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Smoke Jumpers - The Bold and The Brave

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 06:56:39 EDT
Rating: 1.84 on 14 ratings (27 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

I admire all firefighters, but the smoke jumpers are closest to my heart. They stay for weeks, sometimes months, in the wilderness doing battle with raging wild fires. They are brave and willing to put their lives on the line each time they are needed. Many times the flames surround the fire fighters and they have to crawl in these "shelters" that are just sleeping bags made from fire retardant material, and huddle inside as the fire roars above them.

These photographs were taken by the smoke jumpers, and they gave them to me. I HAD to add billows of smoke and flickering flames. You know I couldn't help it!

Sometimes the smoke jumpers bring me gifts from the fire line. They found a deer pelvis bone in Montana and one of them strapped it to his back pack and carried it around the wilderness for two weeks so he could bring it back to California for me. I hung it on the garden gate. When he presented it to me, he told me he wore it as a mask and danced around his camp fire while others would drum on hollow logs. They get battle weary and do strange things to lighten up their burdens, it reminds me of a reverse cabin fever.

Smokey the Bear says "ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES". The bear is a dumbass, many of these mega blazes are caused by lightning.

The photographs here were not taken at the fire where there was a fatality.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The death of Eva Schicke.

The only female smoke jumper to be killed in this state was Eva Schicke. She was with CAL FIRE Helitack Crew 404 out of Columbia CA. I went to her funeral with Golden Bear, he gave a blessing at the ceremony. There were thousands of people at the fairgrounds to honor her memory. Her body was carried on the back of a fire truck 20 miles in a procession consisting of dozens of red and chrome trucks, and the entire route was lined with people. I stood for hours to pay my respects to her as the procession went through two counties. She died in the canyon up country from my shack, it was the least I could do.

ANGELS CAMP

"Eva Schicke's remains were flown home Monday, amid a chorus of bagpipes and to the salute of 2,000 solemn firefighters in formal black and blue dress.

It had been a day of somber celebration for Schicke, the 23-year-old Turlock-born firefighter who was killed Sept. 12 battling a wildfire east of Groveland in southern Tuolumne County.

The first woman in the history of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to die in action, Schicke was remembered by family and friends during a touching, three-hour public ceremony that attracted close to 4,000 people to the Calaveras County Fairgrounds.

It ended with members of the Columbia Helitack crew, Schicke's co-workers since June, loading her coffin aboard the department helicopter for the short flight back to Columbia.

Her family will take her remains from there to their home in Placerville. Services will be private.

Among the speakers at the Angels Camp ceremony Monday was Schicke's fiancé, Shea Buhler, who recalled a kind-hearted woman who also was fiercely competitive. Tenacity, he said, drove Schicke as a firefighter and contributed to her being chosen to the elite 12-person Helitack crew just four years after she joined CDF.

A LAST TRIP THROUGH MOUNTAINS

The memorial began at 10 a.m. Monday with a ceremonial passing of Schicke's cremated remains from the custody of the U.S. Forest Service to CDF at Terzich & Wilson Funeral Home in Sonora. From there, a procession of more than 100 fire vehicles carried Schicke's flag-draped coffin on a four-hour tour through Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, snaking through the towns of Sonora, Columbia, Murphys and Angels Camp.

Along the way, bystanders waved from sides of roads, and some held American flags. A sign on the north side of the Parrotts Ferry Bridge read: "Thank You Eva." Another in front of an Angels Camp thrift store read: "God Bless Our Firefighters."

As the procession, which increased to about 200 vehicles in Angels Camp, approached the entrance to the fairgrounds, two dozen students from Colleen Hancock's fourth-grade class at nearby Christian Family School waved flags behind a chain-link fence."

Cal Fire Investigation Report.

http://www.fire.ca.gov/fire_protection/downloads/404_investigation_2of5_main-part1of2.pdf

"A sudden wind shift occurred causing the fire to change direction and spread up-slope toward the crew. The fire reacted to the directional wind shift and the backing fire became a spreading fire that turned up-slope with the wind. The fire rate of spread and flame lengths increased dramatically.

Three members of the helitack crew simultaneously shouted the alarm within seconds of the wind shift and everyone started toward their identified safety zones. The captain and three firefighters went down to the river; two firefighters went up toward Lumsden Road, FF Boatman was already on the road. The captain and three firefighters that went downhill reached their safety zone. Both FF Schicke and FF Neveau went uphill but only FF Neveau made it to the road. FF Schicke was last seen by FF Neveau immediately behind him approximately 5 feet from the road. FF Schicke was overrun by the flame front that was spreading uphill and was killed by inhalation of super heated air; she died within seconds. Her body slid down the slope and came to rest approximately 100 feet down-slope from the road. Firefighters at scene estimated the elapsed time from the wind shift to the burnover was less than 30 seconds with the total wind event lasting less than 2 minutes. Fire shelters were not deployed."

