get a call to go out on a fire, I will, without question, say yes.

I’m in my tent right now as I’m writing this. I’m using my Day One app on my fully charged iPhone to write this entry, and I mention that because it is true. I’m having so much fun on this fire because of the people on it. The crappy, very very shitty crew boss from last time is nowhere to be seen, replaced instead with familiar faces and more competent crew bosses.

The fire is in Arlee, off Couture Road. Naturally, the name of the fire is the Couture Fire, and it’s about 17 acres big and mostly out. This was the same fire I was called out on Sunday Night, so that crew worked all day yesterday to take out most of the big stuff. My crew is 10 people big, and we were brought to help that first crew mop up the rest of it. We did a few hours of that today. Very easy work that went by very quickly because of how much we were all laughing. It feels so good to laugh on the mountain with good friends again. I’m reminded why I love fighting fires. That bad taste from the last fire is gone.

Our camp is on a camp ground inside of Arlee, and instead of sleeping on the rocky and hard mountain earth, we’re sleeping underneath an arbor on astroturf or something like it. It’s a beautiful night with a soft breeze coming from the south. We have bathrooms and showers and are being fed crap โ€” lots and lots of crap โ€” but at least it’s free. I’m trying not to eat so much considering how well I’ve been handling my diet and exercise this past month.

We were told the fire might be three days long. I think we’ll get most of it done tomorrow, with possibly one more day to make sure. We might be lucky and spend another day on it, but I don’t believe we’re going to need it. We never know, though. If nothing breaks out before then, and if I don’t get called out within a week of this fire’s predicted end, I do not think I’m going to fight another fire this year. And if my feelings about next year hold up, this might be my last fire of my career.

But I don’t want to dwell on that right now.

I’m going to try not to forget to write every night I’m out here. I want be honest with myself and to all my readers. I set out to write 365 daily entries, and I knew fighting fires were going to prove difficult, but nothing is worth doing if it’s not a little difficult, right?

Right. One last thing before I go. I didn’t take any photos today, so this entry will be picture less. I hope to take more pictures during the rest of my tour here. They could mean something to me later.