Sunday, October 28, 2018

10/28 Shasta Lake to Mt Shasta, CA - Fire Damage

Interstate 5 is the main north-south freeway in California, going all the way from the border with Mexico to past Seattle.  Heading north from Napa, most of the route is through the Central Valley, which is mostly flat and hot and consists of farmland.  Once you get past Redding, however, you enter the mountains and the elevation rises sharply.  If you remember from the news this summer, Redding was one of the hardest hit places when the fires were burning, but most of the damage to Redding was west and north of the city.

There were also separate fires in the areas just past Lake Shasta, north of Redding.  These fires closed the interstate for several days with fires on both sides of the highway, in an area about 10 miles long.  If you remember, people had to drive 200 miles to get north because of the closed freeway.  

This is beautiful, heavily forested, mountainous land. 

The lake is substantially down because it is October and the rains have not yet started. 

The brown trees shown on the right are not changing color because it is fall.  They have been damaged by fire. 

There are still patches of unburned trees, luckily. 

The next few photos show substantial fire damage. 

In the heavily burned areas, they are cutting and removing all burned trees and shrubs from the interstate right-of-way.  I assume this is being done to reduce the availability of fuel in case another fire comes. 

They are also repairing the hillsides and trying to prevent rains from washing out some areas. 

This burned area goes for at least ten miles.  It must have been a spectacular fire.  Notice that the hills and mountains in the distance are also burned. 

Notice the stumps remaining where they have removed the trees.   

Piles of burnt trees and undergrowth. 

The very wide shoulders here are chain-up areas because this area gets heavy snow during the winter.  If the signs indicate I need to put chains on my RV, I can guarantee you I will do a quick exit or u-turn and head back down the mountain to wait it out!  

More burned area.  I just got tired of taking photos, but it was amazing how much here was burned.  And notice how spotty it was.  There would be a small burned area, then some green trees that were untouched, and another burned area.  The top of the mountain to the right is really black. 

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