Captain’s Log 6,074
The Rough Fire had already started when we hit the Sequoia National Forest on our road trip. By the end of our second day, we were diverting from Kings Canyon National Park to the lower elevations of Clovis and Fresno. Now, those two communities are blanketed with thick smoke as the fire rages out of control. The road we used to divert back down into the valley is now closed. This is one serious fire.
The only hope now for this fire are the rains that will come in October. It is a monster of a fire that is now burning over 100,000 acres. So far, they have managed to save the sequoia groves. So far.
The Kings Canyon Lodge was one of the first structures to go.
The severe drought and the damage from the beetles have combined to make the forest a tinderbox. We saw so many dead trees. Dry and prime for fire.
This is about the stage of the fire when we first arrived. It is more than double now. Bigger than all of San Francisco. It’s hard to imagine.
I don’t think we would be making our road trip if we were trying to leave now. I seriously doubt that the National Park Service is allowing anyone within miles of this fire. When we first saw it, the fire had already been burning three weeks. Three weeks!
Yes, I know all about fire being the natural way for forests to contain themselves, cleanse themselves, renew themselves. I know all about that. It is still horrifying to watch. It is also horrifying to think of the thousands upon thousands of animals that are fleeing or are already dead. Poor sweet creatures. I know nature has a way of taking care of itself, but I don’t always like it.
I hope the rains come soon. They will put out the fires but then the mountains will face mudslides and rock slides as the ground gives away without the trees and grasses to hold it together. There is always a pay-off. Nature teaches us this every single day. Always two sides of the coin.