Albuquerque firefighters suppress wildfire on island

They accessed the fire via airboat

wildfire island bosque albuquerque

Yesterday firefighters from the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Wildland Division dealt with a wildfire on an island in the Rio Grande River. They used an airboat to access the 1/4-acre Bosque fire.

Photos are from @abqfire

wildfire island bosque albuquerque wildfire island bosque albuquerque

The first LARGE wildfire I was on was the Safety Harbor fire in Washington when I was with the El Cariso Hotshots. After flying from Southern California we loaded onto a chartered bus which dropped us off near an apple orchard. From there we took a boat across Lake Chelan to the fire. We were actually initial attack on the blaze. It grew much larger than seen in the photo below; we spent two or three weeks there at a spike camp. They fed us Continental Cuisine — frozen meals in plastic hairnet bags that were heated in large tubs of water, seen in the second photo below. Sometimes the frozen food was thoroughly heated; other times, there were still-frozen chunks.

Safety Harbor Fire boat ride El Cariso Hot Shots
El Cariso Hotshots and other firefighters took a boat across Lake Chelan to the Safety Harbor Fire in 1970. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
El Cariso Hotshots Safety Harbor Fire
El Cariso Hotshots at a spike camp on the Safety Harbor Fire in Washington, 1970. This picture was taken after one of the times we got chased out. The fire blew up almost every day in the mid-afternoon and we would have to hike back up a steep slope, sometimes at a brisk pace. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

Firefighters — tell us YOUR story about using a boat to get to a fire.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Albuquerque firefighters suppress wildfire on island”

  1. Len Kosup.
    El Cariso hotshots 1961. Left Ontario via commercial carrier and arrived in Boise Id. Boarded USFS DC-3 to North Fork Id.. Boarded school buses and rode down dirt road along the Salmon River past Shoup to end of road. Waiting there at a dock were a fleet of inboard excursion craft. Seemed like more than a mile we were let out at fires edge to start building line up a steep grassy ridge with many rolling baseball and softball sized rocks. After several hits and near misses, retreated to less hazardous area and constructed a helipad for future use. We had no radios or maps. Just followed the fire each day and retreated to sandbar each evening. Food and water dropped in by parachute. Trapped one night on large rockslide. Remember being very hungry. After 5 or so days saw a local district ranger who brought us a packset radio and map. Inversion layer kept it smoky so difficult to see crews or fire from air. Sand bar spike camp was it for duration of fire. 14 days w one day of r and r to wash clothes in metal water cubs and relax. As best as l remember it. Lk


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