Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The distraction of fire
You're damn right the codger's been quiet. The Humbolt fire, which started on June 11 was too close for comfort and a lot of good people lost their homes. We packed our bags the first day, and then sat around listening to the radio. The fire started on Doe Mill Ridge as seen above from our place. It crossed Butte Creek Canyon, climbed the next ridge, and swept through lower Paradise, the next town down the slope from us.
Hale and rain arrived 10 days later, but not enough to have an effect. Instead, a spot fire broke out under a power line about a mile away from home, and this is what we saw.
A spotter plane and a tanker showed up that afternoon, and 6 dumps of retardant put it out.
Bearing witness is a helpless feeling, and a lot of strange and foreboding thoughts flash through the mind, but your esteem of firefighters soars.
By Sunday the 22nd, it was time to get away. There was no call for evacuation in our neighborhood, it was just that the redhead was fretting so much. We drove 125 miles to the Sierra Nevada Field Campus to meet Jim Steele and put out some camera traps.
We passed a new fire that had just started in the lower Feather River Canyon, and just beyond Quincy we saw this. No, those are not clouds.
SF State's field campus was well beyond the lightning strikes. It was a lovely afternoon, and we set four camera traps.
I couldn't resist placing two in an alder thicket.
The signs of mountain beaver were everywhere.
One good thing has come out of the smoke and fire. I've been housebound and busy hammering out a camera trapping manual for the workshop in a couple weeks.