Smoky Cascade Rays
July 28, 2007
During the hot July of 2006 in Oregon, my family was driving from Salem to enjoy a scheduled vacation in the lovely town of Sisters, Oregon, on the eastern flanks of the Cascade Mountains. Prior to setting out, we thought little of the small lightning induced fire that had recently been noted on local news broadcasts. However, due to a combination of abundant fuel, weather conditions and rough terrain, the fire proved formidable and continued to grow. As we neared our small town destination, smoke from the encroaching blaze poured over the two lane mountain highway, blotting the Sun and creating these eerie crepuscular rays. Eventually encompassing 9,400 acres and causing the evacuation of 1500 local residents, this "Black Crater" fire (as it came to be known) rekindled the local debate between “let it burn” naturalists and the forest management groups. Photo taken on July 28, 2006.