We went for a drive on State road 4 yesterday to see what the damage was.
Not a pretty sight. Huge swaths of black. The scenic byway signs may have to get taken down on this stretch of road.
The fire fighters started back burns and cut down fuel laden trees to prevent the spread over the natural fire breaks of the highway.
In most places the containment lines were held. Hwy 501 and State Road 4 were the battle lines for over a week on this fire. If it jumped over 4 the lab could have been torched. If it jumped over 501 the city could have gone up in flames.
2300 firefighters worked this fire and held it at the highways. Even the guardrail supports will have to be replaced. That must have been a wicked fight.
The devastation to the forest in loss of vegetation was apparent but less so was the devastation to the wildlife. Not all of them got out ahead of the fire.
But some did. They are now returning to forage in whatever they can find that is still able to sustain them.
Even through the ashes... life is sprouting anew.
My heart goes out to the 63 people who lost their homes, and to their families. To the 5 injured fire fighters too. May everyone affected by this natural disaster find a swift recovery and not dwell on the loss but find hope in a new future.