Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Air Burns


The heat is starting to dissipate a little from the incredible highs we've been having but it's still going to be a month before it's comfortable to hike during the middle of the day. And while the heat has made it very uncomfortable here in the desert, it has been disastrous for other areas due to intense fire conditions. The Station Fire, near Los Angeles, is the largest fire in the Angeles National Forest in over 100 years. There is also a fire that has broken out in the Yucaipa area. Both of these areas are of interest to hikers because trails either go through or start at these areas. Smoke is not affecting the desert here in the desert although we can see it.

There's an area near the 1000 Palms Oasis that I've decided to go to in order to see what view I might have looking toward the west where the fires are burning.

I make my way up a hill to this Indian trail although I will soon leave it to climb a peak for a better view.

The sun is still out and the heat is intense. Even though the sun will soon disappear behind the horizon it'll stay warm although it feels better when the sun isn't beating on you.

The peak I am climbing has a little use trail heading up it so while it's rocky the climbing is pretty easy.

Looking to the west you can see smoke from the Oak Glen Fire, which just started today.

From the top of the Peak 833 I can look down over the Coachella Valley Preserve. It is a great expanse of undeveloped desert that is rare these days.

As the sun gets further beyond the horizon, the smoke starts spreading out in our direction.

Making it back to the Jeep just after dark I am happy I have a flashlight with me. It's going to be a tough fire season because although we are having one of the worst fires in LA County history the real bad months for fire season are yet to come.

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