I'm sure most of you have heard about the wildfires surrounding us here in Flagstaff.  there were three that started within a week's time.  the first being the Eagle Rock fire just west of us near Williams. (remember the spectacular town of Williams, Arizona?)  the second, dubbed the Hardy fire after the guy that started it.  yeah, he was camping illegally and is now sitting in jail with bail set at $2500. what a doorknob.  and now the latest, and biggest, is the Schultz fire.  this blaze has already charred 12,000 acres of pristine wilderness and is believed to be caused by an abandoned campfire.  so sad.  

last sunday as we were headed to the park for a BBQ, we spotted the Schultz fire. (although at that point we actually didn't know what or where it was.)  it had only been burning for about an hour.  we drove up towards Lowell Observatory to a lookout spot to get a better view.  this is what we saw:

IMG_4637 IMG_4634

pretty wild, huh?

we spent the afternoon at the park as choppers flew back and forth, getting water from Lake Mary to douse the fire with.  the girls that had been here to hike Humphrey's with us made it out (en route to Colorado) just in the nick of time. officials ended up shutting down HWY 89 due to the low visibility caused by the smoke.  the girls texted saying that they were able to see the flames leaping above the trees and snapped a few photos.  they said it was pretty amazing.  

we had just finished up our steak dinner when the guys had this bright idea to bail down a forest service road in hopes of getting a closer look at the fire.  they were thinking that maybe it had not yet been closed down.  so we packed up and headed out for an evening drive.


the scenery was awesome.  and would make for some great photo opportunities as well.  open meadows, aspens, very cool indeed.  we came across some whitetail deer out grazing:


can you spot all nine of them in this photo?  there were close to a dozen in the area at least.  I was wishing I had a bigger zoom lens.


this one was a little wary of me.


the backside of the peaks with the golden sun lighting them up.  and looks like a previous fire swept through here.



the closer we got to the fire, the thicker the smoke became.  until finally:


foiled!  and thus was the end of our fire chasing.  oh shucks anyway.  the guys hiked up a little knoll to see if perhaps they could catch a glimpse of any flames, but no cigar.

IMG_4814 copy
oh well, it was worth the beautiful drive! 


No comments: