Fire Season

The 2017 fire season was the nation’s costliest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which houses the Forest Service. That agency’s annual budget is increasingly dedicated to suppressing and fighting wildland fires, as longer seasons and more destructive blazes require more resources. Millions of acres have burned in the West this year, mostly in California, Montana and Oregon. Some of the West’s biggest fires began in September, at a time when the fire season is typically waning. But by mid-September, California had declared the first of several states of emergency, when blazes threatened giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park. Nowhere were fires more intense than in Montana, where more than 1.2 million acres burned. In Oregon, the Eagle Creek Fire tore through the Columbia River Gorge. With long-term climate trends portending more frequent droughts, this kind of severe and expensive fire season is more likely to become the norm. According to the National Interagency Fire Center’s most recent wildfire potential outlook report, it’s not over, either: Southern California should see higher than normal wildfire activity well into 2018.

For the rest of this article, and to see the statistics go to:

Getting ready to make the switchover from winter weather watching to summer fire season. I will be leaving my weather links up for a bit, yet, but wildfires are happening in So Cal and in Colorado and other states a bit early this year, so will be adding in a few of those links as well.


Guard Dogs and Trespassers

So, President’s Day weekend was busy up here, for both my dogs and I. The road is dismal, so it takes a lot to get up here.

I hadn’t locked the gate, just closed it. It had a BIG no trespassing sign on it. Doesn’t stop some people from opening it, and trying to come on through. Not gunna happen. I’ve got guard dogs. Boy, do I have guard dogs. They don’t usually bite people, but tires, mud flaps, and the like are fair game. If a car gets within sight of the house, they are off, barking, and letting the trespassers know what is what. This is not a place one wants to mess with. And that doesn’t include my Smith and Wesson .357. I don’t need it, with these dogs. Missy is not really part of guard dog duty, yet. She doesn’t bark, but she responds to the others. My blind Alpha Male would take whoever it is on, but I call him back, as well as the new kid on the block, and let my Alpha female and her two pups (now 7) deal with the intruders. They are good at their job.

Dakota is 1/2 healer. The other half appears to be Doberman. She is a good guard dog, and has well trained the one male and one female pups that I kept of her litter. They are a great team.

I just don’t understand what some people think when they come upon a closed gate, with a brand-new No Trespassing sign on it, and decide to open the gate and drive in. What are they thinking? Dumb, really dumb. These idiots tried to drive through twice! What, they thought the guard dogs weren’t real? Even if these idiots COULD get past my dogs, my Jeep Commander blocks the road. Can’t get through … For almost 19 years now.

There was also a large drunken party at Turkey Flats that Saturday night. I didn’t engage – large, drunken party, they tried to challenge me for just driving by … as if THEY owned the road? Not happening. When they left Sunday, they left their campfire burning and tons of trash, which Rock Knocker had to deal with. Really, people? Is it any wonder “The more I get to know some people, the more I like dogs!”?

It is a little early for my summer cynicism to start – my calendar says February. By June, I may be a crotchety ol’ woman on a mountain in Big Sur. my neighbor tries to see them as butterflies, all different, and all fragile and transient. I tend to see them all as puppies, eager, undisciplined, and helpless. I LOVE dogs. Help me love idiots and keep my sense of humor and perspective, my friends!