In '06, Gene and Cody Hargett annouced that they were retiring from the caretaking job at Johnson Creek. Imagine our surprise to see Gene riding by on his four wheeler just after landing. As it turns out, the replacement caretaker had suffered an injury, and Gene volunteered to do the job for one more summer. It was really a treat to see him back!
In '07, I didn't visit Johnson Creek for the first time since the mid 90s. Fires broke out all around the area beginning in early July and flight into the area was banned. Even the local town of Yellow Pine was evacuated. We were relieved to find that the airport and the town survived the ordeal. There are large burned areas as close as 1/4 mile from the runway and much of the canyon to the south was blackened, but the strip and the land surrounding it came out fine.