Friday, March 28, 2008


Story of a fire

I'm in Wisconsin right now, but I am monitoring the snowpack in the Montana mountains anxiously. If the spring runoff is too early, this will increase the chances of a bad fire season. I am hoping we don't have the same experience as last year...see the sequence below.

The next series of photos will show a tale of destruction and partial rejuvenation. The smoke you see here is from the Jocko Lakes wildfire, which flared up in August, 2007 in the Mission Mountains just a few miles south of Seeley Lake, Montana.

Jocko Lakes Fire - 1

The devastation caused by these sudden, violent firestorms can be seen for miles.
Jocko Lakes Fire - 2

In October of 2007, we drove along the Jocko Lakes Road and saw thousands of acres of this scenery.
Jocko Lakes Fire - 3

The only sign of animal life we saw was this dog team, running along the deserted road.
Jocko Lakes Fire - 4

Where little waterholes existed, the view was not quite so barren. We could see a bit of greenery beginning to show under the dead brown grass.
Jocko Lakes Fire - 5

It was heartening to see that green shoots of beargrass were appearing out of the Jocko Lakes Fire's charred ground.

Despite these reassuring signs of healing, the damage done by the Jocko Lakes Fire will not be healed in our lifetime. Our Earth is an infinitely fragile place.
Jocko Lake Fire - 6

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This is an amazing post. Thank you for the effort of putting these up; we haven't had the courage to go over there yet and see the damage. We were at Lindberg lake in July when it all started and we saw trees crowning from the road. I feel people really need to be aware of what is happening out here in the west. Montana was on fire last summer as so many summers previously.
quiet paths, thank you for the comment. This little excursion was very sobering. I pray the land can escape these infernos this summer.
Our earth is indeed a fragile place, and we humans are fragile creatures. You think we'd get along better :)
I agree completely, kievas!
I am also hoping we do not have the devastating fires we had last year. I also posted a Montana fire image for photofriday. But morel season is upon us, one gift of these fires.
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