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.