I know it’s been awhile since I caught you up on what’s happening here at Timothy Lake, but it has been extremely busy. At the very beginning of the season, we were short by one couple and then we lost two couples, so we’ve been very short staffed once again. This has put Lee and I in a position where we were working extra hard again. This time around, I did a better job of putting limits on my time, but Lee was back to working 10-12 hour days. That’s just his ethic. Frustrating for me though, because we had other stuff going on, and I wanted that time and energy focused on those things.
Finally we caught a break and they hired two more couples for the lake. This allowed one of the couples who we had been cross training to come work with us and for the first time all season we are fully staffed. Going to take awhile to get caught up on things, but I am thankful that we have some more help. Couldn’t come at a better time either, because we are finally starting to get busy. It’s been unsually cool and rainy this year which has led to lots of cancellations. Fine by us because we were understaffed, but now that it’s getting hotter things are starting to heat up.
One of the things I am excited about this year is having a chance to do surveys. The company is investing in a very comprehensive survey to decide where to invest more money in future years. Walking around and talking to people gets me out of the office and if the weather is nice it’s a great way to start a day. Here’s some pics from one of my last survey days. As you can see the Day Use areas are getting lots of use.
One of the downsides of things heating up is the fires have started. We have had two in two days in the area and the second one Lee was heavily involved in. On Sunday, a gentleman from Russia came to one of our campgrounds and reported there was a fire about 3-1/2 miles away from our property. His English was too poor to give us directions, so Lee followed him to the location.
Under normal circumstances we are extremely cautious about leaving our footprint, but if there is one thing we have learned over the last few years it is fire in the Pacific NW is nothing to mess with. Three miles “as the crow flies” is right next door by less than a mile, and on a windy day it could be on our doorstep very quickly.
So Lee went to both check it out and get me GPS coordinates that I could report to Mt Hood Fire Service. In the past they have been great about responding, but for whatever reason not so much on this particular day. After an hour of waiting (and the fire increasing from a 15×15 area to to a 60×60 area) as a team we decided to send our water wagon to the area.
Our team of three kept it contained until 1-1/2 hours later when the fire department finally showed up. They didn’t stay long because it turned out to be in one small corner of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reservation and they made them respond. Again, I found this unusual because in remote areas, whatever jurisdiction is available usually handles things. I was also surprised when the dispatcher mentioned how “remote” the fire was. A mile away from huge campgrounds doesn’t seem remote to me.
The whole situation didn’t sit well with me, although our immediate supervisor was really complimentary about how we handled it. Unfortunately on Monday our Area Manager wasn’t happy with the choice we had made to go off the footprint. I understand his concerns about liability, but we didn’t make that decision lightly. These are our homes and almost everything we own is in them. I seriously doubt that if he had a fire a mile away from his house and no one was responding that he would just let it burn unchecked.
On the plus side our direct supervisor agrees and so do our fellow camp hosts. We are the ones that would need to evacuate the lake if we had a fire and they were all very grateful that Lee and the other two employees jumped on it. I am hoping these last two fires are not foreshadowing of things to come.
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