We were just in Yosemite last week when the Rim Fire started really going. Here is a picture of Yosemite Valley taken from up on Glacier Point with the fire on the horizon. At first it just looked like a big Sierra thunderhead. This picture was taken Thursday August 22nd at about 1pm. I believe that the fire is around 25 miles away from the spot I was taking the pictures.
But then you look closer and see that it is actually a huge amount of smoke underneath that white cloud. The smoke is actually causing its own mini-weather system to form.And the smoke wasn't just contained to one spot it really spread wide depending on the winds of course, but thankfully didn't affect us in Yosemite Valley, or up on Crane Flat campground on Highway 120 (which was closed right after the turnoff for the campground).There were some better places to take close up pictures of the smoke the next day when we went up the Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows but my husband didn't want to stop, he said it was too scary as we were too close to it. And since he was driving at the time, that was that. He was right of course, because he knows how fire freaks me out because of where we live. Let's just say we were so close that I would not have needed the zoom at all to get some of these pictures because where we were driving was right on the other side of those mountains that you see. Also it was a day later and the fire had doubled in size.
I really hope that the fire is able to be controlled enough where there are homes and towns, and that of course the firefighters stay as safe as possible. But I also hope they let the rest burn, this forest needs it, there's been too many years without a fire. Also the sequoias don't grow unless there is a fire, the seeds don't come out of the pods, there's too much shade from other faster-growing trees, etc. Fire is part of what is supposed to happen in these mountainous forests,