CannonTour - The Armies of Summer (Wildland Firefighting) Pt 1/3

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 11 Continued Wallace

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    It took a little effort to complete the interstate highway through here. The highway choked down to local streets. When it came time to complete the interstate through here, officials wanted to put in an at-grade highway which would have taken out much of the town. The town protected themselves by getting historic status (registry) for all their buildings. Thus, the federal highway folks had to float the interstate above the town.
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    For a while Wallace had the only stop light on I-90. Wallace is in the Silver Valley Mining District. Nearby Kellogg attracted miners and Wallace attracted executives hence the notable supply of nice brick buildings in town. The town has been involved in a lot of goings on including miners wars. In 1929 they were raided for illegal booze. Some officials went to jail. In 1992 the FBI appeared to take out the gambling machines in local businesses.
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    The Mayor proclaimed Wallace to be The Center of the Universe. A manhole cover marks the spot.
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    When challenged about it locals simply say "Prove it isn't!".
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    Fatality map.
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    The town burned in 1890. In 1910, about 1/3 of the town burned (100 buildings). Much of the town was saved by setting backfires.
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    Some interesting THEN AND NOW photos at this link.

    Lana Turner is from Wallace.
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    A lot of timber burned.
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    Miners tribute.
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    During the mining wars the mine owners hired detectives to infiltrate the unions to identify who the union leaders were. One Pinkerton Detective managed to get elected to an office in one of the unions. Eventually people got onto him and he had to flee for his life through a hole he cut in the floor of his boarding house room that he kept covered by a rug. He survived and later went on to chase Butch and The Wild Bunch.

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    1902 depot. The first floor is finished off with buff colored bricks from China. The bricks came over as ballast on tea ships. The railroad got the bricks and brought them here.
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    Bordello museum. Preserved as it was when forced to close in 1988.
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    The 1997 movie Dante's Peak was shot in Wallace using locals as extras.
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    Might have been burned over in the 1910 fire.
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    Some more interesting info from the area around Wallace from another trip I took out here. It includes the dynamite train and the Sunshine Mine disaster.

    More about the fire in a bit.
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  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 11 Continued The Pulaski Tunnel

    This requires a hike.
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    This is BS. It is uphill in both directions. :evil
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    A very nice hike, but it takes some effort.
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    This firefighting tool is a Pulaski. It has an axe on one side and an adze/hoe on the other. The chosen tool can be changed with a flick of the wrist. Ed Pulaski invented the tool. In a strange coincidence, Ed and the tool have the same name. Ed never patented the tool and after his health was ruined by fighting fire he sure could have used some patent coin. This tool is used around the world. I mentioned that Ed suffered some permanent injuries by fire. Back in the day, we didn't have workers comp and the like. Ed got little help from the forest service. Even today, when the topic came up with some of the firefighters I spoke with they felt Ed got a raw deal with no substantial help from the forest service. Different times back then, different laws.
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    The interpretive signs tell this story very well so I'll step back and let them do the talking for a while.
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    Things weren't too good back home in Wisconsin either.
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    It is a nice trail to hike. It does have some steep segments every now and again.
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    They usually have a log to sit on to take a rest if you feel like it. These got more attention on the way out.
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    You don't always stay close to the creek. Lots of up and down stuff on the side slopes.
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    Take water. You'll need it.
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  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 11 Pulaski Tunnel Continued

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    With a fire outside the door, I can see how the oxygen was in short supply and people passed out.
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    The timbers are actually a recreation of what the pictures showed after the fire. An artist/sculptor recreated them.
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    Of course it warmed up quite a bit during the time I spent on the trail.
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    Pipes that collected water over the years. There is a big tank at the base of this gully.
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  4. siyeh

    siyeh unproductive Supporter

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    Fantastic report. Wallace is a special place. The locals speak lovingly of the last house of prostitution in town. She paid for the sod on the football field and bought the boys their pads, uniforms, and helmets. They were sad to see her go but she was tipped the FBI was a coming so she got out clean,,
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  5. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    It's amazing that Pulaski was able to find and get to the mine, and even more so that most survived. I can't imagine the terror those guys went through. It's been a couple of years since I read "The Big Burn". I'll have to pull it out and read it again. Thanks for all your work on this.
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  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 10 Continued

