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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 23, 2014 - 06:10pm PT
Nope Rick, unfortunately NO retirement for me- i was a perm seasonal and quit the job before being sent somewhere else to do something i didnt want to do just to get a perm status.. The only plus was i worked on extensions of appts every year and always got 9 to 10 month seasons. In a couple of pinches they put me on as a private contractor for spells between appts. So i ended up working longer making more than many of the guys with appts on the district.

When my job with the district did fly, i was told not to even apply for it - as the consent decree big emphasis had come down from washington and if you werent a minority or a woman, you werent welcome to apply. So my times were drawing to a close with the USFS, i sensed that. There were other issues that had developed to kill my enthusiasm, but its too early in the thread to talk of those things- those want until the 87 to 89 circa...When things got screwy..
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 23, 2014 - 07:33pm PT
Because i was out and about all the time, in lightning storms, i was then directed by the Fire shop and performed as look out, or faller/crewboss which ever. I also helped on initial attacks of i was in the area of good response. I was also a cat boss, felling boss, crewboss and base camp mngr trainee on my redcard for class 1 and 2 teams... During my fire stints i was a hothsot crewman, asst Helitack forman for BLM, then worked at the horse corrals, then hot shots in the USFS, engine TTO/ asst foreman Dog Valley engine crew then onto Fuelwood admin and LEO ending with a few years of being an LEO and ALSO the timber crew foreman. There was nooo escaping the fire gods no matter where you were in the USFS back then. I for one loved that factor. How would firebeasts love to have self dispatch to anything they chose lol!

Any where on the district too! As LEO i got stuck with traffic assignments a few times as well on large fires or fires like moundhouse- in urban and industrial interface areas.


You NEVER get "fire" out of your veins- its the sad truth. Sometimes you may wonder why you cant and think you really should get it out of your veins, like during the Acorn fire that burnt out woodfords canyon and many houses around woodfords in about 2 hours flat with 60 mph winds. In 60 mph winds, 140 tall trees will put up 300 feet of flame sometimes. Did you know that?
WBraun

climber
Aug 23, 2014 - 07:35pm PT
140 tall trees will put up 300 feet of flame sometimes.


Yep

Saw it last year live during the rim fire from Helitack.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 23, 2014 - 07:42pm PT
Ron. i have read every word of this story. i am certain that the fire crew stories are just as good or better. As a starving artist myself i worry a bit about you giving it all up for free on the internet. probobly if you read the fine print of the supertopo user agreement you might find that you no longer own the content that you post. As much as i like reading the stories i would like them better if you held off on them here and got a real book published.
thanks,
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 23, 2014 - 08:00pm PT
Tradman, ive been rather select about happenings and the people thus far. Names were changed to protect the guilty,, errrr INNOCENT. I havent really dove into some things that might be a little too much for the internet.
I was the " disrict jack of all trades" and was used by every shop from minerals and lands to timber to range to recreation and fire. I could perhaps push this to page 200 on my own. ;-) And what is this capitalistic stuff anyhow-- didnt you know i only made 1.00 per guide profit over printing when i put it out and that meant i was only 5.00 per guide in the hole lol! ;-)
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 23, 2014 - 08:13pm PT
Ok onto winter snowmobile training day. Hope valley Ca, first part of December. Every FS LEO needs to have this down right?



" Evil kenievil-whathefuuukkkk"




Well,, we went, and after an hour or two i suddenly got quite brave and a bit more foolish. These things would haul azz and jump far lol! That is, if your ready for them.
We were heading across charity valley in flat light as it had clouded up on us, and i failed to see a swell ahead that was actually a creek crossing with a huge dip~and gap. It was the classic speed remains the same jump,, aka the bullet man, aka the missile head. I froze at the controls and just drove off the near 20 foot drop and hit at an angle in the other bank much like an arrow if you will. I remember the loud noise of my face going through the windshield but it wasnt the hurt so much as the near suffocation from being head first feet in the air four feet deep in snow lol! I FINALLY get myself pried the hell out of my hole to see a nice blood pattern where my face previously was , down that deep bullet like body print inda snow.. Mike Wilde came riding up and said,, Doood, your bleeding from both lips.! Of curse to me it was sounding like daaahoooooduuhhhhyoooooooourrrreeeedingggggggfroooooom uhhhh ipppppssss as that grey red tangent world of the dazed and cornfused still hadnt quite let up its grip on me. I was doing 40 when i bullet manned it so i had a valid excuse ..

