We finally got to meet our primary contact this week a Fuels Captain by the name of Bill Ross. We are excited about working for Bill, after finding out he’s a fellow veteran we feel like we can relate to him a little better. Under Bill we got straight from project work to fuels work. Our first assignment with fuels involved rebuilding and building slash piles. A lot of thhe piles had to be scattered by people looking for firewood during the off season, that the forest didn’t get a chance to burn. While doing this line of work the corpsmembers got a chance to experience the hard grueling days of fuel mitigation work, that still don’t compare to digging line for hours on direct attack, but every corpsmember got a chance to buck, limb, and swamp for each other. With each tank of gas the corpsmembers switched sawyer and swampng jobs. Corps-member Paul and Sam showed exceptional skill with throttle control and being able to read the binds and tension of the logs and limbs. This skill was especially vital when looking at the types of complicated cuts they had to perform. During this week corps-member Ben was put in charge of co-ordinating and building the piles, the main thing he was told he could improve on by the Forest SErvice was that when supervising he shouldn’t be swinging a tool as much as he was. Corps-members Eric Spangle and Andrew Noivak assisted in being able to constantly communicate what needed to be cut and swamping for the other two, there ability to lift and move stuff while cracking jokes keep the work environment light and fun. Tim Gurnett jumped in demonstrated some different cutting techniques as well and contributed in swamping as well as helping Ben identify hazard trees for the group to be aware of or fall to eliminate the risk. Tim’s willingness to show that was willing and able to work, was an invaluable help to Ben.
August 14, 2013 •