Community Spotlight: Paul Dalious
Nov 13, 2014 01:42PM
● By Erica Shames
All of us who enjoy the local woodlands can thank Forest Fire Warden Paul Dalious and the men he led in fighting fires in PA. His activities did not stop at the state line; he took crews to Oregon, California, and Minnesota.
Fighting Wildfires in PA and Beyond
Paul Dalious became a Forest Fire Warden in 1963. His wife Marguerite related how crew trainings were held at their home in Main Township. The house was the gathering place, and there was a high level of excitement with every wildfire response. The entire Dalious family (wife Marguerite and five children) were involved, from filling canteens and loading tools to calling the crew.
Mr. Dalious told of his son George’s disappointment when he could not get to Bloomsburg in time for the bus that took the crew to the airport for their trip to fight fire in Oregon. Dalious’ sons did not make it on other trips out of state, but they did participate at in-state trainings. Dalious’ daughter Darla also trained for wildland firefighting and passed the step test, but Paul forbade her from going on any fires including the out-of-state-detail, “No girls!” (It was a different time.)
Mr. Dalious fought on several out-of-state fires, including Marble-Cone fire in 1977, the largest fire in CA up to that time. They were out fighting on night details, and when they returned had to find shade under sparse pines to sleep under during the day. Mr. Dalious has a photo album of his crew’s activities. From viewing the album one can see that they worked and lived under difficult conditions. However, everyone in the crew looked happy and proud to be there. That says a lot about Dalious’ leadership. We can thank Paul Dalious and wardens like him for protecting our forests, and laying a strong foundation for current and future crews.
To join a Fire Warden’s Crew, contact your nearest DCNR, Bureau of Forestry Office.