Devil’s Gate Dam is a site where I took some photos of the Station Fire back in August. Until then, I had no idea that this dam existed, despite numerous trips to play frisbee golf at the nearby Oak Grove disc golf course. This 100 ft + dam is meant for flood water control and is also a huge line of defense in case of large mudflows coming down from the burned area. The light was not cooperating with me but I managed to get a couple of interesting shots of the Dam and the eroded Arroyo Seco watercourse running through it.
Earlier this week the Angeles Crest Highway reopened through the Angeles National Forest. This road has been closed since the Station Fire back in August which was the largest wildfire in the recorded history of Los Angeles County. This terrible fire consumed more than 160,000 acres and resulted in the death of two firefighters.
Having taken pictures of the Station Fire I thought I’d take a drive up to see what could be seen. The change in scenery was astonishing compared to the area I had enjoyed hiking in earlier in the year. It’s going to be a painfully long time before the area recovers and trails can be made safe again. I really regret not hiking many of these trails before this. In my photographic quest this morning, I did not venture off of any of the wide turnouts that are dotted along the highway. I was in no way interested hindering any of the recovery. Unfortunately there were other people that I saw along the road walking off of the turnouts and into the fragile scorched soil around.
This is quite a sight to behold considering that back in April the hillsides looked something like this:
Instead, there is the strange alien world that now exists there.
This miniature rockslide chute illustrates what lies ahead for this area, since the vegetation is gone and nothing is left to hold back the soil. I hope our rains our nice and gentle this year.
There is hope. Fire is of course a natural part of the cycle of life here. As you can see some of the bushes have already sprouted forth new growth as the roots still live.
I sincerely hope that those responsible for this fire are brought to justice. With up to an inch of rain in the near term weather forecast, the Angeles Crest Highway may close again just a few days after opening. The entire road seemed to have been repaved, with construction crews working all over on drainage projects and repairing other damage to the road, guardrails and signs. Thanks to the construction crew for working so hard to reopen this road.
I started the day at Devil’s Gate Dam, and will be posting pictures from that location as the next blog update.
On Sunday afternoon I decided to take the 5D Mark II out for a shoot. I’m still getting to know this camera, and thought a trip to El Matador State Beach. To my surprise I ran into 7 or 8 other photographers who were arriving about the same time. We didn’t have the best weather for spectacular sunsets (not a cloud in the sky) but there are always good images to be made here. This is my second time visiting this little gem off the Malibu coast, and no doubt I will be back again and again. Here are some images from yesterday’s shoot:
Since I have new gear burning a hole in my pocket, I had to go shoot. The Ferris Wheel was shot on Friday night and the boat was shot on Sunday morning. Just the week before I had kayaked around the boat “Zenji” when it was docked at the gas station in Marina del Rey. It’s a really massive sailboat.