Fire. It is the elemental force always in the back of the mind of the forest dweller. An integral part of the mountain ecosystem, but conflict is inevitable when we encroach upon its domain.
The Red Zone. Disaster-planners and fire departments have coined the term to remind us of the delicate balance between our everyday lives and looming catastrophe. We gaze out from our wooden decks, attached to our wooden houses, and look lovingly on the forested heights that could, on a different day, in different weather, spell our doom.
We owe a great debt to the volunteer fire departments that patrol the high altitude, sometimes tinder-dry, wooded desert that is the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I know my existence in this piney paradise may be on borrowed time, but I stay, enchanted by the sublime wildness all about me.
I wonder why some are devoured and others spared, by the malignant force of fire. I hike into the hills to see where war was waged on the fiery-tongued devil, that grows stronger with every year we plunge deeper into the Age of Climate Change.
My new cache series – Caching Fire – is my way of sharing my adventure with other curious cachers. Read on, then grab your hiking boots and follow my footsteps into the foothills…