Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Aspen Fire of 2003

Once again, Arizona is threatened with a bad wildfire season. Today's entry in Firefly Forest shows what an area of the Santa Catalinas looks like 2-1/2 years after the 2003 Aspen Fire.

The Aspen Fire started on June 16 and burned for nearly a month. The last fire crews left the fire line on July 11, but the fire was not declared officially contained until July 15. According to the Arizona Daily Star the fire "burned 84,750 acres of pine, fir, spruce, aspen, maple, jumiper, manzanita, oak, yucca, cactus, chaparral and grass." It destroyed 340 homes and businesses. It cost $17 million "to snuff" and the Forest Service spend $2.7 million to prevent soil loss.

In 2003, I had my first digital camera, an Olympus C-2000 (2 megapixels). I photographed the Aspen Fire from my house in early July, after the fire had been burning for over two weeks. These photos were taken over a period of four days, from July 4 through July 7, 2003.

A welcome sight! The firefighting helicopters were refueled at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, south of the mountains. Their return flight path took them right over our house.

1 comment:

T. Beth said...

I vividly remember the Aspen Fire... The nights with twinkling red lines of fire drawn over the mountains, the constant smell of smoke in the air, and the horrible feeling of helpless dread over what was lost and what might be lost.