Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Comet fire aftermath

I went out to the location of the Comet fire on Sunday, one week after the fire. I wanted to see if there were still lots of small dust devils picking up the ash. The loose ash might have been blown away, though. On Saturday, there were storms around Tucson. Late in the afternoon, they pushed out a big gust of wind in our direction. You can see the leading edge of a dust storm moving out from a rain storm on animated radar. I could tell within a few minutes when the dust was going to hit us and went out front to get a picture.

I did some things to make the dust stand out which also made the other colors very bright.

Anyway, all that wind on Saturday might have blown the loose ash away. I saw 4 large dust devils on the way out there, and it was about 105F at Queen Creek, so I know conditions were right for dust devils. I didn't see any out there, but I think the results are inconclusive.

Humidity is creeping up. There were some low clouds.

Fire damage.

There is speculation that the Comet fire was started by target shooting. In fact, the forest service had a guy on the road stopping people and making sure they weren't planning to do any target shooting. A news reporter at the fire last week said that bullets cause sparks when they hit rocks, and that starts fires. Bullets are usually made of lead, though, and contrary to what you see from Hollywood, it's pretty darn difficult to get a spark with a piece of lead. If target shooting starts fires, I think it's because of what is used for targets (e.g. propane bottles) and the shooters' cigarettes.

Favorite targets; beer cans and propane bottles.

After watching for dust devils for a while, I drove out Hewitt Canyon road for a while to enjoy the scenery. I got out of the truck to take a few pictures, but it was too hot in the middle of the day to do much of that.

Corral and windmill

Cholla, Roblas Butte, and a cloud.

Click below to see all of the pictures.


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