Forest Fire Is Out Except For the Mopping Up Part

Friday August 28, 2020 Guerneville CA.

Forest fire mop up

It was real smoky when I went outside this morning. I could hear something big roaring up Sweetwater Springs Road so I went out to see what it was. They call these things macerators. They cut brush and trees. They grind them up. muncher1


Mop up

They are moving the mop up stuff in and maybe some rehab stuff to start cleaning up the mess. The fire is basically out in our area but there are still a lot of spot fires they have to put out and cleanup which they call mop up.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do today as everything about the fire was changing, from fire fighting to mop up. The fire fighters that were here left and new fire guys were coming in to mop up.

It was pretty cold this morning and I  had to wear an extra shirt, especially when I hopped on the dirt bike.

Short dirt bike ride

I decided to go up through  my neighbors place to get up into the hills today. I had a hard time on the road as it was soft dirt and dusty. I worked at it and got up the hill and soon caught up to why the road was so soft and chewed up. I’d been following 3 fire trucks and this fuel truck or it might be a water tender which supplies water to the fire trucks when they need it. It’s real smoky this morning. I continued following these guys holding back a bit to avoid at least some of the dust.trucks2


I made it to what we call the turn around where some mop up crew where parked and sorta watching this little spot fire that sprung up. These are the kinds of things the mop up crew deals with putting them outsmoke3


Chatting with Robert’s gang and a big hug

From there I rode on over to the Robert’s place where I got a big hug from his wife that had returned home. I chatted with them for a bit and then rode out to say high to Robert that was on his tractor fixing some roads up. After shooting the bull with him I rode down the road towards the park and headed for the bridge that had a log fall across it to check things out.

State park area

This area is above the park floor and looks to me like it got hit the hardest or at least one of the hardest places that got burned as several big trees came down knocking down other trees. This is just before I got to the bridge.tree4


They’d cut the 3 foot log off the bridge and cleaned up a bit.bridge5


This is looking up the creek from the bridge showing some of the downed trees. Smoky eh.creek6


This was looking down the creek. Note the bent steel rail that the big tree fell across.bridge7


This is looking up where the trail goes up the hill. Several trees got fire in their bottoms and fell  over knocking other stuff down.woods8


Park picnic area

From there I rode on down into the main park area which looks like this. Not much damage.park9


This was the most damaged area but the fire didn’t burn those downed trees. I think they were too close to the road so they took this opportunity to clear them so the road didn’t block big trucks.park10


I headed down the road towards home and ran into this truck doing some mop up in the park.park11


At the parking lot in the park front I waved to the park captain as I went by and he waved back.

Back to the house

I was pretty tired out from all the exercise I’ve been getting. Nine days or so of riding that dirt bike around the hills gave me plenty of exercise. It’s actually made me a lot stronger and I feel great except for being tired out.

I took care of my chickens and napped and did some planning and visiting when neighbors came by.chicks12


One more short dirt bike ride

Late in the day I heard something going up into the hills so I decided to take a dirt bike ride, just up and back keeping it short.

It turned out to be the fuel truck or water truck. I never did figure out which it was, but no matter.fuel13


I followed behind him for a ways until he saw me in his mirror. He stopped and let me ride on by.

The Sebastopol crew

I made it up the turn around where I was this morning. There was another new fire crew there from Sebastopol.trucks14


I started chatting with one of them and he asked where I lived and wasn’t sure about me. But then he said his name was Castleberry.

Ha, I got him. I went to school with his mom and dad. He was all smiles when I told him. He’s talking with a commander here.lou15


Here’s another shot of the spot.reddcar16


4×4 fire truck

I was looking at the four wheel drive fire truck. It’s a log skidder with a special tank installed on it to get into the hard places which most of this area is.4x4fire17


He took off somewhere.

The fuel truck that let me by showed up and parked.fuel17


I rode down the road a bit and heard something coming so I pulled over. The dirt bike is good as I can get out of the way of the fire guys and not block the road. He was headed down the hill to refill with water.4x418


I rode on down through our place checking out some of the fire break area that will need some clean up work before winter.

Then headed over to our water tanks to check the water level. They were full to the top which is good.


I spent the rest of the day chair hopping around the yard doing not much and that was it for me today.

Nice day as the fire is out except for mop up.

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8 Responses to Forest Fire Is Out Except For the Mopping Up Part

  1. Svea says:

    Bob, I really appreciate your eyes on the fire and reports and efforts to help, and your rich family history with this part of my beloved County. I especially regard your insight into the ecology balance of our fisheries out there. Thanks so much for your eyes on things! My Dad was (a Sonoma County department administrator/civil engineer) involved in the construction of the urban watershed re-structuring around the Santa Rosa flood plain and general flood control effort around the entire county in the late 50’s to the early 70’s. I learned some things from him, and at that time didn’t always know which side I was on (politics/ecology, Earth Day in the ’70’s and so forth). He also was an ocean diver, a boat fisherman, and he observed some of the same things that you did/do. In hindsight, I know he understood that some of the eco-conservation efforts around the county were likely mis-guided, but was powerless to effect a change. I really hope that we get back to some balance here. Those dozer lines need rehab, sure, and then annual maintenance. That puts people to work. How can I address the county sups to support funding for back woods forest conservation and fire prevention? I want to help.

  2. sgsmith says:

    Thanks for all the great informative posts on the fire. I’m glad it is out and you didn’t suffer any damage

  3. Kim bush says:

    Hi bob. Kim Bush.
    Im wondering, hoping there is a way you can share allll your pictures. As this is my neighbor hood. Via my email, text or fb?
    I would be very grateful to have this great documentation?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks many times over, Bob, for keeping us all informed on so many topics. Was fun to see you running into Lou Castleberry, who has been on the front lines trying to save Healdsburg homes. Grateful to all of the first responders and their local volunteer support team like you and your brothers. Proud to have grown up with you! Hugs, Cynthia

  5. David B. says:

    Nice goin, Bob. Thanks for keeping all of us well informed and up to date on the status of the fire. Looks like you can get back to living your own life now. Thanks again, dude. I’d like to make it out their again one of these times when the weather is decent. Take care. David

  6. Patsy Irene says:

    Good to hear that things are under control. You all did a great job, and not only did you aid in the process, you got some great exercise!! :)

  7. Nancy K says:

    Glad to hear you are all safe. High fives to all the firefighters!!

  8. Arrowhead Gramma says:

    Great that things worked out for your area. I have evacuated twice over the years and been fortunate to return to my home not being damaged both times. Always a big sigh of relief when you know it over and your property is safe. Take care.

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