Saving Hwy 36
Jackie says she has “lived out here for 40 years and fought every fire that came along.” Keep that in mind when you read Assam’s story.
A few hours after that photo was snapped on Friday, a small group of local landowners on South Fork Mountain assembled and noticed the complete lack of fire resources. They got any tool they could, water tanks in the back of trucks, pumps and hoses and manned [Hwy] 36.
They back-burned armed with nothing more than Bic lighters along the road all night to stop the approaching onslaught and checked blowing embers. They caught every spot fire that got across the road for 12 hours. Those 9 people held 6 miles of road against that inferno.
The next morning when the first fire captain found them, he couldn’t believe what he saw or what was done with so few volunteers was even possible.
If that fire skipped the road, we would be looking at a vastly worse situation out here and [Hwy] 36 would be cut in half for who knows how long. It would affect many lives and the economy.
I see a lot of [press releases talking about] 0% containment flying around. That is bullshit because I know of 6 miles of very valuable real estate that is contained. Thank you Ben, Kara, Robert, Esteban, Jackie, Boris, Brittany, Creek and Owen. You guys are the heroes of the day!
What Jackie later told us was that Assam also helped fight the fire after he “got his wife and kid out.” Assam insisted the others fought much longer than he did and deserve the credit.
Tonight, Jackie is packing her bags. She might have to evacuate.
To help place the incident further, here’s another map showing the boundaries of the fire as of August 2.
Note: Small changes to grammar were made to the story.