road were being controlled quickly. It’s hard to tell in words the story of a forest fire; the clanking of the bulldozers, the dust and sparks high in the air, trucks rushing everywhere, fire within a few feet of you, and yet a feeling of safety. That’s the way it was last night
about 10 o’clock. Suddenly there was a puff of wind, but not from the southeast, as it had been blowing all evening, but from the north. Supervisor Thomas, who had appeared confident, now began to get worried. Sparks jumped the road and set fire to brush at the head of the gulch. “I think we can get it there,” said Thomas, but as he was speaking, the wind was picking up speed. In less than five minutes, everyone knew what was going to happen. Blaze Exploded “Ever hear a fire explode?” asked Thomas. “Well, watch this one.” A crew which had been sent to put out the gulch fire was called back. A call went in for the bulldozer and the equipment on the point was scattered to cut down the danger should sparks set fire to a gasoline tank. “I’ve seen this kind of wind change in Southern California” said Thomas, “but never up here.” Things were happening so fast no one though immediately of the group sent to put out a fire in a gully down the canyon. “My God!” said Thomas, “What has happened to them?” Lafferty ran along the road to shout a warning. There was no thought now of the fire; everyone was concerned only with the fate of those 24 men.
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- Fall '16
- Jeff Miller