“They come to fight a war, some as ground troops, some as paratroopers, and some as combat pilots. The enemy in their war is . . . fire.” Michael Thoele in “Fire Line” Over the years I’ve read a number of books about wildland firefighting and some tragedies that have evolved as things went wrong. As a retired Colonel, I noted how similar wildland firefighting is to military operations. Training, fitness, units, task organization, combined arms operations, weaponry, joint operations, logistics, operations analysis, risk management, safety, communications, standard message formats, and many more shared concepts are involved (just to name a few to illustrate the point). As I read some of the books, I thought it might be an interesting adventure motorcycle trip to visit some of the places I read about – particularly in the backcountry. I decided to put together an adventure ride with a theme that deals with wildland firefighting. I went to work over the winter doing research that also involved reading reports from burnovers, aviation accidents, lessons learned from some fires, and staff ride material that is used to train fire managers by visiting sites and discussing what happened while actually on the ground where the events took place. I put together three rides in different regions and this is the first ride and report of the series. As usual, I’ll fill in the gaps between fire related visits with some great riding, interesting history, and other points of interest. I also made it a point to enjoy a number of scenic, backcountry, and forest byways on this ride which I’ll share some information about as well. The plan is to share what is going on in the world of wildland firefighting and not try to be any kind of authoritative source about all things wildfire. That said, I will share some interesting technical information as we take a look at the people and equipment involved. There is much more to all of this than what is visible to most people. Sometimes I was astonished when I wondered what it all must cost. Then I realized that the costs would be much greater if we didn’t invest heavily in managing wildfire. I want to take a moment to thank the professional, dedicated, and enthusiastic people from the wildfire world that I interviewed along the way. It was very uplifting to spend time with these folks. In many ways they reminded me of many of the professionals of all ranks that I served with in the military. So, we’ll wade into this slowly with riding and firefighting stops along the way. Since I am doing it chronologically, some information will come out over time instead of having complete coverage of a concept at a single stop. I spent about three weeks on this ride and I had a blast! I hope you enjoy some of what I report here as much as I did. Thanks for riding along! And I hope some will gain a new understanding and appreciation of these firefighters.