Yosemite: The Rim Fire

Map of fire area

Map of fire area

Yosemite National Park; for some a haven for rock climbing, trekking and camping. It is known for its stunning granite landscapes and it's famous "Tunnel View" but for me Yosemite is mostly about two things, Ansel Adams and the Half Dome (which I failed to climb last time I was there).

Covering around 800,000 acres, the park consists of an abundance of vegetation and wildlife, spectacular waterfalls, giant Sequoia trees that date hundreds and thousands of years, and plays host to approx. 3.7m visitors a year. Yosemite was also integral to America's National Park development; it is steeped in both history and beauty.

In August 2013, a fire raged. The "Rim Fire" named after the location it was suspected to have started, burned through 257,314 acres, took 2 months to completely contain, using 3800 firefighters. It destroyed 98 outbuildings and 11 residences. There was approx. a 60 mile dead zone, and 280 square miles of chard, singed, and burnt plantation. The overall cost to area: $127million. And a human hand caused it all.

2014, and not surprisingly the signs of the fire still remain. Fires are not uncommon for this area, however they are usually controlled, used to rejuvenate not too destroy. A hunter with an illegal fire that got out of control caused the “Rim Fire”, his name remains undisclosed, and it has been promised the punishment will be severe. When asked how much trouble he was in, " a lot " was the reply from the spokesman. The Park will, with help, return to life. Some vegetation has already begun to grow from the ashes, slowly.

But for now it's a sad sight, one that is a gigantic reminder of the fragility of the beauty on this planet. And how we should respect and encourage to protect the land that we are lucky to share.