Catalina State Park opened last week (post Bighorn Fire which burned 119,000 acres) and when first we enter, park, all appears normal but of course, how could it be given what has occurred. So, no surprise.....
.....we park at the end of the drive, walk a few feet to a wash and see the above. It's impossible to know how much of the plant life will survive. Time of course, will tell.
It appears the wash was one backstop and when that failed, crews pitched in to limit the burn to the main trail.
As sad as this is, I spoke to many volunteers from various states who had been brought in to assist the fire fighting effort and they all saw the burn as a good thing. It had been about 100 years since the area had last burned. Lot of good fertilizer on the ground and already, many shoots of new growth are apparent.
The surrounding hills, stripped of vegetation, seem ripe for rock fall if we get a good rain during this 2nd consecutive monsoon season of little rain.
Many hikers were on the trails within the park, including this dog wearing glasses. My timing could not have been better, capturing the tongue out.
Nothing green in this image and a nearby Saguaro....
....made us wonder if it would survive. I have no idea how quickly the fire moved through or how much it lingered, burning fuel while the Saguaros suffered.
The biggest disappointment is when reaching state trust land, trails are closed at least thru October. Frankly the justification for closing some of these trails is really weak....really, really weak.