    On to Avery

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    Taking the back way over Moon Pass. Pretty scenic.
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    Tunnel fest for a while.
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    This is part of an old railroad route. The interiors of the tunnels vary.
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    When the big fire hit, some people sought refuge in these tunnels.
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    Old trestles.
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    Avery was the western terminus to the electric locomotives that were used instead of steam. One train with about 1,000 people from Avery trying to escape the fire took refuge in a tunnel after it crossed a burning trestle.
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    Unfinished interior.
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    Smoooove.
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  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 11 Continued

    Avery

    The railroad tracks used to run right in front of these buildings.
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    Avery Store
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    Stop for a sandwich.
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    Train car from the glory days of the railroad.
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    The depot was an evacuation site for the big fire. When the railroad went bust in the 1980s they sold it to Avery to use as a community center.
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    A 28 man firefighting team died just outside of town near Setzer Creek.
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    Buffalo Soldiers (black soldiers) of the 25th Infantry Regiment set a back burn that saved Avery.
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    Avery also has a helibase. As I mentioned, aircraft and their support equipment can relocate close to a fire to make using the aircraft to fight the fire more efficient. Shorter sorties to refuel and resupply are better.
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  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 11 Continued

    Heading to St. Maries

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    Nice ride along the river.
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    This old truck is a gem. Apparently still being used routinely.
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    This lumber operation produces studs for the retail market.
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    Hard to get a picture, so here is an aerial.
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    St. Maries has a 1910 fire memorial in their cemetery.
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    54 buried here.
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    The St. Maries River Railroad is based here. They took over some Milwaukee Road track when the Road when bankrupt.
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    They only run over to Plummer to connect with the Union Pacific. Like some other shortlines, they have a lot of junk parked around the yard.
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    For a while Potlatch ran a private logging railroad between Avery and St. Maries on the bankrupt Milwaukee Road track. That got condemned and put an end to that.
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    Small operation.
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    I hadn't seen log trailers before that piggybacked on the truck when empty.
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    Potlatch Mill.
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    Chips.
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    Another view of Potlatch.
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    I don't know what it is about St Maries, but this small place produced some remarkable people.

    Pappy Boyington is from here. He earned the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

    For extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of Marine Fighting Squadron TWO FOURTEEN in action against enemy Japanese forces in Central Solomons Area from September 12, 1943, to January 3, 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Major Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations and aerial forces. Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Major BOYINGTON led a formation of twenty-four fighters over Kahili on October 17, and, persistently circling the airdrome where sixty hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down twenty enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Major BOYINGTON personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and by his forceful leadership developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.

    Clayton Campbell who was the navigator on crew 13 in the Doolittle Raid.

    Vernon Baker - first living black Medal of Honor recipient.

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: First Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945. At 0500 hours on 5 April 1945, Lieutenant Baker advanced at the head of his weapons platoon, along with Company C's three rifle platoons, towards their objective, Castle Aghinolfi - a German mountain strong point on the high ground just east of the coastal highway and about two miles from the 370th Infantry Regiment's line of departure. Moving more rapidly than the rest of the company, Lieutenant Baker and about 25 men reached the south side of a draw some 250 yards from the castle within two hours. In reconnoitering for a suitable position to set up a machine gun, Lieutenant Baker observed two cylindrical objects pointing out a slit in a mount at the edge of a hill. Crawling up and under the opening, he stuck his M-1 into the slit and emptied the clip, killing the observation post's two occupants. Moving to another position in the same area, Lieutenant Baker stumbled upon a well-camouflaged machine gun nest, the crew of which was eating breakfast. He shot and killed both enemy soldiers. After Captain John F. Runyon, Company C's Commander joined the group, a German soldier appeared from the draw and hurled a grenade which failed to explode. Lieutenant Baker shot the enemy soldier twice as he tried to flee. Lieutenant Baker then went down into the draw alone. There he blasted open the concealed entrance of another dugout with a hand grenade, shot one German soldier who emerged after the explosion, tossed another grenade into the dugout and entered firing his sub-machine gun killing two more Germans. As Lieutenant Baker climbed back out of the draw, enemy machine gun and mortar fire began to inflict heavy casualties among the group of 25 soldiers, killing or wounding about two-thirds of them. When expected reinforcements did not arrive, Captain Runyon ordered a withdrawal in two groups. Lieutenant Baker volunteered to cover the withdrawal of the first group, which consisted mostly of walking wounded, and to remain to assist in the evacuation of the more seriously wounded. During the second group's withdrawal, Lieutenant Baker, supported by covering fire from one of the platoon members, destroyed two machine gun positions (previously bypassed during the assault) with hand grenades. In all, Lieutenant Baker accounted for nine enemy dead soldiers, elimination of three machine gun positions, an observation post, and a dugout. On the following night, Lieutenant Baker voluntarily lead a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the military service.

