When we were out in Glacier National Park in June, we spent some time walking through the remnants of the Robert Fire zone. In 2003, GNP suffered through some amazing wildfires that scorched some 150,000 acres across and around the park. The Robert Fire, near West Glacier, overwhelmed about 30,000 acres over the course of about three days.
Walking through the area just six years later, you’re struck by a couple things. First the almost total destruction. Every tree in there is pretty much a standing dead hulk, charred black. As far as the eye can see in almost every direction. And yet, after just six seasons, there is an absolutely amazing abundance of life and new growth. In 10-15 years I would imagine the forest will have won – and reclaimed everything it lost. And it will be healthier because of it.
I find fires in the wilderness a completely vital and important thing. It’s the fact that we’re now living in such close proximity to these areas that creates issues with fire policy nowadays. I’m a perfect example of this. We live in a dense forest with natural forest trees (i.e. not planted by homeowners) as close as 15 feet to the house. We have many trees hanging over the house too. And a number of our trees are aging out or having other issues (ash borers anyone?) that endanger them. The best thing that could happen would be to start over, but there would be consequences to us and our house for that so… here’s hoping we can manage.
And what does this have to do with photography? Well – the big still ongoing fire in Angeles National Forest near Los Angles is a bear. A major fire so close to a major city is tough to get a grip on. And while hunting around the Internets this morning, I found photographer Brandon Riza and his stunning video capture of the fire as it burned three days ago. It appears this was shot on a Canon 5D Mk II. It’s just puts you there.
And then I toured Brandon’s website. He does a lot of very stunning mountain panoramas. Again – if you want to be impressed, go take a look. It’s a testament to good imagery presented very effectively.