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Fire Devastation

Washington State has been hit with a historic fire season!

The Pacific North West has been Ravaged by Fires this Summer

There are several mushers in north Central Washington that have been either partially or completely burnt out.

Personal Stories

Sled Dog Central is in touch with a few mushers from the area, here is one story;

Sled Dog Central Interview with Linda Pierce,                                                    August 28, 2015
Sled Dog Central asked Linda to describe what she had been experiencing, this is what she shared:

The fires got our attention on the 14th when it was at Blue Lake, about 4 miles up the road.

And another at Shallow Mountain about 7 miles away. This was at the mouth of a canyon.

We loaded up goods into the trailer and moved it on the 16th. Then rain came and we were hoping for some relief.

I was volunteering at an operations center in support of the firefighting effort when I heard reports of the Shallow Mountain fire coming down the west side. When I heard those reports I decided I had to go, that was getting close to home.

All but one area, where the Shallow Mountain fire was burning, had been back burned. That one spot allowed the fire to get loose.

Monday night we were told that crews were being sent to our home the next day for structure control. That is when it became really serious.

We had everything ready to go. We had done our best to prepare.

The next day a truck pulled up and a firefighter named Michael says, “Your place is defensible – We Got This!”. That was a great relief to hear.

I packed up the dogs and headed out while my husband stayed back with the firefighters. A dozer line was placed around the property.

While in shelter I could see a plume of smoke right where our house was. With no communication I had no idea if anything at all was being saved. Then we look the other way and the Tunk Block fire is approaching the “safe spot”. I evacuated with the dogs again. I make my way to south Okanogan with the dogs and the mules. Smoke is everywhere.

The next morning I am able to get in touch with my husband and learn that the house is saved!

I take the animals back home and we get settled. Crews had back burned the edges of the property about 30 feet.

Wednesday I was in the living room when I saw another fire coming. I was going to load the animals back up again but my husband pointed out that it was moving so fast that by time we were loaded we would be driving right into it.

We stood gaurd at the property line with hoses and jumped to action to put out any embers that might have blown into the defensible space created by the dozer lines. Wind just pushed it through – it traveled a half mile in about 20 minutes.

We are so incredibly fortunate!

We know of other places that were not so lucky. I have learned that where you live matters – not only for fire danger but also for fire resources.

Amazingly, there are two inch sprouts of grass in the pasture after just one week after fire went through. We have a mile and a third of fence that needs replacement, but the house is safe.

Linda Pierce

© Sled Dog Central 2015

To: Sled Dog Central,                                                    August 27, 2015

OH MY Gosh, it is just constant stuff.
The fires keep coming back!

I just rescued my cat spit, whose been missing 8 days. He crawled back to the dog shed. 4 of his pads are burnt off, he's in the emergency vet tonight.

Yesterday, 2 of my dogs got in a fight and one had eye surgery, the other stitches in her leg. The dogs are so stressed, 9 days on the tie outs was too much.
The dog yards were all on fire and smoldering for over a week.

I brought 9 dogs up this morning and had to secure the runs with hog panel on the edges as the fences were just dangling where the fire burnt up under them. Tree roots are still hot and smoldering.

I had 20 acres of trees, and probably 3 or every 4 trees is a hole in the ground now.

My training rig is completely toast, burnt to crisp, so really glad i'm buying one, so I won't miss the whole training season.

I have some great pics of dog yards on fire, smoldering, burnt atv, etc.

I'm exhausted, but have some friends coming to help. Day 10 I think now.

My propane tank was actually on fire last friday and I could not get any fire support to put it out. Luckily it burnt off instead of blowing up and taking the house.

I am so incredibly lucky, and built good firelines the morning of the fire.

Dina Lund

© Sled Dog Central 2015

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