Well, this was an interesting adventure!
Dan NA6MG and I had planned to activate Pallett Benchmark which is the high point of Pleasant View Ridge. In the drive up in the dark, I saw something strange way up on the mountain: a bright orange light. Was it the moon, was it a rocket launch from Vandenberg, or was it a fire? I continued on to the trail head in Buckhorn campground and set off at 0515, it was pitch dark and I hiked by headlamp. Not far down the trail, again I could see the orange light way high up…I felt it was probably fire but decided to continue anyway for now. At 0545 Dan arrived at the trail head, he had seen the orange light too, he wondered if it was some mining activity, we discussed that maybe it was a fire. We both decided to continue until it got light and see if we could see smoke. We continued talking off and on on 2m FM, then at 0615 as I passed the 2 mile point Dan said he could see smoke up there, so I stopped and returned, meeting him about three quarters of a mile below the trail head
Smoke plume north west of the summit, ignore dark spots on camera lens!
So we decided to go to Table Mountain, an easy walk of less than a quarter mile after a drive up to the ski area parking lot.
My set up on ski lift debris
I operated on 20m and 2m, Dan operated on 40m, 30m and 20m. Not much 2m activity, Table does not have a good view of the LA Basin. I could hear Charles KM6CEM and Eric N6HEG call me but they could not hear me
20m CW: KC0MYW AC1Z W0MNA NS7P K1JD W0ERI KG3W N4EX K9ZMD KD3CA W9MRH K4MF WB0KIU N7BHP N4MJ
2m FM: W6WW Bruce
Dan drove back home through Wrightwood to check out the fire damage from the Blue Cut Fire and see which peaks were not burned. I headed back west, on the way back I found that there was still some smoke up on Pallett, and some helicopters went flying up there. It looked like they had made a water drop since it looked like the fire was smoldering rather than burning
From the topo map it looked like the fire was about a quarter mile from the summit, or maybe a little more. Not a good place to go today.
73! Hal N6JZT