I hope there’s still firewood left when the forest reopens

I had hoped to go get firewood this past weekend, but the Mullen Fire caused me to rethink my plans. When I get another chance to get wood, I hope there’s some left.

We used to buy our firewood every year for the wood stove that heats our house each winter. I really like the guy we bought our firewood from, and it does bother me a little bit that I’m not buying his wood from him anymore, but I found last year that I really like going up to the forest and cutting my own.

Even in normal years, cutting your own firewood isn’t expensive. Sure, it costs money to buy the fuel to get up there to the mountains and put gas in the chainsaw. But it’s another excuse to get out into the woods for a day or two. I actually meant to get my firewood gathered in the summer, when I could have combined a trip to get wood with a scouting mission for elk and deer. Now it’s looking like I really should have gone in the summer instead of putting it off.

Aside from the fact that waiting until now was a bad idea because if I go now, I’m going to bother other hunters, I’m also cutting into my own hunting time. Instead of running a chainsaw, I should be out in those woods stepping softly and trying to sneak up on a deer or an elk.

But then there’s the Mullen Fire. It’s right in the heart of where I like to hunt, as well as where I like to gather firewood. I wouldn’t have reduced the fuel load by much, but every little bit helps. And I’d have had it done, and possibly would have found some better places to wait for an elk or a deer, and maybe right now I’d have a full freezer as well as a full woodshed.

I’ll have to wait until the fire gets put out before I go get my firewood. The good news is that I postponed buying my firewood permits — now we can get up to 10 cords for free. As long as there’s still firewood left when they get that fire under control.

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