Chalk Fire, Night 9: A trip through the black zone

Ah, today was a good day. I made the rounds. Saw much. Talked to many. Feel really good, while tired.

Tonight, I offer you some of the photos I took today. This first is iconoclastic. It is the sign for the Nacimiento USFS Fire Station, just before one reaches the summit. You will note that the sign is completely burnt through on the right side. There is a burnt tree behind it. This is on the south side of N-F Rd. The part that is burned off, used to say: “1/4 mile.” It is gone, now.

Here, we have a firefighter making his way up Alms/Prewitt Ridge Rd. He is swinging his shovel in front of him to maintain the rhythm of his pace. Most of the faces we saw in trucks, on hand crews, in equipment, were very tired. These guys and gals work so very hard, for long hours, to sleep in tents, eat MREs, and stay dirty for days and weeks on end. Not a job I would want! God bless you!!

This is on the north side of N-F Rd. There are whole areas that are denuded, like this one. I see slide problems this winter on both N-F Rd. and So. Coast Ridge Rd, particularly on Chalk Peak. I had a slide specialist with me, who confirmed my opinion. I have given my gate combos to Betty, Rocky, and Sarah. Make sure you have it, and carry it in your vehicle this winter, in case you need it.

Mother Nature and her critters informed me that She is okay. In one of the creeks on N-F Rd., the water was still running, and the fire had burned down to the banks on both sides, but it still flowed, and the critters still came to drink. I stopped to photograph the phenomena, and was gifted with a sighting of this doe, and her 2 almost grown fawns, which I photographed separately. Look at how she looks at me. Such a blessing amid all the devastation! Thank you, Mother Nature!!

There was a lot of helicopter action on the west side, near the highway. I was very fortunate to be able to capture some great shots — helicopters so close, you could ID the pilot, dipping water out of the ocean, and dropping on top of the ridge. It was very difficult to choose one that was representative of these efforts. I used a dart board to pick these two:

That’s Kirk Creek Campground in the background, and here is the drop:

And that, my friends, is tonight’s blog and photo offerings. Enjoy.


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