Purple Haze ?

I woke up early Monday, with nausea and a pounding headache. A smokey haze surrounded our house. It had infiltrated through our open windows during the night and the smell was unmistakable. Vaguely like  campfire, with a sickening aftertaste.

Purple Haze

There were no flames to be seen, and no helicopters or small planes buzzing overhead. This assures me that the fire itself was not too close.  But it’s a huge fire, if  it’s haze wafted over to us and still smells so strong.

For the first time since living here, I closed all the windows and turned on the air conditioning. I set the thermostat  to 84 degrees, and already it was blowing cool air at 6:00 AM because it was 85 degrees in the house, . A downside of having good insulation?

Anyway, I wanted to find out more of what was going on. I call it “staying informed”, but hubby says I’m nosy. Either way, I went  to the local on-line newspaper, The Pine Tree, and poked around awhile.

I found this interesting fire update article that I wanted to share with y’all.  The outstanding photos show the helicopters, jumpers, and air tankers working at the scene of the fire.

Fire Update…Ramsey Still at 250 Acres, 20% Containment, Moderately Active
Posted by: John_Hamilton of The Pine Tree on 08/12/2012 07:22 PM
Cottage Springs, CA…We just checked in with the USFS Dispatch Center in Sonora for the latest on the Ramsey fire as they get the last loads of retardant dropped to shore up the lines for the night. The fire is still being held in the 250 acre range but it is nibbling at the retardant lines and trying to break through. The risk is that with the lack of air drops that it could break through some lines overnight. Since it is down in the canyon an inversion factor can come into effect according to the USFS. This is where even as the temps cool out of the canyon the temps can remain high down in the canyon and keep the fire active. Air Attack 440 from Columbia will resume flight over the fire at 8am in the morning. Helicopters and Air Tankers will resume efforts shortly after. On the fire are 8 engines, 5 hand crews, 1 dozer, plus a water tender and other misc personnel overnight.
We would like to thank James J. Shinnick & Bill Minkel for the latest photos!

Don’t you just love how the reporter writes like he’s chatting with you personally?

The Big Move: Day 2

Saturday, July 21st – The Big Day

After the moving truck left, we locked up and drove our heavy laden vehicles to the mountains. My car was weighed down with books, files, a large ice-chest, loaded suitcases, and my precious computer, Hercules, and all his peripherals. My poor little Honda does not like going uphill with just me inside, so me + another ton went uphill about as fast as a pot-smoking snail.

Hubby, up ahead driving his Big Ass Truck with lots of horsepower, has no clue how frustrated and irritated I am becoming. Add the 99° F temperature to this equation, along with severe nicotine cravings courtesy of  The Bitch, and I am approaching lift-off.

We beat the moving truck up the mountain. I wanted to relax and simply enjoy being here, before the movers arrived, but all Hell broke loose instead.

We heard a helicopter approaching, then two of them circled over the forest area. I thought that they were either hunting down fugitives or part of an Air Show. One of my new neighbors clued me in. The helicopter’s were “spotters”, searching for small fires splitting off from the main fire.  Fire???  Next on the scene would be the small planes called “dumpers” or “bombers”. These would make repeated runs over the fire, dumping fire-retardant or water, depending on the circumstances.  Neighbor Lady was very knowledgeable, but I had lost touch with what she was saying because my brain was too busy with There is a FIRE and it’s burning in the forest next to my new house!!

If you think I’m being over dramatic, this article is from the County’s website :

Fire Update….Vegetation Fire on Forest Service Land Behind Arnold
Posted by: John_Hamilton on 07/21/2012 04:51 PM

Sheep Ranch CA…Crews are responding to a vegetation fire on Mountain Ranch Road and Armstrong Road. This is a full wildfire response including all aircraft from Columbia. More to follow…..Update as of 5:35pm…This fire is actually closer to Arnold than Mountain Ranch on USFS property. The good…fire is still small and doesn’t seem to be spreading much. The bad is that this fire is in heavy fuels. Update as of 5:51pm…Initially the responding engines were accessing off of Sheep Ranch Road. Now they are rerouting engines around White Pines Lake and take Manuel Mill behind Arnold. Update as of 6:13pm…ground units have been on scene for a few minutes. One of the tankers has been released and Helicopter 404 is refueling now and Tanker 82 will probably be released as soon as 404 returns to the fire. Unless something drastically changes they should be able to get this knocked down as soon as the additional ground units arrive. Update as of Sunday Morning…We checked in with the TCU Command Center and the fire was held to less than an acre. In the photos below, the one on the right was taken at 6:55pm last night and you could already tell the plume was significantly reduced…

Forest Fire

Fire Out

Thank you, Mother Nature, for that warm welcome.