Arger Report #4

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Good news to report: I had a very good conversation with station Captain Tony Martinez on Engine 25 out of the Monticello station this morning around 7:30am when he and his heroic 3-engine crew (led by an incredible battalion chief named Jake Mceown (sp?) who truly saved our bacon up here - I can explain more sometime later) were heading down the mountain to get a day of rest after more than 2 FULL days on duty up here. Tony informed me that the "plan" I described last night was a success!

That is, CalFire (1) successfully put in dozer lines all the way from Circle Oaks/121 to the southeast of Atlas Peak, through Foss Valley (existing vineyard/dirt roads/fire breaks excepted), and connected with additional dozer lines at Sage Canyon /Chappellet/Pritchard hill, and (2) "backfired" EVERYTHING (i.e., all of the remaining wildland) above/north of those lines. In short, it appears that they have the fire effectively contained up here. For those up here currently, yes, there are some pretty big flames still raging along the very northwestern edge of Stagecoach (i.e. the ridgeline that ties in with Chappellet/Pritchard Hill), but it is my understanding that that is part of the "backfire" plan and within the planned/dozed fire lines. And, while Tony and the other local fire crews are off today, there are other engines and some helicopters up here keeping an eye on things in case things go haywire. To that end, the winds, although calm now, could always change and the fire could get away from the crews. However, a great weight was lifted off my shoulders after speaking with Tony early this am and I feel pretty darn good about things up here at the moment. Lets keep our thoughts and prayers going that the news up here stays good, as there are a lot of other folks around northern California who are in much worse shape than we are and desperately need the resources that are still currently dedicated up here.

As a heads up, I am probably heading back to Reno later today/this evening to catch up on several pressing "work work" matters and to see my beautiful wife and kids, so I will not be able to personally report first hand/on site information. However, I will do my best to stay in touch with Tony and others up here and keep everyone informed as necessary.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes, hard work and dedication to this incredibly special place we have in Soda Canyon/Atlas Peak/Foss Valley. It was once again a team effort from all players: Evil Knievel, Glenn Salva, Paul Keyzers, Brian ??, Derns, Choppings, Debra Manfree, Todd Adams, Tarzan, of course our local SCR volunteer fire captain DOUG CHRISTIAN to whom we owe a HUGE thank you as he may well have saved the Perris lives by waking them up and evac-ing them in time on Wednesday morning.before the fire took their home, and others I am probably forgetting. I am so very proud to consider this home and hope everyone is able to get to their respective homes soon.

With that, lets hope the next time we all communicate is at a community event gathering to celebrate with the fires long behind us!


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