    Logger turned SpaceX rocket engineer Tom Mueller.
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  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 11 Continued

    On to Sand Point and end of day.

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    Yet another scenic byway.
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    Incredible amount of labor to build even small sections of a primitive road.
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    An osprey being an osprey.
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    I took this side road along Coeur d'Alene Lake instead of the interstate. Very nice ride.
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    Back down along the water and looking up at the interstate.
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    Coeur d'Alene lies along the lake. Some notable people that are from here include:
    Patty Duke lived and died here.
    Dennis Franz lives here.
    Burt Rutan

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    The gold course here has a floating green that they move around. I tried getting close enough to get a picture but I couldn't get on the exclusive country club to do so.
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    Dead Hydroplane Racers Memorial
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    Silverwood Theme Park
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  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 11 Continued

    To Sandpoint and the end of day.

    I rode through Farragut State Park. At one time this was a large Navy training base.
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    Last time I came through here a few years back there was a forest fire burning nearby. This is a fire camp that was set up in the park.
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    Firefighter helicopter.
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    This inland naval base came into being after the Pearl Harbor attack. Ellie Roosevelt (President Frankie Roosevelt's wife) noticed the lake during a flight to Seattle. She knew her hubby was looking for a secure inland location for a major base so she mentioned it to him and he checked it out.

    Not much left of the structures from back in the day. The brig is still standing. The place was in existence for 30 months and it cranked out 293,000 sailors. About 900 German POWs worked as garden and landscape maintainers.

    They broke ground on this place in March 1942 and by September the place had a population of 55,000 making it the largest city in Idaho. There were six self contained training units that held 5,000 sailors each.
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    After the war, this structure was moved to Colorado as a field house for their university.
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    Bayview has submarine testing. (Some pix and info from my last visit. New pix from this trip weren't as good.)
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    Why is there a submarine base in Idaho?
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    Some locals may think the sub base is a real dive.
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    It is difficult to find out more about what goes on here since you have to have a *BBR security clearance (*Burn Before Reading) and a need to know.
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    Overhead shot.
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    Nice marina in Bayview.
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    The story of the Sandpoint Long Bridge
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    An old bridge resides next to this one.
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    Long train runnin' on the railroad bridge.
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    Notables from Sandpoint:
    Mark "O.J." Fuhrman
    Famed Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer
    Sarah Palin
    Major General Jimmy Fry

    Fry's extraordinary bravery and reputation for personally leading attacks at the front of the forward platoon with no riflemen in front of him earned Fry the nickname "Fearless Fosdick" and endeared him to his subordinates.

    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel (Infantry) James Clyde Fry (ASN: 0-15023), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer of the 350th Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 4 October 1944, in Italy. Colonel Fry led his regiment, which was extremely tired from its arduous mountain fighting of the preceding days, in a swift and well executed maneuver towards Mount Battaglia and succeeded in taking this feature before the enemy had fully organized its defenses. The enemy, realizing the strategic importance of Mount Battaglia, launched a series of vicious counterattacks from three directions. Although his regiment was completely exposed on both flanks, and subjected to terrific artillery and mortar fire as well as flame throwers, Colonel Fry planned and supervised his defense in such a manner that the hill was held. During the six days that this hill was held against the determined enemy attacks, Colonel Fry, by his superior tactical skill and calm courage under murderous fire, inspired his troops to repulse intrepidly the terrific enemy assaults. On one occasion while he was with his front line elements, Colonel Fry was wounded in the arm by a shell burst, but remained with his troops until ordered by higher authority to go to the rear for treatment. Colonel Fry's courage and brilliant leadership contributed immeasurably to the success of a vital operation in the Allied advance towards the Po Valley and provided a lasting inspiration to those who served under him. His outstanding leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 88th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

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    End of Day 11. Another wonderful day of riding and exploring. I really need to do more of this. :D
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 12 The Sundance Fire

    Before I roll on Day 12, let me take a moment to cover the nearby Sundance Fire and fatalities. After looking things over, I decided not to try to find my way up the mountain since I'm not sure I would have been able to identify much except for the location of where lightning struck and started the fire. I wasn't even sure that I would be able to get to that.

