Chetco Bar Fire
Serving as a Trail Maintenance and Restoration Intern with the Siskiyou Mountain Club over the Summer of 2017 I was exposed to Federally Designated Wilderness Areas, including the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, that shape the Siskiyou Backcountry of southwest Oregon and northern California. I grew up in the shadow of these vast landscapes yet lacked a meaningful connection and understanding to the raw, and rugged forces of nature that shape these unique topographies.
Taking a midsummer break from the long and arduous days of breaking trail, our crew left the pulaskis and crosscut saws behind and headed out on a 4-day backpacking trip traversing the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route is a serious endeavor covering the challenging contours between Selma, OR and Brookings, OR. By day we swam in the pristine waters of the Chetco River, and hiked in the evening and late into the night to beat the heat.
This photo captures the Chetco Bar Fire burning in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness on July 29th, 2017 at 11:30 PM. Taking a break along the route, I placed my camera on a large rock, shimming it up to level. I programmed my camera in the darkness, manually accounting for the exposure and focus. With a crescent moon at my back, the silvery snags of an old fire scar are illuminated in the foreground. In the background, the blaze of the Chetco Bar Fire flickers through the night casting a radiant orange glow under the stars that scintillate overhead.