Well, I actually got deployed to a fire! I'm currently on the Minto Flats Fire, soon to be known as the Rail Belt Complex. It's the largest fire complex in the country, at about 145000 acres right now. Unfortunately, I can't see the fire real well from where I am because it's not accessible by the road system. Also, the smoke from the fire turns into a haze that actually obscures any plumes.
Things quieted down a little bit just after I got here, because we got some thunderstorms that rained on the fire. However, it's been hot for the past couple of days and will be for the next couple, so that may change things.
Being an IMET is pretty interesting. I like camping out for the most part, even though I can hear the trains (and a local dog yard) from my tent. We are lucky to be in a building with real showers and bathrooms, so even though I'm sleeping in the tent, there's no porta-potties. Yay!
My trainer is really nice, and it's fun working with someone on this stuff. Last night he went to bed, and I was just getting ready to, when the situation unit leader requested a spot forecast for a new fire further south of here. I had done these at the office at home, but never on a fire. So I was excited to be right there, providing immediate support. Then today, my trainer and I drove down to check out a place to put a new weather station. Again, we couldn't really see the fire very well.
As usual as a weather person, I'm torn between wishing for action and wanting everyone to stay safe. There are lots of people with cabins and homesteads out here who are worried about losing property. Plus, the firefighters have their lives on the line. I do like being part of an operational team again. But in spite of enjoying the action, I will hope the best for the firefighters and everyone who is threatened by the fire.