I will never forget Eva.

Smoke Jumpers I salute you!



smoker1.gif
smoker1.gif

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smoker2.gif

big damn smoke.gif
big damn smoke.gif

hi ho hi ho off to work we go.gif
hi ho hi ho off to work we go.gif

fire be wild.gif
fire be wild.gif

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smoker6.gif

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smoker7.gif

ben.gif
ben.gif

smoker10.gif
smoker10.gif

justin thrashed.gif
justin thrashed.gif

the ride.gif
the ride.gif

ya gotta laugh.gif
ya gotta laugh.gif

smoker11.gif
smoker11.gif

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smokergrub.gif

smoker life.gif
smoker life.gif

smokey bear.gif
smokey bear.gif

smoker doc.gif
smoker doc.gif

smokers angel.gif
smokers angel.gif

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smoker eats.gif

smoker 3 weeks on the line.gif
smoker 3 weeks on the line.gif

smokers ain't right!.gif
smokers ain't right!.gif

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smokere are HOT.gif

smoker cheese.gif
smoker cheese.gif

smoking hollow house.gif
smoking hollow house.gif

smoker trail.gif
smoker trail.gif

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smoker nutz.gif

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smoking gun.gif

peace out.gif
peace out.gif

eva.jpg
eva.jpg


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Submitted by Ducky at 2012-06-06 06:25:53 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Once upon a time I was trained, put on a crew and shipped to a different province to fight fires. I spent 2 weeks on call and then went home, and that...was the beginning and end of my fire fighting career. The end. Cool pictures Roads.

I can't say Eva without doing it in the Wall-E robot voice because I'm a total idiot.

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-06-05 20:03:00 EDT (#)

Submitted by FartSmeller at 2012-06-05 15:15:29 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

That one pic looks 'shopped.
~~~
which one?

Submitted by FartSmeller at 2012-06-05 18:15:29 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

That one pic looks 'shopped.

Submitted by Wisher at 2012-06-04 23:23:51 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Snark at 2012-06-04 17:13:03 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Memories

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-31 00:14:40 EDT (#)

"..able-bodied-meaning a man.."

I once asked a Marine how he felt about women Marines. He said "If another Marine can't carry me out of the line of fire, I don't want to serve with that Marine". That made a lot of sense to me.


Submitted by joedaddy at 2012-05-30 23:18:37 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Up until the mid 50's, in Ca, if you were driving thru, or near, a forest-fire
"they" any authority (local/state/federal) could drag your ass out of your car (if, you were able-bodied-
meaning a man) and force you to help fight the fire in some capacity.

Submitted by X54 at 2012-05-30 22:39:12 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

RIP Eva.

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 22:02:30 EDT (#)

Submitted by SilvrWolf at 2012-05-30 18:55:23 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

What's wrong with Eva? She's a hero. She should be recognized and most definitely not left out.
Smoke jumpers help keep the fires from reaching our back yards.
~~~
Yes, I have been evacuated several time here. Well, I was TOLD to leave, but I just sent the kids to town and kept watering the roof of the shack with a garden hose and feeding fire fighters..

Nothing wrong with Eva, was just aiming for a light hearted lil bit -o- fluff post, and it turned sad and morbid.

*sigh*

Submitted by SilvrWolf at 2012-05-30 21:55:23 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

What's wrong with Eva? She's a hero. She should be recognized and most definitely not left out.
Smoke jumpers help keep the fires from reaching our back yards.

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 21:32:03 EDT (#)

ubmitted by brotherbabycakes at 2012-05-30 18:20:51 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

Smokey the Bear says "ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES". The bear is a dumbass, many of these mega blazes are caused by lightning.


