Reputation

Well, the Deception Fire turned out to be a bit of a turd, but the crew did good work anyway.  There was a lot of sitting around, waiting for the conditions to be right for burning.  The fire was down in a valley and  going direct was not a good option.  Neither was burning the big box.  Oregon fires are weird like that.  We got through it though, and came out looking good, with the important fuckers there pleased with our work and attitudes.

Believe it or not, a crew’s attitude or the perception of their attitude that is formed by different crews and incident management teams is just as important to their reputation as is the quality of their work.  There are some hotshot crews who are some badass sons of bitches and work very hard creating quality line.  If they are also assholes, their reputation suffers and no one wants to work with them.  Sometimes hotshots get a little too proud of themselves for being hotshots and are rude or condescending to other resources.  Sometimes the crew leadership lacks diplomatic skills and offends their division supervisor by disagreeing with the plan.  Then things get awkward.

Being a good crew that is well-thought-of is a lot like just being a good person in life generally, I think.  Don’t be a dick to those less awesome than you, maintain a positive attitude, and be reasonable with your boss, and life is good.  Also, be prepared and able to work as hard as you can for days on end.  At the end of the day, production is still the measure of a good hotshot crew.

That is all.

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Deception Fire

Today was day eight for us on the Deception Fire. It’s mostly been a waiting game on this one. The fire was down low in steep terrain and had made at least one good run out of the hole a few days before we arrived. Type one helicopters and a little rain kept it in check while the roads around the fire were prepped. We put in a canopy break and dozer line to tie some roads together and reduce the acres we’ll need to burn, but that’s about all we’ve been able to do so far.

My crew is part of a group of seven hotshot crews designated as the burn group. There are two burn groups, and ours is tasked with lighting the west side of the fire when conditions are right. We’re supposed to get west winds in the next few days, so maybe we’ll get to do some work soon. Then there will be a few mop-up shifts followed by demobilization and travel home. Unless we lose our burn that is. Then we’d be going direct til we time out, I’d imagine.

Anyway, this has been a different experience from the usual. It’s ok with me. I’ve been able to read four or five books and I’m sick, so a little extra rest and relaxation is not a bad thing at all.

That is all.

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