    So, I'll share a little about the fire since we are nearby.

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    "The mountain is 6,298' high and is located four miles east north east of Coolin on Priest Lake. The initial blaze was contained after burning 35 acres but it was not completely extinguished. One week after the initial blaze the winds increased and fanned the smoldering flames into action. The fire jumped the lines and burned two thousand acres by August 30.

    When things looked as bad as they could get the worst possible thing happened. The summer had been particularly hot and dry and there had been little or no rain. High winds hit the area and some observers said that it was as if the forest exploded in front of the wind driven flames. The fire moved with such force that on September 1 it traveled approximately sixteen miles in nine hours, destroying over 55 thousand acres of land and about 10 million board feet of lumber. In the Pack River Valley the fire created its own winds causing an inferno known as a "fire storm." The winds were strong enough to snap large trees and enough heat was generated to split large granite boulders.

    Two thousand men fought the fire with shovels, bulldozers, and planes. Two firefighters died while trying to save a bulldozer and many others had narrow escapes. On September 2 the fire began to slow and the winds changed for the better. Eventually the rains came and the fire was controlled in mid September, but not before it had burned nearly fifty-six thousand acres of land and caused tremendous loss to cattle and wildlife."

    The lightning-caused Sundance Fire burned nearly 56,000 acres, able to burn a square mile of timber in under three minutes.

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    "The dozer was assigned to open up roads in the McCormick Creek drainage, starting near the Pack River and moving southwest and up canyon, towards the Selkirk Divide. Fault Lake, their designated safety zone, was 4 miles and 3,000 vertical feet further up the canyon, and work was to progress toward the safety zone. Due to limited supplies and equipment, the Sector Boss had neither a vehicle nor a two-way radio. The dozer operator had a knee injury that hampered his mobility. Starting at 1300 with the onset of strong southwest winds, the Sundance Fire became very active, making a significant run up the Soldier Creek drainage, which is aligned mostly in a west to east direction, to the Selkirk Divide. Between 1400 and 1600, the fire crossed east over the Selkirk Divide and burned downslope through the southwest-to-northeast aligned McCormick Creek Canyon and then into the Pack River drainage, where the dozer had worked its way to within ¼ mile of Fault Lake. At 1600, the fire overran the dozer operator and Sector Boss, killing both. During this blowup event on September 1, the Sundance Fire experienced winds of 30 to 50 mph from early afternoon into the night. In the 9 hour period from 1400 to 2300, the fire increased by 50,000 acres and advanced 16 miles to the NE, with long range spotting up to 10 miles."

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  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 12 404 miles

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    First leg to Colville.
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    More forest products industry stuff.
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    I stopped at the airport in Priest River thinking there was air attack stuff there. The plane on the aerial looked like a fire plane.
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    Talked to a firemen here. He didn't know of any air assets there. Like many departments, they are set up to respond to wildfires.
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    Military surplus equipment repurposed to fire departments.
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    Albeni Falls Dam produces electricity. 90 feet high.
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    Newport has an excursion railroad that takes you on a scenic tour along the river.
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    Newport started up as a steamboat landing.
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    Kelly's 1894 Bar is the oldest business in Newport and the second oldest continuously operating bar in Washington.
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    There was a big stink about this newspaper plant. It is owned, in part, by some publishing companies. With declining demand for newspaper, potential changes with the plant led to a dispute about who will buy the electric power being generated that supports the plant.
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    Falls at an overlook along the highway.
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    Fort Colville was about three miles north of Colville and operated from 1859-1882. The deal here was to protect miners and settlers from hostile Indians. The fort closed up in 1882. I think they wanted to move closer to the airport in town. Soldiers that were buried here were moved to cemeteries in San Francisco. The guy that directed the building of the Panama Canal to completion came through here with General Sherman in 1883.
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    Swung by the airport in Colville to look at fire stuff. This is a contract helicopter, but it was being used for wildlife surveys and not firefighting.
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    The other side of the airport has some DNR and federal fire stuff.
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    No one was available to interview so I took a couple of pix and moved on.
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    Heading into town.
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    Colville has a fire tower that you can visit. Graves Mountain Lookout Tower

    ". . . the regional forestry procurement officer developed a boxed food ration plan in 30, 45, and 60 man/ day quantities. For example, a 30 man / day ration would serve one man for thirty days, or thirty men for one day. The wooden boxes, often used as tables and chairs, were also designed by size and weight for pack mules. In addition to rationing, a lookout cookbook was compiled and written to provide good, simple non-fail recipes that could be prepared by the novice, since many lookouts were young people who had never done more than boil water."

