true confession time

last year, there were a few other wildfires that popped up after ours...

and i did this one post  afterwards, remember?

I didnt share everything that was going on at the time though,
as you now know.

This one area was a prescribed burn to stop a private land fire from going any further into National Forestland.  
This was about 4 miles or so from us, and it burned approx. 19,000 acres at this point. 

because at this time since we were on first name basis with most of the fire people,
(they showed up in DROVES at our place after the Taylor Creek fire, i ran out of stock of rootbeer)

we were able to visit this prescribed burn one up close.

I know, crazy, right?

But theres this thing called "flooding therapy"

Sometimes it works. 
Sometimes it doesnt.

Its basically climbing back into the saddle after you have been bucked off. 

You see, Im a timber cruiser, and fire safety is a top priority 
in my job.
I have to be ready for anything in the forest,
and fire is one of them.

so for my benefit, Mr. Foresterman took me to this fire, on purpose.

 These following photos are from that visit.

this is the view going east - at first I must admit I was kinda sucking air
i got a little queasy

 Here it is creeping up on the road, which makes a great barrier.
 There were fire guys on the road to make sure this didnt jump it.
I was okay here, because I knew the guys,
knew they were alert,
knew where our truck was,
could see from experience that this was working well.

Remember, this prescribed burn is what is called a backburn - a controlled burn (fire).
A controlled burn, a backburn, eliminates the fuel in front of the uncontrolled wildfire,
so that when it arrives to the backburn, 
it has nothing to consume,

and it goes out.

 here you can see it do just that.

unfortunately for me though,
the backburn did have to burn some timber.

This is where it got hard.

This is called a passive crown fire.

no wind is driving it, and so its consuming the trees slowly,
but effectively.

Black smoke is trees, white smoke is grass.

but i was shaking when i took these photos of this crowning specifically.

 this reminds me how lucky we really were.

because July 3rd,

 We were in a running crown fire.

not a passive one.

later, they estimated that the fire was blowing at 45 mph an hour.

But at this controlled burn

even though I was at a safe distance, 

I was kind of panicky inside
I wanted to run  like these ladies here -

But Mr. Foresterman kept chatting at me,
pointing out things,
keeping my mind off of fear.

hes not chatty.

So a little shakily, I stood my ground until it slowly died away...

I pass the test.

"I will diminish, and go into the west, and remain... feral"


( 5 xoxox's to those who figure out where the last quote is from :)



  1. wat een belevenis wat veen respect voor de mensen die dit moeten bestrijden.

  2. Love the quote I am thinking it is from Lord of the Rings but not sure, even if it is wrong can I still get those 5xoxox's?:)
    Your photos truly BLOW me away they are so beautiful a scary awesome beautiful. I cannot believe you did this, getting back on a horse is one thing but this is I have no words.... WOW. Your Mr. Foresterman is truly a very very wise man who obviously loves you and knows how to keep you sane and healthy. Yes I said sane because honestly the emotional damage living through ordeal this would be unimaginable. Living there after and dreaming of it worrying about it Oh yes he is a very very wise man.
    I am so happy you are here today telling us this story you have no idea how happy that makes me. Your stories frighten me while reading them, I cannot imagine living these stories. Yup wise man..
    Now I have to go find that Lord of the Rings DVD and see if I can find that quote. I do have a thing about quotes. Great post. Hug xo B

  3. I cheated and Googled the quote, Buttons was right...Lord Of The Rings! :)
    I'm glad you passed the test but sorry you had to take it in the first place! I can't even imagine what you were feeling standing there watching that fire...

  4. I'm sure that was terribly hard...but so beneficial to go there and see that fire! Buttons is right...Mr. Forestman is wise and loving to have taken you through that experience!
    btw...the beach was great! :) Now it's back to the sauna...unloading hay this afternoon!

  5. Yes you do pass the test because you are still there, you didn't pick up and run from your home and land. I admire your courage.


  6. immersion therapy, for sure. i'd have been shaking and throwing up. and running.

  7. ah, lord of the rings........totally spot on! yes mr. F is a wise and loving man and you are a strong woman and more sane now than ever because you went THRU it and came out the other side...still sane!!!
    those fires are truly beyond the pale........where they should remain! :)

  8. Even when such fires are "controlled" and doing a lot of good they are super intimidating and are subject to the whims of Nature. As I understand it, the Yellowstone Fires of '88 were a controlled burn that got way out of hand fast, did enormous damage and lasted until snowfall. We could see and smell the smoke all summer where we live hundreds if miles away.

    Looking into the abyss after big trauma--getting back on the horse--and other such metaphors, takes some serious guts. Big scares can leave big scars. After being in a car accident I couldn't even watch the 'splody stuff on t.v. Had to leave the room. Still do.

  9. Those photos are downright scary- I can imagine how you felt, being there. Wise man, your husband. Because you did prevail, and pass the test- and so did he.

  10. SCARY PHOTOS--& you are married to a smart man!!

  11. Smart! I doubt I could hold my ground, especially after having gone through it....

  12. I have learned so much about fires and fire safety from your blog. These photos are insane.

  13. You are amazing. Those pics I'm sure don't even touch your experience.

  14. What Buttons said -totally......
    I have such respect for you and Mr. F............

  15. Kudos to Buttons . . . she said it perfectly! Amazing you are and you have a wonderful soul friend and love in your Mr. Forester man . . .

  16. Hi! I read all your posts lately about the disaster you had last year. Great written with feelings.
    We have strictly fire forbidden to do. Its very dry here to in the South of Sweden. Some fires has been lately but not so big as yours. Its not so common that it will be so big like yours. We have a lot of forrests but we are able to Control it very soon. Have a nice Sunday

  17. Janice, you are one very gutsy lady to go and play with fire again, like that. You should have your story in Sonia Marsh's «Gutsy Living» blog (

    About the quote: it comes from you, of course. Who else would put it in your blog?

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

  18. Controlled burn...controlled fear....controlled shaking (but can't tell by your good photos) are indeed feral! Fire is an amazing beast. I admire the men and women who work with it and amongst it.


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