On July 8, 2012, Chicken and I were returning to Lodoga to retrieve his RV, the Hotel Miami, left there after Camp Tipsy. We saw some strange clouds on the horizon. After briefly speculating on whether they could maybe (possibly) be smoke, we came across an honest-to-goodness wildfire (about 10 feet across) burning on this very hillside.
The Sites Complex fire of 2012 involved 88 fire engines, 24 bulldozers, 6 helicopters, and 1339 personnel. It burned 4185 acres. It’s the only good reason I’ve ever driven the perilous Leesville Road.
I was pretty amazed to locate the exact hillside this year. A lot has changed. But when I compare the original Instagram from that day, I’m sure. The geo-location is as precise as possible.
We fought it with a squeegee and my front door mat. Chicken got smoke inhalation. We did a bad job stopping it, but the California Fire Marshalls who later visited me to investigate told me that — of course — we really couldn’t have. When it comes to wildfires, 10 feet is already too big. No heroes came back that day. Just pictures.