On Moose Ridge Avenue, just to the south of Browns Lake, John Hohl spent Saturday afternoon working frantically, clearing small trees away from the cabin where he and his wife live, a home they’ve built over the last eight years. He said he’d worked almost straight through the last four days, sleeping no more than eight hours total.
A friend, Sam Werner, felled spruce after spruce with a chainsaw as Hohl and his brother Levi tossed them into a pickup truck, unloading a few dozen yards down the dirt road that runs past the house.
A neighbor with his own pickup, Dan Desmarais, hauled a tank back and forth from his home on nearby Browns Lake, spraying water atop Hohl’s cabin and the surrounding land.
Meanwhile, huge plumes of smoke were shooting up half a mile away, where the fire was burning up to a line firefighters had cleared and sprayed with retardant -- with no guarantee the line would hold.
“We’re going to clear until they tell us we can’t be here,” Hohl said.