Mario Villalobos

Red Flag Warning

What a fucking day.

I fought two fires today, and I wish I could stop it there and have you all know exactly what happened during them, but that’s impossible without writing it all down.

We began with the same fire we went to yesterday, the Dayton Creek fire off the Rez. This fire was pretty much out, so my squad simply gridded up from the road, found and stomped out like 4-5 hot spots, reached the top, gridded along that line until we hit the top east corner, and we went and took a break. This is when shit began to hit the fan.

We had a Red Flag Warning in effect for today, and boy did the weathermen get it right today. A storm cell rolled into our fire with thunder and lightning lighting up the sky. Our entire crew was called off the mountain. I led my squad down and to safety. On our way down, we started to get reports that the storm was lighting up the Rez with fire after fire after fire. We rolled on the bus and headed our way back home.

Three starts started around Sloan’s bridge, and that’s where we headed out to. It was hot when we got to the staging area, but just as quickly, it got cold. We could hear over the radio that the faster storm many weather guys have ever seen was rolling through over us, and sure enough, they were right again. The storm lit up the sky and our fires. It was beautiful.

Once the storm passed, we shuttled our crew back up toward the fire. My squad boss trainer had to be a sawyer because he was our only qualified sawyer, so I had to step in and become the leader of our squad. We hot lined this reported 29 acre fire like a bunch of bad ass mother fuckers. It was hot up in there. Really fucking hot up in there. But we completed our objective, got off the hill safely, and are heading back home now.

I’m having the time of my life now, and I don’t want it to end.