Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fire on the mountains on a cloudy day

This afternoon, the NE horizon of Tucson looked like this:

--my first time seeing a mountainside on fire...

...but then, after being informed, it wasn't as dramatic as I'd thought;
it's a controlled burn--the Forest Service's 'prescriptive fire' is a preventive measure--getting rid of dried-out undergrowth so that it doesn't later become tinder that might ignite and become a truly destructive wildfire later on...

Still, several thousand acres burning is impressive:

Officially, this is the "Agua Caliente-Reddington Pass" fire.

What can be surprising, too, is the predominant color of this desert--as you can see, it's green!
Most of the trees in this semi-rural/suburban landscape are native, drought-tolerant species such as mesquite and palo verde.

The Sonoran is no Sahara...

It was unseasonably overcast today, too--even 'spittling' a few rain drops--strange contrast with the smoky mountains...(The first 100-degree-day is supposed to arrive by the middle of next week.)

To put it in scale with the rest of Tucson's horizon, here is a panorama, from the central Santa Catalina mountains, on the north (on the left) all the way to the smoke around Reddington Pass, (on the right).

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