This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
When I first arrived in Fillmore to get a hotel room before heading out to the fire the smoke was amazingly thick. I could just imagine how scary it would have been to be those motorists driving down I-15 the day the flames were leaping across the interstate.
Other than the charred remains of juniper trees and bushes near roads I couldn't get a good grasp on how large of an area the fire had burned until several days later when the smoke lifted enough where I could see around the valley.
The burned area was enormous, and much of that land used to be grazing areas for local livestock. I spoke with several cattle ranchers who were just so shocked and devastated by what happened that they didn't want to talk about it on tape. But just in casual conversation it was apparent they were hurting. They were deciding what to do now that they didn't have land for their herds to graze on.
When the governor came by and toured the area he optimistically said they would replant the area with more native species of grass so the cheat grass that dries and burns so easily wouldn't come back as heavily. But speaking with the ranchers they weren't convinced the reseeding would work. But for their sake let's hope it does.
The past couple of days the fire hasn't been racing like it was the first two days which has really helped firefighters have a chance to build lines.
It was interesting to see how eagerly the firefighters wanted to be out there attacking the hot spots. It just seems like most people wouldn't get excited about wearing a 45 pound pack, heavy clothing, and then spending the day in over 100 degree temperatures next to a fire. But it's a good thing there are people out there who love that kind of thing.
Now there's weather reports of potential dry lightning thunderstorms and strong winds. Let's hope not. stay tuned.