To all the family members who are wondering about the whereabouts of their loved ones: it’s tough sitting at home waiting & worrying (I’ve been there many times for many years)
A cell phone is great idea – they are small enough to be tucked in a “red bag”. I’d never suggest adding even those extra few ounces to their packs or carried on their person on the fire line. But, remember, there are lots of places in the West and SouthWest with no cell sites for miles. Sometimes, if they’re lucky, the only way to get thru is to be on top of a ridge & pointing the right direction! (no joke) Yes, often there are pay phones in fire camp, but the lines are long; often sleep, hot fresh food & a shower has higher priority, especially if their assignment included 7 nites of spike camp.
The idea about collecting the newspaper articles and NIFC daily sit reports is a great one – I too do that. The FFers appreciate it, and usually get a hoot reading the media mistakes. It makes for good conversation when all are home relaxing (especially the ground pounders who never see any news reports).
We, all, are concerned about our loved ones on the fire lines, but please do not call dispatch unless you have a VERY special relationship with them – they are inundated even without calls from us civilians.
Stop in the chat room some nite, there have been some good conversations; you’d be more than welcome. Fire chat has been quiet lately because so many folk in the western states are working long shifts and have little time for chats.
Ab, thanks for adding this forum to your wonderful website.
You’re welcome, I’m sure. We’ll try to be timely with these posts. Glad you’re all around to alleviate the stress for those at home.