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SATURdAy, JUNE 30, 2012


Fueling the hungry firefighter Keeping an army of fire crews well fed is quite a task

By Michael Maresh Journal Staff Writer The Montezuma County Fairgrounds is currently the home to more than 600 firefighting personnel who are battling the Weber Fire near Mancos. Feeding al those firefighters is a big challenge. Everyday at 5 p.m., after spending hour after sweltering hour on the fire line for the entire day, firefighters make the 15-mile trip to the fairgrounds to grab a shower and line up for dinner. Firefighters have set up tents all around the fairgrounds. Others are sleeping on floors and many are sleeping in their vehicles, said Eric La Price, public information officer for the U.S. Forest Service. Price also said numerous portable showers, sinks and toilets have been set up at the fairgrounds for what has become a small city of Weber Fire firefighters. The most daunting task remains feeding the 600 firefighters on a daily basis. Narvery Tate, food unit leader, said 558 meals are served three times a day to the personnel fighting the Weber Fire. More than 1,800 meals are prepared every day. The meals are prepared with two things in mind: Taste and nourishment. After a long, hard day on the fire lines, a big calorie meal is needed to keep firefighter’s energy up. Most meals are more than 2,000 calories. Hardy breakfasts, massive dinner portions of pork chops — two-inches thick, veggies and the works. And for dessert on this day, pecan pie. Tate said he always prepares more meals than he thinks he will need just to be careful. He doesn’t want to leave any hard-working firefighter without a meal. He has designed a calendar to tell the firefighters what will be on the menu for breakfast and dinner.


FireFighters line up for supper Thursday night at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds where the Incident Command Center is located. Tate said estimating the number of people who were served meals during the first few days of the fire was difficult because new crews of firefighters were showing up all the time. Tate said the number has seemed to stabilize during the past few days. Tate admitted that the kitchen, which gets its food from a nearby wholesaler, ran out of food the first few nights. He said the food that is delivered is based on his count that he provides to the wholesaler. Breakfast at the makeshift camp is served from 5 to 8 a.m., while dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m. He said these times can be adjusted, though the kitchen will shut down once there is no one eating after these times for breakfast or dinner end unless they are informed a late crew is coming in. For lunch, fire crew leaders make the trip to the fairgrounds to pick up sack

lunches to take back with them to firefighters. Tate said while firefighting personnel do not have to eat the food that is prepared at the fairgrounds, they are encouraged to do so. “Since we have a contractor here on site, firefighters are suppose to eat here,” Tate said, and added the meals served at fairgrounds are free, while a meal off site would have to be paid out of pocket by the firefighter. Houston’s Trail’s End Catering provides the meals at this center. Tate also said that the public occasionally will bring in food items like cakes and cookies to show their appreciation for the work the firefighters are doing, but added it’s not encouraged. Fighting fires isn’t an easy job. And neither is keeping them feed as the fire continues to smolder.


Klinton glover grills pork chops Thursday evening for the firefighter’s supper at the Incident Command Center. Houston’s Trail’s End Catering provides meals from several semi-trailers equipped as kitchens.

Reach Michael Maresh at michaelm@cortezjournal. com

Sleeping Under the Stars


Political debate to continue From Page 1A “This is something that is hurting jobs, not addressing real health care issues for Americans. The Supreme Court has just now put that back into the limelight,” Tipton said. Tipton wants Congress to repeal President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but he says he agrees with parts of it. Tipton said Congress should help people who can’t get insurance because of pre-existing illnesses, and parents should be able to keep their kids on their policies up to age 26. However, insurance companies say they can’t cover pre-existing conditions unless they can spread the costs by making sure everyone has health insurance. Democrat Sal Pace said he would not have voted for

the mandate for all people to buy health insurance, and he called the Affordable Care Act “far from perfect.” “While I am glad we aren’t going back to a system where people are denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and college graduates are ineligible for their parents’ insurance, the ruling does not signify finality as we still have a long way to go to fix our health care system,” Pace said in an email. Pace said he didn’t like the near party-line vote on the Affordable Care Act, and he said Colorado’s legislature did a much better job with its own health care reforms, which it passed on bipartisan votes. Tipton defeated Democrat John Salazar in 2010, after Salazar voted for the Affordable Care Act. Tipton was less outspo-

Join us for an early WHEN: WHERE: WHAT:

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CELEBRATION Sunday, July 1 The Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church – 350 South Washington Street Outdoor Worship service – 9:30 Patriotic celebration begins at 11:00. Games, bicycle decorating and parade. Hot dogs and apple pie will be served. Barring unforseen circumstances, the fire department is planning to have a fire truck there for the children to see.

Bring your decorated bicycle or plan to decorate it at the church. Supplies will be available. Join us for a morning of worship and a celebration of our great country, the United States of America.

ken about the week’s other big ruling, which overturned most parts of Arizona’s stringent illegal immigration law. The court threw out parts of Arizona’s law that make it a state crime for legal immigrants to not carry their immigration papers, and for illegal immigrants to apply for a job. Congress has made it a crime to hire illegal immigrants, but not for them to apply for work. The court upheld the part of Arizona’s law that requires police to check the status of people they suspect are illegal immigrants. Tipton said he think’s it’s OK for police to check someone’s immigration records if they stop a person for another reason, but he doesn’t want to see any police “dragnets” specifically meant to find illegal immigrants.

“I will not support something that’s going to be looking like we’re pulling people over with racial profiling, if they look Hispanic or they look Irish or something,” Tipton said. Pace also was not enthusiastic about the Arizona ruling. “I believe the Supreme Court’s ruling a mixed bag at best. If Congress would address our country’s failed immigration policies, we wouldn’t be in this position to begin with,” he said in an email. “I do not support the ‘show me your papers provisions’ as it casts a shadow of doubt on too many people who are here legally, like my wife who is a sixth generation Coloradan,” Pace said. Pace would focus penalties on employers by making it illegal to knowingly hire an illegal worker.

A Thank You to Southwest Memorial Hospital Southwest Internal Medicine


We would like to thank the Nurses at Southwest Memorial Hospital and the Doctors from Southwest Internal Medicine. The care you gave Betty Cox while she was in the hospital was EXCEPTIONAL. The honesty and compassion you showed with Betty and all the family made a very difficult situation a little easier on our hearts and minds. All of this is something we will never forget. We are lucky to have a hospital staffed with such professional people so close to home. Thank you so very much, Lyle, Terry, Rodney, Scottie Cox & Families

Experience Mesa Verde’s unspoiled beauty by spending your nights at Morefield Campground. Here, comfortable camping in a glorious canyon setting is just four miles from the park entrance. Start your day with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Knife Edge Cafe located in Morefield Village. Obtain information about bus tours and scenic hiking trails departing from the campground. 2012 Season Dates: May 10 - October 14

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Weber Day3 4  
Weber Day3 4