well July is supposed to come on with fireworks and it sure did the natural kind, we had lightening the last evening in June and the first of July, the Monday lightening created a fire called the Rattlesnake point fire which was pretty tame until July 1 at 1700 hours when a new cell started its thing with High winds. The fire was pushed across containment lines to the east and became a threat to structures in fire district 3. Two Stations responded to DNR's request for Structure protection and when I arrived on scene I immediatly with some reservation pulled are third station into the mix and one mutual aid station from the south, fire district 15. As per usual the cell became active and started to splash bright arcs of lite across the sky and onto the ground, I released are third station to a new start on a mountain west of Omak called Glover mountain, then released two brush engines from the rattlesnake fire from the Okanogan station. We then recieved a third start to the ridge east of Okanogan and hence forth the monster now known as the Jackass butte fire started as two fires that grew into one. I released my remaining pieces of equipment a tender and a structure engine and bid farewell to the Malott Fire Chief and traveled north at a rather high rate of speed. The Jackass fire would be declared a State mob fire at 2200 hours 1766 acres before it was done, with no residental structures loss only one outbuilding and a jack knifed semi blocking hiway 97 which made things difficult to move equipment south. The crews did a bang up, job did everything they were asked to do. Mutual aid from the City of Omak, City of Okanogan, Fire District 6 and District 7. This fire had three major players My fire district which is 3, District 8 and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. All in all things went well I did get a little impatient with some of the BIA dozers not getting after it but that is how it goes. I was involved in a meeting with the state team BIA, DNR on cost share for the fire today things didn't go so good it seems after years of working well with the BIA now all the sudden they want us to share in the cost of equipment, last time I checked I believe I have a mutual aid agreement with the BIA. If not then we will have to rethink how we handle things to the east of use from now on.
I recieved bad news this morning that one of my very dear friends and retired firefighter Harold Harvey passed away he was fighting a courageous battle with Brain cancer, Lung cancer and Bone Cancer. He had 27 years of service for the Okanogan Volunteer Fire Department he retired in 1997. He will be greatly missed by me and the members of this department.
Hope next week will be better, I will have to drive home from the WA Chiefs Conference to attend the funeral I suspect.
Everybody be safe out there