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  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 12 Continued Heading toward Omak

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    Logging outfit. "Small logs, better lumber."
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    Kettle Falls uses biomass for fuel. Plenty of that around with a timber products industry providing waste wood.
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    St. Paul's Mission
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    Sherman Pass Scenic Byway
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  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 12 Continued Heading toward Omak

    Not a lot of paths through the mountains.
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    Sherman Pass is the highest pass in Washington that is maintained all year. The place is named after General Sherman who traveled across the pass in 1883.
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    Orchards started to appear in this area.
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  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 12 Omak Airport Part I

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    Fire fighter base.
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    It looks fun.
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    We'll get to these in the next post.
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    Washington State asset (contracted or federally provided).
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    Ready to deploy.
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    The bucket for dips and drops is stowed in the orange bag.
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    I don't know how they fly this thing with the dark screens in the windows. :dunno
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    The guys I talked to that were involved with this helicopter were great. One was from nearby Milwaukee. Obviously good folks and they professionally represented their organization.
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    One pilot flies this. Blister in the pilot's window.
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    First time I saw this modification. The door is cut away so the pilot can see the sling load better (water dip and drop).
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    Even better is that when the pilot has his or her noggin in the blister doing fire work, he or she can't see the panel and the gauges. Putting torque, RPM, and maybe some warning lights in the pilot's view is a good idea. Torque is important because the engine can produce more power than the transmission or some of the shafts can handle. If you over-torque during an operation you can cause a component to fail. Since helicopters need their drive train components intact to fly, I think it is safe to say that a situation like that could be somewhat inconvenient. On the other hand, over-pitching is when the engine can't produce enough power to maintain engine RPM. Sometimes this happens at high altitudes where the engine power is reduced. You can see where it would be important to keep an eye on torque and RPM.
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    These small side tanks are something I hadn't seen before. They add something that treats water that they dip before they drop it. I can't remember if this involved forming some foam or simply a "water wetter" that changes the surface tension of the water so that it applies better (doesn't dissipate so much) when dropped.
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    Gear that firefighters will need to stay out on a fire once they are deposited nearby.
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    A quart low. :D
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    Rotary wing.
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    This twin engine 212 came in for fuel and an overnight. With big fires in Alaska a lot of assets were being moved up there. Omak is a stop among the many stops along the path to Alaska. I kind of felt sorry for these guys ambling along at 100 knots all the way to Alaska.
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    Shaggie, Bultaco206, MYUMPH and 4 others like this.
  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Day 12 Omak Airport Part II

    Crop dusting planes manufactured as SEATs (Single Engine Aerial Tanker). Some have wheels and some have pontoons.
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    These extra vertical stabilizers make the main vertical stabilizer seem larger and more effective. Important when dealing with the drag of the pontoons.
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    You can pump retardant into the tank or you can scoop water. Scooping 800 gallons of water takes about 10 or 12 seconds on the water. Some fancy flying as you take on weight and then have to free the pontoons from surface suction as you lift off.
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    This thing doesn't really float well while stationary on water. The back of the pontoons ride very low. But, these rudders are required to help steer on the water at low speed.
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    Contractor crew.
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    The cockpit is pretty high up in the air.
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    A couple of days prior to my visit the helitack guys responded to a lightning fire just across the valley. Two tankers were launched to help knock it down before it got away. I think it turned into about a 50 acre burn before they got it.
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    They have water sources mapped out so they can quickly reload from a lake when needed.
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    I was talking to a pilot that once was working a contract in another country "crop dusting" drug producing crops. He got shot down while doing so and had to make a precarious landing on a village street. Nice paying contract I'm sure. Flying fire, or things like that, must be for the adventurous types.
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    A little of the tank is visible. It is right in front of the pilot.
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  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Day 12 Omak Airport Part II Continued

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    Airbags on the pilot harness.
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    Instead of a single 800 gallon drop, the pilot can split the load into two 400 gallon drops.
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    Crop dusting is dangerous enough. Flying fires with heat and smoke and unfamiliar terrain must be a real challenge. A pilot told me you can really feel the heat.
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    I don't know about the pontoon version, but the wheeled version seems like it would be fun to fly.
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    Camera that helps to locate the hot spots.
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    I asked about positive and negative Gs. I forgot the numbers but they weren't much different than other general aviation planes.
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    Drop doors.
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    The doors are computer controlled to vary how the load is applied.
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    Doors open. When using water, they can mix a water wetter in with it.
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  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 12 Continued

    Heading over to Winthrop.

