Farragut Fire: Before and After

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Almost a week ago, I posted some photos from our region's worst smoke day at Farragut State Park on Lake Pend Oreille. Today, the clear skies beckoned me to go for a drive, and I decided to see what it was like there now. Refer to the previous post to see the contrast.




As you can see most clearly in that 3rd image, the fires are still active. There is still a hint of smoke on the breeze, here, too. But the good news is the devastation level being far lower than I expected.

More interesting, though, was the firefighting I got to see. A Chinook helicopter is dropping water as I compose this post. The pilot sometimes starts the bucket swinging like a pendulum to spread its load across a wide area, and sometimes brings it to a halt to carefully drop metered loads on specific points. The precision required for that kind of flying with such a heavy water load fighting everything he does must be enormous.


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The contrast between posts is quite amazing. It's cool you got to see the helicopter at work so close. It was 'way across the bay the day I was there.

Those water bomber pilots are pretty amazing :O

I'm pretty sure helicopter pilots fly by the seat of their pants more so than airplane pilots. Those Chinooks are killer for fighting fires with their carrying capacity.

Whoever was behind the stick was quite good. That giant orange pendulum full of water went where he wanted it, and its inertia was always used to his advantage. It's a bit like a rally driver who uses a skid to get a good lap as opposed to a schmuck like me who would just crash.

You generally don't get to pilot a Chinook without being really good. Most of them are ex military.

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