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Posted by: John_Hamilton on 07/28/2012 08:33 AM Updated by: John_Hamilton on 07/28/2012 12:03 PM
Expires: 01/01/2017 12:00 AM

An Army Marches on It's Stomachs, Even a Fire Army! ~By John Hamilton

Frogtown, CA...The unfortunate event of having the Penn and Graham fires hit our area this week had the upside of the letting us get a glimpse into the the rolling armies that are some of the best in the world at fighting the yearly menace faced throughout California and many of the Western States. While these fires will fall short of some of the long, campaign type battles like the Knight Fire a couple of years ago and the Darby Fire. They did however show us how forces are marshaled and deployed to fight the enemy that doesn't fight with bombs or bullets but can be just as destructive and is just as alive as a human enemy. Fighting these battles requires infantry (Fire Crews), cavalry (Engines and Crews), tanks (Dozers), fighters (Helos), bombers (Tankers) and Generals (Incident Commanders and Air Attack)...

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The support infrastructure that seemingly materialized instantaneously at Frogtown to support these fires was impressive.

Rolling Kitchens, Semi-trailers with food, water, Gatorade, showers, toilets, sleeping accommodations if needed, GIS and mapping, satellite communications trailers, radio communications trailers, equipment mechanics, and on and on. All the equipment and resources needed to keep the troops safe, fed and productive as they battle the hot, thirsty and aggressive enemy.

In some ways fighting fires is like the old desert campaigns in that the battles are always against two enemies. The fire itself and the war of the extreme temps, dust, dirt smoke and rugged terrain wage on men and equipment.

There may be some grumbling at how to pay for these battles in tight economic times but it would be hard to argue against that this is one of the vital and irreplaceable things citizens expect from government. These are in a very real way our local defense department. Our hats off to the hard working men and women who fight these fires in our communities and others.

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