Paradise Fire

In late spring a wildfire started in the valley of the Queets River, apparently caused by lightning. There are hundreds of larger fires all over the western states every year, but what made this one unique is that it happened in a temperate rainforest that receives 140+ inches of rain every year. The forest here is dominated by centuries-old sitka spruce, western hemlock and western red cedar. Close to the river you'll find massive bigleaf maple and red alder covered in moss. This spring was so dry that the moss went dormant and helped fuel the fire. I made two trips to the area to check out the blaze from a safe distance and take some photos.