Stuck on a nostalgia trip. This was my first “real” fire. I say “real” because this fire had a real shot of getting out of hand and harming many of us. The fire jumped the line we spent all day building and spread across our only escape route, knocking it out. Once night fell, we were lost. It was blacker than black. All we had was the light of our headlamp and the experience of our crew boss. Every tree looked the same. The floor was covered in tree litter and the slope was steeper than hell. We hiked all night until finally we found the dozer line we carved out earlier in the day. The soft dirt felt amazing. We loaded into our vehicles and many of us, me included, crashed on the way back to camp. If I was a fire virgin before that day, I wasn’t anymore.
It made me love firefighting so much.