Saturday, January 12, 2013

Viewing the Aftermath of Fern Lake Fire

Moraine Park - blackened tree trunks and shrubs and scorched ground beyond and under the snow

Wayne and I took a "car picnic" up into Rocky Mountain National Park this afternoon in spite of the frigid temperatures. We didn't spend much time out of the car but I wanted to take some photos of the Fern Lake Fire burn area. With the snow on the ground covering much of the burned landscape, it's difficult to see the scope of the destruction and in order to see the worst of it, one has to hike back toward The Pond.

The fire flared up in the early morning of December 1 when the wind gusts were clocked at 75 mph. This was the beginning of a long week of evacuations, fire crews from all over the country, and high anxiety. Fortunately, there were no deaths or serious injuries and the only structure that burned was a summer cabin in the park. It was a stressful time for all of us in this little community but we worked together to help wherever we could and the generosity of individuals, organizations, and businesses was extraordinary.

It will be interesting to follow the recovery of the burned landscape so I'll be making frequent photo trips to document the area, especially beginning in the spring.

Black and gray ash still covers the ground

We had an amusing moment when we stopped to eat our lunch. Two bold magpies hopped onto the hood and rear view mirrors of the car hoping for a hand-out.

The fire did not cross to this side of Bear Lake Road

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