So the rest of the day i drove around far more tamely with a snow ball in my mouth for most of it.. Sans windshield which i had totally ripped off with my face plant of the day.. It took me a good many seconds to really come to both in and out of the bullet like face plant ice-hole.

The clouded sky went dark early that day but i survived it regardless of my doings.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 23, 2014 - 08:35pm PT
Ron,
any epic or humorous firefighting stories worthy of your memoirs here?
BTW, your memory (at our age) must be razor sharp,
or did you keep a journal. ;-)

Ramble on!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 23, 2014 - 08:48pm PT
Ron, I love reading the stories. but it would be way more cool to have a nice real book with photos in it. just wondering if putting it all out on the taco might keep you from being able to put it in a book or perhaps lessen the chances of the book getting published?
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Aug 23, 2014 - 10:09pm PT
Ron.....Any ideas for the name of your Book..?
Lanthade

climber
Aug 23, 2014 - 11:49pm PT
From the terms like below:
"Your Intellectual Property Rights
SuperTopo claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through SuperTopo services. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through SuperTopo services and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate."

It does go on more, pretty much stuff to make it possible to legally run this site.

Ron's fine posting his stuff. Fortunately CMac isn't a IP grabbing dick like some site operators are. If Ron wants to make a book and publish then he'd better hope more people than just the taco will buy it. As such posting the stuff here won't hurt him unless he sets his sights way too low.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 24, 2014 - 05:41am PT
that is nice to know! I was under the impression that RC.com claimed ownership of all posted stuff. i deleted my climbing guide info from that site. Also pretty shure that facbook claims ownership of your posts.
Ron. thanks for the great stories. they have an Ed Abby ring to them.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
Aug 24, 2014 - 06:38am PT
Ron, great stories!

I will publish them as my own, if you don't. It would be a hit in Poland.

;)

Andrzej
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 24, 2014 - 07:42am PT
Appreciate the comments doods..


Tad, yes i have many fire stories, I could take up 2 pages alone on Happy Camp and the siege of 87.


Rj, perhaps "Ron dogs ride in the woods"? orrrr "PissFir Willies - a chronicle"?? hehehehe.

And Moose, it would be a lot of work adding all those "z"s to the stories!!

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 24, 2014 - 07:54am PT
Tad, yes i have many fire stories, I could take up 2 pages alone on Happy Camp and the siege of 87.


Bitchin,
I think I've told ya that I taught and coached in Happy Camp for 7 years and one of the cafes in town has the walls plastered with pics of that fire. Enjoyed fishing the Klamath River during my time there.

Carry on,
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 24, 2014 - 08:07am PT
Those poor fishies in the Klammath were a confused bunch after day 2 of the siege- you needed a head lamp to read papers at high noon at the fire camp which was the baseball park in Happy Camp- right on the river. The inversion layer of smoke was sooo thick it was hitting dewpoints in the early am UNDER the smoke , while above the layer the fires were blazing for the peaks. It stayed that way until December that year.



T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 24, 2014 - 08:19am PT
Know the area well, the baseball park is next to the school I taught at.
Had a few fires in the area while I was working there but nuthin like 87,
headlamps at noon, gnarly stuff.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 24, 2014 - 08:30am PT
I had never seen that much fire.. The entire Northern half of CA was up in smoke. I was flown over to Yreka "airport" in a cennsa 182. When we got over into CA, flying at about 10,000 out in front of us was column after column of huge taking off fires. It looked like a hollyweird movieeeeeee~~~.. We flew over some smoke jumpers that were running down a long ridge as a fire came up the opposite side and was burning their chutes still draped in trees. You could see their yellow nomex shirts as they sprinted for safety. Millions of acres burned in that complex- or multiple complex's and earned a permanent spot in USFS history as one of the largest fire events ever.
BJ

climber
Aug 24, 2014 - 08:55am PT
When my job with the district did fly, i was told not to even apply for it - as the consent decree big emphasis had come down from washington and if you werent a minority or a woman, you werent welcome to apply. So my times were drawing to a close with the USFS, i sensed that. There were other issues that had developed to kill my enthusiasm, but its too early in the thread to talk of those things- those want until the 87 to 89 circa...When things got screwy..

