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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 22,814

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Perhaps my best photo effort - ever! "Moonrise over East Butte Lookout"

This was taken tonight from China Hat Butte, two miles from East Butte. Serious relative wilderness (not designated wilderness). Major planning required.

I did a dry run last night. My truck is scratched to hell from the manzanita-choked "road" up China Hat Butte, but what the hell. I constantly looked over my shoulder for mountain lions, which are ubiquitous in the area.

This image is not perfect, but I have about 100 more to sort through.

Looking for fires @ East Butte fire lookout tower

Nice day. No fires!

View from the fire lookout tower today

Glad I trimmed my nose hair!

Sad Flags for the 4th

Ford Madox Ford's opening line of his 1915 novel "The Good Soldier" says it best: "This is the saddest story I have ever heard."

Today: worse than the worst of Vietnam for me (Granite Mountain Hotshots)

Today has been like Vietnam, only worse. I remember the gut wrenching days after we lost air crews and/or friends. I remember the plaintive, begging MAYDAY calls. I remember watching helicopters go down, and 'chutes from battle-damaged RF-4Cs. I remember the 37mm and 57mm on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, at night.

All bad memories, but nothing like today. The news says the worst loss of firefighters since 9/11. True in raw numbers, and if you compare apples and oranges. The 19 killed in Arizona were primarily wildland firefighters, and off the top of my head it is the worst loss of wildland firefighters in my memory.

Steel up, people, for more bad fires. Look at what is happening with climate change. The time will come, and soon, that all the brave Hotshot crews in the world cannot help. I am a forward observer on the very front line of this war, and it is getting ugly.

Meanwhile, Peace be with the families of these brave firefighters. I, for one, will dedicate my efforts for the rest of this fire season to the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and all other firefighting crews.

RIP. And never let this happen again.
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