You might have heard that there has been a big wildfire here in North Central Washington, in the Methow Valley.
On Monday, the 14th, lightning storms set off a few fires in the area. One of them (at "Cougar Flats") was about 2 miles from Ultratune as the crow flies.
The Cougar Flats fire, part of the larger Carlton Complex fire, grew within a few days at an alarming rate to merge, expand, and consume 250,000 acres (about 400 square miles) as well as destroying over 300 homes.
During the worst of it, flames were visible from my house for 4 days straight, just about 2.5 miles east. I was very fortunate that my little house is upwind from the fire and not downwind. Fire moved at up to 3 mph during hot, dry, windy evenings and was an absolute firestorm.
Power, phone, internet, radio and TV were all out for about 8 days.
Everyone is helping friends and strangers alike. We'll get through it; that's what we do in the Methow Valley.
The air here is still a little smoky (smells like bacon!). There are over 3000 fire fighters camped here in the area fighting the fire and getting things under control (as of today, it's about 70% contained). Helicopters, water bomber airplanes, a DC10 dropping retardant. Maybe 1000 wild land fire vehicles.
Now the power is back on at Ultratune. Email is working. The web site is up and running. The phone works. No damage at the shop, and everything is fine.
There's nothing like hot, dry, smoky weather to make you dream of skiing!
If you've got skis that need service, send them any time. FedEx & UPS are delivering, and I'm back in the shop catching up on grinding!