August Updates


Above: Holland Lake, Montana

Well, I’ve been incredibly delinquent in my posting this past month, and while it’s been for good reason, I feel it’s time for at least a quick update.

A lot has changed since my last post.  I’ve moved on in my work life, accepting and starting in a fire and aviation data collection and research position in Boise, still working for the Forest Service.  This was my tenth season in helitack, and while I had hoped for selfish reasons to finish a full season, it didn’t work out that way.  I think I can still claim ten seasons in helitack though… the last few days I was in Garden Valley I actually saw nearly as much fire from the front seat as I did the two seasons before.  I’ll miss the helicopter time, and some of my coworkers, but on the whole I’m extremely excited to be heading in a new direction, and on to new adventures.


Above:  Sapphire Lakes, Montana

So, my last day at GV was about three weeks ago.  I had planned a summer vacation for the first time in a long time, and I left for Montana a bare few days after accepting my new position, and I had a two week period where I was done with GV but not yet started in the new job… it was fantastic.  I spent a great two weeks with family and friends in the Swan, got some hiking and photo taking in, and made time for family and myself.  While I felt bad, watching fires around the Boise area on the news, I reminded myself it’s only a job.  I was able to be with my sister and her family for my niece’s third birthday, and that to me was worth more than any overtime I missed at work.  It’s tough, absolutely, to make time for family in the middle of fire season, but as I said in an earlier post, fires will happen year after year, but my niece is only going to have one third birthday.  Easy decision, difficult execution.


Above:  Bubbles with my adorable niece.

So that’s the update in a nutshell.  I’ve got some great personal, leadership, and photography posts planned for the future… I’ve just got to make time to do it.

In the meantime, I uploaded a few hundred pics to my Flickr page, check it out.

Until next time…


About Justin Vernon

I'm an amateur photographer, wanna-be writer, tech aficionado, and a classic introvert who values quiet time as much as I do the mountains and people of the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies.
This entry was posted in Garden Valley, Personal, Wildland Fire. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to August Updates

  1. Jason Jubain says:

    Hey Vern,
    Reading your update finds me in a slightly similar situation. Left the Flathead Helitack 2 weeks ago for a GIS job with Plum Creek in C-Falls. Kind of gut wrenching as I had carved out a little niche with the crew there. It was a very slow start and I accepted the position the day before I was due to fill in with the shots. Our B3 showed up and I watched it and remaining crew head to Oregon. Came home from a company trip to fires up the north fork of the flathead and continue to watch aircraft ferry over whitefish at the end of the day. Funny how life works out, it was my 10th season in fire (total, not Helitack) and I too have a 3 year old niece. I take away a lot from your posts while I rarely respond but I am indeed happy for you and relish in some of our similarities in life.

    • Hey Jason, thanks for the kind words and congrats on the new job! It’s tough changing things up mid-season, but it’s all for the better I think, for both of us. Best of luck in C-Falls… I’ll look you up the next time I’m around that part of MT!

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