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    I saw a flock of these things flying around the sky so I rode over to check them out.
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    Not sure how it all works but it looked like fun.
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    Landed in a city park.
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    The building the Breadline Café is in started up in 1906. They had to literally drag the building over one block years ago to make room for a post office.
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    For a while this place was a bottling plant and had a bunch of other uses. Now it is a place to be and they offer a lot of entertainment.
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    Ag helicopters. As I mentioned, when cherries are in their last few weeks of the ripening process they are vulnerable to absorbing too much water through their skin which makes them crack and less valuable. Some growers use helicopters to "dry" the cherries by blowing the excess water off of the fruit.
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    1957 model UH-19.
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    1961 model UH-19.
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    That truck doesn't seem to be placarded as a fuel truck so maybe these guys do aerial applications as well.
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    I'm running in a gap between two scenic byways along here.
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    Old wooden silo.
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    Next up a smokejumper base and a couple of fatal fires.
    Shaggie, staticPort, bomose and 2 others like this.
  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 12 Continued

    Smokejumper Base near Winthrop

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    CASA C-212. STOL (Short take off and landing). Originally designed for the Spanish military.
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    Our own Special Operations folks use the STOL capability for slipping people in and out of tight spots.
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    The wheels don't retract.
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    I wonder what the exit and body positions are when exiting this aircraft.
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    Only one smokejumper here this evening. If he had a chute on the van/door would make it look like he is ready to jump from a plane. :D
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  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 12 Continued

    30 Mile Fire

    I'll come to back to Winthrop on the way back through. Let's run up the valley to the 30 Mile Fire.
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    Up and back run. The road does not go through.
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    Further ahead it got narrower with steeper sides. I passed through some areas that had burned. Knowing some of the events that took place here it was kind of a creepy feeling - especially when I would catch the smell of some campfire smoke along the way.
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    Bailey Bridge
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    Looks like the water can really rip through here in a storm.
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    Getting closer to the end of the line.
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    Big disappointment. Looks like I'm a couple of miles short. I was looking forward to visiting this site since I knew where the deployments were and I wanted to see first hand what the site looked like.
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    They weren't kidding about the road . . .
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    Aw shucks.
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    Heading back out.
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    Well, here is some info about the fire. I recommend the book which I'll link to in a bit. The fire blew up.
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    You can follow the progression in the book. One interesting fact about this fire is that a supervisor was charged with 4 counts of manslaughter for his mistakes that related to the four wildland firefighters being killed. A plea deal was worked out but this changed things for many people considering being supervisors in the future.
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    I recommend the book as there are some stories about people trying to push through before being entrapped and even a firefighter running on foot behind the van because it was too full to take him on board.
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    The deployment site was where the river meets the road. Some set up their shelters on the road surface.
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    Some set up higher up in the rocks for some reason. After a fire experts can do an analysis to estimate temperatures at various levels. The people on the road had temps that allowed them to survive. The people up higher in the rocks had much hotter temperatures that killed them. Someone that was getting burned bolted for the creek. After the fire passed, the rocks had so much residual heat that people couldn't get to the casualties for a while.
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    For some reason, no one had notified people and evacuated the campground at the end of this dead end road. Two people staying there smelled the smoke and figured it was time to leave. They drove up to the firefighters at the deployment site. Firefighters deployed their shelters. The civilians had none. The two, husband and wife, invited themselves into a smaller-size female firefighter's shelter. Three people in the shelter and they all survived. The couple's truck, parked just beyond the deployment site, burned. There were puddles of metal from the metal cap on the pickup bed.
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    There is a memorial at the deployment site where four wildland fire fighters were killed.
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    There is a detailed analysis of this fire in the lessons learned materials. The fire that killed these four was started by a campfire.

    The book is a worthwhile read.
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    30 Mile Fire Fatality Case Study
    siyeh, Shaggie, Bultaco206 and 4 others like this.