Author Topic: Observations from the Fires in Washington.  (Read 10589 times)

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« on: September 07, 2015, 11:10:05 AM »
I'm not sure this is the right place to post this.  Moderators feel free to move or delete as you deem necessary.

Having just returned from the fire zone a few days ago I'll share some of my observations.

Some background first.  I have a cabin in the fire zone. I took this picture about two weeks ago and yes that is fire above my cabin.



The magnitude of the fires overwhelmed the official response. My community reported fire caused by lightning strikes over a month ago. There was no response as other area fires were bigger and threatening more populated areas.  That fire grew into a BIG part of a complex of fires that is the biggest in our State's history.

The locals took action themselves.  We already had a resident fire fighter with two fire rigs, an engine and a brush truck.  Another had recently purchased a surplus engine that we used as a water tender. Several other locals had water tanks mounted on trailers or on the back of trucks and some had pumps too.  Our response was clumsy at first but it did buy some time and saved some buildings.

The first wave of the fire swept by in a more sparsely populated part of our valley.  Though harrowing the locals were able to save their homes and livestock for the most part.  Some official response arrived around this time and though limited did help.  The fire was much bigger now and threatening two towns in the Okanogan Valley.  The winds changed and blew the flames back on us.  Several lost homes and some lost livestock.  The official response was marginal at best.  The call went out and it was answered by part-timers like myself and complete strangers.

When I arrived looting was already an issue. That was something I did not expect in this tight-knit community.  Nearly everyone was armed openly and the rest of us were (most likely) carrying concealed.  We even had a small contingent of Militia from the west side show up.  One of my first jobs was familiarizing them with the area and the folks that live there. They were not universally welcomed but most were happy to have them. They gladly accepted a variety of assignments including helping with evacuations.  Good folks.



Some of the earliest outside help and by far the most effective was some folks form Grand Coulee.  They were part of the '12's helping 12's' (Seahawk fans) organization.  I may have the name wrong but it's something like that.  GREAT bunch.  They organized through social media and were great at bringing stuff we needed.  They came everyday after getting our wishlist and hauled our garbage out which was above an beyond generous.



Communication was a big weakness of ours.  Nearby Cell towers were damaged in the fires and there was NO power. Any mobile service was spotty at best. We did have some radios but not everyone knew how to use them, so they were only marginally effective.  Early on most communication was sending someone with a message to speak with or call after driving to cell service.

The Grange Hall quickly became the headquarters.  The ground around it mostly blackened by the fires with in feet of the building on the north side.  There was no power but generators soon had most of the systems running.  A notable volunteer from the "coast" (anything west of the cascade crest is consider the coast) with considerable organization and IT skills jumped into the fray and did a great job getting the administrative tasks running smoothly. Having some basic organization absolutely improved the efficiency and improvements and modifications were made as they were needed. It was perhaps the single most important avenue we had to channel help from the outside.

Winds blew a third wave of fire over our community and more places and property were lost.








Continued

Offline Morning Sunshine

  • Geese Smuggling Moonbat
  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6194
  • Karma: 290
  • There are no mistakes, just Learning Experiences
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 11:33:40 AM »
thank you for the update.

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2015, 12:07:52 PM »
I'm still wrapping my head around everything that happened so this will likely take me a while to get it posted. I'm trying to be more organized than my earlier efforts.

It became clear to me early on that in a crisis folk become amplified versions of themselves.  Folks that were good folks before were even more so now.  The few bad seeds we had were even more of a pain in the butt now.  Hard workers before were superhuman now.  The lazy, the moody, grumpy, bossy, etc.... all ramped up those traits as well. 

Most were ready and willing to help though a surprising number needed to be pointed at a job even though there were obvious tasks all around them.  If you see and overflowing garbage can, do something about it.

