Thursday, July 23, 2009

One of Smokey's own

Tom Marovich, Jr. from the Modoc National Forest, working with the Chester Helicopter Crew from the Lassen National Forest was killed Tuesday while performing a proficiency training exercise. The incident occurred at the Backbone Fire Helibase in Willow Creek, California.

Please keep Tom's family, loved ones, friends, and fellow Forest Service employees in your thoughts and prayers during this time of sorrow.

In Honor of Tom Marovich, Jr., Secretary Vilsak has ordered flags at all USDA facilities to be flown at half staff.

I work for Smokey and pause to remember Mr. Marovich and his family at this time. Every now and again I pause to thank our fire fighters when talking with them on the phone. I suppose it is very unprofessional to interject it into a business conversation but I want them to know they are my heroes.

All my summers growing up were spent in the midst of Sequoia National Forest. The first sixty years of my life were spent in California where wildfires are a major annual threat. I recall watching flames on distant hills when I was at Mount Calvary above Santa Barbara and the Santa Ana winds scoured the landscape. I remember the Oakland-Berkeley hills fire. It's personal.

May Mr. Marovich and all who lose their lives serving others rest in peace and rise in glory.

--the BB


susankay said...

The fire fighters are awesome. We've had some really scary fires here in southwest Colorado since we moved here. The others whom I admire deeply are the archaeologists who are specially trained for fire duty and who go in AHEAD of the fire crews to note where ancestral Puebloan sites are to be avoided if possible.

Prayers for them all.

it's margaret said...

Oakland-Berkeley hills fire --which one?
The most recent which ripped into Oakland and destroyed my aunt and uncle's musical instrument collection (they both worked for the SF symphony and Opera orchestra--played 17 different instruments between them), --or the one in the early 70s which crested down Domingo Ave south of the Hotel Claremont? --we had to evacuate during that one.... but were lucky, as were my grandparents....

Yes, firefighters are my heroes, too.
God bless his family--and God bless him for his service to us all.

This one hit me hard tonight, Paul. sigh.....

Paul said...

Margaret, the fire in the early 70s was long before I moved to the Bay Area so I was unaware of it. Thank you for reminding us that it is a recurrent reality. I meant the more recent one.

I was going a house blessing and Eucharist (and car blessing) in an apartment in San Pablo - all in Spanish - that afternoon. It was an ungodly hot day already, and in the background I heard so many sirens. Eventually I stepped outside and saw the smoke in the distance and realized that if fire engines from north of where I was were headed that way this was really BIG. It was many miles south of our home but we lived on a ridge between watershed/East Bay regional parkland and residences with lots of underbrush we needed to control and eucalyptus trees all about us. Very high risk.

Bless them all, indeed!