I am a seasonal park ranger in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, specializing in fire information and education. I grew up in the northeast, where the smell of wood smoke meant nothing more than a campfire nearby, and where I never saw a vista obscured whitish-gray in the summertime. Meanwhile, every year the west was burning. My desire to make a real contribution, however small, to the protection of the natural world drew me to wildland fire, and keeps me here now. Amid the fear of the flames themselves, and of the sinister changes that our ever-lengthening fire seasons foreshadow, the fire is glorious. I had no idea how beautiful it could be.
Three River, CA