Citizen Fire Watch, Continues

So, on the way back up the hill on a Saturday night, I found more campers. This is what I saw:

Wait a minute, that’s firewood?

Yep, that’s what it is. There is no one in the camp, so I drive on down the road, and come across an older guy, and a younger gal. The guy is nice – to begin with, but the girl? She has a serious attitude problem. I speak with them, but she’s got a real problem, so I follow them back to their camp.

She doesn’t like to be photographed.

And she ca me toward me in my Jeep with her camera.

Oh, yeah, serious ATTITUDE. Trust me, I am doing nothing, saying nothing, other than photographing her. She does NOT like that! She keeps coming …

I have stayed in my Jeep, and yet she still keeps coming …

That’s some serious ATTITUDE, lady. Then she grabs my camera, and shoves it back in my face. Damn, that’s a battery. Now, remember, I haven’t gotten out of my Jeep, and I have said nothing to her, I’ve only photographed her.

Cute gal, with a serious problem! Then her “dad” had to step into the action, again at my driver’s window.

Man, these two REALLY did not want their photos taken! But “dad” when he stepped up to my window, looked in the back of my Jeep, and said, “This is your car?” Duh, I thought, and then he said, “You live up there?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Everyone knows me.”
Then “dad” said, “We will come find you.”
Oh, really, I thought. Okay, I’ve got two normal looking crazies coming up to find me. R-i-i-i-ght. Past a locked gate, 4 guard dogs, and to back it all up, a .357 S&W? I don’t think so.

Just a normal Saturday night in wild fire land. I just normally avoid these situations.

15 thoughts on “Citizen Fire Watch, Continues

  1. Nice shot of their tag. Girlie’s got on quite a bit of makeup for camping, dontcha think? My guess is that you won’t hear from them.

  2. Please be careful Kate. How about buying one of those neon vests (like they wear on the highway), and make a tag on it: “Neighborhood fire watch” or just “neighborhood watch”. Lookin’ a little official could help. Or maybe the USFS could give you something to wear…even a T-shirt. But a vest would be better. I got one from the administartor for when I patrolled the local Preserve for poachers and dog-walkers (was a dog-free area), and people seemed to have better responses to me than without it. I know it gave me more confidence.

    These folks may not ‘find you’ but they could do something else out of anger, like deliberatly START a fire. I’d try to get someone from the USFS FOR SURE to speak with these folks. And I don’t know your set-up, but I’d keep my vehicle out of sight of the road.

    Just sayin’…cause I care ’bout ya!! 🙂

  3. Assault and battery. I don’t know what the charges would be for the threat. I’d run this by the Sheriff’s Dept. They don’t know who they are dealing with.

  4. Kate, be careful. People have less and less boundaries and social/emotional skills than they ever before. Not sure why. But it is a trend.

  5. I ran into two very nice male campers, shortly after this, told them where they could camp, made sure they understood the “rules” re campfires, etc. and we had no problems discussing fire restrictions amicably, so I know it wasn’t my attitude that was a problem. I am generally pretty careful with the crazy ones, this gal just took me by surprise – she had so much anger, but I knew it really did not have anything to do with me.

  6. Hey Kate, I haven’t posted before but have been following you since George Carpenter went missing. I’m a South Coast Photographer..Grover Beach..U need to follow up on that angry girl and her so called daddy…anyone who shoves a camera needs to get a little shove back. It is your neighborhood. Your life..We get them by the hords down here on the beach and I know just how you feel. They come and leave their trash and firepits everywhere on the beach. I can’t imagin the fear you have everyday up there in Gods country. Keep up the good work Kate. If you are ever down here and want to go shoot look me up I’m always ready for a new friend.

  7. Hey, good work in the bravery department Kate! But I agree, a vest or something that makes you look more like an “authority” might help. You’re too valuable to us all to get hurt.
    Having also stuck my neck out this way I appreciate the diplomacy required. But communication skills alone won’t protect you from crazy people. I have a friend who will sometimes bark at people, “I’m an off-duty police officer!” when she’s harassed. It works. Also I hope you got their license plate info. Big hugs to you!

  8. Be careful! There have been a lot of violent incidents in seemingly serene refuges like both Big Sur and the Idaho mountains. It is not common, but when it does happen it can be total random surprise and very ugly. I have seen stuff like that at surf spots like Fullers…one moment a paradise, the next moment, it might as well be an alley in New York. You have photographic evidence of an assault incident on you. You got their license #, you got the action of that girl attacking you. If you had a voice recording of the possible death threat, you really got them. Take their threat seriously. Report it to the Sheriff, with the photos included. I have an ugly feeling about it. In fact, the Sheriff can just “have a little talk’ with them…just in case they have any ideas..stop them in their track. An artist cousin of one of my best friends was brutally murdered recently, and I do not feel well about stuff like this. Stay safe, Kate, and hit it hard!

  9. Gee Kate, I just wish that you had two trained attack dogs, by your side, barking and snarling, as those two approached .

  10. I carry pepper spray….it’s good for dogs, people, & other “feral” critters. At least it can give you time to create some distance. If that situation had accelerated, it could have come in handy.

  11. Bummer Kate. Too bad there isn’t a mandatory medical cure for stupidity. Anger and fire are a little too close together sometimes. Nice job at keeping a cool head.

  12. I have noticed a growing incidence of anger and defensiveness of young people, today. Almost so much as to wonder WHY? Seriously. Many people seem, to me, haughty and wrapped up in a veil of anger. I thought it was me and the fact that I have crossed over to the older generation. I’m not so sure. Many of the people I grew up with felt no need to be like this.

  13. Can you get the USFS to gate and lock this road during fire season? Only property owners, CALFIRE, USFS and others with a need can drive through. Others walk or ride in on stock. Talk to the nice people in King City.

  14. USFS lands belong to the people, if one leaves home on a weekend camping trip with firewood packed and finds an area that forbids open fires with-in the USFS land they’ve entered, it is not a crime to have firewood!

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