Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The fire is contained!

The Ham Lake Fire, which burned 118 square miles in the US and Canada is contained on the US side of the border. Over 1000 firefighters and rain contributed to this success. The remaining evacuation orders have been lifted today. Now people will see which homes and cabins are gone. Photos here.

As I wrote here, people (i.e. tourists who would bring money) might perceive the fire as completely destroying the forest and the beauty of the place. A resort owner describes this false perception:

"We still have the Boundary Waters [Canoe Area Wilderness]," said Ted Young, owner, with his wife, Barbara, of Boundary County Trekking and Poplar Creek Guest House B&B. "We still have the beautiful lakes. And even where it's burned, it's not all burned."

Mike Prom, owner with his wife, Sue, of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters, put it this way: "If you had a map of the Boundary Waters on an 8½-by-11 sheet of paper, this fire would be the size of a quarter."

They know this, but some customers canceling -- most say it's a small number so far -- don't seem to understand it. That may be partly because of what might be called the "Yellowstone phenomenon."

In 1988, a major wildfire raged through Yellowstone National Park. News crews from around the world flocked to tell the story of the fire's damage to a national treasure. Because fire was the story, that's what the cameras showed and the words described.

What wasn't burned got considerably less attention. For years afterward, visitors, expecting to see a landscape of unbroken char were surprised at how good the place looked." The rest of the article is here.

Check this site for links on the fire and how it affected Wilderness Canoe Base, a Lutheran camp.

We also got rain last night, over an inch! That will be some help dealing with the lack of precipitation for the last year. I'll be able to pull weeds out of the garden today. I tried on Sunday, but the soil was like a rock. Of course, rain means the grass will have to be cut often, but I'll accept that.

And we may get our water system hooked up on Friday.

Blue for water!!!!


  1. The Ham Lake fire is an excellent example and illustration of perspective. When we focus on the "bad" with blinders on, we fail to see the "good" that is all around. The news media does an EXCELLENT job of putting blinders on people. I wish they would learn some other tactics.

    In our lives too, when we focus on the "bad" things happening in our lives, and don't look around, we miss a lot. We as Christians need to focus on the "good", Jesus Christ, because that will help us deal with the "bad".

    Also, for anyone who does not know - fire is a good thing for a forest (except when human life is lost). It helps replenish it.

  2. Hey, good comment, deserves a blog post in itself. Thanks.


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