At this point we had a number of homeless folks among our ranks.  Some stayed in the fight.  Others could not.  Both of the men in this video lost their homes.  We had just finished answering a call to put out a flare-up when Bob decided he'd go have a look at his place which was the first time he'd been there since it burned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD57WEeqawY

"Pretty Joe's" story is impressive.  With fire bearing down on him he loaded up his four horses and two dogs and whatever else he could load and drove both vehicles - leapfroging a quarter mile at a time - to the Grange about 8 miles down the road. Hoping for help he even wrote on his doors he needed someone to drive it down to Riverside.



Another human nature lesson I got was folks are unpredictable.  During evacuations we left behind things like generators and took cheap furniture and knickknacks.  Firearms were universally one of the first things loaded into the evacuation vehicles. I learned to just let them point me at what they wanted to take and load it. I did my best not to be too judgmental but some would even leave pets and/or livestock which caught the ire of many.  Some took it upon themselves to save other peoples pets and livestock risking their own safety and property while burning valuable time.

Cats were responsible for most of the injuries to evacuators and evacuees.  Lots of time was wasted on those little beasts.  I'd rather gather a dozen bovines than one cat.

This foal and mother were lead down to the Grange by a neighbor of their owners.  The fire burned right through the paddock it was penned in.  There were unkind words uttered about the owners...



Rumors were another issue. I'd say half the calls I went out on were based on bad information, whether it was someone was missing or someones place has fire burning at it. I learned to ask who and when they heard that from before acting.  If the information was two or more deep it was likely inaccurate and more investigation was needed to clarify it.  Add this to the difficulty with electronic communications and our lack of communication preps were shown to be glaringly inadequate.

You need to dose your efforts. We all know folks that can't delegate well and run themselves ragged.  We had a supremely qualified nurse that couldn't keep his nose out of the administrative and firefighting duties and exhausted himself to the point of uselessness on all fronts.  One needs to delegate tasks, even if you can do it better and faster than someone else you need to focus on what you do that will be most beneficial to the cause.

The unexpected becomes the normal.  Some dealt with this better than others.  One needs to be agile. Circumstances, issues and problems that one would never imagine happen in the normal course of a day.  Rather than question or argue about it, you just have to deal.

When the crisis is on it is easy to get everyone pulling in the same direction.  When there is time to exhale the petty politics comes out. Deciding who "deserves" what or who did the most for this does not do any good.  There are folks that just can't help keeping score though.  I think it is wise to stay away from that as much as possible.  Stay available to help but once that gets going there are no good outcomes when things become divisive.

Try to always be cheerful. Even when it isn't going your way. Find a way through it. Little confrontations escalate which can halt the mission. If there is something you feel strongly about that differs from the course taken, be diplomatic or leave it alone, even if you have to just leave yourself. There is a mob rules mentality that can take over and sometimes the majority get bent on doing something you know is wrong and can't be talked out of it. Let em go. You can't win and may make enemies if you fight it. Choose your battles wisely.

Continued...



Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2015, 12:14:35 PM »
We even got some media attention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbDWIGJ5yzQ

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Forum Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 14643
  • Karma: 1861
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website Maintenance and Online Presence Management by Mr. Bill
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2015, 12:21:33 PM »
This is a really useful report.

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 12:31:55 PM »
Folks that are prone to hysterics are very disruptive and put other folks in danger. Almost everything can be dealt with at a deliberate pace even if action is urgent. Someone in panic mode is unable to help and will likely require help from others.

If you have addictions like caffeine, smoking, coffee... make sure you have a good stash on hand. I saw otherwise functional folks go into melt down when they couldn't get their fixes.

Be as self reliant as you can. I had my BOB with me and I was regularly using gear I had packed.  I did also added a tent and a sleeping bag and pad.  I didn't use the tent but I was able to "cowboy" camp pert near anywhere that was flat enough.  Cots, tables, decks, pickup truck beds... I did most everything except join the "symphony of snoring" going down at the Grange.

