Washington State is one great flame right now, the wildfires roaring through the forests and devouring the bone dry land, leaving ash fall and a yellow brown gray haze that turns the sun an apocalyptic neon pink. Homes are being burned to the ground, livestock killed, and yesterday, 3 firefighters were killed in the blaze. It makes me feel helpless to be so close to the fire that it rattles my lungs but not be able to do anything about it. I keep thinking about what Cotton Kingfisher would do if he were here, being that he is my firefighter hero based on the likes of Big Ed Pulaski, and I think we all know what he'd do bygod, he'd pick up a pulaski and he'd go fight that devil fire bygod. But, unfortunately, I aint no Cotton Kingfisher or Ed Pulaski or even Josh Johnson or Liv Stecker, so all I can do is say a poorman's prayer and holler at Old Man for rain.
So you all be safe, and to those who died in the blaze, Godspeed your spirits upon the cool wind like crows above the fire.
'Cotton goes crazy with a saw clearing an anchor point and all the men string along there like Marines forming a line and they go busting it like a mule with the fire rushing like a river below them then they start to feel heat coming up and the Blackfeet wind picks up and the big sun disappears behind the fire spirit's smoke signal char ash burn and men put wet shirts on their heads and over their mouths and Cotton is like a fire god hacking and heaving and hollering orders beside Jacob Two Calves and Fred Mason. It's when the wild animals come runnin up past the men up the mountain deer and elk and bighorn sheep and even a goddamn bear and cougar and the crows take to wing cussin at the fire and maybe Cotton and the men fightin it too the ornery black sonsofbitches it is when this happens that the men and Cotton know it is time to beat it like hell and Cotton roars louder than the fire
"Get out and follow me goddamnit!" ' (Bust Like A Mule pg 240)