I always thought he acted a little strange...?
~~~
I know right? Brain damage-too much smoke maybe?

Submitted by (Brotherbabycakes) at 2012-05-30 21:20:51 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Smokey the Bear says "ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES". The bear is a dumbass, many of these mega blazes are caused by lightning.


I always thought he acted a little strange...?

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 21:02:41 EDT (#)

This post would have been more entertaining with just the images. I tried to make it so, just could not leave Eva out. Started out one way and ended the other..

it happens

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 20:10:44 EDT (#)


Submitted by skrapmetal at 2012-05-30 14:05:40 PDT (#)

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 16:49:27 EDT (#)

Submitted by FALLEN at 2012-05-30 05:11:44 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

At least it was quick. Fire is a horrible way to die, or more to the point NOT die.
You get burned that bad the only thing you want is for that pain to end.
~~~
I think the investigation glossed over the details of her passing...
-----
That happens a lot in reporting fire-related deaths. Don't want the family realizing the agony that was actually experienced. "inhalation of super heated air" => the alvioli in the lungs rupture. Drowning in your own blood takes several minutes, and all the while you can't move away from the fire that's searing your skin as it slowly boils off the water, cooks your muscles, and feeds on your subcutaneous fat.

Yeesh.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
eh, i knew it was bad for her, but the details you provide here...i had no idea...

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 20:06:06 EDT (#)

It was a terrible blow to the others working this fire, to lose a young woman, the only one on the crew.

Submitted by grÜeMaster emeritus and uberlord supreme at 2012-05-30 19:48:57 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Shlongy at 2012-05-30 11:46:23 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

I'm even more excited about the follow up to this post....Pole Jumpers.
~~~
Would nude Pogo Jumpers be OK as a follow up?

It might be. I'll reserve judgement until I see who is participating.
--
skrapmetal,for one

Submitted by Danger_Ranger at 2012-05-30 19:32:46 EDT (#)

I'm a flamer.

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 17:58:06 EDT (#)

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2012-05-30 14:05:40 PDT (#)

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 16:49:27 EDT (#)

Submitted by FALLEN at 2012-05-30 05:11:44 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

At least it was quick. Fire is a horrible way to die, or more to the point NOT die.
You get burned that bad the only thing you want is for that pain to end.
~~~
I think the investigation glossed over the details of her passing...
-----
That happens a lot in reporting fire-related deaths. Don't want the family realizing the agony that was actually experienced. "inhalation of super heated air" => the alvioli in the lungs rupture. Drowning in your own blood takes several minutes, and all the while you can't move away from the fire that's searing your skin as it slowly boils off the water, cooks your muscles, and feeds on your subcutaneous fat.

Yeesh.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Exactly right good sir. The investigation revealed her body was in a different area 100 ft. down the mountain from where the flames first reached her. I think the facts were hushed because she was a young woman.

Submitted by Shlongy at 2012-05-30 17:09:44 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 16:51:05 EDT (#)


Submitted by Shlongy at 2012-05-30 11:46:23 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

I'm even more excited about the follow up to this post....Pole Jumpers.
~~~
Would nude Pogo Jumpers be OK as a follow up?


It might be. I'll reserve judgement until I see who is particpating.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2012-05-30 17:05:40 EDT (#)

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 16:49:27 EDT (#)

Submitted by FALLEN at 2012-05-30 05:11:44 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

At least it was quick. Fire is a horrible way to die, or more to the point NOT die.
You get burned that bad the only thing you want is for that pain to end.
~~~
I think the investigation glossed over the details of her passing...
-----
That happens a lot in reporting fire-related deaths. Don't want the family realizing the agony that was actually experienced. "inhalation of super heated air" => the alvioli in the lungs rupture. Drowning in your own blood takes several minutes, and all the while you can't move away from the fire that's searing your skin as it slowly boils off the water, cooks your muscles, and feeds on your subcutaneous fat.

Yeesh.

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 16:51:05 EDT (#)

Submitted by Shlongy at 2012-05-30 11:46:23 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

I'm even more excited about the follow up to this post....Pole Jumpers.
~~~
Would nude Pogo Jumpers be OK as a follow up?

Submitted by RoadSong at 2012-05-30 16:49:27 EDT (#)

Submitted by FALLEN at 2012-05-30 05:11:44 PDT (#)
Rating: 2

At least it was quick. Fire is a horrible way to die, or more to the point NOT die.
You get burned that bad the only thing you want is for that pain to end.
~~~
I think the investigation glossed over the details of her passing...

Submitted by Shlongy at 2012-05-30 14:46:23 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I'm even more excited about the follow up to this post....Pole Jumpers.

Submitted by TigerLilly at 2012-05-30 11:52:01 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by HighatChurch at 2012-05-30 11:47:17 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2012-05-30 09:04:47 EDT (#)

Firefighters are a different breed.

Submitted by FALLEN at 2012-05-30 08:11:44 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

At least it was quick. Fire is a horrible way to die, or more to the point NOT die.
You get burned that bad the only thing you want is for that pain to end.


Selma: It's time to give away my love like so much cheap wine.

Homer: Take it to the hoop, Selma!

-- Homer Simpson
Principal Charming