Food wise I got pretty tired of clif bars.  The almonds were great as was the jerky.  Heating water over a flaming stump seemed very apocalyptic. I didn't use my rice but did use most of my tea. I did catch some meals at the Grange when I could and they were good.  On one trip to town I stopped at a restaurant - and I bought some beer.  It was a real treat.

Offline mountainmoma

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4421
  • Karma: 199
  • suburban homesteader
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2015, 12:47:42 PM »
Thanks for the posts !!

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13105
  • Karma: 714
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2015, 06:21:12 PM »
 :popcorn:  Great Info!

Offline Frugal Upstate

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1158
  • Karma: 62
  • aka Jenn Fowler and Jenn @ Frugal Upstate ;)
    • Frugal Upstate
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 07:59:28 PM »
Thanks for sharing.

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7172
  • Karma: 334
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 08:47:19 PM »
 :popcorn:

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2015, 07:07:15 AM »
Our newly formed volunteer fire dept got off to a clumsy start. We had gear but we lacked tactics. The fire was also WAY bigger than could be handled by a force even 200 times bigger than us, in fact at its peak all the forces combined numbered less than half of what would be considered normal for a fire this size.  Even yesterday, with the fire slowing down due to favorable weather the official fire report stated:

Quote
These fires are staffed with 1,781 of the approximately 23,500 personnel working presently on fire nationwide.  That is about one-half to two-thirds of number of firefighters that would be used on two such large fires if firefighting resources were fully available.  It will be some time before the entirety of both fires are contained.

The range of ability, age and experience of our group crossed a wide spectrum.  I doubt very much we'll sell many calenders with our mugs on em  ;) Our focus was to get to handle immediate threats to individual homes, aid in notifications and evacuations, fortify fire lines and supply water to anyone, official or not.

The official fire responders had mixed reactions to us. Some were open with their contempt others saw us as a way to enhance their ranks. On one of the most intense days a crew from another county saw us working the line next to them.  We were using a lot of water and only holding a small area.  Their boss took command of us and calmly explained how we could be more effective working together.  He was very experienced and was an excellent teacher.  The gave us his assessment of the situation, the tactics that he would use and what we should do if it goes bad. We became MUCH more efficient with our use of water (always a precious resource) and we were able to hold a much larger section of line.

Officially we were not sanctioned or authorized, but because we were standing in front of our own homes sometimes literally, they couldn't force us to leave.  As the weeks passed we were tolerated and utilized more efficiently. Crews would even use the Grange for rest, eating, and later when the Southern Baptists (GREAT folks) rolled in with their laundry and shower trailer had laundry done. A big part of our effort was keeping these guys full of water.



Most of us did not have the training to fully utilize the equipment we had.  First you learn how not to kill yourself with it then you learn how to use everything that is on it and that takes time and repetitions. Stuff broke too. Luckily we had a "kid" that could fix everything.



The brush truck


A $700 engine bought surplus by one of our residents before the fire.  It severed as a water tender.


We even had some fire fighting clothing and gear donated to us.




Offline mountainmoma

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4421
  • Karma: 199
  • suburban homesteader
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2015, 08:36:14 AM »
I would like to share the story with my rural area CERT/fire volunteers. DO you mind ? Text only with no pictures, no link to here nor your forum name/name of this forum ?

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Forum Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 14643
  • Karma: 1861
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website Maintenance and Online Presence Management by Mr. Bill
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2015, 09:10:10 AM »
I would like to share the story with my rural area CERT/fire volunteers. DO you mind ? Text only with no pictures, no link to here nor your forum name/name of this forum ?

Just FYI, this topic is in a section of the forum that's viewable by anybody including unregistered guests (and Google).

Offline DDJ

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
  • Karma: 15
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2015, 10:33:31 AM »
 :popcorn:

Keep up the good work both defending your home area and keeping us up to date. 

Stay safe

Offline Bolomark

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 464
  • Karma: 29
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 04:47:16 PM »
great posts with good info.
our neighborhood (see avatar), picked up a surplus air force fire truck,for $2000 rebuilt some of the mechanical s.
has suction for drawing out of pond.and good long hose real.
did anyone have outside fire sprinklers?

