when the relief lookout called me and said a fire had just made a five mile run out of moonlight valley, i thought i had to be hallucinating (or he was). okay, it was several thousand acres already. for the rest of the afternoon, i felt on pins and needles. how could i stay away from my post? when he didn't answer the phone the next morning, i knew he had to be down in the valley protecting his house (he was). so i packed up a day early and arrived to see an incredible sight, which grew more so over the next couple of days.
you can see some pictures here: www.pbase.com/wwp/moon
that said, the reality tough to represent. you had to be there. tonight, a week later, i've been able to see the whole forest for the first time, the charred cliffs, the spot fires still burning inside the line. tomorrow, a weather system passing thru with high winds. we'll see if the crews can hold the fire back from exploding all over again.
there it is, more than a hundred square miles. and after almost 25 years of spotting smokes in the area which others succeeded in putting out! and all this from the tiniest of sparks.
fire info: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/978/