Field Notes

Field Notes In Action:

First Smoke

June 28th, 2012 by Bryan Bedell


You may remember Lee Coleman, the California Field Notes fan inspired by our Fire Spotter edition to actually volunteer in that very capacity. Lee followed up a couple days ago…

I had my first in-tower experience yesterday and wanted to send you some photos.

This was at Slide Mountain Lookout in the Angeles National Forest–4,631 feet above sea level, and a 90-minute hike up a 1,900 foot rise. It was a demanding hike, but my excitement helped make it a little more tolerable.

I took some shots of the tower cabin itself; the catwalk around the cabin; Pyramid Lake to the northeast of the cabin; and of course an action Field Notes shot with the Osborne Fire Finder.

I hiked up with two experienced volunteers who were there to train me… and unfortunately, we got more action than we bargained for on our first day.

A camper apparently called in a smoke report around noon, and by the time we clocked out around 4:30, it had grown to several hundred acres.

The news this morning is reporting that the fire in the Hungry Valley area may now be up to 1500 acres– we were all shocked at how quickly it spread. While it was sad to see this happen, it was also a privilege to be up in the sky monitoring the suppression effort, ready to provide information if dispatch needed it.

When my colleagues asked how I’d heard about this whole program, I of course told them about Field Notes. :) Thanks again for inspiring this awesome adventure, I’m looking forward to a summer in the tower.

Warmly,
Lee Coleman