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2015, 05:25:14 AM »
If you find it helpful, please feel free to share.

The purpose of my posts are two fold. One was to share my perspective with others with the hope that it would help them in their preps.   The other was to help me sort this experience out in my mind.  I had not realized the gravity of the situation until I returned. I've worked wildfire before but when the fire you are fighting is on your neighbors doorstep and the fire line is the road in front of your cabin/home it was impossible for me to be dispassionate.

Without the adrenaline rush I've felt very drained since being back.  It has been difficult for me to be motivated to do ordinary tasks. My mind keeps replaying the experiences. When I wake up I'm on the lookout for smoke.  I live near a State park that allows campfires and the scent of smoke invokes a reaction and ramps up my alert level.

The weather has been favorable, neighbors are feeling more secure and moving back in.  Warmer weather is predicted for next week so everyone still has their guard up.  The clean-up, rebuilding and probably flooding/washout issues are ahead. At least that part of this has less uncertainty.

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2015, 06:25:51 AM »
We had some yahoos (the nicest label I can come up with) mid-valley actually ride up to firefighters on quads, and threatened them with arms.



I did not witness the indecent but spoke with the firemen that were stopped.  They were responding to a call beyond where these bozos live and it is uncertain how much more damage and loss was caused by the delay. 

I get the anti-government sentiment but seriously?  Their neighbors are on fire, fire trucks are coming and they decided to make a point then?

This is a prime example of "if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem."

You can't pick your neighbors but I've learned you really need to scrutinize them. A poorly prepared but socially adjusted person is more desirable than an anti-social well equipped one. In a chaotic dynamic situation you really don't want to have to deal with personality defects.

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2015, 07:02:20 AM »
Gear:

My Swiss Army Knife (One Handed Trekker) was in constant use. Everything from disassembling items for evacuation transport, to opening supplies/parts, to pruning back branches, to tightening misc screws, food preps.... the list goes on and on.  I even used the toothpick.  It saved time and was just plain handy.  I prefer it to multi-tools but in this situation both were handy to those who carry them.

Loaning your knife/multitool/light is a bad idea. I know of two instances where guys didn't get there knives back. Don't loan, go cut or do whatever is needed yourself and keep possession of your tools. 

I heard lots of guys say I have one of those,,, at home.  I've concluded if it isn't a regular part of your EDC then you probably won't have it when you need it.

My BOB came in handy and several items were used.  It was more supplemental but it was nice to have extra food, a way to heat water, extra socks and bandanas, work gloves, cordage, tarp, map, headlamp, water bottles, water filter, soap... Even just the pack itself was handy to shuttle up supplies and water to the fire. I use a Kelty Redwing (52L). It is a bit large though that covers a wider range of hauling needs.  Very easy to access gear.



Trousers with good cargo pockets!  It is very nice to that room for your edc plus other task specific items and snacks.

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Forum Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 14643
  • Karma: 1861
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website Maintenance and Online Presence Management by Mr. Bill
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2015, 11:41:28 AM »
We had some yahoos (the nicest label I can come up with) mid-valley actually ride up to firefighters on quads, and threatened them with arms. ...

It's currently the top post here:
https://www.facebook.com/WDFWPolice

Some of the comments are interesting.  "...was not two men, was a dad and his 14 year old son. They and two other teens and their mom had just spent 48 hrs fighting to keep their home from burning, and got NO help from any firefighter. Sad to say dad was stressed to the breaking point and mad at all firefighters. ..."  And another comment that the guy beat the crap out of his neighbor a couple years ago.

No idea how true any of this is.  But it sorta goes along with your comment earlier that "in a crisis folk become amplified versions of themselves".