Have you read this book? I'm about halfway thru, and at this point completely bogged down. I can't tell the wheat from the chaff, and the truth from the misogony.

Credit: Amazon web site



http://www.amazon.com/The-Tinder-Box-Politically-Destroyed/dp/098277348X
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 24, 2014 - 05:52pm PT
I havent read that yet, but it sounds interesting.


But i did live in the times when the USFS started a dramatic change, and not for the good. The push to hire women and minority's wasnt just lower level entry positions, but top management as well. Now to shove someone in a position due only to the color of skin or what style of junk in the drawers when they may or may not have been qualified led to some very disastrous occurrences. My situation was typical, 15 yrs of experience, and a job flown that was customized from that experience and its qualifications all stemming from the very same, yet when the time came for it to be flown for a full time position, i was told to my face not to bother even applying..It instead went to a young lady with 3 whopping years of being on a timber crew. No LEO experience, little to no fire experience, But she had a degree.. Of course she also looked at 50 yr old banzai jefferies with missle-toe and claimed they were plantation trees with missle-toe after 5 months of being in the ground. (sighhhhh)...

So when i left, they lost the most active LEO they ever had, firearm licensed, bonded collection officer, certified cruiser, SAR experienced, The guy that arranged the spring tree planting stations, prep stations and did the contract inspections for the planting, the guy that climbed the trees to pick cones for regeneration's , the guy with a fully rounded fire background, a felling and tractor and crew boss, the guy that knew the district blindfolded, and the guy that had built a relationship with public and contractors for over a decade. And they got a college degree Girl who had none of that and 3 yrs being on a timber crew. During the latter 80s , there was a mass exodus of very qualified people from all of the federal interference and consent decree.


The "breath of experience bit, where they started shuffling people all over the country to become more "well rounded" was also IMO an epic failure. EVERY district out there has unique challenges and it takes one years to develop a feel for those challenges. Timber and brush mngmt plans are made for 50 yr or more cycles. If one manage devises and does cuts to one plan, then the next comes in and has a totally new idea, often the first plans and those cuts fall by the wayside and do not get treated as the original forester had done. THIS DOES NOT WORK in the trees and woods.
In fact the average rotation of stands in the Sierras and surrounds are near 120 years. It takes familiarity and a HISTORY with an area to truly do it right. I a while back talked with the newest Carson Ranger District Ranger, a lady, and she wasnt even aware of good spots where rock contractors could snag rock on her "own district" . I gave her several options because i was intimately familiar with "her district", and Woodfords rock removal proposal didnt happen. A dist Ranger NEEDS people like me who have been around and know the Forest they are charged to administer. With out the home folks there, youve lost a history and knowledge bank.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Aug 26, 2014 - 11:03am PT
Sooo ive been emailed about these ventures, and may try to turn them into a book. Who knows.. Maybe a dime paperback?

I suppose it will have to include the fire times as well, along with the various scars i collected from things like chainsaws and pulaski's and even a few porcupine quills thrown in for good measure. Maybe mention the deaths in fires that affected me personally. Perhaps a story or two about lost homes and dreams. Or even knock down drag out arguments between me and a district ranger. Or how that same ranger had his office blown to hell and i wasnt EVEN questioned about it even though the local "pools" had me picked as a favorite.

Maybe cover the times when the districts went from a solid team to solid enemys within. Perhaps a story of a panicked morning looking for a lost crewperson only to find here "hooked up" with one of the engine crewmen?

Or firing a minority for gross negligence which raised the brow of even the forest Supervisors office? Lots went on in my 15 years- all the way back to my BLM days and the times i spent working at the palomino Valley horse corrals for BLM. That in itself was a virtual rodeo.
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