[pct-l] That pesky Blankenship fire...

Paint YW paintyourwagonhikes at gmail.com
Sat Aug 29 22:15:44 CDT 2015

The fire was reported/discovered on July 14. I walked SOBO past it on July
24. The trail closure went into effect July 25, and was posted at the
Cloudy Pass TH/JNCT, which I encountered that Sat. morning as I exited the
closure area. (I spent the night up on Suiattle Pass in a meadow)
The fire was smoldering and creeping down Blankenship mnt. as I hiked by
it, with no discernable flames present.  The fire's footprint was approx.
1/4 to 1/2 mile in width. The smoke extended north and south for approx. 1
mile in each direction. It had not jumped Agnes Creek, nor the PCT.
The inciweb website reported the fire's size at 70 acres when checked on
Aug. 1st.
Earlier this week, the fire's size was reported to be 180 acres.
Today, the fire is reported to be 212 acres.
47 days have elapsed since the discovery of this fire.
This piss ant of a fire has the trail held hostage.
It could have been squelched long before the entire northern sector of WA.
caught fire, primarily due to lightning strikes, resulting in the shifting
of resources to areas of much higher priority.
Normally, I would refrain from second guessing those in authority of
subject matter I know little about, like fighting forest fires.
That the trail remains open, even though the surrounding areas are all but
closed, indicates the powers that be understand the trail is of some
Additionally, that a top notch crew assessed the fire from the air, in
order to put it out, tells me that the trail's use is of some significance.
The Wolverine fire was a piss ant fire too. It's now approaching 65,000
acres and 28% contained.
All the angst, hyperventilating, and especially the defeatist mentality
that I've been reading here, drives me batty, and this modest rant is my
Don't quit.
Don't go home.
Your hike is not over.
And especially know that hiking an open trail is not putting rescue
worker's lives at risk (guilt trip-not!)
Rescue workers serve voluntarily and willingly go into harm's way.
Yes- the Blankenship fire is a piss ant fire... and yet could still blow up
into a monster conflagration.
There was a time long long ago, and in a galaxy far far away, where piss
ant fires near things deemed significant were put out.
At your controversial service-

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