The California Rim Fire: Ten Months Later

Last month we drove up to the Sierra Nevada mountains to attend a family wedding near Yosemite. Our motel was about 130 miles due east of Crow Canyon and it took us about three hours with a stop in Oakdale for lunch. Our motel was The Westgate Lodge in Buck Meadows on Highway 120 — The Tioga Road — about eleven miles east of the town of Groveland. This is the area of the huge Rim Fire which devastated the Tuolumne area north of Yosemite Valley last summer.

The Rim Fire was so-named for its close proximity to the Rim of the World vista point on highway 120 about a half mile east of our motel. The fire came within a couple hundred feet of the buildings in Buck Meadows and all of the people staying there had to be evacuated.

Burnt trees along the side of the road about a half mile from our motel.

Burnt trees along the side of the road about a half mile from our motel.

Another view of burnt trees all around. This will be my entry this week to Laura and Leanne's  Monochrome Madness Challenge over on Leanne's Website.

Another view of burnt trees all around. This will be my entry this week to Laura and Leanne’s Monochrome Madness Challenge over on Leanne’s Website.

Ten months later and wildflowers are already sprouting.

Ten months later and wildflowers are already sprouting.

The Rim Fire was the third largest wildfire in California’s history and it burned more than 250,000 acres. The cost of fighting the fire was estimated at $127.35 million. The fire started on August 17, 2013 and was not extinguished until September 6th. It came close to the Big Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite National Park but Yosemite Valley was never in danger.

There are two memorials at the Rim of the World Vista Point. This one is dedicated to xx who died in 1986.

There are two memorials at the Rim of the World Vista Point. This one is dedicated to David Erickson who died in 1987.

Memorial to xx who died in 2004. There are no reported deaths from the Rim Fire.

Memorial to Eva Marie Schicke who died in 2004. There are no reported deaths from the Rim Fire.

The wedding was at 3:15 Saturday afternoon which gave us some time to visit Yosemite Valley, 33 miles away. It took us an hour to drive to the valley, stopping once for a shot of Half Dome. Then we drove the one-way circle around the valley for another hour, stopping twice for shots. It then took another hour to drive back to our motel in time to get ready for the wedding. And we also had time for about a ten minute stop at the Rim of the World vista point to read the signs and memorials and take some photos.

View of Half Dome as we approach the valley.

View of Half Dome as we approach the valley.

We stopped on the valley floor to get a shot of Yosemite Falls.

We stopped on the valley floor to get a shot of Yosemite Falls.

The view with Yosemite Falls at my back.

The view with Yosemite Falls at my back.

It was about eight miles of mountain road from our motel to Evergreen Lodge, the site of the wedding. We saw the effects of the fire all around us but luckily Evergreen Lodge and nearby Camp Mather suffered little damage. The Berkeley Tuolumne Camp a couple of miles away, however, burnt to the ground. All told, eleven residences, three commercial buildings and 98 outbuildings were destroyed in the fire. How did the fire start? A hunter’s illegal campfire got out of control.

The lake at Evergreen Lodge. My cousin Tom's son Brian and his bride Kelley were wed a few yards away.

The lake at Evergreen Lodge. My cousin Tom’s son Brian and his bride Kelley were wed a few yards away.

Bulletin board and sign at the Rim of the World Vista Point.

Bulletin board and sign at the Rim of the World Vista Point.

Advertisements

About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
This entry was posted in California, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The California Rim Fire: Ten Months Later

  1. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great series of photos…there is always something uplifting (the re-growth) in such destruction as a forest fire. What a great backdrop for a wedding… Well done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s