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 7172
  • Karma: 334
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2015, 11:58:31 AM »
It's currently the top post here:
https://www.facebook.com/WDFWPolice

Some of the comments are interesting.  "...was not two men, was a dad and his 14 year old son. They and two other teens and their mom had just spent 48 hrs fighting to keep their home from burning, and got NO help from any firefighter. Sad to say dad was stressed to the breaking point and mad at all firefighters. ..."  And another comment that the guy beat the crap out of his neighbor a couple years ago.

No idea how true any of this is.  But it sorta goes along with your comment earlier that "in a crisis folk become amplified versions of themselves".

What's unfortunate, is even if there is some partial rationale for the suspects' behavior, politically they'll receive no mercy if this goes to trial.  People are frustrated at the devastation of the fires, and these defendants may serve as a sort of scapegoat or proxy for the angst.

Offline Chemsoldier

  • Pot Stirrer
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 5722
  • Karma: 544
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2015, 12:08:01 PM »
A poorly prepared but socially adjusted person is more desirable than an anti-social well equipped one.
There is much truth here.

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2015, 01:37:52 PM »
The road this incident occurred on had several homes destroyed.  Most of them were beyond where these bozos live. I did go past their place, I was in a fire truck, there were folks milling around in the driveway so we didn't dawdle.  It did not appear that the fire had reached them. It was in the vicinity though.

That area was hit hard when the wind blew the fire back on us. Everyone in the whole valley was fighting fire with little or no official responders at that time. Nobody was happy about that but the vast majority of us were glad to see them when they did show up.

It is a remote area. It is one of the least densely populated areas in the least densely populated counties in the state. Some live there by choice, others can't get along anywhere else.  It goes with the territory.

Most of us enjoy the quiet and remoteness of it.  It isn't somewhere you happen into by accident. It appeals to those how enjoy a reclusive lifestyle.  My wife and I like that about the place and the time we spend there is our own.  After all this I don't think it will be the same as I have made many new friends and they will be welcomed if they pull in.  I'm OK with that as I now have more eyes watching my place.  I also have a better idea of who I need to watch out for.

Here are a few pictures of the area above where the incident occurred.





« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 01:44:17 PM by Mo »

Offline kckndrgn

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 615
  • Karma: 23
    • Ryans Turnings
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2015, 02:03:01 PM »
Lots of great info, thanks for posting your story.

Offline Russkie

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Karma: 18
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2015, 08:06:45 PM »
If you need more gear, wildland fire clothing is usually pretty reasonable online. If you incorporate as a fire department, I know my state will give you surplus Forestry trucks at ridiculously cheap prices, or free. I'd also recommend purchasing everyone a fire shelter and learning how to use them.   

What are the specifics on your trucks? As far as water tanks, tools, hose line?

What kind of tactics did you develop to deal with the fires?

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 09:21:45 PM »
There is already a move to incorporate as a fire department. We'll see if it materializes. Most folks are of an economic status that an extra trip into town is a hardship on the budget. It was one of the things I became very aware of. There are some folks that are well off too.

Wildfire fighting gear we had was donated. Two of the trucks belonged to a contract wildland firefighter (250 gallons on the Brush Truck, 1200 on the big truck) and the other was a recent purchase by another resident, I don't know what its water capacity is on that one.  Mostly we used the 1" line on hotspots and the 2" line on a reel was used on stuff close to the truck.  See the earlier pictures.

Except for a few guys, and some of them were too old to go out on the trucks, our fire fighting force was made up of untrained volunteers doing what we could to save our homes. I think the biggest tactical thing we learned was how to be more efficient with our water and understanding our limitations.  We could squirt a lot of water fast but that doesn't count for much if you don't put it where it will do the most good.

Many of the ranchers in the valley had irrigation systems that they configured to protect what they could. Their stories were harrowing but most were able to save their places.  Those with the equipment to do so dozed, plowed, scraped firelines. 

Most of our efforts were directed at flare-ups and hotspots near our homes. That was about the maximum we could do.  Later we UNOFFICIALLY integrated with other crews manning and fortifying lines, putting out hot spots, shuttling water in and mop up operations.  We also helped folks evacuate, did structure prep (mitigation) and anything else we could do in support of the official response.

