If you drive up Highway 14 through the Poudre Canyon this fall, you might not really notice the extent of the Hewlett and High Park fires. Some hillsides are black, but many others have green and living trees around the killed and burned areas. In the ten weeks since the fire was contained, occasional heavy rains have promoted the growth of grasses and other herbaceous plants, so that many burned areas now have a new carpet of green. Unfortunately, another effect of the heavy rains that followed the burn is severe erosion. The remains of debris flows crossing the highway are evident in numerous places.
In August, LightHawk volunteer pilot Dan Evans flew CNHP’s Jill Handwerk, Michael Menefee, and Dave Anderson over the burn area, where they took many dramatic photos of the fire’s aftermath.