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Braving California’s fires on trip to parents


September 2, 2020

ANSWERING DUTY’S CALL – They went down to the Napa Valley to fight structure fires but were prepared and equipped to join in wildland fire suppression. They have. The intrepid crew are, left to right, Trisha Sutton, Jamie Jurdi, Phillip Andrew and Paden Holmberg. – Photo courtesy of Trisha Sutton

On Wednesday, August 19, I drove through hell.

The day started well enough. I woke up in a lovely pine forest near Mount Shasta. The night before, I had watched the sun set on the mountain and the stars come out. By breakfast, the mountain was enveloped in smoke.

As I left the Siskiyou mountains, the smoke thickened, darkened and filled the wide Sacramento Valley. After Redding, I can usually see the Sierras about 25 miles on the west, to my left and the Coast Range about 20 miles to my right, to the east. All the way down to Sacramento, I enjoy the open country and the big sky and the wa...

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