Aug 16, 2014

Tumwater Canyon - blackened

For the last month and a half central Washington has been on fire, literally. Over 600,000 acres have burned already. And while the last few days have been filled with life giving rain and cooler temps, many thousands of acres on hilltops and mountain ridges deep in Cascadia continue to burn unchecked. One morning I watched personnel, heavy machinery, water trucks and so much equipment roll out of a base camp up the Icicle Creek, turn the corner, and go past the barricade on Hwy 2 up into the fire. For 3 hours this caravan didn't stop, traveling out of Icicle and back up Tumwater Canyon.

This is the worst fire season I can remember. Respect goes to all of the wildland firefighters, hot shots, heli-captains and everyone else working very long hours, 7 days a week up there!!! 

smoke jumpers in action

The rain started a couple days ago and we got a chance to hit Tumwater before the season came to an end. The road was reopened and what we found was the blackest river I've ever seen. Soot, ash and mud all washed into the river and even though the river level wasn't much higher the #sedimentload was nearly full.

When rivers flash, especially desert rivers that don't have plants to slow the rain as it lands and races down, they carry much sand, rocks and debris with them. This was a similar event, except is was soot and ash from the fires. And every wave and hole out there packed quite a punch!!

As always on the east side of the Cascades... #sunsoutgunsout   Check out this edit Tom Potter cranked out. Get over here and get some Tum before it's gone!!

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