Grateful for firefighters
I know I’m not alone in the profound gratitude I feel for the emergency response local, regional and federal firefighters, first responders, and team leaders are showering our valley with, From the fires threatening Mazama, to the whirlwind Barnaby Fire in Twin Lakes, to the this-can’t-possibly-be-happening-again-so-soon fire at Cub Creek (and any other fire that may start between the writing of this letter and its publication). These staff and volunteer emergency responders are showing up for us when we need them.
As I was scurrying about my property and home in the Barnaby Fire evacuation zone last Tuesday (doing things I probably should have done before the alarm bells sounded) I watched a steady stream of fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles headed toward into the fire, filled with people I know from the community, many of whom — as someone pointed out to me in Hank’s the next morning — are “not spring chickens” anymore. Their skill, dedication, and selflessness are inspiring. I am humbled by their work.
Many thanks due
As residents of the Cub Creek area, we’ve had an interesting past few days. Now that things have slowed down a bit, it’s time to mention a few folks among the many that stood out in their efforts to save life and property. First, Pete and Patty DeLange of Boulder Creek Construction and their crew Mitch and Chris, who showed up unasked in the nick of time and saved our bacon and a couple of other homes as well.
Second, without neighbors helping neighbors in the smoke and flames, much more would have been lost. This is the value of community and a value we in the Methow should treasure and protect above all others.
Last, as a wildland firefighter of over 30 years’ experience, I know good firefighting when I see it. In my interaction with the crews of our local Okanogan County Fire District 6 engines and crews during close engagement with some of the most extreme and dangerous fire behavior I’ve seen in my career, they were calm, professional and effective. For that, they deserve special recognition as do the people who trained them. Sometimes they can’t get there as fast as we wish and once there, they may not be able to do the impossible we ask but we can rest assured that these brave volunteers risking their lives are doing their absolute best to protect our community.
Greg Knott and Nadine VanHees