Vijay Mittal

On fire

Vijay Mittal

On fire

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.