Flying the Apocalypse

On the 8th of August a little lightning caused fire took off near Beaver Creek, sw of Hailey just a few miles; and just north of two much larger fires that had already torn through over 200,000 acres of scrub and pine forests.  At that stage there were just over 100 crew on the Beaver Creek fire and the TFR (temporary flight restriction) was just inside our launch on Baldy, so we headed up the hill for what would end up being one of the last flying days of August.  Of course the rest you all probably know- the Beaver Creek fire was upgraded to the nation’s top priority.  It quickly grew into a fire nightmare, eventually nearly 2,000 fire fighters from around the country and dizzying number of aircraft descended on our little valley to try to save it.  Jody and I and over 2500 others were evacuated on the 16th.  Most people have been allowed to return home, but a few areas, including ours are still on mandatory evacuation, but the fire, now at over 110,000 acres is nearly 100% contained.

It was one of the most memorable soaring sessions I’ve ever had.  Nate got to take his new Niviuk Peak 3 for a spin, I got to deepen my love affair for my new F-Gravity, and most of the flying crew in Sun Valley got to fly the bowls, something that happens very rarely.  Many thanks to Chuck Smith for grabbing these shots!