Monday, July 6, 2009

What is that bright light in the sky?

I woke up about 3:30 this morning and looked outside, as I always do, to see the moon and stars, and noticed an additional bright orb. Putting on my glasses so that I could see, I realized that it was a fire. Wiping more sleep from my eyes, I could place it as covering Black Butte. We got the binoculars and spotting scope and went out on the deck to get a better look. I debated about calling my neighbor, but finally gave in and did - she thanked me! We watched it light up the night sky as the moon set between the Sisters mountains. I was still in awe. Though I knew I wouldn't be able to get a good picture, I did get out my camera and telephoto lens and made a few exposures. The wind was blowing pretty hard, not good for the fire or for my photo. The exposure was 20 seconds.

As it started get light, I made another exposure - I think it was 15 seconds. What you see is flames covering the east flank of the mountain. To give it some perspective, I included the field across the canyon from us. The wind, at this point, was coming from the southwest.
After daylight, the wind direction changed - now it is roughly from the northwest. You can barely see it, but the fire lookout on top is still there. The lower portion of the structure is steel. There was an employee in the tower and he/she left the mountain! The fire was reported at 1:15 at 20 acres and by about 7 had grown to 300 acres.
Black Butte, for those not familiar, is near the town of Sisters, and just north of Hiway 20 which runs from Salem to Bend and Redmond. It is about 15 miles as the crow flies from our house.


Hahn at Home said...

How's it looking now? Those big fires are scary! And so destructive to wildlife habitat. I hope they snag it soon.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see it so close!