July 30th, 2014 in Yesterday
As we deal with the incredible Chiwaukum Creek Fire I think back on our history with Scottish Lakes and even Bill and Peg Stark’s history and I don’t believe we have ever been so deeply effected by fire in the 40 years Scottish Lakes High Camp has been in existence. I know in 1994 the back country was closed due to fire, but the fire itself was on the north side of Highway 2, not in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. Chester Marler called me when this current fire began and said that area has not burned in his lifetime. Chester wrote the book East of the Divide: Travels Through the Eastern Slopes of the North Cascades 1870-1999 along with Mark Mackay and Dan O’Conner. Dan took the picture that you see with this article on July 28, 2014. Chester drives snowmobiles for us on Fridays in the winter and is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the area.
Bill and Peg talked with us often about the history of Scottish Lakes. They never mentioned a forest fire. I know the ski run we have called Sideburn is on an old burn area, but I believe it is from 100 years ago. Every once in a while a fire truck will come up the road in August because they have seen hot tub smoke from the fire lookout on Nason Ridge. The only true fire that I can recall was in 1995. We worked up at Scottish Lakes that Labor Day weekend with a group of friends. There was a huge thunderstorm and lots of rain. Two weeks later a fire that had been smoldering from a lightening strike was put out along the MR road….very small with no damage. And that is it!
I often think that since I have been involved in Scottish Lakes for 20 years that I have seen just about everything happen. But then, I am proved wrong more often than I care to think about! In the back country we have very little control of our environment.