“As it’s after 4pm, you’ll need to park the car and walk up, but it’s a long way…..” said the Ranger at the Lava Butte just south of Bend. However, it was glorious weather, so we decided to walk.
At the top, admiring the wonderful view, we got a big shock from Joey’s voice above, inviting us to join him in the look-out tower. We entered a world of large-scale maps stuck to the ceiling with low-tech string lines from all the various look-outs. There was constant walkie-talkie chatter, reporting every tiny smoke incident for miles around.
As Joey described his work, we discovered what had seemed a very calm and uneventful pine forest was full of events! Joey loves his job and spends up to ten hours a day up there in the fire-risk season. And he told us horror stories about Trump’s plans to allow digging in the National and State Parks.