Yule Burn 07… I hear there’s something going on sometime soon with xmas trees or something

John Mosbaugh
4 min readOct 8, 2022

Sat, January 5, 2008–2:47 PM

Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to finally make it to the Doggie Diner to take part in Danger Ranger’s Post Yule Pyre. It was my first time and this was the 16th annual evidently, and what a great time it was.

Judy and I drove over there after stopping at Brothers pizza and having a calzone. I brought a bottle of wine. We parked down by the Zoo and walked past car after car after truck laden with Christmas trees. Trees were everywhere. Once at the Carousel restaurant, we stood beneath the Doggie Diner head and milled about with the usual Laughing Squid / Burning Man / Cacophony suspects. Friends of the Rootless Forest.

M2 was on the megaphone and it soon became apparent that the police were at the end of Sloat, ready to arrest or otherwise harass anyone bringing trees to burn on the giant ashtray that is Ocean Beach. Heaven forbid.

The air was electric as strategies to bypass the man were formulated and two groups of people walked towards the beach, one followed up Sloat and the other, larger group, walked about two blocks North carrying many Christmas trees. I found a tree on the sidewalk and grabbed it as Judy and I merged into a crowd that crept up into the dunes on the city side of Great Highway. A guy had made a run for it and gotten stuck in the median of the Highway as a cop pulled up in his car admonishing the guy to turn back. Over his megaphone, the cop said, “If you have a Christmas tree, turn around. Do NOT proceed to the beach. There will be no fire tonight.”

It was fucking hilarious. I was prepared to tell the cops I was just going to throw my tree into the ocean so it could return to Oregon from whence it came.

As the cop saw more Christmas tree renegades moving across the Highway ahead, he sped off and we were like a band of immigrants at the Mexico / US border, running from the dark over the road then down into the dunes at oceanside, down down down to where a small fire had been started. There was much hilarity and whooping as more and more trees were thrown onto the fire until it grew to the size of a house, sending off huge swirling flames from the crackling of still more and more trees thrown onto it. Danger Ranger’s 16 Annual Post-Yule Pyre went off with nare a hitch and I’m hooked.

What a great fire. What fantastic anarchy.

And with that coup, we hung out for quite a while drinking wine, talking to people and the like. I met Jessica Bruder who’d interviewed me over the phone about the Larry Harvey Cinnamon bun and who has a book published somewhere that I must get a hold of. Boyscout was there with his flaming hat. I thought of the quote that I believe Action Girl put in the JRS about the burn platform project, where a fire is one of the few places that people can just stand together in silence and not think there’s anything awkward about that. Fires and community.

I met some new people, ran into some old friends and hours later, as the fire began burning down the police returned with a single small shovel to attempt to put out the embers. This was right as the tide was moving in and it would have extinguished the fire in a matter of maybe a half hour anyway.

I couldn’t resist yelling out to the cop from the crowd, “You guys can’t even keep us safe from the Christmas trees!” and that brought a little laugh from the cop with the tiny shovel who gave up trying to put out the embers. I gotta give the Man some credit. They left everyone alone while the big fire was going and didn’t show up to bug us until the fire was mostly out.

As Danger Ranger said in 1990:
“When Fire is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Fire.”

Moze recommends checking out the 17th annual Post-Yule Pyre. I know I’ll be there.


my pics from last year



Sat, January 5, 2008–4:14 PM

that was so fricken fun… as long as the tigers are locked up this year… and the rain is light… we will be there…



Sat, January 5, 2008–11:13 PM

I missed it again?

I keep getting when it is wrong.
Danger reminded me last year and I forgot.
I hope someone can remind me next year.