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Category Archives: Rising Eagle Road Fire

After the Rising Eagle fire I established a couple of photo points. Originally I had three but I narrowed it down to just two. I made one post right after the fire and you can see it here. It’s been a year now and there have been changes. The pines and native shrubs have been replaced with many weeds and non-native grasses. Just about all of the pines died. Some of the shrubs have sprouted from their roots. These include serviceberry, currant, chokecherry and wild rose. There are bitterbrush seedlings. Snowberry is abundant. Apparently it reacts positively to fire. Last fall we had trees and shrubs planted with cages and irrigation. They have had nearly 100% survival! Native grass seed was also planted and its success has been somewhat spotty however where it’s coming in, it looks good. Some of the native bunch grasses survived the fire and re-sprouted. Also the tiny wildflowers that were dormant at the time of the fire survived and did well this spring. Larger wildflowers like lupine and balsamroot had a harder time but I think in the future they will come back strong.

Photo point 1. The boulders you see in many of these photos were completely covered with shrubs before the fire. We didn’t know they were there.

Photo point 2

Our friends Ed and Torre live directly across the valley from us and a little higher on the hill. They had a perfect view of the perfect storm of a fire that burned here on August 1. Torre was on the phone to me telling me to get out as I was grabbing stuff and throwing it in the truck as fast as I could. Later we kept in touch by phone as they watched our house disappear into the thick smoke and then later reappear to be saved by helicopters with buckets of water. When the smoke first covered the house there were three fire trucks from our local volunteers – Okanogan District 6! We believe they saved the place the first time as the initial fire raced across the hill.

Here are some of Ed’s photos of the helicopter action. You can see more of Ed’s work at his Flickr site.

Ken found the pilot of the orange and white helicopter that put out that burning woodpile and expressed our undying gratitude to him.

Pictures below are what remains after the Rising Eagle Road fire. It’s been nine days since it happened and we have been on a roller coaster of emotions. Elated that our house survived and is intact. In despair over losing 2/3 of the bee hives. Happy that our well did not get fried and that we have a generator to run it and keep things wet and green as much as possible. Saddened over every little lost thing we notice each day. Really happy that our insurance company is being easy to work with. We are sorry for people who have not had such results with the bureaucracy.

We think the fire fighters on the ground and in the air are the best and we are forever grateful to them. The utility workers who replaced burned up poles and strung the wires and fiber while working sixteen hour days without complaint are another set of heroes.

And we are deeply saddened by the tremendous loss of homes on the hills around us and also in other locations around the Methow Valley.

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