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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,232

Journal Archives

My PBS mini-documentary (eight minutes)

I did about 99% of the still photos and 60% of the video on this Arizona Public Media/PBS mini-documentary. It played Arizona last week. As my first involvement with PBS, I am very proud! My voice-over in the second half, or so, was done in the WCQS (NPR) studios in Asheville, NC. What a great group there!

Last sunrise of the 2014 fire season, for me (A Two-fer!)

I'm outta the fire lookout, today. Headed home. I hope to be on I-10 by 1PM, eastbound. It was a nice, short season (April 6 - August 9). If I were in Oregon, I'd still have about 2.5 months left.

This morning's sunrise was spectacular. The sun came up, then came up again! The first "sunrise" was a reflection of the sun (which was still below the horizon) in high cirrus clouds. Then the "real" sun came up, and both the sun and the reflection continued to rise together. Can't remember ever seeing that before. What a send off! Two sunrises for one early morning wakeup.

DUers': How weird is this and, also, WTF?

I don't do Twitter, but I did signup a couple of years ago. Cut to the chase: "stevedeshazer", a long dead DUer (an Oregonian with the rabbit icon) sent me a tweet a week or so ago. I know that after Steve's death, his daughter posted for a short period. WTF is this scam?

GOOD NEWS! My Fire Season is so OVER! Outta here on 8/9/2014! (PIC HEAVY CELEBRATION)

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 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.


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

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