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Cool. July 10, 2008

Dude. I'm having such a good time.

I'm working in an expanded dispatch center which is running resources for four federal complexes, plus a bunch of state fires. A complex is a name for a group of fires. Each complex is made of 20-30 individual fires. So my team is working on around 125 forest fires, all started by dry lightning that occurred three weeks ago. Seriously, wow.

Every single thing they have to work with on those fires came through this center. Their personnel: the firefighters, the management, the helicopter crew members, the radio operators, the prison crews, the hired hand-crews. Their equipment: the engines, the hoses, the airplanes, the chainsaws. The supply: the computers, the port-a-potties, the food, the paperclips. Also: travel to and from, hotel stays, ground support for getting people from all over the country and the world TO each fire where they need to go. It's kind of like party-planning for a really awful, enormous party which requires really big toys.

It's mind-boggling. And this is only for a small fraction of the fires burning here -- there are other tens of other expanded dispatch centers in every national forest district, in different counties and areas of California.

(Don't tell the people I'm talking to all day on the phone, but I'm on the coast. It's cool here. They're battling with pulling the bugs out of their fax machines that are run on generator-power, sweating in the 114 degree heat, and we're out here comfortable in the all-day fog. And while what we're doing is important and vital, what they're doing is scary and necessary and amazing, so props to them. Mad props.)

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Comments

Wow, indeed. Good for you, and even more important, good for them!

Rachel, its totally possible that you are working with my sis! She usually works fires and is the Land and Minerals Officer at Orleans, north of Hoopa. Her name is Leslie, I cant get ahold of her at home, so tell her to call me!
You are in a beautiful part of the world, and yes Arcata is the last stronghold of the super Granola Group!

Mad Props!

I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you and what you do. It's a difficult job and one which you clearly do exceptionally well. I'm proud to know you (even though it's only through your blog), and wanted you to know that I truly appreciate the work you do.

Mad props to you too, darlin'. You rock. Actually, just how much you totally rock was a topic at lunch today with a couple of friends. I am in awe of what you and your co-workers do.

I just noticed you have 911 subscribers on Bloglines,:>)

mad clapping all around. i feel for all of you with all the scary smokiness and all...but glad you are able to stay cool...thinking the same here how fortunate we are this summer even though/even because its overcast and consistently in the 50s this year. stay safe.

You are da awesome for rallying around to help so many in need right now. Sending you lotsa luvs.

Speaking of love, more wedding bells coming up soon for you and Lala?

You are doing awesome work. And - just in case you didn't catch it - the Pet of the Week picture of Bart in The Montclarion is just adorable. Thank you again for helping to save the life of a very deserving puppy. Gina in The Glenview

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