PMC’s Friday wake-up call: FIRE! — Are we prepared?

  • [photo by Patrice Stimpson]

    [photo by Patrice Stimpson]

By Patric Hedlund, TME

The Rankel family had finished decorating their Pine Mountain Club home with ghosts, witches and cobwebs last week. Then Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 a.m. they were startled awake by the stutter of firefighting tanker helicopters outside their windows.

Suddenly Halloween-week was not just pretend-spooky anymore. Fire had been spotted on steep, rugged terrain of Sawmill Mountain overlooking the homes of the PMC community.

Firefighters responded rapidly to contain the…(please see below to view full stories and photographs)

Photo captions:

Above: A Ventura County helicopter pilot made his approach for another dip of water from Fern’s Lake in Pine Mountain Club. Right: Halloween decorations were up, but the Rankel family found the prospect of fire far more scary. Five-year-old Henry and his mom Viva watched the choppers come and go, as Viva and husband Drew considered an early evacuation (as nine-month-old Grant snoozed through the excitement).

Diane West was doing her normal horse chores when she snapped this shot of a Ventura County chopper dropping down toward Fern’s Lake to pick up water for another drop.

West wrote later on Facebook: ‘Kudos to this dude and the others (at least three more) that stayed on that fire all day to be sure it was out out out. These pilots certainly have skills…. A too-close-for-comfort wake up call to be prepared. We dodged this bullet.’

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This is part of the November 6, 2020 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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