Chuck Harder

On fire

Chuck Harder

Decades of fire suppression and climate change have turned parts of the West into a tinder box

We had just topped Tincup Pass headed east toward Star Valley and, eventually, the Wyoming Range to chase cutthroats, when I noticed a thin, wispy line of smoke rising from the crest of the Caribou Range to our north.

As we rounded a bend in Highway 34, full-on flames appeared high atop the mountain. A lodgepole appeared to be fully engulfed in flame—it burned furiously amid the sea of green along the slope. The night before, the wind kicked up and it rained a bit, but lightning lit up the evening sky at a steady clip.

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Chuck Harder is a savage from another time. The boss of mechanical bosses, the Mennonite of all Mennonites. Knowledge is king and Chuck is king of knowledge. Without Chuck, we’d all be drinking beer on a used couch while staring at a yard full of vehicles that don’t run.