I can't say we were the same caliber as the official guys but we were there when they were not.  There are a few instances that I'm certain we made a difference.  Compared to the scale of destruction in the area though that difference seems pretty insignificant. 

Offline Erica/NW Edible

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
  • We can pickle that!
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2015, 07:59:45 AM »
Thank you so much for sharing this.

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2015, 08:59:44 AM »
Another issue that was fairly common for those hooked up to the grid was food spoilage in their refrigerators and freezers. The power was knocked out early in the fire and weeks later had not been fully restored. Most had expected to be back in their homes in time to run generators or be able to retrieve their food.  It is something to consider when forced leave your home if you want to avoid an unpleasant job when you do make it back.

Retrospectively the "looting" was really opportunistic burglaries, committed mostly by tweekers and mostly by those that live among us. The community's reaction was to arm themselves, typically openly and to become extremely vigilant. I suspect that actually reduced the number of break-ins though it is impossible to know how bad it could have been.

Those with feuds prior to the crisis ramped up them up during the crisis.  Accusations were a common and as far as I know, all false. Most saw it for what it was -petty and pointless. Others actually chose sides which I cannot foresee having any positive outcome. 


Offline Chemsoldier

  • Pot Stirrer
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 5722
  • Karma: 544
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2015, 10:45:56 AM »
Those with feuds prior to the crisis ramped up them up during the crisis.  Accusations were a common and as far as I know, all false. Most saw it for what it was -petty and pointless. Others actually chose sides which I cannot foresee having any positive outcome.
Fair point, we tend to think of "problems of the crisis" like loss of systems of support.  People bring their own baggage with them though that can flare up when the controls of "normal" life are not surpressing them. 

Offline Mo

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: 11
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2015, 03:58:43 PM »
I've been back three times in subsequent weeks/months and things are adjusting to the "new" normal.  Fed/State assistance is non-existent though it has made the news that funds are available. It turns out that those funds are only available to government agencies... which eventually showed up after it was too late, with too little to do much good.

Did they help? Sure, a little. They also used our resources and were supported/aided by us.

If they didn't show up would things be different? Not much. If you talk to some, things might have even been better if they didn't as some of the "backfires" they set ended up burning more structures and property than they saved...  Impossible to know for sure.

This small community was among the hardest hit. More than 100 structures burned, mostly homes and cabins.

What has been very impressive is the support of individuals. They're generosity has been overwhelming.  Donations of money, supplies and materials have in most cases exceeded the need and those items have been re-donated to other communities affected.  Most resist charity, though the need is obvious.  Proud folks.  I've found it more effective to donate labor than to give cash.  Buying materials or supplies for specific needs is also more easily distributed - Hay, gravel, lumber... gets used. Cash in some relief fund, not so much - though there are some more than willing to accept it.

It did bring the community together.  I now have visitors and get invites from folks that I either didn't know prior or may have been on a waving basis only.

I also believe that community/social skills need to be high on the list for preppers. Knowing your neighbors' helps a lot when reacting to an emergency. Like everything some are better at it than others though even those who seem to need more than they can give do add to the community and may have skills/resources that are of great benefit subsequent of the crisis.  That became evident to me recently when those with historical, geographical and practical knowledge/skills have proven undeniably valuable during the recovery efforts.

I've changed my prepping plans to give more (a lot more) weight to the importance of community.  I had previously believed that in desperate times I could disassociate myself and operate independently. Driving past or surviving among others in need without helping is something I am not capable of. A weakness perhaps or perhaps not.  Had I not joined in this effort I doubt I'd even know the value of community.

Lots of moonscape





Offline Morning Sunshine

  • Geese Smuggling Moonbat
  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6194
  • Karma: 290
  • There are no mistakes, just Learning Experiences
Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2015, 04:04:28 PM »
thanks for the update.  was thinking about you guys least week.