In 2012, Washington State had over 1300 forest fires, hundreds of those started on September 8th during a severe lightning storm. One of the biggest was known as the Table Mountain Fire, burning over 42,000 acres of forest. Even with the loss of that much forest, the area still has a high concentration of western larches, the deciduous conifer that turns an electric yellow in autumn. Early October 2016 we headed out to see the larches in this charred land. Was both eerie and beautiful walking through the fire zone, groves of bare trees, their trunks and branches smoothed and silvered from the intense and fast moving heat..yellow needles high in the air above where the flames walked by underneath.
The trail we followed climbed maybe one hundred feet in the first half mile before it crests and drops 1000 feet in four miles, just over the crest the clouds enveloped us adding to the eerily beautiful landscape. Was quite an experience for me to not only witness the new growth from such a devastating occurrence, but too see how much beauty there is within a place that has been scarred badly.
Blewett Pass, Washington