Lamoille Canyon burned. This photo is from around 3:30 PM, September 30, 2018.
The canyon was sacrificed to stupidity. To people who didn't have the common sense to put a rifle range someplace where a fire could be contained, and to close it down - or at least staff it - during extreme fire danger. To people who ignored another, smaller, fire started by shooters using the range a couple of years ago, who ignored another, smaller fire just west of the range a couple of weeks ago.
To people who ignored red flag after red flag after red flag.
The people who started the fire were the apex of a huge heap of people making stupid, selfish decisions all based on their BY GOD given rights TO SHOOT THEIR GODDAMNED GUNS ANYWHERE AND ANYWHEN THEY BY GOD FEEL LIKE IT. High winds and extreme fire conditions be damned. And reality be damned, too - it's been amply demonstrated that many, many people in this area aren't at all responsible when it comes to firearm ownership and use. People who consider themselves responsible firearm owners have a responsibility to face the FACT that a large percentage of people who own guns AREN'T responsible. DON'T make good decisions. Since our Constitution says that any Tom, Dick and Harry can buy a gun, responsible gun owners need to be responsible enough to establish and maintain boundaries that safeguard the rest of us from these asshats' complete fucking stupidity.
The Second Amendment crowd goes on and on about onerous firearm regulation. Bullshit. I fail to see the regulation, here. Whoever started this fire likely bought their gun legally by flashing a drivers license and passing a laughable joke of a background check. There was no requirement for education, no requirement for the most rudimentary demonstration of skills and knowledge. No requirement that this idiot show that he knew enough to not be out there shooting in high wind in dry grass on a red-flag fire condition day. On a day when we hadn't had rain in months.
Spring Creek Association posted a few rules for their rifle range, assuming these idiots would read and follow them. Well, guys, they didn't. Nor did they use an iota of common sense. And that, my friends, was entirely predictable. As were the consequences.
Lamoille Canyon burned.
Road at the mouth of the canyon. The Secret-Lamoille trailhead area burned, as did the remains of the historic flume. Firefighters saved Ruby Dome Ranch... the fire burned down to the corrals where cowboys were scrambling to finish the work they'd started early in the day before the fire overwhelmed them.
Right Fork Canyon
The access point for Terminal Cancer Couloir.
Scout Camp, including the ruins of the lodge built during the Great Depression.
What remains of the historic lodge. It makes me want to cry. So many memories there.
See a single word about fire safety or extreme fire conditions?
I don't either.
I don't either.
As of today the USFS anticipates the canyon road will be closed through November 30th. The Spring Creek Rifle Range and Campground are closed until further notice. That means access to the following trails is closed: Secret-Lamoille Trail, the Ruby Crest Trail (Lamoille Canyon trailhead), Island Lake Trail, Right Fork Trail, Talbot-Lamoille Trail, Thomas Canyon Trail, Hennen Canyon Trail (accessing Griswold Lake and Ruby Dome), Seitz Lake Trail.