Long Barn (CA), Rim Fire Smoke, Bell Mountain Haze

ISO100, 175mm, f/16, 1/5 sec
Hwy 108 near Long Barn, Tuolumne County, CA

Driving past or near several towns along Hwy 108 currently under evacuation advisories, I could not see the smoke from the fires as the highway winds through tall pines.  Finally, between the towns of Long Barn and Cold Springs there are several turnouts and the first chance to see the smoke covering the distant ridges.

Rim Fire Incident website

Rim Fire Maps

(Click thru the image for the 700px view)

The reasons for these evacuation orders are the unpredictable nature of these steep terrain forest files and the changing wind conditions.  At times, this fire has become so hot, it creates it’s own weather and winds.  So these towns less than 5 miles and one ridge away, have slowly become deserted with residents and filled by firefighters creating fire breaks lines and standing watch in hopes of protecting the town if needed.

After a few compositions here, it was a drive back down to the town of Sonora for some vittles before heading past Jamestown, the next town along Hwy 49, and along Hwy 120, the northeastern route into Yosemite.  Since I already knew the road would be closed 50 miles further, it was a matter of trying to find shots of the fire through mountain gaps.  Recalling the terrain along the route, it is not worth driving much further and eventually being asked to turn around.  I did read in the news later that evening that some establishments in Groveland, the last real town before heading into Yosemite, are still open.  It might have been worth the driving effort to get closer to the fire and the epicenter of emergency activity.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 175mm, f/16, 1/5 sec

Long Barn (CA), Rim Fire Smoke, Bell Mountain Haze. Long Barn, Tuolumne County, California. August 24, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


3 thoughts on “Long Barn (CA), Rim Fire Smoke, Bell Mountain Haze

  1. Another great photo, Steven. I made a mistake about your photo of the Milky Way of New Melones being on Facebook. It is very similar to a photo taken by Joshua Cripps of the starry night sky over the Rim Fire. Nonetheless, I LOVE your photo of New Melones at night. I want to post it on facebook but I’m not sure how, or even if you’re O.K. with that.


    1. I have seen two Big Dipper / Rim Fire photos being widely circulated on FB lately. One is from Glacier Point with the Dipper’s stars enhanced while the other is from Michael Frye, a well-known photographer from Mariposa. Michael is easy to find on FB and the photo from Glacier Point is on one of the Yosemite tourist bureau FB pages.

      Sure, go ahead and share my photo. Not a problem. You can either use the FB share link within the post or you can right-click and copy the link of the image itself and paste that link on FB. Actually, a third was would be to share the link I have on FB as I publish my blog posts to my wall. 🙂


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