posted on Mar, 25 2013 @ 03:20 AM
When I was young and brave(r) I worked for BC forestry Service. Three man crews, flown into lightning strike fires by helicopter. Lightning hits
hollow cedar tree's and burns inside.
The area was Wells Grey Park in BC Canada. Very vast wild and remote place. Our fire was called LICK fire.
Lima India Charlie Kilo. We were flown out 85 miles in and dropped into a clearing that was cleared the day before by Rap Attack (guys who repel down
ropes and make a landing pad for firefighters in Heli to land on.
Chainsaws, fuel, camp gear goes in back, food stuffs,piss-cans sat on our laps.
When we were dropped off, as we were sighting in water and fire location (heli hovers above water and then fire, and flashes light, we get a position
fix from our present. As we were sighting in, there was a humongous crash just blow us (think steep mountain just below Alpine) and we seen the back
end of a monster black bear jumping and crashing down the hill.
So after marking trail to water and fire with ribbon tape, we set up camp.
We strung all our food suspended from ropes 20 or so feet off the ground, in the morning at first light we were off to first fill the cans (backpack
type water cans that go on our back and have hand pumps) then get to the fire location, where we would use a 36 inch (bar) saw and a 18 inch saw to
first fall the burning cedar, then cut it up split it up and dowse it with water from the cans. Back and forth all day, at 8 pm or so we headed back
to camp, and low and behold.
The Bear had come and tore the fly off the top of the forestry tent and discombobulated the tent a bit, it also tore the peak off of my ball hat. I
had left it behind, as we wore hard hats.
We cooked supper, one of the guys had a bottle of whiskey, another had some combustibles, we ate, we joked, we started a fire.
It was a nice fire, and about 1/2 an hour before bedding down (no gay, but three men in a tent) I seen something moving on the other side of the fire.
It was the bear, and he came out of the bush and into the little clearing we are camped at, and just sat across the fire looking at us.
I bent down, and grabbed about a 18 inch chunk of limb 3 inched thick, and with all the might I had I stood up and threw it at the bear. It hit him
square in the face, and hard. He kinda grunted and shook his head. With the other guys scurrying about the bear got timid and took off back into the
The tent had a big rip in the bottom, where the tent pegs held ground and the material gave way when the bear was pulling on it earlier in the day,
this was a problem, as it was not a overly big tent, and someone had to sleep by it.
So we drew wooden matches, short stick got the hole.
I did not lose, thankfully. we took a pick axe a good sharp axe and I took the 18 inch saw with us into the tent, and put the gear up and in between
the tent and our heads.
Working hard like that, in the highly oxygenated air, with the shots and the puffs, it was easy to fall asleep.
At about 3am, the bear returned, and poked his head inside the tent, and grabbed a mouthful of buddies sleeping bag, pulled, released and came back
for another mouthful, this time buddies foot was included in what was bitten,and the bear bit into buddies foot and was dragging him out the hole by
his sleeping bag, it was just prior to that that buddy started screaming at the top of his lungs, both out of surprise and then pain from the bite, in
a grog I grabbed the little saw, (I already had the choke set on) and gave it a pull, she started first pull, thumbed off the choke and opened it up,
because the saws motor was cold, it smoked a LOT and obviously made a hell of a noise. The bear by that time had let go and ran away.
So were up early (LOL) and try to communicate with any chopper in the area. The radios we had only had limited range, a helicopter needed to be with
20 miles or so to pick up up on the Chanel.
It took forever to reach someone and advise them of the issue. It was late afternoon before contact was made. The copter pilot said he would relay
message to Clearwater forestry and have someone sent out the next day. (A forest ranger with a gun, and a replacement man)
That afternoon, evening,night and next morning till about noon, was the most precarious time I had ever spent in the bush, I was not sure if the bear
was rogue or would turn man eater.
I spent my time,clutching the little 18 inch saw, we sharpened our axes, we threw the food away, we consumed what was left of the combustibles.
A chopper came the next day, with Ranger Mike, and a replacement man, and perishable food stuffs for us.
Ranger mike sent us on our way to work the fire, he took an apple, cut it in half and put it on top of sticks he pushed into the ground.
At about 4 PM that day,we heard the crack and reverberation of Ranger Mikes .308, as he smoked the bear between the eyes when it came for the
That's my creepy forest story.