A Roll In Cactus Country: Our Fire Assignment In The Southwest

All customer care professionals are busy.  Please continue to hold. Copy.  Waiting on Blue Cross. Really I just need somebody to look at my upper thigh and tell me everything is good and everything is gravy.  You don’t have staph or bed bugs.  Spending 20 days on the road through the southwest, sleeping in 4 or 5 different hotels and 10 or twelve nites in Mobile Sleepers leaves me wondering what the hell is growing on my leg.  So it is again that days off equals errands, chores and getting the body okay’d to do it all again.

Our roll was  cake ,without much busting-ass involved. Our Crew Boss referred to it as a vacation assignment.  I don’t quite agree with that.  A vacation involves family, not 19 dudes.  A vacation to southwest should entail going in late March, when the temperature is a pleasant 80’ish or so, not asphalt egg-cooking 118 degrees.  A vacation to me in the southwest would mean seeking out hole in the wall joints, not eating a “Fritter” which is what a cat pukes up, solidified into a goodyear tire, and served atop a waffle.

Lookout for 3 days, got interesting when winds hit 25MPH

Lacking in labor to keep us hungry, our muscles in shape, and our minds engaged, we all fell into a deep catatonic trance.  Soaking in sweat.  Sitting.  Staring. Reflecting.  There was enough spare time to contemplate many of the predicaments of life, but for the most part, that was lost on me.  Instead I tried focusing on keeping the truck organized, the gear in working order, the elaborate sprinkler system we put together up and continuously running.  See we did have some work.  Just enough to help us all remember why we’d traveled 1500 miles to the hellish Arizona backcountry.

There’s a madness to an Arizona Orchard, especially true when the RH is registering at 4.

What we did, as a crew, was AUGER into the chunk we were given. Like heroic cysts, invasive species with positive side effects.  The objective set by the team organizing the incident was to prep around structures and contingency lines for fire growth and to lessen the impact of future catastrophic fire.  So just about any work we could imagine, in some way or another, could be justified under this verbiage.

Since I’d set up sprinkler systems before I was given somewhat of the lead role in overseeing the hoselay operation, which as some things go, was a “get-everything-out-of-the boxes and let’s struggle-our-way-through-this” sort of approach.  What I learned or was given a refresher course in was that not everything works the way you need it to, and to be open to input and suggestions. We removed the filters from the in-line t’s because they immediately reduced the pressure or diminished the flow completely to the sprinklers. So the question remains as to “why are they there to begin with?” and so on. I’d like to sit down and write a letter: Dear sprinkler Company, Your sprinklers…but I don’t have time.  We go available again tomorrow, and I have to get in  family time, re-pack my gear, and put some cream on my shingles.  Yes, I didn’t come down with staph or scavies.  I got shingles.  Don’t know how or why, but I read stress could be to blame.  Maybe I’m stressed. I don’t know.  I hope we get called tommorrow, though.


Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *