Fires and the Frank

7.23.2007
Well, I'm back. Fresh from a week of backpacking to remote hot springs in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. I think I'm still feeling a little culture shock.

It was a different kind of drive back home from the trailhead. The sky was stained dark orange from all of the wildfire smoke. Fire planes and helicopters filled the air with unnatural noise. I passed what seemed like acres of land, dotted by hundreds of multicolored firefighter tents.

The most stunning was when driving by Bonneville Hot Springs. It was on fire, as well as the area around it. Human started, of course. Evacuated campers with concerned faces lined part of the road near the campground entrance while first responders battled the blaze. Chunks of burning earth tumbled to the ground as fire personnel waved me through. I caught glimpse of a small row of firefighters that were collapsed back to back on the side of the road, with faces flushed red from exhaust and blackened by soot.

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