Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fire in Yellowstone, part 3

We entered the park on Sunday August 18. Kathy and I were leisurely driving along, looking at this and that. We came to a pull out with a ranger and a sandwich board with huge red FIRE INFORMATION sign on it. Being from Southern California, I though maybe we should see what he had to say, and besides that there was a big buffalo bull near the pull out that we could take pictures of.

Well, Mister Ranger said the Alum fire was about to jump the road, said the road may be closed soon between where we were and Lake village. I say , Oh, we are staying at lake, he says, you better hurry... We had to get from the red mark above Alum on the map here, to the yellow x. As we drove along I kept saying to Kathy, this feels just so wrong to be driving TOWARD a fire. We made it, but the road was closed later that evening between the two red marks.


Notice on the map the Alder fire, was burning too.Druid was slowing down snake and passage were not causing problems for park visitors. It was all about Alum.. as we walked to dinner around 6:30 that evening, the fire crews began to arrive, and kept arriving until 9:00p.m.

Then I noticed big tour buses, empty tour buses. I found out later we were under per-evacuation orders and the buses were brought in on stand by to take park visitors out if need be. Kathy and I were not too worried as we noticed the evening breeze was in our favor.

Life went on, just a tad smokey...

view of the Alum fire from our parking lot

view of alder fire from lake village

all that smoke made beautiful sunrise shots.

fire guys checking the fire movement and how many acres burned
When we left the park on the 25th, Alder fire was still active 4,240 acres burned, Alum, still active 7,070 acres burned. There had been 19 fires in the park this season, most burning under 5 acres

As devastating as these fires can be, life does return. in 2003 there were over 70 wildfires in Yellowstone.

One of which was the East fire, burning 18,050 acres.

Here is the East burn area today.

Tomorrow, Hot Stuff.

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