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A Drop in the Bucket

September 23, 2014

We have been treated to a free airshow for the duration of the wildfire that is still burning to the south of us.  Super Scoopers have been flying at treetop level over the farm for days on their treks back and forth from the Columbia River to the Estacada Pit 36 forest fire.

With the trees so tall surrounding the fields and farm, they sneak up on you.  Next thing you know they’re overhead and it’s too late to get a good photo.

We took a short break Sunday and headed down to the viewpoint to see if we could see them filling up.  The air was filled with smoke and short of going down to the river, we settled for the long view from above.

You can barely make the plane out, it’s heading out to the river from the Latourell Creek canyon.

Seeing this view, thinking of the massive fire and these tiny planes, makes you really feel insignificant.  A drop in the bucket of life.

Trying to navigate the tourists in the water.

Scooping up a load.
Taking off.

Gaining some altitude.

Up and out of the gorge, and onto the fire.

The first of the fall rains are supposed to arrive tonight, I hope it’s significant.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2014 7:23 am

    Breath-taking photos and scenery!

  2. thecrazysheeplady permalink
    September 23, 2014 7:29 am

    WOW!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. Very cool! Well, not the fires, but you know what I mean.

  3. September 23, 2014 7:33 am

    I’ve seen these planes from time to time up here too – Vancouver Island. It’s amazing what a help they can be with their water dumps. Helicopters too. You’ll be relieved when that fire is under control – it’s been burning for more than a week hasn’t it?

  4. Bee permalink
    September 23, 2014 7:58 am

    During fire season around here, it sometimes feels the way it must have in WWII. Many of the Foschek planes are B52s and similar propeller-driven planes from that era, and they go over on regular runs all day. My stepmother’s house is in the line of flight from the airport where they’re based. Since it’s a big house with a flat white roof, sitting on the edge of the hill, the pilots use it as a landmark to make their turns when they take off. Having a loaded B52 come rumbling over you a couple hundred feet up is an experience!

  5. bunkie permalink
    September 23, 2014 8:30 am

    Great pics! We had a big scare up here and were on evac notice for over a week….Enterprize Fire in WA. Had not only planes but helicopters dumping water here. We’ve had lots of smoke up here from the Pit 36 Fire, too. We’re still dry and looking forward to the fall rains this week, too.

  6. Ben permalink
    September 23, 2014 9:00 am

    I’ve been surprised with how little I’ve been hearing about that fire, must have things contained around houses. Yesterday was smokey here, today not so much. Interesting how the winds determine everything.

  7. September 23, 2014 9:05 am

    Amazing, really.

  8. Bev permalink
    September 23, 2014 9:57 am

    Thanks for sharing. The Happy Camp Complex fire in Siskiyou County about 10 miles from us by air has grown to 131,996 acres. We have had smoke for a month and a half. Recently toured a sky-hook helicopter up close. Awesome. Locally it is called the Bad-Ass. Like Bee said, it is an experience when the planes go over. They used a 747 on this fire. To see and hear it going over in our valley of alfalfa fields was really surreal. It is sad to see forests burn up. The Weed, CA fire ;to the east of us, by Mt. Shasta was awful. Flat land and subdivisions. Drought, heat and terrific winds. In the night150 homes lost, Businesses and jobs, 2 churches, a new library, etc. My DH is retired from 30 years of fighting wildland fire. It has been an awful year for all who have been working so hard.
    We are doing the happy dance. Rain is coming!

  9. September 23, 2014 12:00 pm

    The Columbia looks low! A couple of weeks ago I crossed it far upstream, at Vantage, and was shocked at how much exposed river bottom I could see. What do you think?

  10. September 23, 2014 2:09 pm

    Thanks for capturing those photos to let us know how they do it. I’ve been smelling the other fire, the one near Gaston from my home.

  11. September 23, 2014 7:52 pm

    The pictures were just great. Thanks for this very informative blog. Thank God the rains have come!

  12. wildriver permalink
    September 24, 2014 1:41 am

    You are in a nice place on the planet MOH, I think people call that “Rugged Beauty”


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