I thought this was an interesting story in the L.A. Times about efforts to save Yosemite’s giant sequoia trees and old-growth sugar pines during the Rim Fire. Sounds like it was quite dramatic (though perhaps the writer played up the drama a bit).
Today the fire is almost out. They’re still listing it as only 84% contained, but that’s because they’re letting it burn slowly into remote and rocky areas east of Cherry Lake and north of Hetch Hetchy. Elsewhere the fire is smoldering here and there within the containment lines, but rain and snow last Saturday doused a lot of that activity, and smoke from the fire has diminished greatly. All the main roads inside and outside the park are now open.
Claudia and I drove to Yosemite Valley and then over Tioga Pass last weekend, and found that the visible effects of the fire were quite minimal along that route. A long stretch on the north side of the road east of Gin Flat was burned by firefighters as part of their containment efforts, but this was a low-intensity burn that left the larger trees intact. We understand that some areas along Highway 120 west of the park burned more severely, so you can see stands where all the trees were consumed, but we haven’t been out there ourselves.
I’m looking forward to seeing the area recover from the fire. There are bound to be some good wildflower displays in the burned areas next spring. And I’m glad that the sequoias survived the fire.
— Michael Frye
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.
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