Reflections on the High Park Fire, Part II: Green Trees Among the Ashes (A tour of Poudre Canyon)


Restless West Journal

The High Park Fire burned mostly south of Poudre Canyon, but about a fifth of the homes it burned were north of the canyon. Highway 14, the Poudre Canyon Highway, was closed for nearly three weeks until the fire was nearly fully contained. The highway opened on Saturday, June 30. Jacob and I took at weekend trip to Leadville, and decided to return via Kremmling, North Park and Poudre Canyon on July 1.

Many, many homes were lost in the High Park Fire, but firefighters did a damn good job protecting most of the structures in Poudre Canyon. Aside from that, most striking was the fire’s seeming randomness — its inability to incinerate everything in its path. Though many slopes are completely burned and utterly moonscaped, many slopes weren’t. There’s plenty of green amid the burn area, though the loss and the intensity with which the fire burned is, in…

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