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Over the years I have been jaw droppingly amazed at the ability of some in my neck of the woods to put out just plain false stuff about me... So I ask you to take whatever comes your way from this neck of the woods with a large dose of salt. Below is one example of such baloney. I have come to be aware that these kind of rumors are legion over here in this neck of the woods.

Roosevelt Fire

• Here's the lie: "As a result of me staying on my property during the fire, firefighters were diverted to help me fight the fire and save my house." Just plain false. No firefighter was on my property as the fire wave went by. I was there alone. The only firefighter to come near my property came by 1 1/2 hours after the flame front went by to check on me.

• Here's another lie: "I fought the fire with a garden hose." Again just plain false. What I did began in July of that summer following a presentation by the Forest Service and Wyoming Forestry Division. I listened to them and got to work. I went out every day and cut down some dozen sage brush for the two months before the fire. I cut down the sage to create an area clear of fuel out to 30-40-50 feet around the entirety of my house and garage. Then when the fire began I watered, moving the sprinkler head every two hours for 5 days. This soaked the ground within that clear space. An Associated Press article incorrectly conveyed an impression of me fending off the fire with a garden hose instead of saturating the ground with it. When the flame front went by my house it simply divided and went around. The flames approaching my house were some 8-12 feet high, are you kidding me... There was no using a garden hose to suppress that, although some in this neck of the woods want to push that. Either the removal of fuel would work or it wouldn't. Well, it worked.

• Why did I remain on my property? I wanted to be able to knock off embers that might land on the house. For this I jacked up the water pressure in my house to be able to reach the roof peak. It took some 8 minutes for the flame front to pass by. I then circled the house to check. I was amazed: Not a single ember stuck to the house.

• Next, and since power was now out, I set up my generator to run the well pump so I could keep putting down flashbacks. Spot fires were popping up following the flame front passage for another 5 hours. So I put them down, one by one.

• Bottom line: I listened to the Forest Service and State Foresters and got to work. I worked for some two months before the fire arrived. Throughout the fire and its aftermath no firefighter came to my property to do any firefighting.

• I spoke to each firefighter that went by on the side road nearby and got wind that some embers had landed on a house at the far end of that road. Then every time one went by I checked in with them to ensure they knew of the possible structure fire and were doing something about it. That house did sustain damage but was not destroyed.

• Later another house appeared to me to be at risk from radiant heat. I could see it up on the hillside to the southeast of my home, silhoutted with flaming trees behind it. For about an hour I would check in with firefighters going by on Rim Road and speak to them because I suspected it might burn, they always responded that it was up to their fire supervisor to do something. Sadly that house did burn to the ground about 30 minutes after my last conversation.

• Thus I would encourage people to recall that there are "wars and rumors of wars" about in this world and take heart.

Paid for by: Bill Winney
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