WELL, this isn’t exactly the after-action report I’d hoped I’d be writing; rather than regaling you with tales of the ride I am instead addressing the Tamarack Fire’s impact on the ride.
LAST Friday I, along with a bunch of other vendors, were at the Expo and basking in the glory of the next day’s event when at approximately 2:00 p.m. we noticed a plume of smoke rising to our southwest. In speaking with the local LEOs (Alpine Co. Sheriff’s Dept. deputies) on site I learned that it wasn’t the Henry Fire, but instead a new fire, what would later become the Tamarack Fire.
WE (vendors, organizers, etc.) kept doing our thing and hoped that the fire would be knocked down quickly.
IT was such a great time talking with riders who knew me and came by to introduce themselves and tell me how much they enjoyed reading about our adventures in the California Alps. I was making some sales, and giving riders tips on what to expect the next day.
AT about 3:00 p.m. I called in for extraction from the Expo as the fire was looking pretty nasty. The below image is what I saw when I got home. We already had items staged and go-bags handy so we began gathering other items in anticipation of the forthcoming evacuation.
ACROSS the street, at the firestation that temporarily became Deathride central, the team was still hard at work loading the trucks for distribution throughout the course. We had yet to receive the evacuation order. These pics were taken Thursday.
MY family and I, along with our cats, as well as the residents, campers, riders and other visitors, were all evacuated safely and calmly at approximately 5:00 p.m. thanks to the great planning and swift and efficient execution of the evac. plan by the Alpine County Sheriff’s Dept. and the Alpine Co. Volunteer Fire Dept.
WE were heartbroken. Not just for the riders and the community but also for the Deathride team that had worked so hard to get us to this point. Life can be cruel. No ride last year due to the pandemic and this year, the day before the ride…
AS usual, though, the community rose to the challenge as did Curtis Fong (Ride Director), Di (Asst. Ride Director) and their teams. On Sunday, the day after the ride was supposed to take place, we were unloading trucks at the Douglas County Senior Center (evacuation central). There were cases of watermelons, bananas, oranges, PB&J sandwiches, drinks, snacks and more that the Chamber donated to the community. Becky DeForest, Exec. Director of the Chamber, and I, moved items from inside the trailers so that others could shlep them into the center.
ON the other side of the county, Terry Woodrow, one of the county supervisors (her district includes Bear Valley) was, in addition to her usual duties, distributing water to fire crews in the area.
WE are so grateful that there were no deaths or serious injuries and as of the writing of this post (Weds. a.m.) that is still the case.
IF you’d like to help out, the Chamber has set up a GoFundMe page. Click here to go there.
FOR the latest information on the fire, click here to view the Tamarack Fire page on Facebook, the official page set up by Alpine County.
PLEASE send thoughts and prayers to all of those effected by this tragedy, as well as those throughout the country, and world, dealing with their own emergencies.