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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Willows, California, United States

Oct 2, 2020 - No room in lots of inns

I made it to CA in record time. Finding a hotel room was another matter. Many of the hotels are full of firefighters who were brought in for safety during extreme weather. I called several places with more rooms but here I was given the executive suite for the government rate. What a deal. A shame I'm too sleepy to stay up and enjoy it more. I'm in Redding but tomorrow will more to Eureka which is...wait for it....ON THE COAST! yay! Goodnight!

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Oct 2, 2020 - Still on the same tank

Well - here I go again!! And yes, that was quick! I'm headed back to the August Complex, writing this from the airport in Atlanta. My fire has grown rapidly and many ARAs cannot accept multiple assignments because they are not retired and their employers only promise to let them go for one assignment per year. I had expected that I might get asked to travel by the middle of next week but was surprised to get a request yesterday morning, asking if I could fly today. I am glad for every day I chose to rest rather than do something more...

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Sep 21, 2020 - Day 29

It's almost hard to believe but I am leaving the fire / ICP tomorrow. It seems like I have been here a very long time. I have to work in the morning and then there is a rigorous checkout procedure, but I should be on my way to Sacramento in time to get there before dark. Then an early flight Wednesday morning. I fly home through Chicago. I'm not thrilled about that. The last time I flew that way from California was a pretty horrible experience. I'll just hope for better luck tomorrow. At least if I have to complain to someone I should be...

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Sep 20, 2020 - Counting Down

I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. I have another whole day here tomorrow and it promises to be very busy. I've asked several times about getting an air monitor put in at the base camp and no one thought it was needed but NOW that I have only one full day left and lots of paperwork to get in order, there is a request for a monitor. Oh well, it wouldn't do to have a few hours of time to get caught up at the end now would it? Our fire seems to be holding pretty steady at 834,000 acres. There is still a lot of smoke from...

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Sep 19, 2020 - Humility

I'm getting really tired, and I can tell by mistakes I make. I really don't even feel all that different from a few days ago but performance is suffering. Like I had to type suffering 3 times to get it right. With recognition that I am very tired, John offered to do yesterday's smoke outlook to let me sleep until 7. I felt tremendously better and was up in time to review his outlook before publishing but he wanted to issue it without supervision so I let him. He's been good at forecasting so I didn't even double check it until I had a...

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Sep 18, 2020 - My Second Day 10

Wow, this is getting to be a long assignment. I've mentioned before that Day 10 of an assignment is usually my toughest day. Today was made somewhat easier than a typical Day 10 in that my trainee (no longer a trainee after I deemed him fully qualified today) offered to produce the smoke outlook completely by himself this morning in order to give me a couple extra hours of sleep. I was sure he was ready so agreed wholeheartedly. As it turns out, he wasn't quite as ready as I thought.... well maybe he was, but there was something he didn't...

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Sep 17, 2020 - Long Day short entry

I just wrote a really nice long entry and because I wrote a long time without saving, the program timed out and I lost the whole thing. I'm tired and aggravated and not willing to retype it all because I really need to sleep. SO here are pictures which show you some of the beauty we went through today to put in a new monitor on the west side of the fire. What they don't show is that it took 3.5 hours to get there because the fire is REALLY big, 2.5 hours to set up the monitor because the site that was supposed to have electricity didn't,...

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Sep 16, 2020 - Rattlesnake revisited

I try not to duplicate what I put on Facebook here, but today was too poignant to omit from either platform. We visited Rattlesnake Ridge, where 15 firefighters lost their lives in 1953. The fire has been used since then for firefighter safety training and still is used for that today. There are white crosses erected across from the memorial site and in better times (not just after a fire has completely reburned this area) you can hike in to the crosses. I know those men are no longer there but it was very eerie thinking of the firefighters...

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Sep 15, 2020 - Fighting Fire with Fire

I've been on the road most of the day but part of that was to do something really cool. My trainee went to see a planned firing operation- in this case where firefighters were burning some vegetation from an area where they want be able to stop the fire. They clear brush away first, then throughly wet the area they don't want fire to go and then...burn enough to create a big empty space that fire won't cross. It was fun watching and I promise I was at a safe distance. Tired now, though, so goodnight!

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Sep 14, 2020 - I got more FOOD

I went to base camp this morning with my trainee and we picked up lunches while we were there. Then we were headed to the supply tent and had to pass by the trailer where people at base camp get hot meals. It was about 10:30 and things were closed up but I said to someone "aww, what a shame we missed breakfast..." and he told me no worries, there were still hot breakfasts to be had. I had a biscuit with gravy and hash browns. Carbs have never tasted better. And I have SNACKS! I shared my facebook video onto my page so if you have FB you...

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Sep 13, 2020 - About to be a star?

Pretty good day here and I wound up making a video clip about smoke smoke levels and my forecast. It will likely get shared on the Mendocino National Forest FB page but I'm not sure just when. Then the trainee came in and I showed him around ICP. Smoke today was finally less dense than it has been and our fire was not the biggest smoke producer on the satellite image. YAY! I went to WalMart and stocked up again but bought fewer groceries than usual because a week from now I'll be thinking about using everything up before heading home. I'm...

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Sep 12, 2020 - My last day solo

Tomorrow my trainee will arrive. It is fun to have someone else to work with and I think he will be very bright. That said, it is also kinda tiring because nothing can just be done automatically; I have to be prepared to explain every step as I go along. Some things are really just a judgement call and trying to explain what makes me judge toward one side of the fence vs the other can be a challenge. So I am enjoying my final evening of peace and quiet, and hoping to get to sleep a little earlier than usual. Since I am going to soon be...

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