Well, it has been a little bit of time since I have written my last post. I’m not even sure if this is still relevant or interesting since I am no longer working for the Forest Service (as I am back to being a full-time student). I thought that even though I started this project and did not get to write as many posts as I had anticipated, at the very least it would be a little bit more conclusive to reflect on this season.
I started this project with different intentions and my expectations were not met with how I wanted to execute things. It doesn’t really matter to me though since I was surprised by how different my experiences were than what I had envisioned.
Since my last post, a lot has happened in the last two months. I experienced my first larger fire (McKay Butte-165 acres), and then another one (Kotzman-40 acres), and then my first fire assignment (204 Cow Fire- about 10,00 acres)! There were also plenty of lightning fires and abandoned campfires in between making the days fly. To finish off the season, we utilized lightning-caused fires to make them slightly bigger helping to manage fuel content and then ended my last day on a prescribed burn.
I think it’s hard to quantify in a few words what went on in detail about this last summer, yet some of my biggest learning experiences are still having an effect on me. It’s funny how the things that are experienced in the past are able to influence and teach even though time has passed.
A lot of people have been asking me now that fire season is over, is if I plan to do it again. The answer is, yes? I had an interesting and what many would call a slow fire season, which is good and also maybe bad as well for next year. I really enjoy the work that I do and the opportunities that are always presenting themselves. I have found a unique group of people that are capable of inspiring me and willing to call me out on my bullsh!t. In my opinion, it’s hard to find folks like that these days.
At the end of the day though, I have no idea what I want to do in the extended future. I am enjoying my life in Bend right now and the community of people surrounding and supporting me.
I’d like to give a special shoutout to my mom and sister for taking care of Eugene for me!
Hope you enjoy the winter and I’ll see you next summer.