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Job Security. Sagehen Fire. Sawtooth National Forest. Idaho. July 1981.
Photo by Paul Sever. In typical fashion, the Boise I.R. Crew got the call for the Sagehen Fire late at night. When the crew got late-night fire calls—especially on weekends—it was as if someone turned on a giant drunk magnet located deep inside the Loft. At least half the crew would show up roaring, full of chemically enhanced noise and exuberance, dressed in their most boorish going-to-town clothes and shouting out tag lines from the night's nonsense. A favorite drunken battle cry for many years was, “Hi Ho!,” after the Hi Ho Club in Garden City, Boise's sin zone. One of the guys on the crew once stole the club owner's personalized “Hi Ho” license plate, and it hung for many years in the Loft, a trophy of too much fun. Another favorite cry was, "Hot line! Angeles!" Though, of course, the last things any of these drunks wanted to face on the next day's hangover was hot line or the Angeles National Forest, a hilly, brushy, dangerous scab on the body of Southern California. The Angeles is the only National Forest where the number of dumped corpses exceeds the number of live trees. We always kept our gear packed and ready to go, so even with the usual Beernut and Barley Circus in full swing, there wasn't too much chaos getting ourselves and our gear into the vans or onto an airplane. The sober, steady, and dependable types would watch out for those who were otherwise. I've helped drag more than one passed-out pogue—fire shirt unbuttoned, pants unzipped, boots unlaced and on the wrong feet—to a seat in the van or on an airplane. Everyone who was not actually unconscious would be excited at the prospect of a new fire and the chance to pull down overtime and hazard pay. Often we had very little information about where we were going or what the fire situation would be like when we got there. Rumors, speculation, and gossip were our regular traveling companions. We arrived at the Sagehen Fire early in the morning to find that it had consumed about 400 acres of sagebrush and P/J (pinon/juniper). Not a big fire by our standards. I believe that the Sawtooth I.R. (our sister crew based in Twin Falls, Idaho) was also there, along with the usual handful of local district riffraff. The fire was being managed by the local overhead team, which is always a crap shoot. Some local overhead teams know their business, some don't. The men in charge at Sagehen sent us out to tackle the fire with all our sleep-deprived, hung-over vigor, and we fully rewarded their confidence. By sundown the fire had blown up to a 10,000-acre snorter. That night they called for a Class-1 overhead team and a couple hundred more firefighters. What looked like a one- or two-day quickie had turned into a solid week of overtime and hazard pay. Not a bad day's work, if you ask me. We rarely had such outstanding success in letting a fire blow up on us, though the Fire Gods know we tried. Overtime and hazard pay are what fire fighting is all about. Firefighters get paid time and a half for overtime; time and a quarter for hazard; and time and three quarters for overtime plus hazard. On a fire the shifts are never less than twelve hours and there are no days off, so the overtime can really pile up. Firefighters get hazard pay as long as a fire is either uncontained or uncontrolled. Uncontained means the fire is less than 100% lined. Uncontrolled means the fire is 100% lined but no one is sure if the line will hold. Controlled means no freaking hazard pay for you, buckaroo. Overhead teams run fires. Big fires are run by Class-1 overhead teams, which include team members drawn from all over a region. A Class-1 overhead team includes such people as the incident commander (formerly known as the "fire boss"), the safety officer, weather officer, aviation boss, tractor boss, division bosses, sector bosses, and so on. A sector boss typically oversees two twenty-person crews, while a division boss will oversee a several sectors, the number depending on how the fire is being manned. Fire fighters are taught about the three elements required for fire: Heat — Oxygen — Fuel. This combination is known as the "Fire Triangle." One of our regional overhead teams wore hats that showed the Fire Rectangle: Heat — Oxygen — Fuel — Overhead. This photo was taken by Paul Sever (pronounced "saver"), a forestry graduate from Penn State. Somehow his feet had taken hold of the road of wrong and ended up snug inside the boots of a fire pogue. Paul later straightened out, became a green shirt, and is still in the fire business, though not as a shovel toter. I remember one night in Boise when Paul ran his bicycle into a parked car. Paul claimed that he fell asleep while he was pedaling. Rainier Beer may have been a contributing factor, though I know that the sleep deprivation that comes with fire fighting equips one with the ability to fall asleep quickly and in the most unnatural positions. I have often fallen asleep while leaning against aAFTER - Debenhams' 'boosting' Red Herring bikini range, £16 for top, £6 for bottom
Gel-filled bikinis are the new boob job Debenhams gives beach-bound women a boost Despite the recent trend amongst celebrities for down-sizing their assets, Victoria Beckham and Jordan being case in point, it seems there is still a need for a little enhancement when it comes to baring all on the beach. For SS 09, Debenhams has been trialling a small range of gel-filled bikinis designed to give women with a smaller chest a bit of a boost for the beach, and with an 80% sell-through already, its clear demand is BIG. Ongoing customer research at leading fashion retailer, Debenhams, reveals that 8 in 10 women now expect their swimwear to work as hard, if not harder than their bras on support and shape as well as comfort and design. The department store’s bra fitting service has also reported unprecedented demand for swimwear specific appointments, suggesting women are also taking more time in making the seasonal purchase of the year. Says Amanda Wain, “Where women used to be motivated by minimising ‘white-bits’, awareness about the dangers of sun-exposure means that consumers are prioritising flattering their body shape over flawless tans - even Victoria Beckham is embracing a paler colour. Although our swimwear range accommodates sizes A to G, we felt there was an opportunity to offer our customers a bikini that has the same enhancing effects as lingerie.” Amanda Wain continues, “Research into women’s lingerie shopping habits revealed that 45% of all A to C cup bras sold are now ‘enhancing’, indicating real demand and therefore great opportunity for swimwear. With padded and push-up bras amongst the biggest growth areas in lingerie, it is no surprise that this new introduction of gel-filled bikini tops has been a roaring success.” With very few options for enhancing bikini tops on the high street and only a few more online, Debenhams is confident that the expanded range will establish the store as a destination shop for this type of product.. The Red Herring boosting range will be expanded in both options and quantity for SS10 with a unit growth of 300%. Invented by French car engineer Louis Reard, the bikini has evolved significantly since it first emerged in 1946 - we have seen the tan-friendly string bikini, under-wired and then padded styles, the introduction of cup-sized pieces, tan-through swimsuits and most recently gel-filled, enhancing bikinis.
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