Saturday, September 5, 2015


Mike and I had come to the farm at Gilbert last Monday to assess the wind and fire damage that occurred Saturday, August 29th. At that time State of Idaho Fire Crew 6 was here tending the fire, which burned approximately ten acres and then smoldered in the draw.

We came back to the farm yesterday morning (Friday, Sept. 4), and Mike immediately set to work cleaning up the fallen pine tree that landed just at the edge of the north field below the yard. At lunch, he said he could use help, so I set aside the scheduled dusting and cleaning of counters (hopefully I will still get it done or be forgiven) and went to help him. We piled slash into the small trailer pulled by the 4-wheeler and made many trips to the burn pile on the other side of the pond. Mike also cut limbs into firewood. By 3:00 we were both tired, but Mike said rain was predicted for tomorrow so he would keep at it. I agreed to continue helping.
Bess makes new friends
We had seen the fire crew come in about noon and head down to the draw on the north side of the field just out of sight. About 3:30, Laura, the crew chief, came walking across the field. “I have a crew of six and two chain saws,” she said. “Could you use some help?”

Mike’s response was an incredulous, “Are you serious?” To which she replied that her crew could make quick work of this job. Within minutes, they were working, doing in an hour what it would have taken Mike and me hours to accomplish. With heavy-duty chain saws, they limbed and cut firewood, and then one of them helped Mike stack the firewood on either side of the woodshed. Two huge piles of slash will be our Christmas bonfire right where they sit. At 4:45, they said good-bye and returned to the draw. Amidst the thanking, they thanked us for letting them help.

And – I probably wouldn’t have thought of this, but they made a nice straight cut and delivered this enchanting ornamental piece to our porch. It’s perfect for this place in my estimation.

The crew boss said the fire in the draw had been out for two days as required and she would “call it out” this evening. They would finish other work and then return to Boise in a day or so. KW


DrJulieAnn -The Modern Retro Woman said...

I love that they thanked you for letting them help you. I have tears in my eyes.

Kathy said...

Hi Dr. JulieAnn! Wonderful to hear from you!
They were a wonderful crew! And how did you like that the crew chief is a woman? And attractive at that. No glamour there -- or maybe we should call it a different kind of glamour. She loves her job.

Hallie said...

Ellen used to help with fire control in the summers with her first forestry job. It might be common for the women to do supervisory work on fires...not sure. It is VERY touching that they were so kind and helpful. Mom, you ought to find an address and send cookies after the fire season.

Kathy said...

Unfortunately, I believe the moment to have served cookies passed. And I didn't have cookies on hand. As nice as that would have been, they had snacks and water with them. In fact, they gave Mike a bottle of water.

It's seasonal work, and the season is ending. Next year Crew 6 may or may not be made up of different people.

I will tell you, though, they were six fit-looking people.

drMolly, the BeanQueen said...


I am so glad that things turned out on the good side. It is just like the firefighters to help you, too.
My dad, a retired forester for Washington State DNR, was talking to me about his experiences with fires during his career. He was distraught over the deaths of the fire fighters and the losses due to all of the fires. At 89 he felt as if he should be out there helping ! I guess it's in the blood.

Chris said...

Wow! What a wonderful gift they gave you! Isn't it great to know such helpful people still exist?