My drive to work is not as beautiful as it was two or three weeks ago. And, sadly, it won't be the same as long as I live. In fact, I won't see it even begin to recover to a noticeable degree. It will take several decades to restore the forest to the calm beauty I've known.
My house is safe, and the area around me is pretty much intact. But that drive .... seriously, it made me want to cry today.
|If you look, the tallest, farthest hill is totally burned, as is the one to the left, the middle hill.|
|It's odd how it burns everything around, but leaves one tree.|
|Some houses seem unscathed.|
|This just makes me shudder.|
|Street signs are weird!|
|I really am sad, seeing this.|
|So sad, so sad.|
|Beautiful old, tall Ponderosa pines are standing, but very dead.|
|That's another home back there. Or was.|
|This was a house. Honest, it was. Just ashes and the tin roof now.|
|I couldn't get out as there isn't much shoulder to the road here, but this cute house is just ashes. All that remains is the fireplace and chimney.|
|Another of the houses ..... just poof, and gone.|
Wildfires are serious. This was started by lightning, but please take this to heart. Be careful when you are out there, 'cause it doesn't take much to start one of these, but it takes a whole lot to stop it. This one didn't stop until it had consumed 242 residences and several more outbuildings. No lives were lost, thank goodness, but almost 1500 firefighters were on this. Then add in the National Guard who guarded and patrolled, the law enforcement folks who supported in any way possible. It's a mess. And I repeat .... this beautiful area will not be the same as long as all of us are alive. The Capitan Gap fire in 1950 is just a few miles away from me. It's the one where Smoky Bear was rescued. Now, 62 years later, it is coming back, but it still doesn't look like it should.
Lord have mercy, I am fortunate.