Cal-Fire Fire Retardant Tanker, something you don’t want to see….

…until you want to see it 😉

Cal-Fire Fire retardant tanker.

Whenever I hear a plane circling I instinctively turn on either the fire dispatch channel or I go to Just the other day I noticed planes (plural) circling so I went to yubanet just to see how far away it was thinking it was no where close. To my surprise, it was at our neighborhoods biggest fear, the Greenhorn campground.

The greenhorn campground is at the bottom of the tree covered hill we and our neighbors live on. Unbelievable, I thought, and I went ouside to see how close the smoke was. I couldn’t see through the trees so I drove down the street which lined this hill.

Now I could see the smoke and it was very close so a neighbor and myself started to knock on doors just to make people aware if they were not already. As we are knocking on doors we start to hear the sirens down on the road below, siren after siren after siren (a good feeling). When we make it to the last house (closest house to the fire), Cal-fires’s firefighting helicopter arrives. As it is making it’s drops we can actually feel the pressure from the rotor blades, that’s how close it was.

Here’s a list of the equipment used on the fire, these people with this equipment held the fire to just 10 acres.

17 engines, 4 water tenders, 3 dozers and handcrews are assigned to the fire. Cal Fire, Ophir Hill, Peardale-Chicago Park, Grass Valley, Nevada County Consolidated and North San Juan units are on scene. Also responding are a Placer County Type III,  Newcastle B41 and Penryn B38.

I went back home thinking we were okay but also knowing that you never know with wildfire so I went to get prepared to evacuate. There were several calls on the phone, one was the automated evacuation warning from Nevada County. The others were from my wife Arlene who was at work but had been alerted to the fire.

We were just under a warning because the fire was moving East and we are West but I called Arlene and asked her to come home. As it turns out, we were woefully prepared to evacuate (at least I was). All I could think about saving were the dog and cat.

They had the fire under control in almost record time. The air tanker never had to make a drop, the helicopter and over 100 ground personnel took care of it.

As it turns out, it was great practice. When something like that happens you almost do not have time to think. That’s why you have to get prepared before it happens.

The campground photo courtesy of & Carl Johnson

One Reply to “Cal-Fire Fire Retardant Tanker, something you don’t want to see….”

  1. What can I say? It’s frightening. We were preparing to go to bed last night when we heard the helicopters and planes overhead. Two miles away as the crow flies, there was a field fire. 5-10 acres is the unofficial estimate via our neighborhood FB page. That’s close enough for my husband to be nervous (which he normally isn’t). We have had a string of these smallish fires in the last 2 months, especially this last month. I have the go boxes ready along with the cat crates sitting in our kitchen. I know it isn’t enough. Some days it’s very hard to leave the house.

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