(Photo in LA Times June 19 2017)
We have been in Big Bear for exactly two years now. Our first summer, and only a couple weeks after we moved here, we had the Summit Fire. It was really interesting so see how the firefighters responded.
On June 19th 2017, this week, very close to where I take people on hikes at the Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve another fire started. We have not had any precipitation in almost 6 months. The fire took off and spread so fast the fighters couldn’t keep up at first.
(Photo by David Johnstone. A Naturalist friend)
From 20 acres to 850 acres to well over 1600 acres the dry tinder burned while everyone here watched the smoke swirl.
(I took these from the Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve trail)
Hundreds of firefighters who specialize in forest fires poured into Big Bear. They fought and hoped for a shift in the winds.
(Photos from LA Times)
Winds did shift and the fire headed deeper into Holcomb Valley and down towards the desert. Now we have the situation of life emerging out of the crucible of fire. The Sarrano Indians who lived here in the Big Bear Valley for hundreds of years before the white Europeans chased them out, always used fire to restore and revive the forest. Certain pine trees must have fire to reproduce. I know it looks like a moon scape and is disconcerting, but now we watch the forest come back to life.