Growing up in the midwest, when we would hear about wild fires, we were usually hearing about the big ones. Like the ones in California that cause immense property damage. Or the 1988 fires that burned a large portion of the park. Maybe now with the internet and social media and 24 hour news stations there is more coverage, but my point is I have always believed that any and all wild fires were a big deal. Until this year.
We have been told by both our neighbor (who is a fire behavior specialist) and the guy who works at the post office that this time of year in Gardiner is pretty hazy (smokey). The post office guy said that until fall it’ll be like this. They weren’t lying. Its very hazy (smokey). Its hazy from the fires-I think our haze may be coming from the Maple fire, but I am not sure. But the fires occur every year. Only when they go crazy-go-nuts are they really an issue. Otherwise they are monitored and people are redirected where it is necessary. That’s not to say people here don’t take them seriously. Fire prevention is of the utmost importance around here. Lightning strikes are one thing. Ding dongs who toss their cigarettes out the car window are another.
As you can see in the picture, electric peak is a little hard to see.
I’m not saying I really enjoy the haziness. It’s kind of odd to me. We were driving home from Livingston this afternoon, and I thought to myself that the smoke actually makes it look very wet and humid outside, even though it really is very dry. But it sparked a deep thoughts conversation with the Boo.
The fires going on are necessary. I knew that before I moved here. You need the fire to keep the forest strong. The lodge poles need the fire to open the pinecone so the seeds can begin new generations of growth. There are areas in the park where you can see the growth after the 1988 fires mixed in with the dead trees from that fire. These fires are just another reason I love living here. That connection with nature. That reminder that there are still things on this Earth greater than all of us. That still amaze. And I love that I get to live here. And learn here.