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DemoTex

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,214

Journal Archives

Solving problems the old fashioned way (triangulation)

Today, plotting a fire, the old-fashioned way, deep in a drainage about five miles to my east-southeast. It was a lightning fire that I would never see, unless it got really big. Various fire crews called in azimuths from high points where they could glimpse the elusive smoke.

The fire was eventually located. But a big difference (31-degrees) in a shot taken 1/2 mile from where they actually located the fire - a shot down another drainage - has convinced me there is a second fire over there. A helo recon is ordered for tomorrow morning.

This is just about as much fun as you can have in a fire lookout. The team work is amazing. All of this is done on a tactical frequency, so officialdom is cut out until determinations are made. It was an intense day, but a different "intense" from yesterday's 1500+ strike lightning bust.

This plotting board reminds me of my aircraft cockpit in Vietnam. But that was then; this is now.


GPS vs. Map? HA! Try this with your GPS.

"Wilderness High-Tech Fire Lookout Overlooking Major Metro Area"

This is a "still" from the PBS video b-roll that Arizona Public Media has asked me to do. B-roll is background video or film that will be used with voice-over or music. They want to do an expanded documentary on my lookout job (they did a short feature a few weeks ago). They think I am almost as good as their photographers, so they have asked that I do B-Roll and multiple stills. OK!

I'm off tomorrow, but I'll hang out in the lookout for a prescribed burn 3.5 miles east of me. Smoke is smoke. It will make for great B-Roll video!

Autographs by appointment only.

South Arizona Fire Season: Stick a Fork in It!

Who said (it was a DUer) this wasn't monsoonal weather? What a day! I got POUNDED with close lightning and heavy rain, but nary a fire. The Tucson area had about 1500 lightning strikes between 3-9 PM. Still flashing in the distance.


Spillover the Santa Catalina front range. This happens very quickly, and to get it illuminated in a setting sun is rare!


Barely above the clouds at almost 9000 feet, with Tucson lights below.


A dark and stormy night!

A Democratic Party icon visited me at the fire lookout today!


"Jasmine"

Jasmine and her "mom" hike the trails of the Santa Catalina Mountains of southern Arizona picking up the litter the human jackasses leave. They are fixtures on Mt. Lemmon.

"SHORT!"

A number of my DU friends know what "short!" means. "Short" was a Vietnam ritual. Now, I can officially call "SHORT!" on my personal fire season here in the Coronado NF! My "DEROS" is August 9!
That will make a four month fire season. With the closure of the lookout to public visitation, and this shortening of my fire season, this has become the perfect fire gig for me. Guess I'll RE-UP!

Sunset on fire season in south Arizona

Like Weegie said: "F8 and be there." You gotta BE THERE.

The monsoon hath arrived at Lemmon Rock Fire Lookout. It hit south Arizona on July 3rd, big time. Today, the 5th was awesome! We had four lightning fires here in my ranger district, despite the heavy rains on the Santa Catalina mountains over the last three days. Those fires are small, single snags, that due to the late afternoon severe storms today, and are in "monitor" status.

Severe storms roll in at about 5:15 PM today (7-5-2014)




"Monsoon Morning" today (7/5)


Monsoon morning/evening colors





The Southwest monsoon hath arrived, with a vengeance! (HEAVY PICS)

It hit south Arizona on July 3rd, big time. Today, the 5th was awesome! We had four lightning fires here in my ranger district, despite the heavy rains on the Santa Catalina mountains over the last three days. Those fires are small, single snags, that due to the late afternoon severe storms today, are in "monitor" status. Here 'ya go:

Severe storms roll in at about 5:15 PM today (7-5-2014)




"Dawn Patrol" today (7/5)


Monsoon morning/evening colors






Awesome video of the SE Arizona "Radio Fire" (a lightning start from7/2)

South end of the Whetstone Mountains, southeast of Tucson, AZ. The initial size-up was 30 acres burning in light fuels. It is now at 1260 acres in grass and brush.

Google Earth Search: 31.738 -110.460



Shot this snag hiking yesterday: "Cheney's Pitchfork"



Coronado NF - Mt. Lemmon
Near Tucson, AZ
June 27, 2014

Long-time DUer ArcticDave visited me at the lookout today! (Big pic fest in honor of that visit!)

What a wonderful surprise! Mr. & Mrs. ArticDave, in person! We had a great time. Talked for almost two hours. Wish we had longer, but they had to hike out to their rig before dark.

I got my "ANCHORAGE FIRE DEPT" T-shirt from Dave. Swapped him a "DESCHUTES NF FIRE" T-shirt. That was in 2009 or 2010.

Didn't get any pics of us together. Wish I had. But in honor of ArticDave, here are some Mt. Lemmon photos from yesterday and today (May 28/29):


Taken shortly after ArticDave hiked out of the Wilderness of Rocks to the trail-head on Mt. Lemmon.


They got a kick (as DUers would) out of my "Nixon with Propeller Beanie" photo (actually, the Duck Rock Hoo-Doo)


"Flora Catalina at Dawn" yesterday. They had done the most excellent Desert Museum at Saguaro NP (west), and loved the natural history of this area. Can anyone ID this plant?


"Arizona Highways" The road up Mt. Lemmon. Between the low road (L) and the high road (R) is Windy Point.


"Babad Do'ag" - Frog Mountain. Since ArticDave certainly knows who Nick-Nick is, Babad Do'ag (and it is sacred) always makes me mutter, "But Nick is a Go-good Do'ag!"


ArticDave, this is the photo I told you about looking over Rattlesnake Peak at the Tucson jewel at dawn's first light last Monday.


Finally, the drift-smoke sunrise from Memorial Day morning that you guys liked.
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