From Catherine Camp, August 18
This has been a challenging summer in this part of the world. The Park has not been directly affected by the fires, but they continue to burn all round us.
The most damaging has been the Carr fire, burning near Redding. It has killed seven people, consumed more than 200,000 acres, destroyed 1600 buildings and has created an ecological wasteland that will have a catastrophic impact on the wildlife in the area for years to come. All of us connected to the Park know someone, or several someones, who have lost everything. The biggest impact to most Burney Falls visitors is, of course, the smoke. There is another fire, the Hat fire, which burned to the east of the park near Fall River Mills. It burned nearly 2,000 acres. Its main impact was closure of Highway 299, which is now open, and yet more smoke. The Hirz fire on the McCloud arm of Shasta Lake continues to grow. Finally, a major piece of road work between Burney and the Highway 299/Highway 89 corner has caused significant traffic delays, but is finally finished!
Many of the Park staff were also called into duty when Shasta State Historic Park was caught in the center of the Carr fire. That Park lost a 1920s schoolhouse, and damage to the brewery and cemetery. Thanks to rapid work by staff from surrounding areas, including our own, the important museum collections were secured and removed to safety.
We are pleased to announce that thanks to a volunteer camp host, Ed Adams, the “Night Sky” presentation, with large telescopes for viewing the stars has been renewed and brought up to speed. At a test run in early August, Ed’s passion for the subject was palpable and infectious. We stayed for two hours, learning many things about the planets, stars, constellations, moon, history, and meteor showers. Unfortunately, the smoke has limited the program this summer. Ed is currently planning to return next year, so we are hopeful that with the return of clear skies we can look at those galaxies far, far away soon.
We are beginning to gear up for Heritage Day, Sunday, October 7. Make your plans to join us, including camping and cabin reservations, for good music and good fun.