Photo: Signs of life emerge where California wildfires burned

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Photographer Don Quintana writes:

California was on its fifth year of drought, bark beetles were ravaging conifers at an alarming rate and dry dead trees were everywhere in the Sierra National Forest. On July 31st, 2015 the conditions in the National Forest were just right. A lightning strike just north of Hume Lake would ignite the largest fire in California of the year. It would burn a total of 151,623 acres of land and last until November 5th of 2015. Both Kings Canyon as well as Sequoia National Park would be affected. The fire was enormous.

Six months later, I had the opportunity to return to the burn area to record and catalog the different effects that the fire has had on the area. The most noticeable, is the huge number of wildflowers that have appeared where the burn occurred. With a newly cleared understory the opportunity for wildflower blooms increases. That’s what we’re seeing here in Kings Canyon. Amongst the notable flowers are California poppies, blue dicks and fiesta flowers. It is amazing to look into the distance in this photo and see how massive the area consumed by the fire really was.

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