Fire. Is it good or bad? You decide.

Taken of the Mt. Adams Cold Springs Fire from just north of Trout Lake, Washington on the 82 road, from hear Plenty Pines road on July 13th at 10:49 pm.

On July 13, 2008, this fire started in the morning as a small blaze with a spindly column that may have been smoldering since the lightning strikes in the area 8 days earlier. When I started observing the fire around 11 am, it was small... within 20 minutes I saw helicopters and tankers with retardant attack the small blaze. WHile they were returning to Troutdale to restock on retardant, the fire sprang to life wiith the growing winds and trees to the SE and to the west began to blaze up as the fire jumped from crown to crown. This area along the tree line of Mt. Adams is choked with dead trees that have not seen a fire in many years... and many standing dead trees from a heavy infestation of Spruce Bud Worm and Bark Beetles. There has been great debate for years about cleaning up this area, but many who fought to keep it natural. Naturally, in history, the area was occasionally swept by fire which renewed the grazing for elk and other critters, and encouraged the growth of the huckleberries.

Fire, the great destroyer and the great purifier all at the same time... a primeval force that is overwhelming if you are downwind... yet so awe-inspiring. How can something so destructive be so beautiful???

I have heard that all the hikers in the area were found and are safe..... but no one saved all the animals or wildflowers.

Yes, this IS the area many of my photos are taken... I do not know yet if the precious Bird Lake area is wiped out or not. THe fire MAY have passed just a little south, I pray!

so tell me what YOU think... destruction or purification? Much depends on if you are looking at the short term or the long term. Bark Beetles are natural, fire caused by lighting is natural, wildflowers in the alpine meadows are natural, my love of the forest is natural, my heartbreak at not being able to be up there right now and the fear of losing all that joy is natural.

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lk says ... on Wednesday, Sep 17 at 1:53 AM

How about allowing people in to clear out the fallen timber? It would enable better access to firefighters trying to contain a fire and lessens the affects of fire on vegetation and wildlife. Plus free firewood--helping curbing heating costs.

me says ... on Saturday, Jul 26 at 11:18 AM

can i get a ....

dpc says ... on Sunday, Jul 20 at 11:12 PM

If we would have logged, burned and planted this area we would, as D in TL says, have a nice young forest and the homes built from the trees would still be storing carbon in homes in the PNW.

D in TL says ... on Saturday, Jul 19 at 9:53 AM

This fire is a much needed blessing. If the area had been logged 20 years ago when the beetle kill was growing, the fire could have been less destructive. There would have been less dead fuel. Fire provides natural cleansing.

b says ... on Friday, Jul 18 at 4:13 PM

Save lives of firefighters and wildlife and the expense of saving homes and cities by keeping areas clean and use the lumber from clean up to cover costs of education and healthcare plus have good roads to access the forest.

Erin H. says ... on Wednesday, Jul 16 at 2:19 PM

OK, you already know my view on it. But, I just thought I would pop in and say hello. This is a great Picture!

Amberl says ... on Wednesday, Jul 16 at 12:24 PM

I am sad for the animals and how frightening it must be for them.

PDXGUY2 says ... on Tuesday, Jul 15 at 5:34 PM

Really nice photos.

CK says ... on Tuesday, Jul 15 at 10:37 AM

concentrate on saving homes, and other vital structures, and allow the rest to burn. It's disappointing to see the trees and flowers burn, but it's a natural cleansing. suck it up and let nature take its course.

MarthaJ. says ... on Monday, Jul 14 at 11:07 PM

Great photo Starlisa. I think that it was probably fire which made this gorgeous area what it is today. Yes it makes me very sad too think of my playground scorched beyond recognition, but I don't think it's all bad.......

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