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Posts Tagged ‘Little Bear Fire’


Smoke jumper Reyne Oldre has demons to battle. She’s still haunted by the Oxbow fire that turned deadly for her crew. HER crew. She was in charge, and she feels she failed them. As the crew boss of the Lolo Hotshots, it was her responsibility to keep her crew safe. But dragons have minds of their own, and sometimes they change them- with deadly consequences.

Since that fire two years ago, Rayne has been haunted by it. Two teams and four dead kids sent Rayne from groundpounding to fire science. She was hoping to make a difference- a real difference; but she needed the grant money.

If crew bosses could have hand-held computers, they could read real-time humidity, wind speed, temperature, and even fuel moisture levels. It would let crew bosses have the critical information in the field, instead of waiting for the information to be relayed to them. Rayne knew that those precious minutes and seconds would save lives.

Logan McCabe has other ideas for the coveted grant. He’s seen too many smoke jumpers get stranded in trees and battered as they tried to detangle their chutes. Not only did they get injured from getting caught, but that usually meant a medevac out and a lost team member fighting on the ground.

He’d seen too many good jumpers get tangled in trees, injured, and then sent to the sidelines to recover from their injuries, taking out needed presence and experience on the ground. There had to be a better way to extract them from these situations without injury. He was certain his portable zip line would do the trick.

As it turns out, it’s going to take both of them working together on the project that gets the grant.

Can they work together without killing each other? And, as their relationship develops, can Rayne slay the dragon in her dreams once and for all, that will allow her to take the chance on falling in love with another smoke jumper?

This is the final book (book 6) in the Full Circle Series. I haven’t read any of the other books, but you don’t need to in order to thoroughly enjoy this one. Some characters from the first book (Refuge) make a return appearance, and I would enjoy reading the earlier book although again, it’s not necessary. One thing I really did like, too, was the addition of the novella at the end of this book, Sandcastles, which wraps up the secondary story all up very nicely with a bow.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars, and Lisa Tawn Bergren goes on my absolute favorite author list. You can check out her website here: http://lisatawnbergren.com/books/. I know I’ll be going and digging around to find her other titles.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

On a related note: perhaps this one hit me closer to home, given our brutal fire season this year. If you’ve been reading along, you might remember that we’ve been on fire nearby this year, and there has been A LOT of devastation. The Little Bear fire was crippling for so many. You can see pictures of Bonita Park here.

When we moved to Colorado from Michigan, wild fires and smoke jumpers were not something I was really familiar with. We had only been there a short time when the South Canyon Fire took place. In the end, 13 lost their lives, including 3 smoke jumpers.

In addition to the cowboys we see in Wal-Mart (often with spurs), come spring and summer, it is not unusual to see a large number of fire crews from all over the country converging on town. If you don’t know anything about these folks, the acknowledgements in the beginning of Firestorm give some excellent resources. It’s definitely worth your time to check these out, too.

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Yep. We are. And it’s not the good kind. We got up yesterday to falling ash. There is something deeply unsettling about stepping outside at any point during the day and seeing and smelling smoke.

Don’t you hate it when you’re sure you’ve ranted about something but then you can’t find it? Ya. Me too.

One of the topics that’s taken up a lot of my time through the years is fire. So much so, that while I remember very clearly planning to write about it, it appears I didn’t actually do it, for some unknown reason. Maybe it’s because it’s too depressing.

Last year, I wrote about being in a dry spell. It was really bad. My town recorded the driest start to the year since record keeping began in 1895, with a whopping .09 of precipitation from January 1 to May 12. When you normally get around nearly 13 inches of annual precipitation but only get 5.56 for the entire year, you know you are in trouble. It was no wonder we had bears in town!

And, it was hot. We spent from May on to September at least being mostly 100 degrees or hotter most days. I know some records will say we only had 60 days of 100+ weather, but their data stations aren’t in my backyard. We had a stretch of almost a month where it was around 110 every day, and daily highs were over 105. (Now, you people in Texas and Arizona, I know had it worse, so everything actually is relative…………..)

The year started off with a cold snap in February, that brought daily highs of -11; lows of -14. No, I’m not joking. The last time I remember that kind of cold was 16 years ago when we lived in NE Colorado. We here in the desert are used to daily swings of 50 degrees. But that cold was brutal, as was the heat and drought that followed.

You may remember the Las Conchas fire last year that threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratories. To date, it was the largest fire the state had seen, at 156, 593 acres.

Las Conchas fire pictures here.

However bad we thought that was, it doesn’t come close to the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire. As of this morning, it has consumed 278,039 acres and is only 32% contained. There are 738 people engaged in fighting this fire. Growth potential is high. This fire is part of the Gila National Forest, where most recently, ultra marathon runner Micah True  (of the book Born to Run fame) passed away in the Gila Wilderness; which is now on fire.

You can see more pictures here.

The fire raining ash on my house yesterday, is a baby fire in comparison at this point. It’s the Little Bear fire. As of this morning, it’s got 26,000 acres and is 0% contained. This is all rugged, mountain terrain. All of our favorite campgrounds have been evacuated. I don’t know if they’ve burned or not. There’s conflicting word regarding a church camp, church, and surrounding homes on the complex. We know people whose homes have been lost. My aunt and uncle used to have a cabin up there. 

I’ve heard that the church and church camp are lost, but I’ve also heard the church is ok. Seeing as a good friend’s brother-in-law is the pastor there, I am sure I’ll be able to get updates once people can get in. It’s heartbreaking. The church and camp there are closely tied to the community here, and many, many people I’m friends with have cabins up there. The Ruidoso Free Press reports the church and campground have been “compromised.”

For more pictures (where I got the one above) and updates, I’ve been checking out the Southeastern New Mexico Weather Web Page.

We’re under a red flag warning, too. This means sustained winds of 20 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. NOT good help for fighting fires.

And, for the record, we’re still in a drought, although rumor has it that El Nino may be showing up soon. We can only pray.

Picture courtesy of MSNBC.

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