White Salmon Wildfire

Early afternoon on September 5, 2012, We were seeing the plume of smoke from the Highway 141 Fire just north of town, looking like it was coming our way. By this time it was estimated to be over 120 acres, and by the next day it was up to 2000 acres. Two helicopters and two fire airplanes dropping water and fire retardant worked till dark trying to slow down the blaze that was crowning treetops and racing up dry grass slopes. They began again on the 6th working hard all day along with over 400 firefighters on the ground. Crews came from many far flung fire stations like Gray’s Harbor, Kennewick, Clark, and Cowlitz Counties, for a few examples. By dark on Sept. 6 it was considered only 10% contained, and hot spots were flaring up with wind changes from the east and decreasing humidity throughout the day. My own brother Boyce Black’s home was being protected by 3 of his sons, Justin, Boyce, and Dwayne; and one daughter Monica Yates, with their spouses and some friends, as they worked all day digging and scraping firelines around hot spots heading their way. The firefighters were busy elsewhere by this time, although they had been there the night before, late into the night. Some, like Monica, got blisters on hands and feet working those firelines. ON the 7th the fire crews showed up and made a 6 foot fireline protecting the house with bulldozers.

Sept,2012 Starlisa Black
— in White Salmon.