Three months ago we were evacuated from our home in Woodland Hills, Utah, along with other residents of our town and people in Elk Ridge, Covered Bridge Canyon, and residents in Hobble Creek Canyon, because of a threatening fire burning on the flanks of Santaquin Peak, the mountain that rises abruptly up from the highest streets in our town.
Today I hiked up the mountain and learned a few things.
- fires are unpredictable. With scrub oak and maple trees unaffected on both sides, almost everything burned in this little swale
2. These scrub oak and maple trees may or may not grow again next spring.
3. The fire, as fierce as it was from our perspective, was largely a quick-burning affair fed by grasses and dead brush. This Douglas fir, for instance, was burned only around the lower trunk and otherwise was not touched.
4. The Douglas firs along the ridge line didn’t do so well.
5. Our town’s attempt to control any subsequent debris flow by channeling it into our park surrounded by jersey barriers seems a pitiful gesture toward pretending we can control nature.
Can’t wait to see what the ground looks like in the spring, once the snow melts.