When firefighters go north to Alaska to fight fires for the first time it’s a real adventure. Firefighting up there can be very different than in the lower 48 states. In the interior of Alaska, distances between roads can be gigantic. Logistical support comes via cargo nets from helicopters or cargo chutes by plane instead of trucks. Those are just two of many differences. On my first fire assignment to the interior we were sent to protect some scattered hunting cabins owned by native Alaskans as well as the oil pipeline from a wildfire started by lightning. Since we were protecting the pipeline we did have some road access. This story is about what happened one night while assigned to the fire. Keep in mind that although I might refer to my co-workers as knuckleheads (which you’ll soon see why), I loved these guys. They were like real brothers to me and I still love them and the memories from when we worked together.
Published by Bobbie Scopa
I've been a wildland and municipal firefighter for over 40 years. I've held positions from firefighter up through the ranks to Chief and above. Over the years I've gathered many surprising and funny stories. Most have a good leadership lesson for all of us. I hope you enjoy them. View all posts by Bobbie Scopa