Forest Fires on my Trips
1) 2016 – Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. A forest fire closed part of the park while I was there.
2) 2016 – Great Basin National Park, Nevada. I was looking forward to seeing the bristlecone pines, but the road to the top was closed because of a forest fire.
3) 2016 – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Part of the park was on fire while we visited.
4) 2017 – Glacier National Park, British Columbia. Smoke obscured the peaks. There were 200 fires in British Columbia while I was exploring BC parks.
5) 2017 – Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia. Forest fires closed this park weeks before I got there. Park authorities finally opened up part of it just before I arrived, although some trails were still closed.
6) 2017 – Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. Forest fire smoke was present once again and obscured the mountains. One week after I was there, 75 square miles (38%) of the park burned in the Kenow Wildfire. With great effort, the town of Waterton and the Prince of Wales Hotel were spared but the Visitor Centre, Crandell Mountain Campground, many buildings at Canyon Youth Camp, the Alpine Stables, staff housing and associated infrastructure such as water and electrical systems were destroyed by the fire.
In 2017, when I drove from Valhalla Provincial Park in BC to Mt Revelstoke National Park, I had to travel on a ferry to stay on highway 23. On the ferry, I met a forest firefighter chief who was in charge of 26 fire fighters. He had 6 people in the hospital. A vehicle overturned because they couldn’t see through the dense smoke. Another truck went out to check on them and also overturned. One man broke his back. They subsist on welfare (about $500 a month Canadian) and get $500 a day while they firefight. This fire leader was coming back from three day leave. My heart goes out to them.