Smoke Shrouded Devil's Elbow SP_photo by David McCloskey

Riding the FireWind Raining Ash at the Oregon Coast Photos

August 23, 2023
Roberta Hoffman

Top photo: Smoke Shrouded Devil’s Elbow SP, near Florence, Oregon Coast, photo by David McCloskey. This is one of the most beloved places on the wild Oregon Coast–on the bluff to the right (out of sight here) stands the iconic lighthouse and wonderful classic lightkeeper’s white house….

FireWind Raining Ash at the Oregon Coast

By David McCloskey

There are many heroic and tragic stories of those affected by the fire, but perhaps none more poignant than that of the eminent Nature writer, Barry Lopez, battling cancer, who lost his cabin at Finn Rock and many years of writings and notes–some not yet published–all consumed in the flames…Tasting those ashes in his mouth, he passed beyond soon after… some say he died of a broken heart….

Mckenzie River Fire_photo by Marcus Kauffman Oregon Dept of Forestry 9 8 20

Mckenzie River Fire, photo by Marcus Kauffman, Oregon Dept of Forestry, 9/8/20

I believe the water in foreground is the river–some places fire came down to the river’s edge, folks hoped that would be a barrier, but winds were so strong it leapt on over the river to the other side…!

Fiery Tongue Billowing Out to Sea_satellite image from Earth Winds

Fiery Tongue Billowing Out to Sea, satellite image from Earth Winds (nullschool.net)

satellite image  from Earth Winds (nullschool.net) the following day, 9/9/20 @ 8:30 pm; I’m from here, and never in my life have witnessed an easterly Fire Wind blowing out to sea, for there’s almost always a persistent westerly blowing off the N Pacific inland….

Smoke Shrouded Devil's Elbow SP_photo by David McCloskey

Smoke Shrouded Devil's Elbow SP, photo by David McCloskey

Smoke Shrouded Devil’s Elbow SP, near Florence, Oregon Coast–this is one of the most beloved places on the wild Oregon Coast–on the bluff to the right (out of sight here) stands the iconic lighthouse and wonderful classic lightkeeper’s white house….

Smoke Spreading Eastward Over US_satellite image 9_14_20 from NOAA

Smoke Spreading Eastward Over US--satellite image 9/14/20 from NOAA

Burnt Aftermath_Blue River_photo by David McCloskey

Burnt Aftermath, Blue River, photo by David McCloskey

May 2021–9 months after FireStorm, when they finally allowed people to visit… even after all this time overfilled log trucks roared by every minute or two all day long, week after week, in excessive “salvage logging….” The whole landscape was twice violated–once by firestorm, and then scraped bare by logging…. many times they didn’t even leave snags–bare scraped rocky ridges…. guaranteeing slope failures and massive long-term erosion….

1 Comment

  1. denise michaels

    Barry Lopez in my thoughts yesterday as I received confirmation a wildfire consultant will visit to access our property. Everything I love lives here – grandsons, mother napping beside summer blooms, hand-written journals, the path to the woodlands that leads to the water.

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